There are all sorts of tactics that resort developers and their sales teams use to lure fresh buyers to timeshare sales presentations every year. After all, as our own Michael Finn has said, the timeshare is, in many ways, the “mac daddy of impulse buys.”
Some of the most common tactics that resort companies use to bring in “new blood,” so to speak, are to target their marketing materials to those who are already on vacation, and to offer some sort of appealing free gift or rewards package as compensation for attending the pitch (often called a seminar).
Both of those methods surface in a recent article from The Journal Gazette & Times Courier, a newspaper out of central Illinois. Hilariously dubbed “James Bond wouldn’t get talked into a timeshare, would he?” the column recounts a recent trip to Las Vegas by the author, Clint Walker.
After hitting the buffets and taking in all that the world-famous city had to offer, including playing baccarat like a super-spy, Walker and his traveling companions found themselves open to a new opportunity. As Walker explains it, he and his friends signed up to receive “free tickets and 25-dollar stacks at the Luxor,” in exchange for attending a timeshare presentation, which, they were promised, “was only going to take two hours.”
According to Walker, things “did not go quite as planned” (a familiar theme you’ll pick up the more you read articles or hear stories dealing with the timeshare hard sell).
As Walker explains it, his group boarded a shuttle that drove “clear out of the city,” finally dropping them off at a “lone” complex in the middle of the Vegas desert.
From there, he writes,
“…our friendly presentation about the value of property we had no intention of signing up for quickly ballooned in time until about three hours later we were exhaustively given the ‘final’ sales pitch. Our polite refusal was followed by another 30 minutes of ‘good cop, bad cop’ between our initial agent and her ‘supervisor,’ the type of dude who chews gum right in your face and calls everyone “Guy”, who exhorted us all to pay for the timeshare with our credit cards.”
When Walker and his traveling companions continued to refuse the machinations of the sales team, they found that actually claiming their free gift would be another ordeal. As he explains:
“…the process to get our free stuff involved us being moved to and from a bewildering series of rooms and cubicles, each one full of dazed people we hadn’t seen before who we all had to assume were lost souls doomed to be trapped forever. When we finally had our tickets and a voucher for chips, we were practically kicked out a side exit only to discover the sun had long set and the one shuttle we found waiting by the curb wasn’t leaving for another 30 minutes.”
While hilariously told, Walker’s story is an all-too-common one among those who follow the timeshare industry. Resort developers and their salespeople have earned quite a nefarious reputation for using any means necessary to entice prospective buyers to a sales presentation, and, subsequently, cajole them into making a significant purchase – complete with long-term costs that could well endanger the buyer’s credit score or even price them out of other vacation opportunities.
To read more of this compelling, first-hand look at the ins and outs of the timeshare sales presentation, we encourage you to read the full piece over at the The Journal Gazette & Times Courier website, here.
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.