Have you ever been roped into going to one of those time share seminars? Well, I went to my first one this this week and lived to tell my story.
It all started out with at an Angels baseball game…
It was a lovely evening; I was on a date with my wife. Then it all started! An excited young man (no older than 22yrs old) walked up to my wife and I and asked us if we would like a FREE trip to Hawaii. I proceeded telling him “hey kid, nothing in life is free.” He then told me, “sir, we’re endorsed by the Angels baseball team, the Galaxy Soccer team, the LA Kings, and several other large companies, so I’m telling you the truth, the trip is FREE! I had to give this kid some credit because it looked like he genuinely believed that he was giving away free trips. He escorted us over to his booth where several other couples stood around looking at all of the pictures with stars in their eyes. The Kid introduced himself as Ian. Ian gave us a form to fill out which asked us a bunch of personal questions about our vacation habits and our relationship. After filling out the form, Ian explained that ALL we needed to do was sit through a 90 minute presentation at a resort that sponsors their efforts at the Angels game. “Oh, so you want to set my wife and I up for a time share seminar” I said with an accusing tone. “Dude, you’re getting a FREE trip to Hawaii,” Ian said. So I filled out the form that he gave and scheduled a day/time to attend the seminar at one of their resorts.
At the presentation…
We arrived at the beautiful Welk resort in Escondido, CA. We made our way up to the visitor’s center where the meeting was scheduled to be held and we signed in. Within minutes, a tall man greeted us, introduced himself, and told us that he was going to be our account representative, followed by a bad joke. This guy didn’t sit well with me from the moment that he opened his mouth. We were escorted into a large room with about 50 round tables with four chairs at each. At each table was one couple along with an individual “account representative.” When we found our table, our “account representative” started telling my wife and I why people buy time shares with them. He then shared statistics with us including ‘divorce rates’ being directly correlated with lack of vacation. I found that rather insulting. Then he showed us some paperwork proving that less taking less vacations leads to increased stress, and increased stress leads to a weakened immune system. So now, If we don’t buy time shares, not only will our chance of divorce be greater, we’ll get sick too.
Here comes the good part.
This is how they used numbers to show us how affordable they are. They said that ALL it would cost to own your own vacation home is $12,000. This would buy us a vacation home that we can only use for one week out of the year. Split up in payments over 10 years, it comes out to 189 per month. So the account representative SLAPPED the contract on the table with a sly smile and said “How would you like to pay?” I told him that we would need 5 minutes to think about it so he left and came back 5 minutes later. In that 5 minutes that he was gone, I managed to plug the total value of $12,000 into a simple interest formula and found out that over 10 years at their current 14.4 fixed interest rate, my wife and I will spend over $22,000 on that vacation home over that 10 year period. Then I factored in sales tax at the current rate of 9.75% and noticed that we will spend an additional $1,700. Then, there was an HOA that I read about in the fine print of the contract amounting to $800 every other year. So assuming that I owned that vacation home for 50 years, I will spend $20,000 just in HOA’s over that period of time.
The bottom line is, the Welk resorts offered my wife and I a $12,000 vacation home that we can only use for one week out of the year, for $12,000. The real cost of that home over a 10 year period is $30,000 and over a 50 year period is $45,000.
I told our account representative that we are going to pass on the offer. He then asked us “””So, if you don’t buy from us, then where are you ever going to go on vacation? Sounds like a boring life to me.”””
My wife and I were shocked! Then he stood up and left without saying anything. Then another salesman jumped right on us and tried to sell us less expensive packages. ARGH!
Now here’s the burning question… Did my wife and I end up getting a free trip to Hawaii? The answer is,,, Yes! The trip needs to be scheduled on a Tue though Thu and they will put us up in a 2 star motel.
What do you think? Was it worth it?