Dan Rattiner's Stories

eFax vs. Fax: An Unexpected Fax Leads to Hawaiian Vacation

Most people today use smartphones and email for all their activities. I’m here to tell you there’s a lot to be said for those of us who still operate by house phones and fax machines.

Here’s a recent trip we took because of the fax machine. It came in three weeks ago and we took full advantage of it. Now we’re back home all suntanned and with sand in our shoes.

LIMITED TIME ONLY, the fax said. It was a MEMO to ALL EMPLOYEES.

“Agents averaging 15 years of travel industry experience are ready to offer you the trip of a lifetime for a discounted price.”

The first 200 callers received up to 60% airfare, which for five of us would be a huge plus. When asked, we had to say the Promo Code, which was “Travel 149.” We had to work fast, though. The fax came in around 11:30. We had to choose between five days in Hawaii, Cancun, Jamaica, Bahamas, Cabo, Dominican Republic, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica or Turks & Caicos Islands. We quickly chose Hawaii and we made the call. Indeed, we were among the first 200 callers, so we also got the 60% off the airfare.

What a deal. It was five days and four nights with all meals included for only $149 per person. Five-star resorts were guaranteed. And we had 18 months to use it.

Well, we used it right away. As a result, we also got a free rental car and an all expenses paid extra special trip to Disney World for four days and three nights.

Out in Hawaii, we enjoyed snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing, all for free. Unfortunately it did not include the helicopter ride or the fishing boat charter, but at $149 each for the whole trip, why complain?

It was pay in advance over the phone, my house phone, I learned. Without payment in advance, they couldn’t offer this kind of deal, and that’s surely understandable. So I paid with my Visa card.

Meanwhile, we’ve had wonderful things happening with our house phone. It rings almost every day, and sometimes at night, with one new offer or another.

For example, yesterday we got a call from a credit card manager telling us that our credit cards were all in order, but my personal information needed to be brought up to date and verified. He wanted to know—and I was happy to give him—my full name, my social security number, my date of birth, my address, my bank and account numbers, my email address and its password, my driver’s license number, my favorite teacher’s name, my best childhood friend, my mother’s maiden name, my all my credit card numbers, expiration date and code on the back on each and the name of my dog.

It’s great to know that now all my information is all cleaned up and safe in one place where nobody can get at it. And it was done free of charge.

It’s also great to know that there are people out there who are looking out for everybody, or at least those of us who stick with the fax machine and house phone.

Sometimes what looks like an advance with a new gadget—I’m told that with your smartphone, people can see you dressing and undressing—is just a big step backward. And I’m here to tell you about it.

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