Travel News & Views

Pushy Hotel Time-Share Sales


I am a creature of habit. I think to some extent we all are. I tend to patronize establishments that provide what I need or the customer experience I appreciate. When I go on vacation to a specific destination I will generally stay in the same hotel if I had a good experience my last visit. For example, I always stay at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel when I am in Waikiki. It is centrally located, has a great pool and is right on the beach. When I go to Cabo I stay at the Pueblo Bonito Pacific Resort. It is really nice tropical resort situated just far enough from the craziness of the Cabo nightlife to feel secluded.

Yet, if I have a bad experience at a hotel, I always stay in another the next time I visit that destination. Unfortunately for hotels there is not a lot of room for error as there are so many well-run great hotels in just about every vacation destination. I don’t think I am alone.
Repeat business is profitable business. With that said, it never ceases to amaze me how hoteliers in vacation destinations allow pushy time-share salespeople to ruin their guest’s experience. At Review Resorts we regularly receive reviews from people who have had a horrible experience with pushy time-share sales people. For example, read what Karen from Milwaukee, Wisconsin wrote about her experience at the Marival Resort in Puerto (Nuevo) Vallarta:

“Great beach area in addition to the pools. The pools are nice, food is decent, rooms are clean and comfortable (though nothing fancy) but I wouldn’t recommend this hotel to anyone and would definitely not stay here again. Right from when you check in, they start pushing the time-share on you. The person who shows you the hotel map, gives you the all-inclusive bracelet, etc., tries to sell you on a timeshare presentation. Even if you say you aren’t interested, they offer you free massages, say ‘it is only 90 minutes and well do it during your breakfast, and you have to eat anyway” various guilt trips, etc. If you say no, for the duration of your trip, you will receive flyers under your door, and whenever passing through the main lobby or high-traffic areas, they will try to pressure you again. After finally giving in, the session took 3 hours instead of the promised 1.5, was very high-pressure sales, and impossible to leave. They pass you from one person to the next, each time promising it’s the last person you’ll talk to. I mentioned to one employee that I would be giving a bad review and he said, ‘But the time-share staff isn’t the hotel staff…That isn’t fair.’ That may be true, but the time-share staff is everywhere, permeating your entire hotel experience. I came on vacation to be relaxed and have fun, not to be annoyed and guilt-tripped.”

The unfortunate part is that most hotel management and their staff all work really hard to provide an excellent experience for their guests. It’s just that the business practice of allowing pushy time-share sales people who work for a third-party to stake out and harass guests is just crazy. Unhappy guests will flame you online telling as many people as they can what a rotten experience they had at your hotel. I understand the hotel gets a commission for the time-share sales, but at what cost?

avatar George Oberle (27 Posts)

George Oberle is Founder and Editor of Review Resorts. He is a former travel agency owner and operator as well as an established webmaster and online marketing professional.

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