The Timeshare Hokey-Pokey (1 Viewer)

Steve R.

Retired
Local time
Yesterday, 21:57
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
3,831
We arrived in Branson, MO on a proverbial wet stormy night (hail, rain, thunder and lighting. narrow dark winding road, etc.). The next morning, still not having fully recovered from our arrival, we went for a drive around town to see what was there. We ran across a "visitor information" storefront. It turned out, like many storefronts in Branson, it was a "facade" for selling timeshares to the riff-raff that just rolled into town.

The big, but obvious lesson, never sign anything that a salesman puts in front of you. No matter how good it sounds. We did not sign, but there are lessons from the experience to be passed down.

The salesman was attempting to "sell" timeshare resort units. There were no resort units where our daughters lived, so he changed tactics to "rent", for points, hotel rooms in the cities where our daughters lived. I asked him to provide a $$$ equivalent for the points so that we could determine whether the timeshare approach was better than the traditional retail rent a hotel room. He was unable or reluctant to do it. That set-off my warning alarm that things were not right.

The way it works, when you "buy" into a timeshare plan you pay for a "share" plus an annual maintenance fee. The maintenance fee entitles you to a certain number of points based on the plan you bought. The accumulated points are then used to "rent" a timeshare unit or a hotel unit. Based on either his inability or reluctance to provide that type of analysis we declined to sign anything.

After the sales pitch was over and we returned to our hotel room, it finally dawned on me that that a $$$ equivalent for the points could be figured out. Basically, $X buys you Y timeshare points. So that is one to determine the $$$ equivalent. The other consideration, if you don't "buy" a timeshare, instead you invest it; that earns you $$$ income. Looking at those two figures would allow one to determine whether the timeshare or the hotel option is the better deal. Since the salesperson was unable or unwilling to do that type of calculation, one can assume that simply renting a hotel room is the better option.

So why did we do this?
Well, we received a free dinner and free tickets to a show. Both were very good.
 
Last edited:

The_Doc_Man

Immoderate Moderator
Staff member
Local time
Yesterday, 20:57
Joined
Feb 28, 2001
Messages
23,129
We went on a trip to Pigeon Forge, TN, and endured a Time Share presentation - but the useless sales person couldn't believe that we weren't interested and kept us so long that the restaurant where we HAD the coupon for a free dinner had closed by the time we got down from the mountain where they held the presentation. We ended up eating at an IHOP that was open late. I wanted to go back the next day and demand replacement tickets but wife and I decided the less we saw of those gypsters, the better off we were.

Timeshares are just on the edge of being a scam. Basically, they oversell the shares because their economics don't work unless they have over-full booking. I asked a few questions (don't remember exactly which ones) but didn't matter, the sales person couldn't answer them anyway. We walked out with a somewhat bitter taste and felt that we had been gypped. However, the rest of our visit (the part where we did what WE wanted and SAW what we wanted) was nice. Pigeon Forge is, let's face it, touristville, but they have some fun things and some great scenery. And some TimeShare salesmen who simply CANNOT believe that you would resist their wonderful sales pitch.

I understand that one of the ways the Time Share mavens get you is once you are "in" you get assessed maintenance fees at a rate higher than was anticipated. Also, the catch is that if you don't book WAY in advance - like 8 months in advance - you are unlikely to get the date you wanted for the use of the time share apartment. We had been warned about that factor and pressed them into admitting that sometimes there "might" be a scheduling conflict.

Glad you at least got a good dinner and show tickets AND got to use them.
 

Steve R.

Retired
Local time
Yesterday, 21:57
Joined
Jul 5, 2006
Messages
3,831
We had a great time in Pigeon Forge a couple of years ago just when Covid got going. We saw a really good Elvis impersonator. I guess we were blissfully unaware that they sold timeshares there.
 

Pat Hartman

Super Moderator
Staff member
Local time
Yesterday, 21:57
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Messages
36,849
My husband and I always took the TS tour if they were offering something we wanted in exchange. My dad and his wife swore by them and had 5. They were retired and did the circuit twice a year. Once on their guaranteed dates and again off season. Their contracts allowed one visit on the guaranteed dates and as many other visits as they wanted in the off season. They just had to pay for the food plan.

I still wouldn't buy one and wouldn't take one as a gift after my stepmother got too ill to travel anymore so they ended up giving them to my cousins and my brother because there is no resale market so don't believe that blarney.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom