So kahapon, naka-receive si mister ng text message nag nagsasabi na nanalo kami ng Gift Certificate na worth of 3D2N stay in ANY Crown Regency Hotels na walang expiration date. Sounds interesting no? Indicated sa text na NO FINANCIAL OBLIGATION; NO COMMITMENT; NO FEES TO BE COLLECTED UPON CLAIMING. Nakalagay din pala don na nabunot kami through “your participation in Manila Ocean Park dated last September 30” blah blah which was true na andun kami on that date kaya seems legit. The mister got interested right away. Napaisip din naman ako bilang may babaeng sumalubong sa amin doon at nagbigay ng coupon na sinulatan ko naman so all the while, naisip ko baka yun yon. Other than that, wala na. The message was received at around 10am with 2 missed calls pero nabasa namin siya around 12nn na. I tried to call back pero wala nang sumagot. Inisip ko nalang na baka parang raffle na kapag hindi ka nag-respond agad e forfeited na. So hinayaan ko nalang.
Today, the mister received a call from a certain Lester Garcia at around 1pm. They were talking over the phone and I was just trying as hard as I can to listen. He didn’t go into details what they’ve talked about. Ang sabi niya lang, itetext sa kanya yung address para puntahan namin bukas. Apparently, we needed to go to their office so their boss could hand the gift certificate personally in an awarding-kind-of-ceremony. Yun lang ang sinabi niya saken. He seemed half-convinced that we both agreed to cancel my OB appointment para nga magpunta don dahil ang usapan nila is 1pm. Mapapaniwala din naman ako kasi they used facts pero I know deep inside that something was wrong. Sino ba naman ang hindi mabibighani sa FREE 3D2N stay sa 5-star hotel sa Cebu na gustong gusto kong puntahan tapos non-expiry pa? Again, they sent us a message with their office address this time and kung ano yung mga dapat naming dalhin and again, they reiterated that there will be NO FINANCIAL OBLIGATION.
The first thing I noticed was the address. Alam ko, usually ang Manila address ng mga ganyang businesses ay bandang Makati, BGC, Ortigas o Manila mismo. Pero ito, Scout Triangle. Curious, I tried to google this certain Lester Garcia and Crown Regency Vacation Building and I got these articles saying it’s a scam:
You may click each link to read the whole post about the scam. Please continue up to the comments section.
Reading the stories, me and the mister were both convinced na hindi siya worthy of our time therefore, hindi na kami pupunta bukas.
Based on what I’ve read, mukha namang legit yung company which is yung Club Ultima at totoo namang connected sila sa Crown Regency which is a 5-star hotel. Maganda sana yung offer nila pero scam, false advertising or maybe illegal marketing strategy. Imagine, with their messages maniniwala ka kasi they’d say na walang financial obligations, no need to present a credit card or any financial statement keme pero pagdating pala don, you need to pay – hindi lang basta certain amount ha, hundred thousand! – for the membership para magamit mo yung GC. And if you do not bite the bait, you’d still get the GC pero laging no available room or they will refer you to another hotel. So ano’ng sense na meron ka nung GC, di ba? Hindi ko na kailangan umabot sa office nila para maliwanagan. Reading other’s experiences is enough to tell me that this is not worthy of anyone else’s time, no matter how persuasive they get.
Kaya guys, BEWARE and BE EXTRA ALERT. Wag basta basta maniniwala sa mga CONGRATULATIONS keme whether through text message or tawag ng kahit sino’ng supervisor o manager pa yan, ke CEO o Presidente pa ng kompanya. Talagang talamak na ang mga mananamantala ngayon. Naniniwala akong marunong silang pumili ng bibiktimahin kaya dapat maging vigilant tayo at mag-isip munang maigi bago pumatol sa mga ito at magbigay ng anumang impormasyon tungkol sa atin at sa ating pamilya. Mister wasn’t asked about his income pero I think I heard him mentioned his profession and that’s enough for them to at least have an idea kung ano ang status niya. Sa ganitong panahon na nagkalat ang mga mapagsamantala, dapat lagi tayong may PRESENCE OF MIND.
Dream vacation na sana naging bato pa. Pero mas okay ng bato kesa naman yung pang-labor package ko ang mayari, di ba?
EDIT: I found another review about this and I just have to share it with you because this time, they bit the bait and paid for the membership. And to be fair, this is about CLUB ULTIMA and not directly about CROWN REGENCY HOTELS. You may click here for the link.
Also, let me correct: CROWN REGENCY isn’t a 5-star hotel.