Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Prize I "Won"

I got a call today from a weird number I didn't recognize. I usually don't answer those at all, but I went to the chamber yesterday and left my number for hotels to call me so I could block rooms for the wedding.

I answered.

"Is this Lisa?" the voice asked.

"Yes, it is, hi," I said.

And then he went into a long speech about how I won a prize with a $700 value, which was an all-inclusive trip to numerous destinations (which he didn't name) unless I didn't like flying, in which I then won a domestic non-all-inclusive trip that I could get to in only one to two tanks of gas and all I had to do was sit through one ninety minute presentation this Saturday to claim my prize.

Pause to end his run on sentence.

"Are you excited?" he asked.

"Well, no," I said. "See, this prize doesn't sound familiar and your name doesn't sound familiar and I don't remember signing up for any sort of prize that is similar to this."

"Oh you did," he assured me. "You signed up at the door of a bridal expo you attended on July 30. I'm just getting to pick the winners now. So are you excited?"

"No," I said. "See, I was at the airport on July 30. I wasn't at an expo."

Truth be told, I haven't been to an expo since March.

"Someone must have signed up with your information," he said, his enthusiasm never wavering. "But that's okay because you won."

"Listen," I said, "I didn't sign up. No one I know would have gone to an expo as me without telling me. So, I'm going to pass. Thanks."

"Are you sure?" he said, launching into another run on sentence about how this prize was so great.

"Yes," I said. "I'm sure."

I bring this up because this is not the first time my information has been sold (there is a particular and very popular dress company that has assured me it does, in fact, sell your information to partners it thinks you would be interested in -- but never asked what my interests are. Since a cruise is a honeymoon idea, the store sold my info to a cruise line, unaware of the fact that my greatest fear is boats and open water). And there's a good chance that your information will be sold along the way as well. I just want you to be aware of this and be ready to hang up the phone in case you win a "prize."

Really, this prize is a scam. You often have to pay something (initial travel costs, for sure) and you have to sit through a presentation (a time share, kitchen equipment, etc.). Your fiance must attend with you. And then you get a gift at the end (a trip that you still have to pay a part of, rings, or kitchenware is the most common "prizes"). Everyone "wins" this raffle -- which is often entered because you put your name on a form when you walked into a bridal expo. This scam has been around for a long time, so be ready for the call.

BRIDAL BABBLE: How do you usually get a spammer off the phone?

12 comments:

  1. When I was engaged I received a similar type call saying I had won a trip and had to attend an event/spill to claim it. I asked how my name was selected and same story about an expo (I never went to an expo). I went to the presentation anyway (it was pots and pans) and then realized I had to pay $15 shipping to receive my vacation and the "gift card" I had one was a discount card worth $x amount in discounts at certain places. Total waste of time and I'm glad you are making other brides aware of this!

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  2. I just say "no" many, many times N let the babbler babble N I just say "I'm going to hang up now."

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  3. I just say, I appreciate your time but I'm not interested. Then I hang up. I feel bad because they are people too but I'm not going to pander to their scheme.

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  4. THAT type of win is so annoying!

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  5. I usually don't answer my phone if I don't recognize the number, but if I do, I stop them as quickly as possible and say No, Im not interested, and also, make sure to ask them to please take you off their list, then they legally are not allowed to call you again. Then goodbye.

    Aria H.

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  6. I just hang up on them even if they're in the middle of their speech. May be rude but I don't care. lol

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  7. I just hang up on them, even if they are in mid scentence. This may be rude but I don't care. lol

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  8. Jessica WhitehouseAugust 13, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    "Place my phone number on your DO NOT CALL list." Note the time, date of call, and company name. If they continue to call, state clearly "If you call again, I will file a harassment complaint against your company with my lawyer, the FCC, and/or your local law enforcement." I've found that by the time the words "harassment complaint" come out of my mouth, they are suddenly in a real hurry NOT to talk to me.

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  9. Didn't think of it until after I signed up, but I'm expecting to get calls/spam from David's Bridal and other related vendors. Haven't gotten any calls yet...but who knows :(

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  10. If this happens during my bridal journey - I am going to put my phone on speakerphone and tell the twins who are two that it is Santa Clause. Problem Solved. I'm sure they will not call back!!

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  11. I go to every expo down here, and I havr received calls from 3 different companies like that. I "won" a honeymoon with each one... each one does the "doesn't that sound exciting?!" And tells me that all I have to do is sit through a presentation. One even harassed me by continuing to call me once a day for 3 weeks (after I already told them no.. and most of the time they called while I was sleeping or in school). Then I finally told them that if they call me one more time that I would be reporting them to the authorities for harassment. That's when they finally stopped. They're so annoying. They shouldn't be allowed to do stuff like that. Our lives are stressful enough.

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  12. How ridiculous. I get calls like that ever once in a while. It always kills me when people call and are like "you won a prize, now let me get your credit card number..." Yeah, I wasn't born yesterday. :D

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