Early this year when I was at a Pearl Jam concert in Camden, I stupidly entered one of those drawings for a car. A Ford Mustang, or some other car I really wouldn’t want. Surprise, surprise, it’s actually just a way for some company to get your information so that they can call you nonstop. In this case I started receiving calls from Dowd Marketing on behalf of Sundance Vacations. From what I have heard, Sundance itself is a decent company, but it doesn’t matter much when you hire a rather unscrupulous firm to handle your marketing.
The first calls were actually back in May. I just ignored them and deleted their messages as I wasn’t interested. After a couple months I listened to one more closely, and found out that they were offering a 3 day/2 night stay at any Marriott along with a $500 shopping spree for coming to their 1 hour sales pitch. I always approach these things with a skeptical mind, but also remember that they can also be worthwhile (my Dad got an incredible deal on a condo rental at Smugglers’ Notch years ago for the entire family, and simply had to spend a couple hours at a dinner listening to their sales pitch). I figured a free weekend somewhere would certainly be nice and $500 is definitely worth an hour of my time.
But wedding and honeymoon plans prevented me from scheduling a meeting, and when they called me two days before we left I had the impression that the promotion would be over by the time we got back. Despite the fact that they had been calling me for months, I was assured that these packages were quite popular. Whatever, Hawaii was far more important. When we got back, I decided I’d give them a call but managed to get another call before I even had a chance. So I made an appointment for Lisa and I to head out to Rockaway the following evening for their sales pitch.
Unfortunately for them, the guy threw out some info at the end that made me realize this probably wasn’t on the very up and up. Suddenly the hotel room couldn’t be used on consecutive nights (which means 3 day/2 nights is an outright lie) and the $500 shopping spree is for a specific website I’d never heard of. So a quick Google led me to a thread on Scam.com about Sundance. There I read other horror stories about dealing with them (mixed in with some good reviews of the company itself, and some probable employees of the marketing company lurking). I’m glad I didn’t waste my time, as you have to jump through hoops to even get the hotel room, and the website sells 5 year old video games for 10 times what you can get them for in stores (plus ridonkulous s&h charges). So we kept our Thursday evening for ourselves.
Now they’ve stepped up the calls, and we’ve received multiple each day for the last few days. Of course I could try to deal with this through proper channels but, instead, I’ve decided to take advantage of technology. This morning I found this neat little option with our Sunrocket account (our VoIP provider). There’s a little button next to the numbers on the caller ID list on the webpage – when you click on it, one of the options is “Block Number.” Buh-bye Dowd. You no welcome here no more.
The moral of this story: Ford cars still suck…