"wow....what a way to start New Year", was what i thought when a certain female rang me up on 2nd 'n said that i had won a 7 days stay in a 5* hotel and i could choose any one of the four places Goa,Kovalam,Kandy or Bali. I had never won anything in my life! Can you imagine that? What with almost any place you go having some lucky-dip, scratch the card offers.... you would think that you will atleast win somewhere!
Anyways, the conversation between me 'n the lady went something like this:
Me: Where did i win? (my hopeless memory...what do you expect? :D )
Lady: Did you attend 'National Consumer Fair' sometime in last few weeks?
Lady: You dropped in a coupon and you have won the prize in the lucky dip.
Lady: The prize is from Country Vactaions 'n its a 7days stay in a 5* hotel in any one of the four places - Goa,Kovalam,Kandy 'n Bali for a couple and a kid.
Lady: So M'am, when can you and your husband come to collect the gift voucher?
Me: One sec...'m not married! (thinking...there goes my prize...)
Lady: No problem M'am, you can come with your parents to collect the gift voucher.
Me: Ok, so does it mean only a 'couple' can avail the gift? (still feeling bad...'n thinking thr goes the 1st thing i have won...)
Lady: No Ma'am, any two adults plus one kid below 12 years can use it. But to collect it, you will need to come with your parents, as we can give it only to a couple.
'N then the conversation went on regarding where to collect the voucher 'n what time and so on.
Well when i told this to my Dad, he was his usual apprehensive self and asked are you sure? 'n me being the exact opposite, readily believing others (which btw i don't think is a bad thing! i think people are generally good by nature) neways managed to convince him that it is genuine and to to come along.
'N so yesterday evening, i, my mom 'n my Dad landed up at that place around 6:30. The 1st shock - I was not alone! i mean there were around 25 more couples in there (Apparently out of 1 lakh ppl, they seleted 500 lucky couples, so means i wasn't the sole-winner) 2nd shock - When the receptionist said we will have to attend a one-hour presentation before we get our vouchers. It was then that all the suspicions started assaulting my mind. Anyone who has lived in B'lore will know about these marketing strategy( sorry don't know the exact term for it) where-in a certain person calls up, saying you have won 'n you can come and collect the gift at this place 'n so on. And once you go there they literally 'Bug' you for one-hour. I know this coz one of my aunt 'n uncle did attend one such calls! 'n all they got for it was some drinking-glass set, you wouldn't think of using!
Anyways my dad was convinced this is one more gimmick like the others. So we went in 'n i got to know its a division of Country Club, of which i became a member recently 'N surprise surprise that we will actually get the gift, whether we decide to invest in it or not! Then the sales representative was like -"It will take min. 1 hr to get the vouchers, so why not listen to our offer instead of just waiting" . Thinking poor chap he has a job to do, we went ahead. Well the 'Country Vacations' concept ain't all that new. My father had invested in one such a neat 15 yrs ago! 'n since i had recently become a Country club member, didn't make much sense to invest in this. Well some people have a tough time taking 'NO' for an answer 'n sales representatives, you can just imagine! On top of it the Country Club people employ this marketing strategy, again don't know the term (pressure selling? :D) where they keep telling you that this offer is only for today 'n you wont get it any time later. When in reality you will very well get the same even after 6 months. Anyways this chap went on 'n on 'n on....
'N thanks to some rude 'n snobbish behavior on top of it by one of the managers, it didn't take long for my Dad to lose his cool! I don't understand why people have to be rude, when it is so much easier to get your work done by being li'l nice. 'n especially if you are selling something i don't think you get to be rude! I hate creating scenes in the public so da peace-maker me intervened before the situation got really ugly. (hmm....peace-maker...yep thats what i am.... :D)
Anyways at the end of it, we finally did get the voucher but is there anything in life which comes absolutely free? Obviously not, so the catch in this was that you get a more than Rs 25,000 worth gift but you will have to pay a luxury tax of 3K. Well not a bad bargain, but the unpleasant episode(people) i could have done without. Unpleasant-ness of life....its not nice to come across it.
But wth i finally won something! :D