So a few days ago we received a phone call that my name had been drawn from a sweepstakes I entered and that we had to go to a resort about 2 hours away to claim our prize (which takes 3 hours with the baby). We were guaranteed to have won a car, an island getaway, a shopping spree, or some cash. Plus, we would get a trip and a small visa gift card for showing up.
So we wake up early and head out to claim our prize. On the phone, they made it sound like a very personal experience and even had me confirm my arrival time so that someone could meet with me. We get there and apparently we were one of many. We waited in line, filled out a form, presented two forms of ID, and waited for someone to take us away.
Here comes the catch: They were trying to sell us a time share.
While waiting for someone to show us the wonders of their resort and dazzle us with the benefits of owning with them, Mister was looking around the room and stereotyping which couples would be paired with what kind of agent. He was spot on with some of them that we saw while on our tour. We were paired with an older German gentleman, who mentioned that my name was German and we found our connection with him and how they stereotyped us to find our match. His name was JP.
JP took us to a large room with many table and chairs all full of agents and couples. Upbeat and positive music was blaring throughout the room ("Celebrate good times, come on!" is still running through my head) and JP sits us down and starts showing us photos of their properties, asking us questions about our vacation habits, and running through the numbers.
JP then drove us around the property, made commentary on all of the amenities, took us on a tour of a few of their available rooms, and stayed upbeat and positive through it all even though we had already made it fairly clear that we weren't interested. You see, we already own a time share that we just bought last year so we weren't really in the market for another one. We own with the Disney Vacation Club and you can click on the DVC icon on the right of the page for more of that and my referral information. We are also in the process of working Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and are on baby step 2, which is all about getting out of debt, so financing a second (and unnecessary) time share was definitely out of the question.
When we come to the end of the tour, he shows us our options, prices, and asks us what we think. I feel terrible about wasting his time since I'm sure these agents work on commission when we told him both of our reasons why we were not in the market for a new time share. He then thanks us and gets his manager to come talk to us about our prizes. Manager comes and asks us about our choice and we run through the same scenarios of why we we not buying that we did with JP. He then asks us about which trip we'd like to take (we chose a cruise) and then went to get another higher-up to give us our vouchers and direct us to our next location.
We had to take our forms to the next building where we waited to be given our prize. They would only take one person from each group so Mister went while I nursed MissE. He came back and informed me that we won the island getaway, the only prize we didn't want since we were already getting a trip. Oh well, it's still awesome.
So we left with our two travel vouchers and visa card in hand. We stopped at a shopping strip about an hour into the drive home and promptly spent the gift card, ate dinner, and shopped a little more. A very long day but we left with more than we started the day with so all in all it was good.