Yadda! Yadda! Yadda! Sales Pitch
Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
101Trip End Ongoing
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We are now are Koh Samui, and have found a cute little bunglow near the shore. We are amazed at how westernized the island has become compared to the rest of the islands we havae been on. We rented a motorbike today, and only got up our beach and onto a second one, and we probably 3 McDonald's, a Burger King, and countless 7-11s. It is almost too busy here for our liking, and we are planning on departing for Koh Pan Ngan tomorrow for sure.
On our motorbike mini tour today, we drove past a bowling alley and thought to ourselves, "Selves, we should really take in a game or two", being as we were unable to be present for the annual famous 'Pikkert Christmas Bowling Competition'. Well, we got to play 3 games of ten pin bowling
In the end, we think that our scores would give Corinne and Jamie a run for their money, and that they should not etch their name in the Pikkert trophy quite yet.
After the amzing demonstration of our bowlling skills, we decided to walk along the boardwalk and do a little window shopping. Out of no where a motorbike pulls up beside us, with two people on it, the driver a Thai man, and behind him an English man. The English man jumped off the bike, shook our hands and continued to chat with us for a minute. It all happened fairly quickly, and after the small talk, he knew our first names, our ages, that we were teachers and that we like holidays
2) Digital Camera
3) Dream Vacation
4) $1000 US
5) Video Recorder
He told us that we were GUARUNTEED to leave today with one of those prizes, all we had to do, was go to the office, sit through a 90 minute presentation, about their timeshare...only better, and then leave with our prize. We were extremely leary about this, as red falgs were flying all over the place in our heads, but he hailed a cab, pointed down the street, and assured us that we were only going about a block. We told him we would walk, but he promised the cab was free and that we had to go with him so that he would get paid for bringing us there. He shook our hands, took off his sunglasses to "look us in the eyes" and promised it was legit
1) "Now you need to make sure you tell them you are over 30"
No problem there, Trevor is over 30.
2) "Now make sure that when they ask you how long your holiday is, that you tell them only 5 weeks, it can't be longer than that."
Problem, our holiday is 8 months. In response to this, he says,
"No problem, you TELL them it is only 5 weeks". He had this all planned out already as he looked at our skin, noticing the dark tans he added, "You'll need to tell them you just got here yesterday, and that your tans are from a bit north of here because it has been too cloudy here for you to be that dark - but don't worry, they will only ask you once".
3) "Make sure you tell them you are currently under full-time employment."
Problem, we are NOT currently under full-time employment, we are on a year leave
In response to this, he says,
"No problem, just tell them that you are on Christmas Holidays and took an extra week or two before you head back to your jobs."
6) "OK, Your average price for accommodations must be over 1000 baht."
Problem, our average price for accommodation is barely over 200 baht.
In response to this he says,
"No problem, you just tell them you ar on a package tour and you have no idea the exact price of your accommodations, if they want an approximate, tell them 1500 baht. They will only ask you once."
5) "When they ask if you would stay for a 90 minute presentation, make sure you say 'yes' or you will not get your prize."
No problem, we can afford 90 minutes of our time if it means we get a laptop or $1000 US
Upon hearing all of this we were ready to leave and continue on our window shopping afternoon, but seeing the skepticism in our eyes, he once again, magically convinced us to check it out assuring us that there was absolutely no obligation to purchase anything whatsosever, we only had to listen to the presentation and we would leave with one of our wonderful STAR prizes that same day.
So we get to this office building where the promotions are done, and give our cards to the receptionist who then escorted us to a lovely litttle room and filled out a questionnaire with us. (Basically with all the questions we had been 'coached' on already). We seemed to have passed this part of the test, and are passed on to a specialist in giving the promotion for 90 minutes.
Please take note that it is 1:30pm.
We sat at our table with a very nice man from England who continued to share stories with us about motorbiking, drinking, and hanging out with buddies.
Please take note that it is now 2:30pm.
Out comes another 'questionnaire' sheet to ensure we are elegible for this promotion. The same questions are basically asked, and many more stories are told to us while being asked if we would like tea, pop or water or something.
Please take note that it is now 3:30pm.
Finally the promotion seems to begin, as he reaches for a booklet of white paper to write on and pamplets in his briefcase. Not a word of price gets mentioned here, of course, but rather the FULL detailed description of what the company has to offer people who enjoy holidays. We heard about how beautiful their 5-Star, Golden Crown Resorts were, saw pcitures of them, were told what kinds of packages they provided, were told how many resorts they had across the world...and much much more, with multiple breaks to tell us more little stories that, to be quite honest, we didn't give a poo about.
Please take note that it is now 4:30pm.
At this point, I am ready to ask him to tell us the price or leave, but don't really know how to do so politely. In the back of our heads, we knew we were only there for the prizes and were just waiting for him to wrap up so that we could collect them and go. His boss walked by a couple of times and put in his 2 tid-bits about what a great choice this would be for us, and another worker came up to the man talking to us to show him a magazine open to a page with a picture of a beautiful golf course on it - (after he heard Trevor was an avid golfer) at this point the two men continued to chat "amongst themselves", about what a great course it was, and how lovely it was that one of their resorts was overlooking it
Please take note that it is now 5:00pm.
We are now shuffled over to a computer to take a look at some the videos and pictures of some of their resorts as well as to look at a model of the resort on Ko Samui. We are so tired of being there by now, that we arne't even listening anymore, and we haven't heard a single price so far.
Please take note that it is now 5:20pm.
We shuffle back to our original table and go through the spiel of just how much money we would spend on a vacation in the next 10 years. Well, it seems that, according this company, we would spend far, far too much, and could never get that money back that we have spent! GASP! Why, people apparently spend so much on holidays, that it is a wonder how anyone ever holidays at all!!!!!!! GASP! We were then asked to scratch the final little square on my card to reveal which of the STAR prizes we won.
Anyways, this went on for a while explaining on paper, with many, many numbers scribbled confusingly all over the page, when finally their membership price was revealed only to look most appealing compared to the ones that have been drilled into our heads for the duration of this "90 min" session.
The price...in Canadian dollars...is...a mere...$11 080 for a membership. At this point, another man who works there has joined our table with a calculator, and is asking us if it would be feasable for us to pay the deposit today. To be honest with you, after being brainwashed, or maybe braindead, for as long as we were, this deal looked mighty appealing to us, as we've been told for how many hours now that it means free holidays for the rest of our lives. We did not feel comfortable committing to anything right then and there knowing full well, that is what they count on, so that you're caught then, and can't leave to 'think' about it. We asked probably 5-6 times if we could leave and come back that same day or come back in the morning. We never got a straight answer, rather we got a change of subject, asking if this was a possibility, or if we like holidays, or if we like saving money, yadda yadda yadda
"I don't want to be rude, but to be completely honest with you, we are NOT going to pay anything today because we have way too much information in our heads, but we will think about it tonight, and will come back tomorrow". Again the subject was kind of changed and we weren't free to go. I then said, "Look, it doesn't matter if we sign up now, or if we sign up tomorrow, but I promise you, we are NOT signing up now, we need to leave. I'm sure you will accept our money tomorrow as well." We figure they hear "we'll be back tomorrow often, never to see the couple again, but we assured them, we would come back in the morning whether we were interested or not.
Please take note that it is now 5:40pm.
We stopped at the reception desk to pick up our prizes. revor got his T-Shirt, and the receptionist filled out a certificate for our "Dream Holiday". We now find out that it is for Koh Samui or Phuket, and are quite excited because Phuket is one of our next stops. But we soon find out that we cannot use the prize for 45 days and it expires in 18 months. Very unlikely that we will get to use it AND it is not the entire holiday, it is a free 7-day accommodation at one of their 5-Star Golden Crown Resorts, we would still have to buy a ticket to Thailand, pay for food, drinks, and everything else...
So we leave this place tired, grumpy, and without the elaborate prize that we thought we had won. Who knows, maybe we will find a cheap flight to Thailand in the next 18 months, and will be able to take them up on it anyways. Whatever. I guess a true optimist would look at this experience and say they got over 4 hours of entertainment for free. (We're not that optimistic at this point).
Oh Well! No real harm done, just exhausted and brain-dead at this point.
Another life lesson!
Hugs and love,
Dana and Trevor!