Warning about Entire Group Rip-off for Ettalong Beach Accomodation

Hi all, there was a deal posted to OzBargain a few months back, for a 2-nights away package for 2 to Ettalong Beach. The deal was here: http://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/30326 , although it was subsequently offered directly through Entire Group, rather than through ouffer.

We have just returned from this, and it was definitely a rip-off. Only through great effort did we get a room, and we never received our package inclusions ($60 dinner for 2, 2 movie tickets, and bottle of wine on arrival). I have written up the full details of what happened to us as a warning to others at: http://ourhols.com/

This is the first rip-off I have encountered in 3 years of otherwise great deals through OzBargain, so I want to send out a public warning to others to be very wary of this company and its directors.

closed Comments

  •  

    Absolute maggots that do this type of business ethics,problem is that they keep ripping off consumers,close down then start up again under a new trading name,and govt bodies dont seem to be quick enough to prosecute them

  •  

    That's a real shame. Good writeup and hope actio is taken against Entire Group and their directors.

  •  

    First they got pulled from scoopon, then got pulled from Ouffer. I'm so glad I didn't take up their offer directly. Hope you alert other people to these scammers.

  •  

    Very sorry to hear of your horrible experience. I hope the perpetrators are called to account. Thanks for the good writeup and heads up. Maybe send the editor of the Travel section of the SMH the URL? I'm sure s/he'll give it a read and make a note for future, even if it doesn't get publicised. Other places to post your URL are tripadvisor, and similar review sites.

  •  

    wow man that's a massive rip off. Thanks for writing up the review though. My experience with Mantra was excellent when we traveled to the Goldcoast. Nice apartment and all. But this one….i can't believe something like such can happen.

  •  

    I bought from ouffer. Thank god they refunded us.

    While I think Entire Group is no doubt completely in the wrong, what about Mantra's position.
    They are a multi national company. What are they doing involving themselves with these people. They should not be free of guilt.

    So is Entire contracted to service all the rooms? You said your room did not get serviced, but what about all the other guests.
    Are these rooms owned by Entire? Why don't Mantra do something about that?

    I think Mantra are not shouldering enough blame. Not trying to take anything away from these Entire low-lives, but there is more than 1 guilty party here.

    •  

      I thought the deal Entire Group was offering, was a bunch of privately owned apartments that is in the Mantra complex. Mantra will rent out apartments on behalf of owners, but you're free to rent it out yourself. Sounds like a bunch of owners went via entire group to rent them out and is running this completely outside of Mantra.

      When the offer first got pulled from Scoopon, the explaination was because they had Mantra splashed on the main page. But since Mantra wasn't a part of the deal, they had to pull the deal because it was misleading.

  • +2 votes

    Honestly, this is why i stay away from these voucher sites. Too many shonky businesses using the deal sites to scam people.

    •  

      its unfortunate since some of them really are very very good deals. redeemed a fair few of them and haven't been let down yet, so i guess i'm really lucky. some of those places ive really enjoyed, and actually will go back to pay full fare

  •  

    Good investigation work. May be too late if the directors have taken flight. Already ASIC stirke off action is in progress. Wonder how Mantra is being paid for the rooms or if Entire owns the rooms in Mantra, which is the exact entity owning the rooms.

  •  

    I also had the same dodgy experience that you had from Entire Group. They are unprofessional and even rude at times.

    On their voucher it states to book the restaurant through Entire rather than directly with the restaurant. I sent them an email doing so only to be told to do it directly with the restaurant. I called the restaurant (La Fiamma) twice in a week leaving two voicemails and was ignored. I then emailed Entire regarding this twice only to be ignored as well.

    Fast foward to the day before our stay, my bf called up Mantra to confirm there was indeed a booking as he didn't trust Entire. Mantra said there was no such booking so of course at this point we are wondering what is going on. Mantra also said that people have actually turned up before only to be turned away as their booking wasn't put through by Entire.

    After calling two numbers (one straight to voicemail and one disconnected) we emailed 5 different addresses asking them about this. I finally get a rather rude response saying they only send through the paperwork on the day, which I knew was a lie as Mantra would've told us this if it was the case.

    Luckily, paperwork was sent through and we get to our room expecting the bottle of wine and movie tickets. Nothing. I email them asking about this and was ignored.

    Mantra itself is a lovely place to stay and staff their are excellent however I suggest you book directly with Mantra, the "cheaper" offering by Entire is not worth the trouble.

  •  

    I just read your detailed write up and I see we pretty much had the same experience. Sorry for the duplication :S

  •  

    Thank you everyone for your very helpful feedback and comments!

    Quick follow-ups to people's comments:

    @KFORM3 : Yeah, I'm concerned that they're setting up a new business and burning the old ones, so that's why I included what looks like the new business' details (Menhir Tapas & Bar), as well as the principal's names - that way it's harder to hide past rip-offs under a new trading name.

    @zhenjie : I have now reported them to the Department of Fair Trading. Someone from there called me, they indicated I should apply for a full refund, and it sounds like they will contact the trader and give them 7 days to respond my complaint (this was a few days ago). If they haven't responded and resolved the matter then I get sent another form to fill out, and pay $35, and it gets submitted to a tribunal, which is like an informal court. I can add the $35 cost to the amount requested from the tribunal. I plan on doing this if it doesn't get resolved by then, although I have to wonder what the tribunal does if the company never responds? Hopefully they have legislative power needed to compel errant companies to pay whatever amount they decide.

    @sormuijai : I knew about Ouffer but not Scoopon. If I saw a company get pulled from even one of these group buy sites in the future, then I would not go near them at all after this experience.

    @greenpossum : Good idea, I have added a quick write up to TripAdvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g529049-d301735-Revi... . Haven't yet contacted the SMH's travel section as I don't know that it will do much, and I couldn't easily see the editor's contact details on the http://www.smh.com.au/travel/ site.

    @rack : Yeah the Mantra by and large was fine, in all other respects apart from Entire & their relationship to them. I might consider staying at another Mantra, but because of this experience I would be quite wary: I definitely would want to book it directly through them, I would want know for sure that it was not a privately owned room, and I'd only pay by credit card because of the charge-back option if I didn't get what I paid for, and if there was another comparable option through another chain then I would use that instead.

    @mick123 : I agree, I do think Mantra has to take some of the blame here. Essentially, they opened the door to this type of thing when they started selling off some of the rooms in their facilities to private operators, and they have not dealt with it swiftly when those operators turn bad, as seems to have happened in this case. I think Mantra are causing their brand massive damage by not ensuring all the private rooms are run reputably and honestly, and it's no good for Mantra's staff morale to have to be the bad guys explaining week-in-week-out their "don't blame us" position to annoyed customers who have not got what they paid for. Their staff knew all this, who even outright said "this situation reflects badly on us". I don't blame the front-line staff, rather I blame the managers, for letting this situation arise and go on. I made this plain and clear in their feedback form, which I posted off a few days ago, together with a printout of my full write-up, addressed to the manager of Mantra's Gold Coast HQ.

    @Davo1111 : Well the group buy sites in this case worked okay - they caught the problem - in fact, they caught it twice in this case. But then again I would never have heard of this company without the group buy sites, so they should vet companies more before putting their offers up.

    @spal : Good point, and I don't know who actually owns the rooms. I'm hoping it's Entire, because then they have assets that are tangible and immovable. But it could be that the room is owned by someone else, and then rented out through Entire for a cut. I suspect the latter is likely to be the case.

    @musekitty : I'm sorry to hear you had a very similar experience, with the same terrible communication from Entire, the same chaos about whether you have a room or not (Entire sending through the reservations on the day is absurd and guaranteed to cause problems). It sounds like you did a bit better than us though, managing to get the dinner for 2, as you got an email response from them (albeit rude), which was more than we ever heard from them after numerous emails and left phone messages chasing up the inclusions. How long ago was your stay? I suspect that Entire started out okay and then got progressively worse, so the earlier you stayed there maybe the better it was.

    One general question: I was going to add a link this discussion on the original OzBargain deal page, but it seems to be closed to comments. Is there a time after which comments can no longer be made? In this case, I think it would be handy to include a link to here so that people who took it up can see what has happened.

    •  

      One general question: I was going to add a link this discussion on the original OzBargain deal page, but it seems to be closed to comments. Is there a time after which comments can no longer be made? In this case, I think it would be handy to include a link to here so that people who took it up can see what has happened.

      I'm glad I stay away from that deal.
      Report the MOD so they can help you add the link in that post, only them have the power! :)

      •  

        If you guys can link me + what is required, let me know i can do it. I dont want ozbers to be caught up in scams

    •  

      We only got the dinner voucher as you just needed to present the voucher they emailed to you, which already shows how unprofessional they are. There's no names or barcode on there so people could go many times using the same generic print out.

      We stayed from 30th - 1st, I suspect it's just the husband and wife in the "company" so when they went on holidays they had no one covering for them and didn't care that their service would be non existant.

      Let us know if you get anywhere Fair Trading. I'm thinking if enough people lodge a complaint, they'll actually do something about these people!

      •  

        Oh, that thing about the dinner voucher was completely unclear to me, as on their PDF it even talks about how the package is "including a $60 voucher to be used at one of three restaurants", as though it's a separate thing that you should find in your room on arrival along with the wine and cinema tickets, and then says "Please do not contact the resort or the restaurants for bookings", and to do it through them instead - but since they didn't respond to our communications, it was impossible for us to book through them, or for them to tell people to show the PDF at the restaurant. Yet more annoyance that they could have sorted that out so easily with just a little communication. I'm sort of wondering now how far the voucher thing went - e.g. did you try showing their PDF at the cinema to see a movie? Although showing it at the local liquor store for a bottle of wine seems rather unlikely to work :-). Will post what happens with Fair Trading.

  •  

    Hi nickj,

    I seem to remember that the email address for the Travel section is not on the website, but in the banner of the paper edition, think it might have been something like travel@smh.com.au. If you get the SMH, have a look tomorrow. I agree that it probably won't do much good, but a travel writer may warn readers about Internet bookings in some future article.

  • +1 vote

    We have received a reply from Mantra in response to our feedback & printout posted to their Gold Coast HQ. The text of their response is included verbatim below. Suffice to say that Mantra has no intention of doing anything about the way that Entire is operating their apartments in the Mantra Ettalong:

    Thank you for taking the time to complete a guest questionnaire
    regarding your recent stay at the Mantra Ettalong Beach.

    On investigating you concerns we are aware that your booking was through
    the Entire Group which is owned and operated by Mr Kelan Casey who is
    the owner of unit.

    As this company is in no way connected with the Mantra Group we cannot
    be held responsible for his actions regarding your booking and
    inclusions.

    May we suggest you contact Mr. Kelan and advise him of your concerns.

    Whilst we are disappointed that your stay was not an enjoyable one and
    this may inadvertently reflect on Mantra can we suggested that all
    future booking through the Mantra reservations system to ensure you
    obtain the Mantra Service.

    Ken Edwards
    Area Manager - NSW North

    •  

      Sounds like the biggest Mantra bailout. With this duty of care / support from them, wouldnt bother with either.

  • -1 vote

    Current auction on ebay… sounds very familiar…

    Someone wanna contact the seller RE: further information and maybe tell them you can only pay by bank deposit or cash and find their personal details… then track down Kelan Casey and hire some Asians to teach him a lesson ^^

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/2-Nights-accomodation-2-Cinema-Ticket...

  •  

    hello im worked with entire group for 7 months, kelan casey and lorena fernandez, i was a supervisor in construction cleaning and they stoled my money and the my team, around $29000 AUS and they just say: i dont wanna pay u, this is the 3 times, a some korean boys, one colombian before and my, please help me to stopped that, is imposible they get more more jobs, please let me know what can i do???

  •  

    Mate, they did the same thing to me, but luckly i thought about asking the restaurant owner and cinema owner of the voucher. I went to the cinema, and the boss named Larry was very helpful. He printed the vouchers and gave to me. You should have tried asking the cinema and restaurant I suspect they have the same owner.

  •  

    Hi nickj,
    Our group had the same issue for a NYE weekend booking. Like you, smelled a rat along the way and tried contacting Kelan et al wo no avail; although we did get some emails from a guy called james - all of no help of course. We contacted Mantra several times to hear the same things told to you as well as some tales of others poorly done by - obviously reception was getting fed up by this stage. Anyway we didn't go because the rooms they said only two of the four rooms were going to be available (tpold us they weere organising the fourthfor us. Said we vould have two rooms and double up if we wanted. Pretty much told them no thanks (not in those exact words!) Anyway we've been in contact with Fair Trading who have also been unable to contact them, but they currently have 30 other complaintsso it looks like it will be going to court. See you there.

  •  

    hey everyone, unfortunately for me i bought 2 x this offer thinking I could organise a girl's getaway for a weekend & over the summer i have attempted to call kelan and this other number, and send them emails and text messages. Finally I thought I should see if anyone has posted anything about this and I feel so relieved to see I'm not the only one… but not TOO relieved because this is the biggest scam ever!!! I transferred money into their accounts for these vouchers directly… does that mean I will have no chance of getting my $380 back? I doubt Commonwealth Bank will really give me my money back… should I be contacting ASIC? Thanks for your help everyone and best of luck to us all who've bought this deal…

  •  

    Could this be a similar scam sent to deals.com.au members today?

    The Company
    La Krisp Property at Mantra Ettalong Beach
    Bookings: 1300 668 827
    http://e.deals.com.au/a/hBNWxrcB8VFWYB8Y4CCAAAxfhjJ/link3
    Refer_Friends
    bottom_leftside_bar
    Only $319 for TWO nights FOUR STAR Accommodation, Breakfast for TWO daily, $64 food
    & drink at Beef & Barramundi Restaurant, a bottle of Wine and FOUR Cinema tickets!
    Valued at $640 at Mantra Ettalong Beach with La Krisp Property
    http://e.deals.com.au/a/hBNWxrcB8VFWYB8Y4CCAAAxfhjJ/link4
    La Krisp Property at Mantra Ettalong Beach
    Get an amazing TWO night escape for TWO people at the
    4 star Mantra Resort at Ettalong Beach in a luxury studio apartment
    through La Krisp Property
    You will also get $64 worth of food and drink
    at the Beef & Barramundi Restaurant, plus
    two glasses of wine
    with dinner (to be redeemed over 1 night)
    Beef & Barramundi Restaurant's delicious menu includes locally-grown
    Pacific oysters, Riverina Region Grass Fed Rib Eye on Bone,
    Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken
    Breast, Wild Barramundi and BBQ King Prawns
    Also get a Bottle of Wine on arrival
    Cooked Breakfast
    for TWO people included at the nearby Walkabout Cafe (located within the Ettalong
    Beach Tourist Resort)
    PLUS see the latest blockbusters with FOUR tickets to Cinema Paradiso
    Ettalong Beach is a true oasis only NINETY minutes north of Sydney
    Ideal for a romantic getaway, a family holiday or a weekend away with friends!
    Great gift idea!
    http://e.deals.com.au/a/hBNWxrcB8VFWYB8Y4CCAAAxfhjJ/link5
    Buy Now
    How Deals Works
    How Deals.com.au Works

  •  

    Delete - Dupe of sjtaylor's comment

  •  

    Hello all…i to have been ripped of by this lorena frenandez….her real name is Loretta. I am a local to the Ettalong Baech area and have contacted the owners(The Altivilas) of Ettalong Beach Tourist Resort who now her personally. l informed them of whats been happening. Larry told me they no longer associate with her and he would speak to them personally. I informed him that i will be lodging a complaint with the police…

    I purchased this accommodtion on EBay last year in July and have been unable to redeem it. I lodged a complaint with ebay on 1/3/2011 who forwarded me a link to the police. After reading these comments i have lodged another complaint to ASIC. I sent Lorena an email on 2/3/2011 threating to go to the police in regard to here fraudulant activities and she finally responed with a number which is unavailable…
    WARNING DO NOT PURCHASE ANY ACCOMMODATION ON EBAY IN REGARD TO THE MANTRA…she has been going under the name of taxem78…I have informed EBay of this. I went back onto Ebay on the 3/3/2011 and it has been removed.

  •  

    Hello there…i'm writting this today to retract my statements made on the 8/3/2011 in regard to Accommodation at The Mantra Ettalong Beach.
    After a lenghty discussion by phone with Ms Lorena Fernandez(not loretta as previously stated)today, it appears there has been a communication breakdown on her part. Ms Fernandez and I have now resolved all matters in relation to my purchase from EBay regarding her property at the Mantra Ettalong Beach and all my complaints have been withdrawn.

    I am sorry for anyone who has dealt with Ms Fernandez and did not receive the same response as me. I have suggested to her that better communication and quicker email correspondance is needed, along with confirmation of all bookings prior to check in date would avoid unnessary issues arising in the future. She has appoligised for any inconvience caused to me, which was greatly appreciated. I am more than happy to deal directly with Ms Fernandez in the future, and truely hope you all resolve your issues with a positive outcome.

  • +1 vote

    I have just received this in my email today - offer from "Ouffer". This is for the Ettalong Beach Mantra deal that seems to be what you are all talking about here.
    This is the link to Ouffer:

    http://www.ouffer.com/ouffer/490/source/email

    It now seems to be run by 'La Krisp Property' - different name but same 1300 phone number to ring.
    I have also found out a little more information on the guy who now runs this property listing: Larry (who may or may not be offering shonky deals). His details are:
    Telephone: 02 - 4341 1999 Mobile: 0409 666 577
    E-mail: larry@lakrispproperty.com.au Website: www.lakrispproperty.com.au
    This 'Larry' fellow may or may not be able to give you more info about the past deals…

    PDF about the Mantra: http://www.lakrispproperty.com.au/files/download/mantraletpr...
    Hope this helps anyone who was ripped off…

    P.S. I have stayed at the Mantra and now live near Ettalong - it really is a beautiful little place and I would recommend staying here to anyone (just dont go through shonky dealers - look at lastminute.com or wotif.com to find cheaper rates and the hotel will match the lowest genuine internet price you can find…).

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