Jan 5, 2012
How to Get $100 Worth of Free Vouchers
A person calls up on my handphone. I have no idea how she got my number. She says, "Congratulations! You are very lucky to have won $100 of NTUC Income vouchers!".
Of course, there is a catch to it. The catch is that in order to collect the vouchers, I have to go to a certain place and listen to a 75-minute presentation. I get to collect the vouchers only if I stay to the end of the presentation. Also, I need to bring my wife. If she doesn't come along, I get only $50.
So at the appointed date and time, Mrs Wang and I go to this place. We fill up some form which asks some questions about where we live, how much we earn and so on. We are asked to show a credit card - no details are taken, they just want to see that we actually have credit cards.
Then we are whisked away to a small meeting room. There a salesperson goes through a detailed questionaire with us. There are questions about how often we travel; what kind of hotels we like to stay in; which countries we have visited in the past few years; how much we spend on our airfare, and so on.
Then the salesperson starts talking about his product. Some kind of holiday club. Pay an upfront fee (which is quite hefty), get a 15-year membership, and for the next 15 years, you will be able to enjoy big discounts on hotel accommodation, airfares and land tours all over the world. At the end of 15 years, get your entire membership fee back.
I won't bore you with the details, because the specific details are not that important. Many different kinds of companies use such a marketing strategy nowadays. They sell different things - land banking; timeshares in holiday houses; spa services; golf club holidays; travel services, and so on.
The point is - they REALLY give you the $100 vouchers at the end of the presentation. Some even give you a choice of vouchers (Carrefour or Takashimaya?). Or they give you a free massage for two, if they are pitching a spa membership. You have no obligation to actually sign up as a member or to buy the product. What they want is a fair chance to thoroughly pitch their product to you, for 75 minutes.
I think that these are very good deals. All you have to do is listen. If the product/service meets your needs, then you could sign up. If it doesn't, then just firmly say "No" at the end of the 75 minutes, and ask for your vouchers. The main thing is that you must keep a clear mind and not allow yourself to be persuaded into buying something that you later regret.
Mrs Wang and I firmly said "No", at the end of the presentation. For us, it was a rather interesting presentation and we asked many questions (Mrs Wang and I often like to study how different types of business models and figure out how they try to make money).
But in the end, we simply said, "No". We collected our vouchers. We left. The salesman was courteous and friendly throughout the time. And now I have $100 of NTUC vouchers to buy groceries, yay.