Bronson, Michigan
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16 comments

This past June, my husband and I went with our four young children to the "Fishing Store" (a.k.a. Bass Pro Shop) in Columbia, Missouri. While there, we were approached by a salesman named Brian, who enthusiastically invited us to enjoy a luxurious family vacation at the Bass Pro Shop's premier resort in Branson, MIssouri. For just $59 up-front, we could enjoy two nights' accommodations at Big Cedar resort. PLUS we would receive two $25 Bass Pro Shops gift cards! The only catch was, that we must agree to attend a 90-minute tour of Big Cedar resort during our stay so that we could "see how great it was" and "tell our friends all about it". We took the bait, coughed up the 59 bucks and scheduled our resort vacation. We picked the first weekend in October for the trip.

The time for our much-anticipated vacation finally arrived. We followed our G.P.S. to the address on our reservation confirmation letter, which took us through downtown Branson and led us straight to....the Radisson? What? This can't be right. Where's Big Cedar Lodge? This looks nothing like the website. Where's the horseback riding? Where's the lake with the canoes? Where's the mini-golf course? Where are the heated pools? No, this certainly was not a mountain resort lodge. This was a downtown Radisson hotel, with nothing but a few landscaping rocks and bushes for scenery. We were perplexed.

My husband pulled out his cell phone and dialed the phone number the salesman at Bass Pro gave us. The woman who answered the phone said that the particular salesman who sold us the vacation no longer works there. We spoke with a supervisor. The supervisor said that he was sorry about the "misunderstanding", but while the 90-minute time share presentation was indeed at the Big Cedar Resort, our accommodations were at the Radisson in downtown Branson. Woah. We certainly were not expecting that. Nothing had ever been mentioned about our accommodations being anywhere but at Big Cedar. What a disappointment! Now, don't get me wrong. The Radisson is a nice hotel. We probably would have been fine staying there if we hadn't already spent months perusing Big Cedar's website, making plans and telling our kids all about fishing at the lake, swimming in the heated pool and playing mini-golf for three days and two nights. What was there to do at the Radisson?

Since the manager at Bass Pro couldn't help us, we decided to try the Bluegreen employees at the Radisson. We explained to the nice ladies at the desk all about the dishonest salesman at Bass Pro, and how we had a very clear understanding that we were supposed to be actually staying at the Big Cedar Resort, not just touring it. The sympathetic desk-workers were determined to make things right, and managed to find us a room at the Roaring River Lodge at the Big Cedar Resort! What a relief! Now we were ready to begin our vacation!

Our 90-minute tour was scheduled to begin at 12:30 the next day. There was a supervised play area provided for our oldest three children to stay in while we attended the presentation with our 1-year-old daughter. We started out in a little room full of people where a sales rep named Keith told us all about the points program, and how we could use our points to stay at any Bluegreen resort, or exchange them to use at countless other worldwide resorts and cruise lines. Everything sounded great, and my husband and I were both getting excited about the idea of "vacation ownership". We were then handed over to our own personal tour guide named Michael Scott (no, seriously, that was his name) who showed us a couple of lodge rooms and told us what everything would cost. The 90-minutes we were planning to spend on the "tour" came and went and we were still hearing the pitch. TWO AND A HALF HOURS LATER...we were finally done, only after saying "no" to as many different "final offers" as one might expect to hear from a used car salesman. It was really rather infuriating. Even though my husband and I both kind of liked the "point" system that allowed members to stay at different resorts all over the world at any time of the year, what we didn't like, was that the "charter" that would allow us to use the "points" the way we wanted to, was only effective if we agreed to buy into the program THAT DAY. If we waited until we were actually able to go home and think things over, or until a little later down road when we had paid off some of our student loans, we would lose the ability to stay at any of the other resorts and we would only be able to vacation at Big Cedar. So, even if we might have been tempted to invest in Bluegreen's system of "vacation ownership", the mere fact that they were pressuring us to buy in now or never was enough to turn us off entirely. It didn't help either that the offer kept getting better and better each time we said "no". Points that started out costing over $3 a piece dropped in price to $2, then $1, and finally we were offered to enter into a "trial period" where we could purchase 9,000 single-use "trial" points for $900 with the option to buy into the ownership program at any time during the next 12 months and still get the charter to use points at other resorts....oh wait....but earlier he said that if we didn't buy TODAY there was NO WAY we could ever get the Charter. The entire sales pitch was completely misleading. From the first representative at Bass Pro who told us we were going on a promotional tour and staying at Big Cedar, all the way down to the last offer that Michael Scott put on the table, we felt that we were intentionally being deceived. Michael kept saying that he didn't want to pressure us to buy, but then he would get up and talk to his "supervisor" and come back with a bigger and better offer, pretending like he was surprised at how great the offer was. How *** does he think we are, really? It was offensive. I honestly believe that we would have been much more likely to buy into the program if we had actually gotten a 90-minute tour of the grounds and amenities, not just a cheesy sales presentation, and if we had been allowed time to consider our finances, and talk to other people who had invested with Bluegreen. The product sounds really good, and the system of "points" is appealing. Why must they go and ruin it all by trying to milk people for all that they can get and flat out lie to them about what they can or can't get in a package? It's infuriating.

My recommendation: Say what you mean and mean what you say. Put everything on the table up front. Give people their options, including the year "trial" period, if they want, and then allow them time to think about it. If it's really a good product, they will want it as much tomorrow as they do today. Then, maybe you won't have to crank 100 people a day through cheesy, insincere presentations in order to get a sale.

Product or Service Mentioned: Bluegreen Resorts Vacation Ownership.

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Anonymous
#302732

Tell it like it is is wrong they do not increase the number of points each ownership is linked to a deed which is held in trust by BGVC if you bought in 2003 then in 2011 that unit still uses the same number of points

Anonymous
#302240

My wife and I did the Bluegreen program via BPS in Branson this past weekend. We were displeased at the choice to put us at the Radisson. We understood why. We were told we would still be able to use services at Big Cedar duing our visit. Good thing we decided it was not right for us.......They would not rent us a boat, since we were not lucky enough to stay on-site.

So, went down the road, rented a boat at the State Marina. Only caught 1 fish.

Needless to say, we were not impressed with Branson, it is not a vacation for us. Here we come Northern Minnesota. They didn't get our money, so we can continue to vacation as we have in the past!!!!

Stand strong and only stay in the timeshare if it is right for you!

Anonymous
#230226

Timeshare used to be sold as weeks, you got 7d/7n every year. Then to "help" the client they created points, not.

If points were so good why doesnt it take 7 points to stay 7 nights, its a scam, it allows the resorts to always have something to sell. If they run out of inventory, they raise the number of points it takes to stay at the resort, so what do you do Buy more points.

It allows them to raise maint fees on the points, and think about it, If I want to go to Big Cedar Mon thru Thurs and you want to go Wed thru Sat, one of us is going to be dissappointed. Points do not work as well as they say.

If you bought in and would like to get out of it do what I did and contact this guy www.timesharetricks.blogspot.com We got out of our Falls Village Tshare

Anonymous
#80295

My wife and I went to a "90 minute" presentation in Pigeon Forge this past weekend. 3 hours later we were finally finished.

They schedule your "presentation" at 11 AM and keep you knowing you will get hungry and figure you'll sign-up with them just to get out, so eat well before going or take some snack bars with you. They also tell you that they are making this one-time offer today and can't offer it to you in the future since that would be discrimmination - still can't figure that one out. Had one bozo during the presentation try to argue with the narrator that it would actually be "reverse discrimmination" - can't figure that one out either. Anyway, we told them early on we were not interested but no matter, the pressure was intense (as we expected).

First we were one of the "lucky few" who got the opportunity to purchase 20,000 points for only $30,000. When we said no, we then got the opportunity to purchase 5,000 points for $8,900 (wow, our salesman said she was surprised that we were offered this price since that was last years price and they had gone up). Finally, we were offered the "sampler" package for only $995. We inquired if we could think about it and get their card but were told that they had no cards and we had to decide then.

Fat chance I'm giving them anywhere between $995 - $30,000 on a whim!!! I finally told them it would be irresponsible for us to spend that type of money with some long hard thought, at which point our session finally ended. This may be a good program but by God I will decide when and if to buy, not them.

If you go to one of these presentations, remember, the pressure is intense but YOU still are in control of your money. They may try to make you feel bad about leaving but also remember, you will never see these people again so let THEM feel bad when they don't get YOUR money!!!

Anonymous
#69447

Did the sales presentation in Gatlinburg. Exactly as described.

Agreed to 90 minutes, the took three hours of our day. If you are serious about buying, turn the first offer down. They cut the price in half with their second offer.

Or better yet, use the money you would have paid BlueGreen to eliminate all your debt and use the interest savings to pay cash for you vacation. Then you can visit anywhere you like!

Anonymous
#61168

i actually like most of my experience owning in bluegreen.my wife and i go to the places we want if they are avalible.we actually went to 2 timeshare presentations throgh bluegreen before we bought.first to falls village in branson where we had an obnoxious salesmen.second about 6 months later to big cedar where we bought into being owners.i'm not going to lie sometimes we can't get to go where we want sometimes we do.what i don't like about it is the ***-artist salesmen,who DO lie to get you to buy more points.they find whatever means they can to make you feel bad so you buy more points.many time the salesmen say"i am in the same situaltion as you i have the same amount of points so i know what you need".like i said overall i am satisfied with my timeshare,but i do not like the salesmens misleading sales pitches.

Anonymous
#54528

Same exact experience...kept us 10 am - 2 pm with 3 hungry cranky children - completely blew our plans for the day. We to were initially interested but turned off by the whole cheesy sales pitch.

If it's a good product - it would sell itself. I will NOT make a big financial committment within that short amount of time!

AND - if you had the trial offer available - put it on the table - up front and honest and let me try before I buy! I am not ***, nor was I born yesterday!

Anonymous
#50816

If you buy the sampler you lock in the offer given to you including the charter membership for up to a year. I purchased a sampler and went to Big Cedar several times before purchasing to make sure it was what I wanted to do.

Since I locked my previous offer in when buying the sampler I was able to purchase points just the same as if it was my first day.

I agree the sampler can be a little misleading but alot of the complaints on this website are bogus and are mostly due to people making uninformed decisions.

If you purchase a sampler don't expect for a cabin to be available anytime you want to go. Even for members who are given priority to sampler members they are hard to come by unless you plan ahead.

Anonymous
#46746

2 years ago we purchased a sampler and spent a week at Daytona Beach shores. Because of an illness, we actually were a week over the date to take the trip but the people at Bluegreen worked with us to make the trip possible.

The Sea Breeze was wonderful, and everyone with Bluegreen was great. We actually bought while we were there that week. We have been back for the last 2 spring trips we have taken. We have also dealt with the Bluegreen office in Hershey, PA and again have had no complaints.

We do not feel that Bluegreen is any more "high-pressure" than any of the other time share presentations that we have been to, (and we have been to quite a few.) The point system is versitile and makes it possible to fit into a lot of vacation situations. We take 2 week long vacations each year, and sometimes fit in a couple of long weekends, too.

Anonymous
#44858

We weren't about to commit to anything long-term and don't like pressure sales, either, but I thought the sampler a good deal and it's a one-time, flat-rate committment so we went for it. Although personally I never believe the "do it today or you've lost your chance forever" routine - either the deal is unsavory, or if it's legit, all I have to do is sign up for the routine another time and I'll be offered roughly the same thing the next time.

We are planning to buy into Bluegreen eventually, unless something in our Sampler experience is dreadful (which hasn't been the case thus far), but I think the sales approach costs them more customers than they realize.

Anonymous
#43531

SAME exact thing happened to us in Gatlinburg, TN. I've heard better from used car salesmen. I was born at night, but not LAST NIGHT

Anonymous
Nettetal, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany #41921

Paula dear,

I do not work for Bluegreen They do not have an office in the UK and why would I want to take over your payments when I can buy on the resale market for 40 cents a point with full benefits

By the way I have put my money where my mouth is since we now have 36000 points and are gold members.

How many points do you have?

So paula dear I do know what I am talking about.

Anonymous
#41873

In response to "bluegreen owner". Sorry to inform you, but, I do know how to use this "product".

Since you are so happy with Bluegreen, I'll sell you my points - take over payments!

Bet you don't like it that much. Put your money where your mouth is!!

(Just curious - what is your position in the Bluegreen Corp?)

Anonymous
#41869

My wife and I just got back from the Bass Pro BlueGreen sales pitch at Big Cedar. I have the exact same complaints.

2 hours to make a 10,000 - 30,000 decision or you don't get all of the charter benefits? That's like going to buy a car, the salesman gives you that story about this price is only today. That's garbage and a high pressure tactic. That in itself turns me off regardless of what is being sold at what price.

By using that tactic, in 2 hours they turned someone who had some interest in the product into someone who is not considering it at all. They shot themselves in the foot from my viewpoint. My conclusion must be that if they have to resort to such tactics, the product must be too good to be true.

I've been a Bass Pro customer for many years. Shame on Bass Pro for hooking up with a low-life company like BlueGreen.

Anonymous
Nettetal, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany #40084

Paula,

it is obvious you dont know how to use the product you bought

Bobbiejanette,

best advice is to join the bg group on yahoo and ask any questions the sampler package is a good idea to see if you like the product I will tell you now that there are a few restrictions on time and places you can use that package but then it is only a taste of things to come

Anonymous
#39870

Be glad that you were smart enough to say "NO". My husband and I were suckered in a few years ago. If ever you want to buy into Bluegreen - we'll sell you ours!!

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