Those were the words my mom spoke to me last night when she told me how her July 4th weekend was. My parents went down to the good ‘ole Jersey Shore for a seafood festival, and they entered a “giveaway” at one of the booths. We’ve all done that, right?
Well what a surprise, she’s the grand prize winner of a $4,000 vacation package!
Her prize includes the following:
- 4 roundtrip airline tickets which could be used domestically or internationally
- a week’s worth of hotel accommodations
- $900 in shopping-spree money
- $200 dining voucher
Fantastic! Now where are we going?!?
The woman on the other end of the phone told my mom that she had to book a 2-hour appointment at their flagship hotel in order to “claim” her prize. Ya know, cause when you’re a grand prize winner and all, it could take that long to collect yourself from all of the excitement, right?
My mom asked if she could have the T&C for the offer, and the woman refused, saying that it was only available to her after securing her appointment time.
The good news is that we all laughed. Thankfully my family is well-traveled enough to recognize that this is a time-share scam, and not actually a dream-vacation prize. I can bet my bottom dollar that at the end of the night, the booth attendants dug through the box of entries, filtered out all of the duplicates, and ones with the same last name, and then called everyone with the same pitch.
The sad news is this: time share sales pitches are very deceptive, and it’s very easy to fall for them. I bet they easily filled the room for their presentation while having families believe they really have won an amazing getaway.
Right off the bat, all of the “red flags” added up for us within the first minute of the call, but how quickly can other non-seasoned travelers spot them?
On one hand, I kind of want my parents to “play dumb” at the presentation just for giggles, but I know it’ll just be a waste of time for everyone.
I personally think these time-share vulture companies are getting out of hand with their fraudulent and deceptive marketing tactics, what do you think?
I would love to hear from others who’ve been in a similar boat. Have you ever went to a time-share presentation before? If so, please share.