John Tedesco of the San Antonio Express-News was badgered last week by a telemarketer who wouldn’t take no for an answer. He decided to keep her talking for a while to see how many ways she’d try to get him to hand over his credit card number for a “free” cruise. Here were all the tricks she used during her sales pitch.
- He was lucky to get this offer “because the computer doesn’t pull everybody up.”
- There were a limited number of cabins available for this offer.
- Paying a $118 “port taxes” fee now would enable him to take 75% off of an “extended stay package” should he decide to trade up later.
- She couldn’t call back at a later time. “You have to understand this is a promotion. It’s not going to last long.”
- It’s right to be concerned about giving credit card info out over the phone: “We should all be concerned.” But the cruise line couldn’t stay in business if it defrauded people.
- Paying the $118 gauranteed a saved room on the ship.
- We’re with the Better Business Bureau.
- “I’m a grandmom. I wouldn’t do anything that wasn’t proper.”
- The cruise line is a certified company with the credit card companies.
- “Trust me.”
- You have 16 months to take the cruise, so you have all the time in the world to mull it over and plan it after you pay the $118 today).
- “There’s nothing that’s going to hurt you.”
- “It’s only $118. It’s not a whole bunch of money.”
- “Let’s just get you signed up.”
FINALLY after all of that, she hung up. She was defeated but will certainly go on to fight another day, and probably manage to bully that $118 out of some bewildered person.
Tedesco looked into her company and the claims she made and discovered that in fact she misrepresented a considerable amount of information, including the owner of the cruise ship, her company’s association with the BBB, and the real reason for the offer: a time-share presentation is involved.
“Offer for free cruise not so free” [My San Antonio]