Have you ever been sucked in by a marketing gimmick?

  1. Just got one of those "Congratulations, you have won a trip to Florida, please call me back before 8 pm...." blah blah blah

    Only to find out you have to attend some seminar on time shares. I may even consider getting the free trip, but I have absolutely NO intention of buying a time share, and my time is that valuable to me, if I am going to be on a vacation, I am going to do it on my itinerary, which may include a nap at the time of the seminar! LOL! Or a dip in the pool, or whatever...

    So, just wondering, any one else get these kinds of calls? I have to be careful to keep hubby from hearing the messages, he falls for that stuff. When we got married he ordered a new TV with the $200 off coupon enclosed in some flyer if he bought magazines, he could use this coupon. I said you did WHAT???!!! Showed himn our local Circuit City store circular with same TV for exactly what he apid for it, after the $200 off coupon. He got the picture, and now permits me the destrot all similar mailings before he sees them!

    Of course I only knew that before him b/c I learned it the hard way!

    So have you ever been conned? What is the worst con/scam/gimmick you have ever heard of, or been victim to??
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  2. 45 Comments

  3. by   Stargazer
    I fell for the "free 3 day vacation in Reno/Vegas/San Francisco" thing when I was in my early 20s--of course I had to go and sit through a 3-hour high-pressure salespitch to join a "discount travel club" first--never did that again.

    Lately I have been getting the calls that say, "Well, unfortunately you didn't win the car in the sweepstakes you entered--but you have won 2nd prize..." which is--you guessed it--a 3-day trip to Reno or Vegas or San Francisco. I don't THINK so. Besides, what those lying sacks o' crap don't know is that I haven't entered a car sweepstakes in--oh, about 5 years or so?

    And anytime I get one of those postcards that tells me to call the following 1-800 number to collect my valuable prize, it goes straight in the garbage.

    One of the worse scams I saw was when some company was sending out envelopes that were carefully doctored to look like actual FedEx or USPS overnight letters and marked "urgent"---that one was geared towards senior citizens, as I recall. Dirtbags.
  4. by   NurseDennie
    I once bought Ginsu knives or something like that from an info-mercial.

    The rest of that stuff doesn't ever impress me. My friends went to Florida on their honeymoon for one of those seminars. Bought some swampland, too. Duhhhhhhh

    Of course, that was like 30 years ago, now.

    Love

    Dennie
  5. by   Sleepyeyes
    We let a vaccuum salesman give us a demo in exchange for a free Liter of Coke and a turkey.

    It took us 4 months to collect.

    Maybe it was because we let the guy in, and you know how it is once they get in there....and they ran on and on and ON
    and we just gave up trying to tell 'em we already owned one o' the dang things.
  6. by   bagladyrn
    Got taken in by the vacuum sales one time, tried to return it immediately, got stalled, got railroaded, finally got a name to return it after 2 weeks, and did so, certified. Then the company told me since it was past the legal 3 days for cancellation, I'd have to pay anyway. I said "No way", they said "we'll sue you", I said "Go for it", so they did!
    The end result was that I won the court case because a person in their office had signed the receipt accepting the certified shipment of the return, but a big hassle.
    DON'T EVER LET THE VACUUM PEOPLE IN YOUR DOOR!!!
  7. by   Swiftee
    I bought a $70 3 year magazine subscription about a year and a half ago. The guy at the door was in his 20's, really pushy and intimidating. Led me to believe I was buying a $20 subscription for 2 years. Magazine is Parenting, btw, which I think only costs about $10/yr. Never felt so stupid or abused by a stranger in all my life.

    There was also a pushy young man who would come to the door trying to sell stain cleaner. He would come in and clean a stain to try and sell you the stuff and then it was impossible to get him back out the door.

    I've had many, many, many kids selling stuff for various reasons, lot's of people hawking newpaper subcriptions, house cleaning, everything you can imagine. When the time came that I got 3 people at the door in 1 week, I finally put a "no solicitors" sign up in my window. Have only had 2 people ignore the sign this year.

    Got taken in by one of those seminar things too. It was a couple years ago in California. It was stupid. They didn't even have free food.

    Hubby still isn't mean enough to the people who ignore our window sign. Woe to the salesperson who meets me at the door instead of my husband.

    -swiftee
  8. by   hoolahan
    Hahahahaha, now I don;t feel so bad!!! LOL!!

    I bought a freaking Kirby vacuum that way, seemed so great at the time, isn't any brand new vacuum though?? He was supposed to clean out whole room with the shampooer thingy, but only did a small sample portion. WE were newlyweds, that's all I can say!

    In the last year I bought cutco knives for $500 from my friends son. I knew he was going to college, and just got a girl pregnant, so I knew he needed the cash, and I am really happy with them, but not $500 happy!! I am a sap for the sob story.

    I had a toothless pitiful soul come to the door in over-sized nice white shirt and dress pants, like he got them from salvation army, young told me hgow he is working to stay off the streets, blah blah blah.... = Linda is a sucker...again!! I ordered the freaking magazine, but only one! I never had time to read it, went rioght to the recycling can. I can hear the trees weeping. I think I also hear that guy laughing all the way to the bank. Do you think they make themselves appear this way?? To get sympathy? I am sure it could be a scam, but those teeth were pitifully real. I really wasn't sure how I could say this guy was for real or not. If he did that on purpose, all I can say that is one really slick marketing technique.

    I certainly don;t mind buying $1 candy from kids for soccer, but the magazines etc... that gets on my nerves.

    One scary thing that has happened in my town is the guys who come to the door as the water meter reader, or similar, and they have another man with them, the first one explains there has been a problem with the sewage system, while they are distracting, the usually elderly resident at the front door, their partner is inside "checking the pipes" or may be sneaking around to the back door, and robbing them of jewlery, cash or whatever else they can grab and run with.

    Has anyone had the driveway sealing guys come knocking too? WE do get that done every few years, it doesn keep the driveway nice, but these guys are like gypsys, not in the phone book, just copme around like ESP. I worry about them, since they would be near the back door, I make sure the other doors are locked. They are shady characters, but do nice work.??? Go figure.
  9. by   live4today
    Hoolihan.....Hubby and I used to get those types of marketing calls until we added a feature on our phone that blocks all marketing calls, and won't put through any calls that don't show their number to us, etc. Now, our phone is quiet as a mouse....except for our kids calling. :kiss

    My ex and I agreed to go on one of those florida vacations. All we had to do was agree to sit through the seminar, and the rest of the three night/four day vacation was ours. The only thing was the ex bought into their scheme, and ended up with swamp land as property. At the time of the divorce, I did not want anything to do with it. He wasted his money big time.

    My current hubby and I will never ever do anything that stupid........but,we sure wouldn't mind spending a few days and nights FREE in sunny florida just for the vacation.
  10. by   Robin61970
    I did watch the infomercials on ginsu knives.....the ones that would cut wood and still cut tomatoes.....didn't believe it, but I was in Wal-mart the other day and they had a live demonstration.....it really worked well....I did buy a set of knives......lifetime guarantee...21.00....we'll see....
  11. by   Nurse Ratched
    I absolutely HATE that gig where the young person comes to the door and gives you a hard luck story about how they're trying to escape their impoverished, juvenile deliquent childhood by earning money for college by collecting points. All you have to do is buy magazines (that naturally only have points, not prices, next to them.) Essentially implies that you are the only thing standing between him and a return to his errant adolescent drug dealing. I always point out the "no soliciting" sign at the beginning of the apartment complex. In the past, when some guy drops off a bunch of these kids to blanket a complex, I've been known to impersonate the office manager when they knock on my door lol.

    They always like to ask questions about your first job to build a rapport. When I'm feeling especially evil I want to tell them that I was wiping bottoms at the age of 16 for 3.35 an hour and that the nursing home down the street is hiring.

    I have a friend who did the vacation thing that turned into the time share deal and he just kept saying "no" during the sales pitch. It's amazing how powerful that is .

    Personally, my weak spot is infomercials for cooking gadgets lol.
  12. by   hoolahan
    THat is IT Rached!! So you had them there too? Now I am sure it is a scam. Yes! THat was exactly how he made me feel too! They are slick!!!

    Gotta run, going to walmartearly to buy a NO SOLICITING Sign for the door.

    I don't live in an apartment complex, who can I impersonate? A member of the BBB? That is great though!
  13. by   sunnygirl272
  14. by   Rustyhammer
    We won a free trip to Cripple Creek Colorado and all we had to do was go look at some land.
    Received a 2 night stay in a nice hotel and $80 in gambling tokens.
    Had a good time for the weekend and didn't buy any land.

    Another time we looked at a time share. I tend to ask a lot of questions like I'm interested. (I always wondered how those time share things worked) but at the end we just said no and got a free trip to California. It was a wonderful trip especially since it was the first time without kids in 12 years.
    -Russell

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