I received an unexpected call this afternoon from a certain Ms. Michelle Chavez that I had been a lucky pick from over 1000 registrants who won a 4 day /3 night hotel accommodations for 4 people (2 adults and 2 children) at the Crown Regency Hotel with my choice of either their Cebu or Davao hotel.
At first I was surprised cause I don't recall joining any contest. When it was explained to me that I was one of 50 lucky draws from over 1,000 registrants during the PALMM expo at the World Trade Center late last year, it kinda made sense. However, I was still skeptical with the whole thing, knowing that it may all be a scam.
Here are some details given to me which makes me skeptical about the prize:
- She said there are no obligations, financially that is... However, winners need to watch a 1 1/2 video showcasing the hotel and its amenities, services and highlights.
- After saying that the hotel accommodations are free, there is a P3,000. booking fee though which should be placed 1-2 weeks before using the prize.
- Claiming of the prize is anywhere between 6-8pm at Room 1902 Centerpoint Bldg. I checked the hotel's official website, and this is not their Manila address.
- When I asked for the hotel's website from the person I was speaking with, she told me that she can't divulge any info about it and just told me to search for it on the net.
- I searched for her name "Michelle Chavez" on the net and it's a generic name, also a name of an actress.
Because of my skeptisim, I've asked my friendly friend Aileen to accompany me to the presentation. As much as it's an exciting prize to actually win, I'm still not 100% convinced it's totally legit. I really do hope it's legit.______________________
Just got back from picking up the prize. And my suspicions were correct. Upon entering the building lobby, I immediately looked at the tenant directory and Room 1902 was unlisted. Strange. I then asked front desk what company occupies Room 1902. The guard said "Crown Regency". So at least I knew I was going to the right room.
Upon entering 1902, Aileen & I immediately saw what seems to be a conference and showcase area. While we were asked to be seated, our couch was directly across a cabinet of what looked like beauty products. The first thing that came into my mind was MLM (Multi Level Marketing). I've been through the experience of avoiding this years ago and here I am, a victim of a somewhat similar experience.
After filling out a form with some personal information extracted from me, we were accompanied to a small cubicle which resembled a videoke room. This was where we were to watch a 1 1/2 hour video. Fortunately, they only let us watch around 15 minutes worth of it. It seems that we may have not passed as being credible clients to what they were offering.
And so here it is... they were offering club membership to access their chain of hotels. The prize I got was actually not totally free. If I were to use it, I had to pay the 1st day (worth P5,000). and the next 2 days would be free. For someone who hasn't been travelling out of the metropolis nor the country for that matter, this has no appeal to me whatsoever.
And so I was finally given my prize check of the hotel accommodations but I will only be able to brag about it by showing the certificate to others but will never get to use it especially that it isn't transferable.