Why you should not go to Owner updates for answers.

Every time I hear, “I went to a Wyndham owner update to get answers to my questions.” My first thought was… “and you got a sales pitch instead, right?” I know not everyone knows better, and the salespeople know that too. So, I am going to tell you flat out, whatever answer you get, will be whatever they think will get you to buy. The answers you get might not always be the truth or the whole truth. If you don’t buy, they don’t get paid. I’m not trying to paint every Wyndham salesperson with the same brush. Not everyone is dishonest, but I find the honest ones usually don’t last long. I assume that’s how it is, in the timeshare industry. If you cannot at least stretch the truth, you’re not going to make a living selling timeshares.

Think of it this way, when you go to the car dealership to buy a car, do you instantly trust them and assume they will tell you the truth? Probably not. You know they make a commission, and that if you don’t buy, they don’t get paid. Timeshare salespeople are no different. Timeshares are not an easy sell. They’re trying to sell a product that people may not entirely understand. They have to convince the buyer that buying something they know nothing about is a good idea. It’s not easy getting those people to impulse buy a $20,000 product, that they cannot hold in their hands, and cannot use until later. So, they may stretch the truth a bit or leave certain facts out, to paint a brighter picture. That’s why so many people go out to the Facebook groups and timeshare forums to complain about the Wyndham salespeople. They feel like they were lied to.

Now, in the salespeople’s defense (and that is the only time I will say that), many of those owners could have avoided that frustration if they paid attention to what they signed or taken the time to read it later before the recission period is over. Some of the facts they said were left out, or were lied to about, could be found in the contract or directory they were given. This is not me taking their side or making excuses. It’s my way of saying, you have to protect yourself and your financial future. You cannot rely on any salesperson to tell you what’s right for you, so don’t give them blind faith. If you spend 10’s of thousands of dollars on something, you better read the fine print. How much time did you spend researching your car before you bought it? How much time did you research a timeshare, that may have cost as much as your last car, before you bought the timeshare? Both sides share the blame. I think the people that are complaining know that to some degree. They may not be willing to admit it, but they are probably madder at themselves for not doing their due diligence. I know the feeling.

For the record, I do not regret my retail purchases. I am happy with what I have. However, I had two advantages with my first purchase. 1.) my parents had a timeshare, so I had a general idea of how they worked and that there were maintenance fees and other fees tied to them. 2.) I have a decent BS radar. That first sales guy was triggering it, big time. He told me, that if you are a presidential reserve owner, they bend over backward for you. If you’re in Orlando, and you want a New York Pizza, they will fly one down for you. I rolled my eyes, but he insisted. Looking back, the part that annoyed me the most was not that he lied. It was that he thought I was dumber than a box of rocks and would believe his stories. That was over a decade ago. Since then, I’ve experienced all manner of sales tactics. I won’t go into detail, but I have since learned, they are not worth my time. I say my 10 “No’s” at the parking pass desk, unplug my phones and put up the do not disturb sign. You should avoid them too. If you need answers, there are several resources you can turn to, that don’t make a commission:

Owner 101 on the website

Vacation Planners. It only costs money if they complete a transaction. It’s free to ask questions.

The Club Wyndham Directory

This site

TUG (Timeshare Users Group)

Facebook Groups

Start with the above options first, and stop going to updates. Unless you want to buy points, there is no need to go to them. The salespeople know little more then what’s out there publicly on the website and directory. They are pretty convincing in making you think otherwise. If you go to them, read everything you sign, even the tiny fine print. They like to run credit checks, and your signature allows them to do so, on some forms. Also, don’t give them your social security number or driver’s license. I’ve heard stories of them “losing” the driver’s license, and they end up making a one-hour sales pitch, 3 hours. If you make a big deal about it, they will let it go. Otherwise, walk. There is no reason to sit in what you know is a sales pitch, and any “answers” will be to sell you, not really inform you. Would you ask a car salesperson how to drive? No? Then why ask a timeshare salesperson to explain a timeshare to you?

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