Monday, November 26, 2012

Timeshare Pirates

We just watched the docu-movie The Queen of Versailles.  Twice.  We couldn't believe it the first time.  What couldn't we believe?  That two adults of evidently normal sanity would allow their lives to descend into utter neglected filth and chaos, simply from having an unlimited amount of money at their disposal.

They had unlimited ability to dispose of money.  But the main point of the show that resounded with me was the insider's view of the source of their wealth, the timeshare-selling industry.

Las Vegas tourists are lured into a sales presentation with the promise of a free ticket to something.  Then the high pressure sales staff, shown being coached to use any means short of murder, goes to work hammer and tongs to force the sale of what is essentially AIR.  They are promised a luxury week every year in any resort owned by the conglomerate.  Once they sign a contract and make a downpayment, the contract is sold to investors as if it was an actual mortgage on a property.

The CEO and Founder has his son running the schooling of the predators, I mean, sales staff.  He excuses the use of intimidation by explaining that the prospective buyers are "mooches" who are "greedy," because they wanted a gift in return for attending a sales presentation.

The customer encounters myriad heartaches ever after the sale, as they try to use the guaranteed vacation they think has been promised.  But the movie doesn't go into that.  The info addressing timeshare owners' problems can be viewed easily online, to the extent that this timeshare sales survivor cannot believe these ogres are still able to sell such a bogus "product" in this information age.

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