Friday, January 16, 2009

Telemarketing Scams and Winter Blues

Okay, I'm going to confess something--I'm a Sucker. Yep, just paint a big S on my forehead.

Two weeks ago I was writing at my desk staring out the window at the snow falling--AGAIN. The temperature that day hovered in the teens and no sun--can you say Winter Blues? The phone rings and the area code is 407--Florida. I know someone in Florida, so I answer--not the person I know, but maybe better.

A cheery woman informs me that my husband and I have won a free vacation. Yeah! She proceeds to list off several "warm-weather" locations like Hawaii, Cancun, Orlando Florida etc. (Remember what I'm staring at out my widow while this woman is rambling in my ear). Like a circuit breaker gone wild my brain crackled and suddenly I was worrying about my wardrobe, thinking I have nothing to wear to a beach and must go shopping. Anyway the woman said she'd go over the details with my husband when he returned from his business trip to Detroit later in the week--this all had to do with his Marriot Hotel points.

Of course I called hubby and left an "excited" message on his cell phone. The poor man didn’t want to burst my bubble so he'd called the woman back before phoning me with the bad news--it was a vacation timeshare. Kind of like paying rent each month in exchange for one week at a resort destination. Well, that s*cked. And of course it didn't include air-fair or taxes on the hotel rooms and the woman had never mentioned sitting through a 90-minute company presentation when you arrive at the resort.

So the next day I sat at my desk again and stared at the snow and gray skies outside my office window and thanked my stars I was a writer and could at least escape the winter blues for a few hours a day by living vicariously through the characters in the book I'm revising right now--which happens to take place in Oklahoma during July and August.

A Cowboy's Promise *Men Made in America* (April 09)
Samantha's Cowboy (Aug 2009)


Anonymous said...

Hugs, Marin! (We almost never get truly frigid weather where I live down south, but today it is in the teens, so I commiserate.) I've been caught a couple of times myself, knowing logically something sounds too good to be true, but hearing it at just the right moment when something in me buys into it anyhow.

Sending you warm thoughts!

Marin Thomas said...

Hi Tanya

Thanks for your sympathy! School has been canceled again today--40 below zero this morning with wind chill. I haven't seen a bird for over three days--not even the geese by the pond have been around.

Spring can't come soon enough!


Trish Milburn said...

Marin, we went to one of those timeshare presentations in Orlando one time because they said if you sat through the program, no pressure, they'd give you a big discount to Disney World. Since that's what we were in town for, we went. Never...again! That no pressure thing, load of crapola. They were super nice until they realized we weren't going to buy in, then they got less than nice.

Estella said...

I sat throught one of those presentations for a camping timeshare. The people were very nice and gave us a sleeping bag and a chain saw just for listening to their spiel.

Marin Thomas said...

Hi Trish & Estella

I think it's the luck of the draw when it comes to time-share presentations. I hate being put on the spot so I'd probably be one of those people who signed on the dotted line when I shouldn't. Sheesh, if I can't say no to the tons of kids that come to the front door sellig stuff for their schools or clubs how would I stand a chance against a "real" sales pitch!


Ann Roth said...

Marin- You're not alone! I tend toward suckerhood, too. Especially when offered a trip to warm places. Be thankful your husband is more level-headed. My husband's sensible outlook has saved us countless expenses.
Like you say, we're lucky we can invent whatever world we want in our stories.

kimmyl said...

I think everyone has fallen for at least one of these scams before realizing that they actually didn't win anything.
I would love to go the beach and stay there while it's cold here.

Marin Thomas said...

Ann & Kimmy

You guys are swell--thanks for making me feel better about being scammed...maybe if this winter hadn't been so brutal thus far I'd have caught myself before believing the woman's spiel.