We all know how timeshare scam companies in Singapore work. Last October, local blogger gecko wrote about his encounter with one such timeshare company, grand seasons international (GSI). His post was quickly highlighted in tomorrow.sg (a highly popular local metablog) to warn people about this scam.
Seven months later, tomorrow.sg has been slapped with a legal letter, supposedly for defaming GSI.
Note that tomorrow.sg does not publish its own original blog content; it aggregates interesting posts (with a local focus) from various blogs. Still, the law firm chose to take legal action against tomorrow.sg instead of the original blogger.
I am not sure how the editors intend to deal with this matter. They are currently seeking legal advice and support from people who have dealt with GSI before. I certainly hope that they would not bow down to pressure or be bullied into taking down the post, because that is exactly what GSI is seeking. Scam companies do not deserve to win.
A quick google search for “grand seasons international” (with quotes) would reveal the said tomorrow.sg post in the first result, and “Grand Seasons International — Timeshare Victims Support Group” in the second. That speaks volumes about GSI already.
james seng, a tomorrow.sg editor, says it best:
“We are also mindful that threats of legal action should never be used to quash legitimate and valid criticism on the internet.”
Indeed. Blogs have become a popular medium for people to gather the most honest reviews and opinions. People trust a blog review more than, say, a paid review article in a magazine. But imagine being threatened with legal action for every negative remark made of a company, however accurate it is. No blogger would dare to speak ill of anyone ever again. Instead, they would be waxing lyrical about every other company and product. Would people still look to blogs as a reliable source of information?
Be sure to read the full legal letter here and leave your thoughts on how the editors should deal with this matter. Personally I am very curious as to how it will unfold. I have always wondered what I might do should bee cheng hiang decide to take legal action against me for my call for boycott.
Now, for something more lighthearted… How should we deal with these timeshare scammers in the first place? Well, I stumbled upon jayson’s blog a few days ago. Yet another of these timeshare scam companies, global trend this time, called him up to offer him a “free gift”. He immediately knew that it was a scam and with some quick thinking, pulled a fast one on the company.
Lucky for us Jayson has recorded all his hilarious phone conversations with the scammer – a totally clueless but very persistent one! Listen to how Jayson (he uses the name “victor” in the recordings) brag about his “big and long shaguar” (jaguar!) that has to occupy at least “1.5 to 2 parking lots”. Hahahahaha! He claims himself to be the CIO of a huge multinational company and how he enjoys “pajamas Fridays”. Hahahahaha!
Guys, you must, must, must listen to the conversations in this order! Trust me, they are bloody funny!
May 25, 2007 – 11:43am
May 25, 2007 – 6:17pm
May 28, 2007 – 2:23pm
Thanks, Jayson, for the laughs! Do drop by his blog to listen to all his conversations with the scammer and leave your creative suggestions!