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#1
Old 04-11-2016, 08:45 AM
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Lovers and losers- Is this a scam?

A local radio station often plays an ad saying that you can win a free stay at the Plaza hotel in Las Vegas, and free tickets to see the Lovers or Losers game show, but it requires a $150 deposit which will be refunded when you get to the hotel. The way to "win" this is by calling in and answering a single trivia question, which is also a very easy question. One of my friends did call in, and they basically gave him a sales pitch for the trip, and asked him to pay a deposit. He hung up on them.
#2
Old 04-11-2016, 08:58 AM
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I think you have answered your own question.
Quote:
A local radio station often plays an ad...
Quote:
One of my friends did call in, and they basically gave him a sales pitch ...
Emphasis added.

Regards,
Shodan
#3
Old 04-11-2016, 09:02 AM
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Their ToCs don't say anything about it being refunded on check-in.

But if it was, it's not that far fetched. They're focus-grouping the show and very well could have an arrangement with the hotel for their unsold rooms or, simply, a permanent block.

That said, I wouldn't trust them with my credit card number or contact information.
#4
Old 04-11-2016, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boffking View Post
...win a free [whatever]...but it requires a $150 deposit...
Right there my scam meter is screaming at me "DON'T! IT'S NOT LEGIT!"

Any time I run into a "pay to get your prize" scenario I feel confident in judging it a scam.
#5
Old 04-11-2016, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
Right there my scam meter is screaming at me "DON'T! IT'S NOT LEGIT!"

Any time I run into a "pay to get your prize" scenario I feel confident in judging it a scam.
Not necessarily. It could be a matter of them getting the room free but getting billed if nobody checks in--this would ensure that they lose no money.

But, of course, that's just one option. The far more likely one is that something is going on that you won't want to be involved in.
#6
Old 04-11-2016, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Debillw3 View Post
Not necessarily. It could be a matter of them getting the room free but getting billed if nobody checks in--this would ensure that they lose no money.
So whom do they bill if no one wins the prize?
#7
Old 04-11-2016, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
So whom do they bill if no one wins the prize?
There is no prize to win. Go to their website. All you have to do is give them your email address and phone number.
#8
Old 07-02-2017, 02:28 PM
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You don't know what your talking about

I book people for the lovers or losers show and they travel here everyday.They do get there deposit back when they check in,Hotel stay,show tickets and 100.00 in promotional slots..We book over a hundred people a day.and have for 2 and a half years..Anywhere in any posting does it say these people took my money..Thousands of people..You should keep your opinions to yourself when you don't know what your talking about...How many people missed out on a good offer because of your ignorance..
#9
Old 07-02-2017, 02:47 PM
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I suspect that you may be able to get your money back, but in order to do so you have to attend a mandatory multi hour long sales pitch for a timeshare or some such, in which you will be hard sell pressured to part with more of your money. It basically sounds like the typical timeshare pitch "free" vacation that has been going on forever, but it may have been that people were beginning to wise up and escape from the sales pitch. So now the ask for a deposit to make sure you can't avoid them.
#10
Old 07-03-2017, 11:23 AM
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Actually they want you to keep the population count of people in the Plaza building(s) up, so as to make it seem to be a "happening place". This draws in other people.

They also figure that some of those people will spend or overspend while there.
#11
Old 07-03-2017, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary T View Post
Right there my scam meter is screaming at me "DON'T! IT'S NOT LEGIT!"

Any time I run into a "pay to get your prize" scenario I feel confident in judging it a scam.
Or at the very least, the prize is shit, and there's some hidden catch (like there is with timeshare stuff) - which I'd hesitate to actually call an outright scam, but it's on a continuum at a lower level.
#12
Old 07-03-2017, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillWill View Post
I book people for the lovers or losers show and they travel here everyday.They do get there deposit back when they check in,Hotel stay,show tickets and 100.00 in promotional slots..We book over a hundred people a day.and have for 2 and a half years..Anywhere in any posting does it say these people took my money..Thousands of people..You should keep your opinions to yourself when you don't know what your talking about...How many people missed out on a good offer because of your ignorance..
Welcome to the SDMB ... you've posted on what we call a zombie thread ... the posters you're responding to may not be around anymore ...

I don't think anybody here is suggestion an FCC licensed radio station is committing felony fraud here ... but this type of operation does have a certain level of "scaminess" in many people's minds, it's just not illegal ... it's a free trip but one has to sit through many hours of sales pitching ...

I can't think of a better place to lose a shitload of money than Las Vegas ... just saying ...

Last edited by watchwolf49; 07-03-2017 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Seven come eleven baby ...
#13
Old 07-03-2017, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillWill View Post
I book people for the lovers or losers show and they travel here everyday.They do get there deposit back when they check in,Hotel stay,show tickets and 100.00 in promotional slots..We book over a hundred people a day.and have for 2 and a half years..Anywhere in any posting does it say these people took my money..Thousands of people..You should keep your opinions to yourself when you don't know what your talking about...How many people missed out on a good offer because of your ignorance..
Fuck that shit. If it was legit, you wouldn't charge a deposit.
#14
Old 07-03-2017, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillWill View Post
I book people for the lovers or losers show and they travel here everyday.They do get there deposit back when they check in,Hotel stay,show tickets and 100.00 in promotional slots..We book over a hundred people a day.and have for 2 and a half years..Anywhere in any posting does it say these people took my money..Thousands of people..You should keep your opinions to yourself when you don't know what your talking about...How many people missed out on a good offer because of your ignorance..
(Not that I imagine this poster will ever return, but perhaps someone reading this will learn something.)

It would do much more good for you to explain this program in enough detail for people to understand it than to rant about our not understanding it. Don't curse ignorance, fight it with facts.
#15
Old 07-03-2017, 03:59 PM
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It looks like you can book rooms to the Plaza Hotel for $30 a night (yes, $30 -- that's not a typo). Even assuming it's not a scam, I'm not entirely sure it's worth the effort of calling in and giving them your CC number.
#16
Old 07-03-2017, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dofe View Post
It looks like you can book rooms to the Plaza Hotel for $30 a night (yes, $30 -- that's not a typo). Even assuming it's not a scam, I'm not entirely sure it's worth the effort of calling in and giving them your CC number.
Possibly depends on the day of the week. The only place I've stayed at that I paid for in LV is Circus Circus (twice), and the Sunday-Thursday rates were indeed $30 both times, but the Fri-Sat rates were in the low $100s.
#17
Old 08-02-2017, 07:40 AM
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Here's the deal: Nothing ... for nothing.

OK. A room Sunday through Wednesday at the Plaza, typically is about $30, base price. So they are "giving you" $60, the two night stay.

Which is no big deal to them since they have low occupancy during those days almost all year long anyway - since this is a two-star hotel, in the Downtown/Fremont area, three miles from the Strip proper. Just HOW two-star is it? The basement of the Plaza casino doubles as the Greyhound bus station, constantly filled with crack-heads and vagrants.

If they do happen to be booked up, due to a convention in town or something, you can't go because "accommodations are based on availability at time of travel."

So really they are just giving you a room that was going to be empty anyway. So no skin off their nose.

You WILL have to pay the "resort fee" of $18/day. Almost every property in Vegas has a mandatory resort fee. A lot of visitors don't even realize that these fees exist until they get told at check-in.

You WILL ALSO have to pay the usual state room taxes. That will be about 15% of the room's regular rate PLUS the resort fee. So plan on that being about ... $30+$18=$48x2 nights=$96x15%=$14.40.

The terms/conditions for this promotion clearly state you WILL have to pay the resort fee and the state taxes.

You are now 'down' $18+$18+$14.40=$50.40 for your "two free nights of deluxe accomodations" ... at a low-end property far away from the Strip.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Free tickets to the show? I think not.

The terms state you will have to pay for two drinks for each ticket. You'll be lucky if those drinks don't cost you at least $15 each. They might be cheaper out at the bar, but inside the showroom, you will pay dearly for them. That is also a Vegas norm.

If you had bought the show tickets straight out, at $40 each, you would NOT have to buy the two drinks, so basically you paid nearly full price for the tickets via the drink requirement. To get your $149 refund, you HAVE to go to the show. They are forcing you to go to the show - in order to get your money for the tickets via the drinks.

And there is a Nevada state Live Entertainment Tax of 9%. That will cost you $40+$40=$80x9%=$7.20.

This show, like the rooms, is far from sold out on any night, so the hotel is just giving you seats that would have been empty anyway. So again, no skin off their nose.

You are now 'down' $15+$15+$15+$15+$7.20=$67.20 for your 'free show tickets.'

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Grand total so far? $117.60. For your free room and free show tickets.

Oh, the $100 promotional slot play? Maybe you can win back your money. It's probably 'match play.' Most "funbook/giveaway" Vegas gaming coupons are. Meaning to play your free $100 you will also have to wager $100 of your own, making bets totalling $200. If you match play and lose, you are out your own $100.

Now your big free Vegas trip has cost you $217.60. What a deal, huh?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This 'game show' angle is just a way of giving away nothing -- to get people onto the property. Where they will spend money on food, gambling, booze or whatever.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The casino will make money in other ways:

The taping of the game show means that the casino will eventually sell the episodes of the show into syndication on some low-level cable/streaming channel. More money for them, nothing for you.

Plus the casino makes lots of money by cashing in the $149 from all the people that end up never making the trip. Probably a lot of them, who got 'sold' on the deal and bought it in the 'moment of passion' ... then later figured out that they weren't really getting anything at all.

Because they figured out that the resort fee is basically all the room is worth ... and because the 4 drinks is all the show tickets are worth.

And they aren't going to pop for two airplane tickets for THAT. So they just forfeit the $149.

Not a scam, perfectly legal. Just making 'nothing' sound like 'something.'

And in this world, if it sounds like you are getting something for nothing, you can be pretty durn sure you are not.
#18
Old 08-02-2017, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by DoctorQuality View Post
Not a scam, perfectly legal. Just making 'nothing' sound like 'something.'
Scam is a subjective term; something can be legal and still be a scam. It's a scam if it's a misleading effort to separate you from your money, which this is.
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#19
Old 08-02-2017, 03:23 PM
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I just read a bunch of TripAdvisor reviews on this. The game show prizes are all trips to timeshare properties, where they presumably do a hard sell once you get there. This is just a glitzy way to attract people who have rare qualities such that they are only born once every minute.
#20
Old 08-02-2017, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by DoctorQuality View Post

Not a scam, perfectly legal. Just making 'nothing' sound like 'something.'

And in this world, if it sounds like you are getting something for nothing, you can be pretty durn sure you are not.
Excellent post. No, not quite a scam. Legal and maybe even worth it.
#21
Old 08-04-2017, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
I just read a bunch of TripAdvisor reviews on this. The game show prizes are all trips to timeshare properties, where they presumably do a hard sell once you get there. This is just a glitzy way to attract people who have rare qualities such that they are only born once every minute.
Thank you CookingWithGas for adding that information. Anyone can take a timeshare property trip, to say Vegas or Orlando, just for the asking. I have. Just call Hilton or Wyndham or other property owners. You get two or three night stay on the property in question ... and they may even throw in some show tickets (to a lousy show) ... if you agree to sit through a 90-minute sales presentation. I did.

So, again, the casino is giving absolutely nothing. To get people onto the property and spend.
#22
Old 08-04-2017, 06:58 AM
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Excellent post, DoctorQ. Thanks for doing the math.

So the answer to BillWill's question "How many people missed out on a good offer [sic]" appears to be "no one"...because the offer isn't very good.
#23
Old 08-04-2017, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
I just read a bunch of TripAdvisor reviews on this. The game show prizes are all trips to timeshare properties, where they presumably do a hard sell once you get there. This is just a glitzy way to attract people who have rare qualities such that they are only born once every minute.
This, and the $150 is likely refunded. When people visiting Las Vegas see this all the time only the deposit's not so high. You'll be enticed for tickets to a free Las Vegas show but have to pay $40 or $50 earnest money. This is because something that's totally given away is perceived to have less value* and it also forces people who might get distracted to actually commit to the sales pitch since they would lose their $50. Unlike DoctorQuality's experience, mine is the show is truly free. You are certainly encouraged to buy a drink or two, but not required.

*Couch on the curb with "Free Couch" languishes while one with "$50" disappears on an hour.
#24
Old 08-18-2017, 06:49 PM
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Hey man! do you or anyone on here still have the number for the radio show they called into?
#25
Old 08-22-2017, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by DoctorQuality View Post
And in this world, if it sounds like you are getting something for nothing, you can be pretty durn sure you are not.
Welcome to the SDMB. Yours might be the best first post ever!
#26
Old 10-11-2017, 05:19 PM
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Its not technically a scam but there were some warning signs. First, as mentioned, the question they ask is ridiculously easy. The second red flag was that they asked for the deposit before you even make the reservation. I think they are hoping you pay the deposit and never book the room so they can keep your money. They also dont tell you upfront that only the hotel is covered. They dont pay your airfare nor do they help you with transportation. Also, they dont cover any taxes or fees charged by the hotel. I have also heard that you have to listen to a sales pitch for a timeshare. What they are doing is not illegal but its definitely a "too good to be true" situation.
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