Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far
Aug 19 ~ Day #101
Budget to date
Total to date
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Current Location: Wyndham Resort, Kissimmee, Florida
Today’s Total Expenses: $30.00
Travel Club Presentation
As we mentioned yesterday, we had accepted a bribe to show up for yet another presentation.
If you’ve never done this before, you may not know that they take a refundable deposit when they sign you up just to make sure you show up. In this case, they were holding $40.00 of our money to make sure we showed up for the presentation. The amount of the deposit can vary. In our experience it’s usually around $20.00. $40.00 is the largest deposit we’ve ever given. You should know though that we have ALWAYS received our deposit back regardless of whether we have bought or not. Like we said, it’s just a way for them to insure that you’re going to show up for the presentation.
We showed up for the presentation, as promised, not knowing quite what to expect.
We were assured it wasn’t timeshare but, hey, we’ve been told that before. Pretty much all we’d been told about this presentation, besides the fact that it wasn’t timeshare, was that it would only be a 60 minute PowerPoint presentation and there’d be no pressure.
Naturally, there was the seemingly mandatory selection of stale doughnuts, coffee and sodas. Trust me, you don’t come to these presentations for the food.
The lady that was assigned to us seemed kind of bored, actually. She told us that she was on salary and, therefore, didn’t really care if we bought or not. Oh, sure, she’d get a bonus if we did but she’d still get her salary if we didn’t.
However, at this point, we still had no idea what they were actually selling.
There was a lot of time wasted just chit-chatting and waiting for the person who was supposed to give us the “60 minute PowerPoint presentation” to actually get started.
No matter what amount of time you are told that ANY of these presentations will take – a good rule of thumb is to at least double it!
The Actual Presentation
We were finally ushered into a room, along with all the other people that were there for the same presentation.
The person giving the presentation was lively, engaging and personable. He had lots of anecdotes and lots of examples of how you could save money with their system.
It actually seems to work a lot like timeshare. There’s a large initial investment (over $10,000), an annual fee ($389) and a use fee ($159) that seems comparable to and exchange fee.
With any of these kind of sales pitches, the more you resist, the lower the price goes. So, if you really are interested – resist as much as you can.
What originally started out around $12,000 was reduced to about $10,000 if you bought today. However, if you wanted to pay cash, the price dropped to $7,600!
If you were still not interested then they got another crack at you at the “exit survey”. I guess this is where they pull out all the stops to get you to make any purchase at all.
We were somewhat softened up for this pitch. We needed to book a specific cruise (we still need to book our TransAtlantic cruise from Barcelona to Miami) and were hoping to get a much better deal. Also, they had shown us discounts that were possible on things like flights to Australia that looked amazing and we were able to compare that to what we knew my sister and her husband, who are going to Australia in September, had just paid.
Their system also included weeks at condos – unused inventory from resorts and various timeshare properties – for that $159 fee I mentioned earlier.
So, at the “exit survey” they hit us with a 3-year trial that actually seemed reasonable compared to what we had just seen. The offer for the 3-year trial membership was $1500 (which could be purchased with $99 down and then $59/month). And, this amount would be applied towards the full membership later, if you decided to continue with them.
There’s also a “Star Points System” attached to all of this that I won’t go into right now.
Suffice it to say that, with the cruise we needed to book and the hotels we still need to book in Europe, we thought this could actually work for us.
We Buy Global Discovery Vacations Membership
So, we decided to risk the initial investment of $99.00 as that would give us time to see if access to their system was actually worth it for us.
We were told they would email us our membership number and that we’d have it, most likely, by Saturday but certainly by Monday at the latest.
We’ll update you on this on the appropriate days.
We spent the rest of the day at the condo and got – you guessed it – more rain in the afternoon.
I think it is worth mentioning that we take a lot of these presentations because we are writing a book about timeshare and how to get the best value from it.
We will of course announce it here when it is ready but if you would like advance notice just send us an email.