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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Timeshare Pitch--OY!

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.


Lena said...

LOL! I have not yet gone to one of these- they scare me to death because I hate to make people feel bad. I have a Kirby. No more salespeople allowed! I hope it a good one!

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

You're funny! I've never been to one of these, and don't plan to! I hate salespeople, especially the good ones with the guilt!

Unknown said...

You are hilarious! My husband and I have gone to a few of these and the one with Marriott in Park City was my favorite. We're pretty good at saying no and I don't feel bad because I'm in sales and get told No on an almost daily basis, but I get many more Yes's so it's worth it.
Hmmm, I think I'll have to invite you to come to one of my Story Time Felts parties and offer you our fabulous Bible/Book of Mormon Collection for FHE which I use all the time. I don't meet many people that can say no to that! :)
I love the "blame it on your husband idea." I'll have to try that out.

Anonymous said...

ugh, so sorry you went to the dark side hon, kathleen

Julie Wright said...

HAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! You crack head! I own four! Count them--FOUR! Four time shares because I am a sucker! I blame all my financial ruin on this stuff! And hey, I want a kilpack letter to get out of my timeshare at the bahamas and one for my timeshare in florida. I actually really like and use the other two. But the bahamas and the florida one . . , I was decieved in every way.

Tamra Norton said...

Can the Nortons vacation with the Kilpacks this year? We'll bring the rootbeer and extra sleeping bags (my kids will steep anywhere).

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

Too funny. I've often wondered if we ought to try one of those things. Now I know I shouldn't. But then, maybe my husband will have a different opinion. Hmmm.

Luisa Perkins said...

Wow! Now I KNOW I can never take them up on those free weekend offers.

Jenna said...


I know how it is though...the guilt! Don't forget it's your husband's fault. That may come in handy down the road. Great post, Josi. You're funny.

Anna said...

We went to a seminar once when we were newly married and living in a trailer. I think we made a combined income of about $17,000 that year.

The kept telling us that we could find a way to finance the timeshare. We couldn't explain enough to him that there was NOTHING we could give up for this. We couldn't cancel our heat bill, we had to make the house payment. We had no extras at the time, no cell phone, no television, no internet. They do like to try and guilt you.

Then they say that you can only get this offer one time. Then they invite you back another year. We went a second time, and the salesperson was awful. Made us feel like worthless people for coming to the presentation to just get the gift card to eat. My husband explained on the phone, that he didn't want to buy, had seen the presentation, and just wanted to come to listen to the spill and get the free card.

I have never gone back to one since, and will not go to one again.

Autumn Ables said...

Enevitable. I could see this ending coming a mile away! hehehe I loved this post- it made me laugh. :)

Lisa said...

We are waiting for the right timing and then we are heading to Hawaii to a Marriott property to subject ourselves to their torture. It's on their dime, of course. I can't wait!

Anonymous said...

so josi,
what are you currently writing and working on? hope all is well and smiley with ya, kathleen :)

Anonymous said...

Been there done that! Its funny how the timeshare pitch varies by company. You just need to know what company owns the resort. Small, places who are pushy and rude and keep you there all day, are the ones that give timeshare a bad name. The larger more reputable companies like Wyndham give you a no pressure guarantee, a time limit of only 2 hours and mean it, they don't lie about what your getting. They tell you its either for you or its not. Some timeshares are worth it some are not. No different then buying a house. Some are money pits some are great deals!