The Classic Escape Holidays Scam

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Ahhhh Cairns was great, but I have to tell you about Classic Escape Holidays just in case you get approached by these guys. No, I wasn’t scammed and to be honest, it’s technically not a scam, however it certainly left us feeling like it was. What exactly am I talking about?

Classic Escape Holidays are basically a timeshare company. They want you to buy into a scheme, a room at a hotel or something similar that you can then visit for so many days a year. And you know, that’s fine as a business concept and I’m sure there are plenty out there interested in it, but it’s the way they look to recruit people to buy in on the scheme that left me feeling a little like I was nearly ‘scammed’. Naturally everything they do operates within the law and I don’t want to suggest otherwise, however it is easy to see why people would feel that they hadn’t really signed on for what they ended up getting.

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So, it all began in the shopping mall in central Cairns. The food court – I was there to check out the movie times, when my wife and I passed two people giving out ‘scratchie’ tickets for Classic Escape Holidays. One star you win a $50 voucher to something or other, two stars and it would be $100. So I thought ‘why not’. I scratched away and won nothing.

Oh well. But I was there with my wife – she should have a ticket as well. One star! Two stars! OMG THREE stars! What did that even me that hadn’t been explained to us pre-scratch! We had absolutely definitely won one of three prizes. Prize A – a $1500 voucher to spend on whatever we liked at Classic Escape Holidays. Prize B – up to 7 nights at a resort in one of many locations around Australia and South East Asia. Prize C – return flights and accommodation for two nights to an Australian capital city of your choice. There were caveats with prizes B & C – there were ‘administration’ fees of $199 and $50 respectively.

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And there was more – seeming as how they were so nice to give us a prize, well, we needed to go to their office the next day and see a 2 hour presentation about the company. A naturally curious person, I thought from the get-go that this was all a little too good to be true, but yet wanted to see how it played out. After all, we hadn’t any firm plans the next day. 2pm then. Oh wait – we had to pay a deposit. That was to make sure we turned up I guess as we’d get it back the next day. So I’m not sure exactly what it was a deposit on. Now I was close to saying ‘no thanks’, but in the end we handed over fifty bucks and got a signed receipt.

Of course the first thing I did that night when I had internet access was check out Classic Escape Holidays online. Well, it confirmed what I had pretty much suspected. The presentation was actually a ‘sell’ and a pretty hard sell too I gathered. For time shares. I looked through a few sites including Trip Advisor and everyone who wrote on it had won Prize B. That had an admin fee of $199, and the places appeared to be around $30-40 a night. So you would pretty much pay for all the accommodation any way. If you have to pay a fee I have to ask, is it really a prize?

Some people took the prize and liked the place, some did and hated it, reporting that an additional caveat had been added when taking the prize that they sit through another presentation. It started to remind me of an episode of South Park where the parents took a free trip to the snow and spent the whole time listening to presentations!

So we went to their office the next day, asked for the deposit back (which we got) and said ‘sorry, not for us’. There was no issue with that although I was told there is a lot of ‘misinformation’ on the internet. We never found out whether we had one A, B or C. My gut tells me it was B, and we would have had 12 months to use it which we probably wouldn’t have been able to.

And so that was my little story. We didn’t get taken in the end. It was somewhat surreal. It always pays to check the net and remember – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is! May the Journey Never End!

17 thoughts on “The Classic Escape Holidays Scam

  1. Geordie

    Thanks for the warning. My wife and I got caught up in the mall recently. I asked them if it was a time share similar to those done in Las Vegas or Gold Coast and they said no. They gave me the impression it was a travel agency and they were going to tell us all about their offers. Now I know better, thanks again. Geordie

  2. Ross Devey

    Yep totally agree with you – wasted $15k on them. To make use of them you have to buy their “points”. Classic Holidays is there timeshare product were you do get points each year to use, which we thought were getting, but this escapes version is a total ripoff. They even charge you maintenance fee, which you can’t get out of, unless to flog your membership off to some other sucker. Ross

  3. Jim

    Im considering purchasing from the presentation. We are presently in Bali and total cost of $17 k.
    Any suggestions

    1. Too be honest I ran a mile. and so I really can’t advise but it’s not something I would consider. I would read through as many trip advisor or similar reviews that you can find and make a call after taking in as many opinions as possible. I think it’s possible that you could find that everything is great, but on the other hand a lot have been very disappointed by their experiences.

    2. Ihab Ghaly

      HI Jim, Honestly do not go, they nice at the beginning, however when you try to book…. everything will not available..

  4. Ihab Ghaly

    I already paid 10K with them and they charge me maintenance fee annually.
    Will checking with my lawyer at the moment.. however Please do not use them at all
    *They ask you to pay 10K for nothing always the good places reserved in school holiday.. if there is any
    ** most of their accommodation more expensive than other famous websites.
    so Why i have to pay for 10K at the beginning.

    Again do not go with them.. They are scam, since sales give your flowerily picture at the interview,
    so it’s false information and misleading!!

    100% stay away from them!!!

    I already a member with them…

    1. Nadine Khoury

      Hi Ihab

      I’d be interested in finding out what your lawyer said as my kids were also conned into joining this scheme which is a real scam. Also considering legal action so would like to find out. What city are you in?

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