- Dynamic Solutions /Dynamic Travel (company supposedly running this one day only special) http://www.vacationhub.co.za
- Not to be confused with reputable company ‘Sure Dynamic Travel’ (they count on your confusion)
- ‘vhi’ vacation hub international – the presentation/talk is about this (like timeshare ..but not)
- Travel Clips (piss poor looking voucher. If you cant see it is a scam when you receive this -you cant be saved Im afraid)
***UPDATE: NOV 2012***
[I see this scam is still going 6 months after my incident!!! They are obviously making a killing out of loads of innocent people and havent been cought [yet :o) ] by the authorities.]
For those of you who have been unfortunate to have paid for this fraudulent service from VHI International. Why not phone your bank and make your case against this fraudulent company and ask for a ‘chargeback’?! In the light of the recent airline currently in the news that went bankrupt ‘1time’ flights – people can ask for a ‘chargeback’ to their credit cards.
‘Chargeback’ also provides for goods or services that haven’t been adequately completed or are never received, your bank can do a ‘chargeback’ from the bank that collected the payment.
I believe this is exactly the case of services not received.
Just google ‘chargeback’ or see links below:
Who am I ..just an ordinary person like you who in desperate need of a holiday..
Even though a have a sceptical personality most of the time, I always like the idea of winning a competition or love the idea of a ‘freebie’.
We all know the phrase..’If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is‘ Well, I have come across one of those today.
I have recently been contacted regarding my views on rising petrol price of all things (as if anyone really cares what I think!?!)..alarm bells
For my participation I was later ‘rewarded’ a holiday voucher to 1 of 80 resorts in SA or holiday to Mauritius..I know.. pretty sad that I actually fell for it if I think about it now, but I though I had no plans for the weekend really so I will just go and hear them out. I was also assured numerous times that it was no scam and no lotto kind of thing once you get there but that it was however going to take +-45mins to listen about the company but I have already won the vacation.
I know about timeshare so I was luckily prepared to say ‘no’
The meeting took place at Brooklyn Lodge, Pretoria, South Africa (Please note that I’m not saying that the lodge had anything to do with this although it was also pretty dodgy looking and not anything like the luxury accommodation they try and sell you)
The whole presentation took part in empty room and we really should have left the moment we walked into the bad 70s decorated room with presentation screen in background flipping through some dream holiday slides and a white board. I had a little giggle but thought this would be entertaining and that we might actually enjoy the spectacle.
With a quick glance I noticed the credit card machine. After being told that one must please leave your wallet at home..what is the credit card machine for?..hmmm..
They also ran a lucky draw kind of thing to supposedly see if your last 5 digits of your credit card matches up with the ‘winning’ number. At this point you still feel safe as you check your wallet and they never see your actual number etc. Only after this whole thing you go DOH..they probably just wanted to see before they start with the presentation if people actually brought their credit cards with…to make that sale.
We also noticed that some of the audience are already RSI timeshare members and must be on some sort of database. The presentation uses the RSI timeshare as an example of what they are not and how different and great they are. Easy target as most already obviously fell for timeshare idea before.
The presentation was entertaining with normal looking afrikaans speaking ‘oom’
He threw in a couple of rugby jokes and make you feel at ease and engaging with his crowd.
The company that was suppose to lead this whole thing ‘Dynamic Solutions’ and the talk was about vhi / vacationhub.
They have fancy footwork and run the presentation with whole interactive website experience regarding this great vacation destinations for very reduced prices. Im not sure but by the end of the day they want you to swipe that card and if the voucher is anything to go by the place probably also does not exists just a not so bad website.
Some people got up and left immediately, but the consultants are very good about the silent way these people leave the room without making a fuss to freak the rest of us out. We felt it was rude to just get up (SA mentality..) gave the young guy a chance to say his bit. Shame he was trying his best and throwing all kinds of figures and sums at us. Unfortunately for him, he just pushed that little too much and that was that.
What we gathered by the end of the day is that all this started with administration fee of something like R950 and one feels..hmmm ok that is reasonable and affordable.
We however must have missed something as the moment we sounded interested 3 new packages appeared out of nowhere with ridiculous names ranging from R13 000 to R60 000.
..from totally free, R950 to at least R30 000 is quite a jump! ha ha That was pretty much it for us and we finally realised that this is serious scamming now and time to move along. We were not even offered a coffee..ha. Consultant could probably see that we were going to get restless and helped us out pretty quickly. There was a last minute attempt to make that sale in the doorway and a dodgy voucher was exchanged. I think if we didnt insist on the voucher he would not have given it to us and you could sense he was very nervous now not the confident man he started out as.
When I say dodgy voucher I mean.. really dodgy.The kind of junkmail one would get in the back of a dodgy magazine.
Not at all resembling the fancy 4* & 5* accommodation we were showed during the presentation.
The Voucher is supposed to be from company ‘Travel Clips’ ..nothing to do with the companies mentioned during the presentation.Badly ‘photo edited picture of woman on the front – noooo money was spent on the actual flyer/voucher and It looks like total crap. If you read through the voucher it reveals more treasures like if you want to claim your voucher prize you need to pay R95 per person BEFORE they send you the prize.
A quick google when I got back revealed many other people who fell for this exact thing weather the voucher came in a magazine or via phone call. I assume these companies are constantly changing names and places and operate on the mere emotions of people. So if you like winning, freebies, coupons, vouchers, gambling, lotto etc you are pretty much the target here.
- The companies mentioned Dynamic Travel / Dynamic Solutions, Travel Clips, ‘vhi’ vacation hub. They probably change their names frequently so it could be another name by the time they get to you but the symptoms would be the same.
- Telephonic phone call regarding some of your views regarding relevant SA topic
- They will mention your credit card somewhere during the telephonic conversation ‘very subtle’
- The more they say 100% guaranteed, the further you should run in the opposite direction!
- It will always be a pressured phone-call to collect your voucher- this weekend, tomorrow etc – not giving one enough time to rationally think about this.
- They will through in extra gimmick like in my case ‘lotto’ on the day with a persons last 5 digits of credit card (to see that you have it there) This was for a kitchen makeover R15 000.
- You get there and there is a security guard
- Dodgy lodge/hotel plot etc. (Not 4 or 5 star place anyway more like 1* -That should give you an indication.
- Mostly couples invited – you will need to fill in a form
- Form to fill out will ask your gross numeration / income (ask yourself what has this to do with my free holiday voucher) They want to see something and collect data.
- It will ask if you already have timeshare of some kind, again collecting data
- Consultants are very young (in their 20s = cheap labour)
- Older normal male leading the proceeds- tapping into your culture, jokes etc
- Im sure there is at least one couple planted in the audience to ask questions that are already on the rest of the groups mind eg -how do you make your money etc leading the audience from the back.
- They target families so when it remotely sounds like a deal ‘buy one get one free’ or 50% off. Why on earth would they be that nice? The theory in this case was that they buy in bulk giving you the benefit. We are already a bulk, diy, tv infomercials, self service orientated country..they know this and will exploit this.
- They have a smear campaign with similar companies to show out how they are different etc eg RSI, renowned local travel agencies. Everyone knows ..timeshare ..run so they will use subliminal messages to remind us how crap timeshare is and to agree with their different approach.
- They never really talk about the ‘free voucher, holiday voucher gift etc that you came to collect and will steer the conversation in different direction the moment you bring it up.
- Starts low eg R950 membership fee to benefit from this GREAT deal and once they see you bite.. R13 000 to R60 000.
- From there they have a different strategy and all kinds of add-ons like you can get 5 ‘guests’ to go on your membership/portfolio. and we will through in this and that and save you this much etc etc.
- When they eventually reluctantly give you the voucher. Look at the quality – does this really look like something 5 star? Special printing on nice paper minimalistic and fancy? I mean after all you are about to go on a luxury holiday! Does the invite/voucher resemble luxury or does it come with terms and conditions and a form with postage to be paid BEFORE you get the rest of the info?
Scam scam scam
I thought If I could at least save one of you a buck or two. Dont do it people! Luckily we were tough as nails, but dont be naive, these people do this for a living and they are good at it and very very convincing. So to put yourself in this position in the first place is not good, no matter how strong you think you are.
A quick google search also revealed similar stories – check out these links from hello peter etc.
Some old tannie might not be as lucky and well informed regarding scams and will use her pension money to send her family on holidays…these scammers count on the vulnerable they study our behavior and already know how we react and dream.
Waste of time! and believe me and if you see the voucher..eina
good luck! ha
Examples of what my voucher looked like below: – yours might differ with different offers etc. But ask yourself -does the quality resemble the 5 star accommodation as with presentation regarding whatever company?
Put yourself in the shoes of your favourite soap star or Hollywood star, who most likely travel luxury style only- does the presentation room, clothing of consultants, laptop computer used, and of course the reason you are there ‘free vouchers’ and overall experience feel like actual luxury a star is familiar with? Nope..then no..sorry this is a scam.
Beware of this travel scam agency: vacationhub.co.za/