As I mentioned not long ago in my post about the HGTV Green Home in Tradition, we vacationed in a timeshare condo on the beach on Hilton Head Island and had an absolute blast.
We had a great time doing absolutely nothing the entire week because when it comes right down to it, isn’t ‘doing nothing" the point of a relaxing vacation. I mean…we did stuff like fly kites, spent ample time in the surf, picked up (and released) a nice selection of sea creatures off of the beach, absorbed our fair share of sunrays, read books and walked for miles and miles on the beach…but we didn’t have to be anywhere at any time that we did not choose to be. Now that’s a vacation in my book!
Although, there was one exception to that rule…a timeshare tour with Resort Condominiums International, better known as RCI. It wasn’t pre-planned at all. Rather it was a sales call to our timeshare unit the morning after our arrival. Yes…there was a bit of bribery involved to get us to ‘come on down’. I looked at it as a little extra cash for a very nice dinner that only required an hour of our time so I decided it couldn’t possibly be painful enough not to endure for "an hour"…or could it???
Our appointment was set for 9 A.M. the following morning for our timeshare sales tour. We arrived about 5 minutes early as not to lengthen our tour time any longer than what was required. We weren’t the only ones coming down to pick up our $100 bribe and golf discount coupons…nope…it was us and about 49 other couples showing up at a small real estate office. We were ripe for the pickin’…or so they were hoping.
First, we needed to sign in and wait to have our name called to be matched up with an agent. There was even a magician there to keep both little kids and big kids entertained until the agent made their introduction to us amongst the organized chaos. It was about a 10 minute wait before we met our salesperson and headed over to the "show condo" located in Island Links in Port Royal Plantation on the other side of the island.
We arrrive and take a tour of the timeshare. It turns out to be a very spacious and beautifully furnished 3br/2ba unit with Tommy Bahama furnishings throughout (see my photos below). We take a 15 minute tour and we’re outta there. We drive back across the island to the sales office and face a barrage of reasons why this is the greatest deal ever, blah blah blah. We’re over an hour and a half into an advertised one hour tour when we get the squeeze from the "if she couldn’t get you to buy then I will" salesperson. After about another 20 minutes we give them ‘no’ as our final answer and are asked to sign on the dotted line that we survived the sales tour and are authorized to collect our promised goodies.
They hand us the sheet and tell us to go to another office suite about 4 doors down to collect what we have definitely earned at this point. We are met by yet another sales agent for a different company that does a small survey on the performance of the RCI sales agent. Okay (I’m thinking)…no problem…now may we please have our cash. He then launches into a sales spiel about extending the deadline on the offer we just passed on and several others available.
After about another 20 minutes of being very, very patient but ‘tired and ready’ we gave him notice that we are not interested in what he is selling. That’s when he signals for his "sales squeeze guy" over to give us the tough sell. After about another 5 minutes I had had enough. We had already endured more than enough time required of us at the original sales tour and now we were another 25 minutes into this one of what was promised to take one hour of our precious vacation time. I suppose we were a bit too patient and nice about it all so the gloves had to come off. That’s when I abruptly ended the tour and demanded what we were promised. From there we headed straight to the drive thru bank teller and left with just a little bit more coin to spend. So what had begun as a $50 per hour proposition had turned into a $20 per hour deal…uggghhh!!!!
All in all, a lesson was learned and the cash came in handy. For what it’s worth, we had attended a timeshare sales tour with Marriott Vacation Club about a dozen years ago at Grande Ocean and it was a totally pain-free tour. Take from that what you will.
Back to the beach!
I started as a home-stalker… visiting brand new homes under construction in the neighborhoods near my house. That inspired me to write about home building and home renovation projects — chronicling homes during different phases of construction from a consumer's point-of-view. Basically, the tips you'll find in my articles are a collection of checklists for what I think should (and should not) go into building or remodeling a quality home.