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Old 03-02-2019, 09:45 PM
 
4,323 posts, read 884,944 times
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I've stayed in some pretty nice resorts for free for 2 hours of misery listening to the spiel. But I have never bought, or would I.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:34 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,591 posts, read 3,674,133 times
Reputation: 12396
These presentations are awful unless you go into it as stealth comedy just to get your freebee. I have done a few and the individual presenters who try to get you to sign up are pathetic. They stretch a "45 minute presentation" into 3+ hours. I had one guy tell me that if I didn't smile he would get fired. I just can't fathom why a person would take such a job.
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:23 AM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
6,105 posts, read 1,834,249 times
Reputation: 8673
I'd listen to their garabage for free stuff, that's about it.
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Old 03-03-2019, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Meredith NH
1,563 posts, read 2,293,973 times
Reputation: 2839
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post
I did one in Mexico once. Partly for the freebies, partly because I had never done it before and was curious about the hard sell process.

Westijeff in post 17 describes my experience pretty well. The salesman started with some soft questions that you will answer yes to. Do you like to go on vacation? Do you like to be treated well? Do you like to save money?

Followed by a tour of the property, more softball questions. Can you see yourself by this pool? See those people on the beach, doesn't that look great? Wasn't that a great breakfast you had at our restaurant? Wouldn't it be great to live this lifestyle all the time?

The entire time the sales guy avoided any questions related to cost. We will talk about that later, it all costs less than booking through normal methods, look at the parrot, isn't that an amazing bird?

Eventually they lead you back to the sales area, a bit more chit chat, some more softball questions, like isn't it a wonderful property?

Eventually they work to the pitch. For only $30k, you can buy into the timeshare and get a certain number of nights. Great price, you can leave it to your children, use the time at other properties, stay anywhere in the world, yadda, yadda. Sign here and it is yours. You will own a portion of this property.

I asked a few questions, because they were shifting documents back and forth, mixing contract paperwork with marketing materials, shifting to some other document that claimed to give airline discounts for timeshare members, etc. They kept saying that they would explain it all after I signed.

Nope. Tell me about the maintenance. Wasn't there something about maintenance? What do I get for that?

Well, that is a pretty minor cost. Just a few hundred a year. Might go up a bit over time. Not limited to inflation, or a hard cap. Actually, no limits at all as to how much they might raise the maintenance.

Ok, how about the booking fee? You said something about that? I have to pay a fee to make a booking for time that I own?

Yes, but it is minor. Only $200 or so to stock your room with alcohol and stuff?

Oookay. Does the room cost anything?

Just $150/night or so.

Wait. I pay $30k up front, a few hundred a year for maintenance, up front for alcohol, and I still have to pay $150 a night to stay here?

Yes, of course, but that is a greatly discounted rate. Our normal rate for this hotel is $400/night, so you save $250. That more than pays for the food.

Wait? Food? How much?

Well, that is another $?? daily. Depends on which food plan you want.

Ok, so let me get this straight. $30k, maintenance, alcohol fees, nightly rates, and daily costs for food? When do I get to see the great deals?

At this point the sales manager gets huffy, tells me that I do not appreciate the great offer that they are giving me, and I obviously do not understand math (I work with big budgets daily at work, including amortized cost. Not a problem for me). He then proceeds to start scribbling figures on paper, showing how much I save vs doing a vacation on my own.

He included airfare in the self-vacation, didn't bother to include it as a cost in the timeshare vacation. He escalated annual vacations for inflation, and did not bother to do it for the timeshare. He kept omitting things like the annual maintenance, and made a few math 'errors' that inevitably reduced the cost of the timeshare by a huge amount.

My wife, who is not good with math, was completely confused. I spent my time correcting his errors, pointing out his omissions, and generally having a good time.

I pointed out that we had agreed to 90 minutes, we were now at 100 minutes, and we would like our free stuff or I would start talking to the couple at the next table who were asking for pens.

Guy got all red in the face, told us we were making a huge financial mistake, but he could not help people who didn't understand finance. Gave us our stuff and stomped out of the room.
You forgot to mention assessments...….if they decide to remodel,install a new pool ,new landscaping etc etc....you're on the hook for hundreds or even thousands of $$ and you have no choice.Pay up or they lien your unit
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,788 posts, read 4,843,885 times
Reputation: 19484
I've done it several times. As long as you know you're not going to buy and just stick with that, you're fine. Most times they know you're just there for the cheap rate or the free stuff, and they just hope that some percentage of the attendees will be gullible enough to fall for the pitch. I've only had a bad reaction by the sales person one time when, after 90 minutes of presentation and another 25 of him trying to shoot down all of our objections, I told him that we just wanted to leave the room now that our 90 minutes was up. He got indignant and claimed we were taking food off his children's table by attending when we had no interest in buying. That got him nothing but a formal complaint letter to his boss.

Our best and easiest escape from the presentation came when we simply thanked them for the presentation and said that, despite all the "you have to sign today" come-ons, that we couldn't possibly buy now because we were in escrow for a new home and couldn't jeopardize our financing. That seemed to work like a get out of jail free card.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,130 posts, read 54,613,656 times
Reputation: 66527
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
I've done it several times. As long as you know you're not going to buy and just stick with that, you're fine. Most times they know you're just there for the cheap rate or the free stuff, and they just hope that some percentage of the attendees will be gullible enough to fall for the pitch. I've only had a bad reaction by the sales person one time when, after 90 minutes of presentation and another 25 of him trying to shoot down all of our objections, I told him that we just wanted to leave the room now that our 90 minutes was up. He got indignant and claimed we were taking food off his children's table by attending when we had no interest in buying. That got him nothing but a formal complaint letter to his boss.

Our best and easiest escape from the presentation came when we simply thanked them for the presentation and said that, despite all the "you have to sign today" come-ons, that we couldn't possibly buy now because we were in escrow for a new home and couldn't jeopardize our financing. That seemed to work like a get out of jail free card.
Good one.
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Old 03-04-2019, 10:57 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 709,384 times
Reputation: 2143
No way. I hate being subjected to sales tactics. At some point they will p1ss me off. Ain't worth it.
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Akron, OH
1,616 posts, read 1,592,566 times
Reputation: 861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piney Creek View Post
The hard pressure sales tactics are at such an extreme now that you'll actually waste more than a 1/2 day. It's not like the sales pitches of the past that you could laugh off once you get out of the building. That timeshare pitch I described above was so upsetting it actually left me shaken for the whole day. And I'm in fire/rescue, I've had to deal with some intense things in my career. No matter how much you try to laugh it off, it messes with your head when you're intensely verbally abused, not to mention being threatened with calling the police because we were "committing a crime" ("fraud" for agreeing to listen to the pitch knowing we didn't want to buy ).
Yeah I'm thinking about not taking it, just wanna go on a vacation to relax.
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:36 PM
 
Location: Akron, OH
1,616 posts, read 1,592,566 times
Reputation: 861
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKM View Post
Its a bad idea to go for a presentation where they offer you a prize at the end. They will delay and delay and waste your day because they got you because you want the free stuff. What the OP is describing is way different and a great deal. Here was what I got in exchange for $199 and 2 hours of a late Vegas morning.

3 nights Elara (worth about 600 at that weekend, I checked). Dinner for 2 at an okay place (worth 50 bucks). 2 tickets to a show (worth 100) and a free night at a hotel voucher in the year following, (call it 150). So for 2 hours I got about 700 bucks worth of value. I'm not that short of time where that wasn't worth it.

And the experience wasn't negative at all. But I'm the kind of person who enjoys buying a new car at a dealership, and I understand most people hate doing that. So I'm different I suppose... But all you have to do is say we don't want it, thanks.
I may go with it then as long as its a nice hotel.
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:41 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,430,517 times
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unless you've got a low value on your time and dignity …

don't do it.

we inherited a couple of fully paid for timeshares at a Colorado golf resort. My in-laws loved taking the weeks each year to play golf and enjoy "the good life", so the costs worked out for them.

but it didn't work for us. The vaunted "take you points anywhere in the world" exchanges all blocked us out of the places we wanted to stay.

we did manage one trip to Kauai where we stayed a week in a golf course resort. The place was reasonably nice, but it cost us the $800 membership maintenance fee for the year + a host of other costs on-site. Part of the requirements were that we attend another "1 hour sales presentation", both husband and wife had to attend.

We were on time for our appointment, but had to wait 30 minutes in the lounge area adjacent to the breakfast buffet for our "counselor" to finish up an appointment. Of course, the "entertainment" was big screen videos of the resort and it's golf courses and the designers and the famous players who'd played golf there and the groundskeeper's and their nieces and nephews and household guests and how they just loved taking care of the place or enjoying the views of their work efforts. I think they interviewed the feral cats that lived around the place along with the nee-nee birds that were wandering around for a local color commentary. Or maybe it was just the parrots they had in the entry to the lounge or over by the poolside wet bar with the complimentary first adult beverage each evening.

We made it clear from the outset that we didn't have the resources to upgrade because we were involved in another commercial REIT venture at the time which had cleaned out our bank accounts. Meanwhile, the sales rep is merrily babbling on about all the virtues of the place and the wonderful golf courses … and we don't play golf. In the background, we finally overhear a "sales manager" totally frustrated with trying to categorize us because our timeshares pre-date their system. What they can't figure out is how much equity we have and how much upgrade to push us to. They finally guess as to the value of our timeshares and decide that we're "good for a $180,000" upgrade. Ummm … no. NO. HELL NO! Even if we could afford the upgrade level, we don't have the time each year to stay away from our ranch home.

So, I'm letting Mrs Sun take in the presentation and listening in on the adjacent sales pitches. Really, folks there were wearing more jewelry and fancy watches value than we were being pitched. This is 8:30AM on a golf vacation? Those folks were being pitched mid-to-high 6 figure "upgrades" … some of which would allow the people to spend much of each year in 2-week stays at various locations.

What was a 1-hour presentation turned into 2 hours with several sales people handing us off. Finally we got to a "senior manager", who started in all over again with the soft questions … "did Joe tell you about the new swimming pool going in by your unit?" or "did Bob tell you about the new tee-time booking system with preference times for your Diamond level membership?" or … and so forth. "did you see the pictures of the new master suites?" and "the new color schemes?"

Look, lady, I've already passed up heading out on the fishing boat I was planning on today because you folk insisted that both of us had to be present for the validation coupon for our sales pitch and "free" breakfast. So she turns us over to her boss, who after a few minutes of more pleasantries finally agrees to let us "check out" at the main desk.

The "main desk" has yet another sales pitch awaiting us. The lady there is going through the "check-out" form and again verifying that Joe and Bob and Billy and Susan and Richard have all been sure to regale us with all the features/benefits of this and the affiliated resorts … and for just a few dollars more, she's sure … we can get the Diamond Level with persimmon leaf clusters and a glimpse of Venus at midnight. "wait a moment, I'll see if Bob can check on that for you …". Uh, no Lady, we've given you more of our time than needed to determine that we're not interested, don't have the resources you think we do, and frankly … wouldn't ever want to come back to this resort. We're not golfers and the place is remote to our interests on the island, inconvenient as heck. I drove 600 miles in 5 days going to the places I wanted to visit from here which was a lot of driving time with mainly 30-40 mph speed limits and traffic on the roads. Mrs Sun is trying to maintain a game face, but our patience is really wearing thin by now after several hours.

They finally give us our voucher and bid us a good-day.

The next year, Mrs Sun spent many hours poring over their site locations and applying for exchanges which would suit our time frame to travel. Nothin' doing, we were blocked out of everything in the PNW, New England, Scotland, Wales, and France. And all our travels were in "off-peak" times. Not only did we need more points but a higher level of membership to access the more desirable properties. So the next year's $800 in maintenance fees was spent for nothing.

We tried to get out of the contract. Nothin' doing, you're in "for life". I talked to the manager of the Colorado resort and he advised that the parent corporation had a buy-back program for folk like us that could not and didn't use the timeshare(s). They have a limited number they take back each year. We had to apply and were approved, but on a "wait list" It was a race between getting rid of the burden or having another year of $800 maintenance fees owed. With only weeks left before that would happen, the "buy back" was approved and processed. What did we get out of it? NOTHING. The "buy-back" is simply a program for the parent corporation to process your "quit claim deed" to them and let you off the hook for any future fees.

Getting out of the contract was a comical process. I contacted a number of "we'll get you out of your time-share" outfits and all wanted substantial fees up-front to do nothing more than essentially list your time-share on their website for sale. Several of them assured me that the time-share(s) were worth $27,000 each. So I head over to their website and what do I find? identical units and comparable weeks to the ones we had listed on the site for $1,000. Several were listed for $75 and apparently still weren't selling … prime summer and early fall weeks for golfing in Colorado's mountains. I ask them how is it that our weeks are worth $27,000? No answer except to tout that they could get us out of the contracts for $7,250 … paid up-front by us.

The bottom line is if you think that you'd enjoy having one of these timeshares, do your due diligence and check out the resales on-line. You may find the one you like for a minute fraction of the sales price at the resort … of course, you will be obligated for the maintenance and other fees each year whether you use it or not.

PS: we've since traveled to Hawaii, Wales, SW England, and France on annual trips. We've spent far less money than the time-share options presented and had a great time in our travels. And we got to stay in the various locations/towns that were of interest to us.

Last edited by sunsprit; 03-04-2019 at 05:53 PM..
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