At the prearranged time we arrived at the location hosting the presentation along with a lot of other people and I do mean a lot of other people. The promised lunch was canned fruit and some cold cuts on stale bread, although the bottled water was good I was wishing we had bought lunch from one of the restaurants on the Warf.
Thirty minutes later the general presentation was concluding with me thinking we were going to be on our way shortly. This was when we were broken up into individual couples and presented with a very confident and smiling representative to detail the finer points of owning a time share condominium. We get a tour of a very attractive suite at the hotels condominium apartments; with the explanation that the cost per night of that suite is over $500.00 per night. Returning to our hosts cubicle our eyes still shining from the vision of that lavishly appointed suite. The dialogue continues, much of this portion was establishing our desire to have a nice luxury vacation every year and who doesn't want that. After about an hour of cleverly presenting us with reasons to nod our heads in the affirmative the price sheet comes out.
Now our confident and smiling host is pulling out all the stops and applying the pressure to fulfill our dreams of owning a piece of a luxury condominium. The details get fuzzy in my mind now not so much since it was some years ago but because the pace of the sales pitch is making us shell shocked. I do remember that to really do it up right a figure of $40,000.00 was tossed out. I remember telling the guy that for that kind of money I could buy half the condominium.
Two hours or more in with smile fading our host excuses himself and finds his handler who doesn't waste much time on pleasantries. He quickly reminds us that we have agreed that we wanted luxury vacations and they aren't free and if we don't take their offer good only for today we will never have a vacation worth having again. I also notice when the fog in my head clears for a moment that there are only a few of the other people still left and that I am not hearing the balloons popping anymore.
In a final push we succumb and agree to buy fifteen hundred points for $8,000.00 dollars and to sweeten the deal we are given another 1500 points for that year. I now find out what the balloons are for, they are to celebrate the closing of a contract. By the time we filled out all the paperwork and escrow contract it is very late in the evening and we haven't had any dinner. We quickly find our dinner coupon is worthless because the restaurant is closed for the night; so we find a fast food joint and satisfy our hunger and return to our hotel room to prepare for our return home the next day. I remember keeping that coupon for a long time hoping we would get back to redeem something for the abusive day.
Stay tuned for Part 2.