I just won a free vacation is it too good to be true?
Posted 04 December 2009 - 09:50 AM
I went to a bridal expo a few weeks ago and today i got a call that i had won a prize. Apparently i won an all inclusive vacation but in order to get it i have to sit through a 90 minute preview presentation. the organization is National Health Styles see website below.
National Healthstyles Foundation
Since we "won" the drawing we are guranteed the prize, however i'm a bit skeptical of this since its seems "too good to be true" . Has anyone heard of this foundation? been to a preview or have any idea of its legit?
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Posted 04 December 2009 - 10:30 AM
Posted 04 December 2009 - 12:07 PM
Anyways, that's my rant... just had to get it off my chest. With that said I don't really know if it's legit! :-) Sorry
Posted 04 December 2009 - 04:22 PM
Posted 04 December 2009 - 05:50 PM
Ok, here's the deal with these things. Yes, you "won" a "free" vacation. Its kind of like Avon or Mary Kay or Pampered Chef - direct buy. Whay you've ACTUALLY received is a vacation voucher. If you go to the presentation, you will receive a voucher that you can redeem for a vacation somewhere.
You may have to sit through a high-pressure sales pitch for the tableware. However, my FI and I did go to one, and the guy was really casual - no pressure. But you might not be so lucky.
In order to redeem the voucher you have to send a booking deposit - I think its a hundred dollars or so? According to the voucher, this WILL be returned to you.
There are mostly likely blackout dates where you can't use the voucher. However, IMO this only makes sense - hotels aren't going to offer a free vacation to someone during dates when they can normally fill to capacity. Also, you have to validate the voucher within a time limit - it ranges from a year to two years. Once its validated, you have to actually USE the voucher within one to two years from the validation date.
You have to get to your destination yourself. Which still makes it a good deal - its a lot cheaper to only pay airfare to get somewhere - rather than airfare AND accomodations.
And finally - its not totally free. They don't cover the taxes or port fees, or whatever. However - they are still paying the bulk of the costs. Or so they say.
How/Why can companies do this??
Well, first off - even if they call every person who attended a bridal show, most of those brides are going to say no. Only a few are actually going to attend this thing. Of those few, only a few of those are actually going to redeem the voucher. So even if they give out 100 vouchers, maybe only 25 will be redeemed. Which, especially if people are actually BUYING the stuff they are selling (which is usually good quality stuff) they make a killing because the prices are not cheap. So they have "extra" cash they can spend on these vacations - because most people are going to scream SCAM and either not redeem the voucher or ignore the company completely.
So - is it too good to be true? Yes and no. If you take the company at its word, and expect everything to be completely free and conditionless, yes its too good to be true. However, it also could be an oppourtunity to save a couple bucks on hotel accomodations somewhere, if you are willing to take a risk on it.
My FI and I do have our vacation voucher - I think its for 3 nights at a hotel in 1 of 50 cities in the states and 6 in Canada? We plan on redeeming it - if its a scam, we'll be out $100 bucks. Lesson learned. If its not, we'll be able to go up and visit family without having to sleep on a couch somewhere for a heck of a lot cheaper than paying for it ourselves.
Oh, and I belive that its for mid-range hotels - Best Western or Travelodge chains. Its no Marriot or Sheraton, but no Motel 6 or roadside inn, either. I'll have to check the voucher details for more information.
When we do redeem it - I'll probably post something saying if it worked or not. But make your own informed decision - yes, there are a LOT of scams out there - but some of these things are actually legit. You take your chances.
Sorry for the long post - hope it helps.
Posted 04 December 2009 - 05:55 PM
We had the option of choosing Viva Wyndam Resorts rather than the basic hotel package - but I think there are a lot more additional fees associated with the Carribean packages than the basic hotel packages in Canada & the states.
Nothing in life is free - it always surprises me that people still expect it to be.
Posted 04 December 2009 - 08:49 PM
It was pretty high pressure but we just laughed and said ya right - we had just graduated university at the time, so there was NO way in hell we could've afforded it!
But hey, we got a free lunch, a tour of the city and got to see Shaq's house!! hehe
Posted 05 February 2010 - 02:50 AM
They give you a voucher for "$1000 dollars in gift certificates" It is actually about a thousand dollars worth of coupons. Which you have to pay 10% up front to the company to get. Then they try to say that you will get $300 dollars worth of merchandise gift cards. WRONG - it is another scam. You have to send in money yet again to get discounts on merchandise. It is an online coupon program.
The worst of all is the vacation certificate. It really isn't worth the time and effort. You pay 10 dollars plus taxes and fees. Thos run about $40-$50 dollars a night per person. If you figure that most Hotels room rates include fees but not taxes. In the mid range, for a $100 dollar room, you save $40 a night (taxes are around $7 to $10 a night so $40 - $10 = $30 dollars of savings per person). Total, for a US stay of 2 nights, of $80 dollars. Now is that really worth 2 peoples time for 2 hours roughly works out to $20 dollars per hour per person. I get paid $29 dollars an hour, salary, at work. That is less than I get paid to work. Also don't forget the inital outlay of money.
They offer the all inclusive vacations because most, if not all, people that they bring to these seminars are planning their weddings and do not make alot of money. Or they are spending all their money on their wedding. They cannot take advantage of an all inclusive 3day/4night package outside of the country because they have to pay for their weddings and are low on cash. Or they are going for a longer honeymoon than 3 nights and will have to pay for the extra nights on their own. That is also after they sign for $2000.00 to $3000.00 dollars worth of cooking implements, china and stemware at the seminar. They know that very few people are going to put out any money for a program that they are unsure of to get back a "travel voucher" with blackout dates that has to be used one year from issuance.
Not to mention, you have to still pay your airfare and the stated taxes and fees (from where we live to Puerto Vallarta, that is $800 for 2). Taxes and fees for 2 people per night ($50 x 2 x 3 = 300). This "Free Vacation" is going to cost around $1100 dollars for us to take with them, for me to book the same trip to an all inclusive in Puerto Vallarta is $1,282.54 on expedia. Plus I don't have to worry about my personal information being sold and I can take it whenver I choose. They save you a whopping 182.54 or $30.43 per night per person. They basically paid me my hourly wage to sit through a pots and pans seminar. No thanks.
This is a joke of a program. Like the another person said, if you have to pay money to get prizes you really have won nothing.
Also note that you send the vouchers to a Marketing Company (21 Century Marketing Concepts has the same address as National Health Styles Foundation). They will sell your name, and that money that they make from selling your personal information to other companies nets them more money. Their is no privacy clause listed on the vouchers.
Unless you are in the market for really expensive cookware, avoid going to these seminars. For a set of pans and pots you will pay from $2000 to $3000. The presenter was funny, but they are trying to cash in on young guillable couples and their families.
If you are planning a wedding, you should avoid these expenses. You have won nothing. The reward of at max $20-$30 dollars person and them selling your personal information. Versus coming out with basically money off your vacation and a $2000-$3000 debt, plus them selling your personal information is not worth it.
Somebody else post this on another site about National Healthstyles:
It is a marketing scam. It is not a "prize" if you have to PAY to get to go to their solicitation presentations. After you pay and go, your time is theirs to bombard you with intensive and pushy marketing presentations for you to obtain their services/goods. Many people come out with thousands of dollars worth debt for goods or services that they do not need just because you are trapped with a salesman that is telling that this is the way to "invest" in your household.
Be aware of trickery used on marketing scams that prey on naive couples that erroneously think that they have "won" something.
If you have to pay to go or to get your "gift", it is not a prize. If it is not free, then you have not won anything, do not be so gullible.
Posted 05 February 2010 - 03:32 AM
She said they kept throwing more and more into the time share package, where she and her husband were actually starting to consider it. Not to mention, they were serving them top shelf liquor the entire time. In the end, they stook to their guns and refused the offer, but they had the people trying to sell so hard that they could've really walked away with an awesome deal. Nonetheless, they still had a good deal on an impromptu vacation that only costs them an additional 90-minutes for the presentation.
Posted 05 February 2010 - 10:58 AM
Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:32 PM
ATTENTION ALL BRIDES!!!
AT WEDDING EXPO'S YOUR INFORMATION IS BEING GIVEN TO NATIONAL HEALTH STYLES, A COMPANY WHO CLAIMS TO HAVE BEEN IN BUSINESS FOR MULTIPLE YEARS WHO TELLS YOU UPON CALLING THAT YOU HAVE BEEN SELECTED FOR A FREE VACATION! THIS IS A SCAM!! THEY PRESSURE YOU TO BUY THEIR PRODUCT, LARGE, BULKY, USELESS COOKWARE THAT A SMALL OR PETITE WOMAN JUST CAN NOT MANAGE. AFTERWARDS IF YOU DO NOT BUY THEIR PRODUCT THE GENTLEMAN DOING THE SHOW BECOMES RUDE AND SHORT. YOU DO RECIEVE A VOUCHER FOR A VACATION WHICH CAN NOT BE USED OVER A WEEKEND OR DURING ANY KNOWN HOLIDAY OR BREAK PERIOD AND A CUPON CARD IN THE MAIL (AFTER PAYING SHIPPING AND HANDELING) WHICH THEN YOU MUST USE FOR MORE SCAMS ON THE INTERNET. THE COST TO USE THE VOUCHERS IS GREATER THAN THE COST TO A NORMAL CONSUMER WHO COULD HAVE PURCHASED THE THREE DAY "VACATION" ON THEIR OWN OR PURCHASING A SUNDAY PAPER AND CLIPPING THE COUPONS FOR A BUCK. MY FIANCE AND I HAVE BEEN CALLED LIAR'S, INSULTED AND THREATNED BY THIS COMPANY. WE ARE NOW EXPERIENCING DAMAGE TO OUR CREDIT AND EMOTIONAL TURMOIL IN OUR RELATIONSHIP. THEY ARE TAKING ADVANTAGE OF BRIDES AND MOM'S TO BE!!! THE NEED TO BE STOPPED. PLEASE BEWARE!!!
Posted 28 January 2011 - 05:24 AM
yea, I really wish I would have read all of this stuff before I went and bought the stupid pots and pans which haven't even come yet..
Posted 14 April 2011 - 06:58 PM
I was contacted and told that i was invtied to a cooking show. They didnt say i won anything they just said that i would recieve a promotional gift package as part of an advertising promotion for attending the 90 min preview that included a cooking show. - ARG
Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:21 AM
It is FAKE..you have to pay upfront and you have to buy things! I will never attend another one of their shows. It is a waste of time!
Posted 23 February 2012 - 02:26 AM
It is FAKE..you have to pay upfront and you have to buy things! I will never attend another one of their shows. It is a waste of time!
Posted 12 June 2012 - 06:21 PM
This place is a joke. We actually put money down and the rest was to be financed. When their financing terms were absurd we asked for a refund. We have made over 20 phone calls, even sent certified letters, contaced the BBB, and am now looking at taking them to small claims. They were rude, gave us the run around, lied to us (told us a couple times they were sending our check), and even one guy tried to tell us with all the work they have done they feel they should have to be paid for it. Don't fall for this place...We are gonna do whatever we can do get our money back and let others know what kind of people you are dealing with!
Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:18 AM
I think maybe some people get the wrong idea because it is sales, so it's all about getting you in the door. I was called, and informed, that I had won a raffle. At first I thought this to be true, because I had entered a couple of raffles with bridal registries, but all I had read was the first place prize which was >.> wedding paid for so I didn't even know what second or third place winners would get. When I later heard "Bridal expo" I knew I had not gone to one. On the phone they were very nice and cordial, though (with my 8 years sales and marketing experience) I picked up on the "sales" pitch right away. You know the "You don't have to buy anything.". They did tell us, we'd have to pay airfare, and taxes. Okay that I expect. Even with "Buy one, get one." deals at the grocery, you're paying taxes on the "free" one. I won the original Ipad from an Apple store when they first came out. Yeah I had to pay about 40$ in taxes, plus I had to buy the charger for it, and the carry case, and some screen protectors. So all in all I had to pay around $120 for my "free Ipad". Even my economics teacher in college stated "There is no such thing as free, someone somewhere is passing the cost along. You're just paying for it in a different way." And yes, they did say the taxes was around 39$ a day, but still that makes sense. Wyndham hotel resorts aren't the cheapest out there, plus they're covering all your food expenses. Those taxes add up. As for the blackout dates, they were upfront with us on that too. Which makes sense when it's a promotional deal. Even places like Orlando theme parks do this. They give Residents kick butt deals, like "Pay for a day and go all year on the FunPass." but blackout dates are all over the place. And you have to pay for your parking, and any other "extras" the park comes with. As for the pots and pans. Yes, they are expensive. They're the "waterless pans" which is the new thing out there. My mom's seen them in the DirectBuy catalog and even through them you're still talking $1200-$1800 for a 10pc set. This company is much like Cutco Cutlery, which many people scream is a scam. But I have worked for them and my family and I own their knife set. They're well worth the money. We love these knives so much. Dealing with the warranty can be tricky and a hassle sometimes, and of course every now and then you get that one knife that doesn't live up to it's promise and you have to send it in. Our problem knife came in my moms tableware set. One little stake knife was so annoying.We've had these knives for about 6 years now, and frankly I've replaced more knives in the 3 years of living on my own, before I got these knives, than I would care to think about. As for the voucher, it's 1year after you redeem it, so that's pretty nice. Most promotions are very selective about when you can redeem the prizes. Now I'll have to wait and see about my pots and pans coming in the mail, because we did buy them. So I can't say yay or nay to the claims of people not getting the items and such. Also, China isn't cheap, nor is fine crystal (which we didn't get the crystal, cause we already own a set). So if it all comes like it's suppose to then I can say I will most likely be happy. Even though we did pay about $3,000 after taxes and shipping and all that. Following prices outside of this company DirectBuy pots n pans $1800 for 10pc ( I went on the high end because we got the 18pc) $530 (online at NoritakeChina.com) for the china set we got, and we got the electric skillet instead of the flatware and stemware, which is found online for around $250 (google shopping) which adds up to $2580 and after you factor in $180 taxes (at FL .07%) you're talking $2760, then factor in shipping and handling and warranty for such a expensive order. Yeah, $3000.00 is about right. Basically, it's about breaking it down and doing your research not only on what others "say" about the companies, but also about the items the company is selling. Regardless of their promotional packages, the fact that someone can get these items on a payment plan instead of shelling out money upfront is a big saving factor for lower income families who are looking to own good quality items. I mean, I'm not my mom. I can't afford a huge DirectBuy membership fee (It was like $3,000 for both my parents to sign up for the membership). Now the "financing option" I find questionable, mainly because while ease dropping onto a couple worried about not being approved because of their credit, I heard the guy say "Even if denied, you can still make the monthly installments." which makes since because Cutco Cutlery, did "installments" but they didn't do "financing" I honestly think the "financing" option is more so they can collect your information in a more detailed manner so you can't skip out payments on them.
Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:46 AM
That is a very good news, I want to have a free vacation too! If you have ever dealt with a trip that did not work out, you know it will cost you an enormous budget. Those who have been traveling with Carnival lately know just that. Vacations are pretty risky if you consider a million things can go wrong with your flight, hotel, car and more.
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