Scam #2 : Privilege Cards

... the scam continues...

As promised, here’s the sequel of the scam-series post I would like to share with you. If you are a fan of freebies and discount cards then you might have encountered this. Since I don’t have anything against them, I won’t be mentioning their name. There are a lot of establishments in the Philippines that offer a lot of discount items or freebies from purchasing something and this is not something new. However, due to rampant advertising campaigns of other companies, though they are legal, there are still making other “illegal and half-truth” gimmicks to sell the so called “privilege cards”

Privelege Cards are included in the family of discount cards. It is a card being offered to attract consumers to avail something from a particular establishment. As a token of appreciation, when you have this card, you’ll be entitled on getting something from them, whether in a form of discount or free gift item.

The privilege card I’m talking about is also legal. BUT and a very big BUT, the company is just forcing you to pay their membership fee! Since the very first day I received my CC, I’ve been flooded with calls saying that I was referred by the bank, by someone or even a doctor. And that I was entitled with something that I don’t actually need.

I firmly believe that the company is quite known in high society. Why did I say that? Because most of their partnered shops and establishments are can be afford by the riches alone…. Huh!@ I’ve been attracted by the offer since they reduced the membership from 15, 000 to 5,000 with added freebies. The agent who called me said that the payment will be divided in 24 terms, which will be 300 per month or so. I said yes at the beginning.

Personal information has been taken from me. I was actually browsing the net while on the phone, when I stumbled upon this post, "Be Wary of SMD Marketing Corp". So I decided not to continue availing it but it was really too late when I realized I already gave them my CC number. I was really nervous and took several attempts to call their office but to no avail. I’m so confused so I decided to call my CC agent and asked about it. She said it was legal but the payment that is supposed to be divided in 24 terms will be pushed into one time payment.

Without any further thinking, I then decided to cut-off my newly approved CC. I talked to my CC’s agent and asked if there’s already a transaction made on behalf of the privilege card company. Thank God that there’s none. I asked them to change my card number and I waited for the new one for almost a week.

After I cancelled the card, the agent called me again. And so I told her that I won’t be availing the card. Here’s our conversation.

Me: I’m trying to reach the number that you gave me but it is always busy.
Agent (aka Cecille Perez): Mam, I’m still processing your application for the raffle that will be drawn today.
.. since you don’t have any fax, and you told me to send the application to your email, I used the phone line to connect to the internet.

I, on the other line was really confused. “Dial up sila?” huh!”

Conversation continues..
Me: Yes, you told me that you will send it to me before 5 pm because the draw will be at 5pm. What time is it now? It’s 5:05 already?
Agent (aka Cecille Perez): Yes Mam. Pero di ba po pag nag internet dapat busy yung phone line.

On my mind… my gosh! Does this agent already heard the term “broadband or dsl?” And that was really shocking that they are not even connected to the internet. Very suspicious!

And so…

Me: I won’t be availing the card anymore.
Agent (aka Cecille Perez): Bakit naman po?
Me: I’ve already changed my mind and I don’t have to explain my reasons anyway.
Agent (aka Cecille Perez): That won’t be possible mam, since we’ve been heard by the bank who referred you.

Again.. excuse me, does the executives from the bank have the time to just listen to what I’m saying or our transaction? Malay ba nilang drama lang un? And most of all… hello… haller… don’t threaten me with that lousy reason.


Me: Why is that?
Agent (aka Cecille Perez): the transaction has already been made
Me: O really! But I can cancel my card, don’t you know that?
Agent (aka Cecille Perez): no mam, you can’t just cancel your membership since it was stated in the law.
Me: Oh what article is that? San ba ko magiging liable for refusing an offer? I haven’t received anything from you and I assure you that you can’t charge me with anything.

She kept on saying that it won’t be possible and she’s threatening of suing me. I encourage her to give me the banks that referred me but she can’t give any. When she was cornered with her so many alibis, she then decided to drop the call and told me that she’ll call again.

That was a pretty long post from the hated days of my life. I’m doing this to warn you in the future. If not for the post I read from Eche...blah...blah, I’ve been also victimized by this scam.

Some points.

1. If you receive a call from the same company, don’t entertain them anymore if you’re an average individual. I assure you, you can’t afford their partnered establishments.
2. Don’t just give your CC number to anyone you just talked on the phone.
3. Your CC number is given. Call your CC company hotline then cut off your card and request for another one.

Hope I can also save lives from this dangerous scam just like Eche...blah...blah did to me.

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