Friday, July 27, 2018

No More Business As Usual

I was recently quoted in an excellent article written by Gregory Holman from the Springfield News Leader. Here’s the link

The article was one of the most direct and scathing indictments of the timeshare industry and its closely related counterparts that I’ve seen in recent memory. The stories from the affected consumers ring true and sad. 

What I found most surprising about the piece was the Greater St Louis Better Business Study which included some very direct recommendations to both the industry and regulators. You can read the entire Study here

How long before more BBBs and other organizations issue such warnings and recommendations?  The industry bigwigs living it large on their private jets and ensconced in their ivory towers won’t succeed in any attempts to either shut those guys up or try to discredit them as they’ve attempted to do for years to certain consumer advocates. 

You might think that I’m pleased to read this article and the BBB Study. But I’m not. I’m saddened. Saddened that the industry has had every opportunity in the world to fix itself, yet steadfastly refused to. They’ve had every opportunity to work hand in hand with myself and others who have always maintained that it doesn’t have to be a win/lose proposition but a win/win where the industry thrives and consumers can purchase a great product. They’ve had every opportunity to come clean, admit there are some bad companies in the timeshare community, throw those bad companies out of their cabal and then distance themselves from those companies, but they don’t. 

I sense a seismic shift around the corner for the industry and the entire timeshare community. I think the days of business as usual are coming to an end. Don’t say you weren’t warned. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Why No Advertising?

Have you ever considered why there are no advertisements for timeshare on any media outlets?  All other businesses use mainstream marketing methods and timeshares are a multi-billion dollar industry. So, why is it that they don’t market their products anywhere, instead choosing to rely on OPCs and mini-vacations that don’t mention the benefits of the timeshare?  This is of course followed up by high pressure sales tactics where consumers are given the choice between buying today or not buying at all because of some bogus ‘today only’ price.

Surely it can’t be because timeshares are any more ‘dangerous’ to the public than the litany of drugs with unintended side effects ranging from headaches to ‘your head may explode rendering it incapable of being reattached’ that it’s impossible to avoid when watching TV.

And more than one of those nifty ‘get out of your timeshare’ outfits are buying up radio and TV time with a vengeance.

Could it be that given the opportunity to truly think about the timeshare, the consumer would realize that there is absolutely no value proposition to it?

What do you think?

Friday, July 20, 2018

Stay Clear of This Sales Tactic

So, you’re sitting with your timeshare salesperson who has just shown you the price of $52,000 for ‘your week of paradise.’  You politely say ‘no’ adding ‘we already have a timeshare and we can’t afford maintenance fees on both of them.’

Wouldn’t you know it, the sales manager has a DEAL for you!  He comes back showing you that they’ll take $20,000 off the price of the timeshare they’re pitching because they’ll take your present timeshare as a ‘trade in’, bringing your price down to only $32,000. HOW can you possibly say no to this?

Here’s how and why you need to say ‘no.’

>Unlike car dealers, timeshare developers don’t have methods of off-loading other timeshares. 99 times out of 100, if you say ‘yes’ to this offer the manager will either have a last minute change of heart and tell you that they’ll honor the $20,000 ‘trade in discount’ but generously allow you to keep your other timeshare. 

>That $52,000 was a price they picked out of a hat, as was the $20,000 ‘trade in discount.’  In reality, you have absolutely no way of knowing what the ‘base price’ of the timeshare actually is. (Note that there is at least one developer that is transparent with prices, that being DVC.)

Don’t fall for this sales tactic. Tell the salesperson at the onset of the presentation that you’re setting an alarm for the promised time frame. Promise them that you’ll give a straightforward answer to their questions as well as give them a definitive yes or no answer to the buying question if and only if they promise to show you ONE price and ONE price only for the timeshare. No negotiations. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

You Won’t Believe This Language

I recently found some rather interesting language buried within the mounds of paperwork that consumers are forced to sign on the spot without having the chance to fully read and/or comprehend what the heck they’re signing when purchasing a timeshare. 

I’m reprinting it both for your review and as a caution. 

The purchaser promises to neither slander nor cause harm to the reputation of the seller by any means naming in an enunciation manner, but not limiting to pamphlets, magazines, newspapers, Internet websites, blogs, television or radio. In virtue of the above, the purchaser will not issue degrading statements in respect to the services provided or not provided by the seller nor will he use pejorative adjectives when he publically expresses any opinion, oral or written, related to his experience while practicing or not practicing the membership issued by the club. 

The parts agree that in case the purchaser does not fulfill his obligations established in this numeral, damages will be caused to the seller who will have the power to appear before the competent authorities to practice the corresponding actions with the purpose of being compensated for the damage caused. 

You read that correctly. Even if the developer does not hold up their end of the deal, I.e. ‘services provided or not provided’, the purchaser can’t talk about it or face monetary and assuming criminal charges!!!

What exactly are these guys trying to hide?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Warning! Don’t Sign Anything

Yet another sad, disgraceful example of horrible tactics used by this timeshare developer. Thankfully, these people realized they were being hustled. 
How many don’t?

We went to an owners update in Williamsburg. When it started we were told that NAME REDACTED could now consolidate the 2 loans that we have with them into one and at the same time lower our interest rate. He said several times that no purchase was necessary, only that it was a win-win situation for us!  

Obviously we had to sign paperwork for them to run our credit.  When the salesman came back into the room, he said it looked like we would save $200/month but they were waiting on the paperwork to print.  He went back out and came back with the finalized paperwork.  

When we were presented the paperwork,  they had us rolling our maintenance fees in for the next 10 years into the loan!  I THINK THEY BELIEVE WE WERE BORN YESTERDAY!  I asked the salesman where our straight refinancing and consolidation paperwork was.  He said this WAS the proposal!  

I told him it was garbage and we were lied to in order to get us to sign for the credit check!  I asked for a supervisor and instead got the manager of hospitality.   I asked for his name and the name of the salesman.  I want to make a complaint as this put a hard inquiry on my credit! This is a horrible sales tactic and they should not be able to get away with it.  Yes, I turned into a witch there with a capital B!

The moral of this story is don’t sign anything, don’t provide your Social Security Number, don’t provide credit card information to anyone.