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Your worst timeshare presentation experience?

Discussion in 'Buying, Selling, Renting' started by Chocklatgurl, Mar 1, 2008.

  1. Chocklatgurl

    Chocklatgurl Guest

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    Okay, I'll admit...my husband and I go to timeshare presentations just so we can get an inside look at resorts (and earn free stuff!). We would never buy directly from the resort since we know we'll get a MUCH better deal on the resale market. I know the salespeople are out to make money (and rightly so!) and their job is to pressure you into buying, so their time and goodies will not be wasted. There...that said, I'm sure, like myself, some of you have had some absolutely HORRIBLE timeshare experiences. Care to share?

    Here's mine:
    We got a call from a timeshare telemarketer for a "discounted" ($119) 3 day/2 night stay in exchange for attending a presentation Coral Reef Resort in Hilton Head, SC. On the night we arrived at the hotel, I overheard the receptionist telling someone over the phone that the nightly rate was $70 (Big discount, huh?). Anyway, we arrived at the presentation center at our assigned time and as usual we had to wait quite a bit of time for our tour guide to come out.

    He took us to another building where there was popcorn and coffee for prospective buyers. After exchanging pleasantries and answering the usual questions (Where you from? How long are you staying? etc), we were already about 10 minutes into the meeting. Since my husband and I were celebrating our anniversary (we had evening dinner plans) and it was already late in the afternoon, my husband decided to be honest and told the guy that we were not really interested in buying so if he could keep the presentation as close to 90 minutes as possible we would appreciate it. The guy got up, telling us he would be right back and left us sitting at the table for another 15 minutes. We watched him walk out the door and back to the waiting area, where he started talking to another salesperson. He subsequently pointed the guy in the direction of the building that we were sitting in.

    At this point, we're assuming that the new salesperson must be the "high-pressure" guy who is brought out as a last resort for stubborn people (like us). The new guy asked us what we knew about timeshare ownership and we told him (since he asked) that we were owners at DVC and LOVED it. We told him about the points and how we enjoyed the flexibility. As time ticked away my husband told him the same thing he had told the other guy and added that we were already 30 minutes into the presentation, so we needed to get the show on the road if he wanted to show us the rooms (not his exact words, btw but you get the gist). The guy stood up and said "I'm done" and started walking away. We asked him what were supposed to do for the remaining time and he replied, "Your presentation is for 90 minutes. You can sit there, I don't care what you do," and continued to walk away. We thought he was joking so I went and got my husband a cup of coffee and a scoop of popcorn and sat back down. When my husband realized the guy really wasn't coming back we got up to leave. We realized the first salesperson had left a rather expensive PDA phone on the table and we didn't want anyone to steal it. So we actually went through the trouble of finding the guy and giving it to him before we left.

    A few days later, I got my credit card statement and saw a charge from Hilton Head Welcome Center for approx. $230!!! :annoyed: I called the welcome center to inquire about the charge. The person told me that we were charged the full price for our hotel stay because we failed to complete the timeshare presentation. (Did I mention the hotel was only $70 per night?) The salesperson stated that his reason for ending the presentation was because my husband was irate and uncooperative. After going through several phone calls and explaining our side of the story to his supervisor, our money was eventually refunded.

    I vowed at that time to NEVER be honest with a salesperson again about my true intentions. Surprisingly enough, I've found that saying "Yes" throughout the entire presentation (until the end) gets you through it alot faster.
     
  2. BevL

    BevL TUG Lifetime Member

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    The worst was at Westgate Lakes when the salesperson said that we were taking money out of her pocket by coming with no intention to buy and that she should have stayed home with her infant daughter. The guilt approach didn't phase us a bit.

    With any presentation, I insist on having the salesperson or somebody "sign off" on the fact that the presentation is over, because I can't remember the last time we've had to sit through the whole 90, 120 or whatever length of time they threaten and I don't want to either not get the goodies or be charged if it's some sort of discounted stay. If I get resistance I simply say that I've heard of that happening before, and although I know they (the salesperson) wouldn't have any part of that, it will prevent any possible misunderstandings down the road. By depersonalizing it like that, I've never had a refusal.
     
  3. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    With all due respect, its a mistake to tell a salesperson flat-out that everything he says will fall on deaf eyes and his time with you will be wasted. You are asking for ill-mannered, disrespectful, push-back treatment

    Rather, here's what we do:
    1. Expect to be there for three (3) hours. Have the patience of Job.
    2. Do not argue with their numbers showing how much you will save.
    3. Take the tour with at least feined interest in the property.
    4. Ask questions showing that you have some idea how their system works.
    5. Pull out a calculator, crunch some numbers and frown.
    (add annual fees to annual amortized cost to buy over 'x' years, divide by 7 days)
    6. Keep repeating, "I'm not sure" and "We're just not ready."
    7. When the sales manager comes 'round, praise the salesman.
    8. Expect them to keep throwing deals "to good to turn down."
    9. When they leave you alone to "discuss," pretend to crunch numbers.
    ... Eventuallty, they'll realize its no-sale and move on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2008
  4. Chocklatgurl

    Chocklatgurl Guest

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    I think you're absolutely right. I learned my lesson on this one. I went to another (in Kissimmee) a few months later and actually followed this advice to a tee. We got through the presentation pretty quickly and the price really wasn't all that bad. The problem was, the place sucked! When I say sucked, I mean they had a hotplate in the 1bdr instead of a stove. Not "kitchenette"...I mean, hot-plate! Keep in mind, this was a 5-star resort. When we got to the end, we told the salesperson that we were really not impressed with the property and therefore didn't want to buy. She tried to give us the guilt-trip, too. She commented that we should be letting our children (who were with us) enjoy Disney, instead of dragging them to timeshare presentations when we had no intention to buy. My daughter, who was 7 at the time remarked, "Well maybe you should make the price FREE!" :hysterical:
     
  5. timeos2

    timeos2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Lifetime Member

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    Never go in unarmed (with information)

    Now I can also use my Palm Treo to access eBay near the end of the feigned interest in the offer and say - "Look, here is the exact same week (points, etc) you are offering for only $1200! That's $18,000 less! Can you match it?"

    So far that has ended the talk twice. I may use it from now on.

    As for worst presentation thats a tough call. I think it was one back in the late 90's when we visited a resort in Williamsburg. The sales lady seemed to be new, although sometime they just put on that act to get sympathy, as she bumbled through the presentation and couldn't get the price "for sure" and kept getting up and walking away to get information - it went on for nearly 3 hours. But the most memorable part was the fact that the song "Carwash" was on their tape loop of music and we got to "enjoy" it at least three times. The second two she was chair dancing to it and even doing some sing along - it was really bad. But the closer was even worse and got ugly when we simply said we weren't buying. It took another 45 minutes to get the 4 park tickets we actually came for and I wasn't sure we'd ever see them. After investing almost 4 hours I wasn't leaving without them. The last 30 minutes was spend standing - alone - in the gifting area as no one was at the desk. When she finally came out to find out "what you want?" we realized she had been eating at the desk inside the door the whole time. Maybe it was her paid lunch but somehow I doubt it.

    Anyway that wasn't (surprisingly) Wastegate and it is a resort that has never really done much as far as making a name for itself in an area crowded with good resorts. Perhaps the sales approach is partly to blame.
     
  6. JMAESD84

    JMAESD84 TUG Member

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    While I've used this approach several times, it is almost certain you will be there for the full time or longer. If they think they have a live one they will work you hard.

    I've taken the honest approach, relayed my knowledge of timesharing in general, what I own and why I own it, and that I'm staying or have stayed at their resort so I'm familiar with the place. I've offerred to listen if they want to practice there pitch, or talk about the industry, but there is NO CHANCE they could sell me.

    They can get a bit frustrated and fresh, but I'm a rather large man and I don't think any weasel would get nasty to me. I would not hestiate to spoil the fun of the other sales people by rather loudly expressing how foolish it would be for anyone to purchase retail and why.
     
  7. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    JMaes, you are more brave than I! :p

    I am a big chicken and won't get in their face like that, even when I know I have just heard the guy tell a big lie, like the Marriott salesman did just a month ago, when he said he was exchanging an exchange--taking a Marriott Horizons Orlando, exchanging it for St. Kitts, which we saw on the screen, then using that 2 bedroom he got for a one bedroom, to exchange elsewhere.

    I was pretty turned off by the lie and was sure it was a lie, but I came here to ask TUG Marriott owners if it was the truth, which it wasn't, of course.
     
  8. naudette

    naudette TUG Member

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    Ours was in Branson, MO. Can't remember the name. Anyway, we kept saying no and that we didn't make quick decisions, blah, blah, blah. The salesperson asked me a question and when I answered truthfully he stood up and loudly said I don't believe you, you are lying to me. We don't like liars around here. He was nasty. My husband is 6'2 and a big guy. He stood up and said don't you EVER call my wife a liar. The salesperson said "I wouldn't if she would tell the truth." I got up and we walked out the door. However, the manager could tell he was really mad and gave us our gifts anyway, which was a paltry $50. This was around 1990.
     
  9. lprstn

    lprstn TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    My worst TS presentation...I have had a few bad ones...

    My absolute worst was in PV @ Club Velas Vallarta. We were talked into a presentation which at the begining started like any other, however as the time ticked on (5 hours we were there!) we kept telling the man "NO", he would start up another line of talk and my husband said if this doesn't end you can keep the stinking free gift and I will put a bad report on RCI. The salesperson said "I don't need this crap" got up and left. However we did get our measly free gift.

    The 2nd bad experience was with Disney...yep I said it DVC in Orlando. We got picked up at the park. The gentlement was explaining the product we listened and we told him we owned a weeks resort and wyndam, and liked the flexibility of our program, but wanted to see what DVC offered (I was seriously interested in this program..my husband was humoring me). I was waiting for him to take us to see what the condos looked like, he left, came back, gave us the books/bags and our gifts and told us that we could never stay in DVC condos..."You have to be a member to do that" and led us out. My husband looked and me and said..."I wouldn't buy it if it was bargain basement prices", and I too was disgusted. :annoyed:
     
  10. Kona Lovers

    Kona Lovers TUG Member

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    We went to a Marriott presentation in Palm Springs, and had just finished closing on our first ts purchase off of ebay for $405. We sat there and asked questions about the trading aspect to Hawaii, as the guy touted buying in CA and never going there, just trade all the time. The longer we stayed and asked questions the more frustrated he got. We left after receiving our gift, and the guy was pretty short and terse at the end. We originally had 4 nights there, but ended up leaving before our time was up because the staff treated us like dirt, traveling home in a snow storm, which the kids enjoyed more than the Marriott!

    Marty
     
  11. dougp26364

    dougp26364 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I really think the nasty treatment is just to scare people off doing tours strictly for the gifts. I've seen the cold shoulder an several tours when they figured out we weren't going to buy. In Branson at Falls Village one salesman turned especially nasty when the process was over. I offered him my hand and he just looked the other way. I just said if I had to spend $18,000 (or whatever the price was at that time) for him to be friendly then I could do without him or his company.

    Unfortunately when we took a phone call offer for a cheap trip to Branson through GrandVista, we ended up back on touring with Falls Village again. I'm not certain exactly why that happened as we were staying in a hotel room at what was then GrandVista's Cedar Ridge, now Westgate Branson Woods.

    At any rate the first guy wasn't much of a salesman and barely spoke English so that it could be understood. He was pleasant enough but then we got Jethro Bodine as the nasty closing manager. He tried insult and a few nasty comments as if he could literally intimidate us into buying. Instead we were both amazed and the amount of grease he use to slick back his hair, the fact we could see our reflection in his worn out polyester pants and that nasty over sized yellow/black plaid sports coat that must have been picked up at a D.A.V. store.

    The biggest lies came from a pair at Consolidated's Club Del Soliel. They kept telling us to buy and then rent out the unit using the proceeds to pay the MF's on that unit and our two units at Polo Towers.

    We had another big lier at what was then Sunterra's Greensprings Plantation that told us we could reserve, rent and turn $20,000/year profits off of one 4 bedroom unit. He also told us he'd have his secretary do ALL the work for us. If we didn't want to rent we could deposit the weeks we owned with other developers and have enough points to take 26 weeks of vacation/year. Rent some, give some away or use them all. He even had a piece of paper that was suppose to represent an IRS tax law allowing us to do all of this tax free and even write off our MF's we would be billed.
     
  12. djs

    djs TUG Member

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    I'm surprised he didn't have a piece of paper deeding you beach front propety in Des Monies. :D
     
  13. Chocklatgurl

    Chocklatgurl Guest

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    Wow! DVC did that? I had by far my BEST experience with Disney. I signed up at the park and went to the presentation the next day. They greeted me with "Welcome Home!" when I walked in the door and there were very few people there besides us. I'm used to going to timeshares where there are gazillions of people being herded like cattle to slaughter but DVC was just the opposite! We waited a short time and enjoyed delicious cookies (they didn't even "try" to impress us with eggs out of a carton and mystery meat sausages) and our salesperson was so nice! My husband and I kept asking her over and over, "So, when does the pressure start?" She would just smile and assure us that DVC was different. She never once asked us if we were going to buy! After the presentation, she told us the discounted price (there's always some sort of special going on), gave us the paperwork and thanked us for coming while walking us to the ice cream shop to get our free ice cream. She said we could go home, think about it, and call her back later (even 10 years later because you keep the same salesperson that took you on the tour). She said she would be glad to let us know what new discount was available when we made up our minds. We walked out of there half expecting someone to tackle us in the parking lot!

    True to her word, I called back 5 months later when DVC was running an "owner referral" special where you got a certain percentage off (I think it was 20%) if you provided an owner's name and contact info. We bought and have been happy ever since. :banana:
     
  14. lprstn

    lprstn TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    If I would have gotten a good natured salesperson who didn't write us off (heck we didn't even get to see the condo!) than maybe I could have talked my husband into it (I am a bit of a Disney fanatic), however after that experience (not to long ago I may add) my husband won't even consider it. Therefore I just bought more Wyndam points to appease my TS bug.
     
  15. Chocklatgurl

    Chocklatgurl Guest

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    I would have done the same thing. I'm one of those people that if you turn me off at the beginning, I'll never change my mind. Bonnet Creek is beautiful, btw. We went there too and after the high pressure sales pitch, the guy who offered us the "timeshare sampler", gave us his number and told us to give him a call whenever we made up our minds. He said the same "deal" we had been offered by the salesperson would still be available after we went home. Of course, he only told us this after we told him how much we liked the fact that DVC didn't pressure people into buying right away.
     
  16. janapur

    janapur TUG Member

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    My husband and I struggle with this every time. He wants me to use my knowledge and confront the sales rep, while I would rather bite my lip and get the heck out after touring the resort for possible future exchanges or purchase.

    I can no longer keep track of the many lies we've been told. The best and most frequent continue to be how much money we'll make renting our weeks and that we'll NEVER be able to trade into their resort.

    The best advice I've been given is to find something about the resort which they cannot change and say that you will never buy at such a resort. (For example, the walk from the units to the pool is too long and I have a bad knee from all of those years cheerleading. The units do not have BBQs and that's all my husband likes to do on vacation . . . whatever.)

    I've taken on too many salespeople only to be insulted and offended. This way we all part with a handshake.

    Jana
     
  17. Phill12

    Phill12 TUG Member

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    We have been to three presentations over the years and one was a resort we already new we wanted to buy in a couple years and did check it out.

    What is funny here is all the people that go on these tours and hate liars when they themselves are liars! So many are going just to waste their time and sales people time with no thought of doing anything but collecting some free stuff and in most cases just junk for their garage.:rolleyes:

    We went into the resort we wanted to buy and told them what we were doing and didn't want to waste their time or collect free gifts but would like to check out the resort.:cool:

    The salesman thanked us for telling him and poured us a glass of wine and ask if we could wait few minutes.

    About ten minutes and a young lady, one of the bosses came over and told us she would be more than happy to take us up to look at some of the units we were interesed in maybe buying within a couple years and she was so nice.

    We talked and she answered all our questions and gave us her card and as we were leaving came back and thanked us for not wasting her salesman time acting like buyers for free gifts. She said she had six sales people and all were with people interested in buying so it was nice of us not to have wasted their time.:clap:

    She shook our hand and gave us a $50.00 dinner credit in Lake Tahoe to thanks us.

    People complain about these timeshare sales people for being liars which most are but in the process they are no better.

    If people really want to check out a resort then walk in and ask and forget the free breakfast or some other piece of junk you are getting to sit for 90 minutes.:banana:

    We have a friend and his wife complains all the time about these sales people. She drags her husband into two or three a day and would never buy but wants the gifts only. She has cause more scenes because of this and everyone tells our friend (husband) to stop letting her go these tours.

    She comes home mad and spends days writing letters to these resorts like they care when most of the problems are not the sales people which will lie but she is the problem.

    Bottom line is people wasting 90 minutes of their life and are going just for the free gifts then they are a bottom feader too!

    Lifes to short for this!
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
  18. Carl D

    Carl D Guest

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    Very curious... Why did he give you the books and the bag if you didn't purchase? What type of gifts are they now giving?
     
  19. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    When folks go to a presentation, hooked by some promise of value, that these salesmen hoist themselves on their own petard with a hard-sell, instead of straight-forward information, is hardly the customers fault.

    If the sales team used a more truthful, respectful and plain-dealing approach, they'd likely get the same in return. But somewhere, someone did a marketing study and found that, on the whole, they could move more of their units with shady, high-pressure tactics. Its a credit to those of us who have our eyes wide open that we don't fall for it.
     
  20. janapur

    janapur TUG Member

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    Life is short.
     
  21. Cathyb

    Cathyb Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Our 'most recent' unpleasant experience was Bluegreen at Aruba. The salesman was very personable and informative; but he would leave us at the table for 20-40 min. at a time, saying the guy to sign us off was tied up. Finally I went to the Reception area and complained; within 5 minutes we were signed off -- 3 hr presentation. :eek:
     
  22. Timeshare Von

    Timeshare Von TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    The "good cop - bad cop" routine at some resort in Mexico, near Cancun. (Not the Palace Resort chain, although they were sleezy too.)

    We told the sales dude right up front, we weren't going to buy that the only reason why we signed up was because of the $200 USD committed if we did the tour. He said "no worries" and commented that he was the most laid back, low pressure sales guy you'd ever want to meet. We enjoyed a very social cook to order breakfast with him and then toured the resort.

    We went through the motions, even listening to the "this is the top golf resort on the penninsula and if you don't want to come here we'll rent it for you for at least three times your MF's". Showed up the add in Golf Magazine to prove it. LOL!

    When we got back to the sales bullpen and told him sorry, not interested. We'd like our $200 and to leave, he went into that "taking food off my table" crap. Was very loud and disruptive to the entire room. It escalated with the "business manager" coming over, someone with the resort who said that the sales staff is another company one the resort wasn't happy with. He went on to apologize profusely and offering us a "once in a lifetime" deal . . . cutting the package we were first pitched from around $35k to "just" $12k.

    It was a long riggamorol (sp?) from which we finally escaped with our $200 in cash firmly place in hubby's wallet. On the van ride back to Cancun couples were comparing their deal offers and what they got as a "gift" for the tour. We felt so sorry for this once couple who had been there since 7:30am (we were scheduled for 9:00a) and only got a crappy Mexican blanket and bottle of tequila (the cheap stuff). Another couple received $50 in cash plus some "authentic" Mexican vanilla (which is a premium gift I understand).

    For the $200 we got, plus the really nice cook to order breakfast, we throughly enjoyed our two hours with them :)
     
  23. johnmfaeth

    johnmfaeth TUG Member

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    Unless they were giving our new Corvettes as tour gifts, I would not waste 3 hours of my precious vacation on a timeshare tour. They just set a negative tone on the whole day or longer.

    I'd rather shell out a few hundred bucks from my wallet and eat cheaply for a month or two at home than have my one or two real vacations a year ruined.

    No insult to those who seem fine with it, good for you. And it's great that you are getting an additional return on your timeshare knowledge investment.

    But I'll be over there at the pool, probably near the pool bar for that matter :ignore:
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
  24. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Softballdad, I am so surprised at your stand on this one, my friend. Consider that NO ONE goes to a presentation to buy, but some buy anyway. :p It's a numbers game. The salespeople know they cannot sell everyone who comes in the door, and if they did, they wouldn't make as much per sale as they do now. How many people really go to a timeshare presentation, where they have been invited from the street by some vendor or body snatcher. ;) No way would anyone go to a timeshare presentation from a cold call or if just invited by a stranger, without an incentive. It's the nature of the beast.

    We bought two timeshares from developers, always intending not to buy. And we plan to go on a tour of Fairfield specifically to buy and convert our weeks to Platinum VIP (or maybe Presidential, who knows?). This will happen very soon, but I have to be prepared for the purchase--meaning I will know what we are going to pay ahead of time, and it will be the lowest maintenance fees and purchase price I can find from the developer. We will travel specifically to that destination for that purpose.

    I think it is very wise to get informed. If we hadn't attended a Fairfield presentation almost a year ago, we wouldn't know what we now know, as I wouldn't have cared to find out on my own. Now that we are confident in the system, we are going to sell almost everything else and just purchase Fairfield, because it has all of the qualities that we want. We own points now, quite a few, actually, all bought resale, mostly from RPMI Realty and Jeff Fudge/ Angel England. Platinum is what we need to use the product more efficiently, so we WILL buy, and comparing that system to Diamond/ Sunterra, Marriott, and a few others we checked out, some that we own as well, like RCI Points, just seemed like a wise way to compare systems.

    It is our right to talk to salespeople and become informed before a major purchase. We also go to several car dealers, look at their products, take a test drive, and then move on to the next dealer. Once we decide on a car, we go to several dealers and get the best price. That is the smart way to do it.

    Sure the developers offer free gifts, but it is part of the game, and it is a game. The lies are a part of the game I don't enjoy.

    I have only known about TUG for less than 3 years, so I received almost all of my education from timeshare salespeople over the years. I am not as likely to go on any ol' presentation anymore. Rick and I are looking for quality and value for our retirement years. If a new product comes out that intrigues us, we will sure look into it by attending yet another timeshare presentation. I still haven't been to a Worldmark presentation, which is another one on my list to learn about. We also are very curious about Bluegreen because there are locations that we love within that system. Exchanging is getting more difficult as mini-systems take a larger share of the market. We cannot count on exchanging in the future, so owning within a system is going to become more and more necessary.

    Consider the knowledge we have on TUG that people out there don't get from salespeople, no matter how many $100 gifts they take? Too bad some people have to get their timeshare education from salespeople, but most do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
  25. EAM

    EAM TUG Member

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    Disney gives out a (paper) bag containing a book showing all the DVC resorts, their floor plans, the number of points needed per season, etc., as well as information on other resorts, hotels, etc. that can be booked with DVC points and the points needed for those. You can also use the bag for carrying away whatever their current offer is. You are encouraged to look over everything, think about it, and call them back if you want to buy.

    As far as I know, DVC does not give out major freebies. They may give you some fast passes to make up for the theme park time you spent at the presentation, and there's free light refreshments and ice cream.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008

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