Congratulations! You have won a free 14 day holiday!

@owlwings (39074)
Cambridge, England
July 3, 2008 8:03am CST
... so the recorded message said when I picked up the phone this afternoon. It seemed that some time about 5 years ago (because the address they had for me was old), I may have filled out a form somewhere on the Internet giving my name, address and phone number. I keyed in '1', as instructed, and was connected to a very pleasant sounding lady with a strong Indian accent who assured me that I had won a free 14 day all expenses paid trip to Cancun, Orlando and Daytona Beach for me and a partner! Surely the trip of a lifetime! She introduced herself as 'Rachel Adams' (not a name I would naturally have associated with the accent) and told me that she was calling from a company called 'Resort Vacations' based in Orlando, FL (and she gave me the full address and the website). She outlined the basic details of the package (6 days in Cancun, 5 days in Orlando and 3 days at Daytona Beach and she gave hotel names but I didn't catch them). Then she passed me to a gentleman named 'Jeff Palmer' - again a name I would not naturally associate with the accent - who asked me if I was over 26 and had a Visa or Mastercard. He explained that, for security reasons, they could only offer this holiday to those who qualified. I confirmed that I did. Then he said that I would be receiving a package through the post which would allow me to accept or reject their offer within 30 days. It was at this point that I felt it necessary to distinguish between 'package' (as in holiday) and 'package' (as through the mail) because now he said that it was necessary to charge me £298 registration for this 'package', though I understood him to say, quite clearly, twice, that I would not be charged NOW. He then passed me to a third person (whose name I didn't catch but I think it was 'Cindy' ... again with an oriental accent) who wanted the verification code on the back of the card. At that point I said 'Oh no you don't!' and hung up! Jeff called me back and reassured me that I was not going to be charged now, they 'just needed the verification code so that they could make the charge when I had decided'. Can you get rats in telephone lines? I began to smell one, anyway! I could see that, when the charge appeared, it would likely take me more trouble than it was worth to refuse their offer and get the charge cancelled! -------------------- Half an hour on the phone (OK, it was their bill)! I checked on the address they gave and came up with something interesting. 3956 Town Center Blvd, Orlando, FL 32837 DOES exist and it is a huge business block with numerous suites. Suite #416, I found from a 2007 directory, is occupied by: The Entrepreneur Authority of Central Florida Lic. Franchise Advisor Brian Watson (owner) 3956 Town Center Blvd. #416 Orlando, Florida 32837 407.354.4450 email: bwatson@eAuth.com www.eAuth.com/Watson TEA Consultants are the industry leaders in matching high caliber people with proven business models. Through our Franchipreneur 100TM listings catalog, we provide a superior selection of franchise opportunities. Many of these opportunities are exclusive listings that we alone can offer. In 2006, TEA was awarded the Chairman’s Award from the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD) right here in Orlando. Our proven, industry award-winning process: · Educates you on the finer points of Franchising · Clarifies your entrepreneurial goals · Advises you in selecting a good business “fit” · Guides you throughout your validation process · Refers you to valuable small business experts Our monthly seminars are open to the public and free-of-charge. This doesn't sound to me like a 'Package Holiday' company and the website I was given ( http://www.resortvacationsvip.com ) has a completely different address! Have you ever been offered anything like this? Do you think I was wise to say no, in spite of all the assurances and name and address giving?
1 person likes this
7 responses
@twoey68 (13651)
• United States
3 Jul 08
I am always leery of these things. "We won't charge you now" is a great line but it actually means nothing. Anytime you give someone your credit card info they can charge you anytime they want regardless of what they told you. The same holds true for post dated checks (I learned that the hard way) even though you write "Do Not Cash Till" and the date, if it is turned in to the bank, they will honor it. The best thing ppl can do when they get these offers like this is to tell the person, yes I have a credit card and your welcome to call back in 2-4 weeks when I've decided whether or not to keep the item and then I'll give you the information. If they refuse to do that, then I would refuse to give the information and tell them to remove your name from their list. Chances are it's a scam. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
3 people like this
@owlwings (39074)
• Cambridge, England
3 Jul 08
I think I had better call my credit card company and warn them. I was persuaded to part with the number (but not the security code).
2 people like this
• United States
6 Feb 09
Hi, I appreciate this is going back 8 months but this has JUST happened to me. I was on the phone for 40 mins and was desperately trying to find something on the web. I found this page once i parted with my card and security number. i did eventually just hang up. but have had over 10 calls on the house number which i refuse to pick up. I also called my credit card provider and have put a "block" on my card. I should have believed in my gut instinct of just hanging up earlier. Mr Owl is totally correct about the names which one would definitely not associate with the accent. A Mr Gerrard Bergstrom who was insistent i write EVERYTHING they said down. Almost like they were trying to convince us that if we write what they're saying it portrays a guarantee from them - i felt stupid. Regardless, i would avoid these calls (press one to connect)like a plague. I also agree with the comment made about if it was a winning - we wouldn't have to secure an payment.
@p1kef1sh (45642)
3 Jul 08
I am quite convinced that you did the right thing. I recall that some years ago our late and largely unlamented Prime Minister Edward Heath received a "free" gift. He contacted the sender who told him that he had to pick up a voucher for this in person from an address in Leicester Square. He duly arrived and the woman on the reception asked him to prove who he was. He was slightly bemused by this as he had until a few weeks earlier been the PM. However, he did so and was ushered into a room where a succession of salesmen, none of who seemed to recognise him, proceeded to give him the hard sell for timeshare. He said that he wasn't interested in timeshare just his gift. Whilst "processing" the gift, which took another hour or so, they continued with their sales patter. Eventually he received a cheap carriage clock as his reward. I was not a fan of Mr Heath, but I have some sympathy for his experience. personally I always reject any such offers. There is always a catch.
2 people like this
@owlwings (39074)
• Cambridge, England
3 Jul 08
That is a marvellous story, P-one-kay-ee! Yes, one learns fairly quickly that there has to be a hook hidden in the bait. The trouble is that one sometimes cannot resist trying to find out where that hook is hiding! I think I just avoided getting a jaggy in my upper lip this time. I have to say that I accepted the call more to see how they would do things. It was when they mentioned the figure of £298 (just less than the amount that rings alarm bells at the credit company's offices) that I began to see what they might be at.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45642)
12 Nov 08
Thank you for the BR Owlwings. Much appreciated.
@owlwings (39074)
• Cambridge, England
12 Mar 09
It was a real pleasure Mr P-one-Kay-Ee. For some reason this OLD discussion just surfaced again (like rotten weed suffused with methane, eh?) and I realised that I hadn't made an adequate response. Mea culpa!
@pumpkinjam (5767)
• United Kingdom
3 Jul 08
I think you made a very wise decision, Mr. Owl. I don't think I have ever had that kind of thing happen to myself but other family members have. It is as has been said by people before, if you have really won something then there should be no charge for it and they certainly wouldn't have asked for your card verification code if they had no intention from taking money from you. That is most definitely a scam and it is good that you had the good thinking to check it all out.
2 people like this
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
12 Mar 09
About 2 years ago I was offfered a 'free' holiday but it turned out that I would have to pay the air fare from this Island to Orlando or wherever. Like you they wanted my credit card details 'to use later' but I would not give them and hung up. I may have been born at nogh but it wasn't in the dark. :)
@owlwings (39074)
• Cambridge, England
12 Mar 09
When is 'nogh', Cynthiann? The word has all the air of 'nothingness', 'when time is at a point', if there is a speed of time (as in 'time' is moving), then 'nogh' would be a point where 'time' stands still. It would, at any rate, appear to be a good time to be born, especially if Lugh was there before you (that is 'not in the dark').
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
12 Mar 09
A woman would have known what I meant to have said! Men! O.K. I have lost my spell check bar on my computer and as I have arthritis in my fingers I now make mistakes. The eyes are not seeing as well and so I only see the spelling mistakes by the time my response has been posted. The word should have been read as NIGHT (which I am sure that you knew!) Blessings
@owlwings (39074)
• Cambridge, England
12 Mar 09
I still cherish 'nogh', Cynthiann. It is not a word in any language - that I have been able to determine - yet has an inescapable element of 'Celticness' about it (which implies femininity because the Celts are one of the most feminine of races, despite the masculinity of their gods and heroes). I think that 'nogh' is a good word for oblivion or the point where all differences meet. It may even define that single, undefinable, ineffable bubble in the head of a pint of Guinness which holds the crucial decision as to whether you should drink it or not.
@seabeauty (1481)
• United States
12 Mar 09
I have been offered something similar only it was regarding a timeshare. If you truly won a vacation then why would you have to pay a fee? That sounds fishy to me.
@owlwings (39074)
• Cambridge, England
12 Mar 09
Very fishy to me too ... unless it were an all-expenses-paid, no-strings assignment with a mermaid, seabeauty.
@tudors (1556)
• China
12 Mar 09
i just read through your post and i think you are very alert and smart. you are right, no way for doing that ! sending money to them in advance, we even don't know if it is true. Well , years ago, i received a phone call informing me that i won a prize, a third prize. The first reaction of me to this is TRAP ! then i carefully asked who it was and the caller told me she was from a local bank and informed me to take my ID card to the bank. The prize was cash 50.00 or 500.00 she was not quite sure. I decided to have a go since it was from the bank. guess what? i really got 500.00 bonus from the bank . why ? because i paid for a watch about 3 months ago with bank card, which i had already forgot and didn't know there was an activity of the bank. Because the watch was very expensive, i didn't want to risk my safety by carrying cash, i used the bank card to pay. Later i pay every bill by bank card hoping such fortune will descend on me again, and guess what ? It never happens again
@owlwings (39074)
• Cambridge, England
12 Mar 09
I think you were lucky, Tudors ... and well done! It does happen that, sometimes, these prizes are real. Most of the time they are not, however, and it does us well to think things like: "What did I do to win this prize?" and so on. Just occasionally we may really win a prize with no strings attached. It is always good to be open to that possibility but also to be aware of the ways in which we can be taken in and ensnared by those who want to cheat us. There is no easy way to tell what is good and what is false. Some things just 'smell' wrong and others, well ... they don't seem to smell at all, so they might be OK. Taste and see (but never commit completely).
@nannacroc (4049)
4 Jul 08
Of course you were wise to say no. You would probably have had to sign up to a time share deal which would have ended up costing you a fortune.
@owlwings (39074)
• Cambridge, England
12 Mar 09
Yes, they always want to sell you timeshares, Nana. As a NICE croc, you always know what NASTY crocs sre up to ... and can tell us.