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Mind the Scratchies in theme parks

Brisbane, Australia
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6 posts
4 reviews
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Mind the Scratchies in theme parks

At Wet'n'Wild yesterday I was duped by a scam artist. The man's name was Luke and he claimed to give away scratchies for The Holiday Club as part of a "competition", but so far my research shows that there is no real element of luck with these scratchies (eg I can find full T&Cs with a permit number for this sort of competition in VIC and NSW for a company called "Classic Escapes" - classicescapes.com.au/full-terms-and-conditi… and classicescapes.com.au/full-terms-and-conditi… - I can't find anything for The Holiday Club or for Queensland and there is no permit number printed on the ticket). Both us got a scratchie, mine won, my partner's didn't. According to what was written down, I could win $2000 cash, holiday accommodation, or an LCD TV. According to what Luke SAID, 15 TVs or $450 vouchers at Harvey Norman were given away a week, one lot of $2000 was given away a month, and "the rest" were holiday vouchers. He said they were regulated by the Australian Trading commission and so had to give away all prizes, but without a permit number this "competition" is clearly a fraud.

The paperwork I was given lists no ABN or official website for The Holiday Club, and the address is a convention room in the Gold Coast, all of which makes me wonder if this company is legit at all. Luke also said he was "sponsored by Harvey Norman" but so far I can't find any evidence of that.

In the end he took $20 of mine as a "deposit" for the prize, which I won't be getting back as I'm not wasting the time and petrol down from Brisbane to attend their information session (which I suspect will actually be a high-pressured sales pitch lasting much longer than the promised 90 minutes). I appreciate that's my choice and my loss, as was the choice to hand the money to Luke in the first place. He was a fast talker and even though logic didn't fit what he said ("you need a $20 deposit so they can reserve your prize,". We asked, "how do they know what the prize is yet if my chances are of $2000 cash, holiday accommodation or LCD TV?". His answer, "oh they have everything". I know, I know... now after not much time spent thinking on the conversation).

From what I can tell, what is written on paper is legal and you will get your deposit back if you go to their session. You may even get a week's holiday somewhere relatively cheap if you're willing to sit through hours of high-pressure sales pitches and pay your airfare. But there is no competition, it's all planned and everyone "wins", except the ONLY prizes are holiday vouchers. So what Luke SAYS is a lie. Have fun at Wet'n'Wild but do beware anyone waving scratchies at you.

I know this is old news for some. But it's not for many and people need to know this is still happening today.

Gungahlin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Canberra
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14,450 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Mind the Scratchies in theme parks

>>I appreciate that's my choice and my loss, as was the choice to hand the money to Luke in the first place.<<

Well, yes, but I imagine their intention is to catch people when they're relaxed and happy and in a helpful/willing mood and have their guard down. They use their sneaky tactics while you are in relaxed holiday mode. Not nice at all :-(

Part of that I think is approaching people INSIDE an attraction, where perhaps people would be less likely to question the legitimacy whereas possibly out on the street if someone approached people like that the response is more likely to be hmm, what's this about? So I wonder, does Wet'n'Wild know someone is doing this on their premises? It reflects badly on them. I hope they are unaware and once they know they will take steps to monitor for and evict such scammers.

Singleton, Australia
13 posts
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2. Re: Mind the Scratchies in theme parks

On Monday 19/11/13 we got a scratchies handed to us at Movie world Gold Coast and my ticket won the major prize of either $2000,Holliday or a IPad if you listened to a 90min presentation. So my wife and I went along thinking at least we would walk away with something... After 3 hours and 20 mins of our day gone they where still doing the hard sell. It all sounds great at the time and it is very well presented BUT the video they showed us had people dressed in clothes from what looked like the early 90's and you had no time to go away and think about it. They pushed us for the answer and we said we had to go as our kids are being looked after while we were there. They then said ok can you come back and give us your answer befor 4pm, we said sure, they then said you may as well scratch the little panel at the bottom of your card to see what you have won and surprise we won the Holliday! We went back to our resort and did some Number crunching and they out lay for what we would get out of it would be way to much for us. In my opinion if it's that good of a deal why can't you take all the info away and make a choice if it's for you or not. Oh they also give you the option of interest free loans that can go for either 2 years or 6 years and a deposit of over $1700 that had to be payed that day!

We didn't go back to collect our prize as we wasted enough time with it already.

Gungahlin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Canberra
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14,450 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: Mind the Scratchies in theme parks

Wet'n'Wild and Movieworld. Really, you pay to relax and have fun in a theme park, not to be harassed by salespeople (to put it politely)! The theme parks should deal with this, it does not reflect well on them!

Brisbane, Australia
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6 posts
4 reviews
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4. Re: Mind the Scratchies in theme parks

I contacted Wet'n'Wild, no response from them yet. I don't think it does them any favours, since that day when I've spoken to friends and family about our trip, I've talked more about feeling scammed (or at least, mislead and lied to) and hardly anything about the rides. Is that the publicity Wet'n'Wild want?

Brisbane, Australia
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6 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: Mind the Scratchies in theme parks

Oh yeah, and I scratched the "void if removed" box and, gee whiz, "won" holiday vouchers.

ADL
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114 posts
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6. Re: Mind the Scratchies in theme parks

Yes it's just wrong for that sort of business in that environment. I posted about a similar event.

tripadvisor.com.au/…52042220

Gungahlin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Canberra
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14,450 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: Mind the Scratchies in theme parks

M&MAdl, I'm with you! They had an actual stall set up? Timeshare salesmen have a certain reputation and going into some sort of mutually beneficial arrangement with them, yuk!

blissygirl
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31 posts
57 reviews
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8. Re: Mind the Scratchies in theme parks

Yeah I got sucked into this at Sea World, pad $40, read up on what everyone has said and felt like an idiot for believing them. How can Sea World let people like that into the park, don't they get enough money already from the expensive entry fees? Just put the $40 down o experience!

Brisbane, Australia
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6 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: Mind the Scratchies in theme parks

Oh that sucks blissygirl. That the parks let The Holiday Club rip off their own patrons like this is just bizarre. Shows how much they care about their customers, hey...

Wellington, New...
Destination Expert
for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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10,050 posts
206 reviews
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10. Re: Mind the Scratchies in theme parks

Noone who gets a "Winner" out of the scratchies is ripped off. In order to claim your prize you must attend the presentation and on completion the Void sticker is removed and your prize is revealed. In most cases the prize is a stay at TImeshare resort. If one gave any thought to the promotion not everyone can win a multi thousand dollar cruise or a $500 TV set. Lets be reasonable and practical here. If one goes along to a timeshare presentation on the belief that they will be automatically coming away with a cruise or expensive TV set then what mugs you are. Timeshare presentations appeal to the human greed syndrome of getting something for nothing.

Timeshare touts at THEme Parks don't go around the parks hasselling the punters into taking scratchies but have a stall set up and sure they try to entice the punters over to the stall to partake in the promotion and subsequently attend a promotion and buy a timeshare.

Noone forces anybody to take a scratchie - If you decline and move on you are not chased after , molested, and dragged kicking and screaming back to the stall.

All the prizes are indicated - A cruise or a TV or a Holiday - no con there.

If you don't want to partake in the presentation you walk away = no force is applied or even implied.

Somehow it appears to me that the punter is always in control.

Now if one attends a presentation that's a different matter. The whole presentation is designed again to appear to one's greedy nature and it works because this presentation is used around the world.

Sure at the end of the presentation some pressure is put on you to buy but if you say no you take your prize and go. No force, a little intimidation maybe, a con definitely not because there are many very happy people having bought their timeshare through similar presentations.

Do Theme Parks get anything out of it - Cant say for sure but I expect so. They are in the business of making money and I have yet to hear of anyone saying I will never go back to a theme Park because they had a timeshare stall there.

These timeshare stalls are all over the Gold Coast including shopping malls on street corners everywhere.

Do like what is on offer walk away, Don't like the prize offered then don't be so bloody greedy and walk away.