Gotta call asking me to take part in a survey for Ramada Plaza vacations. I was sure at some point I had stayed at a Ramada Hotel for business travel (it's easy to lose track of when you are forced to travel a lot) so figured they were doing some kind of customer service survey.
WRONG -- asked about 3 questions (one of which was which major credit card do I normally use to pay for vacations) and then said my name was being entered for a trip and that if I won, I would hear back within 24 hours. She gave me a confirmation number to use and told me to go to the website "vacationmoments.com" to register my name in the draw using the confirmaton number. She even asked me to read back the confirmation number to make sure I wrote it donw.
Immediately, bells went off -- I didn't bother to go to the site and just hoped they would go away.
WRONG AGAIN -- the next night they called back and said they had noticed I hadn't registered but that it was okay, I had won the trip anyway. I stayed very calm and just tried to keep track of what she was saying. Said she had to get a bit more informaton in order to confirm my prize and asked me a couple of stupid questions like "can you get two weeks vacation in the next 12 to 18 months", and then she asked the one I was waiting for -- "are you a member in good standing with Visa". REAL BIG ALARM BELLS starting ringing. At that point I said I was not comfortbable with this and asked why they needed to know anything about my credit card. She became rather rude and said, "as you can see, I'm calling you from Ramada". I replied that I couldn't tell that but that it was a 905 number that came up. "Yes, I'm calling you from just outside Toronto". I was still dubious and she said that it is just their way of filling empty rooms in the hopes that people will provide good word-of-mouth advertising and that these campaigns are put on a couple times a year. She also mentioned that there would be a "promotional fee" that I would have to pay but that the airfare, hotel, and cruise would all be paid by Ramada.
She then asked if my husband was home because she had to tell both of us about the trip at the same time. I replied no -- she asked when we would both be home -- I replied "not often -- we work different shifts". She said she would call back again. I said okay - knowing that would give me time to look into this.
At work today, I mentioned this to my colleague as I arrived, and before I could even get my computer booted up, he had found this site. My suspicions were confirmed - it is a rip off!! I came home tonight and waited...
Pretty much on cue, the phone rang with a much friendlier voice asking me if my husband was home now so she could explain the vacation. My response was sweeeeeeeet: "I've done some research on your product and I'm not interested". She couldn't get off the phone fast enough....
Truth be told, I don't think I would have given out my credit card informaton because I have already had a credit card number stolen. However, I am very thankful that all of you reported this scam so I could make a clean break without any damage.
Has anybody ever been able to find out if this company is somehow assoicated with Ramada Hotels? I truly hope not -- I always considered Ramada hotels to be a reputable company -- but if this is the kind of company they run -- I'll be sure to never darken their doors again.
Thanks again, guys! Much appreciate the time you have taken to write about this scam.
Grateful for your help
Halifax, Nova Scotia