Category: Morally Wrong

CLC World Free Holidays

We all remember the Timeshare explosion in the 70s with millions of phone calls, endless adverts and more to entice you into signing up for a Timeshare i.e. to buy a share of a holiday home, typically for one or two weeks per year.

The idea being that only paying for a couple of weeks must be a lot cheaper than buying your own holiday home and maybe cheaper than hotels and villas etc.

But, for whatever reason, Timeshare sellers went for the hard sell but combined it with getting people into a situation where they found it difficult to say no. They often gave people a free evening somewhere nice or even free holidays in sunshine resorts. However, the pressure to buy was relentless and many people ended up buying a timeshare just to stop the salesmen bothering them.

That all came to an end as the publicity over high pressure selling and the ability for people to cancel within 14 days according to law made it less profitable for the sellers.

But they didn’t go away completely and CLC (Club la Costa) are sending out mass emails and making phone calls to tell people they have won a free holiday. This is the Timeshare scam.

To claim your free holiday, you and your partner must agree to attend a 90 minute presentation (probably 2 hours or longer) at a CLC World Travel Centre in the UK.

You pay a £90 deposit up front to guarantee your attendance (which will be refunded when you have attended the full session). After attending, they offer you a free week of accommodation at one of their holiday sites, sometimes plus a voucher for Marks & Spencer or other high street chain, for about £50.

At the presentation they may offer a one to three year ‘trial’ but with destinations and dates. If you do commit to a long term membership, you’re likely to find that school holiday dates will have to be booked years in advance and the holidays you want simply aren’t available to be booked. Many people admit they felt bullied into signing up and then immediately cancel when they get home.

Is It a Free Holiday?

Yes. But you have to pay for your own flights, food, insurance etc. You will have to be very flexible – you may not get to travel on the dates, to the location or from the airport that is convenient for you.

During your free week’s holiday you must attend a resort tour and presentation (if you don’t, you will be charged for the accommodation. The presentation is again high pressure and they want everyone to sign up.

There are reviews of dealing with CLC and going on their ‘free’ holidays’ available on Money Saving Expert and TripAdvisor.

e.g. 1 I went on a CLC trip to Tenerife. Had to pay own flights and transfers. We had to go to the presentation for about 6 hours and it was very boring and wasted a day of the holiday. Other than that we got a nice apartment and weren’t given any hassle. If you can get cheap flights and don’t mind one very boring day then it’s ok for a cheap holiday.

e.g.2 If you’ve signed, got a few thousand on credit to pay, you go home. You then read every thing and find they never told you that you also pay £400 a year for fees.

Maybe a Timeshare suits you so why not take advantage of the free taster holiday. But for most people it’s too restrictive and too expensive when all costs are added up.

Plus, although they promise you that selling a Timeshare is easy – hundreds of thousands of people have found that it’s virtually impossible to do and that makes the Timeshare worthless.

If you have any experiences with Timeshare sellers – do let me know, by email.

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The Price of Fake Reviews

Getting good online reviews can be critical for product and service sellers and there are various ways to get these that are legal and acceptable.

But there are also the unacceptable and sometimes illegal methods.

A recent spam email describes a “top quality” service and prices start at $49 for a set of reviews.

Not just any old reviews, but reviews that are guaranteed to be –

  • 5 stars
  • Posted from local IP addresses
  • With 100% discretion
  • Posted from verified accounts
  • Sporadically posted to avoid auto detection

Can she provide this service?

That’s unknown but certainly there are people who can do and find their clients amongst the unscrupulous, desperate for good reviews that they haven’t earned.

When reading reviews online, do take the time to consider whether what you’re reading is from someone who has used the actual product or service or could they be talking about anything at all.

“Excellent service”. “Loved the quality of the product”. “Best value ever”. “Most delicious meal I’ve ever eaten”.

These are meaningless general comments as they don’t show the reviewer has actually used the product or service.

Do not ever pay for reviews and consider many reviews before making any decision to buy.

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eToro Trading Platform

eToro is described as a social trading and multi asset brokerage company that focuses on providing copy trading services and it has registered offices in Cyprus and Israel.

So, it’s for people who want to trade crypto currencies, shares, binary options and so on.

There seem to be a lot of people who complain that eToro is a scam – that you can add money to your eToro account  then they charge $25 for any cash withdrawal and takes ages to make such transactions whereas adding money is very quick.

This is normally the hallmark of a badly run business and hence one you should be wary of.

However there are also many people who claim they trade frequently on eToro and have no problems.

The forum at contains roughly equal number of people claiming eToro is a scam and those claiming it’s a good company.

If you do wish to invest using eToro do check online for latest reviews of the business and preferably don’t put all of your money on the one platform.

If you have any experiences with eToro do let me know, by email.

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TV License Plus

The official website for renewing your TV licence, registering a change of address etc. Is

You have to pay for a licence of course but address changes etc. are free.

Operators such as  make money from offering free services at a premium price, such as TV licence address change and often users don’t realise they’ve been conned into paying for something that is actually free.

This is legal but it catches people out as they trust the first result on Google search and may unintentionally choose a service without realising they are being charged for it.

To try to combat this, the official site pays for Google adverts, so they appear twice on the search results.

If you were warned in advance by the website that there will be an extra charge to pay then most people would stop and go to the official website, but often for people in a rush they expect Google to show up the official site and just start entering their details.

You will still get your licence renewed or address changed etc. by using one of these premium operators but it will cost you more for no good reason.

If you have any been caught out by these premium charge operators – do let me know, by email.

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