The Timeshare Trap
Don't Fall for the Timeshare Trap
We have all been walking along in a shopping mall and heard the familiar call of someone offering a "Free Vacation!" Many of us will walk right by, desperately trying to avoid eye contact, but others are hooked with inquisitive interest. I have been on both sides of this coin, and I prefer the side that leaves me blindly shopping for something I don’t need and that my wife will inevitably hate.
If you stop, the trained sales assassin will crush your will to say “no” by offering free nights in Vegas or Mexico, with free tours or tickets to a show. Just like your “GamGam” used to say, "There is no such thing as a free meal." After plying you with these amazing offers, you will find out that "you only have to sit through a 90-minute sales presentation, with no obligation to buy anything." Remember, free, isn't free because time is money. But... you've already lost a half hour listening to the sales pitch and no longer remember you were at the mall to buy your wife a birthday gift, so you sign up. So, she’ll get a vacation for her birthday! And it will cost NOTHING!!! That's a win... maybe.
You follow the rules and book your vacation to the fabulous Blue Ridge Mountains. The week arrives and gleefully you pile your family in the suburban. Sometimes, you arrive at your destination and the great accommodations are just as presented, but in many cases, you stay at their "sister resort" that looks eerily like a re-branded Motel 6.
The next morning you get to sit through the sales pitch. Your children are ushered to the "Kids Camp" and you sit down at a table across from “Chad”. Chad has seven kids, all of which need expensive medical procedures and one on one tutoring. He breaks the ice by telling you all about them. Especially, little “Timmy”, the light of Chad's life. Chad is the only breadwinner since his wife Champagne tweaked her back five years back. She too needs expensive physical therapy. Damn, Chad has a rough life.
Small talk wraps up, and you are given a grand tour of the property. Everything looks great and you can't wait to start living the resort lifestyle! As you roll back to the sales center, Chad recaps all the great amenities and all the “awesome things” you would have at your fingertips for one whole week each year. As you dismount the 1992 Eazy-Cart, Chad tells you to take a quick break before the presentation begins. Wait, what? Little do you know, your 90 minutes haven’t even started, and the high-pressure sales tactics are about to get amped up, way up.
Back at Chad's desk he shows you little “Jimmy's” last soccer photo, you briefly pause, sure that his name was Timmy... but whatever, Chad is going to give you a steal of a deal. You are connected. What could go wrong?
Boom, Chad lets you know he just needs one more sale this month to get his bonus and little Teddy can finally get his operation. (Teddy?? Wasn't it Timmy? Or Jimmy?) Oh well, he is getting you “extra points” that are good for, well, you’re not sure what you use points for, but your getting them FREE!
Three hours later: you have a headache, a free hat, a $20,000-week in the off season, 50 grand in bonus points (that you still don't understand), a confused wife, and two kids that have barely survived the Lord of the Flies style kids camp. At least little “Kenny” will get to meet his birth mother in Kenya!
The haze clears and the fog parts. You now realize that you just paid your portion of One-Million-forty thousand U.S dollars for the right to use a sub-par 2-bedroom, 1 bath condo, for one shitty week over Halloween every year. And here’s the kicker, you technically OWN NOTHING! NO REFUNDS, NO EXCEPTIONS! Plus, you get to pay the annual maintenance fees on top of regime fees, admin fees and any other fee that they choose to stick in your contract.
What you should have done is sit down, collect your free dinner coupons to the Sizzler, pulled up your eBay app to school Chad on the plethora of options available to buy for $15 and a bag of Skittles. You can even buy those precious points that they are trying to sweeten the deal with for a fraction of a penny. If you really want to live the resort life every year for a specific week, you can rent an Air B&B or stay at a hotel twenty times over before you even cover the initial cost of a Time-share, let alone the plethora of annual dues.
The moral of this story: Time-shares are WORTHLESS. The only person to benefit from this “deal” is Chad and possibly Timmy, we’re not even sure if Chad has kids at this point. And sure, the resorts are nice, and the amenities are sweet, but for every happy investor, there are a two-hundred angry and confused buyers that are trying to pawn off their interest to the next unsuspecting sucker.