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Wed, Nov 30 2022, 2:45:37Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 12345678910 ]
Subject: Re: Encounter with Oriental Travels

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Date Posted: Thu, Dec 22 2005, 15:18:25
In reply to: Edwin 's message, "Encounter with Oriental Travels" on Sun, Nov 09 2003, 11:45:10

I salute the person who started this forum. This is of great service to the society that those who read this forum will not fall into the same trap.

I signed up as a member of Gold Crown Resort through Oriental Travel in Dec 2002, after 5-hours hard-talk. Upfront I paid about S$10k with their promise to refund me $2.5k after 5-years, or $5k after 10-years. All I need to do is remain as their member and send back the Annual Address Confirmation Notice every year using registered post.

The resorts they offered are remotely located out of town. Since day one I never ever used their service at all.

The only occasion that I attempted to use their service was that one day I went to Oriental Travel office to book for a ticket for Singapore-Fuzhou trip. They quoted me a fare $50 more expansive than another travel agent. I did not book the ticket through them and I never go to their office since.

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[> Subject: Re: Encounter with Oriental Travels

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Date Posted: Wed, Dec 28 2005, 18:10:06

Like many of you my wife and I went down to their office at Shaw House. This was back in October 2005 after my wife got a call from JSM saying she'd won a diamond watch. She had the impression it was an independent audit that led to them discovering an unclaimed prize. Despite our reservations we went down ot listen. We had resolved not to sign anything no matter what. The first thing that struck was was the excessively loud music. Our request to have it turned down was, turned down. The presenter was slick, and even circumvented our reservations by saying he knows some of us had made a resolve not to sign anything no matter what the circumstances. That made us laugh and relax. He went on to say they weren't into Timeshare and said that many of us would think that that was all it was about. This further lowered our guard. Then came all these wonderful images of holiday destinations and opulent hotel accommodations that we ordinary folk can only dream of- holiday villas on stilts in Tahiti where pink dolphins would swim up to greet you in the morning, luxury cruises in the Caribbean and Alsaka, etc. He went on to say that we could have it all at steeply discounted prices all because they save on advertisements and pass the savings to us. There were also promises of gift holidays for the first couples who signed on. Indeed, some genuine-looking about-to-be fleeced types were quick to commit themselves even as our sales rep was only half-way through her presentation. This sort of put some pressure on us. We allowed ourselves to be carried away in the excitement of it all, despite all the tell tale signs - must bring credit card (which I thought they would force us to use there and then but they claim we cannot access their website without one), no cellphones (which I thought most strange), no children (which I thought they circumvented an excuse for not committing), etc. Both my wife and I are pragmatic types, even skeptics, but somehow we chose to believe what they were selling. May be it was the music that made it hard for us to communicate, let alone concentrate, may be we were very tired by the end of the session, and may be it was the allure of getting something we previously thought not possible until we retire. But we (foolishly) committed ourselves by signing along the dotted line.
The euphoria continued until the next morning when we tried to access the website (it was down the night we were at their office- another warning!). We were told by the receptionist that it was not possible until the whole membership dues was fully paid up. I thought it was ridiculous as they had promised up 12 months free installments and now we had to wait a year before making our first booking? I said I wanted to speak to someone of authority and was promised they would get someone to call me back. Well we waited, followed by more phone calls to them only to get the same message. It was night before we finally got through to someone. By this time we were so fed up that we had decided to cancel our agreement with Oriental Travels. We thought if this was the level of service we were getting (and this is during the cooling-off period where naturally you would want to be extra helpful to your customers) it would only get worse after we became members. Up to this time we weren't aware of this website! Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that we got so lousy a service! Who knows we might have exceeded the cooling-off period had the service been better. Anyway, we managed to get back our deposit of S$10K (foolish!!) and even the S$3K admin charges, albeit more than a month later. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have been able to wriggle our way out of a wasted 'investment'. A friend later alluded us to the "Crimeshare" website where all the infamous timeshare cheat companies are listed, and Oriental Travel is one of them! I thought I would get my money's worth in lieu of my wasted time with them, by proceeding with the watch and camcorder claims. Now I realise that even these 'prizes' are worth less than the postage. Indeed, both Oriental Travels and Jue Shi Marketting are cheats to the core. My wife called the watch delaer who claims it is worth S$300, although he admitted that the diamonds themselves cost no more than $1-2 each! They still had the last laugh!! When the excitement dies and you are able to think more logically, you begin to realise what they claim are really lies and at best, half-truths. How can Oriental Travel claim they are passing the savings to us (by not advertising) if we are booking through Gold Crown? I did manage to access the website and found that the available accommodations are very limited. For example, in the UK, only a couple of London establishments are available for booking, and these are clearly timeshre units, not luxury hotels. What if you wanted to travel up north? The same can be said about the Australian destinations, and I believe elsewhere.
I wonder up to now why no one has written to the Straits times to complain about Oriental Travels? Has anyone been able to enjoy the promised luxury acoomodations at steeply discounted prices?

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