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Westgate Timeshares review: Sales tactics

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11:27 am EDT
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My husband and I wanted to get cheap tickets for Universal Studio's which were being sold for 25 dollars a piece through Westgate and all we would have to do is sit through a 90 minute sales pitch telling us about Westgate resorts. I know what your thinking...and we were very aware of the agressive sale tactics of these presentations. It's silly really how Westgate thinks people who can't afford to buy Universal or Disney tickets can somehow afford a timeshare but whatever. We were up for the challenge and of course we knew we were going to say "no", get our tickets and head over to Universal. It was a small price to pay. What we weren't prepared for was how calculating the sales reps really were. After our 90 minute presentation was over and my husband and I told the rep we could not afford the timeshare at this time, she left our table and said she had to get her supervisor to come over to the table and ask us questions on how we felt about the presentation. We waited for about 10 minutes and she came back with a lower offer for the timeshare. I spoke up and said "we would never make such a large purchase in this short of time. The answers still no and we have stayed past the 90 minutes and would like our tickets now." She said she was waiting for the supervisor to come to our table and she would check on where he was at. After leaving once more, we watched her walk over to an office across the room, go in and then leave and continued to walk along side of the room until we lost site of her. We waited for another 10 minutes and I told my husband to go look for her. He found her on the other side of a large pillar directly behind where we were sitting. She was just standing there eavesdropping on our conversation. My husband told her in a very direct tone that she is to get her supervisor now or he was going to make a scene. Not more than 2 minutes later the supervisor came over to our table and sat down. He was a rather large man with the looks of a Italian mobster. He said he had one more thing he would like to discuss with us and then we can go. My husband said that he can save his breath, that we weren't going to purchase anything. The supervisor very rudely told us too bad, if we want our tickets, we are going to listen to what he says, it will take 3 minutes and then we can have our tickets. He talked, none of us listened and then we had another oportunity to say no and then we got to leave. After I left there with my tickets, I shouted as loudly as I could to anyone who cared to listen that "I survived the presentation without buying there timeshare!" After careful reflection, I realized they truely did not want to give us those cheap tickets. Our sales rep was hoping we would walk out when we had to wait so long for the supervisor. If this resort is so great, they would not have to conive in order to sell there property. The fact is, it's expensive and most people don't have to money to buy timeshares with cash so they use credit. We are a society that lives beyond it's means and we are preyed upon by sharks. My advise is if you want a timeshare, shop around. Do not buy from a 90 minute presentation! Don't fall into there high pressure tactics! I'm not saying a timeshare isn't a good deal but it's only a good deal if you can afford it and they will tell you anything to make you think you can. I hope this post helps any unsuspecting victims. Unfortunately, the person who will probably read this will be someone who got duped.


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Feb 23, 2018 8:33 am EST

In February of 2018, we were offered the Westgate Resort timeshare presentation in Kissimmee in return for lower priced tickets for a theme park. The presentation, we were told, would last 90 minutes. We were there for 3 1/2 hours. Met with the sales rep and made it clear we were not going to invest in a timeshare. He did not listen to anything we had to say, but rather tried to convince us that we would save a bundle of $$ during our future travels. We continued to say NO, and he finally wrote declined on a form and told us we had to meet with his supervisor. The supervisor made us wait one half hour before she came to our table and offered us a better deal, about 1/2 the cost of the offer from the sales rep. We again declined after much agressive sale tactics, and finally she wrote "declined" and had us sign the form. We thought we were good to go, but immediately, a new sales rep from marketing appeared at our table trying to sell us 5 vacations at a reduced price. We said No once more and were told to go to another hall to collect our theme park tickets and "gift". We picked up the theme park tickets and were directed to another agent who offered us a gift worth $70 or so, but we had to give her $20 cash to confirm our reservation. She also told us we had to attend another presentation (not a timeshare) for 1 1/2 hours, before we could pick up our gift and be refunded our $20. We declined the gift and left, practically running out of the building. After 3 1/2 hours of agressive sales tactics, and being "interrogated", we needed "down time" to recuperate. Thankfully, we did not buy anything and declined the gift.

Apr 26, 2016 12:35 pm EDT

My name is Russ and was given a tour of your Lakes property in May of 2015. After the tour we were given several options of time shares. None fit what we were looking for. As we were departing, our sales agent # 31485, Carlos stopped us short and said he had a deal for us that we could not pass up. We stopped and listen to him explain to us, Carlos was able to give us Five Weeks for 995.00. My wife and I walked back to his table. He pulled out a sheet that had several resorts listed, and he started circling what resorts were available to us. He told us the only issue was that it had to be used within 30 months. My wife did not think that we could get all five in within 30 months, but Carlos said with 2 weeks per year, it could be done easily. Carlos started going over the contract that was on a small tablet having me initial here and there with my finger. About half way thru we stopped and said this sounds to go to be true. That each week would only be 200.00, and we asked Carlos how that would be possible? Carlos said that Westgate wanted us to try out several Westgate properties to find one that would be a good fit, and this would give Westgate the ability to make the final sale after we found out how well run the resorts were. The sales floor supervisor Nilson approached and welcomed us to the family. Carlos had me finish with the tablet and sign the credit card receipt. Carlos came back with a packet that included our contract, and vacation traveler welcome information. He showed us the 800 number to call when we were ready to start with our first week and then walked us to the elevator, and we both left with a smile on our face.
We booked our first reservation at the Town Center, ready to do Universal! A few weeks later we decided to book our second week in South Beach in October, this is when the bombshell dropped. The operator asked if I wanted to cancel the week in Orlando and book the week in South Beach? I explained the I wanted to use my second week in South Beach! Silence on the other end of the phone for a moment. The operator than said, Ohhh, your other four weeks are with Leisure Time Passports, I will give you a code, and you can log on, then you can book your other weeks at a discounted rate. I expanded that Carlos sold us 5 weeks, not one week. I took the code and looked up South Beach properties as well as the Key West area. With the discount each week was about a thousand dollars for the week.
I arrived at the Town Center this week, and have meet with several Westgate employees. Each very nice and wanting to help. Please talk with this person, Ect… Tatiana from the town center told us to call corporate, that they would be able to help, but ask for a manger and don’t let them hang up until you had a chance to give the manager detail of the events. The operator told me that the manager was not at her desk and that I could leave a voice mail. I demanded that I talk with a manager and not to hang up the call. I was placed on hold and after 20 minutes I person from the Lakes answered and explained that our sales agent Carlos was on vacation this week and should be back next week, that for an issue of this nature we should call corporate, I explained that I was on hold with corporate, and that I was transferred to her. Eventual, a manager from another property, after another 20-minute hold, came on the line and explained that the contract was for 7 nights, and that this is what Westgate will stick to. I let her know that I do have some liability in this matter, but having a sales agent lie to you to just make a sale is a bad business practice. She again said, sorry you feel that way, but the contract states… I told her that if she has the last word on this, then I was going tell my experience to everyone that I run into this week while at Westgate. She then said, she was going to report this up her chain! I said good, that is what I want her to do. Someone at Westgate can make this right. If not just for me, but to ensure that someone else is not blatantly lied to, just so Carlos can make a sale. I hope this letter finds it’s into the right hands of someone that can do something about this. I know it is easy after the sale to just give up on the customer, and why not, you already have our money in your pocket. Just know that I want to work with Westgate to come to a reasonable resolution, and that I will make this experience (good or bad) know to everyone that will listen.

Jan 04, 2016 8:47 am EST
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I understand the idea that Westgate is a business, and also understand about sales. What I do not understand is the way consumers are treated if they do not purchase. Yes we are eventually given the "free" stuff promised, after a presentation that ALWAYS lasts more than the promised 90 minutes, but if you do not purchase, you are treated like you are stupid.

Case in point. My wife saved and saved so we coud take her mom to Gatlinburg for Christmas. We have alot of medical bills we are paying on as well as a farm to take care of, so money is difficult to come by. After being talked into the presentation by the "street" salesman, we went to the presentation. The lady (Valerie was her name) was very nice and did a good job on her presentation. Of course as usual she had to get a "manager" at the end when we declined. His name was Cory. He gave us several other "deals" and we respectfully declined those as well. He then proceeded to say things like, " Well I am not sure you were able to understand what we have shown you here..." and other very negative comments. I looked over that as a sales tactic, and waited for him to finish to continue declining. (By the way, I have a BS and 2 Masters degrees, so I fully understood). When I stil declined, he asked why I could not do it, and what money would stop me. I told him I really had medical bills where my son has been in and out of hospitals for almost a year. He then begins a very sarcastic tone and says very loudly in the room full of people and at the table with my family there, "Wow, this guy deserves an award. I mean, with a bunch of debt he still chooses to take his family on vacation. really, most people would work on paying their debt, but he makes vacation a priority." I still tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, just as a poor salesman trying to seem sinceere. Then he started poking people at other tables and even the sales lady there, and my mother in law and saying, "Hey guys, maybe I should skip a few mortgage payments to take my family on a vacation. We should all do that..." and he continued until I asked him to leave. I reported him to his manager, but I am sure nothing was done. As we walked out he was back at another table talking to more unlucky consumers. I informed the managers that I did not necessarikly think that their product was bad, just that the timing was not right at this point, but that I would never give money to a company that treats anyone that way. I contacted corporate once, as well as the resprt management, but they never even called me back, even after knowing how I was treated. Anyway, I have heard other stories about people being treated poorly, and at this point I will let everyone know how I was treated so they can put their money elsewhere, as will I.

T. York

Dec 15, 2015 11:04 pm EST

My wife and I were approached by a rep INSIDE Universal Studios across from the Jurassic Park ride. He told us that they were looking for people to evaluate their new breakfast buffet and the restaurant. If we would eat breakfast, take a tour of the building, and fill out a survey then they would pay us $100 in cash. We fell for it and showed up the next morning to cold eggs, sausage, gravy, and fruit. They trapped us in the room for 3 hours to tell us about a $35, 000 time share that you can only stay at for 2weeks a year. They also guarantee financing at 17.99% APR ( that is an insane interest rate). They clearly ran a free credit check because they asked if we had siblings, how long we were married, etc. ( probably). They also knew I was former military and we had never mentioned it. We said no to buying, so the greaseball "supervisor" came over and told us he was a former SEAL and very rudely told us we werent real bright if we didnt buy there. The good cop bad cop sales routine was just irritating. It wasnt until I started getting visibly angry and told them at least 10 times I wasnt interested that they told us where to go collect our $100. I feel awful for the poor people they con into buying. I dont know how Universal allows them to solicit inside the park with all the complaints that are on the web about these thieves. We are season pass holders to both parks and my wife and I have already agreed that we will take at least an hour of our next trip just hanging out by their reps in the park so we can warn their potential victims off before Westgate tries to steal their money.

Jun 17, 2015 10:10 am EDT
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Westgate sale representatives are rude and so is the staff at the registration desk. As a timeshare owner at Sheraton Vistana, we chose to try WestGate. Well never again. My room was dirty. Crumbs behind the mattress. Oven stopped working during our stay, Television in the bedroom did not work during the stay. Son's 1 bedroom across the street was also dirty. Asked for detergent 5 times only to be told they were out. Rented UNO cards and returned them only for the staff to call and leave a message on our phone that we would be charged $10 because the staff misplaced them. After several complaints to the front desk, I was told to have a seat in the lobby (indefinitely) when I asked to speak to a manager. Staff would not tell me how long it would be until a manager came. I left my number and never got a retun call from anyone. I called RCI who called management then and only then was I able to speak to a manager. If you are not a owner there you are treated like crap. I will NEVER return. There a bunch of young criminals on the basketball courts eho stole my son's cell phone. Called security who said they couldn't do anything and to call the police. Security is totally useless. My son tracked his phone using the Iphone feature to the kids room who stole it and got it back from the parents with ZERO help from Westgate. Income requirements are only $40, 000 so a lot of riff raff is allowed in. Go to a better resort with higher income qualifications and employees who speak English fluently. Waterpark is only good for 3 year olds not older children and totally not worth $10 per person. They charge for everything and the money paid is never worth the service rendered, Please stay for away fro this resort!

May 08, 2015 5:58 pm EDT
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And how much does timesharescam and Aaronsonlawgroup charge upfront. 2500 to 4500 upfront? I got out and didnt need to put up a bunch of money. You guys are as bad as the timeshares

May 08, 2015 12:40 pm EDT

I had a Westgate timeshare and these guys lied to me about everything imaginable. They stole my money and my time. It was an absolute nightmare! So luckily I found Aronson Law Group and they were wonderful. If you are having the same nightmarish experience I was, I highly recommend you check out and get yourself out of the nightmare!

Nov 10, 2014 4:34 pm EST
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Thousands of International travelers, particularly from the US and Canada, have fallen victims of timeshare fraud while vacationing. Resort developers hire skilled salesmen to represent their timeshares as many different attractive packages, such as financial investments, deeded properties, or vacation clubs, just to increase their sales.

Jul 03, 2011 3:35 pm EDT

Poor service. when we wouldn't buy from our scam-artist Ari Benchochondron of Westgate Orlando originally from Venezuela by way of NYC, our short version which was 2.5 hrs they sent the manager who said she makes 250k/yr and we still declined. Then a piece of walking plastic with 38DDD breasts came over and we still wouldn't although her bosom did feel comforting.

long story short - we got put out in the sun to wait for our $75 promised and went back to the #1 timeshare that Orlando natives said at the rental car place, Starwoods Vistana Villages. Their we entered their timeshare location and ate food in an a/c room and they offered us drinks. Starwoods is the best and the customer service is excellent.

It doesn't get any better folks!

May 18, 2011 12:04 am EDT

I stayed in Vegas and had a man approach me and my boyfriend as we were leaving a casino. He said he had a prize for us-it turned out to be tickets to a show or $125 cash to play in casinos. The catch was the little timeshare presentation. My boyfriend had been to many and explained to me that the salespeople would get mad when we said no but then you just leave and get your tickets. When we finished finally-he said he'd never been to one quite like Westgates-it took us over two hours and our sales person got his supervisor after we said no. The original salesman was really nice actually-until we said no. He didn't get visibly mad but he was cold to us at that point. I expected that and even felt a little sorry for him, he was a fun person, I liked him. I almost wanted to say yes just because he was so likeable. But the Supervisor-wow-she was nasty. My first impression was you have got to be kidding me-she looks like either a clown or a prostitute and that disturbed me. I've never seen someone who was suppose to be in a high ranking position and professional-look so cheap. Her personality was just as bad. The timeshare went from $847 a month down to $400. Still we said no-were put in the waiting game process and sent to another room to get our tickets. In that room another woman asked if I would consider this great offer which would only cost me about $87 a month and how could I refuse. Thank GOD I did! What a headache-never ever again!

Mar 29, 2011 3:24 am EDT

The resort is ok and my stay was neatral. Poor cleaning, poor service and pay for internet (cheap motels and McDonalds have free internet!) NOT buy timeshares or vacation packages ...unless you are wealthy! My wife and I are pros at this. We have been to over 20 timeshare presentations just to get free stuff, free stays, etc. BUT you must say NO. It is a HUGE financial commitment that the Sellers do NOT prepare you for. There are more hidden fees than easter eggs! This is 2011. Rent a timeshare location from a poor owner for cheap! Look on the internet. You can even own timeshares without paying the initial buy-in fee. Do your research. Teach yourselves that any person that offers you a "one time" or "one day" deal is scamming you. If you can affort the timeshare buy-in fee, then consider the maintenance fees, the "credit card" high lending rate of their financing, the weekly fee of exchange resorts. Consider the cost of flying every year. Plus this does not have food included. Last minute all inclusive deals are WAY better. The time value of your money and not paying interest (but making interest!) is important. What if you loose your job? STOP. Do not buy any timeshare! us, feel free to take advantage of them! long as you can say NO. No is NO. The Sellers may know how much you make but they do NOT know your debt. They do NOT guarantee you will have a job tomorrow. Hope this helps even just one person! PS...despite their sales tactic, they do NOT have a free shuttle to every disney park.

Feb 11, 2011 3:19 pm EST

I purchase a time share in Florida with Westgates and one of the advantages was that I was allowed to pay my Maintenance and Tax fee little by little but that I could not use the facilities until they were fully paid. Now they tell me that I have to pay in full or I'll be charged interest and penalties until the entire amount is paid.
They admit to offer the option but that it's up to the owner to save the money little by little before the due date. I was scammed once and they continue to try every time I go back. Westgates legally knows how to use the system to scam people.

Feb 03, 2011 6:38 am EST

Does no one know what a time share is?

Sep 27, 2010 3:07 pm EDT
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The same story happened to us in Orlando, FL 6 months ago when, we were lured in our hotel to see a villa presentation in a resort called Westgate to get discount ticket for sea world!
I am french and my friend is from Israel and we were on vacation there so we went there, saw the villa and we thought it was great, beautiful but we never intended to buy anything we just wanted our tickets so the sale agent went to get this boss to supposedly offer us a deal cause we were foreigners and could advertize for them all over the world!lies!lies!
All the time they referred this timeshare as avilla, they never mentionned it was an expensive week stay and since we were foreigners we did not know!
So they gave us a price of 9000$ for a luxurous 2bedrooms +loft so we told him we wanted to think about it and come back the next day but he said the price won't be the same, that we have to make a decision now so stupidly and naively we agreed so we were taken in an office where we met a lady who pretended to work for the state of Florida so we felt more secure but it was a trap!so like her crooks of sales agent, she also told us that it is an investment, we could make profit, rent it or sell it but again never mentionned it was week stay and since we had no idea what a timeshare was before and since we only heard it for the 1st time when we signed the contract, we thought timeshare was a vacation villa and they never made it clear for us!

So the next day, we called to cancel but they would not let us, they said we have to go through our closing agent, so she called us and told us it was not smart, we would loose our deposit, that they would mess up our credit card history, and so on and on..She advised us to pay it off early then she would find buyers for us so we trusted her but the next few days, we still had doubts and since she told us that we had a month to cancel, we called her, left her messages but she never called us back we kept calling her but she simply disappeared and we felt trapped so we started paying but we kept calling her but at one point her voicemail was full and was not taking anymore messages.

So then, after realizing that we were scammed, I called our closing agent this time under a fake name and false reasons, (I was a new owner and I wanted to cancel and here surprise surprise, she called me back right away and when I revealed myself she said our account was cancelled months ago but I told her it was not true cause I kept calling westgate and they denied it then she said she will go to see the head of the resort to let them know about our pb.
I called her back cause I did not trust her and she told me that our account had been cancelled, that we should be refunded in total, that we should call our credit company and I asked her if we had papers to sign and she told us there weren't any but I was suspicious so I called westgate and had my friend called her credit card company but again a lie so I called her to confront her and tell her off!

They trapped us in a 32 pages of contract, we were naive but we were on vacation and were foreigners, we bought their lies and all their crap but they made sure we could not cancel!
This woman was not an agent of the Florida State, she was working for them!it is felony to impersonnate a florida state agent to deceive people!

They are all liars, scammers, disgusting resort!
They are driven by greed!
I will do my upmost to expose them as scammers all over the world!I will take them down!


Mar 26, 2010 10:12 am EDT

Westgate Rip Off Story 3/2010
My fiancee and I stayed at the Westgate Town Center in Kissemmee Florida. His parents own at Westgate Lakes up the road and have been owners with a fixed week since 1998. They are very happy with their timeshare and recommended that we try it for $99.00. Like the others we were held hostage for hours in our 90 minute presentation and my fiancee with AAHD was about to go nuts. They had us so worn down that we agreed to sign a price lock which they passed off as another week's vacation. I specifically asked my sales rep if we would have to attend another presentation and she assured me that I would not since I had already attended this one-Lie The contract says we do.
That was one of many lies. Once I got home I read pages and pages of complaints online and I now feel that I will never be able to book this vacation based on what I read about other's experiences. We were told we can go to any Westgate resort any time-Partial truth- According to our contract we can if we want to pay more than the $800 we are already in it for and it is subject to availability of units which at this point I'm not counting on.
You can say that we haven't gotten ripped off yet because we haven't tried to use our vacation but we sure were lied to. If we were not so worn down at the time we could have done the simple math and realized that if we we actually took the full contracted 24 months to pay off our vacation we would never be able to use it since it needs to be paid for in full before we can book and we need to book 90 days in advance but only have 27 months to use it. Our contract states we must use a blue week which is something not pointed out to us in the presentation, and if we actually were lucky enough to get reservations it would be a "red" week since they all are red in June, July and August, the three-month time period between which the contract would be paid off and the deal expires.
The bold print says we have 10 days to cancel and I was about to until I read the fine print that says if we cancel that we have to pay for the contract benefits which include, but are not limited to, the four nights we stayed there at $200 a night, $13 dollars a piece for the powdered eggs and greasy sausage that my fiancee ate and the bowl of grits that I had, and $50 dollars for the CD package and other paperwork they gave us. $876 plus anything else they care to charge us for.
Having read all the posts prior to mine I have to say that everything that was written about what the sales reps said was true because we were told the same lies. I thank God that we didn't agree to a timeshare and that we are only in for 800 dollars and not $42, 000. Although I suspect that if you actually pay the initial price they offer you may actullay get the upgraded room and easier access of booking. I think that when the price starts coming down they don't tell you so does the quality but let's face it, we all should know better. I don't know how they turn us all into idiots.

Nov 12, 2009 2:19 pm EST

My husband and I took the tour to get discounted SeaWorld tickets with no intention of buying a timeshare, but after the salesperson showed us on paper the expense of all of our previous vacations as well as what the expense of all of our future vacations would be, I was amazed at how much money we had spent through the years and how much more we would have spent if we had kept paying for hotel rooms and eating out in restaurants. Why pay for a hotel's mortgage payment? With a Westgate unit, it is yours and in the Orlando area, the property value will always go up because of the area attractions. That translates into a good investment to me.

After seeing the gorgeous model of the units, we were really impressed. The amenities were upbelievable, the place beautiful and well-kept and the staff courteous and helpful. We sat down to talk figures and it was more than we could afford. The sales manager came over and offered us a one bedroom unit, which is what we wanted, for a much cheaper price. We would be taking over the payments for a family who upgraded to a two bedroom unit. The man wanted to use his loss on the first unit as a tax write off. It was affordable to us so we bought it. Not only do we have a beautiful place to stay but we get all kinds of discounts on other hotel rooms, airfare and cruises. We can stay at any of the 28 Westgates around the country, which was another selling point. We were not pressured in any way. When we went to settlement, we were asked again, without the sales person present, if we were pressured in any way and we said no. The process was smooth and my husband and I think it is a great investment and we are very happy with our decision.

Sep 30, 2008 10:44 am EDT

THIS lady is just got your tickets which was definately very important to you and your husband...but choosed to yell on top of your voice with your free tickets in your hands to destruct everyone else who could listen to your miserable me it seemed that money was the loved it, enjoyed it but just decided it was alarge purchase to make over a 90mins presentation which makes sense...dont blame the timeshare campanies..they are in business to make money and a poor sales rep who perhaps gets paid on got the tickets, shut up and get a life instead of whinning a bout every bit of things are the most expensive things you will always time buy your own timeshare to avoid being miserable on a while on avacation...

Aug 21, 2008 7:01 pm EDT

I think it's funny how people see opportunities like free tickets and expect it to be some simply, non-complicated ordeal. Then when its not, they complain about the company that offered it.

Westgate is a business. If you were a business owner you would do the same thing... try every means to recoup the money you spent to invite the family and the tickets that are given.

If that means that they give you several price options or ask you several times if its affordable, then so be it. You knew and, above all else, expected the presentation to have a little pressure, but you still went. And by your own admission you said it was worth it for the tickets.

Timeshare saves people money. It's all based on if you have a financial outlook to see the advantages of paying the money now to save the money later, just like buying a home or car. Once it's paid off you start to see the benefits.

A happy owner!

Jul 14, 2008 2:22 pm EDT

" I agree with the complaint, i have experience the same treatment of high pressure sales tactics / gimmicks, i outsmarted them "

Jul 14, 2008 2:14 pm EDT

" I agree with the complain, i have experience the same treatment of high pressure sales tactics "

Jul 10, 2008 10:34 am EDT

My family and I attended a presentation while on vacation. The salesman hurried the tour when he noticed me reading a copy of a warranty deed they had posted. Being in the real estate business I found this odd. We were pressured to buy in what could best be described as a circus "King of Cars" atmosphere. When we declined they pulled the old let me get the sales manager routine. predictably followed by the I can cut you this outrageous deal, and then the change of pace with a young female salesperson.