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'You've won a free holiday' - how to spot a scam

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About a month ago I was on my way to the supermarket to do some shopping when I was approached in the street to fill out a short survey.  I don't normally take part in these things but the woman seemed quite genuine and I was told that I would be entered into a draw for a £5,000 prize.  Looking at the survey it really was 2 minutes and I ticked all the boxes (or so I thought) so that I wouldn't receive any junk in the post etc.  I thought nothing more of it because the chances are slim, but there again if you're not in it, you can't win it or so the saying goes.

Anyway, I've just got off the phone to a company called CLC and the number they called from was 01268 557600, which of course I didn't recognise.  The person on the other end of the line (you can never quite catch their name can you?) assured my that I had won a free holiday for seven days with all the flights paid for.  I have to admit that they did sound very honest and genuine.  Apparently I wouldn't have to buy or commit to anything and this was all the real thing.  I was then given a code and told to call the travel company and was assured I didn't have to choose my holiday destination on the spot, but if I called straight away I could receive a further £50 worth of shopping vouchers.  Furthermore, it was a freephone number so I really wouldn't have to pay a penny.  The phone number I was given was 0800 988 9904.

I very nearly called that number, but luckily the alarm bells in my head had started sounding and I did what any suspicious person would do, I Googled those telephone numbers and of course the company called CLC.  What I found was page after page of horror stories about lengthy timeshare presentations and the hard sell from some very shady characters.

It looks like lots of people have approached by these holiday companies trying to attract potential customers by dangling the free holiday.  They're then subjected to up to these presentations and slowly ground down (sometimes up to six hours).  Various unsavoury techniques are used to push you into signing including bombarding you with lots of confusing and contradictory information and even shaming people into signing up for a timeshare.

A beach holiday I had a lucky escape I think, but I have an idea what these things are like having gone along to one once before.  We did walk away with a few vouchers on that occasion but I'm not sure it was worth the two hours of bullshit and the hard sell.  These people really are the definition of lowlife and I don't understand how this kind of thing can be allowed to go on but apparently they aren't doing anything that's against the law.  They're preying on some vulnerable people though, and yes I can see that there's an element of human greed there too.  Who wouldn't like the idea of a free holiday?

The only thing left to say is: open your eyes folks because there really aren't any freebies in this world.  You'll pay one way or another and fortunately for me this time it was only a bit of time researching and then writing this gripe.  It's also put me off "sparing a few moments of my time" to fill in surveys as I wander up to the shops.  Next time they'll be getting more than few questionnaire answers from me!


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Holidaygirl

Holidaygirl

The following website says it all:

www.clcworldscam.com
04/02 Holidaygirl
2
Manchester granny

Manchester granny

You took the words right out of my mouth, alarm bells ringing lucky like you I listened and googled and was absolutely got smacked all the reviews, when they phone you they are so plausible and well trained in what to say. Do not believe a word of it and think time share scam.😤😡👎👎🆘
23/07/19 Manchester granny
3
Shelby

Shelby

This is ridiculous, you've made up a story about how you Googled whether it was a scam or not, you never experienced it yourself, you never went to the meeting at the Travel Centre to collect your holiday award.
You would have never told that the flights would be paid for, as it's only the accommodation supplied by CLC World itself, that's for free. So either you didn't listen, or you're telling a lie. Hard sales IS illegal and they do not hard sale you into any time share or holiday products. They tell you what there is to offer as a resort & hotels company, as the whole purpose of the award in the first place is to promote themselves. They wouldn't tarnish that reputation in order to force you into buying something, that's foolish thinking on your behalf.
In future, try listening to the phone call that YOU put your name and phone number down to receive, on the survey that YOU consented to complete.Then you wouldn't produce lies to the internet, because you're making a negative assumption in regards to a legitimate company merely trying to promote themselves and getting backlash from ignorant 'lowlife's' such as yourself.
10/04/19 Shelby
-8
Billy

Billy

TIMESHARE SCAM
20/08/18 Billy
2
Maqs

Maqs

Thank you so much you have just saved me from a similar encounter as I too am being constantly reminded that I have won a free holiday with CLC travel, I did challenge them on this and said if you are established for 30 odd years why do you need my business? the sales rep went all red in the face and I could tell he was dumbfounded and then he mustered up a hopeless answer saying that we need more and more new client, I thought what bullshit! I will make sure I don't waste my time at one of their hopeless presentations and no way am I signing up to a timeshare. You are right about one thing nothing in this life is free... and to be honest that is fine by me as I off on my 3rd cruise in 2 years... not bad eh.... and guess what there is no catch.

P.S. I will print off my comments and your message and shove it under CLC reps nose as they ate pitched up at my local shopping centre in Croydon. Let’s see what they have to say to this then
16/08/18 Maqs
-2
matthew

matthew

This may seem like a scam but it really isnt. my mum and dad won a free holiday when they had their windows replaced and yes, it did seem fishy and we were sceptical about it but they went through with it and it turned out to be a great investment. okay there are lengthy presentations they ask you to attend but they are very eye-opening to the concept and were very helpful (my parents also got a free ipad from it!!). they also spend time to show you some of their high end apartments which if you sign up to the signature addition then you can have one of those apartments for a week. my family of four have booked a holiday to Orlando for half the price any booking site offers you (trivago, expedia etc.) saving us thousands of pounds which allows us to take a lot more spending money and all in all have a far better time. the whole idea may seem like a waste of time with all their presentations but if you go for it then it can save you thousands of pounds in the long run.
17/07/18 matthew
1
James

James

I won a 7 night holiday in a 5 star resort after completing a holiday survey in Madeira.
The condition was to attend a 90 minute tour and presentation at the 5 star Pestana Carlton Hotel
The Pestana Group is a family owned company with 91 hotels worldwide.
The presentation was complete lies. (checked out on google)
The voucher was from a UK company called UKminibreak you pay £ 29 per person to register.
Their website did not exist and google showed this was a scam.
Another UK company shut down by trading standards had received £ 29 from 65,000 people and only 25 certified holidays had been taken.
Trust no one offering something for free it is a scam. "google it"
31/01/18 James
0
pitball

pitball

i have gone through all this and had a free 7 day holiday and spent the 50 pound Tesco card and yes its like a time share but you have more holidays and if you can find me some were to get holidays as cheap as them then let me know i have 4 days booked in one of there apartments in Scotland for 105 pound all in
23/01/18 pitball
1
next

next

What a greedy, capitalistic, uncaring world this has turned out to be. This world has a major problem with over population which cannot be solved. The human race has not learned lessons from the past when politics and religion guide the human race down paths to conflict. Therefore, either Mother nature will decide a solution or mankind will thin themselves out.
25/08/17 next
3
wendywoo

wendywoo

filled in a few competitions online for freebees the other day and have been getting called from a 01452 number (no message left but checked it out and it was CLC)

thanks for all the great comments guys - what a rotten job to have!
23/08/17 wendywoo
3
Maria

Maria

I entered a competition in Marie Claire to win a holiday. I got a call from an ecstatic woman, Oh you lucky lucky woman, you have won.... a discounted holiday!! After they had been through all the questions re home, income etc. I decided to humour the woman ( I have travelled the world and know a con, and cannot be conned) ooooh really lucky me... how much is the discounted holiday????? on and on she went until she thought she had hooked me, and put me onto Tim whoever he is) He had another try until I decided Id had enough and ended the call. Marie Claire should not allow this sort of thing in their magazine. There are a lot of naïve and vulnerable people out there who are getting caught up in these scams. AVOID
27/07/17 Maria
1
Nic

Nic

Just had a call from them having filled in an online survey recently, which I actually thought I'd unsubscribed to. Whilst he was talking to me, I googled CLC world, and saw the comments. I'm afraid I didn't wait to be speak to his colleague who was going to give me all the details, and hung up and blocked the number.
13/07/17 Nic
-1
chris

chris

Thank you for posting this information, I've just been contacted by this company and you've saved me a lot of time and possibly money. I always check these sort of companies, the ones that always seem to offer the "free holiday or competition win" and its true you never get something for nothing. You will always get this type of "scam" and it annoys me that the people working for them could be conning the vulnerable, what if it was their grandparents being duped? I hope they call again as I love wasting their time and preventing them bothering someone else.
21/02/17 chris
-1
Gwyn

Gwyn

I went on the holiday. It was at an 80% Discount for accommodations Which was £99 self catering. Pay for your own flights. Tenerife Paradice club was available at short notice. The condition was I attend a sales meeting. They where very up front about that.

The resort was fine. I can't fault there professionalism. Most staff I met had been working for them for a long time. I went to the sales meeting and as a business man myself there where no alarm bells ringing. It's moved on allot since time share. When I consider how much we have spent on holidays in the past, I wish I had seen it sooner. They now have resorts all over the world so your not buying into just one appartment. Your purchasing points which you exchange for time at resorts. You get them every year for 19 years but it can be rolled over if you don't use them. What you pay depends on how many points you get. I purchased a deal for 18 years as someone was selling there deal as they told me they had upgraded. That cost less than £18,000 That would be about 2 weeks a year. Or more depending on how you use the points. How you finance that is up so you. But if you take a long term approach on repayment, The interest will makes it an expensive deal. What my wife liked was the quality of the accomadation and not having to research where to stay. There is an interval deal too. I likened this to a travel secretary. I sometimes irritates me when it's human nature the spread bad news and warnings and jumping to negative conclusions. But I really enjoyed my holiday and have another one free as well as my points.
05/09/16 Gwyn
2
lucky

lucky

Same happened to me. Filled in some surveys and just got off the phone to clc world. As you said sounded very genuine telling me i'd won a 7 night free holiday for 6 people. Fab. luckily I was on my laptop whilst taking the call so googled the company any founds lots of bad things and your blog. They put me through to another lady who was going to go over the details and said there was a small admin fee of £25! I said "ooh really" to which she replied well I can get that wavered!!! She then continues to tell me I need to go to a presentation to receive all the confirmation and tickets and what not, I then said " oh its a timeshare" (thanks to your blog) she said, " fine, we'll just pass your prize on to someone else" and ended the call! She knew she'd been rumbled! How rude to just end the call. I can see how people get sucked in, I was for a moment and I'm not a gullible person! Like you said, nothing is for free, there is always a price in there somewhere. People beware
09/05/16 lucky
0

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