Got a call from a telemarketer the other day telling me that I had won one of five prizes. I didn’t have to buy anything, nothing required on my part, just go to this location at 216 Chrislea Road out in Woodbridge for the draw and watch a presentation from a ‘travel’ company.
Even though we knew it was probably a scam, I thought, “what the heck, might as well” and took down all the information. I was guaranteed to win one of these:
- 50″ plasma tv RCA
- $1000 cash
- All inclusive royal caribbean cruise including 2 weeks accommodation, flight included
- 1 week at Hilton Head, South Carolina for two, including airfare, meals
- 8 days in Orlando, Florida or Cancun, Mexico for whole family (up to 8-10 people he told us), private Ramada Inn suite including meals, airfare and flights are not included in this package
I told my snookey right then that the ‘prize’ we’d win would be the trip to Florida or Mexico where we had to pay our own flight. However, all I had to do was to go to The Vacation Store location dressed in business casual attire, fill out the gift claim form (see Barbara, he said), show them two pieces of ID, make sure I showed up with my husband, and enjoy a complementary dinner and watch the presentation for one hour (say one and a half hours to be sure).
We were all excited about the presentation. Maybe they’d talk us into some fabulous vacation package. We showered up, dressed in business attire and headed off to God’s country out at Hwy. 7 and Weston Road – quite a hike.
They’d called us about an hour before we left to confirm whether we’d like chicken or roast beef for dinner. We both chose chicken – figured you can’t screw that up as much as roast beef.
We arrived early but were told not to show up til 6:20, so we waited a bit in the car.
We approached the desk where a couple of skanky young girls in cheap clothes glared at us. We showed ID, filled in a form. On the form they asked when our last vacation was. I wrote down that it was 13 years ago and that, obviously, vacations weren’t that important to us.
On the front of the form, where they listed all the prizes, I drew an arrow to that ‘vacation package where you have to pay for your own flight’, and put a little note that said, “this is the ‘prize’ we’ll win”.
A couple of the skags came over to us a couple of times to ask about our last vacation and whether or not we ‘planned’ to take a vacation soon. I said we had nothing planned (but that didn’t mean we wouldn’t take a vacation if something great came up). As a matter of fact, I’d love to take one of those Alaskan cruises – or any cruise for that matter.
They shuffled my snookey and me off to a room to wait to draw our winning ticket. What do you know? We drew the ‘vacation package where you pay for your own airfare’. Then they thanked us and told us we could leave.
Scuze me? Leave? Where’s our dinner? Where’s our presentation? How much did it cost me in gas to get to Woodbridge and I’m not even getting my chicken?
And that prize we won… we’d only have to pay a $14 processing fee to ensure that the prize would be available to us for a year. Send your cheque and a self-addressed stamped enveloped (they’re so cheap that they won’t even mail out your certificate, you’ve got to pay for the stamp yourself) to:
1673853 Ontario Inc.
7700 Pine Valley Drive, Box 72029
Woodbridge ON L4L 2X0 (registered mail not accepted)
Do you think we were racing to send our $14 (and stamped envelope) to hold a vacation package for one year? We were not. Especially not after seeing the terms and conditions on the rear side of the offer:
And on the phone we were told that the package was good for up to 8-10 people, in the terms it tells us two adults and three children staying in the same room.
Did you happen to notice that it says, “airfare, transporation, hotel taxes, administrative fees and services charges, meals, roll away beds, etc. and items of a personal nature are not included in this offer and ‘arte’ the responsibility of the user. Florida room/country taxes, administrative fees and service charges are paid in advance of confirmation”.
What a prize! How come I’m not coughing up $14 for that?
I won’t forget to mention that, when I was unemployed, I took a telemarketing job where it was my job to sell these ‘vacation packages where you just pay for the airfare’. I actually sold one to a couple planning their honeymoon. I felt so bad at that job, I quit the next day.