163 Road Trip Week – The Timeshare Hard Sell

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Andy and I headed to Atlantic City for a day trip in 2006.

We walked into Trump Taj Mahal, and in the lobby someone approached us and asked us if we wanted to make $100. “Of course!”, we said.

The catch was we had to sit through a timeshare presentation. Andy and I agreed, and they took down his financial information. Andy lied, and said he was a Broadway actor making over $100,000. In reality, he was a regional theater actor making just over $20,000, and not a prime candidate for a timeshare.

They led us into the room and there were a bunch of burnt out Glenngary Glenn Ross types, pushing crappy timeshares on middle-class black families. Andy and I knew we did not want to sign up from the beginning, but once the presentation ended the hard sell started.

Our sales rep was a short, intense, Italian-American guy with a bad suit.  After angrily being pushed and pushed  to sign up, Andy kept saying that he didn’t want to buy a timeshare. So the guy pushed harder and harder. The sales rep was getting angry with Andy, and started raising his voice. So Andy got nasty.

Andy yelled, “How many times do I have to tell you no?” To which the sales rep replied, “Ten.” So Andy put up his hands and counted on his fingers as he said, “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. THERE! Give us our money!”

Finally the sales rep was up against the wall, and had to cave. He was not happy about it, and as I recall he pretty much cursed the both of us out before he released us for payment.

He sent us through a maze of hallways until we reached a man behind a caged area who made us sign paperwork stating we had declined the timeshare. He looked at Andy and said, “you’re the actor, huh?” then handed us the $100.

There were two stacks of paper on his desk. A large pile for all the people who were swindled out of their money by being forced to sign for a crappy timeshare, and a small pile that contained all the people who had walked free that day.

We took the money, walked away free of obligation, and treated ourselves to an expensive steak dinner.

I hope all of those who were forced to sign that day, found satisfaction with their purchase.

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