You did it.
You took the plunge and traded your precious time to save money on lodging during your vacation.
I mean, 90 minutes listening to a timeshare presentation for three days and two nights of free hotel? That’s a deal.
But is it? I mean is it, really?
I have a friend who used to be in the timeshare game and while I never sat in on one of her presentations, I don’t envy anyone who has.
Simple conversations with this friend are fine, pleasant affairs. But let that conversation jump a notch to discussion and suddenly you’ve got a window into the hell that is a two-hour timeshare presentation.
When my friend gets fired up, it’s a word hurricane. You’re pummeled with verbiage, drowned in a tsunami of nonsensical jargon that has been carefully tested to break down barriers and thwart any effort at rational thought.
The goal is to batter your poor brain into submission then use your desire to get back to your vacation as a clicking clock designed to make you sign on the dotted line.
I know several people who have entered into timeshare with reputable companies that use the timeshare appropriately and enjoy it very much. I know others who entered into the agreement on a whim and have regretted it ever since.
So, what can you do to escape the clutches of a timeshare presentation that will not end? Here are a few ideas.
But before we get into all that, let’s note I’m not a board-certified legal expert.
I’d suggest consulting with your lawyers before implementing these strategies. Also, in fairness, I would wait 15 minutes beyond the agreed upon time before breaking the glass on what we’re tentatively calling the Gullion plan.
Also, give them the chance to be nice. Tell them politely but firmly you’re not interested. If they continue to press, unleash the Kraken.
10. Three stooges-style misdirection
This, dear readers, is a misdirection technique as old as time – or at least The Three Stooges.
As the presentation drones on, briskly stand up, point to a window and yell “Look at the grouse.” When all the heads turn, get your things and get the hell out of there.
9. Ask strange questions
What’s the timeshare’s policy on public nudity? What is the rule regarding pet ducks in the pool?
Is the timeshare barbershop quartet friendly? Is sheep-shearing in the commons area strictly forbidden or simply frowned upon?
Sometimes I get afraid in strange places, what’s the policy on tucking guests in? I’m a big Harry Potter fan; do you have an aviary where I can keep my owl?
8. Spill something
This is otherwise known as the the Chappelle Method: You’ve been polite. You’ve told them no. They continue to press.
All the gloves are off. Simply reach over to the nearest pitcher of complimentary beverage and “accidentally” turn it over. As soon as the liquid hits the floor, yell “scatter,” and it’s every man for himself.
7. Fake a near-death experience
I’m coming Elizabeth!
Again, after the agreed upon time, stand up and clutch your chest – preferably over your heart.
Declare authoritatively that it’s the big one and beginning talking to loved ones in the great beyond. “I’m coming home, mama. I see the light.” Stagger out the door, down the hallway telling everyone you meet you left your “pills” in the car.
6. Lawyer up
Tell them you are keen on the idea but will not sign anything until your legal team has seen the paperwork which you’d be happy to take to their office right now. If they ask the name of the firm, it’s Dewey, Cheatem and Howe.
5. Get loud
Be perfectly polite. Ask legitimate questions. Be friendly and responsive but get louder and louder each time you talk. Claim your hearing aid is dying.
Appear very positive about the idea.
Ask repeatedly that if, instead of cash, they’d be willing to barter. Ask how much a particular unit would be in cordwood.
When they say they can’t trade for wood, offer to sweeten the pot with sacks of hazelnuts and up to six good breeding hens and a rooster that you guarantee is especially randy.
Promise they can make their money back in eggs in eight months to a year.
3. Hint at your jailbird status
Ask if the contract can include a stipulation that if the Feds can ever make anything stick and you have to go away for a while, the contract can be voided since you’ll be unable to visit.
Assure the representative it’s not a big deal because the charges are “bull” anyway.
Repeatedly try to get the other people in the presentation to begin a rousing rendition of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” in the round.
“99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” will also work.
1. Ask about restraining orders
Ask how far the timeshare is from the aquarium, explain that the restraining order requires you to be at least 1,000 yards away from any captive fish and or sea turtles at all times.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this tongue-in-cheek list of ways to get out of a timeshare presentation in the Smokies. Have you recently experienced a timeshare presentation you regret?
Let us know how you got out of it in the comments!