THE MOST INFAMOUS POLICY IN THE TIMESHARE INDUSTRY
When a sales representative has trouble convincing someone to purchase or upgrade their timeshare, the top sales representatives or managers will teach them how to follow Policy 317. Unfortunately the few of us here at VO Financial, who has worked for major timeshare developers, know from first-hand experience because we have been taught the policy. The best way to explain Policy 317 is take the numbers, turn them upside down and the reality is there - LIE.
When pressed to buy a lifetime of timeshare points with a lifetime of maintenance fees attached, you might say at your age or situation in life that you will only be able to use the points for a few years. When the sales rep hears this, and knows the sale could be lost, suddenly the Delayed Benefit pitch appears. In this pitch the sales rep will tell you not to worry, because as long as you hold onto your timeshare points for a specific amount of time (usually 2 to 5 years) then you will be eligible to have the timeshare purchased back by the developer. Developers never buy your timeshare points back for any price. Sadly, in a few years when you are ready to use this wonderful Delayed Benefit no one knows what you are talking about and your sales rep is nowhere to be found. You are then trapped with a large monthly payment with enormous finance charges, and never-ending but always increasing maintenance fees.
GET ANYTHING, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE
Timeshare and vacation ownership obviously isn't infallible. Any company that claims to be able to guarantee a reservation anytime or anywhere is giving you an unrealistic expectation of ownership.
YOU MISSED YOUR OPTION
If a sales presentation ever begins with the representative telling you that you missed an amazing benefit recently offered but no longer available, they are lying. They will spend the next 20 minutes telling you how bad they feel that you missed it, explain why it is so amazing, and then somehow fight to get it approved for you. Magically, because of how powerful they are, they will get it overridden for you to have this deal. None of this is ever true and it is called the take away approach in sales. They try to pull the greed factor with a client by enticing them with wanting something that they cannot have.
CODING SALES PITCH
If there is ever a time that you are being shown "owner sheets" which has all of your account information, there is a 99.9 % chance you are being lied to. If there is a spot in these sheets saying that you declined on your option, it has expired, it was sent to you by mail, that you opted out, no longer qualify, etc., then you are being lied to. Most companies pull owner information sheets and use them as a tool to go over your account with you. These sheets are in computer formats known as DOS and are really a tool of the devil. You can make anything in those sheets look like you want them to even though what you are looking at means something entirely different. If you are reading this now, you know what we are talking about because you have seen these sheets. The funny thing is however, you have never been allowed to take any of those sheets with you. I guess it isn't a policy to let evidence leave the scene of a crime.
"PROBLEMS" REQUIRING YOU TO UPGRADE YOUR ACCOUNT
As an existing timeshare owner, you are aware that every time you meet with a developer's service representative, you are being told of a problem with your account, your program, or your usage. If you do not have any problems with your ownership then their main goal is to create one for you. Often you will be told that in order to rectify your account, you will need to purchase more ownership. There have been many instances where owners are led to believe that by upgrading their ownership, their monthly payments will be lower. Once again, this is entirely false.
We are hearing this "line" more and more as we speak with our clients. Sales representatives are pitching large point owners, telling them that they should purchase into an insurance program which will protect the maintenance fees from increasing over the years. Timeshare developers do not offer an insurance policy on the purchase of the timeshare. If those words come out of the sales reps mouth, there is no doubt about it, you are being lied to, again.
Every timeshare and vacation ownership company uses false urgency. This sales tool is designed to mislead the customer into believing the decision to purchase has to be made immediately. If you don't decide to purchase "today," then the amazing deal will be gone forever! Sales representatives will create many reasons why you must purchase, never giving you the time needed to make a thorough decision. This imaginary false urgency is simply a ploy to convince you to purchase. Do not be fooled into believing that it is credible or even factual!
MONEY IN ESCROW BUILDS CREDIT
If you are told that you have to build up credit by having money in escrow which can be applied to your next purchase, you are being misled. You don't have to do this, and that is a way to convince you that you are saving money on an additional purchase. If you are ever buying to save money, no matter what is said, it is not possible.
Have you ever wondered why you were entitled to such a good deal or why companies were able to take so much money off of the purchase price? Well the reason is simple. The company brought the price down to what it actually costs. Sales representative may tell you that you are being offered this "special price" because you know someone that owns, or possibly because you are a referral of an owner, or you may even qualify for "special pricing" because the company is allowing you to purchase at the employee purchase cost. These are sales tools and do not always work in your favor, nor are they designed to.
REASONS TO TRADE OR UPGRADE TO A NEW LOCATION
Sales representatives will often tell you that you need to upgrade to a better location. They will tell you that by trading to a different location, your property value will increase, you will gain superior access to inventory and availability, you will gain more benefits, etc. All of these amazing benefits are being described to you in hopes of adding additional time and cost to your ownership. They will show you that this new property has cheaper maintenance fees. Maintenance fees do indeed vary from property to property, but don't be fooled. You cannot trade to a different location without purchasing more ownership.
I WILL ALWAYS BE YOUR REP
As an owner, you will be asked on your next "Owners Update" who your sales representative is? More than likely you will answer, "I don't have one." This gives the sales representative in front of you a loaded gun. They will act surprised that you haven't had someone helping you with your ownership. They will then promise to be that person (as long as you buy with them, of course). However, once you purchase with them, it's back to where you started with many unreturned phone calls and unanswered questions. Most sales representatives refuse to answer your calls because the majority of what they've told you is false, and it's easier to avoid you than to remember the lies that they've told.
DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE
This is a sales tool that can get you into serious trouble. Companies are able to use credit cards, and other outside financing programs, to help you with the down payment. Be aware and cautious of all applications you are filling out while on a sales presentation. When it is said that you can be financed 100%, A RED FLAG SHOULD POP UP! Think of the credit market for a moment and you will quickly realize that no company, especially timeshare companies, can finance someone at 100%. When filling out a credit application for alternate financing, or a credit card, sales representatives will sometimes alter the amount of money you make in any given year in order to allow you to gain approval to the credit line. This is how they get you to believe you are gaining down payment assistance.