CRIME TRACKER: BBB Warns Of High Pressure Sales Scheme - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

CRIME TRACKER: BBB Warns Of High Pressure Sales Scheme

KHQ.COM - The Better Business Bureau is warning about a deceptive sales scheme moving through Spokane telling people they've qualified for a free 2-day getaway. However, people are finding out that getaway comes with strings attached and dozens of hurdles, including several hidden costs.

Crime Tracker Kalae Chock talked to BBB Investigator Kris Byrum, who checked into the case.  Byrum says the scheme starts with a mailer that tells the recipient they've qualified for a vacation with a value of $1,400 value. 

The mailer says to call a number to learn more, but when you do, you find out you need to attend a 90 minute sales seminar.  You also need to bring along your spouse and your credit card number to a Spokane Valley hotel where these seminars are being held. However, some of the people who made it that far in the process still didn't get those vouchers.

Chelsea Maguire with the BBB talked to some of the people who attended that seminar.  She says "They say that people have been forceful, very rude, have bad customer service and nobody knows really what company this is that's hosting, which is really concerning. And we're not really sure if anyone gets the tickets at the end and how much you have to pay to get there."

The BBB says the company, known as  "Grand Travel Worldwide", operates under several different names. It stopped short of calling it a "scam" but said that this company is using "extremely deceptive practices." The BBB recommends the following rules of caution:

  • Before you attend any sales presentation, check with the BBB to see if there have been previous complaints.
  • Also, research your options to cancel a deal.
  • Be cautious of solicitations that don't disclose the name and address of the company.
  • Question claims that you've won something if you don't remember entering a contest.
  • Verify proof of high savings that seem to good to be true.

The BBB says any time you're faced with high-pressure sales it's easy to get flustered. It says not to be afraid to take your time before committing to a deal. You can even ask for time alone to review and discuss without the presence of the sales person.

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