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Old 10-29-2016, 02:40 PM
 
12 posts, read 106,499 times
Reputation: 15

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I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the most logical place on the forum, so mods, feel free to move this thread as you see fit.

A few months ago I went to a concert. Inside the venue was a booth set up where people could enter a drawing for a free trip. Everyone at the show got one free entry, so I thought, what the heck? So I entered. I did not give any personal information-- Just my name, age, phone number, and household income.

Yesterday I got a phone call from them and was told I was selected as a winner. In order to claim my prize, I have to attend a 90-120 minute presentation about timeshares at one of their local resorts. In return for attending, I will be guaranteed a free gift of any of the following of my choice: 5 day/4 night cruise for a family of 4, 4 tickets to Disneyland for one day, 2 round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines anywhere they fly domestically, or a 2-day trip (flights and accommodations paid for) for two people to one of two specific cities in the US. Of those, I'm most tempted to select the 2-day trip, but I'm not entirely sure it's worth it.

Immediately this smelled fishy, so I was (and still am) skeptical. I've spent the last 24-hours mulling it over, talking with level-headed people I trust, and doing some research about this online. What I'm gathering is that during the presentation they will pressure me like crazy to buy a timeshare (which I absolutely will not and can not do), that the prizes are legit, and that there's got to be some catch-- That these aren't completely free. All the reviews of the company that I'm finding online are negative, people saying it's a scam.

I believe the prizes are real. But I also believe I will have to pay $50 to activate my rewards certificate (or something along those lines), plus I would have to pay taxes on whichever prize I choose. For the 2-day trip that I'm most interested in, the fine print says that taxes will not exceed $49.99 per person. So all together, that's me paying at least around $150 for a "free" trip. But I'm wondering if it stops there. Of course $150 for a trip for two is absolutely cheaper than what I would pay if I planned the trip on my own, but there must STILL be some other catch. I'm not entirely convinced that this is safe and worth it.

I'm not in any place financially to spend any amount of money on a random vacation. Even though $150 is cheap, it's more than I can afford right now. I have some credit card debt I'm trying to pay off and money is already tight every month. I'm also a teacher and have a ton of work to do tomorrow (the day I'm supposed to attend the presentation).

If you were me, would you still go to the presentation? Is it worth it? Even if I do have to pay taxes and the $50 activation, is there some other piece of this I don't know about? Will I continue to have to pay some kind of bills for the trip at a later point?

Right now I'm leaning toward not going. Anyone else have experience with this?
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Old 10-30-2016, 02:58 AM
 
2,447 posts, read 2,096,740 times
Reputation: 3564
I have seen some offers like that though tbh, I don' t recall it being a contest. As long as you are firmly decided that you will NOT buy or obligate yourself then if you can afford the 90 minutes, go for it. When we went we were also intrigued, figuring it was a scam as well. From what I remember, one time we were able to get a visa gift card (like maybe for $50 or so which was ok) , and the other time, we got the certificate entitling us to the vacations similar to what you have described.

When we looked into it, they were not necessarily what we would choose, and maybe for total free would have done it, but for 150 or so and then to be limited in dates and so on, it is not worth it. Take the 150 you don't have and don't spend it.
Again your offer might be different, so by all means if you can give up the 90 minutes see what it is but really evaluate it. If it's not what you would choose to do then why spend $150 .
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Old 10-30-2016, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,059 posts, read 18,985,577 times
Reputation: 24128
they will want to run your credit BEFORE you make the trip. If it's below a certain number, you lose your "prize." That number is typically around 650. You need to understand the ramifications of them running your credit.

You will have to sit through an ugly presentation, then when you say "no thank you" they will continue to harass you during your "vacation."

Only you can decide if this is worth it or not.
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Old 10-30-2016, 06:24 PM
 
3,412 posts, read 3,218,643 times
Reputation: 3853
My sister and her husband stayed at one of their resorts in July. They needed to share some names of family and friends during the presentation. I got a call last week.
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Old 10-30-2016, 06:25 PM
 
4,315 posts, read 2,515,887 times
Reputation: 7686
My wife and I were using my son's timeshare at Pigeon Forge .
When I checked in they asked if we would go to the Monday morning sales presentation and receive a $50 card good for gas. We said " no" but agreed when they said my son would get $75 knocked off his yearly maintenance fee.
We agreed for his sake .


The first thing the presenter said was.........."this room overlooks the parking lot and I saw every one of you get out of your cars and look at your spouses and shake your head...NO..".................." By the time we are done today, 50% of you will have signed our contract. I don't know which 50% , but that is our success ratio and if we weren't achieving it we would be out of business"


The sales pitch is lengthy and hard driven. When you think it FINALLY is over, a bunch of "closers" come out and each one is assigned to only one couple to close the deal.
(they don't take "no" easily )


It took about 20 times explaining that it would be stupid to buy a timeshare when my son is trying hard to sell his. FINALLY he agreed to bring us to the desk and sign the papers so we could get our prizes.


The lady at the desk just glared at the closer as if to say..."you are a failure " !
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Old 10-30-2016, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Tennessee at last!
1,886 posts, read 2,033,779 times
Reputation: 3795
1. EVERYONE wins the same prize--a timeshare sales pitch.

2. They do give you the prize, but you will have to tell them when it starts that it is (EXACT TIME) and I expect my prize to be given to me by (ending time) otherwise they can go on for hours!

3. It will be high pressure sales. Do not explain over and over to each different higher powered salesperson they send in your reasons. Just say no. If you say why, they have responses to EVERY reason memorized and it makes it longer. Just no--I do not want a timeshare. No reason.

4, Look at all the rules and the process to claim each prize. Generally you will have to send in money for whatever prize you claim. That money will typically be what the prize is really valued at.

But you still will not 'get' the vacation or tickets. They are all capacity controlled. You have to ask for a specific date. They will not let you say 'any date in the next year'--you have to ask for a specific date, by mail with the papers. What ever date you ask for will be full.

I tried to get on a 4 day cruise for a year and every date I asked for ...at least twenty times during that year...was ALWAYS unavailable. They will not tell you what dates are available, they will just say to send in the request.

That is unless I wanted to add a thousand dollars to the kitty to get an 'upgraded' room. And that cost was more that the cruise would have cost for that room level without the certificate. THAT they would do on the phone and just needed me to read my certificate numbers for it.

I lost even more money with the postage, and the certificate expired unused. I am betting they sell WAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY more of those certificates than there is room for at the hotels, cruises, etc. I am guessing that the only 'gift' that you can really use is a timeshare one as then they get the chance to sell one to you which is their real goal.

5. See if they will let you have a honorary stay during the weekend you go to pick yup your certificate. They often will, plus you may be able to ask for a visa card instead of the trip. I typically can get $250 VISA card. I have good credit and they always think they can sell a single girl a timeshare
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Old 11-01-2016, 04:17 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
22,654 posts, read 28,660,433 times
Reputation: 43633
If all the reviews are negative and say it is a scam, what is your question again?
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Old 11-02-2016, 05:16 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,914 posts, read 83,551,069 times
Reputation: 41735
Quote:
Originally Posted by AboveTheWeather View Post
I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the most logical place on the forum, so mods, feel free to move this thread as you see fit.

A few months ago I went to a concert. Inside the venue was a booth set up where people could enter a drawing for a free trip. Everyone at the show got one free entry, so I thought, what the heck? So I entered. I did not give any personal information-- Just my name, age, phone number, and household income.

Yesterday I got a phone call from them and was told I was selected as a winner. In order to claim my prize, I have to attend a 90-120 minute presentation about timeshares at one of their local resorts. In return for attending, I will be guaranteed a free gift of any of the following of my choice: 5 day/4 night cruise for a family of 4, 4 tickets to Disneyland for one day, 2 round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines anywhere they fly domestically, or a 2-day trip (flights and accommodations paid for) for two people to one of two specific cities in the US. Of those, I'm most tempted to select the 2-day trip, but I'm not entirely sure it's worth it.

Immediately this smelled fishy, so I was (and still am) skeptical. I've spent the last 24-hours mulling it over, talking with level-headed people I trust, and doing some research about this online. What I'm gathering is that during the presentation they will pressure me like crazy to buy a timeshare (which I absolutely will not and can not do), that the prizes are legit, and that there's got to be some catch-- That these aren't completely free. All the reviews of the company that I'm finding online are negative, people saying it's a scam.

I believe the prizes are real. But I also believe I will have to pay $50 to activate my rewards certificate (or something along those lines), plus I would have to pay taxes on whichever prize I choose. For the 2-day trip that I'm most interested in, the fine print says that taxes will not exceed $49.99 per person. So all together, that's me paying at least around $150 for a "free" trip. But I'm wondering if it stops there. Of course $150 for a trip for two is absolutely cheaper than what I would pay if I planned the trip on my own, but there must STILL be some other catch. I'm not entirely convinced that this is safe and worth it.

I'm not in any place financially to spend any amount of money on a random vacation. Even though $150 is cheap, it's more than I can afford right now. I have some credit card debt I'm trying to pay off and money is already tight every month. I'm also a teacher and have a ton of work to do tomorrow (the day I'm supposed to attend the presentation).

If you were me, would you still go to the presentation? Is it worth it? Even if I do have to pay taxes and the $50 activation, is there some other piece of this I don't know about? Will I continue to have to pay some kind of bills for the trip at a later point?

Right now I'm leaning toward not going. Anyone else have experience with this?
in short: don't do it!!!!!!!
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
30,320 posts, read 27,776,619 times
Reputation: 81204
DON'T DO IT - DON'T GO THERE! There is nothing of value for going but headaches afterward. Just stay away!
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,319 posts, read 21,867,229 times
Reputation: 33476
what concert was it?
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