November 30, 2002
You May Already Be a Weiner

So I won a vacation yesterday.

Or at least that's what they said on the phone Friday night. Apparently I entered a draw (I never do) and they chose my name as the lucky winner. So now all I have to do is come to their office Saturday afternoon and pick it up. Easy right?

Well, being an untrusting fucknut, I ask some questions. "So... I walk into your office and you give me some nice shiny plane tickets?"
"Yes," they reply, "Is that so hard to believe?"

Wrong thing to say, asshole. It sure as hell is.

Upon further questioning, it comes out that I have to sit through a "short, 90-minute presentation" before I receive my free vacation. "But isn't that a small thing to do for a free vacation?" By this time I'm in full defense mode, and do my best to say nothing and get off the phone as soon as possible. I agree to nothing, and say my polite goodbyes.

I did some checking (see here and here) that night, and apparently it's a fairly common scam. The presentation is generally a high-pressure sales pitch for a timeshare or somesuch, and apparently it's very difficult to get out of the place without buying one. You can get the free vacation, but it's a hassle and a half. Classy. They can fuck right off.

So I skip my special meeting, and go biking instead. When I get back, I have two full messages from some fairly disappointed people, worried I won't take advantage of my special opportunity. I've been screening my calls for the day, but I figure I'll have to deal with them eventually. Creative suggestions of ways to tell them to bite my ass are now being entertained.

Some other 'signs of evil' I noticed:
- They called at 5:00 on Friday, and wanted to schedule a meeting for 1:00 the next day. My guess is that's so I can't call the Better Business Bureau or anything.
- They're telling me I'm a very special winner, but in the background I hear several other voices who sound like they're doing the same thing. Gee whiz.
- By the time the phone call's over, I've talked to three different people and received about three different confirmation numbers. What the hell is that? All this to pick up my free vacation?
- To 'confirm my identity', they ask me some pretty personal questions. Am I single? Am I 25 or older? Is my salary above $46k? What is my occupation? Right. That's the kind of stuff I filled out on my 'draw entry'.

Posted by savidant at November 30, 2002 11:52 PM

I suggest getting a pile of donation forms from a charity (United Way, Salvation Army, etc). Attend the "special presentation" and at some point, mention that you are raising money for a very worthy cause and ask whether they would like to support it. If they demur, shame them ("surely a company that can give away free vacations can afford to support aged widows/starving orphans/victims of bubonic plague"). If they still don't make a donation, get angry and walk out. If they do, thank them for their generosity and then walk out.

Other twists on this include pretending to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints or a Jehovah's Witness. You fill in the rest.

Posted by: evan on December 1, 2002 01:28 PM

I was going to suggest something similar to Evan, but instead it was to find out "who is running the show", weather it be the guy at the info session, or the guy on the phone. Find out their name. Tell them they have won a special prize, and all they have to do is answer a few questions and come over to this is where you hand them a bucket and a sponge and get them to wash your car.

Is that so much to ask for such a great prize? Hardly! Sign me up.

Of course at this point you and your goon friends emerge from your car and "SURPRISE" beat the crap out of the tool with a bunch of 2x4s with nails in it, baseball bats... etc. ;)

All kidding aside, my brothers work at places like this. It is my strongest advice to NOT piss the guys on the phone off. They LOVE to fuck w/ you. It is one of the few joys of being a tele-marketer...

As my brother once said: "Oh, so you are swearing at me, and want me to take you off the dailing list? Oh, we've called you 7 times this week. No problem sir, we'll take you off right away", call marked as "Not-home".


Posted by: drj on December 2, 2002 04:23 AM

so you can't politely refuse the high pressure pitch and collect the vacation? eun got an email also promising florida and a cruise after a 90 min. presentation. at that point i got bored and there was far too much more fine print to read. must you buy to get the plane ticket?

Posted by: dave on December 5, 2002 10:44 PM
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