Vacation Looks Good On Us, Right!?!?!
We have all made a bad decision or two, right? Well, the Hubs and I made one epically bad decision May 14, 2014, and it has haunted us ever since! Ok, well that is a little dramatic, but it was a decision that has us asking ourselves if we should take advantage of the horrible decision and vacation just 3 months after our last vacation or just flat out lose the $900 investment. I can rationalize either decision to sound like the best one, but the truth of the matter is I am incredibly torn. So here’s the story:
In 2014, my beautiful mother turned 60, and my brother and I decided that we should go to Disney World to celebrate. The deal was that my brother and I would cover the rooms that we needed. He had stayed at this resort in Orlando the previous year, and was able to secure it very cheap if we just agreed to a 90 minute presentation about the time share. I was hesitant. I didn’t want to spend my time that I consider more valuable than anything listening to some scam presentation. I wanted to stay on Disney property, but the fact of the matter was it was just too expensive for us at that time, and so reluctantly, I agreed. 90 minutes. An hour and a half. I can spare that, and hey! they agreed to feed me breakfast. The hubs and I already had all of our reasons to say no to these people and we had our game faces on! Watch out time share lady! It’s on!
We sat very stoic the entire time. No questions were asked. Finally, she was done. I was already putting my sun block on to hit the pool. We were at the presentation with another couple. (Not my brother) When the lady walked away for us to consider it for a moment, we were ready to bolt. The other couple started talking about the deal, and how it really was a good one. They discussed the ins and outs of time and how this would save time and money, and how awesome it was that you could pass this down to your beneficiaries. The hubs squeezed my hand because he knew we hit the jackpot coming to this with the other couple. They were going to be the sorry suckers that ended up with a mortgage on “property” they could never really own. At this point, I am pretty sure I had already put my bikini on. In my mind, we were already out the door! BOOM SHAKALAKA!!!
The lady returns and the other couple open their mouths to speak. This is it! Here is out ticket out the door!! AHHHH!!! The suspense is killing me! We started to stand up only to quickly realize, the other couple quickly shot out their reasons for why this was not for them and threw in there that it was something more suited to a couple of our age. They were asked to sign a piece of paper quickly and they were out the door. We sat there stunned. We knew that our 90 minutes were about to turn into 90 hours. FML. That is all I could think over and over. And there we sat. Like deer in headlights. What are we going to do now!? My husband looks at me, and I politely say something about not being interested and that we won’t travel enough to make it worthwhile etc. I figured if they got to leave that easily so should we. Right? Wrong!!!
To keep you from feeling as awful as we did as we sat there for 3 more hours, I will spare you the info about how many times she left and came back and how many different managers with different deals we saw. After 3 hours, they finally broke us. We couldn’t take it any longer. I have not met a salesman in my life with such determination to bully a customer to the point of pure torture. This was brutal, and we saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and all we had to do was sign a few pieces of paper. These signatures guaranteed us that we would have a week’s vacation in a 1 bedroom villa at a Westgate resort of our choosing. In addition we would have 3 getaways that we would have to pay for but the cost would be significantly reduced. We didn’t want this. We didn’t need this. BUT we wanted to be done with this never-ending presentation, and to be done and not get screwed into paying more for the room we were already in, we had to have their permission to leave. And so we signed.
Fast forward to September 2015. We call to book our week’s vacation. WOOT! We were going to Disney anyway, and so we were just going to add a week to our trip. We figured, what the hell, why not!? Eager and excited I called Westgate and the cold voice on the other end of the table quickly turned that eager and excitement into anger and frustration. “I’m sorry ma’am there is no inventory for the week you are requesting.” To which I tell her I just looked online and there was plenty of “inventory.” “I’m sorry ma’am that is not the same inventory.” So, same resort, but it’s different inventory?? “Yes ma’am.” Fine! Whatever!
Fast Forward January 2016. With the same emotions as before, I call to book for my daughter’s spring break week. “I’m sorry ma’am if you want to travel that week, it will be an additional $200 because that is a peak season week.” OMG!! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME!?!?!?! I am already paying an outrageous amount of money for this, and because I hate parting with our savings money, we of course “financed” this little ordeal at 17.99% so they were already raping us on that and now they wanted $200 more dollars. This time I was hot! I demanded to speak to a manager. She came back online to tell me that a manager was too busy to talk to me but that they agreed to put us up in a studio for no extra cost. Well, little did she know that despite getting scammed into this arrangement in a moment of pure desperation and weakness, I am no idiot. So I say to her that the only reason they will accommodate this is because that is a lesser room which would cost less money anyway and so I am in no way winning here and that is unacceptable. After about 10 more minutes of back and forth, her manager is all of the sudden available and he offers to share the $200 cost with me by splitting it 50/50. I am still not thrilled with this arrangement and so I tell him I will think about it and get back with him.
And so here we sit with a week’s vacation that we have already paid $900 for, and a decision to make. This should have been a no-brainer. We paid for a week of vacation, and yet twice when we have tried to use said week, we were shut down in one way or another. Take heed my friends, and do not ever go to a Westgate resort for vacation or any kind of time share presentation. You will be scammed, and then you will be sitting at your kitchen counter weighing the options of what to do.
Option 1: Go to Orlando! Woot! Disney World!
- It would be just me and the hubs since we refuse to pay an additional $200 for the week of spring break and we can’t take the bean out of school again
- Mickey Mouse! Drinking around the world at Epcot! Mickey Mouse!
- Warm weather while it is cold back home!
- Cheap Flight
- Room’s paid for already
- We wouldn’t be taking the kiddos and I feel bad leaving them behind while we go to the most magical place on earth!
- Tickets alone will $650 for 4 days of park, which is an expense we won’t have going somewhere other than Orlando
- Really, that is it. No kids and more $$$
- Once you’ve been on Disney property, nothing else can compare. We feel like this would not be nearly as magical as our last vacation.
Option 2: Go to another Westgate property
- Much less money. Right out of the gate we save $650
- A more relaxing vacation
- It’s not Disney!
- The flights are double so that $650 savings, gets cut down to$350
- The other resorts get terrible reviews
- We can’t seem to get too excited about the other options
Option 3: Eat the $900 loss and take it as an expensive lesson learned.
This is my least favorite idea, but it is a strong contender. I would hate to have lost this money, but we are trying to change our lives. We are trying to pay off this student loan debt sooner rather than later. We could take the $2000 and plop it down on one of those bad boys and call it a day, but I am so hung up on what we are losing. $900!!! That is a lot of money to part with. The practices that Westgate participates in should be illegal. It’s a form of false imprisonment! 🙂 They promise only 90 minutes, but then keep you captive for hours on end. I researched reviews on several of their properties and this was a recurring theme among them. While I don’t know what we will do just yet, and we are open to comments and suggestions, I do know that this will be our last interaction with Westgate ever. I urge you all to steer clear of this scam machine! If you’re looking for a timeshare to consider, I’d recommend Disney or Blue Green. I have heard great things about Disney and I have personally experienced Blue Green. We told them “no” a couple of times and that was that. We were allowed to leave with no restrictions or specials deals to sign.
I will keep you all updated as we come to a final decision! Much love my friends!