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I won a contest! Is this for real?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I think..... You know those contest they normally hold in the mall where they have a car on display and you can win 49,000 or a car? I always fill one out, but I never win.

The other day I went to check the mail and they had sent it back to me saying I had won.

I was a little leery because I know there are so many scams out there. Who really wins these anyway without a catch, right?

I called and they said it was real. It was a resort that had just opened and they are trying to draw people in to advertise about it.

I am going down on the 7th of October to claim a prize (they said I am guaranteed one) which is on a scratch off ticket and that will let me know which prize I won. I get $40 just for going down there and if I do the tour I get a free trip to Las Vegas or Orlando.

I asked all the questions of do I have to buy anything or donate. I do not and will not buy anything because I can't. I figured it wouldn't hurt to check it out, but will be very cautious all the same.

Has anyone else ever done this? If so, does anyone have any advice?
post #2 of 23
Yeah...... I have a feeling you will get there and they will try to sell you a timeshare. Been there done that... So... Whatever you do, take someone very skeptical with you (sorry for raining on your parade, BTW)
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Yeah...... I have a feeling you will get there and they will try to sell you a timeshare. Been there done that... So... Whatever you do, take someone very skeptical with you (sorry for raining on your parade, BTW)
That's what I am thinking also, but with my dad being sick, I have no problem saying "No".
post #4 of 23
Yeah, you're going to get down there and sit through a very long sales lecture and end up walking out with a coupon for a cheap DVD player or some such thing.

But, if you have the time, there's nothing wrong with doing it.
post #5 of 23
And likely the trip that you do get is airfare only and comes with a whole bunch of restrictions and additional fees/taxes etc.

If you need the $40.00 and don't mind sitting through probably a 3 or 4 hour presentation of time shares, followed by high pressure sales, I'd say go.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
And likely the trip that you do get is airfare only and comes with a whole bunch of restrictions and additional fees/taxes etc.

If you need the $40.00 and don't mind sitting through probably a 3 or 4 hour presentation of time shares, followed by high pressure sales, I'd say go.
The tour is only an hour and a half and I didn't have to do it. It is a driven tour also.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duchess15 View Post
The tour is only an hour and a half and I didn't have to do it. It is a driven tour also.
Do they return you to the starting point at the end?
post #8 of 23
I think that's cool! My parents did something like that. They did the sales pitch on a time share but my dad is a sucker so we walked out with a timeshare that we never used. I forget what the prize was though (this was when I was in high school) but it must have been good enough to make my parents drive 2 hours!

Congrats! Just stay firm on "NO".
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
And likely the trip that you do get is airfare only and comes with a whole bunch of restrictions and additional fees/taxes etc.
Actually, the trip will be hotels only. You have to get there on your own.

There is some possibility that you will be eliminated from receiving anythng if they discover that you are unable to buy anything.
post #10 of 23
My aunt and uncle used to go sit in the timeshare pitches to claim their prize. They never won anything big, usually got something like a stadium blanket and maybe a little cash. But they had a nice trip to the mountains or the beach. I'm so sorry your dad is sick. He is in my prayers.
post #11 of 23
This happened to me a long time ago.. yea it was a looong time spent on the phone with me asking details, then I discovered that you had to pay some sort of fee for something, only X amount of things were covered, but it was still a great deal according to the guy...and I passed..
post #12 of 23
We've done that before - you sit through the lecture, and say no no no no to the hard sell then you eventually get a prize - I think ours was accommodation somewhere. Didn't include flights, but still made for a very cheap holiday.
post #13 of 23
I've sat thru those 2 times. They both were pushing timeshares. For the first one, I "won" a trip to Jamaica, which turned out to be lodging only, and surprise, since I didn't buy their timeshare, I was never able to find a time when the room was open. That one was hardcore sell, where they tried to divide DH and I up to bully both of us separately to buy their time share.

The second time was in Hawaii, and I won a dinner cruise (there was actually a choice of prizes and we picked this one). There was no pressure for this one and it was legit. Unfortunately it rained that entire week we were there and the cruise kept getting cancelled. So that one was legit, but we never got to use it. We actually left the cruise voucher to a waitress as a tip the last night we were there. She was floored.

The harder they push you to buy a timeshare, the more likely it is not legit.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
Actually, the trip will be hotels only. You have to get there on your own.

There is some possibility that you will be eliminated from receiving anythng if they discover that you are unable to buy anything.
I specificially asked if I had to buy anything. They said no. They said I could come and claim my prize and go home, or get the prize, go on the tour, and then go home. So that isn't the case.
post #15 of 23
You'll probably get a better "prize" if you do the tour, and they'll probably put pressure to do the tour. But if you have the time, I say do it and see how much you can get out of them
post #16 of 23
My parents did that one year when we were going to Wisconsin Dells because if you sit through their sales pitch (I think it was 1.5 hour) they gave you a free night's stay at the hotel we were staying at and free passes to a water/amusement park which I used.
post #17 of 23
Seriously -- these things are NEVER worth it. It's a standard promotional scheme that hooks just enough gullible people to make it worth running year after year after year. The companies that do it get charged with fraud, escape into bankruptcy, then start up under another name and do it all over again.

Usually, it's four possible prizes: a stereo, a barbecue, a trip, or a car. The stereo is a pocket radio, the barbecue is a tiny aluminum hibachi, the trip is a few hotel nights in some distant place you can't afford to fly to, and the car "has already been awarded."

Please, don't fall for this... and don't give them any financial information under the guise of "qualifying," either. You want nothing to do with these people!
post #18 of 23
If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Just like the Bonzi schemes, they play on peoples' desire to get something for nothing but you end up paying much more in the long term.

I got a letter this morning on our fax from someone who says they are ill with terminal cancer, cannot trust their family with their fortune and wants "us" to contact him by e-mail to help him dispense his fortune and we'll get 10% of 13 million. Right. I believe this fellow used to live in Africa and needed our bank account number to deposit this money to get it out of the country. I honestly don't feel sorry for anyone that falls for this nonsense.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I got a letter this morning on our fax from someone who says they are ill with terminal cancer, cannot trust their family with their fortune and wants "us" to contact him by e-mail to help him dispense his fortune and we'll get 10% of 13 million.
Weve had those ones faxed through at work as well, usually from Nigeria. I file it in it's proper place...........The bin!!

I wouldn't be suckered into it Sabrina, but at the end of the day it's your choice.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just haven't had a good feeling about it. I don't want to drive the long distance either.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
Weve had those ones faxed through at work as well, usually from Nigeria. I file it in it's proper place...........The bin!!

I wouldn't be suckered into it Sabrina, but at the end of the day it's your choice.
Well it seems he has moved to England, has 1 month to live, and wants to share his 13 million.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Well it seems he has moved to England, has 1 month to live, and wants to share his 13 million.
I've lost track of all the people who have made me that offer or one like it. Trash is the only place for those messages.

As for the "contest", my take on those is [1] the first request for any personal information, and/or a processing fee, gets them a hangup; [2] if they survive that test, if the information session/tour/whatever is not inconvenient and the "prizes" look interesting, I'd probably go; [3] no matter how interesting the prizes seem in the first place, be prepared to be disappointed.

I went to one of those things years ago, didn't spend a thing other than the time to drive out there and listen, came away with a cheap sleeping bag (I think it was billed as "camping gear") and a camera -- the cheapest Kodak on the market at the time. It was a nice drive at a time when I had lots of time for such things, but that's all.

It's all "grain of salt" territory.
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duchess15 View Post
I just haven't had a good feeling about it. I don't want to drive the long distance either.
A good way to earn some extra cash is by doing opinion/survey things. We have a facility here that conducts them.

If you have such a place in your town, if you ask to be added to their list, they will contact you via telephone from time to time when they are seeking people to participate in a group survey/meeting. They conduct a very short telephone interview with you to see if you qualify for that particular study. If you do you attend to their office for a couple hour survey discussion (in a room with a 2 way mirror) and answer questions in a group. You receive $25.00 or more depending on the study. And there is no hidden catch. Attend, give your opinion and get the cash.

The last one I attended was for "The Keg" restaurant. Another was for one of the local dairy producers looking for opinions on their commercials. Unfortunately we weren't supposed to know who had requested the surveys, but the facilitator of the group wasn't that good at leading the survey, and her questions were a dead give-a-way as to the companies seeking the results.

I used to do a number of them. I changed my phone number and never contacted them to give the new one, but it was a quick way to make some extra cash if I did manage to qualify for a particular study.
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