Helpful Tips Random Updates

Club Ultima Gift Certificate: Crown Regency Hotel Booking Issues

This is the second part of my Club Ultima experience. I suggest you click HERE first to read the first part.

Okay, so I finally got my gift certificate for a 3D2N stay in Crown Regency Hotel cared of Club Ultima. It was a good timing because I and my family were planning to go to Cebu that time for a short vacation, and I knew that there’s Crown Regency in the city.

In this post, I’ll share with your our email conversation with one of the staff from Club Ultima. I won’t disclose her name here, but if you want to know her, just post a comment below or fill out the contact form.

ME: (7/1/2014)

I went to Club Ultima / Crown Regency Westlife Bldg, West Ave, Quezon City branch last night. They gave me the gift cert for 3 days and 2 nights stay.

I would like to know how much would it cost if I book a reservation for Cebu Crown Regency Hotel and Towers on July 12-14, 2014. Attached is the scanned copy of the gift certificate.

CLUB ULTIMA: (7/2/2014)

If you will book using the gc attached, there’s a Php3,000 booking fee as stated at the gift certifcate. However, we don’t have available room on June 12-14, 2014 at Crown Regency Hotel & Towers.
Thank you.

ME: (7/2/2014)

I’m willing to pay for the booking fee of P3,000 just to avail this gift certificate. I don’t get the point of giving away these certificates if we cannot use it. When they invited us to their office to claim this gift, they never mentioned that there’s a booking fee. They said this 3D2N stay was absolutely FREE. I was surprised when they wrote in the cert that there’s still such fee. Why is that so? Because I did not sign up for the membership? That’s unfair. First of all, I did not ask for this gift. They called me several times and convinced me to claim this. And even with a busy schedule, I spared time just to go to their office and claim it.

When I got there, I listened to their presentation. I treated them well and with respect. I searched for this scheme on the internet before I headed over to their office. And I found so many negative posts, blogs, and comments about this. I don’t know if you’re aware of that… You should be because these will definitely affect your business.


But again, even if I already had an idea of what’s going to happen, I still allotted my time. I wanted to know and experience it first hand so I went there. I was hoping it will be different. I was hoping that all the negative comments about club ultima were all wrong. And I was hoping that I would be the first blogger/writer who would write positive posts/comments/reviews about Club Ultima and Crown Regency.

With all honesty, the presentation went well. The ‘officer’ who entertained me was nice and not ‘pushy’ unlike those from the other tables. I love traveling and I found the membership and benefits worthy. But I declined the offer because I wasn’t ready to pull out money from my account to pay that big amount for a luxurious getaway. Then they gave my gift cert and assured me that I will be able to use it. So I called and you asked me to send a copy of that cert with the booking dates. I did. Now I got our reply that the dates were fully booked.  That’s ridiculous! I searched on different travel websites, Agoda, Asiatravel, Expedia, and even your own site and tried to book the same dates and it’s not fully booked. I swear! Lots of available rooms.

Now I get to understand why so many people out there have negative thoughts about club ultima. Why do these telemarketers say it’s free when it’s not? Why give these certificates if the dates are always fully booked when we are about to use it?  Sorry that I am saying this to you. It’s not you personally, but your services. You have good hotels with good facilities and amenities. But if you continue doing such schemes, you’ll be losing a lot of clients and customers. This email is not intended to destruct your company but to give you a wake-up call of what other people are talking about on the internet regarding your services. It’s more of a constructive criticism, and not destructive at all.

 Click the link below if you want to learn more about what I’m talking about: Negative posts and comments about Club Ultima

Please don’t get me wrong here. I’m just sharing out my point. Now, having said all these, I would like to go back to my original query. Can I still possibly book my reservation for these dates? Or will you still tell me that it’s still fully booked? Thank you very much for reading. I hope you also forward this to your management.

Club Ultima Crown Regency Gift Certificate 2
Club Ultima Gift Certificate for 3D2N Stay at Crown Regency Hotel

CLUB ULTIMA: (7/2/2014)

I understand your predicament, however, we only have room allocations for this certificate and your preferred dates were full already at Crown Regency Hotel & Towers. Yes, there are still available rooms on the websites you mentioned and even our online bookings, but it’s also their room allocations from Crown Regency which are not yet taken.

As stated in the mechanics of the gift certificate, it is subject to room availability and a minimum of two weeks advance booking is required. This is to make sure that we can get a room for our guest since we receive plenty of bookings using gift certificate like yours. If you really want July 12-14, what can I offer is Crown Regency Residences in V. Rama Ave, Guadalupe Cebu City and if you want Crown Regency Hotel and Towers, you may change your schedule in later dates. Thank you.

ME: (7/2/2014)

You know what, one of your telemarketers, Andrei Santos 09228825695, called me just 20 minutes ago, he was inviting me again to club ultima presentation at West Ave. He’s the one who called me 2 wks ago. He said the same exact thing. I clarified about the 3D2N stay gift cert that you’re giving and I asked him if I can book a reservation for next week and he said yes. I asked if it’s not fully booked at crown regency hotel Cebu, and he said no. meaning he confirmed that I can use the gift cert anytime, even next week, July 12-14,2014. and when I told him that he already called last time and I already went to club ultima west ave, he was surprised. I told him that I’ve been trying to book our Cebu travel next week and that you told me that it’s fully booked and he said that it’s not. that I can book for next week at the hotel, not at the residences. then he said he will contact reservation to clarify this and said that he will call me back in 5 minutes… I asked for his email so I could forward our conversation, but he said no need coz he’ll call me right back. he even said that he’ll email me so I can have his email address. I told him I’m going to give him my email add since I haven’t given it yet, but he HUNG UP on me…

how do u think can he send me an email without him knowing my email add??!! what’s wrong with these guys? they were really nice and friendly when they’re inviting, and now that i need them, they’ll just hang up like that?!?!? and see, it’s been 30 minutes and he hasn’t called me back!?! Please advise on what i need to do with these issues. i am sooo disappointed with you guys.. im not a member of club ultima, but i guess this is not how you’re supposed to treat your potential clients. Thanks!

CLUB ULTIMA: (7/5/2014)

In behalf of Club Ultima, we would like to apologize of your experiece with one of our telemarketers. Rest assured that their department will take actions on this matter. I’m writing regarding your reservations/booking on July 12-14, 2014.   We do have an availability at Crown Regency Residences, Guadalupe, Cebu on your preferred date. However, we are fully booked at Crown Regency Hotel and Towers since we are only given room allocations. Let me also point out that one of the mechanics stated in the certificate says, . 1. “Subject to room availability. Minimum of 2 weeks advance booking is required.”

If you really prefer to be book at Crown Regency Hotel and Towers, kindly provide us other date instead. Or you can have it book some other time as our certificate has no expiration date. Again, we apologize for what had happened. Thank you.

Club Ultima Crown Regency

That’s the end of our email thread. I didn’t reply anymore because I was just so disappointed with Club Ultima. We were able to go to Cebu for our short vacation but we didn’t stay at Crown Regency Hotel. We stayed in another hotel instead.

But since she said that the gift certificate has no expiration date, I might reconsider booking a reservation at Crown Regency Hotel in Cebu in the future.

I checked Crown Regency’s current rate and for a Superior Room, it’s Php 3,050 per night. If I use the gift cert, they said that I only have to pay Php 3,000 for the booking fee and I can stay there for 3 days and 2 nights. Hmm, not badif it’s true and if there are no other charges. It’s like a 50% discount for me.

Oh well, I have no plans of going to Cebu in the near future, but I’ll see if this gift certificate from Club Ultima is even worth considering.

Helpful Tips Random Updates

Club Ultima: 3D2N Stay at Crown Regency Hotel GC – How True?

On June 30, 2014, exactly a year ago, I went to the office of Club Ultima at Westlife Bldg, West Ave, Quezon City. It was a 20-30 minute walk from North Avenue MRT Station.There were jeepneys going there but I preferred to walk. Then I saw the building with the big signage of Westlife. I went to the second floor and I recognized their office easily because there were pictures of Crown Regency Hotels on the wall.

I went in and asked the receptionist how to go about claiming the gift certificate that I had won in a raffle according to the guy who called me a week ago.

Okay, here’s what happened…

I got a call from this number +639228825695 on June 20, 2014. He said he’s Andrei Santos from Crown Regency Hotel and he told me that I won in a raffle and I was entitled to a 3D2N stay at Crown Regency Hotel. He was inviting me to their office to claim the gift certificate and sent me the details through SMS. Then I remembered this lady who approached me and my husband while we were grocery shopping at Shopwise Cubao the week before.

Club Ultima Crown Regency
Club Ultima Crown Regency Raffle Stub

And here’s the text message from Andrei Santos…

“(FORMAL INVITATION) CROWN REGENCY HOTEL ofc. 2nd flr. Westlife Bldg. Cor Bulacan St. West Ave. Quezon City (at the ground flr you will see starbucks cafe and panciteria lido). Few blocks away at SM North Edsa. We are inviting you to claim your gift certificate. Together with your spouse. See you tomorrow Saturday. June 21, 2014 around 1:30 to 3pm. Just bring your 1 valid ID. And stay for the complimentary buffet to be served, kindly finish the 90 minutes awarding presentation for you to see the complete facilities and amenities, and to choose your best destination. The gift certificate 3 days and 2 nights stay at Crown Regency Hotel, good for (2 adults / 2 kids), NO VALIDITY PERIOD. Again no financial obligation, no commitment. Kindly look for me Mr. Andrei Santos or Ms. Kimberly our receptionist. (02) 346-8716 Thank you and God bless.

I thought I was so lucky to have won in the raffle, but when I searched about this on the internet, I was shocked when the search results came up with different blog posts and reviews related to this. And 90% of them were negative!

When Andrei Santos called earlier that day, I confirmed that I was going to their office the next day to claim the gift certificate. But I changed my mind after reading the negative reviews about Club Ultima. So I texted him that I won’t make it because of “another appointment”. Then he called again and told me that the gift certificate can only be claimed the next day, otherwise, it will be given to another person. Then I said it’s okay and he hung up.

I thought that was over. But a week after that, he called again, and told me that I won the raffle. He used the same spiel and he sent me the same text message except for the date. I wasn’t sure if he was aware that he already contacted me or if he was just pretending like nothing happened when we had a conversation the week before. But it seemed like he wasn’t aware. So I listened to him and I also pretended like it was my first time to hear about it.

This time though, I agreed to claim the gift certificate from their office, because I wanted to know what happens there and how they’re able to convince their potential clients to sign up for their offers…

Club Ultima Office at Westlife Bldg Quezon City
Club Ultima Office at Westlife Bldg, Quezon City

So I went there. I talked to the receptionist then she introduced me to one of their account managers, whose name was Susan, who said that she’s a dentist by profession and a travel account manager on the side. She looked professional. She smiled all the time. She was nice and friendly.

Oh, by the way, there was free dinner and it looked yummy. And while all the other guests were eating, I preferred not to eat because I thought that it would be a little awkward to say NO, NO, NO after I ate their food. 🙂

Back to business…

Before I could claim the gift certificate, she said that I need to watch the video first and listen to her presentation. Okay. I obeyed. She was nice so I also tried my best to be nice even if it was taking longer than I expected. She said that it was only going to take around 30-45 minutes but it actually took 2 hours to finish her presentation.

She showed me various travel destinations, 5-star hotels, sophisticated accommodations and amenities, and all that kind of stuff. I felt like I was in dreamland, but I tried to keep myself sane by saying NO to whatever she was trying to sell. Then she mentioned huge amounts of money from Php 500,000 to Php 200,000, to Php 100,000, until she said it’s okay if I couldn’t afford to pay the full amount yet, but I had to pay at least Php 10,000 to secure my reservation for their promo.

Why in the world would I do that?!

Of course, I said no and I told her that I had no money. Then she asked if I have a credit card, I said none because I intentionally didn’t bring it. Then she asked if I have an ATM, I said yes, but there’s no available balance in it. She tried to convince me to give her my ATM card details, but I refused and only then I said that I need to go and I need to claim the gift certificate that they promised to give after the “short” presentation. She talked to her manager, who approached me and further explained the features, advantages, and benefits of what they were offering, and tried to convince me to sign up, but just like what Tita Susan got from me, I refused and I firmly said NO, thank you!

Finally, I got my gift certificate.

Then I called Crown Regency the next day to confirm if that was really valid. They said yes and on my next post, I’ll share with you what we’ve talked about after that…

Click HERE to read the continuation of this post.

BDO Helpful Tips

How to Pay Plane Ticket Online with Dragonpay Direct Debit

Whenever I book a flight either for myself or for others, I always choose to pay with Dragonpay Direct Debit mainly because it’s FREE of charge. It’s not the most convenient type of payment because there are more instructions to follow but I’d rather do it than pay additional P200-300 if I choose other payment options like credit card or over-the-counter payments.

Dragonpay Corporation is a progressive, alternative online payment provider based in the Philippines. (Source)

Before I booked the flight, I first enrolled Dragonpay in my BDO Account. Then I went to the nearest BDO ATM (machine) to activate the enrollment.

I chose to enroll Dragonpay with my BDO account because I find the enrollment and activation procedures easier than the other banks.  No need to submit documents or line up in the bank.

Once Dragonpay shows up in our BDO online account, then it’s ready to be used as a payment option. But make sure that we have enough balance to pay for our purchases. Remember it is debit and not credit.

And here are the steps on how to pay plane tickets with Dragonpay Direct Debit payment option:

  1. The final part when booking a flight is payment. Click Internet Banking (Direct Debit) and tick the radio button for Dragonpay then hit Submit payment. How-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay
  2. For Source, click the drop down arrow and choose your preferred bank (mine is BDO). Then enter your email address and hit Select. How-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay
  3. Click Send Instructions via Email and wait until you see the confirmation page. How-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay How-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay
  4. Check your email. You should receive an email from Dragonpay with the Subject: Deposit Instruction for Transaction Ref:____. Read and follow the instructions carefully. How-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay
  5. Login to your online banking account. (I logged in to my BDO account). Click on the right arrow and click Transfer FundsHow-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay
  6. For Transfer to, click the drop down arrow and choose Dragonpay accountHow-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay
  7. Enter the exact amount of the payment and the reference number that was sent to your email. Hit Submit. How-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay
  8. Check the details and make sure everything is correct before you hit Continue. How-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay
  9. After successfully transferring your money, copy the last 6 digits of the FT Reference Number. How-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay
  10. Paste/Enter the last 6 digits of the FT Reference Number on the box and click ValidateHow-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay
  11. You’ll initially see this page after you click Validate. Just retry after 2-5 minutes. How-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay
  12. Finally, you’ll see this Confirmation Page with the Booking Number and the amount paid. Check your email for your Flight Itinerary and print it. How-to-pay-plane-tickets-online-with-Dragonpay

That’s it! It seems long and complicated but I think it’s worth the P200-300 savings. 🙂

Disclaimer: The screenshots were personally taken from a flight that I booked with Air Asia Philippines today, November 6, 2014. Charges may differ depending on the airline or payment option. For more accurate details and information, you may contact your preferred airline directly. This is for informational purposes only and I’m not liable for any charges that you may incur in the process. For more information about Dragonpay, click here.

Banks Helpful Tips

$5.7 Million, anyone? – Just Another Email Spam

One of the first things I do everyday is to check emails. And this morning, one email caught my attention. The subject was “Very Important” and it was from an unfamiliar sender. I got curious so I opened and read it right away. I was surprised with the content of the message and I even reread it to make sure I understood it correctly.

Here’s what it says…


Dear friend

I am Barrister Jerome Lewe I want to inform you of my late client Boris Germano,who deposited the sum of $5,700.000 Five million seven hundred thousand united states dollars in the bank here in Lome Togo, He died in July 2007 with his family in a car accident.

The bank gave me the final mandate to present any relative of my late client, for the claim of the fund or they will have the fund confiscated into the state treasury, if not claimed.

After a long search to find any member of his family to claim the fund but I couldn’t, before I found you bearing the same name with him. I contacted you because you can perfectly fit in as next of kin, We can work together to claim this fund please I would like you to help me out, so I can present you as the
relative of my late client, so we can claim the fund and share it.

If you are willing to do the transaction kingly contact me direct on my e-mail I will give you more details.

Barrister Jerome Lewe

After reading this message, my first reaction was, “Who is Boris Germano?”

We have the same last name but I don’t think I have a relative named Boris. I spent a few minutes trying to remember if we actually have this name “Boris Germano” in our clan (we just had our grand clan reunion last May 2014), but nah, nada! I really can’t think of anybody with that name. Then I suddenly thought that maybe, he’s really a distant relative. Someone I don’t know but maybe my parents and other relatives do…

Then I remember the message. The sender said that this certain Boris Germano has deposited $5,700,000 in the bank in Lome, Togo. And the reason he contacted me was because he thinks I can perfectly fit in as a next of kin and we can work together to claim and share that fund!

And I was like, seriously now? That is a huuuuuuuuge sum of money and I can’t even think of where I will spend that amount if I will have it. But I don’t even know where Lome, Togo is. And why would I share the fund with him? He’s not even a relative! 🙂

I already knew that something was “fishy” on that email but I still did my research. I first searched for Boris Germano on google and I didn’t find anyone with that name. Not even one. There were a lot of Boris’s and Germano’s but no one got the exact same name. Or maybe he’s not into social media that’s why he’s not searchable on the web, hehe.

Afterwards, I searched for the name of the sender, Jerome Lewe.

Surprise! 🙂

My suspicion was right. He is a spammer! His name is popular on the web for sending email spams. And here’s what he does… He sends the same email to different people but the only difference is the last name of Boris which is set to be similar to the email recipient’s last name. Very nice trick indeed.

I was actually planning to respond to the email to know what he would say next. But I decided not to because I’m afraid that my computer might get a malware or worse, he might be able to get my personal information through my IP address. I know these guys are really tech savvy. So yeah, I just ignored it.

Lesson for the day, if you receive an email similar to this, just ignore it. More often than not, emails like these are spams and they’re absolutely not true. And almost always, email spams have misspelled words and incorrect grammar. Didn’t you notice it?

And like what other people say, if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is either a SPAM or a SCAM! So beware and be safe everyone! Forget about that $5,700,000! 😉