Think back to the last timeshare sales pitch you went to. If you said no...well, after the third or fourth time you said no, chances are someone tried to sell you on a trial program.
These trial programs vary from resort to resort and each uses a different term; trial program, taste of so and such resort, exit program, etc. And while they also vary in what they offer to the consumer, they have 2 things in common in my opinion:
1) they are designed to get the consumer back to the resort within a 1 or 2 year time frame in an attempt to sell them a timeshare again
2) they are not a good indication of what timeshare ownership is really all about...pros and cons
What should a trial program look like? Glad you asked!
Why not offer all the benefits and responsibilities of one week of timeshare ownership---or the points equivalent---but for a 2 year period. Assessment of fees and responsibility to pay them. Membership to exchange company and full use of exchange possibilities---or lack thereof. All the perks of exchange company membership. Notification by the board and/or management company of meetings and other information. Ability to serve on the HOA. In short, the whole ball of wax with the stipulation that at the end of the trial program, the owner can upgrade to standard ownership at the current cost giving them a 100% credit of the money they have already paid, OR be done with it and owe nothing more.
The cost of this trial membership? Should be no more than $1,500.
What do you think?