LGM - Unethical Sales & Marketing in Singapore Hi my friends, Unethical sales and marketing is increasing in Singapore; almost every marketing banner you see has a catch but to cheat a customer upfront is rare. Recently, I’ve been through one such cheat case and I want to share it with you. I’ve painstakingly compiled the events so that you can warn others about it. Here’s what happen… A few days before my birthday, Jessie of Dynamics Network Marketing invited me for a “birthday celebration”. She said “some company” is surveying on people’s preferred birthday celebration style. If I attend a 1 hr celebration at Takashimaya 16th floor with other “birthdayees”, I will receive free gifts like DVD/MP3 players. However, I need to bring my partner along. It sounded like vacation package to me… I was skeptical as many vacation time-sharing company entice people with freebies but Jessie assured there is no selling; just a simple celebration survey. She promised that I will receive the freebies with no charge and the moment I register at Takashimaya #16-01 office. Still skeptical, I asked Jessie to send all information in email (see figure 1). Figure 1 – Jessie’s email Refer to the next 2 pages for the contents of attached word document in the email especially those I high-lighted in RED. C:\Birthday C:\Birthday Entitlement Requi Invitation Letter Figure 2 – Birthday Invitation Letter.doc Figure 3 – Birthday Entitlement Requirement.doc So, what happen to me on 27th May 2006 at Takashimaya #16-01 ?! On 27th May 2006, my partner and I stepped into #16-01 and registered our particulars at the reception. There are many couples like us and some with kids along. After registration, I deliberately asked the receptionist for my freebies but they said I need to attend to a 1 hr “session” first. Session? I thought it was a survey birthday celebration?! Jessie promised freebies the moment I register at Takashimaya #16-01 office. She specifically mentioned it was a survey too. “Very well, I’ll stay for 1 hr and see how they can twist their words”, I thought. Shortly, a sales guy named FRANK greeted us and led us to 14th floor office where we saw the company name – Leisure Group Marketing (LGM). We sat with FRANK over a round table in a room full of couples; FRANK started his vacation package talk. My skepticism on Jessie was proven right! Immediately, I stopped FRANK and told him this is not right! FRANK acted blur and denied anyone named Jessie as they outsourced marketing to another company (thus, not responsible for what they say). So, I complained to an Indian manager about being cheated here! His lame answer was the celebration was about offering me a great vacation package! When I asked where is the VIP and birthday gift presentation, FRANK said he or his manager is the VIP loh! Now, this whole thing is ridiculous! Nevertheless, I am determined to stay for just 1 hr and see what I will get. So, I listened to FRANK talked about discounted vacation at Europe’s castles, discounted tickets, hotel VIP suites etc. There is no celebration/presentation/survey. LGM deny/twist all of Jessie’s words. One hour’s up, I stopped FRANK and asked him for the promised gifts right away. Knowing he can’t persuade me, he led me to #16-01 for gift collection. Guess What??!! I’m given 2 stupid vouchers for even small items like MP3 player and digital camera.. No wonder it was stated in Birthday Entitlement Requirement that “8. Recipient of some gifts, in particular bulky items, will receive the gift in the form of a redemption voucher that may require standard industry courier billing.”. Referring to the next 2 pages of the vouchers’ terms and conditions, one is required to make cheque payments to a company named EXPO Management Ltd to receive the “birthday gifts”. However, there’s no guarantee what-you-see-is-what-you-get and they will not entertain any phone enquiry. Figure 4 – Digital Camera Voucher Front Figure 5 – Digital Camera Voucher Back Figure 6 – MP3 Player Voucher Front Figure 7 – MP3 Player Voucher Back How does LGM cheat you and escape? 1. First, the Marketing, vacation package Sales and Gift Redemption activities are all handled by seemingly unrelated companies. Thus, each side act blur about what they promise to customers. When I complained to Jessie, she said she don’t know it was about vacation package talk; she was just following orders. So, I was misled because she was misled by her boss. What a good excuse… Just imagine what happen if you send your cheque to redeem say an MP3 player?! You may receive a floppy disk and EXPO Management will say they don’t know what LGM promise too. 2. Sales guy FRANK refused to give me his name-card or promotional brochure when I asked him for them. It’s one way to prevent people from circulating information about LGM’s fraud-filled brand name. 3. If you send cheques to claim the gifts, you may receive a different item or nothing! Since the voucher stated no phone enquiries will be entertained, you’ve to visit EXPO Management’s Office to complain. Hey! But read carefully, the postal address is a PO Box! Complain to a mail box then. You’ve just donated your money to a company no where to be found. Since it’s a free gift, you can’t complain to CASE too. LGM cheated people’s money before! Just read the following articles about LGM that I found on the internet. http://www.voy.com/161450/71.html http://www.crimeshare.net/63.html LGM’s unethical practices were also confirmed by my friend in legitimate vacation business. He said often these unethical holiday time-share companies use discounted hotel vouchers from their partner travel firms, hotels to give their customers a sense of “discounted vacation”. If they run out of vouchers, they will say “fully booked”. For those poor souls who sign up for LGM’s package, they may receive gifts like 43” TV etc which is already factor into the high price they paid for! It’s daylight robbery to me.. In conclusion, I’ve no regret attended the fraud-filled session at LGM because I finally knew how they cheat people into attending their talks and buying their products. I am amazed at how such companies lie so openly and “professionally”. Through this document, I want to EXPOSE them especially LGM and its marketing/distribution partner. The next time you receive a call, SMS, email, letter about freebies, surveys, talks, just throw them away. Don’t believe anything they say even if you think you can hold them liable with their “official letters”. Such companies have no business ethic to even trust a single word. Please send this to your friends before they fall into such marketing frauds or worse, buy the vacation packages.
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