I received a call this afternoon from a certain Angela Ledesma of FinAsiaGlobal. I have never heard of the company ever. She talked so fast, blabbing nonstop on the phone. I thought she was never gonna stop. She’s a good speaker, I can give her that. But there was already something fishy about the VIP Platinum Card they were offering. But for some reason, I let this Angela go on. In a nutshell, they basically act as a middleman between us consumers/travelers and tourism establishments/facilities.
The PLATINUM VIP CLUB works with an amazing cross-section of partners to give convenience to every travelers. As a member you get access to our reservation desk helplines, services and exclusive discounted rates to any of our afilliated hotels and resorts. When you’re a PLATINUM VIP CLUB member you have access to the club exclusive resources to make your busy life a little easier, whether you are on the road or at the metropolis.
As I was on the computer when I was speaking with her, she asked me to check their website. Lo and behold, their website is up but only a handful of links were working. Even the Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn icons weren’t working. I noticed that Cebu Pacific and Enchanted Kingdom were featured in the homepage.
She told me that what they’re offering is a lifetime membership, only I have to pay a one-time regisration fee of Php3,995 (I forgot exactly, but it was almost Php4,000). She even told me that the amount can be paid in installment basis. Hmm.
She started “verifying” my information, which I always find dubious. How could these people know my full name, my birthday, my landline number, mobile number and address? She even injected a little humor by saying that we shared the same birthday. Har.
Things got sneaky when she inquired about my credit card company, credit limit AND my available balance. I was like, why the hell do you want to know? She even asked me if I had my wallet with me then told me to take out my credit card. I knew she would ask about my card number but I interjected. I immediately asked how she was able to “select” me from the millions of CC holders all over the Philippines? She then said something about non-delinquent card holders, frequent travelers and whatnot.
She told me that she’ll have the card delivered to my office in two hours. Two hours. Boy do they move fast! Two minutes after our conversation ended, I quickly looked up the company and discovered that others have already been victimized by this company. Apparently, if that card reached my hands, they would ask me to swipe my credit card on a terminal they’ll be bringing over to “guarantee” my reservation.
Different experiences with FinAsiaGlobal:
People who availed the card also caught a snagged when they tried to use the VIP Platinum Card:
They’re so good at what they do no? Kainis!
The same girl whom I talked with also got in touch with them. I quickly called the number she gave me. The second someone answered the phone, I knew they were just a bunch of scammers because the girl who picked up the phone said, “Hello?” instead of the usual “<company name>, Good morning!”. Seriously, who doesn’t mention a company’s name when you’re at the office?
Anyway, I asked for Angela Ledesma and flatly told her not to deliver the card anymore because their program was not for me. She told me that their messenger already left their office, but I told her to chase after him since I won’t accept their card no matter what. She was persistent but I was more persistent. Those two minutes spared me from what would be a severe headache that would last weeks–months even.
After the call, I went back to inspect their site. Here are my findings:
- Their page is ugly for a company offering such privileges.
- Most of the outgoing links are not working.
- The writing’s terrible. Seriously, you can’t expect to be taken seriously when you don’t know verb tenses.
- The download form opens a Microsoft Document. Err, who does that these days? Most of the time, it’s an online form or a PDF file.
- They didn’t put their address in the contact box. Obviously, they don’t want to be found.
I also called Cebu Pacific to verify if they are indeed connected with the company. As expected, they are not affiliated with Cebu Pacific. I told them about this company, which I suspect to be scamming people, enticing them with discounted Cebu Pacific flight fares and whatnot.
I’m not absolutely sure if they are indeed a good-for-nothing company out to trick people, so here, read for yourself what other victims had to say. You guys decide if this is a legitimate business or what.
My La Salle Alumni Card also offers discounts on various restaurants, hotels, resorts and stores. I’ll stick to that. At least I know my Alma Mater won’t screw me over!
P.S. Screenshots of comments were taken from kurkeh.wordpress.com.