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I just won a free vacation is it too good to be true?

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#1 DreamingofSunshine

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    Posted 04 December 2009 - 01:50 AM

    Hi Everyone,

    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!


    #2 DreamingofSunshine

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      Posted 04 December 2009 - 02:30 AM

      Ummm i realized that i meant to say WON not one.... WOW... BRAIN FART

      #3 JaimeandBrandon

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        Posted 04 December 2009 - 04:07 AM

        I got a call from them after a Bridal Expo and they told me the same thing!! Right off the bat I told them I wasn't interested and asked them how they got my information... they said I signed up to win at the Bridal Expo which is not true... I NEVER sign up for that stuff. It really upsets me that the Bridal Expo people gave my information to sooooo many companies. I received at least three phone calls a week from different vendors after the Bridal Expo and I'm still receiving emails everyday.

        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

        #4 kpuckrin

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          Posted 04 December 2009 - 08:22 AM

          It's probably a safe bet that probably everyone who went to the bridal expo is receiving the same call, announcing them as the "lucky winner". Something similar happened to myself and a bunch of my friends at a Dragonboat festival.

          #5 bholthof

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            Posted 04 December 2009 - 09:50 AM

            hey ladies,

            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.

            The catch(es):

            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.
            21 people + Bride & Groom booked!!


            #6 bholthof

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              Posted 04 December 2009 - 09:55 AM

              I also want to add that the people who jump at "free" and don't expect additional fees are the ones who complain. If you go into it recognizing the limitations, and knowing the potential risks, I'm sure its a legit deal.

              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.
              21 people + Bride & Groom booked!!


              #7 amygirl1169

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                Posted 04 December 2009 - 12:49 PM

                I went to one of these presentations while at our 'free' timeshare in Ft. Lauderdale. It was no big deal, we were 3 young girls that they were trying to sell a condo to.

                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

                #8 Roberts and Wendy

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                  Posted 04 February 2010 - 06:50 PM

                  This is sort of a scam. Basically this is a big, less reputable, tupperware party. The presentation that we went to was supposed to be 90 minutes, it was around 2 1/2 hours.

                  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.

                  Good luck

                  #9 Emmers

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                  • 178 posts

                    Posted 04 February 2010 - 07:32 PM

                    My sister went on vacation last spring with her husband and as part of the "great deal" they paid for the vacation package, they also sat through a 90-minute presentation about buying a timeshare. Sure it took up some of their vacation time, but she said if you can be firm that you are not interested, you actually can have some fun with it.

                    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.

                    #10 carolina24

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                      Posted 05 February 2010 - 02:58 AM

                      we went to a bridal expo last year and "won" three vacations...2 AI and 1 cruise. they wanted us to sit through timeshare stuff, and some marketing strategy/consumer testing thing...NO THANKS!! most of the time once you sit through all the crap you still have to pay SOMETHING...port fees, taxes, booking fees, blah, blah, blah! I would stay away

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