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My Time Share Experience

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By IllustratedMan
July 5, 2005

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Didn't put this in the Q2 report so here goes a few details - did one of those, come to Orlando for a 3 night stay and do our tour and the price is discounted and so forth and so on. After years of blissfully ignoring these mail pieces, for whatever odd reason I looked at one the latest ones that came to the household and talked it over with the significant other and decided - heck, why not? A few minor details on the experience:

*nice enough hotel; great breakfast buffet but my wife said the pool was...well....'salty'. Some foreign tourists apparently had no problems with letting the baby swim in the pool without a swim diaper or urinating on the side. Needless to say, the pool-visit was a short visit.

*parks were ok, but just ok. We did the 'secondary' non-Disney parks and it was...well...ok, I guess. I am getting old. Kids liked them - sorta. Frankly, it is a once in a lifetime experience - after you've been once, that's it for a lifetime.

*ah, the time share experience. Easy to find, and immediately the nice lady assigned to us - and they seemed to assign people by demographics - offered us assorted free stuff that my kids were more than willing to consume. And off we went to a table, and she wasn't all that thrilled to find out that we didn't vacation that much, so immediately the pitch gets directed to a "half-way membership" or something or other. Thing is, when I tried to get exact details on how it all worked - how much the time share would cost per visit and so forth, no details were provided. Oh sure, lots of talk about 'upgrading our visit', 'getting points', 'being treated like family', but nothing specific. After about 40 minutes of talk (I was going to take notes but nothing she said made any coherent sense, and her notes on the pretty pages didn't make a bit of sense either), we toured the local facility and frankly it was nice enough. I've stayed at a relative's time share in a resort and enjoyed the experience so I have nothing negative to say about the facilities � this was much nicer than a nice hotel. But cost? Heck if I could tell you, other than the lady wanting us to sign up for this many points at this much and so forth and so on.

*We eventually went back to the sales room - reminded one of a giant car dealership, with all the cubicles and talking people - and she did her pitch again and I must admit to being utterly confused, and I ask pretty simple and direct questions. Finally, she said that for 'analytical people' like me (????) these sales pitches could be a difficult thing but in the end it came to 'being with a company you trust' and so forth and so on. I had her Xerox some stuff for me but I still can't really pin down the cost and there was no way this lady - who said she'd been selling time-sharing for 20 years - was going to explain it where even one such as I understood it. I wanted to keep talking but my wife was getting tired of it and the saleslady wasn't too enthused after a while so off we went to the next guy, to the last line of defense. He was just there to 'make sure we had a good experience', and he made one last college try to get us to sign up for something, anything, but something and even he realized that we were a lot sale and goodies are nice but this is my money here though he did mention the 'amount of money we spent to bring you up and thousands like you' but enough was enough, so we went and collected our $100 in 2 nice 50's and we were gone. Yeah, they paid us to tour the place. Darn nice of them, and I appreciated. We didn't buy anything but it was a nice enough experience even if impossibly confusing, and as I said, I ask some pretty simple questions. And no, I didn't feel superior � I realize this lady does this for a living (and got no lunch money from us), that Starwood really does pay some pretty decent money to bring people up, and that the resort was a nice enough place, and maybe this works for people (oh, and did you know that Disney has only developed 40% of its property? They kept reminding me of this). However, this isn't for me, but they had a duty to be more forthcoming but apparently that's not the way these things work (no surprise to most, but I didn't like getting hustled).

Overall, it was a pretty positive experience. Excellent rate on hotel, paid to listen to a speech, and so much confusion on my end that I was never in danger of giving them any money. Good place. I plan to look at these letters with a little more care next time. Hoping for that one with the $99 trip to Australia...

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