I had made the mistake of entering a contest for a free motorcycle, and was called by Chateau World to go to a timeshare event. I said initially no, and that was that. Until I got another call the following day, and this time they offered a free camera. Again I said no, but then a few days later, AGAIN I was called, and to shut them up, I said sure.
My second mistake... I then got a confirmation call seeing if I would be attending. That was annoying, but said sure.
The NEXT morning, the day of the meeting, I get a call at 7am, telling me that if I attended the meeting on time, I would also get a free dinner card for Earl's. Now, they had me mildly interested. If they were willing to offer this, then dinner was the least they could do. Buuut, I had to bring my "life partner"/wife or whatever with me.
I came in 5 min late due to traffic, but my fiance and I stayed for the whole meeting. the presentation actually was fairly interesting, and I was curious enough about the whole thing that I was half-contemplating it as a gift for my parents. Buuut, they then mentioned about a membership fee, but never once mentioned what it was.
After the presentation, all of the couples were split up to tables with a different sales person. What happened next was annoying to say the least. My fiance and I tried to get an exact number for membership fees before we started and just get to brass tacks as opposed to the whole spiel. Instead, the salesperson kept evading the question and was determined to follow the script. Strike 1... and automatically piqued my suspicion internal alarm.
Next, we simply honestly stated we were there for the dinner and that our vacation times are already booked a year in advance (which was true). We simply couldn't take advantage of the "deal". What followed next was that the sales person kept harassing me about not treating my fiance like a queen and tried to guilt me continuously about not taking her to as resort. We had to repeat ourselves several times that we weren't interested (I had more or less discounted the whole thing now ever as a gift), and it was only when I showed much more interest in the box of timbits near the table was when he finally gave up and said, "I want you to understand that you will never get this deal again" in an almost threatful manner. Our thoughts were, "whatever..." but just went to the front and asked for our dinner.
When the salesperson mentioned that we declined the offer, the receptionist automatically said, "Nope, you were 5 minutes late, so no dinner. Here's the free digital camera (value maybe $3)." And with that we were left with 2 hours wasted.
Since we were 5 min late, we just said, "the heck with this" and went off to dinner anyways..... until a week later, when we got ANOTHER call from Chateau World trying to schedule another time. When I mentioned I had already gone, the guy apologized and hung up.... until a month later when they called AGAIN.
This time I was a but po'ed, so I demanded that we got taken off their call list.... And that was that. Until I noticed in a random search for a place to stay in Banff the whole record of Chateau World and the tactics and fraudulant charges from the Government of Alberta. Doing another quick search for more news, I found out all of the tricks being done, including what I suspect is also fraudulant sales of memberships through ebay, Kijiji and Craig's List, which I'd like people to look out for.