Last May 6, 2011, I received a call from Club Astoria that I won on their raffle promo - complimentary lunch buffet for 2 and a 3 days and 2 nights complimentary stay gift certificate. I asked them when was that and they told me it was during the wedding fair. They' re so eager to convince me to attend and claim my prizes. I ignore them first and told it to my mom and sister. They told me it was a SCAM.. alright.. so when I received another SMS message from the yesterday May 7, 2011, I asked them thru SMS if they have a DTI number and they called back "yes we are registered ma'am. you can check it in DTI.", but the catch is they want me to check it out on my own. If they really have they could gave me the DTI number. Below are some of the SMS messages I received from them:
After several calls and sms exchanges and out of my curiosity, I decided to give it a try, I just want to know if they will grant the 3 days and 2 nights Gift certificate. I and my bf went to Astoria Plaza Hotel at Escriva drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig. When we got there, there was no available parking space so my bf have to searched the area for pay parking. I went inside and inquire to their reception. I showed the SMS message to the receptionist and he direct me to the Cafe Astoria. I went to Cafe Astoria, a senior waitress accommodate me. She gave me a guest list form to fill up. The details are:
Guest Name 1, Guest Name 2, Occupation , Email address, Tel. No
Household income: 0 - 34,000
35,000 - 50,000 (forgot to take a photo of it)
Where did you learn this promo?
To get the gift certificate you need to attend a 90 minute of presentation. yes, I'm willing to attend the presentation
no, i will not attend the presentation
Our first stop is to eat lunch, in fairness the foods are OK and they served us a bottomless iced tea. The servers in Cafe Astoria are very accommodating.
My plate, I'm on a diet.. hehe. My plate has 2 Tempura Maki, 1 spoon of Kani salad, 1 Seafood skewer, 2 slices of Cold cuts with Honey mustard dip,1 sliced of Roast Pork and small serving of rice.
The Oily Garlic soup, my bf thought it's a Mushromm soup. It tasted like a batchoy.
The Bottomless Iced tea
The Turkey slices.. I didn't like it because it is cold already.
My bf's dessert plate.. fruits (Watermelon, Papaya and pineapple)
and a some kind of pastry ball. When I tasted the pastry ball,
it has a rum with a mix taste of cocoa and nuts.
My dessert plate: Mango ???? in a shot glass, fruits (Watermelon and Papaya),
carrot cake and minted cake. I like the carrot cake.
After our lunch, a lady in uniform approached me and my bf and introduced herself. Her name is Angeline. She's a marketing officer. We went to 35th floor of the hotel. She asked how's our lunch and if we find it hard to locate the hotel. We only mentioned that we had a hard time finding a parking slot and she mentioned "wow! ang yaman nyo pala may car kayo..". Her reaction made me and my bf laugh. My bf told her that we just borrowed the car from his parents. We already knew there's something in the 35th floor and my bf mentioned the Family First.. he told me to be ready and attentive. At the 35th floor, I saw several tables with computers for presentation. She also asked our dream vacation, me and my bf shared our dream vacation. It was a long exchange of conversation about dream vacation. I even mentioned that there are hotels in Asia that offers Backpacker package which is very cheap. She also asked if we have credit cards, and we answered back that we don't have credit cards and only pay cash. She said again, "wow ang yaman nyo cash kayo nagbabayad." It's another red signal for me and my bf. After that, she discussed that Club Astoria is a member of RCI - Resorts Condominiums International, Ltd. A global provider of leisure travel services to businesses and consumers. She also mentioned that Mr. Boy Abunda is their endorser. She discussed their offer Holiday ownership at Club Astoria where you have a 1 week per year to use your benefit as a Club Astoria Member. She also mentioned that you can enjoy it in 5 ways: Save, Sell, Exchange forgot the other 2. If you'll be a member, the membership can last up to 30 years. What caught my attention is you need to pay for maintenance fee of 8,+++ pesos annually and another 5,+++ for your monthly membership fee. The membership fee for 30 years is 500,+++ pesos for 30 years but they lowered it to 300,+++... huwaaaatttt???!!! She even show the calculation on how cheap the vacation if we avail their Holiday ownership promo. But, still I'm not convinced by her marketing strategies.. hehehe! To cut the long story short, we did not avail their Holiday Ownership promo offer. They asked for the reasons and I said we have a wedding to prioritize thus we can't accommodate other stuffs like that and it is out of our budget. I told the Sales Manager, named Allan, that I and my bf prioritize things that are categorize as NEEDS rather than WANTS. What they offer is a WANT. The Sales Manager told me that their offer is good for people who have less responsibilities in life, I think he understand my point. But but but! they have another offer which is a Platinum membership good for 1 year with a membership fee of 11,+++ pesos. you are entitled to stay for a 3 days nights at their hotel in Ortigas. They also let us checked the different vouchers included in the platinum Membership package but still I declined and rejected their Platinum Membership offer. It's out of our budget, honestly.
The manager told Angeline to grant the 3 days 2 nights gift certificate for attending the presentation. She discussed the terms and let me signed the acknowledgement receipt of the complimentary accommodation Gift certificate. The GC entitles me to stay to any of the 5 mentioned destinations: Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Bali Indonesia; Bangkok Thailand; and Tagbilaran, Bohol. Below are the photos:
Overall experience, I can't say that this is a SCAM. The lunch buffet and the Gift certificate is real though I haven't use it. They just have a very different way of Marketing their product. If ever you are invited by Astoria, you should KNOW and be BRAVE to say NO if you can't afford what they offer. The Manager and Angeline said to me that I am not obliged to avail their offer.. No strings attached. So, DON'T be SHY to say NO. If they asked you the reasons.. tell it straight that you CAN'T AFFORD it.