Anyone considering attending a timeshare presentation should do so with caution; in some instances presentations are orchestrated and organised by unethical timeshare companies in order to lure people into entering a pressurised sales pitch in which potential clients are not afforded adequate time or space in which to make an informed and rational decision.
Then, and for those none the less intent on attending a timeshare presentation, here are 10 questions with which to arm yourself and which will go in some length to help you remain in control and prevent you from potentially being manipulated into entering an agreement you would not otherwise enter into or agree to.
- How Long Will the Presentation Last?
Timeshare presentations are often advertised as about around 90 minutes long. In many instances they can in actual fact be drawn out to cover two or more hours. Instances in which people end up at a presentation for four hours are not unheard of. Then, ask upon arriving how long the presentation is scheduled to take place for.
If the time begins to drag ask yourself why this is happening, or being allowed to happen; is it poor planning or might the company holding the presentation have other less innocent reasons for trying to keep attendees there as long as possible?
Further, if a company appears to provide you with an answer to simply placate you rather than honestly inform you, this is an indicator that you should perhaps be suspicious of anything they happen to tell you whilst there.
- Am I Required to Remain for the Full Duration of the Presentation?
There have been many instances in recent years of attendees at timeshare presentations being dissuaded or even refused the right to leave during a timeshare presentation and until it is over. Given that some timeshare presentations can go on for hours, it is worth asking upon entering if attendance for the full duration of the presentation is expected.
If so, think twice about whether you really do wish to enter, and why those who do are required to remain even when or if they decide they would like to leave early.
- Are the Deals and Potential Offers (if any) Provided Only Available if I Enter an Agreement Whilst Attending the Presentation?
Sometimes deals which appear to promise great value are offered at timeshare presentations but only to those willing to sign on the dotted line there and then. Hence, ahead of listening to any long and perhaps even confusing sales pitches after the initial ‘sit down’ presentation is over, ask first whether the offer ends today.
If it does, strongly consider whether you even want to stay and hear the sales pitch at all; if you aren’t prepared to part with potentially tens of thousands of pounds right now there is no reason for you to indulge the sale’s person with whom you are speaking.
- If You are Asked Questions, Ask Why.
If a sales person you happen to speak with at a timeshare presentation begins asking you private questions about your life or lifestyle, be on guard. This is especially true if you are at any point asked about your income and annual earnings.
Whilst these questions might well be innocently asked in order to strike conversation, build a rapport or ascertain your holidaying habits, they could also potentially be being collected to then manipulate you or part you from your money.
- Do You Mind if I Write This Down?
When you enter a timeshare presentation, ask if you are permitted to write notes throughout it.
Often during a presentation video or speech you will be bombarded with information and figures. Writing any key information is a sensible means of actually sifting through all this and ensuring you retain the important points made.
Subsequently, you can query and issues you might have with these ‘facts’ and figures, or discuss them further with a sales person there, if you so wish.
- Would You Please Write the Answer Down?
If, after watching or listening to a video or oral presentation you end up with questions relating to figures and costs that require simple, clear and concise answers and consequently approach a sales person to gain answers to these questions, request that they either write the answers or that you can. This will prevent a sales person from being able to talk ‘around’ the question. It will also prevent you from losing your train of thought.
- Is there any Information I can Take Away With Me?
Timeshare presentations can be confusing events and they can leave people with a lot to think about. Hence, ask if there is any information detailing what you have been told during the presentation which you can take away with you to read in a less pressurised environment.
- Do I Have to Fill This in To Attend the Presentation?
In some instances people have arrived at timeshare presentations to be greeted with a form which they are then asked to fill in upon entering or in order to enter. These forms often ask personal questions such as a person’s income, which it is rarely sensible to divulge and no reputable and ethical company is likely to handout.
Therefore, before entering and if presented with such a form, be sure to ask: do I need to fill this form in order to attend the presentation? If the answer is yes, again; consider if you really want to attend such a presentation.
- What are My Options When it Comes to Exiting the Contract, Should I One Day Wish To?
Exiting a timeshare can be exceedingly difficult and complex. Hence, it is inadvisable to ever enter a timeshare agreement without first being clear on what your options are in regards to reselling or returning your timeshare if, for example, the annual fees rise above what you can afford to pay or your financial circumstances change in the future.
At the very least, the way a sales person manages being asked this question and their reaction is likely to provide you with either some reassurance as to the nature of the company – or the opposite.
- What is the ‘Upfront’ Cost Payable and How Much are the Annual Fees?
These are two questions that are often disclosed as part of an entire sales pitch. As such the size and sum of these important figures can easily get lost.
Then, remember to ask clearly what the ‘upfront’ cost of entering the timeshare being pitched is and what the cost of the annual fees amount to.