Free Vacation! (see fine print!)

Have you ever accepted one of those free vacations in exchange for attending a sales presentation? Did you buy what they were selling? 

I don’t know much about time shares, and I don’t even think i know anyone who has one. But I have been on the receiving end of sales pitches in the past. Today, however, was my first experience with the sales presentation as payment for the free hotel stay. 

We got off to a bit of a rough start. Compulsively Honest Me just wanted to let the guy know up front that we weren’t going to buy what he was selling because we had zero dollars for something like a timeshare. He bristled, and commented that in his three weeks here, NO ONE had come in with their mind closed like that. (He has sold for other similar companies, so he’s not completely just off the cabbage truck.) And then he mentioned that as a scientist, he cannot understand anyone closing their mind without knowing the facts. Whether or not he meant it, I felt duly chastised. 

Truth is, what he was selling did look great. At the moment of truth, he gave us a few minutes to discuss it, and we decided to say no. Then another guy came and offered us a less expensive deal, three of them as a matter of fact. And finally, after we said no to that one, the third guy came and offered us a special deal where they would put a prize freeze into effect for us for 18 months and during that time we would be eligible for a free stay at six different locations, one of which was Hawaii, which did appeal to us.

First price and program offered to us was $49,999 with $9,995 down today, and $648 for 120 months at 17.5% interest, which they suggested could be reduced if we refinanced it with our local bank. Final offer was $1,750 with $259 down or paid in full with a $100 discount. 

I’m sure their tactics work well. We said no. As clear as it was at the time that our answer should be no, ten hours later I feel SO relieved that we did not obligate ourselves in this way. The tactics worked well enough on us — we were engaged in the conversation, and definitely were getting drawn into the idea of traveling to these beautiful places. But even as we talked, and he sold, we realized more and more that our lifestyle really doesn’t fit with this system. 

Someday we’ll get to Hawaii. Until we do, we’ll have a potential more $648/month to put our kiddos through speech therapy and college and guitar lessons and home education curriculum. 

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