“Freedom Escapes” spam / scam

[edited 19 July 2007 - ok, not a scam afterall - see comments]

[edited 3 July 2008 - not sure if it isn't a scam. Could be. Who knows. Still bloody annoying for sure. One year on, after telling them to remove my number from their list, I just received ANOTHER call!!!]

Just got an international call from some company called “Freedom Escapes” telling me I have been selected to give them money for some holiday package.

A quick search on Google seem to indicate that this may be a scam as well as spam.

They were very insistent that “Freedom Escapes” is an NSW registered company. A search on ASIC shows four entries – one Pty Ltd company and 3 business names.

Idiots…

84 comments

  1. Scam Alerts » Blog Archive » Scam Related News (07/10/2007) said:

    [...] “Freedom Escapes” spam / scam By Zern A quick search on Google seem to indicate that this may be a scam as well as spam. They were very insistent that “Freedom Escapes” is an NSW registered company. A search on ASIC shows four entries – one Pty Ltd company and 3 business … eicolab: creative strategies… – eicolab.com.au/blog [...]

  2. Lance said:

    Hi! this is one of the directors of freedom escapes pty ltd. FYI we are not a “scam”. We have over 50,000 customers in Australia and New Zealand enjoying our promotional accommodation stays and great internet rates on hotels worldwide with some great last minute rates as well… A word to the wise, its easy to jump to conclusions if you are predisposed to doing so. Check out our site and save on accommodation if you like! cheers.

  3. Zern said:

    OMG they wrote back, they exist!

    Not knowing them from a bar of soap at the first encounter – ie that unsolicited phone call which oddly kept stressing they are a registered NSW company and that I have been “specially chosen” etc – is it any wonder that the impression was “oh poo, not another spam call”? How would most people have reasonably be expected to respond to that?

    And the subsequent Google search to find out if they are real flagged up (unfortunately for them) a series of scam entries. Incidentally the company’s website is here http://www.freedomescapes.com.au

    Thier website looks like a legitimate travel company. But their action instilled the doubt. In an age where legitimate looking websites and brochures are very easy to make, actions count more. I would not spend money with some stranger who interrupts me at home to push me something. There are plenty of alternatives out there.

    And no, I don’t think it’s a scam afterall. Just another dreadful marketing doo doo.

  4. eicolab: creative strategies for business innovation said:

    [...] my previous post and comments on this annoying phone [...]

  5. Tekgno said:

    These bastards have harassed me at least 3 times in the past week, despite me constantly telling them I wasn’t interested, the third time was the quickest call yet, I just told them to fsck off. After doing a quick search I found this on their website in the FAQ section:

    The hotel I called does not know about the promotion?
    Management and staff change at hotels. If the hotel is listed on our site they are participating in the offer. Please call us and we will liase with them directly on your behalf. Remember, these offers are only available via freedom escapes, so if you are planning to purchase a promotional pack we advise you do not call the hotel first as obviously hotel staff will not be versed in the details of our promotional offers. A consultant will be happy to talk to you on #### ### ###.

    That one paragraph just screams scam.

  6. Iain said:

    Hi,

    This is an employee of Freedom Escapes. I would like to respond to the previous post to put everyones mind at rest. I’m unsure why Tekgno thinks that the paragraph on our website that has been copied above denotes that it is a scam.

    We have put that instruction on our website simply at the request of hotels. We find that some customers upon receiving a call from us call the hotels to ask for further details. Of course it is not really fair that the hotel staff are doing our customer service for us – that is why we are trying to direct people to us for those calls.

    There is also the situation where a new employee is unaware of the promotions that a hotel offers. This does happen especially since the hotel industry has such a high turnover of staff. In this case we are trying to explain that if this ever occurs we will handle the booking with the management or the head office of the hotel. We do hundreds of bookings for happy customers each month saving them lots of money on their accommodation.

    If anyone has any further comments or questions or would just like a great deal on accommodation I invite them to call us on 1300 780 811 or visit our office. The address for which can be found at our website http://www.freedomescapes.com.au

  7. Greg said:

    Was contacted three times this week by an Indian woman claiming to be ‘Jessica Williams’ from FreedomEscapes. Phone had a delay that sounded like it was being routed via the moon, but she claimed that she was ringing from Bondi Junction. Offered the standard fare, and told repeatedly to check out the website (because those can never be faked) and that they have an ABN. When I said that I wanted to research the offer first before giving my credit card details, I was told that the companies sales department could not be contacted from outside the office, and that this was a one time phone offer (I should be so lucky!)

    WHOIS reveals that the freedomEscapes domain name is registered to Advantis Pty Ltd, a company that went into liquidation in Sep 2004 unable to pay its creditors. One month later the same company set up FreedomEscapes, which they are now trying to offload (see:
    http://australian.businessesforsale.com/australian/High-Cash-Flow-Direct-Marketing-Business-For-Sale.aspx)

    Note that (according to their for-sale website) they only have 4 employees (Lance Martin, Jessica Williams, Iain from above, and one other) Gee they must be kept busy what with 50,000 customers…

    Sorry FreedomEscapes but if your direct marketing makes it sound like a duck, and your website looks like a duck…

    …don’t blame us if we think your quakers!

  8. Sue said:

    2 phone calls in 2 days. Lucky me to be “selected” so often – maybe I should buy a lottery ticket and see if my “luck” holds out. It must have been Jessica’s husband who called me – Mohatma Williams from Mumbai St Bondi Junction.
    REALLLLYYYYY !!!!!

  9. Rachel said:

    I’ve also received this scam – twice. The first time, a couple of months ago, I didn’t let them get to the spiel of their scam, but this time I was at work and was not in a position to tell them to get lost. I kept saying to “Jenny” that I wasn’t interested and was not prepared to pay any money until they sent me documentation. As a result, and I should have hung up, I was directed to their supervisor, who did a really aggressive sell, which came across as rude, and in some instances I felt like I was being yelled at. I called him for it, there was no apology, just simply the spiel again and again. Based on my quick research, there is NO way I will provide any further details. I also didn’t feel comfortable with such a forceful sell, and as per the other comments above – I know how easy it is to get an ABN and setup a website with a legitimate sounding domain name. Time to get on the Do Not Call Register.

  10. Zern said:

    I had another call from Freedom Escapes today. Someone called “Kevin”. Same shit. They are just a pest.

    In way this IS a scam – they keep calling and calling and calling and someone must give in at some stage.

    This sort of business practice is utterly deplorable. Obviously the owners of the business have no problems with strangers calling their elderly relatives to goad them in to buying something they don’t need.

  11. Sameer Ahamed said:

    Oie u know wat , i initially thought this was a scam , but after i got a package (after giving my credit card details) , found out that I GOT WAT I WAS PROMISED , they are a very legitimate company .,.,., so people i would only advice you to take up this package (I actually ended up saving $1700) on my holiday this time

  12. leo Harris said:

    Hi guys
    This still smells bad to me. I rang the two hotels in Noosa that was on their list. Both of them denied any knowledge of voucher or deals for freedom escape and alerted management that this scam ncluded their hotel. Reception and on site management catorgorically denied any knowledge of vouchers that promised free acoomodation if you bought meals from their restaurants. The one hotel laughed because they didnt have a restaurant attached to their hotel. The management of these two hotels are taking this scam seriously and strongly advised me not to give freedom escapes any money.

  13. hipneeny said:

    Guess what….I just paid for this accomodation deal $109..what a fool. I am researching after the fact. I called my credit card company and asked to cancel my card they said freedom escapes can still take the money becauseI gave them my details….I usually check these things out thouroughly I feel like an idiot!!!!!!!!!
    I have purchased an accomodation voucher on the phone b4 which was legit I guess this was my downfall!

  14. Andy said:

    Kevin phoned tonight. Deal sounded awesome, but did a search afterwards and read this list. Card now cancelled.

  15. ford man said:

    Just got a call from a indian sounding guy named steven, he insisted they were legit and told me that their address was 79 oxford st Bondi junction, smell a rat now given that is a different address to what sue said above. No company can make money letting out rooms for 7 nights at $99

  16. Danielle said:

    OMG Looks like i fell for the scam too!!!! I bought 7 vouchers for $99 in the end as i was pushed into the sale after talking on the phone to an indian sounding telemarketer for hours, literally, where i said i wasn’t comfortable with the legitimacy of the whole thing. As was stated above i then spoke to the supervisor whom was much more pushy, it was a real nightmare. I paid the money in the end, have my vouchers now and am wondering whether i can actually use these things. I will book and use them in a few weeks and let you guys know if it turns out a nightmare or not. If it IS a nightmare, these guys won’t hear the last of me.

  17. John Thorsborne said:

    My single mum daughter was harrassed, didnt know to hang up, bought a $99 pack to escape the persistent Asain caller, believing she could go to Daydream Is for seven nights if she only paid for meals. She couldn’t afford to use any one of these vouchers even if they were genuine. Have sent them back, but have scant hope of refund. Consumer Affairs will get a copy too.

  18. Tove Tang said:

    Silly me paid $199.00 for a 2 Year deal to
    “dine and stay FREE accomodation”….. BUT when trying to book today nobody in sales or Pacific Escape club have ever heard of such a “deal”.

  19. Dwah said:

    This is an absolute outrage, was just on the phone to the apparent manager Ian and was rudely hung up on because he had a meeting to attend to, apparently he said he ‘will not’ give me a refund, even though it was on a case by case basis and he actually could. I would like everyone who has had the same problem as me in not getting a refund and those who have been given deceptive or misleading information in the purchase stage of buying these vouchers to post their details up here as i am planning to take this action further. This sort of conduct is not acceptable and the public should know about this company, i will make sure that the media is involved – just let me know what your details are and email them to suuup@hotmail.com. Thanks guys xxox

  20. SAM said:

    Hi , i initially thought this was a scam , but after i got a package (after giving my credit card details) , found out that I GOT WAT I WAS PROMISED , they are a very legitimate company .,.,., so people i would only advice you to take up this package (I actually ended up saving $1700) on my holiday this time

  21. angelina said:

    i’m still fuming. Normally I’m very careful.Ear bashings do work with some people in the end.The company is a total fraud from beginning to end. They lie.Missrepresent the facts. Prices.etc.Checked up too late.I,m all for a group action to try to expose their fraud and stop others falling into the same trap.Fume fume.THANKS for listening.

  22. Sandy said:

    Its a scam with a twist. I have just been pestered by these people, so I went through the motions and then rang one of the hotels direct. (Even though I was specifically told not to) They seem to have a legit deal with SOME of these hotels in that the hotels have signed up for a 2 for 1 deal. The only deal that the hotel that I rang (which was an International chain) had with Freedom Escapes was pay full price one night and get the 2nd night free. We are talking $400 a night hotels here.

    These scammers are then pushing this 7 night $99 thing providing you have dinner and breakfast there. This is NOT correct. These hotels do not and will not do these deals. If you arrive there expecting a room you are going to get a very big shock.They guide you step by step through their website and it looks like a great deal…until you go back and try it again yourself and come up with blank pages where a hotel should be.

    Basically its a scam within a legit operation!! BUYER BEWARE…

  23. Desmond Lee [dot] Net » Blog Archive » Eat and Stay / Freedom Escape? said:

    [...] using ealier and it was deregistered! (Being canceled) He managed to find a forum regarding some scams from this Freedom Escape company on the internet, the promotion they were discussing in the forum are exactly like [...]

  24. Calico said:

    I have brought a package and Sandy (who posted above) said there were no hotels under $400 a night on the buy one get one free deal… well, I was surprised; most of them are actually rather affordable and all of the hotels I called to check, verified the deal… Looks like it all checks out fine to me. Some 3 stars are even under $100 for the first night…

  25. Dan said:

    Who can you believe so many conflicting stories! The one’s who say they received the package must be the scammers

  26. Michael said:

    These people have been ringing 3-4 times a day. When I answer they hang up. Many times I have to run from outside!! Seems “Charmaine” only wants to talk to the woman of the house, but the constant phone hang ups are driving us crazy.

  27. Dan said:

    SCAM!!!!!!!!!

  28. Zern said:

    OMG I had no idea this post would generate so many comments!

    It is sad to hear from so many people who felt they have been scammed by this company.

    Here’s a Western Australia government site with some very useful advice on how to handle telemarketers: ScamNet.

  29. PAUL said:

    What a surprise I arrived home today to find a package sent REGISTERED POST from FREEDOM ESCAPE. Inside vouchers along with the free MP3 player they said I would receive.Maybe some people should not be to hasty to judge. I guess there are a lot of people out there missing out on this good deal. To you all now reading this saying yeah, yeah he is in on the scam. Guess what I am not!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Zern said:

    Thanks for sharing Paul. I’m glad to hear you got sent the stuff you were expecting.

  31. Mac said:

    Hello Guys ! I’ve been a victim of this SCAM of Late. I could find all your valuable comments only later. However, I have launched a complaint with the FAIR TRADE DEPARTMENT OF NSW, CONSUMER AFFAIRS & ACMA to ensure they are not troubling innocent people anymore. Thanks for all valuable suggestions guys especially Greg, tekgno and others.

  32. Chris L said:

    Got the usual”enthusiastic quick sell call”, told them I’d want to check this out. They were INSISTANT I take up offer immediately. NOT THIS LITTLE BLACK DUCK. Here’s what I found:
    1. I rang a hotel: YES the offer is real, but the room is JUST a room, and you have to spend a minimum bucks. OK so far.
    2. The company sounds OK on the net, but my investigations show the MARKETING is overseas, slick, and greasy. (Note the Indians called Jack, John, Bob, Carl etc (Mine was Jack Nelson… can’t get more Engish than that!!)
    3. ANY company that sells on line is suspect. I don’t disclose no credit card info to a stranger.
    4. I do NOT NOT NOT deal with offshore agencies that suck our money.
    YOU MIGHT WORK OUT IN SOME CASES, BUT I DON’T APPRECIATE PRESSURE SELL OR GETTING THE “BIG PUSH” I’D RATHER SECURE MY OWN ACCOMMODATION & PAY FOR IT THERE!!!!!! BUGGER OFF FREEDOM ESCAPES. That’s my opinion for what it’s worth!

  33. Freedom Escapes revisited said:

    [...] blogged about being annoyed by Freedom Escapes’ telemarketing calls a while [...]

  34. Ben said:

    Watch out!!! They tell you one thing, but in reality it is totally different. I was told I would get 2 meals included in the package, and could choose from over 300 motels. But after checking their website to double-check, I found out that I had to pay for the 2 meals, and there was only 60 motels, with a further 150 motels with the 2 for 1 deal. I ended up speaking to 3 different people, and I got 3 different stories. They are very manipulative if you question their honesty in what is getting told to consumers. They need to be exposed for what they’re doing to innocent buyers. We wouldn’t worry if we were just told the truth. Why can’t they be up-front with what the package really does & DOES NOT contain? But instead, they try and sell it on mis-information, and mis-leading tactics. BUYER BEWARE!!!

  35. Rick said:

    Hmmm was called, given the good deal I was like wow this sounds too good. They pointed me out to the http://www.abr/business.gov.au website and asked me to type in their ABN “See we are legit business”, “You can cancel any time” “People keep coming back for bigger packages” “your partner will love you for it” “we will give you a $10 discount” blah blah blah. I then googled freedom escapes review and found this site. Oh yeah got some more calls…..

  36. Kenny said:

    We received calls from them 2 months ago and we thought they lost interests in us. Guess what !! Jack Nelson called me again today with a heavy Indian accent. He gave me all the information employee’s ID, website, ABN number, address at 79 Oxford St, Bondi and everything seems so legitimate. When I asked whether i could have a number to call him back ..the same story I am from sales department and not authorized to give the number out to customers !!! Sounds odd enough !!! Told him to ring me back tomorrow afternoon so i’d have sometime to do some research and I found this site…

    Has anyone who bought vouchers from them got anything back? Or actually went on the holidays offered?

  37. Ducky said:

    Responders 20.Sam and 29.Paul are obviously employees of said company. String these people along until they think they’ve got the sale then hang up.

  38. Michael said:

    Hi,

    I am Michael working for Freedom Escapes. I am really sorry to learn of the problems of the customers in this session. See, Please understand that the hotels has got so many appointed staff to service and you cant expect everybody to know about the offer between freedom escapes and the Hotel Tie-ups. That’s the reason we always recommend our customers to drop a line to our customer toll free no 1300 780 811.

    Please make sure we are running the business from 2004 and there is no chance of finding us default by the customers its the way other people who dont like freedom escapes blame the other people and do anti- marketing comments about freedom escapes. If really anybody wants the package I can assure you the best package with freedom escapes. Drop your telephone number I will call you back and also customers who are not satisfied also can drop the telephone number so that I will be very happy to solve your issues.

    Freedom Escapes Main Motto – Customer Satisfaction.

    Any query revert back to the email address below

    eatandstayfree@gmail.com

  39. Zern said:

    Thanks for your post Michael – this really does show you are aware of the problems customers are facing, and you have a process for dealing with them.

    More importantly, your willingness to take personal action is commendable.

    Maybe you can post some anecdotes on how Freedom Escapes have gone out of the way to provide customer satisfaction.

    As an additional note – maybe it is worth setting up a proper email address using your freedomescapes.com.au domain. Using gmail or hotmail as a business email address does not engender trust. :)

  40. lou-lou said:

    Yeah, feels like these guys are as dodgy as hell. I got stung a couple of years back with the $209 deal. At the time thought it was a good deal given how much travel I do in my job. When actually tried to find a hotel that would accept the deal, didn’t have much success. When I complained to Ian and requested my money back I was promised free upgrades to Freedom Escapes World package – at no extra cost! How lucky was I. Now I could have access to an even more useless package. Felt scammed at the time, fumed about it for a while and eventually wrote it off until tonight…..when a consultant rang me again at home with the same package deal I got ripped off with two years ago. Stay away folks and perhaps send a link to consumer affairs to this blog and maybe they’ll start asking questions.

  41. Ace said:

    Guess what, they have another name.
    Eat and Stay free. That was the company that called me.
    They both have the same web site but under different name.
    It sound too good to be true.
    Good luck to people who were sold by them.

    Good tip: Tell them you only deal in cash and they will leave you alone.

  42. sam said:

    Hi this is sam
    i was a Customer of Freedomescapes and i really saved 1000 of Dollers on my accomodation when i was on Holidays in Victoria (Travelodge South Bank Hotel)

  43. hmmm said:

    Ahh can I just say to the people who are giving freedom escapes and their site and mob the thumbs up, I find it very hard to believe you when you are typing in broken english. It reminds me of offshore mobs and accounts; delays on the phone, and really something that isn’t even Australian.

    I only purchase my holidays with reputable companies online and yours just isn’t one of them it would seen. So perhaps eat and stay free or freedom escapes you could actually save your money on all these long distance phone calls that you are making to the Australian public and actually spend the money on promoting your company the correct and legitimate way and THEN, maybe THEN, we might all start responding a little better.

    MY father received one of these phone calls yesterday and told the person to call back today after he had discussed it with me and got me to do the research. That person has called back INCESSSENTLY today to try to speak with my father and con him into purchasing this 14 night stay deal for $200 or something. My first thoughts, why in the heck is someone continually haggling for a measley $200?????? Didn’t this person have anyone else to call all day besides my father?? Why are they so willing to hand out and ABN to check on the ABN REGISTER site. Just because they are a listed company, doesn’t mean that they are any good… we know that!!!

    I finally got a hold of the phone and told this guy that we are not interested and he tried to start selling the package to me. I don’t know about you guys, but in AUSTRALIA when someone says they’re not interested – THEY’RE NOT INTERESTED!! Take a hint telemarketers for this company… we certainly are not interested!!!!

  44. hmmm said:

    regarding a number to ring in sydney and the name of a director of Freedom escapes, you may try the following number found at this website: http://www.callcentersindia.com/showall-orig.php?value1=15110_Freedom_Escapes_Pty_Ltd

  45. James said:

    people say what they want to.Hear good for good deal.they don’t listen properly and they shout on others.listening skills what i can say…………..NO MORE SCAMS HERE IN AUSTRALIA…….. THANKS GOD….
    BE A GOOD BUYER NOT A BAD TELLER

  46. Graeme said:

    I got sucked into buying these vouchers before I found these comments – silly me! When the vouchers came I checked their website for hotels & found one I’d just stayed in. I paid $175 per night & got breaky too, their voucher was $340 for 2 nights & no breaky! With the vouchers where you have to eat at the hotel & stay free, their meal prices are excessive & they don’t tell you that you have to buy dinner & breakfast on the phone! Your stay actually costs more this way, but hey, you eat well! I sent my vouchers back & asked for a refund. 3 weeks later I was refunded, less their service fee of $39 (a bit excessive) on the original $179.
    Steer clear of Freedom Escapes I say!

  47. Peta said:

    Lance. I have just been scammed by your company (FreedomEscapes) and have emailed to say that I want my money back. SOme woman who could barely speak English sold me a package and when I asked questions about the package she lied to me. I am very angry. I received less than half of the vouchers and after being told (only when I asked) that you definately do not have to purchase food to get free accommodation on receiving the vouchers have discovered that you do.

  48. peta said:

    AKA Freedom Escapes, please everyone contact NSW FAir Trading as I did. More complaintd more might get done.

  49. mum said:

    Just recieved a call, literally moments ago. Im a little scared as to what this is all about?? Glad i found this site while i was on the phone with them for that whole hour!!! Not sure i want this whole deal now!
    Note: Usually i answer the phone pretending to be a company..ie. Hello sans, barker, downs, this is…. and rattle off some name, my fam and friends know its me..why oh why did i forget to do that today? They hang up when they think its a business!!

  50. Chimene said:

    wish I had checked out this site before…handed over $299 for so called package..that I cant use at the hotel I wanted..was told several times that i could!! rung them and spoke to a very rude person called Ian Cambell(The owner)..who refused to give me my money back..I cannot believe this person runs a business..A VERY DODGY ONE!!!! He needs to be closed down and spends some time in jail for ripping off us Australians…this is criminal lets rally together to stop this sleasy scammer

  51. Chimene said:

    I have lodged a complaint with NSW Fair Trading and will be looking into anything else that I can do to stop Ian Cambell from ripping off anyone else..

  52. Rahul said:

    Blaming them won’t make the parent company responsible for everything. There employs won’t take time to call you people. Its the Call Centers in Asian Countries who took the contract , making telemarketing calls. Since freedom escapes are not providing the leads for telemarketing, its difficult for those telemarketing companies to guess whether this a particular prospect has been contacted or not. An regarding the stability of a company “Nothing is stable”. The ever said most stable US Economy is falling and reputed Banks are closing, then how can you expect some company like this to be such stable. Also who ever calls you or do business with you are HUMANS like.. people doing business are not 24/7 working machines. They call you, you are not interested than hangup the call, thats over. Still being disturbed, file suit against it. If you are cheated then why the hell is this Consumer Protection Acts here. Its you inability as well.

  53. Lyn said:

    Am travelling to NZ in a few weeks and had foolishly (I now know) purchased a Freedom Escape package. I told the body on the phone that I was only interested in NZ and she assured me there were hundreds of hotels/motels in NZ as part of their scheme.
    On checking xxxxxxxInn in Auckland, found it is on the FE website and has fabulous deals with breaky being $16.50 and dinner $53.50. (each for two) This sounds OK – holidays after all….
    However, move over to wotif.com and the same hotel is just $89 a night. A lot of fish and chips in $51.
    I’ll be pushing for a refund and dobbing to the Consumer Affairs.

  54. Angela said:

    my step dad accepted the offer just yesterday…had no idea..it seemed such a good deal!!!……after reading these comments… im quite convinced that this perhaps is a scamm after all..not sure..we are waiting ont the tickets…ill be sure to update and tell u guys how that goes…if i do find out its a scam then dude! this “freedom escapes” is F*****kd…*sorri for my french*…but besides :)cheers to u all for the advice…
    wats done is done already..no turning back..we jus waiting now T_T

  55. Chimene said:

    lyn you can also lodged a dispute with your credit card company and they will try on your behalf to get a credit ..if you did not get what you paid for ..in our case we were mislead..so my bank is on to it..good luck trying for a refund..we have use wotif.com.au (very good)and NZ is the best place to holiday..

  56. Trevor said:

    Folks, Zern especially,

    Thanks for a good thread. I had this mob ring me last night (yep, still at it) and it sounded pretty good but I habitually do use cash, which naturally stalled things some. I asked for details in order to do research. Well, research done. You’ve saved me $99 and a headache or four. Gracias!

  57. Jen said:

    Just had these guys call me to sell me a $199.00 10 voucher holiday deal. Maybe treacherous but I did play with them for awhile whilst googling details as I was speaking to ‘Nancy’…I found the colourful ‘Freedom Escapes’ website, got the ABN details from Nancy and found the registered page under abn lookup. A very persistent sales woman, not many pauses for breath, but polite enough. I gave her my credit card number just as I got this site up and quickly scanned these last entries, thankyou all, and in a moment of fear, asked her to not process my payment, which was met with some lengthy pleading for trust, and an option to purchase the 7 day $99.00 deal. I refused, although it does sound like an incredible deal…She assured me the payment wouldn’t go through. I immediately called my credit card company to confirm this, explained my folly, and got a temporary block placed on the card…The girl at my credit card company informed me that part of the scam is in the terms and conditions under additional costs, and that they can basically take any amount above the agreed price if you have given consent for a payment to be processed. Some people have been caught out up to $800.00 on this holiday deal.
    I was informed by my credit provider that if the payment is attempted to be processed now the block is in place it is a fraudulent act that can be reported..Watch this space.

  58. Susie said:

    I was hoping Danielle who was going to write back about her trip would do so.

    We are getting phone calls on a regular basis from these people and also prank calls. They do not listen.

    One day I could not understand what this guy was saying which was very fustrating enough, I said to him “sorry I do not understand what you are saying”, he then said in a much stern voice wiel get this “get f****d”. I hung up quickly.

  59. Gwyndra said:

    I was contacted by Maria From Freedom Escapes just yesterday…the deal sounded great but as i didnt have time to chat, i asked her to call me back today. Maria rang again..i said i was suspicious and wanted to know the catch…she said..let me put my supervisor ‘Michael’ on. So at length we talked about the promotion…it sounded fabulous…but i’d love to hear from customers that have purchased the $209 14 nights free accommodation deal. He was keen to get my credit card details but said he would not process until tomorrow which would give me time to think further. I THANKFULLY said no. I wanted to do my own research. If there was some proof of its success then i’d be signing up…but I NOW SMELL A RAT! Thank you for this site and for everyone’s helpful comments. Gwyndra

  60. fiona said:

    Thank you! thank you!
    Never fallen prey to marketing before but today almost did with FE. Reason told me it was too good to be true & yet I nearly fell for it…I can only say ditto in regards to phone experience that others have talked about.
    Good to have a forum where people can check huh?

  61. Zern said:

    It is interesting how – when given time to mull over an offer without pressure – we can be surprisingly good at smelling out dodgy deals. That is perhaps why they are always keen to take your credit card numbers there and then, while the pressure in on.

  62. lynn said:

    Just had a call from these people – a lady called Tania trying to get me to sign up for a 14 nights for the price of 7 deal. I smelled a rat and did a search after talking to her for about half an hour, as I sometimes like to keep them talking for a while as I feel that whilst I’m keeping them hanging on then they can’t be bothering someone else!! So at the end when she tried to get me to sign up I said I wasn’t really interested – she was quite put out and said I had been wasting her time, at which point I informed her that I hadn’t asked her to call me. Scammers don’t like being scammed back obviously!!!!!!

  63. Michael said:

    This was a funny call. Got a Indian telemarketer cant remember what his name was selling me this package. In like a minute of total jumble mumble he thought he made the sale and put his supervisor on the phone (jessica williams) . she was even worse , as stated above she tried to force things down convincing me that it was a really good deal and that im on of the few random numbers selected. I chuckled to myself but let her continue.

    Its so easy to catch things out as basically im in the advertising , marketing and sales industry and deal with a few national and international companies.

    They all state that they are calling from somewhere in australia, well all you need to do is ask them a few basic questions , not about the weather , but something about that general area. For instance they said they were calling from Bondi , obviously they didnt know that im from Sydney. SO i asked questions like whats the next suburb to bondi or at which station would you get off to go to the Opera House. They try to get training on general knowledge of Australia but not general knowledge of that local area or city.

    All the same they gave up and admitted that they werent in Sydney. I wouldnt say that all telemarketing calls are scams but obviously in any type of business there are always scams , thats how the world is. Just safeguard yourself and as they say if its too good to be true then its obviously not true. Many of my clients are resort and motel owners accross Australia and well even the deals I get through them which is better than what the general public gets wouldnt be as good as Freedom Escapes. I think i should go and ask all my clients for a 14night package for $199.00 lol wonder what their response will be.

    Well I hope this helps. Will come on once in a while to check this. Hope this helps anyone else who has doubts. Personally I would suggest dont go for it cuz of the Fine print which they wont mention on the phone and everyone can find really good deals online if they had a good search.
    Take care everyone

  64. Jay said:

    Hi everyone and thanks for your comments,
    I received’the call’ tonight and refused to buy into ‘the deal’ until I could check out a few things…….and lo and behold, here’s the juice on the whole business. Yes, they are very pushy. I make it a policy not to pay for something until I have the product in my hands, especially from telemarketers – I guess I am in for more phone calls from freedom escapes. To confirm an earlier comment, when I asked if I could call back the ‘sales manager’ ( Jason Hines with an Indian accent) I was told the 1300 number would only get me to ‘customer service’. When it sounds dodgy and smells fishy – buyer beware – as so many others have said. Thanks for all your input and saving me a lot of grief.
    take care and happy silly season to all of you.

  65. Animal said:

    Just had a phone call from an Indian lady called “Julia Daniels”, very good at spelling, but pretty poor on pronunciation. Offer and spiel was all as described, with the extra explanation that the reason for the offer was that so many hotel rooms are vacant outside the peak season, and that higher occupancy was important for them. (Fairly believable, but I had once joined a similar (“legitimate”) scheme, and found that the rooms available for the deals were all bottom-of-the-range, and that the cost of the two compulsory meals was well above what I would have paid for normal accomodation (in the same hotel) plus takeaway. In addition, I was hit with “extra charges”, and there were rarely rooms available when and where I wanted them, so that I only got to use four certificates, and that was a costly exercise).
    So I told Julia that I wanted to think about it, and she got fairly insistent that I should give her my credit card number now (free MP3 player, offer only available now, can’t ring back, etc.). Eventually agreed that she would ring me back after my wife got home. Tried the website, very few hotels coming up where she said I could go. Found this discussion thread, thank god I was cautious and thanks for the feedback. I think that there may be a small stream of legitimacy under it all, (i.e. the certificates work occasionally in a limited number of hotels), but the extra costs and the limited opportunities to use them means you will probably do your money. The fact that there is very little detailed evidence of satisfied customers is telling. Will say a firm “NO” to Julia when she rings back.

  66. noddy said:

    I have just received yet another call from freedom escapes, claiming to be from NSW. I said, “You’re calling to sell me something aren’t you? Do you realise that it’s 7.30pm?” Before I could finish my sentence I heard a dial tone. Furious, I checked online to find the company, rang the 1300 number and left a message asking them not to EVER call again! It’s not the first(or second) time they’ve rung, and I’ve had my name on the ‘do not call’ register for a few years. How do we get them not to call anymore?

  67. Brian said:

    Yes, I am ashamed to say I was taken in this time as well. A $99.00 lesson learned. I looked at their 150 hotels around Australia, and they are accepted.
    HOWEVER, I was sold on the terms that for $99.00 I could stay anywhere in Australia for 7 nights. However, what it actually is, is you buy the meals and you get the accommodation free or you get 1 nights free stay.
    So sold under fraudulent terms. Also take a look at some of the research I’ve done on the company
    http://www.search.asic.gov.au/cgi-bin/gns030c?acn=103181862&juris=9&hdtext=ACN&srchsrc=1
    might help to pursue this issue.
    Anyway, this has the makings of a Class Action if someone is prepared to pursue this further.

  68. Kevin said:

    In 2006 I received a call from freedom escapes and purchased a package. Within the 18 month time frame, I had the need to find some accommodation away from home for a major sporting competition. I contacted the Quality Inn in Geraldton and confirmed the 2 for 1 deal was valid. I booked my 4 nights stay and enjoyed a very pleasent weekend including our team winning our competition. Not a problem with the company or the accommodation. Thank you Freedom Escapes.

  69. Kevin said:

    Sorry, one error in my entry above. I stayed at the Best Western Hospitality Inn not the Quality Inn. Nothing against the Quality Inn, but it was awile ago and the memory is not always as good as we like to think.
    Sorry for this error.

  70. GEORGE said:

    I have purchased 25 nights package from freedom escapes 1 month back.I went 7 nights to Goldcoast. I saved nearly 800$ on my accomidation.And the meal prises also very low.I liked the food.I believe ,totally with this package,I will save more money.This is a good offer for those who love to go on holidays.

  71. Nancy said:

    Just got off the phone from a an hour long call with Freedom escapes. Similar deal offered as above…originally 14 vouchers for $249; then after an hour of talking he reduced the price to $199. I was insistant to do further research; he was reluctant to agree bu after sticking to my guns he phoned me back on my mobile so that I could get on the net. Googled freedom escapes; SOOOOOO glad I did… nearly fell for it hook line and sinker. Thank god I followed my cautious gut feeling. Thanks a million you guys!!

  72. Internet Marketing said:

    Hahaha, George you are so on the payroll for the company, next time dont use so many selling words.

  73. Willi said:

    OK…so it seems that this deal might be legit, but it is still putting money in pockets outside Australia…it is not racist to say “the buck (from my pocket) stops here”…

  74. janell said:

    hi all, well i have been receiving calls at home,and at work nearly every other day for about 3 weeks now, and i am suss on this freedom escape holiday package and after reading most of these comments i am not going to enter into this, but if there is anyone out there that has had a good experience and really stayed in some of the motels offered i would like to know what they are really like. janell

  75. adams said:

    hi,
    everyone let me tell you about this company ,they offer a good range of offers like 7, 14 nights holiday accommodations in star hotels across Australia and Newzeland sound great but there is always be a catch so what the deal you need to buy your own food and you will stay free in star hotels based on your choice i recon to go first for this and then cooment bad on it ok.
    it it a genuine company.

  76. Neil said:

    Does any know more about “makemayholidays” and “getawysdownunder”, I have received a fax with an ofer for an accommodation in bali or Thailand (Phuket ) for $49.95 per person, twin share, 7 days. Is it a scam?
    Thank you,

  77. jahobs said:

    Dodge bodges are still at it. Buyer beware. I have just received a call today, just think how many positive comments here are actually the company itself promoting its ‘genuineness’.

  78. Sarah said:

    Scammed, found this after the fact!!! usually i tell em to f off these tele marketers!! i will call them and say they are not authorised to take the money out i have also now cancelled my card just in case, how annoying these people should be hurt! _freedom escape_

  79. John Goddard said:

    got a call last night from Indian Eric with all the speil told him I would research thye website does look convincing but I’m glad I found this thanks to all

  80. JJ said:

    To check this, I telephoned a hotel in New Zealand, and the person who answered the phone had never heard of Freedom Escapes.

    I called the Travelodge in South Melbourne, and the person confirmed that Travelodge does take Freedom Escapes vouchers but only for a pay-for-1-get-1-free basis.

    So there is a basis for the deals, from the Travelodge confirmation.

    With this knowledge, I went back to the F.E. website, and now it makes sense. Under the HOTEL tab, in the pulldown menu there are two categories: i) pay-for-1-get-1-free, and ii) buy-meals-get-free-accommodation.

    Travelodge Melbourne and the NZ hotel are under the pay-for-1-get-1-free.

    This was never explained to me over the telephone. I only learned that from telephoning the two hotels, reading this website, and figuring it out.

    In other words, the offer was presented to me that if I paid $99, I would get 7 nights free accommodation. Specifically, I was not told that some hotels require pay-for-1-get-1-free. I was also not told, in other cases, I had to buy food from the hotels to get the free accommodation.

    On their website, those hotels that require you to pay for food do indicate the minimum food costs, hence, this deal could actually suit some people.

    However, to be safe, before forking out the money, I would telephone the hotels you intend to visit, and get them to confirm that they do take the Freedom Escapes vouchers.

    So, to summarize, Travelodge Melbourne told me that they do take the vouchers for 2-for-1 basis, but I can’t figure out why the NZ hotel fellow had never heard of the scheme.

    Thus, room for caution.

    From what I’ve researched, this company could avoid allegations of scams by just being upfront about the two approaches. Right now, they seem to suck you in by not telling you the fine print. But, after reading the fine print, it appears the FE deals could actually suit some people.

    As for me, I will not pay my money to FE until I can telephone the hotels I intend to stay at, and get someone there to confirm to me that they will honour the vouchers.

  81. JJ said:

    p/s

    Whoops. I’ve just noticed something. The pay-for-meals-free-accommodation is based on twin share, i.e. two people. If you do the sums for each of these category hotels, the cost of breakfast + cost of dinner, multiplied by 2, comes to the cost of a twin-share room. In other words, the hotel is receiving their normal hotel room costs, and giving you free food — you can look at it like that. So, in a sense, it might be a good deal, if you are intending to stay at such hotels in the first place. But you are CERTAINLY not getting free accommodation at $15 per night, per voucher, as it comes across in their telephone marketing speil.

    Furthermore, since the costs are based on twin share, if you are just staying there as a single, I don’t know how the deal would apply.

  82. JJ said:

    p/p/s

    Oh my gosh. I noticed something else too. Some (but not all) of the pay-for-1-get-1-free hotels also have daily meal requirements!!! So beware.

  83. Mike said:

    SCAMMERS!!! They just want your money. Do not trust them and never give them more than a minute of your time. You have better things to do than give away money to hoax companies like freedom escapes.

    Freedom Escapes are A JOKE! Do not believe a word they say to you, unless you want to throw away your money!!!!!

    I couldn’t believe how much they wanted to get my $199 from my credit card, and then once I said I needed to consider the offer, he said try the $99 instead!

    I feel sorry for those innocent victims who may not know any better and may be persuaded by these inetrnational scammers.

  84. Zern said:

    Received via direct email today from the accommodation manager of a hotel in WA – details obscured at the sender’s request:

    From: Tim ****** | ****** Hotel
    Sent: Wednesday, 22 April 2009 9:13 AM
    To: zern@eicolab.com.au
    Subject: Freedom Escapes

    Hi Zern

    I came across your site when doing a search for Freedom Escapes to check the legitimacy of the company, I did this because;

    We had a call from a past guest who by chance had been contacted by Freedom Escapes saying he could spend a week at the hotel for $99 if he purchased breakfast and dinner at the hotel. The guest declined the offer using the excuse he needed to think about it and to call him back in 24 hours. The guest has then called us about the offer asking if it is true, I can say that there is no way the ****** Hotel has ever or will ever deal with Freedom Escapes. Therefore I can only say that this is a scam, how can a ‘legitimate’ company provide offers like this, when the hotel the offer is for knows nothing about it?

    Tim ******
    Accommodation Manager
    ****** Hotel