Many consumers receive mail or phone calls saying they have won a fabulous trip to a tropical paradise, all expenses paid! But is it really free? Although some legitimate travel promotions exist, you should always investigate the company by contacting the Attorney General’s office or the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the company.
You should not have to pay for a free trip
If you have to pay any amount for a gift or prize, then by definition, it is not free. You also should not have to pay shipping and handling or processing fees. You should not be asked to make a purchase or donation. If charges appear, your immediate response should be: “If it is free, why do I have to pay for it?”
Important tips to follow:
- Be suspicious of great deals and low prices. Remember the old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
- Do not be pressured into making a quick decision. If it is good deal today, it should be a good deal tomorrow.
- Ask questions. Find out what the price covers and what it does not. Get specific names of hotels, airlines and restaurants. Call them yourself.
- Get the information in writing before you buy.
- Never give your credit card or bank account numbers over the phone to someone you do not know.