More Fun With Telemarketers
Wayne Dobson in his prime

The Victorian Tourism Centre

Vb-frontpage For all those scammed by The Victorian Tourism Centre (and their related companies 'Getaways Downunder', 'Australian Tourism Centre', 'World Travel Centre', 'GT Trends') you are not alone. I just received this email from a "disgruntled customer" (name and address witheld). If anyone has any thoughts or ideas as to how to put together a class action or knows some other way to bring this company to a screaming halt then send me a note and we'll see what we can do.

___________________________________________________


"I am a customer of The Victorian Tourism Centre and Getaways group. We bought some of their vouchers in Dec 2007, believing them to be the Victorian Government. How dumb were we?

Two days ago we received a Phone call from the Getaways group stating that the Getaways group had split from the Victorian Tourism Centre and that the Victorian Tourism centre were in all sorts of trouble and that the vouchers we bought from them were now only valid for 12 months rather than the 24 months of the contract.

The girl who rang my wife, MaryAnne would not have any discent from the facts as she saw them and she didn't even acknowledge the Invoice Number. (Not on their system) etc. Nor the person who signed the covering Letter on the Victorian Tourism centre Letterhead. A Person named Lisa Forrest.

My initial reaction was one of let it pass through to the keeper. That was after ringing the ACCC and also Consumer Affairs Victoria. I did try to speak to someone at Getaways (Janelle) she also said that she could not find my invoice on her system and asked me "Oh did you book through the Victorian Tourism centre?" I said "don't try that on me it Getaways ABN is on the Tax invoice so my contract is with Getaways not Victorian Tourism Centre" She then miraculously found the invoice and told me a supervisor would ring me. I asked who that would be she said Lisa Forrest. I told her that she had till 7pm otherwise I would make a complaint to the Consumer Affairs Victoria.

No call came.

On waking at 2.30 in the morning the next morning, I got angry. And decided to do something about it. I had previously worked out that the ABN Number on the Tax Invoice for the vouchers was in fact for The Getaways Group and I did an ABN lookup on them. And looked at the information more closely.

Getaways Group is in fact a trading name of the Trustee for the Templar Brothers Trust & The Glenister family Trust. This is a Partnership.

(more on that later)

At the time this did not mean a thing to me.

But as I sat here at the PC I wondered how I could find out more.

Not wishing to spend any money, I did not obtain the full extract from ASIC, However I thought I might look up the Victorian Tourism Centre and found that it was a Trading name of Australian Tourism Centre Pty Ltd.

Their other trading name is Australian Tourism Centre.

With the vouchers we got a Vipcard with Australian Tourism centre on it and I went to their website at vipcard.com.. As I looked through it I tried a few of the links to their offerings and one of them took me to the Getaways Web site. When I tried one of their offerings I was directed back to the Australian Tourism Centre website. Then I noticed that they both had the same booking number 130085 75 76.

Just before I started this email they were still working.

As the girl (MaryAnne) from Getaways had said that they were split from Victorian Tourism centre (The ones in a lot of trouble in court! at the moment!) I was intrigued.

I then learned that in fact the Victorian Tourism Centre Business name had been deregistered by Consumer Affairs Victoria. CAV told me that they were now operating under Australian Tourism Centre.

Someone had once told me you could lookup an IP address and so I did a reverse lookup for the websites mentioned above. Getawaysclub.com and vipcard.com.

The following was found:

1/ Getawaysclub.com The Administrative contact for this website is Darren Templar contact at [email protected]

2/ vipcard.com.au. The Registrant is SME Hub Pty Ltd. and the contact is Stephen Glenister.

So I would say that they are the recipients of the Trust for the Templar Brothers Trust & the Glenister Family Trust.

It gets better though. The two companies PBSA (Precise Business Solutions Australia) and SME Hub (which when googled takes you to a website called Graphichub, the contact details and phone numbers are the same as Australian/Victorian Tourism Centre in William St. Melbourne) are Web development Businesses and they claim the same client portfolios EXACTLY. SME Hub is a deregistered company.(on 27/01/2008)

Stephen Glenister closed down his Australian Tourism Centre and there was an article in the Geelong Advertiser, which is as good a work of fiction as a best selling novelist.

Then I I found your article.about Phoenix rebirth. Tim it never died.

It was always extant in Getaways Group. Victorian/Australian tourism centre still exists although the website victourism.com does not.

Other Matters

Glenister is also involved in another travel Co called worldtravelcentre.gttrends.net where he again promises all sorts of rubbish.

The company make my holidays was registered as a company on 8/09/2008 and is not yet registered for GST. Their web site was created on 31 May 2008 in India.

In their Blurb they say they have been operating since 2001 and are a leading Travel company. If this is the same company (which I would say is right) then that is misleading and deceptive.


However having done all this research no one in Government is interested. The ACCC will not do anything unless hundreds of people complain. The Consumer Affairs Vic will only make representations on your behalf for a refund. They leave it up to you to take it to the Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Even though there is a good case of Obtaining a pecunary advantage by deception, the cops would not bother (so I haven't tried).


I am not really much out of pocket so I am not really concerned about the money. I am however concerned that two pricks like this can get away with Lies and fraud so easily. Their success lies in the fact that it is a small amnt of money ($140 for two vouchers).


I rang A curent Affair and they could not have cared Less. Today tonight didn't return my call from my message left.

What do you suggest? Surely you/we can conjour something up!

Comments