The other evening, we got a phone call from someone who wanted to send us on a vacation!
While at the Italian Festival, Krissi and I were stopped by someone at a booth who was asking people to fill out cards to register for a vacation giveaway. Why not? So we filled them out and continued on our way.
Well, I spoke with the person at length about it, but it turned out that I was wasting my time, and his. Early on in the call, I forget what term he used, but he indicated that they operated on a one call basis. What he was offering was 5 days and 4 nights in Orlando, and 3 days, 2 nights in Daytona. We'd be staying at AAA rated "Three Diamond" hotels, where our food would be free, and we'd get two adult passes for one day to the theme park of our choice, and also a coupon book with free passes to all kinds of museums and such. All we had to do was to get down there, and to give him $500.
I'm sad to say that I was not clever enough to just hang up the phone right at the beginning, and I wasted thirty minutes talking to him, despite my suspicion about the offer. In the end, I understood more clearly, thanks to some web searching, that we were almost certainly dealing with a "Ramada Scam". No wiki entry, sorry. Apparently our $500 would possibly have gotten us into the Rape and Stab Motel, or the confirmation info that we would have gotten later would have detailed information completely different than what we were talking about on the phone. Not only that, but we're on a rather fixed budget and tight income right now, and even if you told me that we could fly to Paris for a week, and only for $500, and you were not lying or scamming me, we still wouldn't/shouldn't afford it. $500 is a healthy chunk of our mortgage.
Anyway, I'm just sharing the experience with you. We're in good shape. Even though I didn't hang up on them right at the get go, we didn't get trapped or give anyone any money. In the end, when I turned him down, I was surprised that I didn't get any hard selling tactics, no pushiness after my "no".
It also made me think more about raffles and drawings and filling out stuff like that. I wonder if they call everyone who filled out a card. In fact, our other cell phone rang while I was on the phone talking to them, and we wondered if they were calling our other cell to tell us how we'd "Been selected for the vacation give away!", but it was not. Heh.
Yeah, its easy to get trapped by greed. I suppose that's why we filled out the cards in the first place. Hey - who doesn't want something for nothing? The only problem is, there's no such thing. You'll get something alright, but it won't be for nothing.
I don't think I'll fill out anymore "win this thing!!" cards anymore, though.
P.S. If anyone from the Italian Festival stumbles across this, you might not invite anyone affiliated with Resorts Tours & Accommodations, Inc. back!