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tazzycorner
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Hard-sell tactics of travel firm draw ire [Time Share Scam] - tonight 9pm ... tazzycorner Oct 5th, 05, 04:10 PM #1
Tonight there is a documentary on Channel U tonight at 9pm on time share scams.

for your awareness!!!


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Aug 21, 2005
Hard-sell tactics of travel firm draw ire
Prizes draw in many but some say it's not easy to leave even when you want to. Case gets 168 complaints

By Jeremy Au Yong
THE music was loud. Mobile phones had to be switched off. Worse, they had to be left behind when going to the toilet.

It rankled boutique owner Theresa Tan, 47, and her husband, but the couple felt it was a small price to pay for what travel firm Oriental Travel had promised them: a lucky draw prize.

The prizes ranged from a new Toyota Corolla car to a 42-inch plasma TV screen.

What followed, however, got them fuming. For two hours, they were given the hard-sell on buying a membership of a travel club which promises flight and hotel discounts of up to 25 per cent. The membership costs between $20,000 and $50,000.

Unconvinced, the couple got up to leave. That is when the tactics became unbearable, said Mrs Tan.

They made it almost impossible to leave. Each time they got up to go, the salesman insisted a supervisor had to sign them out, but went on with his spiel without making any move to get one.

'I told him I didn't want the prize and if he didn't let me leave I would call the police. Only then did he get his supervisor,' she said.

The Sunday Times heard similar stories from four others and they are among 168 people who have complained, since January this year, to the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) about Oriental Travel and its marketing partner Jue Shi.

Online forums such as Spug and VoyForums are also peppered with complaints about the two companies, which have also been criticised in two letters to The Straits Times Forum page.

Like the Tans, many say the sales tactics resemble those of timeshare companies: pressure selling, misleading information and failure to honour promises. However, the mailer said the presentation does not feature timeshare holidays.

Timeshare companies are one of the top culprits on Case's list of complaints. Last year, 2,724 complaints about timeshare companies and those using timeshare selling tactics were received. That is an average of seven a day.

Typically, what drew people was being guaranteed one of six prizes: a car or cash of $25,000, a plasma TV, a vacation, a laptop, a diamond watch and a digital camera. But the clincher was a picture on the mailer showing ESPN sports cable TV presenter John Dykes presenting a car to a Mr Toh Boon Khai on March 16, at the Leng Kee Road showroom of Borneo Motors.

However, to get the prize, couples - singles and children are not welcome - have to attend a two-hour seminar at Oriental Travel's showroom at Shaw House in Orchard Road.

Each couple is assigned a salesman while several supervisors roam from table to table.

Said Mr Mike McCormack, 60, a retired engineer: 'They just keep going on and on. And they played this deafening music which they wouldn't turn down. It took a lot out of me.'

For human resource executive Steven Chua, 46, the strangest part was how quickly they wanted a decision. 'The offer is valid only while I was in the room. How can they expect a person to put down that kind of money without spending days thinking about it?'

More twists were in store when it came to the prizes. Four out of the five couples interviewed, along with everyone who had complained in online forums, won the watch. The fifth, who joined the club, got a laptop.

To get the watch, the prize-winners said they paid $24.50 for delivery. Even then, Ms Tan said she called the company three times over two months before she got it.

She said that she was promised a diamond watch worth $1,000 from London. What she got, she added, was a watch of an unheard-of brand made by a company in Boon Keng Road called Watchmakers.

Madam Gina Ching, 34, who works in a manufacturing firm, got the laptop after she paid $15,000 to join the club last November.

Now, she wants her money back. 'Each time I wanted to travel, I had to keep calling and leave a lot of messages. And they always quoted me the market rate or a higher price until I pressed for the discount.'

She got a 20 per cent discount for a Star Cruise trip to Phuket and a price cut of less than $50 for a trip to Bangkok.

Case executive director Seah Seng Choon said the complaints were being investigated. Under the Fair Trading Act, consumers can sue in the Small Claims Tribunal if they believe they have been misled.

Mr Dykes said he was a friend of Oriental Travel director Ian Holahan and was asked to give away the car. 'I don't know specifically what the business is about and I don't particularly want to get involved,' he told The Sunday Times.

Oriental Travel said it would respond only 'if deemed appropriate by those in senior management'. After one week and four phone calls, it remains mum. p> For the prize winners, the lesson is obvious. As Mr Chua, who has been waiting two months for his watch, put it: 'There's no such thing as a free lunch.'

[email protected]


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tazzycorner
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tazzycorner Oct 5th, 05, 04:26 PM #2
if u havent already encountered these guys on orchard road, sooner or later, u will !!!

upz for your awareness!!!
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war Oct 5th, 05, 04:31 PM #3
got before, but never go..they will call u claiming that yr name was selected from a lucky draw and blah blah blah~
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cccp Oct 5th, 05, 04:41 PM #4
these guys ought to be shot...rogue salesmen
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DiGdUb Oct 5th, 05, 04:50 PM #5
they usually employ part time students on orchard road to target couples. last time got 1 idiot came up, ask me draw a card, then show me the card say i won a holiday to europe. then say 'wah! you even luckier than my mom!'. then ask me to go to a seminar within half an hour. then i gave an excuse say i need to catch movie and went off. stupid scammers...
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longsiew Oct 5th, 05, 05:02 PM #6
I encounter a lot of times already but they dare not to approach me. You know why??? Want to guess?? Guess correct got prize. Hahahaha...another scams. I will reveal in my next post what tactic I used to scrare them off.:laugh5:
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necroastr Oct 5th, 05, 05:08 PM #7
There are lots of young surveyors along the orchard road working for the timeshare companies getting pple to go up their office and attend their talks to be eligible for the prizes they won in the lucky draw during/after the survey. Their office located in Faber house, taka and some other building within the vicinity.

Upz for awareness. Becareful when doing surveys, not all are bad but is these timeshare surveyors that make others look bad.
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tazzycorner Oct 5th, 05, 05:12 PM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by necroastr
There are lots of young surveyors along the orchard road working for the timeshare companies getting pple to go up their office and attend their talks to be eligible for the prizes they won in the lucky draw during/after the survey. Their office located in Faber house, taka and some other building within the vicinity.

Upz for awareness. Becareful when doing surveys, not all are bad but is these timeshare surveyors that make others look bad.

yeah, one of such companies is located at faber house
there are several others
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louisoh Oct 5th, 05, 05:18 PM #9
Yah... i got 'conned' once... i went up to listen.. but it's crap.. waste time... nx time u meet these ppl... dun even bother... =(
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Static-X Oct 5th, 05, 06:11 PM #10
i got called up my phone a few times liao, i ask them wads my name ? and they quoted an err is it bla bla bla than i say okay, correct, wads my NRIC num ? they say wrong and i say u bulls*it, even my name u got wrong lar !
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catacomb Oct 5th, 05, 06:35 PM #11
Hahaha I been there done that but came out with something and yet I didn't buy anything.. ok here is what I went through..

walking along orchard and outside taka this poly ger came up to me and my gf. Says do survey and then can win price. I got a metro voucher and my gf got a 7 days stay at hotels under the time share company. In order to get the voucher I will need to attend 11/2 hour of talk by the time share company. My gf noticed that the ger took the lucky draw cards from diff pockets. As both of us got nothing to do then we just go...

The one I went to was beside Orchard Emerald.. the UOB bank.. beside there is a door and took the lift up. Recep looks grand and we noticed that alot of ppl won the same thing as we did but the ger told us we are the first. Nvm me and my gf tiam tiam and went in lor..alot of so-called sales person there. Then the ger who attend to us told us that she can forfeit the prize of she thinks we are not keen in the package and can ask us to leave anytime before the 11/2 hour, hence no prize. Nvm I told my gf we pretend to be keen. Let me deal with her in when it's near the 11/2 hour.

So let her yak yak yak. Lucky she not bad looking and wearing abit low..haha. She will bring to her office.. show us the awards lah.. which hotel lah.. pictures lah.. everything lah.. but happens that she shown one that I knew was taken off internet.. it's the infamous Bora Bora resort..haha

Nvm follow her walk walk walk. At the end she asked me to get the plan.. 20K and it's discount. Tomorrow come back no more such good price.. I told her no. Then she draw out plans and how much we will need to pay if we go on our own compare to the plan. I told her no also. Then she says ok give installment. I also say no. Then she said how to made me sign. Then I discuss with my gf whispering in her ears. I told my gf I will say if she sleeps with me then I buy from her. My gf giggles and says ok. Then that's what I tell her. Then a moment she like wanna say ok.. but paused for about 30 secs. Then say no.. haha then she lead us back to the reception and we got the 7 day stay. Check the hotels and it's not what they claim. All 5 stars hotel and above are listed in their company.. what a joke..haha

Another couple went out together with us. WE chatted and was laughing cos both of us couples survive the 11/2 hour. To be frank I did a check on the time share company before. It's registered under a single name with no paid up capital. my friend kena before so I checked the company out for him.

Moral of the story, don't buy anything if u dun feel like it. No one can force u to unless u succumb to the pressure. Go to CASE also no use one as CASE is not garben. They mediator only. Nothing more than that.. would say CASE is there for the sake of being there only. Nothing else :animal8:
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cccp Oct 5th, 05, 07:00 PM #12
i like ur strategy
One of the most addictive web-based game

www.goldentowns.com

Playing this web game which claims that the in-game gold is backed by real gold. Quite a vibrant community out there. Seems like the whole bitcoin thingie is spreading to the online gaming world. They are coming up with their own crypto-currency as well. Look for me, i am cccp1979lcw inside!
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catacomb Oct 5th, 05, 07:05 PM #13
thanks.. if u can't beat them... join them... the ger quite small size.. got the cfm look.. hahaha.. ya the one I go think is at faber house
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cccp Oct 5th, 05, 07:07 PM #14
next time i will use ur strategy..but only IF a girl is beside me. imagine u go there and say that alone.......
One of the most addictive web-based game

www.goldentowns.com

Playing this web game which claims that the in-game gold is backed by real gold. Quite a vibrant community out there. Seems like the whole bitcoin thingie is spreading to the online gaming world. They are coming up with their own crypto-currency as well. Look for me, i am cccp1979lcw inside!
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echizen87 Oct 5th, 05, 07:20 PM #15
wa.. i think i worked b4 leh.. haha.. but that 1 is becos my fren ask me wan work or not go try 1... and then ya loh.. all those prize fake de la.. ask u pick card.. but all is sure win 1.. lolx..

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