Many worried timeshare consumers have contacted us in the past week about an email received from a company called British Travel.
The email comes from email@example.com and is a warning that the consumer’s subscription access is about to expire!
Strange enough nobody actually seems to remember having a subscription or access to anything related to British Travel.
When the consumers have asked, what this was about the answer was as followed:
“I am sure that you may have purchased some holidays from a holiday company in Tenerife. As part of your package you should have been told that you would receive a one-year membership totally free from British Travel. We are an independent travel agency who specialize in corporate travel but now we also deal direct with the public.”
Then the reply goes on about the 25 to 80% discount the consumer can have through British Travel compared to other booking engines such as booking.com or hotels.com
Discounts also applicable to hotels, flights, cruises, car hire, transfers and attraction tickets.
So how comes that one is “member” of this tremendous great discount club without even knowing or having a clue that they are?
Research shows that British Travel is a name that has come up indeed in the past, when people paid for discount holiday accommodation packages over the phone, offered by different companies.
These companies are all on the blog as well, for example Gold Crown Tenerife, Sunline direct, Gold Crown Resorts or Dial a Break.
British Travel used as a third party payment provider now seems to take advantage of the client information they obtained previously, and comes back with this apparent “renewal” of a membership nobody was aware of.
The website from British Travel http://britishtravelagency.co.uk does not provide a lot of information more than the contact details:
Address: C.C. Fañabe Plaza 223, Avda. de Bruselas, Costa Adeje, Tenerife 38670
Phone: (+34) 922 702-350
Phone: (+44) 020-814-47031
Or what is supposed to be the company registration number X1277009A which looks more like a personal Tax ID number (NIE) from Spain than a company / Travel agency registration and license.
If you received any communication from British Travel we would like to have your feedback on this.
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or place a comment on the blog.
The company has gone out of business, but it was owned by Paul Hughes and Ian Meyer. These two individuals are notorious scammers. The service they claimed to offer never worked, and was actually provided by Travektel, a company in Scotland that acts as a reseller of travel search engines.
Their services were never cheaper than anything, and anybody who paid was faced with one technical problem after another.
Julian, what happened to us is what you said exactly. We were taken to the ” office ” and they said that the 1200 euros were won.this was on the Monday morning. No money was handed over because the wife was sceptical. We won the wine ( we left it for the hotel maids )
Hi, is there anyone that can help us, we recently returned and handed over £1,000. We have tried to cancel but no luck. Anyone that can advise who to report these to and help get our money back pleeeeease
Currently in process with second visit scheduled…..paid deposit by card…….help
We travelled to Tenerife on the and on our first proper day the we went for a stroll around playa le das Americas when we then got stopped by a girl named Shannon that asked if we were English, then she started to tell us about a scratch card she had and scratched it out and said we had won star prize, there was also a man with her named Nickki and they both continued to tell us about where we are going to collect our prize and what the company providing the prize was all about.
They told us the company was trying to persuade people to go on self catering holidays so more money was spent into the Tenerife economy. They then put us in a taxi we felt quite anxious like we were being kidnapped, the young girl came with us in the taxi and spend the whole journey talking to the driver in Spanish, this worried us because we didn’t have a clue where we were going or where they were going to take us.
We arrived at a villa looking building in the mountains which I believe is located in Costa Adeje, as soon as we got there another woman came to the gate of the building and escorted us to an office inside where we were then greeted by another woman who sat us down with a form and asked us for our address etc Shannon then shook our hands and said she would be waiting outside then the reception woman took the form and scratch card and put it in a draw then handed us over to a man named Tony to do a “short presentation” to tell us what they were all about, we were a bit confused as to why our scratch card was put away and we never received our prize right away we also met the owner of the company her name was Betty so she said, she was a very strange and over powering with compliments and extremely big headed saying she’s a millionaire etc.
Tony took us outside and we realised Shannon has gone, the presentation was really delayed as he was weirdly talking about other subjects including personal subjects like that he married a girl in America just to get a green card, he asked what we all did for a job (like it was anything to do with the prize) he asked lots of personal life details and also asked if we had a credit card then he kept getting up and going inside and said he was going to check something then he asked what we had won and acted like he never knew we had won star prize he took a long time to get on with the presentation which was really weird to us and continuously said they were not time share.
While waiting for him to get on with it the girl that greeted us at the gate offered us drinks- Tony then got on with the presentation but it was nothing to do with persuading people to go self catering- he told us that they are a travel agents called “British travel” (which my daughter who studies travel has never heard of) and they have direct access to the global distribution system to get holidays cheaper.
He asked how much we spend on holidays a year and how many we go on a year he then started to write things down on paper (prices and figures) he then told us all about the company and that we’d have to get a membership to get these cheaper holidays, I asked how much the membership was but he never wanted to tell me and said that the owner (Betty) would be telling us after.
He continued to ask if I had my credit card on me and asked why I hadn’t got it on me, I told him the membership wasn’t for me and that I wasn’t interested he seemed very shocked and disappointed and asked why and was quite rude at some points. We had been sat there for 2 and a half hours our first day felt wasted we were starving and just wanted to get back to town and carry on with what we were doing before getting whisked away.
After 3 hours the ‘short’ presentation was finished and we were took inside to a desk where he then showed us their website and how as a member we would find a holiday- looking at the we are there was hardly any information on there it looked fake (they told us their company was new) he then got Betty to talk to us about it the Costs of the membership she just pushed a card with costs on in our face which was something like £5,500 for 10 years and £10,000 for 20 years. She spoke to us in a strange way basically pushing us for money she asked for a £1,000 deposit which we refused and she continued to push and harass us for the membership we felt extremely uncomfortable and felt like we couldn’t escape there was a couple of elderly people also being harassed, Tony then drew out a Caribbean cruise holiday they would give us for ‘free’ if we had the membership.
We refused everything and finally went to collect our prize which was a free holiday which said you had to pay £99 which was apparently an administration fee they told us and also gave us a cheap nasty bottle of wine we finally escaped without giving any important information away.
But I have done my research when I got back from holiday and have investigated many companies possibly related to betty including the recent one British travel, gold crown solutions, atlas consultants Europe and realistix I saw this sort of scam was being investigated in 2002 but clearly nothing had been done, we got home and tried ringing the number on the free holiday sheet but every time we rang it said “your call cannot be answered” or “this number is on the phone” the email address provided: email@example.com would not work and my email would not send to them as I tried on a few phones. I have done my research and found that atlas consultants Europe are fake and have no website and the holiday is fake apparently you pay the £99 and get to your holiday to be then told they have no record of your booking so you are stranded.
We feel very upset and angry that our first day on holiday was wasted and that it was all a scam it ruined the start to our holiday. I did not give them my credit card details and so far I have had no money stolen from me but Something needs to be investigated as other people will fall for the scam and their money will be taken which is not fair and Betty shouldn’t get away with it any longer.
Hi Julian, This happened to us, unfortunately we did hand over some cash. We would like to discuss this with you if possible.
Hi there we have also been done out of money too. Same place same people. Have u heard anything from them we only got bk Friday and don’t know which way to turn next or who to speak to regarding this. We were taken for fools and a large amount of money was handed over to these people.
We had the email, ignored it and they took over £400 from our credit card. Had to cancel the card to get a refund. BEWARE!