Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Timeshare Sales Pitches in 2013

I was not looking to write a post about timeshare sales pitches.  I was doing a search about a resort in the Orlando area totally unrelated to sales.  After all, even I get sick and tired of hearing about sales pitches.

After digging around for less than 5 minutes, I came across this gem on Yelp (I've removed anything that would lead anyone to guess the name of the resort):

Second (and VERY IMPORTANT) - the Horrible Timeshare Presentation:

The sales staff is rude, deceptive and inconsiderate.  We arrived on time for an 8:30 a.m. presentation.  We told the guy up front that we had pre-paid for a tour of Orlando at 12:30, and that we had been told the presentation was 90 minutes long.  Oh, you'll be out in plenty of time, the guy assured us.  WRONG.  

The entire presentation consisted of high-pressure requests to purchase it today, before even seeing the property or hearing the price.  I repeatedly said I would not agree to purchase anything that I hadn't seen, and without knowing the price.  That didn't matter - the guy repeatedly demanded an answer about purchasing.

After more than 90 minutes, we told the guy we needed to make our tour, and to get on with it - he ignored us.  More high pressure.  Still haven't seen the property.  Finally, after two hours, we were loaded onto a bus and taken to a unit totally unlike the one we stayed in (by the way - if you like the idea of going to the bathroom in a place with no walls - you might enjoy the 'open-bay' master bath - how romantic . . . ).  

Back to the Sales Prison.  After about 2-1/2 hours, Mr. High Pressure finally gets someone else to come to the table and tell us the details of purchase.  We are running late, but we listen.  BEWARE - their sales pitch is extremely deceptive.  They ask you what you pay for vacations on a regular basis, then try to show you it's a trade-off to own one of their condos.  Not true, because they factor in things like food and transportation - which you will still need to pay for even if you buy a timeshare.

After pointing out the fallacy of their sales pitch, I say I am not interested - but that's not good enough for them - yet ANOTHER guy has to come to the table.  We tell him we need to leave in five minutes (our tour will start soon, and we need to return to the room, get the paid receipt for the tour and change clothes, and drive there).  As with the other guy - he is RUDE.  The attitude at this place is if you are smart enough to ask questions, and if you make a legitimate decision NOT to buy, you are dumb, and they insult you.

We finally escaped - after more than three hours.  We were given two $50 'gift cards,' but not told they would expire in 60 days.  Because we had to return to the room, change, get the address, etc. for the tour, we MISSED the tour we had paid for prior to arriving.  The tour people put us in a car with some guy, but we did not see the sights we had signed up to see - and the tour bus was long gone.

After leaving Orlando, I complained to the marketing staff and requested them to 'make good' on the money we had spent for a tour that we missed due to their staff.  Then, a few months later (long after they told me they would 'get back to me'), we learned the gift cards had expired!  So I contacted them again.  And again.  We paid hundreds of dollars to go to Orlando, rent a car, and be held hostage by several jerks on their sales staff. 

I was finally 'upped' to the Marketing Director - she was extremely rude.  She rudely said she 'didn't have time to fool with us,' and would refund the money for the tour and for the gift cards.  I sent documentation on the fee for the tour, and although they did 'make good' on the gift cards, they reneged on their pledge to pay for the tour - claiming that we could have made it there in time, that we 'did' have a tour, and that the presentation had been a 'podium' presentation (which it was NOT).  They've also referred to a 'breakfast' prior to the pitch - we saw no breakfast.

AVOID this place at all costs - they're rude, deceptive, and they don't even know how they run their own show.

Even if you discount the story about the "tour of Orlando" (which I do because there is no such thing), I have to ask myself:  Why is this still going on?  Why?

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