Tenerife Timeshare Scams - A Warning
Beware of the Scratch-Card touts.
Every year millions of us save our hard-earned cash and look forward to reaxing in the sun for a week or two. You've worked hard for this holiday and you deserve it.The last thing you want is to be pestered by some guy who is trying to make a living - or should that be a killing - out of your good nature and vulnerability. But because of your common decency you dont like being rude, so when the guy aproaches, you stop and listen to what he has to say.
This is a typical senario. A friendly young guy (or girl) targets a couple who look like they might be carrying their credit card with them. He won't normally bother you if you look like you're having a day on the beach, because who carries valuables on the beach? He or she will approach you and ask you if you're having a good time, how long have you been there - all the usual stuff- then they will give you two scratch cards. That's right, he will give them to you, saying something along the lines of 'Try your luck, you never know, you might win the 'star prize'.' Well of course being polite, you would naturally say 'Thank you', take the cards and walk away. But while you are busy scratching your card, he's right behind you. One of the cards is a no-win, however when you scratch the other one you see that lo and behold, you won the star prize! The guy jumps up and down and tells you how lucky you are. But to claim your prize you have to go with him in a taxi to pick it up. By this time you're wondering what's the catch? The cards didn't cost you anything, why would someone just give you something for nothing? Well that's just it. the catch is, you have to sit through a small promotional, no obligation presentation, which will only take roughly an hour to an hour and a half, and hey, What's a couple hours out of your holiday when you stand to get another one for nothing?
But beware.These guys are professionals. They don't get a set wage, they work on commission only, so they need to get you in that taxi however they can. Now here's where you have to be really clever. If you're a really strong minded person and you are able to say No then by all means go with him in the taxi. The very least you're going to get is two hundred ciggies and a bottle of Vodka, or whatever spirit you like. and there's still the holiday that you could get if you sit through the presentation. But the minute you get there you're at the mercy of the timeshare rep, and If you thought the scratch-card guy was pushy, you aint seen nothing yet!
Once you're in the sales deck -which is usually plush and air-conditioned, you'll be given refreshments and a nice homely chap will approach you and shake your hand and utter a few sickly sweet words to your kids- if you have them. He will start with what they term as the 'warm up', the getting to know you bit, where he'll go all out to make you regard him as your friendly guy next door. Before you know what's happening, half an hour has passed. He asks you loads of leading questions in a way that prompts you to talk - no yes or no answers- He is drawing you in, making you do the talking to put you at ease. He is clever. He knows you are wary, and he has to break down the barrier.
All this time you've been telling him about your previous holidays, where you like to go, for how long, how many times a year and where and if you could afford it, would be your dream destination? You've also by this time, told him what you do for a living, giving him an indication as to how much your salary is likely to be. Bingo! He's got all the information he needs.
Next comes phase two. This is the bit where he tells you all about this wonderful company and the concept behind it. If you ask him if it's timeshare he will say no because technically it isn't. Before you know it he's whisking you off to a computer to show you all the fabulous places you could go for a 'small investment'. - another word they avoid is 'cost'. He will then show you how it all works on paper, and using the information you unwittingly supplied will demonstrate how much better off you would be if you invested into this scheme. Oh, it all looks so legitimate and straightforward, and somewhere in the back of your mind you're wondering if maybe it's a good idea after all. It's very tempting, after all, you do go away every year, and you would like to go to the Caribbean, and he's explained all about this marvellous 'cashback' scheme where after five years you get all your money back. STOP!! He's a salesman. If he's got you thinking along these lines he's doing his job really well and you need to pull yourself up and remember that this is all a big fat con. He may be telling you that you can have two weeks in the Maldives, when in actual fact, all you would probably get for your hard-earned cash is a week in Majorca in November.
Phase three is the bit where he takes you and shows you round a beautiful luxury holiday suite that probably has a jaccuzi, and a rooftop pool overlooking the mountains. 'Wow', you think. It looks perfect. This is what holiday apartments should be like, and you compare it with the three star cockroach infested pit you paid mega bucks for. Well he wouldn't be able to sell you anything if he showed you round something like that would he? What he doesn't tell you is that the apartment he's showing you has got nothing to do with the 'Vacation Club he's selling. It belongs to the Hotel round the corner and they rent it from them. He will come out with phrases like 'You could be spending your next holiday in an apartment like this one' The two key words in this sentence are could and like. I can't stress enough how clever these guys are with words.
By now, you're practically foaming at the mouth. Can all this be real? STOP!! No it's not real.He's just doing his job really well. Just keep telling yourself that. He is not your friend, you've known the guy for little more than an hour and he's pulling out all the stops to make a sale. They have little -if any - regard for the people who hand over their cash at the end of it. You are just the 'ups' as you are known in the trade. Behind your backs they regard you as Mr.& Mrs. Halfwit, and they laugh at the gullibility of the people who are making them very rich.
Phase four is the going in for the kill. You are once again taken into the sales deck where you'll be given more refreshments- and sandwiches - because by now the kids are bored and want to go to the beach. You're beginning to get a bit fed up and the sickly sweet demeanour of the rep is getting on your nerves. This is the point where you have to stick to your guns and remember how to use the words 'No' and 'Not interested' and you'll see Mr Sickly-Sweet turn on all his charm and start going over your earlier conversation. He'll use phrases like 'but you said' and 'didn't we agree'. Before you know where you are he's spinning a web around you and pushing a contract under your nose. He'll say things like 'If you sign up today, we'll give you a generous discount, but the offer only stands if you do it today. It's no good you saying I need time to think about it-they don't want you to go away and think about it because they know the spell will be broken.
But wait. Who's this approaching your table? Another Mr Sickly-Sweet? Nope. Here comes the artillery in the form his manager Mr Persuasive, who's been watching through a two way mirror at the far end of the sales deck. One nod from Sickly-Sweet and he's over like a shot. These guys are experts in reading body language, and he's seen that Sickly-Sweet is struggling to close the deal. He will try every trick in the book to make you sign that contract and hand over your credit card. This is where you just have to stand up and say 'No thanks. Give me my prize and my taxi.'
The moral of the story is this. If you get approached by one of these guys, you have a choice. you can completely ignore him, for which you'll probably get an earful of abuse - but who cares?- or you can go to the presentation for the free gifts. Just be warned that when you are in their clutches you are at their mercy. They are professionals and don't let go easily. Providing you can say 'No' at the end of it, you'll get your gifts. Ciggies and booze are cheap enough to buy anyway but if you go it could cost you a heck of a lot more. If you do get hoodwinked into signing up you won't get what they've promised you and you certainly won't get your money back, no matter how hard you try. Just type DWVC scam into google. You'll see what I mean. Don't let these rip-off guys spoil your holiday.