SCAM ALERT! One Tagaytay Place Scam

"If it is too good to be true then it is probably untrue."

This is what I learned when I almost fell for the Club Ultima / Crown Regency Hotel scam.

Last year, I received a call from an unknown number. The caller said that I won a free overnight stay in Crown Regency Hotel in Cebu. I can claim the gift certificate by just watching a 90-minute presentation.

I smell something fishy so I didn't take the bait.

I thought that's the end of it.

I was wrong.

Last April, I received a call from a certain Andrea Madrigal. She told me that I won a free overnight stay in One Tagaytay Place Hotel. She also told me that I have to attend a 90-minute presentation to get the free gift certificate. She also promised that there will a free lunch buffet.

I was suspicious because she used the same script as in the Club Ultima /Crown Regency Hotel Scam but I confirmed my attendance, nonetheless.

Andrea Madrigal then texted me these messages:

One Tagaytay Place Scam
One Tagaytay Place Scam
One Tagaytay Place Scam

Her message says:

INVITATION TO: MR. and MRS. AHAB: You are receiving this text message to confirm our invitation to you as a selected recipient of Complimentary Room Night Gift Certificate at One Tagaytay Place Hotel Suites. In order to claim the Gift Certificate with a free Lunch Buffet for two at around 11:30am Tomorrow.There is no financial obligation recipients are only required to bring 1 valid ID each with spouse and kindly finish the minimum of 90mins. hotel presentation to see our rooms/facilities and amenities of our h0tel in claiming the GC as this is part of our promotion. Our office is located in G/f aguinaldo agoncillo function Room Barrio Sungay Tagaytay City. before Picnic Groove we are in left side along the hi-way. Infront of our hotel we have 7-11 & PR Bank. Kindly look for me Ms. Andrea Madrigal or our receptionist Ms. Ana Mallari. Thank you
Andrea is quite because she sent two more text messages. One text message says:

CONGRATULATIONS! You have been selected by our company to receive a COMPLIMENTARY GIFT CERTIFICATE which is an OVERNIGHT STAY IN OUR PREMIER HOTEL-ONE TAGAYTAY PLACE HOTEL SUITES. The accommodation is good for 2adults & 2kids. Valid for 3months upon claiming the gift. It's Transferrable.  Have a blessed day...:-)
Another of her message says:

Hi! Andrea here kindly reply us back once you received the details/invitations. You will be reserve at V.I.P Table #8 for the Free Lunch Buffet for two and FREE PARKING RESERVED. It will be our pleasure to see you both here tomorrow. God bless and have a nice day ahead..:-)
It will be their pleasure to us indeed since they reeled in another victim.

My gut tells me that there is something wrong with the so-called "free" overnight hotel stay so I decided not to attend the 90-minute presentation.

Andrea called again the next morning so I apologized and told her that I will not come.

Her reply was, "Ano pa ang magagawa ng sorry mo?!"

Then she suddenly dropped the call.

Her attitude just confirmed that she's a scammer. A true hotel employee will not act the way she did.

I bet that she was mad that she will not get a commission  because her victim got away.

It seems that my name is still in their database so I will not be surprised if I will get another call or text message from another scammer.

I am truly thankful that I was victimized by this One Tagaytay Place Scam.

UPDATE

I recently received another text message from Andrea Madrigal, which reads:

Hi! Andrea here from One Tagaytay Place Hotel Suites. This  is regarding to your UNCLAIMED COMPLIMENTARY GIFT CERTIFICATE for an OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATION at ONE TAGAYTAY PLACE HOTEL SUITES good for 2 Adults and 2 Kids at the Deluxe Room and Valid for 3 Months upon claiming. Were inviting you again for the special batch of claiming on Saturday or Sunday  in between 11:30am-1pm (MAY 20,and 21, 2017) here in our HOTEL at ONE TAGAYTAY PLACE with Free Lunch Buffet for two. Again dont worry just bring 1 valid id together  with your spouse. Please txt us back if you are still interested or not. Were preparing po kasi everything and were finalizing our guestlist. Thanks and God bless:-)
This Andrea think that I will deal with her again after her rudeness. Bah! I didn't reply to her text message. Bahala sila mag-aksaya ng load.

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I did a Google search about One Tagaytay Place Scam and I discovered that they been doing this for a very long time now. Some says that this is valid but the problem is that these people are exaggerating their claims just to make their prospective client say "yes". That's the problem and that makes it a scam. 

Don't be a victim of scams. Read about other scams that I encounter:


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SCAM ALERT! Club Ultima / Crown Regency Hotel Scam

I received a call from an unknown number one busy day at work. The caller introduced himself as Lester Chua and immediately said that we won a free overnight stay at the 5-star hotel called Crown Regency Hotel. He mentioned that we can opt to stay in Crown Regency Hotel located in Cebu or in other branches of that hotel.

Sensing my disbelief about winning a raffle, Lester reminded me of the raffle entry that I filled-up during the Travel Mart Expo last year. I told him that I already threw away the raffle stub so I am no longer eligible to win. He brushed that aside and said that I can still win the free overnight stay if I can confirm my personal information. I admit that I was driven by emotions that time so I foolishly provided all the personal details that he asked for. 

I suddenly imagined me, My Beloved Wife Lei and the kids enjoying by the pool beside a 5-star hotel. I also imagined us strolling along the beach and touring to the historical places of the Queen City of the South.  Finally, I can bring the kids to Cebu and make them enjoy a 5-star hotel.

Lester said that I had to attend their 90-minutes audio-visual presentation about the Crown Regency Hotel to claim the gift certificate for the free overnight stay. He insisted that I have to bring my wife. He kept on mentioning that there will be free buffet lunch and there will be no financial obligation on claiming the gift certificate.

I believed that there’s no harm attending an audio-visual presentation so I told him that I will go to their office to claim the gift certificate.

After our conversation, Lester Chua sent the following messages:

Club Ultima / Crown Regency Hotel Scam
Club Ultima / Crown Regency Hotel Scam
Club Ultima / Crown Regency Hotel Scam
Club Ultima / Crown Regency Hotel Scam

The message reads:

INVITATION:
Mr. Ishmael Ahab & Mrs. Lei Ahab, 
CROWN REGENCY HOTEL Office: Unit 102 G/F LE METROPOLE BLDG. corner Tordesillas St. along Sen. Gil Puyat/Buendia (Inline of RCBC Plaza Gil Puyat, opposite PAG-IBIG FUND/BIR.in between Ministop & PhilTrust Bank) 
SCHEDULE: see you on SATURDAY, Sept. 10, 2016 at around 1:30pm to 3:30pm will wait. 
REQUIREMENTS: 
-Kindly bring 1 valid ID with your SPOUSE for proper identification and should watch the 90mins. video clippings & graphic display for you to  choose your best choice for your family vacation preferences & also for us to provide you all the important details raegarding your Gift Certificate. 
-NO Financial obligation upon claiming. 
Just look for me Mr. Lester Chua the Reservation Officer or Jenny Quintero our receptionist. 
In behalf of the management
CONGRATULATIONS!
GOD BLESS & SEE YOU!
I received that text message from mobile phone no. 09228825659.

Their group is quite persistent because they sent a lot of text messages. Another message that I received was from Pia Esguerra (mobile phone no. 09228825709) and it says:

A blessed day! Mr. Ishmael & Mrs. Lei Ahab This is Ms. Pia Esguerra Reservations Manager of Club Ultima/Crown Regency Hotel i would like to remind for the claiming of your gift certificate and that would set Tommorow , Saturday Sept.10 at around 1:30pm tn 3:00pm here at Le Metropole bldg. Makati corner TORDESILLAS along BUENDIA, inline of RCBC PLAZA. Please advise for the final confirmation if your coming for me to reserve a seat for the FREE REFRESHMENT Godbless you. See you!
This is the last message I received from someone with mobile phone no. 09228825731:

I just want to remind you for the claiming of your gft certificte today around 1:30pm at Club Ultima/Crown Regency Makati and kindly txt us your confrmation bcoz we are going to prepare a free snack for all selectd recipient and stay for the presentation that last for 90mins. kindly txt us if you are coming bcoz if your name is not on the guest list you can not enter the bldg. Congratulations!

My gut tells me that there is something wrong with the offer. I am a loser when it comes to raffle and this sudden win without the need for a raffle stub signaled some irregularities.

A Google search brought me to Julienne’s blog post about Club Ultima / Crown Regency Hotel, which was posted 5 years ago. The information I read there confirmed my suspicions. The offer made by Lester Chua is a sham.

Julienne also received a phone call who said that she won a free stay in Crown Regency Hotel. She was not tricked by the Club Ultima agent. However, the commenters to that blog post have different stories. Some commenters were tricked and gave large sums of money for a membership at Club Ultima. Others said that they couldn’t use the gift certificate because the hotel is always “fully-booked”.

Those who attended the 90-minute presentation said that the agents will try to convince you to join Club Ultima. They felt the pressure and some were hypnotized by the sales talk. Many gave in. In the end, they paid cash for a bad deal.

What actually  prompted me to be suspicious about the offer is that the address indicated in Lester Chua's text message is different from the address of Crown Regency Hotel in Makati. Isn’t it logical that a promotional event of a hotel be done inside the hotel?

The warning signs are very clear so I cancelled my attendance to their event. 

Looking back now, I believe that I might fall for their marketing ploy. I might give in especially if our babies are crying after the exhausting 90-minute presentation. 

My little Google search saved us from trouble. I am grateful to Julienne and other people who shared their experiences with the Club Ultima / Crown Regency Hotel Scam.

Lessons Learned

I learned a lot of things after my close call with Club Ultima / Crown Regency Scam. I am glad that I didn't learned these lessons the hard way:

1. Never give your personal information to the strangers and that includes the participants of travel mart or any travel expo. Their usual gimmick is that they will ask you to sign their gust book or fill-up a raffle coupon. This is just a way for them collect data that will be used for scams or, worse, for hacking your bank accounts, email, and social media accounts.

2. Be suspicious of offers that is too good to be true because there is no such thing as free hotel stays. There is always a catch.

3. Check with DTI if the raffle that you joined is legitimate. Real raffle or contest are registered with DTI.

4. Do an Internet search whenever you encounter offers like this. Always keep in mind that information is power.

I do hope that none of you, Dear Reader, will fall prey to these scammers. Be vigilant and never believe any too-good-to-be-true offer especially when there is money involved.
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Pizza Hut in SM Sta. Rosa is NOT Baby Friendly

Pizza Hut Philippines is Not Baby Friendly


My Beloved Wife Lei is craving for pizza so we went to our favorite pizza joint: Pizza Hut. 

Lei was lured by Pizza Hut’s Pizza Panalo Promo that's why she chose that restaurant over Greenwich, which is another pizza restaurant that we frequents.

Everything is fine until I asked the waitress:

"Meron kayong high chair?"

She answered, "Wala po." 

I felt disappointed! Why does a family restaurant does not have a seat for toddlers? Didn't they know that it is VERY difficult to eat with a hyperactive child? What's more difficult is that we have to makulit babies.

The Pizza Hut in SM Sta. Rosa had high chairs in the past. I didn’t know why they removed them without any replacement. I also noticed mommies and daddies in the other tables having diffulty eating while taking care of their babies and toddlers.

Pizza Hut's pizza is yummy as usual but I did not enjoy it that much because of the makukulits.

I do hope that they will have high chairs the next time we dine in their restaurant. We will not patronize this restaurant until then.
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