Time Share Presentation = Free Cruise?

in oc •  14 days ago 

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

If you're a semi-legitimate looking couple walking around any vacation spot, chances are you've been approached to sit through a Time Share Presentation in exchange for a substantial gift - such a free cruise, a week's vacation in a condo, or tickets to an expensive event.

My husband and I have been through a couple of them over the past several years and every time we say it's the LAST TIME we're going to succumb to the temptation of earning a nice prize for sitting through a couple of hours of presentation (and harassment at the end). One time we went to Cancun, Mexico and when we disembarked from the plane we were hailed from a counter at the airport offering us maps and guidance. We thought they worked for the airport - NOT - and before we knew it we'd agreed to take a look at a very beautiful property in the hopes that our next stay we would like to vacation with them. Only 90 minutes of our time, a free breakfast, and tickets to two different expensive local attractions. And just like that, we had an appointment to be picked up at our resort at 9:00 am the next morning.

That evening we got a nice call from the registration desk (we thought) asking us how check-in went, how we liked the accommodations, and if we were all set for our "tour" in the morning. To make a long scandalous story short, this call was from a rival "timeshare team" who paid people to drum up targets to go for their company's presentation. He said our appointment time had been changed (by a half-hour earlier) so we ended up being picked up and taken to a different presentation than we agreed to. No honor among thieves, lol. Who would invest in a company with such unscrupulous practices?

Recently we attended a BBQ Fest in downtown St Louis and there were all kinds of booths, vendors, and displays. We were hailed over to a booth by a pretty young thing to "spin the wheel" for a chance to win a vacation or a cruise. I hit the jackpot (imagine that!) for some kind of 3 day-2 night getaway, but I made the mistake of saying "Oh darn, we were thinking about taking another cruise...that's what I really wanted!" Well, right away we were informed that she could hook us up with a 5-night cruise - for just the cost of the port fees and taxes! We looked at each other and said "Time Share!" and started laughing. The more we laughed and scoffed, the harder she talked. We finally walked away and said we would talk it over in private and be back.

After talking it over and considering the deal, we actually DID go back. I had been pricing a cruise and it was a little over $1,000. The presentation was being held there in St. Louis the next day and we were already spending the night, so what's a couple of hours of a high-pressure sales pitch for saving quite a bit on the cruise? We had it in writing (1) the cost would be only the port fees and taxes (2) we had our choice of 3 cruise lines (3) we had 90 days to book the cruise for any sailing date up to a year from now. And we would receive a $75 Visa cash card at the end of the presentation. Woo Hoo, we can do this!

Actually the presentation wasn't too awful. We had a brand new salesman for our sales pitch and he wasn't nearly as aggressive as some can be. It was held at an upscale hotel in downtown St Louis on the 13th floor and I actually got some nice photos of downtown and the Gateway Arch while we were up there. Vic discovered Mango Pepsi (he's all for anything mango!) in their hospitality suite as a bonus and we got out of there in the promised 2 hours with cruise certificate and Visa cash card in hand. Success, and with the sales pitch out of the way, we didn't have to take any time from the actual vacation to hear it.

Everything went great - UNTIL - I tried booking the cruise. You call a separate company called Privileges Redemption Center and they set you up an account to go online and browse the cruises that are available. So far, so good. All three cruise lines were represented as we had been told, with choices of ports, locations, and dates. Most of the cruises had "included in certificate price" as the cost, but there were some that you could get at an upgraded price. It would say, for instance, "an additional $57 per person required".

I picked a cruise leaving New Orleans because we wanted to spend a few days there before and after and we love New Orleans! I picked one with "included in the certificate price" because the whole idea was to save money. After you decided on your cruise, you had to call the company's 800 number and talk to an agent to make the booking. And this is where the trouble began. The booking website shows the per person port fees and taxes, in this case, it was a little over $80 each, which should have made my total $160 roughly. A little more than the $150 maximum we were told, but I can deal with that.

After a 40 minute conversation with our "agent" where I selected the cruise and we picked the cabin, and onboard dining times, and a few other details, it was time to make the payment. He quoted me $480! The ensuing conversation revealed that he had charged me $159 for travel insurance, without discussing or even telling me about it. I made him take that off, then he told me the price was $430. Okay, even in my head I can subtract better than that! Next, I was informed about the $100 "redemption fee" and a $25 "processing fee". I argued vehemently that I had it in writing that the ONLY cost was to be the port and taxes fees. After going on hold to talk to his supervisor (neat little car salesman trick!) he came back and said they would "waive the $100 redemption this one time only" out of the goodness of their heart. Now I only owed $316 - which is still twice what I was supposed to pay. By this time we've been on the phone for an hour and I'm livid. And he's about got me convinced that the $150 maximum I was supposed to pay was per person instead of total. So I finally give up and pay the $316, which is still a substantial savings, but not the point, and I'm not a happy camper.

But it's not over yet. I received a detailed receipt in my email a few days later :

Cruise fare of $135??? The port fees and taxes were exactly what I was expecting pay, and I was willing to overlook the $24.95 processing fee even though that wasn't in the deal. I immediately called the redemption center back. I was told that only the booking agent who assisted me would be able to correct any mistake and he was currently not answering his extension. I asked to speak with a supervisor. Hmmm, he was away as well. The original booking agent did finally call me back later and told me there was nothing wrong with the bill. I argued until I was blue in the face and finally demanded to speak to his supervisor. And the supervisor backed him up! He spent 30 minutes explaining to me how that line item was NOT for "cruise fare" (even though it says so) but that it's for ADDITIONAL port fees that are somehow not included in the line specifically for that. I told him I was looking at Carnival's website and that they gave a very explicit explanation of what was covered in that line item, there were no "OTHER PORT FEES".

Bottom line - he refused to acknowledge that I should not have been charged an addition $135 and was not willing to make any adjustment. I'm sure the agent gets a commission to "upgrade" the travelers because he tried really hard to tell me on an upgraded cabin and added on that travel insurance on the sly. What to do now? I'm not through yet, I've contacted their corporate headquarters by email. At this point, it's the principle of the thing!

So how about you, have you had any good or bad experiences with Time Share presentations and gifts? Have you ever bought into any of their plans while attending one of them?


If you enjoy writing short fiction stories (less than 1,000 words) I'd love to have you join me on Narrative. Don't abandon STEEM - there's room in your life for both! Here's a link directly to my page featuring Flash Fiction:

Join me on Narrative

This blog was originally posted on Narrative

Get in on the ground floor and see what it's all about. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments.





Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

A bonus $trendotoken tip from ONECENT!
Also consider MAPR fund and MAXUV vote bonds too.
MAP Steem FinTech: growing your STEEM without SP.

Congratulations @onecent, you are successfuly trended the post that shared by @blueeyes8960!
@blueeyes8960 will receive 4.26054938 TRDO & @onecent will get 2.84036625 TRDO curation in 3 Days from Post Created Date!

"Call TRDO, Your Comment Worth Something!"

To view or trade TRDO go to steem-engine.com
Join TRDO Discord Channel or Join TRDO Web Site

Wow, I read the whole thing and you were right to be wary. Good on you for fighting back! I once went to Kenya and took a taxi ride from the downtown area back to port. We were having fun and then were asked to pay the bill. Since this was my first time out of the country, we did not know much about conversion rates etc. and the driver quoted however many local dollars for the ride. We happily paid the driver and he drove away with a big smile on his face.

When we got back to the ship, a local asked about our bill. It turns out we paid an amount equal to $80 for a trip that should have cost $8. We never found the driver and it taught us a lesson in dealing with foreign currency. I hope you get that sorted out.

Congratulations @blueeyes8960! You have completed the following achievement on the Steem blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s) :

You received more than 3000 as payout for your posts. Your next target is to reach a total payout of 4000

You can view your badges on your Steem Board and compare to others on the Steem Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

To support your work, I also upvoted your post!

You can upvote this notification to help all Steem users. Learn how here!

This post was curated by @theluvbug
and has received an upvote and a resteem to hopefully generate some ❤ extra love ❤ for your post!


In Proud Collaboration with The Power House Creatives
and their founder @jaynie


Thank you @theluvebug and @jaynie for the support!

I have never used time share myself, but I know my dad does - however we are in starkly different countries. but the complete runaround you were given pisses me off just reading it! I am so sick of people and corporates that are so sly in their deception and manipulation!

@jaynie - right, that's just it, they think they can get away with anything, and most of the time they do.

as with most things in life - it boils down to the people willing to stand up - and from my experience... they are VERY few and far between!

OMG! They are nightmares! That old saying, “there’s no such thing as free ride” comes to mind.

Posted using Partiko iOS

No kidding. They get away with their own version of "truth". But even if I end up paying $316 for the cruise instead of the $161 - it's still less than half what I was going to pay. It's the principle of the thing though, they should have to abide by their own rules.

Ugh, what a nightmare! Yours is not the only similar story I've heard, and they're all enough to make me never want to travel at all. I hope you're able to get it sorted out and, at the very least, hope you have a good cruise!

Time Shares over the years have gotten such a bad rep I would run the moment someone approached me asking if I was interesting in hearing a presentation on one.

I have never been a fan of aggressive sales agents and there is no quicker way for someone to lose my potential business by being one. I have walked out of stores leaving behind what I was going buy at a the cashier when they simply refuse to ring up what I wanted to buy and instead want to try and push something on me after telling them a few times NO!

Sorry to hear about the cruise. Those hidden fees are insane.

Congratulations @blueeyes8960, your post successfully recieved 4.26054938 TRDO from below listed TRENDO callers:

@onecent earned : 2.84036625 TRDO curation

To view or trade TRDO go to steem-engine.com
Join TRDO Discord Channel or Join TRDO Web Site