I was sitting, minding my own business, at the local market this last weekend, when I got a call…
“Hi, Miss Steen! You’ve won a 7 day accommodation voucher for your choice of any of our resorts!”
The friendly woman on the other end explained that they were doing a word-of-mouth marketing campaign for their Leisure Survey Group travel business and all I had to do was collect my voucher on Tuesday, book my holiday for any time this year and then tell people about it.
Tell people about it? That’s what I do best!
Being a realistic optimist, I did however find myself asking “What’s the catch?” about three separate times on the phone call…
“No catch. We just want you to collect your voucher and tell people about your holiday”
I got so amped, I started mentally planning my holiday dates and who I was going to take with me.
My friend, Donna, had overheard the phone call and was already volunteering herself as tribute. Her 7 year old daughter was also suggesting a request for a plus one, but let’s be honest… there’s no such thing as a relaxing getaway with a 7 year old girl in the room, so that was a hard “no” from me.
Anyway, I’m now getting super pumped up and even get a reminder call on Tuesday that my voucher is waiting for pickup.
Cue my Cape Town friend, Haydin – the eternal pessimist – who has been taking cracks at me all day about how it’s probably a scam and they are going to make me sit through one of those spammy presentations and tell me I only get my vouchers if I sign up for some time share deal.
His theory did sort of make sense. There had to be a catch, right?
Being the resourceful gangster that I am, I got Haydin to drive me to the resort to pick up my vouchers…
“Call me in 5 minutes!”
Just as Haydin had predicted, I walked in to a conference setup… Fuck.
So not cool!
These fuckers LIED to me!
Luckily, I’m crafty AF and my phone rang, just as I was sitting down for one of the agents to chat to me. (Thank you, Haydin!)
“Hi there! Sorry, I’m just going to be about 5 minutes late. I won a holiday package and I am quickly picking it up from the resort. I’ll be right with you.”
The agent, looking clearly perplexed, informed me that this was going to take a lot longer than 5 minutes… They had a 40 minute presentation lined up for me.
BOOM! There it was! There was the catch!
The catch that I was told does not exist.
A commitment required of me that I was not informed about… And I was pissed!
I had been suckered… and NOBODY suckers Storm Steen!
They clearly didn’t know who they were dealing with, because I walked out of there WITH my promised holiday and WITHOUT attending their stupid presentation.
But you know, Friend, this is something that businesses do ALL THE TIME!!!
Any of these sound familiar?:
- “Get your FREE product!” – Then, once you’ve given them your details, you find out you have to buy X,Y and Z to get it? Or pay exorbitant “Shipping fees”?
- “We’ll design your website for the cheapest price on earth!” – Then, you find out that you’ve tied yourself into a lifetime of monthly maintenance fees and are now at the mercy of a developer that never answers your mails?
- “Attend this event and learn how to make a success of XYZ!” – But then it’s literally an hour of some schmuck spewing out generalized success quotes and ending with a “You’ll learn all my secrets if you buy *this thing*!”
These are such crap marketing tactics and anyone using them should be shot! Getting people excited and then letting them down like that should be a crime, right?
You know what keeps clients happy and builds loyalty?
Honesty and transparency.
It’s not that hard!
Take a look at my events:
- I tell everyone exactly what they will be getting and how much they will be paying BEFORE they book.
- Then, at the event, I deliver WHAT I SAID I WOULD!
And do you see one bad review on my Facebook page?
Nope… because I believe in honesty and integrity and I have been to enough bullshit events to know how I don’t want people to feel about mine.