Last week, we published the introduction to an amazing story about a young family who was swindled into timeshare ownership during a pandemic. Not only did Edwin and Maria repeatedly reiterate their disinterest, they almost begged sales reps to leave. But instead of enjoying the remainder of their mask mandated vacation in Vegas, the family was met by another unrelenting offer. This time, management promised to work a little “magic”. At this point, the couple wasn’t sure what to expect from the endless timeshare sales pitch.
Timeshare Presentation Wears Down the Family of 4.
Now that the timeshare company knew a lot about their target’s budget and weak spots, they felt as though they had them right where they wanted them. Edwin recalls the manager (Randy) typing on the computer then shouting, “Less than $100/month for everything! Don’t worry about your down payment – everything will be in one price and bill will be around $75.”
According to the couple, he was going to personally make the changes to ensure they were locked into the price. “Only one bill, I promise,” they were told. While it certainly caught their attention, Edwin still wasn’t buying it. “Something seems fishy,” he remembered telling his wife. “This is where things really got interesting,” added Maria.
Randy began showing the family pictures of him and his wife traveling the globe. “He even put his wife on to sell the package,” said Edwin. “Well, he claimed it was his wife…” The couple was exhausted. Maria went on to say, “After everything we went through, we didn’t know what to believe anymore. I even started thinking, ‘We can afford this by cutting out some things’.” Edwin remained uncertain.
One Last Tour Before Saying Goodbye?
It was now 6pm. The family had been sitting there waiting for their Adventuredome wristbands since 11:30am. “The entire vacation day was lost,” said Maria. They almost didn’t care anymore – as long as they could escape the endless timeshare sales pitch. “We had family waiting on us,” mentioned Edwin. But the tight “sales grasp” wouldn’t let them go. “So, the presentation continued while we were starving for dinner,” he said.
You could tell this was a moment of regret for them. As they ponder the event today, their disgust is clearly felt. “They talked us into a tour of the place,” said Maria. “It was incredible.” After promising similar lodging for their “$75/month” package, the couple started to cave. “Our minds went from ‘No’ to ‘OK this is awesome for us and the kids’,” stated Edwin. The endless timeshare sales pitch finally took its toll.
Despite giving in, Edwin definitely lacked confidence in the sale. “I told Randy, ‘I don’t want to call you next week and none of this is true’,” he remembered. According to him, the response from Randy was, “You have my word brother.” From here, the rescission period became the primary focus. “You’ll have 10 days to change your mind.”
Couple Caves Just So They Can Leave.
If Edwin and his wife would have simply asked to see the contract, they would have found out that rescission in Nevada is only 5 days. Sadly, they saw “10 days” as “plenty of time” to cancel the purchase and get out of the contract. In turn, the sales manager’s final “vow” closed the deal. “If you sign up, we’re going to give you two weeks wherever you want to go,” Edwin was told.
This really excited the remainder of his family. Besides, everyone was waiting for the endless timeshare sales pitch to cease. “He sold the kids on Big Bear, so it got us,” Maria claimed. “We messed up and agreed,” Edwin regretfully explained. “I was tired and hungry and wanted to get out of that place.” But even closing the “deal” was a difficult process.
One Last Chance to Escape Entrapment in Las Vegas.
As the couple proceeded with the purchase, they looked forward to the experience ending. But it wasn’t that simple. Since the “manager” had given them a magical special, he had to brief them on what may occur. Edwin recalled being told, “Don’t worry about numbers they show you; I’ll change the numbers after you leave. No matter what she tells you, just ‘say yes, yes, yes’. We want to get you out of here.”
They were coaching him on how to get through the sales verification process without uncovering the lies told to them. This is a common tactic used. This in itself should have been a big enough red flag to demand an exit. At the same time, you can’t judge the couple for their motives. As far as they were concerned, it was going to be cancelled as soon as they got back to the hotel.
Never Sign Timeshare Contracts You Can’t See.
Unfortunately, while they were meeting with the Verification Officer (VO), further concerns arose. “As she was having us digitally sign the papers, the computer crashed! And it kept crashing! It wouldn’t take signatures,” Edwin asserted. “This is when the sales guy asked us, ‘Is it okay if she signs for you?’” Despite their astonishment, the family agreed to just to escape the endless timeshare sales pitch. Looking back, they thoroughly regret it.
“Our initials were typed and there was no actual signature (via DocuSign),” Edwin said. “Man, we wanted to get out of there,” recalled Maria. “We were mentally held hostage.” Edwin went on with his thought process, like he was still trying to justify it. “If I sign, I can leave. They can’t lie this much,” he said. At this point, they were handed a USB drive that included all of the contractual files and paperwork regarding the transaction.
Immediate, Intuitive Remorse Felt by Buyers.
Despite their successful escape plan, Maria and Edwin still remained unsettled. “We spent the whole night trying to research the company,” said Edwin. “What a waste of time,” remembered Maria. So, they immediately called the sales guy directly. But his response was no different; loaded with empty reassurance. “He told us it would be ‘the best decision of our lives’ and ‘don’t cancel right away, you have 10 days’,” said Edwin. “He said, ‘You’ll fall in love with Big Bear and change your mind’.”
So, Maria decided to take a look at the USB drive. “We didn’t have a computer so we had to use the hotel’s to find a way to get it on our phone. By the next day, we were able to see all the extra fees in the contract,” she said. This is where they noticed the rescission period was not, in fact, 10 days. “So we contacted them again to cancel,” said Maria. This time, Edwin wasn’t as patient as before. “I want out,” he said. “I don’t want to be in this, I made a mistake and want to get rid of this!”
The Swindling Sale Continues Working Against Them.
Without much hesitation, Baracco told the couple (once again in a reassuring manner) he was going to call his manager and have them “removed from the system.” According to Edwin, he was told, “I promise you will not get a bill from anybody.” Either way, Edwin wanted to make sure he was clear. He remembers telling the salesman, “Give it to somebody else, I don’t care but we better not get a bill.” In turn, he was informed that the deal would be on the table if he changed his mind.
So why did the timeshare company tell him the day before that the offer was only for a limited time. Was the endless timeshare sales pitch not for “today only” deals? Why wouldn’t they let them leave the presentation? Why couldn’t they have slept on the decision and came back the next day? Because the timeshare needed their immediate consent to a perpetual agreement with obligated payments.
Most consumers forget to cancel within the allotted rescission, or they aren’t aware of the rescission period or how to cancel effectively. They almost always have to follow the instructions in their agreement. They cannot call the sales rep and verbally ask to cancel. The sales team knew this, but Edwin and Maria did not.
Husband and Wife Never Felt Good About the Timeshare.
“When we got back from Vegas, I told my wife, I’m going to drive back and get something in writing from this guy,” said Edwin. “He never sent a cancellation confirmation and never admitted to anything over the phone. All he told us was, ‘don’t worry about it, it’ll be like you never were here’.” After struggling to leave and then immediately cancelling, Edwin’s intuition was on fire. He thought the endless timeshare sales pitch was over with.
Not only did they eventually receive a bill a week after returning home, but it was far more than the $75 per month promised to them. In fact, additional charges were rung up on their personal debit card. Despite the cost reassurance, nothing played out as pitched. Edwin was right, he should have driven back – but it was too late now. On top of these surprises, the couple also found out the down payment (of $4,669) was charged to a Comenity Bank credit card they apparently opened during the transaction.
Credit Card Charges Were Quite the Curve Ball.
“We received a letter from Comenity welcoming Edwin and giving him instructions on how to use his account,” said Maria. This was new to them as Baracco supposedly advised them they’d only receive charges from the timeshare. Either way, it’s beside the point. “They never even mentioned opening a credit card,” said Edwin. “And we were still yet to receive an email from the salesperson and manager proving cancellation!”
Chasing Down Random Fees Kept Them Distracted.
In turn, the couple gave Comenity a call. “For two days, we tried to get through and they just kept transferring us directly to the timeshare. But the timeshare wouldn’t help us either,” recalled Edwin. “I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t hungry anymore and became super anxious about everything,” he said. “So, we ended up calling the 1-800 number on the first bill, which gave us the option to close the account,” Maria added. But little did they know, this option only pertained to future charges.
The endless timeshare sales pitch was still costing them. They were still responsible for what the timeshare had already charged the card. All they wanted to do was move on with their lives and not lose any more of their hard-earned money. Vacations were few and far between for the young family of four. Despite the appeal of traveling together, it wasn’t something that fit within their budget. Especially since it was a lot more than they had ever even anticipated.
The Reality of the Unwanted Agreement.
When it was all said and done, the verbal promises during the presentation were not even remotely accurate. While they were under the impression that the timeshare mortgage would be under $100/mo, the contract shows a $285.10 monthly obligation. Maintenance fees were scheduled for $1,238 annually and the total purchase itself was $38,881. Not to mention the additional $4,669 sitting on revolving credit through Comenity Bank.
Over the course of 10 years (the time of loan maturity), their “affordable purchase” would have cost them over $51,000 (or $5,100 per year for a one-week interval over ten years). Even if the family could allocate an extra $100 every month, it wouldn’t have been enough to cover the expense. Even if they were to cut down on fast food or other delicacies, it wouldn’t have sufficed.
“I never want to travel again, this experience has traumatized me,” said Maria. We will never sign for anything again,” she added. In other words, the endless timeshare sales pitch has scarred the young family. “We knew we shouldn’t have done it,” said Edwin. “But after Randy (manager) put his wife on the phone, we thought, ‘A family man wouldn’t lie’. He seemed trustworthy.” Boy, were they wrong.
Couple’s Immediate Takeaways from the Endless Sale:
During our interview with the couple, Edwin asked us, “How can they go to sleep knowing they’re lying to people?” We responded by letting him know that we wonder the same thing. Fraud in the exit industry only adds insult to injury. When disgruntled owners don’t do their research, they can easily fall for another scam. Despite their warranted bitterness, the couple is doing their best to remain optimistic.
“Karma goes around,” Maria told us. “Sooner or later, they’re going to pay for everything they’re doing. They play with people’s emotions.” Edwin and Maria had every right to find certainty before handing over any more hard-earned cash. “We’re explaining the situation to our kids now,” Edwin said. “We tell them, ‘don’t sign anything’. I actually just had a conversation with my 14-year-old daughter the other day.” It’s almost as if the ordeal is shedding light on other opportunities.
“I learned my lesson,” Maria said. “It was the worst week of my life,” Edwin reiterated. “I wasn’t eating, sleeping, working out or anything. As a father, I didn’t know what I was going to do. It was terrible.” This is what sitting through an endless timeshare sales pitch can do to a man. Luckily for him, his wife was there to help him through it. “But we knew we had to find a way out of it,” she added. So that’s what they did.
The Family’s Attempt to Escape the Burden.
When the couple first started looking into a contractual exit, a lot of research was involved. But they didn’t make it far past our website. “I started reading your blogs and all of the reviews from all of the people you’ve helped,” Maria said. “I told my husband, we’ve got to do this, we’ve got to call this company.”
She appreciated how our clients talked about losing their entire savings to vacation ownership and how we helped them through it. “I could tell you guys really cared and took it seriously. After a few days of further examination, Edwin felt good about hiring us. Our presentation was nothing like the endless timeshare sales pitch.
“I couldn’t find any flaws,” he said. “After talking to you guys, we didn’t even call anyone else,” Maria said. But even after mustering up enough courage to submit a contact form, the couple still wasn’t sure if we’d respond right away. “We had no idea what to expect. But you guys did [call back] and we’re glad you did!”
A Good First Impression and Consistency Matters.
“When I spoke to Jeremy, he guided me and gave me hope. It was like a light at the end of the tunnel,” Edwin recalled. “We attempted everything we possibly could on our own and this guy is actually opening my mind and helping me get things together.” He was mostly pleased with Jeremy’s ability to encourage him to get up and get stuff done. After giving them some phone numbers to contact Comenity Bank, we gave them some space to make a competent decision on the next steps.
Despite Trustworthy Vibes, Skepticism Remained.
Now that the couple had spent months enduring misinformation, they couldn’t help but remain skeptical of our services. Afterall, The timeshare’s sales team really had them fooled for an entire day. In turn, trusting our knowledge and advice didn’t come easy. “I was not sure if he [Jeremy] was legit because Randy lied to our face,” he said. “How do I know you’re not the same?” he remembered asking.
“At first I was embarrassed to question everything,” said Maria. “But supported my husband. I mean, I guess I was thinking the same thing in the back of my mind. So, I’m glad he said them.” Either way, we couldn’t blame Edwin for his suspicions. In reality, it’s refreshing to see vacation owners question things. “Edwin’s straightforwardness and your company’s accreditations gave us confidence,” she added.
Thinking Things Through Gave the Couple Confidence in VOC.
After a handful of consultations, the couple took some time to think things over. This is an important step in the VOC process. Even after telling us they were ready to move forward, we urged them to further press to exhaust their options. Today, they patiently await a return to the pre-timeshare era of their lives. Despite the grief it’s caused them, they hope to save others from similar pitfalls.
For many vacation owners, embarrassment makes it difficult to share their costly mistake. Some even learn to ignore the expense as if there’s nothing they can do. But Edwin and Maria want people to know that companies like ours do exist. Believe it or not, we actually care. Looking back, they still can’t believe they didn’t just walk away. But they know their mistake will benefit somebody in a similar matter in the long run.
If you have a story like this, or know someone struggling in a timeshare, feel free to reach out! Whether you qualify for our attorney-based service or not, we’d love an opportunity to shed some light on your experience to improve industry awareness. The last thing we want is for you to be sitting through the lies of an endless timeshare sales pitch with zero direction.