Friday, May 26, 2017

Is Listening to a Timeshare Presentation Worth the Perks?


We've all gotten the calls before; the ones saying that "we are from such-an-such timeshare and can offer you a next-to-free stay, at one of our gorgeous resorts, if you just come listen to a two hour presentation on our amenities". Our first answer was always "thanks, but no thanks!" Until one evening it wasn't. 

A little back story to this is that they tend to call me, or more so I tend to be the one who picks up the phone for numbers I don't know. The person on the other end of the line then tries to get me to commit, I question it and think it might actually be a good deal and then go to ask Babe and he says, "no, hang up!" So then it takes me another 5-10 minutes to try to get off the phone and I have now wasted my time. Fast forward a bit and sweet Babe actually answers the phone to a number he doesn't know and a young woman (at least she sounded young) starts in on the offer. Typically, he would hang up pretty quickly, but I guess he let her get pretty far in, because a few minutes later he's calling me into the office (I was in the living room) and asks me if we should do it. I, of course, am thinking,  "what the actual heck?! You give me such a hard time about it and you now look where we're at! I mean, I don't know? Sure, why not?! Let's just try it!" Apparently the girl on the other end of the line just seemed so thankful he was even letting her talk, and hadn't hung up on her or berated her for calling, that he almost felt like he needed to say yes just to give her a chance to make a sale. At this point he had it on speaker phone and when she asked if he wanted to hear about the option of a cruise add on and he replied with, "sure, why not?!" she got so flustered and her voice rose to such an octave that I thought she might have hugged hum through the phone if she could. Needless to say that when we actually agreed to book it I think she might have cried. **Side note: I have a friend who once worked for a call center, before quitting two weeks later because people would be so mean when she called that she would break out in hives. I know those calls can be frustrating, but if you can't say anything nice, it's probably better to just hang up!

Anyways, that was the long-winded version of how we ultimately ended up saying yes. We figured, even if we hated it, at least we tried it once. Now that we are on the other side of the whole experience here are our actual thoughts... 

Did we think that the offered trip was worth it for having to listen to someone try to sell us a timeshare? Our answer: YES! Granted, this was from our personal views of one experience (with Hilton Grand Vacations), but we found it overall completely worth it. Hilton stayed true to their word and our presentation lasted two hours, beginning to end (not including travel time), and they didn't force us into staying past the time to try to keep selling us once we had still said "no". Our hotel was gorgeous, with an amazing view, and they didn't contact us again the rest of our trip once we had left the presentation, which I was worried might happen with "no" answers.
Our only room shot, while trying out the new bluetooth camera stand, as we spent a lot of time outdoors and forgot to document; the room was really nice though, with a beautiful view, jetted tub and kitchenette. 

Planning for the Presentation
- wear comfortable clothing: you will be sitting for a long time, so bring a jacket or something to keep you cozy
- we were provided with food and drink when there; light to moderate snacks, coffee, tea, juice, water... which could substitute breakfast if desired
- have your "no" ready; we started out saying no, our sales guy then told us, "well my job is to spend the next two hours trying to change that", but if you know you want to walk out without a timeshare you HAVE TO stick to your guns no matter what he says
- go into it with a "this is just a learning experience" mindset; while we ultimately stuck to our no, I thought it was interesting learning about how it ran and I loved getting to see their model rooms
- schedule as early into the trip (and day) as possible; you don't want the presentation to be the way you end your trip. We did ours at 10am the 2nd day in and had the whole rest of the day, plus 2 more, ahead of us (Vegas for Outdoor Lovers post coming soon)
- tips for saying no: pick a designated "talker" (this should be the person better at a stone faced no), have the other person say as little as possible, don't give any leverage by getting excited over certain talking points, keep a very flat/ business like manner (any inflection in your voice will give them something to go off of)



Pros Vs Cons
Pro- You get an awesome trip for a fraction of the cost!
Con- If you suck at saying no, you might get suckered! Honestly, I would not even do it if there is not at least one person in your party who can stick to a firm "no". I knew we were saying no, I didn't even want it after listening to the spiel, but I can be so bad at saying "no" that I might have considered it if Babe hadn't been the rock! And your sales person will read that; our guy started directing a lot of the "perks" at me. "You can use your points for shopping! You can use them for spa treatments!...". Thankfully I don't like shopping, but I do enjoy a good massage and he caught that. I finally just stopped talking, and zoned out, so that he had no more leverage on my end and had to go back to trying to convince Andrew.
Pro- If it is a reputable company they will stick to their promises. If they know they aren't going to sell you they won't waste their time; there were plenty more people waiting behind us.
Con- The shuttle; I get car sick, so the shuttle back to our hotel, the Elara (the presentation was at another one of their resorts), was torture. Given that they weren't that far away from each other I might have chosen to walk.
Con- Depending on where you are going the airfare can be crazy; make sure when you are on that initial phone call that you factor in an estimated airfare cost.
Pro- If you enjoy traveling, it's a great way to see places for less! Had we decided not to tack on the cruise addition we would have only paid $250 for a 3 night stay in Vegas; we paid an additional $300 and now have a cruise voucher for a Royal Caribbean Bahamas cruise (which we can upgrade if desired).

So, AS LONG AS YOU CAN SAY NO, it's totally worth it. Should you sit down and decide the time share itself might be a good deal, that's a whole other story. We can't vouch for if that's worth it or not, maybe you could tell us?! But at the end of the day we would definitely listen to another time share spiel in order to get a discounted vacation!
*Note: This is our personal experience of one presentation with a well known company. People in our shuttle back to the hotel told us some horror stories about ones they had sat through where they were kept for hours, so just be wary of which company you go through and what they tell you initially.


How about you?
Have you ever sat through a time share presentation? What were your thoughts? 
Do you currently own time share options? Do you think they are worth it? 

15 comments:

  1. Informative thanks for Sharing

    https://www.chipincorp.com/it-support.html

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  2. Melanie... Good article. Mrs B was impressed and wanted me to read this. Glad Andrew was the No-Rock. Enjoy your summer and you know where to find us. Mr B

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    1. Thanks Mr. B! And tell Mrs. B hey and give little bubs a hug from Aunt Mel!! And haha, yes! thankful Andrew was ready and able with his "no!" Hope to get to see you guys soon (hopefully in Bham)!

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  3. I hate phone sellers and never even pick up the phone when being called anonymously but I have to admit, that spending 2 hours of your life on something boring to save that much on a vacation isn't bad at all. Not sure if my boyfriend could keep his cool though - he's the one in our relationship who's really bad at saying no :D

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    1. Haha, yeah! We are usually the same, but every so often they get tricky and call from a number that seems like it might be one we know and should answer. So if you ever end up giving it a go you will have o make sure you can be the designated "no"-er!!

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  4. We went to a time share presentation. I don't think it was worth it. We spent too much time in the presentation and not enough time exploring.

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    1. Yeah, we heard some stories like that, so we were really skeptical, but it ended up working this time. If we ever do one again I will be curious to see if that still rings true.

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  5. I have actually never heard of this. In Norway, you can register not to get those kind of calls. I would probably answer the call and get as much info as possible and see how much free time you get. I think 2 hours of presentation is not too bad :)

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    1. Oh cool! I would love to not get those kind of calls for the most part, but I guess in this instance it worked out. Two hours to presentations was totally worth it for a great trip!

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  6. Okay so I've never actually received one of these calls haha so I actually had no idea what you were talking about, but WHOA! That is quite the deal! I'd say listening to the presentation is more than worth it for that kind of savings! Good for you guys :D

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    1. Oh man, good for you! For the most part I really hate those calls, but in this instance it actually worked out well, so I am thankful!!

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  7. Funny, some friends and I were just talking about this. I've never done it, so it was interesting to hear what your experience was.

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  8. I am bad at saying “NO” luckily I am usually with someone who is good at it so, it saved us from the marketing trap.

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  9. This was really interesting - I'd always wondered how these timeshare presentations worked and if they were worth the hassle or not!

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  10. I do get calls sometimes from the random company selling their vacation that I used to think as a spammy call but thanks for sharing your experience with us!

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