Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My Timeshare Presentation Experience

I saw this posted by Dawn from at Frugal for Life about whether timeshare presentations are a waste of time. I went to the link and tried to listen, but it wasn't available.

Anyway, this reminded me of the recent timeshare presentation my husband and I went to. We were in a resort town for 2 days. We had just gotten to town and we were on our way to lunch. Someone stopped us outside of this old Western looking movie museum. I don't really know how to describe the place - it photos up from old Westerns. Later I realized that it was run by the timeshare place. Anyway, this guy (let's call him Joe) there convinced us to come in and get a map.

Then Joe shared his timeshare pitch with us. He was only a representative to get us in the door. My husband was reluctant to go to the presentation, but I was sold on the free helicopter ride. I had never been on a helicopter before and it seemed like a good way to see the sights. My husband and I decided to go to the 90 minute presentation. We had to give the Joe $20 to hold our spot.

After lunch, we went to the resort. Our $20 was promptly returned to us. We were told that we could get there anytime before they closed, but the Joe put us down at 3:30. We arrived about 15 minutes earlier, but we didn't get to start our tour until our assigned time.

We were assigned a sale representative (let's call him Gary). Gary was a great representative for the company. I can easily see how someone could be swayed to purchase a timeshare. I don't remember all the nuances of the presentation since it was a few months ago. A few things stick out in my mind.

Gary kept on talking about the "points" we would receive by owning the time share and he referred to it as monopoly money. I thought this was an important psychological trick to make it seem like you weren't really spending money.

Another thing Gary did was he took our annual vacation spending (which was quite low) and convinced us that we wanted to spend more money annually. I can understand that. But then he used that base to calculate how much we would be spending on our vacations for the next twenty years and talked about how much we would be saving by getting the timeshare. But he never really talked about the cost of airfare, which would not be negated by "owning" a timeshare.

My husband and I declined. Then it was time to get our gift. This is where our negative experience happened. We received a "voucher" for the ride. Joe told us that someone would help us book the ride and that we could do it whenever we wanted to. These were both false statements. We ended up calling the helicopter place, but they would not take us out on a ride without another paying customer. And we were unable to book a ride for later that night (which we had wanted to do) and we couldn't even book it for the next day (which was the day we were leaving). Instead we got $100.


~Dawn C said...

Bummer about the ride.
$100 isn't bad for an almost two hour presentation, about 25 an hour for each of you. And not many people can say they 'made' money on vacation.

Live and learn

Fabulously Broke in the City said...

*nods*... And listening to a timeshare too!!

Timeshares = money pits... people don't end up using those places as often as they think they will :\