Imagine, You get a call promising a free dinner at a fancy hotel or a holiday gift voucher, all for just attending an event.
Sounds exciting, right?
But beware, behind these enticing offers often lurk scams that could cost you more than just a few hours of your time.
Let’s break down how these scams work. Step by step, so you can spot them and save your hard-earned money.
First things first, scammers compile a big list of potential targets and then start dialing. They might pick specific cities to target and tempt you with promises of a FREE LUXURIOUS DINNER or FREE HOLIDAY VOUCHER or any FREEBIES.
But here’s the catch—they insist you bring along your spouse (invites you with husband/wife).
Well, they have their ways, especially with convincing the ladies.
They will represent the event in a manner where you are being offered a complimentary dinner, and that too at a renowned 3-5 star hotel in your city. Alternatively, they may inform you that you are being given a holiday gift voucher or free hampers, highlighting various benefits.
They will tell you that attending the event with a partner is mandatory, and they have many reasons behind this to convince females. They are often successful in easily persuading females.
During the call, they will also inform you that you need to attend the event for a duration of 45 minutes. And there, they will inquire whether you own a four-wheeler and, if so, what type.
They will also ask about your age and various other questions during the interaction. If you mention that you have a child, they may respond by saying that if the child is older than 5 years, they might refuse to allow the child to attend, or they might mention that it will incur additional costs for dinner.
Once You Reach the Event How They Approach You
When you finally reach the event, it’s all about questions, forms, and a waiting game. They will first have you fill out a form. After that, they will instruct you to wait. If their staff is busy and all the slots are filled, you must wait until a slot becomes available.
You will find 5-10 tables set up at the event. Each table will have a family sitting just like you and a sales executive attending them.
When it’s your turn, they’ll assign you a table where their well-dressed executives attend you well. He/She will start communication starting with personal details. One thing I forgot to mention is that you will find cookies and water at the table. BUT DON’T GET TRAPPED.
The discussion will continue to focus more on your travel habits and expenses. They will mostly direct questions towards ladies. They will inquire about your travel destinations when you last went on a trip, and your yearly travel habits, asking about the specific times you prefer to travel. After asking all these questions, they will inquire about the expenses you incurred on your travels.
Then comes the big pitch — showcasing dreamy 3 to 5-star properties, claiming jaw-dropping deals, and throwing in extras like free meals and even a chauffeured car.
It all sounds too good to be true, right?
They will tell you that they can organize the same trip for you at 50% of the cost. Then, they will open their bag of offerings and start the sales pitch for their membership.
They will take out a booklet showcasing various 3-5 star properties. They will present to you all these properties, mentioning that you must have heard of these names. Then, they will ask you to verify the prices by searching on Google.
In their booklet, you’ll find properties ranging from 20,000 to 50,000, emphasizing the exclusive deals they can offer through their membership.
They will mention that they will provide you with free breakfast and dinner at all these properties. They will also promise to give you a car with a driver, and you just need to cover the cost of fuel. This will be their way of enticing you with additional perks and conveniences.
During the discussion,
- They will show you pictures and videos of people who have purchased their membership and enjoyed their vacation.
- As a form of reviews, they will show you the reviews of those so-called customers.
- Sometimes, they will lure you that after getting our membership, a courier will be sent to your address. Inside, you’ll receive a trolley bag, a bottle, and all your holiday essentials.
- They will also offer discounts on flight tickets and other festival events in cities (such as Navratri, Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Dashera, etc…).
- They will also highlight various other benefits as part of their approach to convince you.
- And then, they will also tell you that you have the option to gift it to someone else or send it to others instead of going yourself.
During this SALES PITCH (yes sales pitch and not an event discussion), they will also make an announcement if one of the family purchases the membership. This strategy keep pressuring on you to purchase the membership.
Price Points of Club Membership
All these points will be explained, but they won’t disclose the price until you inquire about it.
And when they do, brace yourself for a rollercoaster of offers, from sky-high membership costs to seemingly affordable EMI options. They will first show you the cost of their highest-priced product, which will cost you between 2 lakhs to 5 lakhs. To make their prices seem even more affordable, they will offer you the EMI option and reiterate that they are essentially asking you to pay right now, just in a more manageable way.
They will emphasize that you can opt for EMI and have the flexibility to cancel it anytime. And the initial plan they present, ranging from 2-5 lakhs, will likely cover a membership period of 5 to 10 years.
That will tell you that “you don’t need to pay anything now if you opt for the EMI option, First EMI will be deducted after 2 months.” But Remember, EMI is “Pay in Once” meaning you cannot cancel that EMI.
If you say no, they’ll offer a smaller package. They’ll claim it’s affordable and available in installments too.
They will tell you that the offer is valid only for today. They will emphasize that you must decide on the spot. If you leave without accepting the offer today, it won’t be available for you later.
If you still decline, they will then present you with a lower-tier plan, perhaps in the range of 1-1.5 lakhs. Finally, they may make a last-ditch offer, reducing it to 30,000 to entice you.
And if you decline and choose not to make a purchase (Believe me you are the luckiest person), They will gently torture you and ask you for reasons why you don’t want to take their membership. Even if you resist their persistent sales tactics and decline the offer, it’s not a quick exit. You could end up staying a while, politely saying no while they push their offer.
Let’s pause here.
At last, you will realize that, by the time you decline and leave, you have wasted around 2-2.5 hours, despite them mentioning a
45-minute call on the phone. After going for dinner, the total time you wasted would be around 3-3.5 hours. If there are any hampers, they might be worth around 500-1000, and if there’s a holiday gift voucher, they might give you an off-season voucher, valid 6-8 months later.
Take a minute and think. Is spending 3-3.5 hours worth a dinner valued at 500-1000 rupees? If ANSWER IS NO, DO NOT ATTEND SUCH EVENTS.
If you spend 2-2.5 hours with your family without a mobile(Because in the event, you will spend 2-2.5 hours without a mobile), it will be much more worthwhile for you.
Read Also:- Top 100 Free Business Listing Sites in India
What if you purchased the Membership
Now, here’s the ugly truth if you do fall for their trap. The dreamy holidays they promise might turn into nightmares. Sold-out hotels, lean-season bookings, and annual maintenance fees that sneak up on you can turn your ‘exclusive’ membership into a regrettable investment.
Your first holiday will be awesome. They will provide you with the best services for the first package. After your first holiday, they will ask you to give a review. You will definitely give the 5-star rating. And this is their trick to get the 5-star reviews.
The problem will start from the 2nd booking. When you apply for the next holidays, you will receive messages stating that the hotel you booked is sold out.
In case you get hotels in the lean season, average hotel prices are 2500-3000. However, you never get 4-5 star properties. Additionally, you need to pay 8000-12000 per year in the name of annual maintenance fees.
So whatever total you will pay, you will get a 40-60% return.
Suggestions for a Truly Looking Holiday Membership Plan
So, how do you steer clear of these traps?
If you want a membership, directly approach well-reputed resorts and take the membership. Charges may be high, but you will get a 100% return. Take a membership and plan holidays with any reputed agency.
Do not attend the event only for dinner, hamper, or voucher, as you must attend the event for 2-2.5 hours.
Before taking any membership plan check reviews. Techniques of search on Google is “company name” + Reviews – use double quote.
Safeguarding your time and money is all about being careful, doing some digging, and not falling for fancy offers that seem too good to be true. Being a little doubtful can actually help you keep your money safe.
Here’s the deal. Before jumping into something exciting like a holiday membership, take a step back. Be careful and don’t rush into things. When someone promises you the world, like a fantastic holiday deal or a free dinner, it might not always turn out as amazing as they make it sound.
So, what do you do?
Take a deep breath and check things out. Ask around, look up reviews, and see what other people say about these offers. Sometimes, what looks like a super cool deal might actually be a trick to get your money.
Remember, those amazing promises could end up costing you more than they’re worth. Imagine spending hours and hours just to get a small reward or a meal. Wouldn’t that time be better spent with your family or doing something you really enjoy?
And here’s the secret. If you’re really keen on a holiday membership, go straight to places that you know are trustworthy. It might seem easier to get lured in by flashy promises, but taking your time and checking out the real deal can save you a lot of headaches later on.
In the end, being a bit cautious and doing your homework can be your best shield. Your hard-earned cash deserves to be kept safe. So don’t let anyone sweet-talk you into something that might not be worth it in the end.
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