Royal Resort & Sheridan Resorts Goa — Deceptive marketing strategies
I got a telephone call on the first week of July 2007. On the other side of the phone, was a girl who introduced herself as an executive from Royal Resorts calling from their Bangalore office. She called me to inform that; I got selected for a 3-day 3-night stay in one of their 5 star resorts in Goa. Before asking she told that my mobile number & email address they received from one of the malls in Bangalore where I might have filled up my details while doing the shopping. She said I could come to their office in Cunningham road to collect the gift voucher for the same and no strings attached. Further, I told her that I may not be interested if any financial payment or commitment is required from my side. She said, that is not at all required as I am a lucky winner and the only condition is that I have to bring my spouse also to collect the gift-voucher as this offer is applicable only for married couples.
Nobody want to loose a free Goa vacation offer for 3 days. So, I reached the place on time with my wife and two kids. I had to take my maid also along as it was difficult for my wife to handle two kids (20 months old twins) while I am driving. When I reached the place, I noticed that it is nothing but a marketing office. First I was asked to fill a form with my personal details. Also they asked the company I am working and the designation etc. Further, a marketing executive started explaining me about their resorts and the time-share plan. Then I realized that it is a trap. The executive was keep on talking about their different properties in India & Abroad, RCI membership etc. I told the guy that I came to get the gift voucher and not interested in the membership. Still, he continued explaining the membership details & finished only when he done with it. And he ended with a question, 'So which type of membership you would like to go for ?'
I said, I don't require any membership & came for the gift voucher for the Goa resort. Also I told him that I was assured by the person who called me that I don't have to make any financial commitments for the gift. Finally, the guy went inside and came back with a small receipt counterfoil, which says 3 days/3 nights, Sun village resort - GOA. By the quality of the paper or the size of it, it doesn't look like a gift voucher at all. Any way I took it home.
Next working day, I called on the telephone number provided in the receipt to book the resort, but no body was picking up the phone. Finally one guy picked it up some time around noon. He asked me whether I am a member or I have a complementary pass. I said I have a complementary pass valid for 6 months. He said the resort is booked completely and no rooms are available. He did not entertain any questions on the availability etc. He said he would call me back, if he has rooms and disconnected. But he did not ask for my name or telephone number during the conversation.
So, please don't waste your time and energy on calls from Royal resorts or Sheridan Resorts. They are trying a different marketing strategy, which will definitely back fire in the long run.
Thanks & Regards,