Timeshare Presentations – Don’t Get Mad, Get Even


Recently, we heard a complaint from a person who had gone to a timeshare presentation and who had enough strength to say no to the many offers.  Yet, once it was obvious that the person would not buy, the timeshare salesperson had a near tantrum, yelling and eventually walking out of the room.

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon practice of timeshare salespeople.  It is a last-gasp tactic that creates guilt and disorientation to the prospective buyer that in a small number of cases could cause someone to buy.  The outburst could also stem from an attitude that the salesperson wants to ruin the day of the prospect because he/she did not purchase.

It will certainly leave a bitter “after-taste” from the timeshare presentation that may cause a person to never attend another timeshare presentation – which is the result that timeshare salespeople would want – keeping away people that will not buy.

In the end, the salesperson probably isn’t thinking about tactics or reasons for doing things.  He probably is just immature and stressed about not making the sale and not making the money that he needs to make.  So, he takes out the frustration on the person in front of him.

So, here’s some advice if you find yourself in this situation in the future.  First, there’s no need to escalate the situation by getting angry yourself.  If you can talk to a person or two nearby, ask for their opinion on what just happened.  If they agree that the salesperson acted unprofessionally, write down their name & number.  You can use a witness when writing a complaint to the company.

Also, take your experience and share it with as many people as you can.  The worst thing that can happen to a timeshare company is having no prospective buyers in the room for a presentation.  No one likes being treated poorly and unprofessionally.  Even people who might buy will be turned off by unprofessional behavior, so spread the word.

13 Responses

  1. After their aggressive marketing campaign, I decided to have a “free” weekend in Vegas courtesy of Tahiti Village. I started to walk out when they showed me their $35,000 top of the line unit for New Year’s Eve. After they magically pulled out a “cheaper” unit that was left over inventory from Phase I, I actually signed up.

    When I got home, I saw that the resale market had comparable units for 1/3 to 1/2 of the price. I promptly canceled my purchase.

    Still interested in a timeshare, I sat through a Disney Vacation Club presentation. Still too much $$$. But when I was in the DVC presentation, I saw the directory of affiliated exchange resorts had a place called the Pono Kai. I spent my honeymoon there courtesy of my parents, who own there.

    After some research, I found someone selling an interest at the Pono Kai on eBay. I bid $1 and closed escrow this week. I also paid the closing costs of $400 and paid the 2009 dues. I now have an RCI membership and banked my week at the Pono Kai.

    The bottom line: Don’t buy from the developer…buy on the resale market. I am a bankruptcy attorney and many of my clients can’t give these things away fast enough.

    • Carl, thank you for your story! The resale market is flooded for sure, and great deals are to be had, especially for people like you that take the time to research and are going to be disciplined in their vacationing. The problem is that most people are not disciplined and end up not using their timeshare. So, even though a great deal comes up…if they do not use the timeshare, they are simply wasting whatever the upfront cost is as well as the maintenance fees and any special assessments.

      Then, with a flooded resale market, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of a timeshare – as you saw a Hawaii timeshare for $1??? That’s unheard of!! Just think about all the timeshares not in Hawaii, what is the market for those? Less than zero.

      • In the particular case of my Hawaii purchase, the owner was in her 80s and had donated the timeshare to a charity.

        Just this week, I another timeshare on eBay for $1. This one is a two-bedroom unit with a fixed week (Week 27, July 3-10, 2010) at a resort that is 1 mile from the main entrance to WDW/Epcot.

        I definitely see your point about the discipline needed to maximize the value of the timeshares. If you can plan your travel in advance and be flexible or if you go to the same place year after year, a timeshare can be great. If not, the maintenance fees can be a drain.

      • Carl, thank you for your input. You seem to know your timeshares very well! Feel free to chime in on our blog at your convenience.

      • I’m a timeshare noob, so I’ve just been doing a lot of research. Someone, perhaps you, answered a question I posted on Yahoo! Answers and provide the link to your blog.

      • Well Carl, consider yourself more educated than the average timeshare owner. It’s a very niche market.

        On occasion I answer questions on Yahoo! Answers…I hope any advice was helpful.

  2. […] View original post here:  Timeshare Presentations – Don't Get Mad, Get Even « Timeshare … […]

  3. I have been guarantee one of four prizes by Prize Distribution Center to attend a presentation. What are my chances this is legit?

    • I’m a bankruptcy attorney who has seen clients make the mistake of purchasing a brand new timeshare from a developer. I’m also a consumer who has purchased 2 timeshares on eBay for $1 each plus closing costs. If there is one bit of advice that I can give, your best bet for a good deal on a timeshare is on the resale market.

      In this economy, some people just want to get away from paying the annual dues and don’t care if they lose money. Paying top dollar to a developer makes no sense.

      Maybe you’ll get the top prize and maybe it isn’t a ripoff, but why take that chance? You can get a timeshare cheaply on eBay and join an organization like RCI or Interval International and go just about anywhere.

      • Keep in mind that maintenance fees increase and special assessment fees can be billed whenever the timeshare company wants. While buying a timeshare on eBay and the resales market might make some sense to people, trying to get rid of it will be difficult.

    • Although the contest may be legit, the prizes will probably require a lot of busy work to claim. On top of that you’ll end up spending hours at the presentation. If you value your time, it is probably not worth the trip.

  4. I enjoyed your article. I have sold timeshare for many years. I get it that some people have a bad experience at a presentation, but I wish they would provide the name of the company. That would be like me saying I went a church and it was high pressure when they passed around the offering plate. Which church? What made it high pressure? I nor any of the people I work with had an outburst like you described. Again, the name of the company and location should have been posted. Who would purchase anything from someone who yelled at them?

    Your words:

    “In the end, the salesperson probably isn’t thinking about tactics or reasons for doing things. He probably is just immature and stressed about not making the sale and not making the money that he needs to make. So, he takes out the frustration on the person in front of him.”

    Come on… Something is missing. In most cases the people on the tour lie about 80 of the thing they tell us. Since our presentation is customized to what they tell us, it often takes longer, and it makes the people on the tour frustrated in the end because we are talking about things that don’t interest them.

    For the people who say don’t buy from the developer…You do not have access to the same benefits or privileges when you buy from anyone else. Depending on the company you may not be getting that great a deal if you are put on the bottom of the reservation list. You need to read the contract from the person who originally purchased the timeshare. The person selling it to you on bay could be lying.

    Your words:

    “Also, take your experience and share it with as many people as you can.  The worst thing that can happen to a timeshare company is having no prospective buyers in the room for a presentation.  No one likes being treated poorly and unprofessionally.  Even people who might buy will be turned off by unprofessional behavior, so spread the word.”

    The people giving the presentation don’t deserve to be treated poorly and unprofessionally either.

    • Hi Mike,

      Thank you for your comments. I’ve been on your side as well. I dealt with people as I wanted to be treated, so I understand your your point of view. I just couldn’t put people in a position where I knew that they would end up regretting their purchase over time.

      As for the poor treatment, yes, it comes from prospective buyers as well. We all know that there are the freeloader types that just want the freebie trip, so they feel empowered to belittle the salesperson. I’ve been there. But there are reasons that timeshare sales have a bad rep other than just the long presentations. As you probably know, there are bad presenters as well…it takes just one to spoil the bunch.

      As far as naming names, it’s fine for a church, but when you’re dealing with large corporations, you need to act with some restraint.

      Enjoy!
      – Bobby

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