The Story of My First Time Share Presentation

Published on September 10, 2011 by

Time share presentations are hard-sell experiences

I love travel and I enjoy staying in nice places when I'm going to be gone any length of time. If I'm just doing a quick overnight, a moderately priced hotel such as Holiday Inn Express (my now favorite quick visit place to stay) is fine. When I'm going to be somewhere for a week or more, I want a nice cozy place to stay with all the amenities. For this reason I own a couple of timeshares or vacation plans.

My First Timeshare Presentation

It was about 10 years ago when I wanted to see what timeshares were all about. I received a card in the mail for a time share presentation. The emphasis on the marketing card was not the presentation, but the gifts you would receive if you went. The "free" gifts are the lure because people think they can withstand the sales presentation.

My first presentation was with a company called Ramada. They were wanting to sell me a timeshare in Colorado with the emphasis on winter sports. They also had a model 2-bedroom accommodation built on the sales site which was in Texas.

These folks at Ramada are hard sell folks. They push and they push and they push. Those who want the "free" gifts stay. Others, even if they don't want the gifts anymore, don't know how to get up and walk out.

After I didn't buy the Colorado property, they then changed tactics. They offered a "great deal" on Orlando. Again, high pressure tactics were the norm. If you are at all susceptible to sales pitches and you really don't want to invest your money in timeshares, don't go! I have a tendency to dig my heals in the more I'm pressured to buy... and I did dig in my heels.

The "Free" Gift

When I didn't buy, they sent me to the place where someone would randomly draw an envelope with my free gift. I looked at the list of possible gifts and guessed at what I thought was the cheapest. I was delighted and surprised when I received a certificate for lodging at a Ramada resort in Oahu, Hawaii. Why would they give me such a great premium? It must cost them a bundle.

I soon found out why the Hawaii lodging. First, if you didn't read the fine print, you wouldn't notice you had to send the request for the lodging certificate by certified mail. My friend who works in the corporate world told me this is one of the tricks companies use to get out of giving their customers the premiums they say they'll receive. You have to follow the rules exactly. I happened to be standing in line at the post office when I noticed the fine print.

After I received the certificate, it said I had to choose three dates at least 30 days away from each other and at least 7 days before or after about 10 holidays. They didn't tell you what dates you could ask for. You had to figure it out yourself. Well, my sister and I had never been to Hawaii and we really wanted to go. We pulled out the calendar and spent about an hour figuring out what amounted to be the few options of when Ramada would let us come.

The reason the Hawaii accommodations were such a good deal for Ramada, is that they made it difficult to redeem the certificate. My guess is that few people followed the required steps or persevered to get the trip. We did and went on the first of one of our many trips to Hawaii. The future trips, however, did not include staying at Ramada. I'll chat about that later.

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