Travel Concierge Service

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May 9, 2017
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#1
Is anyone familiar with a travel concierge service called The Matrix Group? My wife and I saw a presentation by them yesterday and signed up, but we have 10 days to rescind the transaction. They have a pretty hefty sign up fee (about $5,000) and then an annual renewal fee of about $200. They claim they can offer significant discounts on all kinds of travel. If their claims are true it would appear to be a pretty good deal for anyone who travels even just once or twice a year. However, it is very hard to find independent information on the company so these claims could be exaggerated. The company that made the presentation and sold the product is called Atlantic Enterprises if that helps. Any information from anyone who has any experience with this group, or even similar ones, would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
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#4
What discounts are they claiming they can offer that would make it worth an initial $5000 investment? Now that you have signed up, have they sent you more information that you can point us to? Otherwise I would agree with the other responses that it looks like a potential scam.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#5
Is anyone familiar with a travel concierge service called The Matrix Group? My wife and I saw a presentation by them yesterday and signed up, but we have 10 days to rescind the transaction. They have a pretty hefty sign up fee (about $5,000) and then an annual renewal fee of about $200. They claim they can offer significant discounts on all kinds of travel. If their claims are true it would appear to be a pretty good deal for anyone who travels even just once or twice a year. However, it is very hard to find independent information on the company so these claims could be exaggerated. The company that made the presentation and sold the product is called Atlantic Enterprises if that helps. Any information from anyone who has any experience with this group, or even similar ones, would be appreciated. Thanks.
Cancel and run as far away from them as you can. This is a likely scam often reported on the forums.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#7
One analysis would be to estimate the ROI over 5 years:

$5,000 + $200*5 = $6,000

Traveling twice a year = 10 trips, thus savings would need to be $600 per trip
Thus, for a 20% savings, each trip would have to cost at least $3,000 (retail)

What are the odds based upon your anticipated travel?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
Cancel now. I looked at the website -- some fine print:

All services are provided by WSW Holdings 4023 Kennett Pike, Suite 678, Greenville, DE 19807

If you google the WSW Holdings you will see complaints and that company has been providing "services" to over 15 "vacation clubs".

They have several different vacation clubs with almost the exact same webdesign and language --

Oh and the discounts seem to be focused on renting time shares

From the FAQS:

Airfare – Quoting time is same day to 48 hours. There are no discounts available on airfare, so the prices we obtain reflect the very best prices that are available at the time of booking. Our quotes reflect all applicable taxes, fees, etc. We never charge any booking fees for your airfare quote.

Cruises – Quoting time is approx 7 days. Our cruise quotes reflect all applicable taxes, fees, etc. Additionally, both www.travelservicesdeals.com and our “specials” link contain additional cruise deals and information. Members are entitled to after travel bonuses on cruises subject to the amount of commission paid to Travel Services for booking.


So no discount available on air fare, 7 days for a quote on a cruise, and the hotel part is equally vague.

Please cancel now.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#9
Thank you so much for posting this, WAM. The more people we can warn away from these scammers, the better the world will be. First of all, they offer you NOTHING. I'm with VOR, when you are tempted by accomplished sales people, you need to get out your calculator and see if something is a good idea from a financial standpoint. Any kind of scam like this is VERY good at marketing ... like locusts, they alight, sign up as many people as possible, then disappear for greener pastures. You are so smart to have posted here.
 
Likes: VoR61
Jul 7, 2018
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#10
I sincerely hope you have the 10 days to rescind and you can get hold of someone or make sure that it is done in that time frame. I can see them not being reachable for 10 days and then magically they are available for you to book on dates that don't suit at properties that are not appealing AFTER 10 days. Jump ship NOW!!!
 
Likes: Neil Maley
May 9, 2017
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#11
Thanks to all who provided such quick and insightful responses, it’s much appreciated. Apologies for the delayed response, but my wife and I got involved in investigating this further and decided to rescind the agreement, even before seeing most the these helpful responses. For us the major obstacle was an inability to obtain third party objective information. To perhaps benefit others from our experience, I will try to respond to questions/comments that were posed.

Barry Graham – They provided examples of trips and the costs associated with them. They also provided the most recent example of their weekly membership mailing, which details their newest offerings. In addition, they claim that members receive “after travel cash bonuses” of anywhere from 5-12% of the cost of a trip. However, again, the issue is that even if these examples were accurate, there is no way to assess what is the average savings per trip covering a large sample size.

Neil Maley - The complaint refers to the “free” gift attendees are offered. The complainant paints an accurate picture, i.e., the gift is essentially worthless. Moreover, I would echo the statement that company employees seem, or pretend to be, ignorant of some basic facts. I spoke on the phone with a Matrix employee who claimed to have worked for the company for 30 years. Given the dizzying array of separate legal entities that appear to be involved I was concerned about being unable to determine who we were dealing with at any time so I inquired what the general corporate structure was. He couldn’t, or wouldn’t, answer. Said it wasn’t his department. So I told him I had a softball question: who is the CEO or President of Matrix? I got the same response.

VoR61 – I did a similar back of the envelope calculation based on some expected trips my wife and I would like to take and the numbers clearly show it would be worthwhile. However, that is assuming the information we were provided was accurate. Given our inability to confirm their information there is no calculation that would be of much help.

Christina H – You have honed in on something that, other than the lack of third party information, we found most disturbing: the vast array of separate corporate entities involved. It seems like every time we looked into some aspect of the program, another entity popped up. I estimate I came across a good half a dozen at least. And yes, the lack of discounts on air fares is a big drawback and something that was not mentioned in the presentation.

In retrospect, what I think might be helpful for anyone confronted with a similar presentation/sales pitch is to ask some basic questions, such as: 1) What is the company’s corporate structure; 2) What company information is publicly available; 3) Are there any public reviews of your service, such as from Yelp, Trip Advisor, etc. [Comment: while I am a sometimes skeptical user of these reviews, the BBB really does not appear to be of much help in these instances]; 4) Can you provide a list of references of your clients; etc. Also, as my wife and I noted after this experience, one should never make a major purchase without an opportunity to sleep on it. If the salesperson tells you it’s only available at that point in time, walk away. Legitimate businesses won’t engage in such tactics.

Thanks again to everyone who commented. It is a good reminder of what a helpful service this forum is. If anyone has any follow up questions I will be happy to respond.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#12
WAM you have made some suggestions that hopefully will help others.

Please make sure that the cancellation is documented and check that there is no “requirement” as to the method of cancellation— such as “letter on blue stationary and sent registered mail to this address in Bora Bora”. Ok slight exaggeration there — but some places make it difficult to cancel.

Having all those various corporate entities worries me— as the moment people start complaining or try to sue the company dissolves and a new one shows up — different name same game.

I hope you and your wife have many years of happy and safe travel together — travel booked by yourself or a professional travel agent (not a “vacation club” travel person).
 
May 9, 2017
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#13
Just to close the loop on this, we successfully cancelled our membership with no problems. The Matrix Group employee expressed disappointment but did not argue with us or throw any obstacles in our way. In short, they were surprisingly good about it. So, lesson learned without a hefty tuition fee. Once more, thanks to all who commented. It was quite helpful.