Girl Kuripot: Puerto del Sol Bolinao Pangasinan Raffle Scam? - I Won!<meta content='https://www.facebook.com/meloy.co' property='article:author'/>
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Puerto del Sol Bolinao Pangasinan Raffle Scam? - I Won!

I was at the Philippine Travel Mart yesterday. I had fun knowing more about the Philippines, getting the latest deals about the Philippine travel industry, collecting brochures for my dream local trips and canvassing tour packages for my next destinations. Being a travel and contest blogger, I was naturally inclined to joining some of the raffle gimiks of hotels and exhibitors. Who would refuse a chance to win a 3D2N hotel stay in either Pangasinan, Cebu, Boracay, Bohol, Davao, Camsur or Palawan? I did my part and I do recognize the name Puerto del Sol as a nice resort from other Pinoy travel bloggers. UPDATE: I actually stayed already at the hotel  this November 2012 (a few months after this post came out) - check out my Puerto del Sol Resort Review and my crazy Bolinao Pangasinan overnight Itinerary.


puerto-del-sol-jacuzzi.jpg

Today happened and I received a message by phone that I had won that Puerto del Sol raffle. The prize - a 3D2N stay in any of the seven destinations. Wow, that was fast. And I only paid P50 for the Travel Mart entrance. Haha. The person asked me to contact their office today by phone so that they can let me know how to claim. This excited person decided to call and look for the person indicated in the message. The instruction was clear - bring a valid ID to claim your GC but you have to stay to watch an "audio visual graphic presentation" for 90 minutes and they would wait for me anytime from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. I was thinking it was nice of them to show me a video of destinations to help me choose where to go and it's just like going to the movies (and they're playing my kind of movie). Hahaha.

Then I got so excited that I decided to research all the resorts one by one to choose which hotel I want to stay at. Puerto del Sol was the first resort I typed in Google. Bolinao, Pangasinan - I've been planning to go there and the resort website and reviews were nice... As I said, even my travel blogger friends endorse it. Then I didn't get past Puerto del Sol. I chanced upon a reader comment in Our Awesome Planet's site. People had been describing what happens inside their office when you pick up the prize since around 5 years ago online?! Same marketing strategy and pick up lines. I just got hit in the head. Hahaha. It's for a timeshare membership. RCI will come up online, also Club Ultima, Astoria and Crown Regency. Timeshare is not that bad, but it's not for me.

So that's why:
- She didn't email.
On the message,
- She said to call us now "ASAP TODAY". (next time, they should call me nga naman haha..)
On the phone,
- She kept asking my occupation and what company aside from blogging (it probably is not a career that earns wads of cash hahahaha).
- She kept repeating the question if I was single and all the other marital statuses. (otherwise she might require me to bring other people along)
- She said that I should watch a 90-minute video in return.
- She repeated "guaranteed free w/ no strings attach, no any obligation for promotional purpose only". (I think when you're too excited, you lose it haha.)
- I had a big question mark as to why their business hours is at night and they would wait for me.
- I just finally got that "audio visual graphic presentation" is probably a sales portfolio/notebook they will use to illustrate hahaha. 

According to the stories online (not my personal account since I did not claim the prize), some who have gone to claim their prizes do so after enduring a long sales pitch and dodging multiple questions about their finances. When they found the chance to say no, they were finally given the GC and either do not use it or found out that there were no available dates during the "1-year" or so travel validity. Oh, and they were asked to book within a month or a short period and to deposit around 5000 pesos upon booking that free GC to be returned after you consume the GC. But, hey, I didn't experience it myself.

Lessons:
- Don't get angry and say it's a scam - I call it a marketing strategy. Everything else becomes a blur when you're angry and the anger will only continue until you decide not to be angry anymore.
- When in doubt, always ask lots of questions. You can start by asking, "Is this for a "membership" or "timeshare"?" and they will most likely answer you with a yes or a no. Accept that there may be multiple winners and that you are not the only lucky guy in the room =)
- Read the fine print at the raffle form or ask for one haha.
- Ask for a DTI permit number (if any).
- Ask how many winners and when the draw date is.
- Use blogging to inform people of the situation. Then let them decide what they will do.
- I don't want to label it as scam - it is a marketing strategy. Just a reminder: Please don't use it on me and don't teach me to use it on others. I've had my share of MLM (multi-level marketing) invites, etc.
- Timeshare is nice but I've made up my mind years ago that is not for me. 
Even contest bloggers can make errors. I test out the contests I post here but may this serve as a reminder that you enter at your own risk.
- Note to self: Stay away from the nice raffle ladies in any exhibit next time. 

If you were me, would you go tomorrow to pick up your Puerto del Sol raffle prizeTheir office is at the Renaissance Tower in Ortigas. You are free to enter at your own risk =) I'm only narrating my experience, what I read online and what I will do or not do tomorrow. 

I'm keeping my time and risk low at the moment. I'd rather spend my money elsewhere, travel, blog or join other contests =) This raffle ends here today.

Love,
GK

Quick Update: My blogger friend who was lined up behind me filling out his raffle entry also won. LO(Very)L

Additional Update: I was invited by a friend to stay at this same hotel  this November 2012 - you might want to check out my my first-hand experience at Puerto del Sol Resort and my my Bolinao Pangasinan Itinerary suggestion.

54 comments:

  1. Kainis naman yan. Dapat isinusmbong kat Tulfo ang mga bagay na ito, o kaya naman kay Imbestigador!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ding. Naisip ko lang sayang ang ganda ng Puerto del Sol (according to reviews) kung nagkaganon.

      Delete
    2. it's a marketing strategy for timeshare, ever since (2002 onwards) they used the same pitch. I knew because I used to work in a timeshare company (for the contracts) am not in sales... but technically, deceiving lang yung catch ng promo to invite people... and most of the marketing peeps are gays, they're good at it I tell you... and the sales consultant can even hypnotize you with their sweet pitch LOL

      Delete
    3. thanks for sharing your experience haha. they're very good at what they do.

      Delete
  2. just prepare yourself.
    if you have extra time, then go and blog it first hand para naman mabalaan na kami hehehe

    kung busy ka, wag na. baka sumakit lang ulo mo. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. game ako sa ganyan dati pero parang di ok ang pakiramdam lagi after. either mahiya ka mag-no o mapilitan ka magyes o magalit ka lang. haha.

      Delete
  3. lahat cguro pinapapunta nila sa office nila then o-offeran ng ganyan.. awts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ang dami atang nanalo sa travel mart! come to think of it di nila sinabi na isa lang ang mananalo hahaha

      Delete
  4. Hey Girl Kuripot, have been to one to many gimicks such as this. Indeed they give out that GC, but it really takes out that much time. I was promised 90 mins. But with all the haggling and "kuliting" it easily became 3 hours.

    But still I got to enjoy my vacation even with so many restrictions. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3 hours, you're so generous!!! last one to surrender, right? fight haha.

      Delete
    2. Hi Manila Stone,

      We're you able to use your 3D2N coupon? I also had mine. just listened no cashout sa office.

      Wondering lang baka pagdating dun sa resort, dun ka tatagain ng mga bayad bayad..

      Thanks.

      Delete
  5. Sis it is a scam indeed. I used to work for one resort din sa Bora na ganyang ganyan ang process. Wala namang draw yan eh basta bibigay lang sa amin ang leads coming from the people sa malls na pinapirma kunwari nila ng raffle entries then kami sa call center nila ang tatawag to let them know they won tapos yan papupuntahin sa office to claim pero yung sales team ooferan lang nila ng membership sa resort. I'm not just sure kung may nabibigyan talaga kasi I didn't stay there longer than three days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess they still get a lot to join that's why they're doing it. It "works" but at the cost of other consumers.

      Delete
    2. I WS AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER YSTERDAY ATTENDING THE 11TH FRANCHISE EXPO MET THIS 3 GIRLS WHO IN A VERY BUSY ENVIRONMENT ASK FOR MY NAME,WORK AND CP # THIS MRNING JUST RECEIVD A CALL FRM THEM THAT THEYRE GIVING ME GC FOR PUERTO DEL SOL BEACH RESORT & HOTEL AND TELLING ME TO GET MY GC I HAV TO GO TO THEIR OFFICE AT RENAISSANCE HOTEL IN ORTIGAS BT I SHOULD SET ASIDE 90MINS.OF MY TIME FOR THEIR PRESENTATION I AM EXCITED OF COURSE DHL MATULOY NG MKPGBKSYON KAMI NG ASAWA KO FOR OUR 5TH YR.ANNIV.CELEB.UNG AIRLINE TICKET NLNG ANG KAILNGAN NAMIN BUT UPON READING THIS BLOG NGDADALAWANG ISIP NA AKO...PUPUNTA P B AKO S OFFICE NLA TO CLAIM THE GC HELL I DNT KNW ANYMRE I COMPLETELY LOST MY EXCITEMENT...

      Delete
  6. There are a lot of accounts about this already.. you can check it out using google.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stacy. Yup. That's how I saw it. But it doesn't show up when you search puerto del sol only so people have to be informed.

      Delete
  7. nexperience namin yan, 5yrs ago. umattend kami and may free dinner nga pero umuwi din agad before presentation. so every time na may tumatawag sa kin at nanalo daw kami. never na kami umattend. yung free GC namin, mas mura pa yung bayad kaysa sa down na P5k so hindi na namin ginamit. hassle pa sa pagclaim at pagrefund ng P5k.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michi. Sad to say I was too excited haha. There are so many good travel promos out there that I didn't see this coming now.

      Delete
  8. I had the same experience before. Makulit sila talaga. When I went to their office I already had a feeling that it was about networking/selling. When they asked me if I could stay longer for a quick seminar. I just said no, sabi pa nila "hindi nyo makukuha prize nyo." Sabi ko I don't need it. You have to be very firm, kasi makulit talaga sila.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tipong all in suits ba tapos maraming table? Haha. Kelangan ko pa ata ng practice to be firmer sa phone pa lang haha.

      Delete
  9. They have been doing this for the past N years. around 4 years ago, i was unfortunate to go to this trap.

    The real sad part of their sales pitch (if ever one do purchase) was when you compute everything, you're getting just about the same amount if you try to book for yourself at any other place, plus the hassle of trying to reserve a date you wanted for a vacation. Its time share so most of the time during holidays and long weekends, the owners or their contacts gets to book the place. Not really worth the hassle for the price.

    on a lighter note, i attended those of club ultima for the hotel in cebu and I was able to redeem their free 3d/2n stay with not much hassle. but that was 4 years ago...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yup, a chunk of your time and a lot of saliva are spent. whereas if you simply won a contest today, there is no selling involved.

      Delete
    2. i mean if you will join a contest today, they don't sell you anything after the draw.

      Delete
  10. Natawa ako bigla kasi ang dami pala nating panalo. MIne is stub number 247420. Ok na sana eh nakakabilib after ilang days lang nanalo agad ako? It is too good to be true..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chino! Natawa rin ako haha. Ang layo ng agwat ng number natin. Did you go on Travel Mart also? I hope that they skipped some booklets or else - that many people won haha.

      Delete
  11. kung free, sana wala ng deposit na 5k. yung kuya ko, may 3d/2n din sa any crown regency hotel. yun nga before makuha.. presentation for an hour. then membership details.. nakuha nya yng gc pero hindi ginamit. ng search muna kasi kami about dun and dami na pala ngsabi na scam. isa lang nabasa ko na na claim yung 5k, yung iba hindi na..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Charmaigne. Reading about that 5k paid way in advance and booking period made me think twice. Normally, a hotel would ask for that during your stay already. Unless your a trusted booking site like Agoda or something.

      Delete
  12. That happened to me and my wife a lot of times, they are all scattered on every toycon, cosplay etc event we attended. Won Astoria and Crown na, they also said there is a free dinner buffet during the presentation. racket talaga. same as family first and the japanese induction stove, water filter etc. there is also one stationed at saint francis square always asking shoppers if they have a credit card, etc. Good thing you searched online first. I also join lots of contests and now stay away from fake raffle tickets on events.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi DoKsTeR! Thank you for sharing your experience. Glad to know I can add other things in my list. Some though are legit naman like they don't ask you to buy stuff after anymore and just claim your prize. Let's just scram na lang or research if we hear 'presentation' haha.

      Delete
    2. or 'credit card' or 'finances' =)

      Delete
    3. Hello Melody,
      Thanks, my wife and I don't fill-up forms from these people esp. if they ask for a credit card number. It's much safer to join contests online, also with rafflecopter. We also stay away from contests with most "likes" as a kind of voting. =)
      thanks for the heads up.

      Delete
    4. i also personally don't join if the most likes is the main judging component =)

      Delete
  13. Actually, totoo naman ung mga vacation packages na yan. I also won something like that from A. Venue - a voucher that I can use in any destination I like (Boracay, Hongkong, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, India, or Australia). In fact, I still have the voucher. Ang problema lng, sasakit ang ulo mo according to reviews I've read. You need to deposit 5k which is refundable daw - but some reviews said that theirs took almost a year bago narefund. Kaya nawalan din ako ng gana. Hahaha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. agree. i think it's better if they just ask for the 5k after you've checked in if it is really for a deposit. a hotel deposit is supposed to be for incidentals while you are there right. that's my idea of a deposit. that one i can take. this deposit is for booking i think and there is a small chance that the person will not show up if it was in fact, free in the first place. the accounts of another set of headache in claiming that 5k after you do checkin is really a major turnoff. you gave the deposit when they want it and they should also give it back to you when you check out without you having to remind them or even ask for it.

      Delete
  14. nasa Manila Ocean Park ulit sila, kahapon kami ang kinontak. dalawa ang "promotions" nila... Puerto Del Sol & Canyon Woods Vacation Club. and surprisingly nanalo daw kami in both raffle, which is 1 in 500,000+, depending on how many people visited that day, so i know it's a scam immediately.

    Just Be Careful Guys.
    If it's too good to be true, it probably is.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My wife and kid went on an educational tour in Manila Ocean Park yesterday 11 October and said that she filled up something like this. Today she received a text and call from Mitch Torres about winning a gift certificate for Puerto Del Sol for free accommodation and those stuff. Valid for 1 year, preferred daw ang married couples etc. Then going to watch daw 90 presentation in Pasig tomorrow around 12-3pm.

    Naisip ko ano nman kya ang catch nun. Its to good to be true.
    Good thing i found your blog, this gives me a heads up and not be victimized by these scams.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Just stumbled upon this now and wow! Scams like these still exist? Be careful everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I also received a very similar message this morning. But after doing some research and have read shocking stories online (including yours), we'd rather not go to Renaissance 2000 tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I also experienced the same scenario yesterday. I received a call that I was selected to receive a GC for 3D2N stay at Puerto del Sol. As far as I remember, I registered my name at WTC WORLDBEX last March 15, 2014. After I confirmed to them about the GC, I made a research about the place and accidentally I found this site. I read this site and your comments: I decided not to claim their GC anyway. Whether it's a scam or marketing strategy or good offer, I won't make myself be gullible with this scenario. Imagine... it's 2014 and they still go with this kind of promotion since the start of this blog? Same method in claiming the GC, video presentation, and what's creepy? the. same. venue. (Renaissance Center Tower).

    I'll post my comment here so I can tell other readers with similar situation in the future. Well, it's up to the readers to tell whether it's a scam or not. But in my opinion and based on the stories above, I decided not to pursue this free GC.

    ReplyDelete
  19. my husband received a call this morning from el puerto marina we were so excited.when i tried to research online i saw this comments.im now confused if we will still push through tomorrow.because they have the same strategies 90 mins briefing buffet etc.help pls.....

    ReplyDelete
  20. salamat dito.. buti nagbasa basa ako.. el puerto marina. sa manila.ocean park naman sila.. same with 3d2n hotel then with 90mins video presentation. hahaha.. i will not go there to get the GC..God bless you guys!

    ReplyDelete
  21. salamat dito.. buti nagbasa basa ako.. el puerto marina. sa manila.ocean park naman sila.. same with 3d2n hotel then with 90mins video presentation. hahaha.. i will not go there to get the GC..God bless you guys!

    ReplyDelete
  22. thanks for this info.. nanalo din kc ako.. hahaha this is like hulidap with a twist.. same with 90mins video.. with free dinner pa..

    ReplyDelete
  23. kahapon, nag pa gas ako sa shell buendia (near harrisson) and I got a coupon from el puerto marina. then kinabukasan (which is today dec. 5) may tumawag sa akin at nanalo daw ako. same procedure din. need ko iclaim yun bukas, may free lunch buffet daw tapos may 90min video presentation. after the call grabe excited kami ni kumander, kaso pagbalik ko sa opis, i did some research and i found your blog and other blog similar to this. parang ayoko na kunin. nadismaya na ko. hahaha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. pumunta po ba kayo sa office nila? kasi now lang po kami nanalo...march 9,2016 ano po ba puede kong pagbasehan?

      Delete
  24. hi... march 16,2016 bandang hapon ng makareceived kami txt about nga dito... pupunta ba kami o hindi??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi. hindi na ako pumunta dahil may iba pa akong gustong gawin sa oras ko. desisyon nyo naman po kung pupunta kayo. basta kung medyo ganyan nga tapos ayaw nyo, sabihan nyo na lang sila kung gusto nyo nang umalis.

      Delete
  25. yesterday nsa Jollibee Centre ortigas office nang El puerto Marina kmi nang asawa ko para kunin yung GC at Pinakain pa kmi nang dinner pag pasok ko sa loob daming tao, tapos may pinakilala silang manager ata nila yun at ang sabi igrab nyo na yung opportunity na yun dahil malaki na daw na tipid namin, nag dahilan ako na may lalakarin pa ako sbi ko di ko na tatapusin yung 90 Min presentation nila sbi nila required daw sbi ko hnd nalang pero nagulat ako binigay na din sa akin agad yung GC kahit di pa tapos nag start presentation kaya yun umuwi na agad ako. kainiz abala naman ginawa nila.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I signed something at Worldbex last March 19 and somebody called me up today for tomorrow's claiming of prize daw. Unfortunately I am out of town. But I know this is too good to be true because there is similar strategy in boracay for astoria hotel. Well, if I really won a GC, there is nothing I would do before I can claim. It's ss simple as that. No video presentation.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I just received a similar call just today. Everytime na magpa-gas ako sa Shell Marcos Highway may nagbibigay ng raffle coupons. El Puerto Marina resort naman and I only have to watch a 90-minute video presentation daw at El Cielito Hotel in Baguio with free buffet. .Naku buti na lang may lumalabas about this sa net.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Naexperience q kagabi to ang problema is nakapag down aq agad for membership haha bakit kc now q lang nabasa to haha

    ReplyDelete
  29. kauuwi lang namin ng husband ko galing el cielito inn para iclaim daw ung GC ng husband ko...pero while on the way initerview ko asawa ko kung san nya nakuha ung raffle ticket na un, ang sabi binigay daw nong nag gas up sya so tinanong ko ulit kung galing ba sa gas station sabi binigay lang daw ng nagtatambay don, then i ask him ano mga tinanong sau nong tumawag cla...tinanong daw xa kung ano work nya pati work ng wife nya...don na ko nagduda kasi bakit sila interesado sa work namin mag asawa, pero sabi b
    Ko sa husband ko punta tau don pero wag k na magdisclose ng more information sa kanila makinig lang tau sa presentation at ako n bahala mag turn down sa offer nila....so hayun binayaan ko na magsalita ng magsalita hanggang matapos ung 90 minutes ung representative nila then after that sinabi ko na "thank u for the nice presentation but we are not buying" HA HA

    ReplyDelete
  30. nawala ung excitement ko hahaha !buti nlang nagbas muna ako bago pumunta . balak ko tlga pumunta today pero ayaw ako smahan ng husband ko dahil bka nga scam daw ! kya pala nubg tumwag cla paulit ulit na tinatanong work ng hubby ko !! pang akit nga nman tlga ang free dinner buffet !! ako nman kadi tong mahilig sa buffet kya gora dora lang hahaha . buti na lang tlga nagbasa ako buti nlang tlga !!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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