In October 2006, my fiance and I decided to get away for a weekend and visit a few of his friends in Las Vegas, Nevada. Despite our amazing hotel deal, we were pretty tight on funds and the trip was last-minute in nature, so when we were approached by two sales associates at the Mandalay Bay offering “free show tickets”, there was no hesitation to find out more. We were informed that we would be eligible for numerous Vegas show tickets that evening including Cirque de Soleil, Lance Burton, and others. We were also told that to qualify for the tickets we would need to attend a brief presentation on “real estate opportunities” lasting about 2 hours in length and that there was no obligation to buy – I would later realize that the latter part of this statement was entirely false. Within what seemed to be seconds of accepting the invitation we were whisked through back corridors of the Mandalay Bay and lead to a secluded parking area where a handful of sight-seeing vans were waiting. The 5 minute drive turned into 20 minutes and we ended up pulling into a dilapidated strip mall, far from the glitz and glamour of the strip.
Next came the waiting area. I estimate there were 50 other couples crowded in the converted grocery store that now housed the sales headquarters for the Grandview Las Vegas. We were processed by a Grand View employee and told to wait until our name was called. After waiting you were actually pretty excited when your name was called because this meant you could eat some free food, get on with your day, get your show tickets, and get on with your trip.
We were lead to a R.C.I. conference room of epic proportions and seated at a table with four chairs, our RCI assistant strategically sitting between us. To be perfectly honest, with all the commotion going on and our RCI guide throwing out as many facts and figures as humanly possible (he could have used differential calculus equations to predict the perfect ketchup to hamburger ratio and I would have been none-the-wiser), the events that transpired are somewhat of a blur to us. There are a few disturbing facts I am certain of, I do know that no credit check was ever done on either of us. The RCI salesperson had no regard for our present financial situation and in fact this was used against us to bully us into purchasing the time share because it would be “an investment we would have FOREVER”. When we asked if we could have time to think and possibly come back tomorrow or a later date, we were informed that the timeshare opportunity would have dissipated by then. Somehow R.C.I. convinced two twenty-somethings, in the midst of starting their own business, that it would be in their best interest to have a $500/month timeshare payment and additional fees if they actually decide to take a vacation. So much for no obligation to buy!
After our time share purchase, I realized that a portion of our monthly income was now dead and it was at this point I sincerely believe I went through Kubler-Ross’ stages of dying:
- Denial and isolation – I simply pretended there was no time share and did not tell anyone about it or my experience with RCI.
- Anger – I wanted to sue RCI for everything they were worth, spam them everywhere, and warn everyone of their unfair business practices.
- Bargaining – Just please let me bank these weeks that I can not afford to take a vacation!!
- Depression – We are never going to be able to make this time share worth it, how could I have been so stupid?
- Acceptance – I am now a part of the RCI time share community, how can I make this work for me? What benefits can this offer? How can I help other people?
I have created this site to help those in all stages of their timeshare experience in hopes to create a more informed buyer, owner, and seller.
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