I don't like status quo. No, not the English band from the 70s and 80s. I mean I don't like when things are just left to stagnate. Particularly when there are positive changes to be made. This philosophy is true for lots of things, work, relationships, furniture placement, etc. But let's look at a solution for the status quo when it comes to timeshare.
The genesis of this idea (yet another English band...how does this happen?) came from a phone call that I made to a senior level executive at RCI several years ago. I was calling to get some infomation and introduced myself as "The Timeshare Crusader" and the author of "Timeshare Vacations For Dummies." She informed me that she had found my book very educational and added almost as an afterthought; "...you know, I have a timeshare and I bought it at one of those really long timeshare presentations." I kid you not. Those were her exact words.
Which leads me to my solution: Have every high-ranking person at all of the major timeshare companies and organizations talk a walk down the Strip in Vegas or on 192 in Orlando or on the major tourist drag/beach in any timeshare heavy locale. See how the timeshare pitches are being presented. Hear what is being said. Listen in as OPCs "advise" consumers to lie about their income.
Then, take the timeshare presentation. Go ahead, show up at the resort at the appointed time and place. Listen to the sales pitch. Hear all about how "points are going to replace weeks next year" or "this is the best resort for trading" or "buy here because we have the lowest fees and then use it to trade to go to Hawaii for three weeks" or other such "gems."
Tour the timeshare itself. Be sure to ask to see not only the model, but an actual room. Notice the differences? Talk to the people at the pool. What do they have to say?
Now, talk price. How many price drops are you willing to endure? How many "if you don't buy today, the price goes up by $10,000 tomorrow" can you listen to without laughing? Ask about resales. Go ahead...ask why you should pay "sticker price" when you can find a similar product on the resale market for thousands less.
Ask if the salesperson or sales manager has a copy of the ARDA Code of Ethics with them. Ask if the resort manager has a copy of the ARDA Code of Ethics available. Ask who is licensed. Ask to see what the annual fees have been for the past five years.
The point of all of this is that the average timeshare executive has NO concept of what the average consumer has to go through in order to get sold a timeshare.
I trust that if they put themselves in the consumers' shoes for even a day, things might change.
By the way...a great time to test this out would be March 27-31 next year in Orlando when everyone is in town for the annual ARDA Covention and Exposition. See you at the Shoney's on 192!