Thursday, April 30, 2009

A holiday in Hawaii?

It's been a strange day. Got a call from a marketing company saying that I stand to win a 4-day, 3 night holiday in Jamaica or 5-day, 4-night one in Hawaii (my choice).

All costs at the resort are included. It was a draw, they said, and I didn’t have to do anything or buy anything or enter a competition

So I said, sure, send me the details if I win and this morning I got another call announcing I was one of the lucky winners.

The person who called told me where to pick up the vouchers tomorrow afternoon. All I have to do to pick up the voucher is to show up with my partner for a 60 minute presentation.

I’m not sure whether to be excited that I’m going on a paid holiday to Hawaii, or to be sceptical that the trip will happen. They tell me that their benefit is word of mouth advertising, and they are not selling time-share or holiday points. We’ll see.

In any case, I'd still have to swing the travel costs, so it's not entirely free, I would think. But lucky company, they chose a writer and blogger as one of their candidates, so if it all works out, I will write about it.

Hawaii sounds fantastic – I always wanted to go but never thought I’d get the chance.

I'll keep you posted, and maybe even name the marketing company and resort once I have a clearer idea of who I'm dealing with, whether their offer is for real and the making of travel plans.

I'll also have to brace myself and go to the Department of Home Affairs to apply for a passport. I got a temporary passport while I was in Barcelona last year, and I used it for my subsequent overseas trips.

But I never got a permanent passport, because I was not prepared to spend time standing in queues and there was no immediate reason to act.


Ms Lona-Lee Hart said...

Good luck with the possible trip. I hope it's for real. Tell your friend I've put up a new post just for her. See you tomorrow!

Arlene said...

I just received the exact same call but they claim to be in my area tomorrow to specially present me with my vouchers (and my partner must be there too). It doesn't feel right .. Please tell me how yours turned out.

Damaria Senne said...

@Arlene - lucky you I've had a previous enquiry similar to yours. I'm just copying the email I sent to the gentleman here. I hope it helps with your decision.

I attended the event, and the presentation was quite good actually. The deal that I got was so-so: 4 days, 3 nights at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. Meals and beverages included.

a) They charge $35 just to redeem the certificate. I don't like it when people tell me I got a gift and then try to get me to pay for it, even if $35 is not a lot of money in the great scheme of things.

b) You pay $165 per person at the time you book your reservation.
Still more money you pay for a gift.

But the gift certificate was just a hook for get us to come. And so was the draw - yes, they had one for a kitchen renovation worth R50 000, I think. No one won. Does anyone ever win.

The big thing they're selling is travel ( local and international destinations, with huge discounts on airline and hotel costs). They sold a 10-year plan for R14 000 or so, and a life time plan too. Costs seemed reasonable, I guess, if you're an executive, travelling extensively all over SA, and maybe internationally through business, it might make sense to do this.

BUT, it was a hard sell and they wanted me to buy right there and then. What put me off is the company is that I told them I wanted the opportunity to think about it first ( I'm not signing a contract for such a large transaction without due diligenece!). They told me the offer was valid for that day and that day only, and kept tryinng to push me to sign. Eventually I just got irritated.

My take? Don't waste your time. The gift certificate is still gathering dust on my shelf and I have serious doubts you'd want to shell out good money for a deal you don't have time to investigate for yourself first.

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