Just wanted to warn everybody about a "promo" that is going on if you make a reservation by phone. I'm a longstanding Goldmember, and this morning I made a reservation for a stay in LA using my annual voucher for being a Marriott Visa cardholder. As usual, very helpful when making a reservation by phone. They told me about a promo going on where you listen to a 3 minute commercial for Marriott Vacation Club, and you get a % off coupon. I agreed just because the gal was so nice, and I figured she gets a perk for every referral.
So I get transferred over to Tamar in Orlando at the headquarters. Tamar explains that Marriott is looking for word-of-mouth advertising, so I can get a sample of the Vacation Club by giving him $199 today which goes toward a stay within 12 months at any Marriott Vacation Club resorts. I'm hesitant, so he sweetens the deal to $149 now and gives me 15 months to use it. He said the Kauai resort in Lihue is $799 for 6 days, 5 nights (great deal, loved that resort in 2013). Tamar asks for my wife's name two times and confirmed the spelling. I thought that was kind of weird (now I see why; we'll come back to that). As Tamar is explaining everything I am googling the Marriott Vacation Club and similar deals. I find that there are sometimes presentations that you have to go to for the rate to count, so I specifically ask Tamar twice, "Do I have to sit through a presentation?" Tamar responds, "No presentation, you do a brief VIP tour and fill out a comment card." After I get his word on this, I'm ready to make the plunge. I confirm my credit card, address, email address, and middle initial and get transferred over to the quality control and fine print guy who reads me a script. The first sentence out of the QC guy's mouth is "Are you aware that you will have to sit through a 90-minute presentation?" At this point I'm mad. I tell him that I specifically asked Tamar about a presentation twice and was guaranteed there is no presentation. Now I'm putting two and two together that Tamar wanted my wife's name to lock her into sitting through the presentation as well. I tell the QC guy to transfer me to Tamar's boss because I will not stand for being lied to. So I talk to Tamar's "boss" who is probably just the person in the cubicle next to him, and she even tries to sell me on the deal: the nerve! I told her, "You lost me when Tamar lied to me." She realized that she wasn't going to make a sale out of me, said she would talk to Tamar, and let me go.
The deal was actually pretty good. And I would have probably done it if Tamar had talked straight with me. But I will not buy-in to anyone who blatantly lies to me to secure a sale.
It's really a shame that Marriott would tolerate this type of approach. It can leave a bad taste in people's mouth and how the customer views the "brand" as a whole. Fortunately the 2 times I have stayed at a Marriott Vacation Club I was not tied to any sales pitch but was offered "gifts" if I did. I politely declined and there were no issues.
My experiences have been positive so I might be willing in the future to take advantage of a good offer. Had it been like yours, I definitely would not consider.
infernophil Good post, however I am surprized that you were surprized . There is little integrity in the sales end of the time share industry.
Of course it's a sales pitch! That's what time share is about! If you were to buy a comparable condo in the same location of a time share, it would cost 10-20% of the cost of 52 weeks of the time share. Time share is never a good buy and while it's seems like a good deal for some people, it's always a bad deal, from a financial value standpoint.
Good point. !!!! . Every time a make an online reservation at any vacation club, I receive a call from the staff!!!! asking to join then at a presentation in wich my husband should be present. They are asking an hour and half of your day,at your home. If you take the challenge you can get the stay for free. This is the promise.
Anyone can tell me if it works ????
You can get things for free by sitting through the presentation, yes. But I've only done one and the "90 minutes" is probably only if you have your checkbook ready to sign away on the first offer they give you. If your intention is to sit through it and decline, be prepared for the "hard-sell" tactics which can extend to 3+ hours depending how persistent they are. I only tried one several years ago on a "low budget" trip to Disney World when I let my wife use a travel agent she'd used before. Agent screwed everything up, and we had no tickets when we arrived, so was directed to a presentation where we could get free 3-day tickets. Seemed like a good idea, but wasted one entire day of the vacation. So from now on, I plan vacations myself, and no more presentations for us.
If I did the research ahead of time, and decide we want to buy into one of the programs, then I'd certainly go for a presentation to get something for free at the time of purchase, but I'd also be prepared to negotiate harder than they do.
I am both a Lifetime Platinum Marriott Rewards member and a Marriott Time share owner. When Marriott Time Share offers prospective purchasers a reduced price stay it always comes with a 90 minute sales presentation, These can last longer if you are interested in purchasing, but you will not have to stay any longer to get your perks if you set out from the beginning that you are not interested in purchasing. In short taking the time to listen to such a talk is a great way to get a reduced price vacation.
One thing no Marriott Time share presentation will not tell you is there is a secondary market and it would probably help you get an idea of what they are really about by looking up on the web:
TUG.com (Timeshare Users Group) or
Redweek.com which is a secondary market to buy and sell and rent weeks that are for sale or rent
The downside of the secondary market is the ability to trade the weeks may be at risk.
Trading your weeks for alternate locations is much to complicated for a blog like this
I too used my Cat 5 certificates on Long Island. The rep was so nice and asked if I wanted to be transferred for a special promotion. I asked her if she got some sort of credit if I listened to whatever the promotion was and she said yes. Imagine my surprise that it was to take a TS presentation. We already own two and were not interested. I find it troubling that MVC is being "pushed" as part of making reservations. Just saying