Thursday, June 28, 2007

An exercise in futility

I have said before that sometimes we learn more about ourselves from our mistakes than from our triumphs. Nothing original, I know, but it is something I firmly believe. Setbacks have helped me grow as a person and move forward in my life.

Today's post is about one of those mistakes. Once upon a time, over six years ago, I was duped/pressured into getting into a timeshare.

I should have known better, but I was naive and back then I had a hard time saying no. Plus, these people are very effective in their hard sell techniques. Because I could not afford much, I ended up with a blue-period timeshare that I can only use on even years. The blue period is the worst ever, with a very short window to use, and in the middle of winter. Bum deal, right?

Every month for the last six years I have been paying about 91 dollars for the financing of said hellish timeshare, and about 30 dollars for their dues ("owners" need to pay dues and taxes). I can't wait to get out of it, but I don't know how to unload it. The timeshare company will do nothing to help me sell it. There are companies that are dedicated to sell timeshares, but usually they charge owners a fee in advance in order to list for one year, with no guarantee that they will sell it. So I have been biding my time and waiting for the moment when it's all paid for, so I can figure out my next move.

In the meantime, sucky Silverleaf Resorts calls me all the time. Every year they call me and invite me to come over for a free weekend stay, provided I sit down to an update meeting which is really an attempt to get me to upgrade to a more expensive timeshare. I have been to a few of these yearly meetings. One year my parents stayed with me and Paula at a cabin and one morning we saw a body lying underneath the stairs of our building. Needless to say that scared the crap out of me. Was it someone passed out drunk or was it someone dead? I called security and never knew what became of that. No one had the decency to tell us. I skipped several yearly meetings after that.

Last year when they called I decided to take the free weekend. I had Gabriel this time around for support, and I also wanted him, my in-laws and the girls to enjoy the property. It's in a wooded area by Lake Conroe, so it can charming. Overall it was a good weekend, except for two things. One, we took a horse-drawn wagon ride on the property and it was obvious to us that the wagon was too large and heavy for one of the horses to pull. This horse looked tired and skinny, and had an abcess in its leg. At one point there was a steep incline and the horses struggled. I honestly thought the skinny one was going to collapse. Gabe got out of the wagon to lighten the load. I had Isa and did not dare jump out, but I would have if I had been alone. No one else cared, and there was like 8 more people on the wagon. I was furious and when the time for my meeting came, I spent the first ten minutes complaining to the Piney Shores person about the treatment to their horse. I also told them in a very clear way, that there was no way in hell I was upgrading to a more expensive timeshare, that in fact I could not wait to unload it. They were not pleased by that. In fact, the stupid and cynical sales manager told me "good luck selling that". What an asshole. And he expected me to upgrade after such comments? Animal-abusing scumbags is what they are.

After we got home I reported them to the SPCA. It was the least I could do.

Months later, someone from Silverleaf called asking me to refer friends and family so they could contact them. I told them I cared about my family and friends and would definitely not send them over to be screwed by them. That did not go down well.

Last week they called offering me a free weekend so I could go to the yearly update meeting. After talking to Gabe, I accepted. I already know I will not upgrade, and there is nothing they can say to convince me otherwise. Once the meeting is out of the way, I will have time to enjoy the facilities and the cabin. I also want to go check up on the horse, if it's still there.


  1. Oh gosh..timeshares..I've been to those great presentations for a free something! ONCE! It was horrible..I have never felt so much pressure before. Thankfully, we were able to get out of there with our free baseball tickets, but not without demanding them first, afterall, that was the deal!! It's maddening! I hope you enjoy your weekend at the cabin and I hope you find a way out of the timeshare soon!

  2. oh my....yeah...DH and I got talked into one once too, but we backed out the next day. whew.....they didn't want to let us...but we did it.
    hugs to you! I hope you enjoy your weekend though...and that horse is okay.

  3. I have never went to anything like that, they offer all the time though.
    I hope you can unload it asap!!

    have a good time on your weekend, I hope its better than the last! and right on for turning them in to the ASPCA!! i hope they got in big trouble and the horse was taken care of!