Charlottesville, Virginia
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Just over a year ago while shopping at Bass Pro Shop someone offered us a vacation deal with Bluegreen Vacations. Of course, this is a timeshare deal, so we would be obligated to sit through a presentation of approximately 2 hours. Our cost at the time was $99 for a four night stay at Shenandoah Crossing in their RV park. We also received a $25 hour Bass Pro gift card that we used on the way out. Fast forward almost a year (you have a year to use your vacation) and I booked our dates online - an easy process. Not long after we had some issues with our RV and could not make the dates booked. I was told that you cannot change your reservation unless you paid additional fees. Once I explained our situation the agent said no problem and cancelled our reservation and said to just book when we were ready. There were a few issues preventing me from rebooking until the expiration date. When I tried online all dates were not available. I called an agent and found my mistake. You needed to book and take your vacation by the expiration date - I thought I just needed to book by that date. She said no problem. Since I called, she said she would extend the deadline and book my reservation for the dates I wanted. Great customer service. We arrived last Wednesday and were surprised how nice the RV sites were. Definitely the largest we ever had. Yesterday was the sales pitch. When we arrived, we had to fill out a short form and then met with the sales rep. who was assigned to us. He took us to a room with four other couples where we were given a presentation by another employee. She asked right up front, "Everyone knows that this is a sales pitch, right?" We all did, but she wanted to make it clear. She also said that this was a low pressure pitch and that they would rather have someone leave happy and tell two people then have them leave unhappy and tell 10 people. She further said that if we didn't buy anything that it was alright and wished us well. This presentation took about an hour, but I did not really check. We were then turned back over to our sales rep. for the real sales pitch. I have never been to one of these events, but I heard all the horror stories. Generally, the process was a short tour (the resort is huge with many amenities). Though he knew we were RVers, he was obligated to show us a cabin and a yurt. Back at the office we talked with several people, but at no time did we feel pressured. We did not purchase any program since we felt it did not meet our RV life style. In addition, while looking at the next 10 years, we would see a savings, but at 66 years of age, I might not be doing this in 10 years. In general terms, and my opinion, this program seems better suited for people staying in physical structures. Once we said we did not want any of their offered programs, our rep. said fine and that he understands. He took us to an office, where we received two more $25 Bass Pro gift cards, shook our hands and wished us well. We left exactly 2 1/2 hours after we arrived. So, for giving up 2 1/2 hours of our time we got four nights in an RV site on a resort. Our costs were the original $99 plus the $18 and change we had to pay for taxes - say a total of $120. We received $75 in gift cards, so our net was $45. Not a bad deal.

Finally, just a couple things that are just my opinion. As they say - Your results may vary.

Remember, they are trying to sell you a timeshare. It's an offer - don't feel pressured to buy.

Look at your vacationing lifestyle - currently and in the future. If their programs don't fit, don't buy.

Do the math. Does it make financial sense based on your typical usage.

Be realistic. If you work you probably have limited vacation time. Also, if you have children in school you need to work around their schedules. Some people with timeshares become upset because they cannot book a Disney Resort during Christmas Week. Everyone is trying to book at the same time. Again, in my opinion, these types of programs work best when you are retired and have a great deal of flexibility.

Product or Service Mentioned: Bluegreen Resorts Vacation Ownership.

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