Saturday, November 24, 2007
So last weekend I was at the chocolate show in Salt Lake. So was a timeshare company. I avoid these people like I avoid annoying relatives and each time I passed their booth I became fascinated by something on the ceiling. I am not one to be fooled . . . again. See, my husband and I have been to pitches before--you know, they give you a free dinner, or overnight stay in order to duct tape you to a chair and convince you that you're only chance at happiness is timeshare ownership.
We've done these before and when we said no, I felt like absolute garbage. I swear the guy had tears in his eyes. I felt horrible while eating my dinner, sure that I was responsible for this man's family having to eat from garbage cans behind the hotel (I was 22 and not nearly as cynical as I am now). Another time we said yes, and you'd think we cured cancer for the joy the whole office experienced. We were excited, until we tried to use our first bonus week. It was a nightmare, as was the next attempt, and the next, and the next. After a year I wrote a four page letter to the company demanding a refund for their having misrepresented the product. They responded with a form "sorry, but it's not our problem." I do not get ripped off quite so easily and so I wrote another letter, not only to the guy that responded, but to their main offices as well. I included the addresses for my local chapter of the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Protection so they would know I was serious. I got a full refund within two weeks and within the year helped my sister and my cousin with their own letters since it was a nightmare for them too.
Thus, based on my past experience--you can imagine my surprise when I found my husband in the grips of this timeshare saleswoman.
"We can get a two night stay and dinner just for listening to the presentation," he said as if he hadn't been sitting next to me through our other pitch experiences.
I wanted to say "You've got to be kidding me!" instead I said, "Are you sure?"
"We can go for my birthday next week.
Well, how do I argue with that?
So last night we checked into our hotel in Park City. It's very nice here. After we checked in and peeked in on the football game in triple overtime, we went to our presentation. It was supposed to last 90 minutes. I was hoping for one of the skanky girl salespeople, or one of the gangster looking male salespeople. I can say no to people like that. I got the fresh faced nice guy. I knew right then we were in trouble. However, the following things kept me secure in our practices answer of NO:
We have no money.
We already own a timeshare at Snowbird that we love.
We hate complicated reward programs.
We don't want to be tied into one type of vacation.
It was very very expensive.
We are not spontaneous decision makers (unless my husband is looking for a get away for his birthday)
We know sales, we know all the tricks.
We are educated, smart people
We'd already decided to say no.
We had no reason to say yes.
We beleived all these things. We said all these things. We said no several times, but that only got us a sweeter deal. We were there for almost 4 hours. Mr. Nice Guy was very very nice.
So, did we buy? Of course we did--but at least I can say it was my husband's fault. There is security in that.