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      01.05.2006 18:57
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      Timeshare or holiday ownership, it amounts to the same. Decision to buy or run is yours!

      Good Evening and Congratulations! You’ve just won a holiday for 2 in Florida. What do you think to this news, I bet you’re so excited you can’t speak etc….. Haven’t we all received such calls and probably haven’t taken the holiday as by the time you pay the insurance and flights you could choose your own destination at a time that suits you and not the promoters.

      Time share people come in all guises, it can be like that on the telephone coming into your home unasked and usually at dinner time or it can be as you walk along a pretty promenade enjoying the view whist on your holiday that you are accosted. It was such a scenario that happened to us a few years ago in Malta.

      We had walked from Sliema to St Georges Bay, probably took us an hour or so but the sun was getting hotter and we walked up into the town to find a café for a long cold drink. A very polite older lady (at least in her 50’s!) spoke to us, and it turned out she was touting for business, yes she was the kidnapper as they are fondly called. The offer to see a brand new 5 star hotel and a cold drink was enough, the pretty little gold earrings and pendant in a Maltese Cross design and a bottle of wine for 1 hour of our time was incidental, it was the cold drink and to get out of the sun that was priority! So we followed her to a lovely hotel where we had our drinks and chatted to “the Babysitter”. He chatted away like an interested friend, are you enjoying your holiday? , have you been to Malta before? how many times a year do you go on holiday? …. I’m sure you’ve heard the questions before. Time passed our hour was up and we hadn’t even seen the hotel. I was sure my husband would be getting itchy feet and want to be off, but he seemed quite comfortable. This was unusual as he is often quite rude to Timeshare people, which is not in his nature.

      Eventually we did a tour of the hotel. Well it was definitely 5 star, you sunk into the carpets, the staff were all very polite and very smart, the facilities were excellent , there was an indoor and outdoor pool, the sun bed area was huge and the loungers well padded for old bones! There was a leisure centre complete with climbing wall, which could be used by guests but was run separately and used by local people and even some film stars whilst filming in Malta had been in that week. Several types of restaurants both indoor and outdoor during the summer season and larger facilities for conferences and weddings etc and there was even an IMAX theatre and ordinary cinema underneath the hotel building if you fancy a film session. The apartments were still in the process of being built or at least the framework was there but the finishing touches were needed. But of course they had some ready for viewing. We saw the larger apartment first, beautifully furnished and fell in love! The smaller studio was more than adequate and very similar, but only had one bathroom. We only have one bathroom at home so no problem there.

      Tour over, here comes the bit…..DRUM ROLL

      This can be all yours to enjoy if your purchase a holiday ownership. The posh way of saying timeshare! By now we had moved to a more comfortable lounge/bar and had been served with coffees, and had the holiday ownership explained to us, we agreed we were interested in knowing more and so details were taken of when we would like to have our holiday. Our babysitter who was from New Zealand and was called Jason left to go to his superior (I guess he was the salesman) with our requirements and to work out the relevant details. MONEY wasn’t mentioned, after this is a very discreet way of selling!!

      We were left to sit and chat. Was the area bugged I wondered? No. Pretty sure this was above board, we decided to see what it cost and what our limit would be and soon the Salesman/Manager was back. It started all again, are you enjoying your holiday etc.. I’m sure you’ve got the picture. But no pressure, and he was very pleasant, we discovered he was from England, living and working out in Malta because he suffers with rheumatism (all together now Awwwwwww!)

      Pages of figures were produced but eventually it was sorted out to 1 week at a time to suit us, as I don’t like it too hot we choose Week 17 on their calendar the last in the Yellow period which is the middle price range. We choose a 1 bedroom studio, which sleeps 4 and has a small kitchen and bed settee in the living room complete with balcony with table and chairs. The bedroom had a door opening into the bathroom making it en-suite, but there was also another door so guests could enter without disturbing you. Small points, but if you like to be in the bathroom by yourself you need to lock both doors!!
      He was not to persistent, the decision was ours, my husband was happy we decided to go ahead and forms were printed, explanations made and we signed a Visa form for our deposit promising to pay the balance a month after our return.

      EASY PEASY! We shook hands and were put into a taxi for the return to our hotel complete with our FREE (LOL) wine and jewellery, signed and sealed documents and a huge book of all the places we could visit on holiday breaks, which would seriously put our luggage over the weight limit plus an invitation to go back in a day or two to look around and use the facilities if we wished and discuss any queries we had. In other words there was a cooling off period if we had major doubts of what we had done in the heat of the moment so to speak!

      We did go back and looked around and asked some questions, mainly over the problem of flights from Glasgow being on a Thursday but our holiday runs from a Saturday. This wouldn’t be a problem in the early days of this Resort we were assured, they would be able to accommodate us.

      On return home we did wonder if we had been rash, normally we are careful and have always turned our backs on time share experiences. Talking to people we discovered that “INTERVAL INTERNATIONAL” whose organisation we were now members of, was huge and seemed very reliable, one of the big groups with places all over the world which were now within our reach. I was amazed at just how many people were members of such groups and I had always thought their holidays were just booked like ours at a travel agency or over the internet. So we felt a little more reassured. Life went on, we returned to work, received a welcome letter from the resort and reminder to send the cheque. We sent our cheque and didn’t hear any more, we didn’t receive a receipt even, but on paying the Visa for the deposit we discovered the exchange rate was against us and it cost us another £70 so a copy was sent off and they forwarded a cheque for this amount as was their agreement. I then emailed the resort as we hadn’t received any correspondence about the cheque which had been cashed, and they replied very quickly that there was a problem and no sign of our money. The man sorting this out gave me his home email and worked it out during the night, we received another e –mail in the wee small hours and over the next few days and eventually things were processed.

      Deep sigh of relief. Oh boy, we were really worried! All the tales of dodgy timeshares came to mind. Happily this was sorted out and we met the gentleman in question on a visit back to the Fortina Spa resort (see my diamond review on Ciao!) We decided to visit to see that it really existed as the only mention online when we logged on to the site was “Under restoration” so we were slightly worried as it had been due to open in the summer.

      We soon had a membership number and access to the web site for Interval International where we can exchange our holiday if we wish and go somewhere else in stead of to Malta for this there is a fee to be paid, the amount I cannot remember at the moment or we can buy Getaway breaks which come available, the price depends on the time of year, availability and size of the apartment. Anxious to see how it worked we crammed in another holiday that November when we went to Marbella (for which guess what! There is another review!) We booked a Getaway break at a wonderful 5 star hotel in Marbella for a week for £320 plus our flights. It was so easy to do, just a few clicks online. We thought it excellent value for money as there was room for another 2 people if they were happy to share the bed settee and the apartment was fantastic, with a huge balcony complete with table, chairs and 4 sun loungers, a fully fitted kitchen with dishwasher and washing machine – useful if you go for a long holiday.

      Our holiday ownership lasts a long, long time!! For 30 years!! We, even if we are still alive will be too old probably to be pushed in our wheelchairs or race along on our zimmers but we can leave it to our family in our will. In fact they can now benefit as we can buy holidays for them. Just in case they read this I will re-phase that, we can purchase on their behalf and perhaps add a little on to make up for our original outlay! I forgot to add that each year you have a management fee to pay in our case this was £170 so basically once you have made the bulk of the money, you have a one week holiday for £170.

      So I would say if you have a spare £6,000, then if this holiday experience appeals go for it, we did and so far we are very happy. Our investments were losing in the bank, so this sounded a good option, hopefully should we decide in the future to sell then we will recover some of our money and we will have had holidays, maybe we will be lucky and will make a profit (HA.HA) you never know, but as we are not gamblers this was quite a risky thrill for us!

      The book shows details of the entire properties available world wide. There is a huge section in Canada and the USA, Great Britain and Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Eastern Mediterranean, Central Europe and the Low Countries, Scandinavia and Finland, Middle East and Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific and Asia. There is a wonderful choice of beautiful apartments.

      So far we have not done an Exchange so I cannot comment on how well it works, but the instructions are well set out both in the book and online. It does say in the book under helpful hints, that units with more private sleeping areas generally yield more trading power because they are in higher demand. We were told to have the best trading power you need 2 weeks in the Red High Season, but not everyone wants or can afford that. Having said that we have now traded in our 1 bedroom Studio at the Eden Bay Resort in Malta ( the hotel it is attached to is the Hotel Intercontinental) in the Middle season for a larger apartment with 2 bathrooms in the High season which is overlooking the gardens, only a few weeks later but hopefully slightly better weather!
      Our family are looking forward to joining us, once they accepted their inheritance is being spent!

      We purchased the Interval Gold Membership at an additional fee in the hopes of benefiting from other things, so far we have only saved on our Getaway break but as it lasts for a few years we live in hope! Getaway breaks are discounted by £15 for Gold Members. You can make savings on Travel, car hire, money off cruises and city breaks. There is a Gold Concierge available, like a PA who can organise tickets for special events and find out information world wide for places you are visiting. Savings for Golfers, Travel Insurance and parking.


      My conclusion is this, that if you want the best and also like several holidays a year, and if you can afford the outlay go for a time share deal.

      Recently we have had 2 or 3 holidays a year and each of these holidays have cost in excess of £1000- £1500 for the 2 of us. As we have stayed in hotels for a number of years I wasn’t too sure of having an apartment, but it was great, we could eat breakfast in the hotel which was part of our resort if we wished and did so on the first day as we arrived in the early hours of the morning so didn’t have any supplies and in the evening the choice is your own, there were several restaurants in our hotel which we used and also went out into the town to sample different things. To us this is a better option from Half Board. Normally we like to try local foods but we visited a Mongolian Barbecue which was great fun! It probably wasn’t much of a financial saving but we had a better class of hotel and facilities and most of us like a little (or a lot!) of luxury whilst on our well deserved holidays. Flights from Scotland are sometimes a bit harder but you can shop around and find a deal which suits you from which ever airport you want, Interval International will do this for you if you don’t like browsing on the internet, but I guess if you are reading this then the Internet is a comfy place to be!

      We weren’t bothered by Time share people until our last day, when we were accosted 4 times in 20minutes! But we dealt with them firmly and politely and walked on! Not a job I would want to do but it presumably keeps them fed and housed.

      Earlier this year we heard that our resort had been taken over by Sunterra who encouraged us to exchange our holiday week to points we could take anywhere. So far we have resisted as we had booked our flights for this month. It will be interesting to see how much hassle we receive to change.


      Roll on the next holiday after Malta! I wonder where that will be......

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        28.05.2003 02:58
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        • "Possible Marital discord"

        Having emerged fresh from a second presentation to collect our "Free Holiday", the good lady and I thought it would be a good idea to help the uninitiated/ unprepared understand how these brokers try to get you to sign up. Before going into detail i would add that I do believe timeshare can work, and be a good buy if your cash position and motivation are there. However, the typical sales techniques used to attract people to sign up are still based on getting £5,000 to £20,000 commitments after a two hour presentation with the threat that if you don't do it there and then you won't have a second opportunity. The first carrot dangled to you is a free holiday, indeed that is the reason you are there in the first place. These are rarely completely free, but they do tend to be better now than a few years ago. You need to read the reviews elsewhere on the site to get a feel - my experience was that ultimately the free holiday my family took was OK, but for the fact that our accommodation was small for the four of us, and our initial accommodation was poor. We ended up paying for flights to get the flexibility the family needed. But no major grumbles given it was still cheap. The next point is that these people know they only have two hours to secure their commission. This explains why they tell you you can only sign up today. This is rubbish. Can you imagine going back a month later to the same company and saying "You are right, this is a good deal, here is my £10,000. Where do I sign". "Sorry Sir, you had your chance. No can do, goodbye" Indeed, as part of the free holiday, you usually have to attend a second presentation by the same company where they tend to get a higher sales conversion rate because you have had an opportunity to reflect and sample the product. The next point is that try to establish a friendly relationship with you. "So Mr and Mrs Smith, can I call you John and Janet?". On ou
        r second presentation, I said I would prefer Mr & Mrs, thank you. I was amazed at how much this offended them. This is a great counter attack measure to set them off on the wrong footing. Perhaps I am more formal than most but I do not like sales reps being over familiar with me when I have never met them. Try it and see the reaction! You will also notice that they do not allow young children at the presentation. Rather than insurance issues, I believe the reason is so you will not be distracted by little johnny pooping his nappy or jumping off the table. They (the reps, not the children) crave your undivided attention. As they start to run through the presentation, you are introduced to the concept of owning your holiday (timeshare) and renting the holiday (buying every year from the travel agent). Costs are added up and of course the numbers for ownership make perfect sense. This is of course mostly true. However some things to bear in mind are; Timeshare ownership does not include flights - Flights for a family in school holidays can be extortionate, and not always hugely cheaper than pre booking your package holiday well in advance to get discounts. Again, the more you extend the family, the more expensive your flight bill will be. Timeshare is self catering, so half board or all inclusive may not be such a rip off once flights and food are added back in. Timeshare obliges you to pay a maintenance fee - This could be £200-£300 per week of ownership per year. OK, it is not massive, but must be paid, and is another cost to be added on per year. By the time you add back the annual equivalent cost of your outlay (could be £500 per annum after allowing for the time value of money - apparently an accounting term), timeshare is not always the absolute bargain it is sold as. So when you are asked what is better, owning or renting, you are meant to say, "Why, owning, of course". This then draws
        you further into their persuasive argument and makes it more difficult to back track. It is better to say that when you add in all the annual costs, you can see benefits in both methods, and neither sticks out as a clear winner. The other device used to attract you is to ask you where your dream holidays would be. You will typically give them four or five far flung destinations which they will later inform you as being cheap and accessible to you under the timeshare exchange system. However, don't forget that far flung locations usually have very expensive flights, and you will invariably confined to paying resort restaurant prices so again, its not as cheap as it seems. Also, these are dream locations, not those you intend to visit right now, so why buy a timeshare now for that reason. The reason you are drawn through this process is to convince you that this is a great idea BEFORE they tell you about price. Now here comes a crunch time. If the rep is doing a good job, they will ask you if, apart from price, you are happy with what you have been told. If you say Yes, in their minds you are saying "Give me the price, I want to sign". You will then find it extremely difficult to back out. If you then say that the price is too high, the rep will pull all manner of arguments and deals out of the bag to keep you on the hook. If you do want to sign, go ahead and get the best deal you can, but if you don't, you will find it very, very difficult to pull out without getting thoroughly intimidated. It is better for you to pull out at this crunch time prior to getting into price. You could say that you think the annual costs aren't worth it, your dream holidays are in fact to stay with relatives in Spain/ Australia/ USA, or that you want to stay at a resort prior to saying yes (after all, would you buy a house/ car before seeing/ testing it?) If you are firm, you will get out, collect your free holiday and save your
        self a couple of hours. Don't forget, for most of you, the holiday is the only reason that you turned up, and do not feel you have been a freeloader or timewaster. They lured you with the holiday - it's yours. Even if you do get caught up in the desperate pricing remember that on average, some 35%-50% of the price of a timeshare is taken up by the sales and marketing costs to sell it. Part of this is of course the rep's commission. This is not an exaggeration, and is one of the reasons that timeshare resales are much, much cheaper. If you are interested in timeshare, look up a resale company that is OTE Registered and does not demand a buyer fee. You may be surprised at the difference in prices. Oh yes, one final thing, beware how they may play your partner off against you. Agree beforehand what the approach is - if they sense one of you is keen, they will target you and ignore the other. Despite their familiarity with you, its the commission they are interested in, not your future happiness. At the risk of repetition, Let me make it clear that I think timeshare can work. If Marriott, Hilton and Four Seasons are involved, it is apparent that the sector is becoming more acceptable. My gripe is that as with any other large lifestyle purchase, you need to be prepared for the sales patter, and reserve the right to try before you buy. Who knows, even I might buy one day........ Good luck!

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          01.02.2002 16:40
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          Please note: This opinion is based on Interval International and not timeshares in general. My family got persuaded into buying a timeshare back in 1998. We were on holiday in Tenerife and we were stopped to scratch off one of those scratch cards. Of course we won and because it was £100 of duty free my dad wanted to go and claim it. We got whisked off into a taxi to have a look at these apartments. My mum and dad promised themselves they wouldn?t buy anything and even began using me as an excuse. After looking around the first apartment they told the rep they would soon have to leave as I had forgot my asthma medication. An hour and a half later they were still there but drinking champagne. The company goes by the name of Interval International and they kept claiming that they were not classed as timeshares. They didn?t get my mum and dad to sign their life away they just got them to sign a three year deal. This allowed us one year?s holiday completely free and then two years just paying for the flights. The price sounded really good and it was for six people so they decided to go ahead. After all they would just go for the three years and not be persuaded into anymore. A year later we stepped off the plane in Tenerife and was greeted by this lady with our name on a piece of card. We were whisked away in a taxi to our apartments and we checked in. At first we were a bit worried that the rooms would be a mess and we had been conned but after opening the door we realised the rooms were fantastic. We had a two-bedroom apartment with three bathrooms, a kitchen and Sky TV. We had a roof complete with six sun loungers and we had two balconies facing the beach that was literally a 30 second walk away. The next day our rep came to greet us and gave us more champagne and as many free soft drinks that we could drink. She also gave us free tickets to two excursions and a date to go for a free meal at a big American restaurant on the isla
          nd. Throughout the two weeks she was really nice and till this day we are still in touch. However my mum and dad broke their promise. Before the end of the holiday they were signing their lives away and agreeing to holidays for the rest of their lives. My dad was out of work at the time so they only committed themselves to one week at the cheapest time of year. This was two years ago and although they have only been on holiday three times since they are really happy with the deal and do not regret it at all. Last year they changed the deal to two weeks with one bedroom instead of a week with two bedrooms. There are both advantages and disadvantages to buying into one of these deals. I will try and explain some of them below. Advantages § You do not have to go to the place your apartment is situated. My mum and dad have never actually been to their actual apartment. They have looked around it and yes it does look fantastic complete with its own jacuzzi although it is quite far away from the beach. You can exchange your weeks to any destination in the world for just £80 per week. If you go to your actual apartment you will just have to pay for the flights and transfers. § Number of locations ? There are literally thousands of places to choose from all around the world. It enables you to travel the world at a good price. § Quality of apartments ? You can always guarantee your apartment will be clean and up to standards. When we went away in 2000 we were warned that the quality of the apartments were not brilliant. This was only because they had not been redecorated for a couple of years but it were still far better than normal package holiday apartments. Many are complete with their own Jacuzzi on the roof and a private swimming pool in a small back garden. § Holiday for life ? After paying for the apartment in full the only cost you have to pay each year is maintenance. If something should happen to the owners say for example they
          were in a plane crash, the holiday would be passed down to their next of kin. § You can also book holidays for your friends using Getaway deals. You can book as many as you want so for example if it was your birthday you could all go and celebrate it abroad. Disadvantages § Maintenance ? Each year you have to pay a maintenance fee, which is in the region of £200. This fee is payable even if you are not going on holiday that year. § Availability ? Often if you require to exchange your weeks the availability is not at its best until 60 days before travel. This is because the owners of the apartment have up to 60 days before to let the company know if they are going and if they are not that is when their room becomes vacant. § Reps can be a bit persuasive. My mum and dad were persuaded and luckily they don?t regret it. Many people regret buying timeshares afterwards and feel as if they have been wrongly persuaded into doing so. § If you are going on a getaway booking is only available in single weeks. This means having to book the two weeks separately and it could also mean that for the second week you have to change apartments. They try and prevent this from happening and if it does they make sure you are moved to a room close by rather than one at the other side of the complex. § Unfortunately you have to pay for your transfers from the airport. This is not a problem if you are in Tenerife and less than 20 miles away as taxis are really cheap anyway. If you are over 50 miles away from the airport though it can get expensive. Each timeshare company is different. Interval International is heavily into golf breaks and offers a wide range of golfing holidays around the world. They also have luxurious health spas around the globe and also places in England such as Regency Villas in Kent. They are constantly building new places so the choice increases. I would recommend Interval International to most people especially
          people like my mum and dad who are now at the age where their kids are leaving them and they want to travel to places they have never been before and live in luxury. This year I am going on holiday with my mum and dad, fiancé and my future mother in law. We are in the process of looking into places to go. You can browse online at the different places available and even book up and exchange your current weeks. Some resorts are a lot cheaper than others. At the minute they are offering a week in Fuerteventura for just £162. This 1 bedroom apartment sleeps up to four people so therefore it is only just over £40 each. You can always shop around for the cheapest flights available which will make your holiday even cheaper. Remember these prices are only incurred if you are booking a late getaway. If you are using you owned weeks and going to your apartment you only pay for flights and if you are exchanging your weeks for anywhere in the world you only pay £80 per week. The prices are given per room per week rather than per person. Some prices are unbelievable for example you can spend a week in Cape Cod for just £124 for up to four people. I know I will be using this company in the future and hope to visit many different places from the Seychelles to New Caledonia and from Malaysia to St Lucia. Really I could go on about this forever although I don't want to send you all to sleep. If you want to ask me something do so and I will try and answer for you or at least give you an address where you can find out. Thanks for Reading Grimsbygal

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            18.09.2001 05:29
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            Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus Part Two - A couple of days ago the Odd Couple known as dave27 and Mrs D kicked off a Battle of Sexes by writing and posting their differing opinions on shopping at Evans. That little exercise was so successful (Sez who? - Ed.) that we thought we'd try it again and now our jaundiced gaze alights upon the subject of the Timeshare Holiday, variously considered either the route to very cheap but high class holidays for the rest of your life, or alternatively the Hard Sell Exercise from Hades. Hold on to your Flat Cap or your Easter Bonnet, and away we go..... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I knew there was trouble a-brewing as soon as Mrs D took the telephone call: "Hello, is the lady (!) of the house there, we want to make you the offer of a lifetime..." "Is this timeshare?" "No, certainly lot, we want to give you a different sort of experience, one that will set you up for life, one that will change the way you take holidays forever..." Yeah, right... We'd heard it all before, a thousand times, but this guy assured us that they were not like the rest, that we would definitely receive an unconditional holiday AND a weekend break PLUS a three course dinner for two just for coming along to a presentation and listening to what they had to say. Now, the dave27 clan are quite street wise and we'd experienced the hard sell timeshare sales pitch several times back in the 80's and early 90's when we were in holiday in Malta, Portugal and Tenerife, so we were well wise to the tricks of these charlatans ... you know the ones I mean, where they drag you off the street, promise you a wonderful gift and spirit you away to the mountains for a couple of hours while their hard nosed sales pitch goes into overdrive, screaming about the benefits and wonderful opportunities, but that you had to decide there and then or miss out on the ch
            ance of a lifetime. We'd resisted back then and would resist again, no one was going to beat us and the extras this time sounded quite intriguing, so we thought, "Well, what have we actually got to lose?" Mrs D was steadfast, she wanted a cheap holiday and was prepared to do anything to get it and nagged me for about a week to take a day off, so that we could attend and in the end I relented, against my better judgement, anything for a quiet life, and booked a day's leave to brave the fearsome challenge of THE TIMESHARE SALESMAN... On Thursday, September 13, after dropping the dave27-ettes off at school, we set off for our date with destiny, somewhere in the wilds of Cockerham, near Lancaster, at a place called the Thurnham Country and Leisure Club. After handing over our introductory letter, we were ushered out of the lounge for the short drive up the road to the local Village Hall where, along with another hapless couple, we were paired off with our Host for the Day, one Frank Del Pinto, a crew cutted fat boy of Italian extraction, who assured us that he was just a simple soul, that it made no difference to him whether we bought or not, that he just wanted to give his pitch, that there would be no hard sell, that if we had any questions we could ask the other supervisors behind us as he didn't know all the answers. Me and Mrs D knew our parts and were all ready to play the little game. She was the keen and enthusiastic holiday lover and I was the cynical, hard bitten accountant who wanted to be somewhere else, anywhere else where he didn't have to listen to this little spiel. Franky Boy obviously sussed that he had to play to the Female of the House and get her to win her boring husband round because he started working her and sitting side on to me. He told us the premise of their offer. They were offering us the chance of buying in to the Thurnham Leisure Group, by buying the lease
            hold of a room for up to six people in any one of their three country clubs in Cockerham, Eastbourne or Norfolk, that we would be able to get cheap nightly stays at any of their residences, that we could make free use of their leisure facilities any day we wanted, that we could exchange our week every year for £118 and stay in Switzerland, Brazil, Orlando, Germany, wherever in the world that we wanted, that we could sell the timeshare whenever we wanted, that we would own the lease for 68 years and at the end of a ten year period paying £200 a month, we would then have free holidays for the rest of our lives AND that we could bequeath the lease on to the dave27-ettes when we snuffed it ... how could we possibly refuse? By now we were about 90 minutes into a two and a half hour process which was obviously well thought out and designed around the AIDA model of selling (Awareness-Interest {not too sure about this one, could be Intent, but who cares, you get the picture}-Desire {or possibly Decision, but again who cares?}-Action), and involved a lot of steady momentum being built up and psychological push, and BOREDOM had descended upon Mrs D - she'd had enough and it was starting to show... When Frank brought out the RCI brochure, it was the last straw. RCI is a global organisation that arranges the exchange and upgrading of timeshare accommodation, all for a small fee, you understand, and they are behind a lot of these timeshare operations. For £118, you can swap your week in Sunny Cockerham for a glorious, sun drenched holiday of a lifetime in Florida. Now, Mrs D was getting well narked and had just switched off. I had to keep this exercise going in order for us to get our free gifts, so I started sitting up and taking notice, conning Frank into thinking that I was getting interested. He fell for it, and you could see the position of his chair change as he swung towards me, giving me the face on sincere act, and freezing out Mrs D. In fact
            , so convincing was my approach that I felt Mrs D kick me several times under the table because she thought I was getting ready to wave the cheque book. We'd already asked several times what the cost of this offer was and Frank kept saying, "Wait until the end, until we know it's right for you." But now he had sussed we weren't taking things serious and started getting a bit curt and cut things short, leading us out and saying that the free holiday was a crap package holiday but we'd probably enjoy it and that we couldn't possibly have afforded their deal, that he was "their best closer in Europe and cleared 82 grand last year". True colours or what! A week in their little scheme each year would have cost us £25,000, but we already knew that. By now it was too late to take the free lunch, because we had to pick the dave27-ettes up, the holiday had all sorts of exclusions and conditions attached to it and was more trouble than it was worth and yet another "offer of a lifetime" had been boiled down to the same old scam. We weren't surprised or even particularly annoyed because we knew what to expect, but I guess many less experienced couples could have been heartbroken or, worse still, have fallen for their scheme. The other couple who were there, about ten years older than us were still there when we left, so they may have been caught. Really, all of this is pretty damn indicative of the general nature of these things. They aren't cheap, they are aggressively and expertly sold and the salesmen can be spiteful. DO NOT BE FOOLED. A couple of days later, I was discussing the matter on the Ciao UK Yahoo Groups Chat facility with Connoisseur Haggler and she told me that she and her husband got conned into buying a week's timeshare on a houseboat, that she wasn't able to sell it, that they had to pay £250 maintenance a year and they were neither using the ho
            liday nor exchanging it and regretted the whole sordid affair, so please be warned. The Thurnham Leisure option was probably better than a lot of the other variations we'd seen and had some neat add on touches, such as membership of a special cut price travel agency which would have given us all sorts of advantages, and there was less chance of a foreign organisation cutting and running with unfinished complexes left behind them, but at heart it was just the same old scam. If you never believe anything else that dave27 ever tells you, trust him on this one - TIMESHARE IS A COMPLETE AND UTTER CON WHICH YOU WILL REGRET FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIVES. DO NOT FALL FOR IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now assuming you're not completely bored out of your skull by the subject, why not track down member jackie27 and catch Mrs D's sterling writings on this subject and see which of these ops is the more interesting and useful one...

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              18.09.2001 05:13
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              Cockles suitably warmed by the friendliness of the reception and comment on my recent op on Evans, and in the interests of once more locking horns with The Better Half, dave27, I decided to give you my thoughts on this subject, the Timeshare or "Five Star Holiday at a One Star Price". My old man's op on this subject is also being posted tonight so why not check him out and tell him you like my version better. Thanx a million, XXXXX Jackie <;-) Can't even watch a TV programme in peace without someone shouting for my attention or asking me for something! Can't even manage to get my jobs done with Dave27 hassling me to do another write up. I've had a crap day, it's taken me hours to tidy and clean up little Bethany Evil's room, the wheel keeps falling off my Dyson and now it's lost its suck, please Dave27 we need a new vacuum, a new sofa, a new dishwasher, a new tumble dryer etc etc etc. YOU DON'T GET ANYTHING FOR NOTHING!! The phone rang. 'Is that Mrs Tomlinson?' 'Yes,' I said. 'I'm pleased to tell you you've won a holiday!' Yeah, I've heard that one before! I felt like saying what a load of bo**ocks (Mrs D, how could you - dave27) but I always try to remain polite, well that is until they really start to rattle me. 'All you have to do is give us a couple of hours of your time and at the end of the presentation we give you your free holiday.' Yeah yeah yeah. 'Is it by any chance time share?' I ask. 'Oh no, this is a totally new concept.' Like hell it is. They real off all this hokum which makes them sound like a tape recording! 'We just need to make sure that you are the right person and that you qualify for this wonderful opportunity. You are aged between 18 and 65, married or have a partner and ea
              rn in excess of £18,000.' Blah Blah. Quite frankly I've heard this s*** so many times I hold the phone next to my dog so he too can join in the conversation - after all he has more intelligence than these Neanderthals who think they can hoodwink the mighty Mrs D. He turns away totally bored by the salesperson on the end. I too yawn. After months and months of the same company cold calling me, trying to get me to go I finally succumb and think to myself, 'Well I can pretend I'm interested and still get the holiday'. With this in mind, I get Dave 27 to take a day off and accompany me to the said presentation. We string the guy along as though he's got a sale and have a great time taking the mickey out of him. Cruel I know but these guys deserve it and I'll tell you why. They state quite categorically that it is NOT TIME SHARE, they say that you have won a holiday, you have to pay £39.50 each for the administration of the tickets and the flights but you don't need to do this until you are near to your departure date. Sorry folks but you have to complete the holiday form within 7 days of the presentation and send your £39.50 * however many people are in your party (maximum 6) straight away. In fact they tell lie after lie after lie and the very sad thing is that a lot of people are taken in by these people. Many hard working couples are ripped off and pressured into buying in this manner. They start off by saying it's not a hard sell, tell you the most appalling jokes and generally try to tap into your brain and thoughts. I really don't know how they can do this job, they surely can't have consciences!! Well that's all folks. Don't buy time-share unless you are convinced. Don't get involved unless you are certain this is for you, because you may spend years regretting a rash decision and they won't be quite so helpful when you
              want something from them. There's no such things as a free lunch (or holiday come to that). Cheap holidays don't exist, or end up cheap and very, very, very nasty.

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