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BlueGreen Vacation deals/ sale pitch/ scam...

Which Wisconsin Dells hotels are on sale?
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Chicago, Illinois
posts: 34
reviews: 43
BlueGreen Vacation deals/ sale pitch/ scam...

Well I guess it's not really a scam....but they are a little sneaky.

Here is the story about what happened to us. So I know there are a lot of these supposed great deals flying around out there - a lot of them come from the Bass Pro shops, and others at various trade shows. All offering a great 2 night vacation at the Wisconsin Dells - for only $99!! There's a variety of things they promise you such as visa gift cards, dining certificates, etc. Then after they suck you in, they say "all you have to do is go on a short 90 minute bus ride around their property at Christmas Mountain.". Well that's what the guy told us who sucked us in. And other people I talked to who got the same deal were told the same thing and one couple weren't even told about the tour they'd have to go on!

So we book out 2 night vacation and we're told if we don't show up, we get billed the entire price of the full price of what our stay would have cost at the going rate. We get out to the welcome center where we are told to check in and they ask for our ID's and credit card. We give them our credit/debit card which is the only one we use and it was also the one we paid the $99 with at the booth at the trade show. The guy said the card was fine to use. But apparantly it was not! They needed a major credit card, not a debit/credit card, cause they want to be able to check our credit in case we want to buy into their program at the tour the next day. ERGH. I do have a major credit card but I haven't used it in ages and I don't plan to use it. It was at home. I called my bank and they were able to give me the credit card number and expiry date but that wasnt good enough for them. They then told us we could still stay at the hotel but we'd have to pay full price and we couldn't go on the tour so we wouldn't get any of the free gifts we were promised. We were so upset! After driving all this way, taking the time off, and now we were going to have to pay even more. Finally after calling all kinds of supervisors, the girl said if I could access my bank account online and print out something showing my visa card account was active, then they'd accept that. Since it's an account I rarely use, I had to call the bank again to reset my login info for online banking and all that took about half an hour. They did let me use their computer there and print it out. But it ended up taking us 2 hours to sort everything out! We didn't get to our hotel until after 6pm so the day was gone already and then they couldn't get us scheduled for a tour until noon the next day - our only day there and a big chunk of it would be taken up at this tour. They said if we didn't show up for the tour, then we'd be charged the full price of the entire trip. Geez!

So we packed as much as we could into our one day. We got up super early to ride the duck tours, play mini golf then we were at the tour place by 11:30 as we didn't want to be late and get charged for anything. Our "90 min bus tour" was actually a 90 minute slideshow presentation in a small stuffy room. Repetitive and boring. THEN after that, each couple/family was assigned to a sales person who tried to get us to sign up. We told her numerous times we were not in the position to sign up right now, that we own our own business and don't have time to travel, etc. She called her supervisor over and he tried even harder. We finally told them that if we ever want to go on vacation or have time to, then we are able to use my inlaws Disney club vacation points. They at first didn't know how to top that, cause how do you top something that's free?? But they still tried and I was started to get pissed off cause now they were just wasting our time, as we said so many time we weren't interested. They even insisted that we go for a short tour of the property and see one of the townhomes and we ended up having to take our salesgirl in our own car for the tour so we didn't have to wait for the bus. It was very weird. Also I'm 8.5 months pregnant which she knew about all along and I was like "ok, we were told it was only 90 minutes and we've been here over 2 hours, I really need to go get some food" and she said "oh, well I have some M&M's" and I said "no thanks, I mean real food". and she ended up keeping us almost another hour!! So 3 hours of our day had been wasted. We did get the $50 visa card as promised but we were told to only use it at gift stores as if we try using it at restaurants then they hold back 20% for gratuity. Then we got a $100 dining dough certificate as promised as well, but there was only 1 restaurant within 30 miles that we could use it at! So they told us to take it home to Chicago with us as we might have better luck finding a restaurant closer to us there.

So yes they were pushy. I wish they had just listened to us in the first place and we would have been out of there an hour and a half earlier. They were really friendly, but again, pushy.

We did love the hotel we got to stay at, the Chula Vista Resort and we'd love to go back there again one day. The rest of our trip was great, but dealing with all the BlueGreen people was the only frustrating part.

33 replies to this topic
Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
posts: 8,720
reviews: 59
1. Re: BlueGreen Vacation deals/ sale pitch/ scam...

These time share presentations have been around forever and it sounds like the high pressure sales techniques have not changed all that much. The moral of the story to me is don't expect something for nothing.

There is a separate forum on Trip Advisor for time share vacations. I've never read it because I have zero interest in time shares, but I bet there are lots of stories like this one.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,825
reviews: 25
2. Re: BlueGreen Vacation deals/ sale pitch/ scam...

I'm sure somewhere in what you got and/or signed, you were told the promo offer was for the purpose of marketing a timeshare property.

What you experienced is standard in the industry, and with Bluegreen Resorts and the Bass Pro Shops promo. (I have done that same "deal" from a Bass Pro Shops in Wmsburg, VA for a stay in Branson.)

Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
posts: 8,720
reviews: 59
3. Re: BlueGreen Vacation deals/ sale pitch/ scam...

Was it worth it?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,825
reviews: 25
4. Re: BlueGreen Vacation deals/ sale pitch/ scam...

Are you asking me Przyk?

Yes, if you know what you're doing and stay strong in your resolve to say no, yes it is worth it. As a timeshare owner, I've taken more than 25 of these types of sale promo trips.

Virginia
posts: 3
reviews: 18
5. Re: BlueGreen Vacation deals/ sale pitch/ scam...

We just did the Bluegreen timeshare presentation at the Dells also. Maybe we were lucky, but we were told in advance what to bring and what we would get. In this case it was a discounted stay at Chula Vista Resort for three nights in exchange for their "90-120 minute" timeshare presentation. Of course, they schedule it for the first full day you are there, and the only available times are 11 AM or 1 PM, so it's hard to plan anything else that day.

Chula Vista itself had a nice park and the people were friendly, but the rooms and halls were a bit dingy and in need of modernization. I'll have to post on that place separately.

As far as the timeshare presentation went, we showed up a little early. They checkin was pretty smooth. They had a play area and sitters for children. We first went into a small theater or lecture hall (strongly air-conditioned) for a slideshow and presentation, which lasted about an hour. Then we were assigned a sales agent who showed us some numbers and took us on a tour. They could easily have explained their information in a lot less time, but the agent showed us the grounds and drove us around a lot to kill time. They got right up to that two-hour mark. Maybe they sensed that I had a few surprises up my sleeve, but they did sign us out at two hours.

If you do go, check the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services website for timeshare regulations. Specifically, the state prohibits presentations from exceeding the promised length, and also prohibits sellers from saying that an offer is good that day only. The site also has a complaint form to report violators. Also, check discount web pages like Priceline and Hotwire as well as timeshare rental sites like TUG or sellmytimesharenow.com for rentals that are far cheaper than purchasing a timeshare or vacation club plan. Have printouts with you. Maybe the papers in my hand scared these guys off, but we saw other couples getting a whole lot more harassment than we got.

Mount Pleasant...
posts: 1
6. Re: BlueGreen Vacation deals/ sale pitch/ scam...

yep you shouldn't be so greedy for free stuff, nothing is for free.

How in the world do you think people are just going to give free hotel nights and gift cards away? C'mon!

7. Re: BlueGreen Vacation deals/ sale pitch/ scam...

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Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,825
reviews: 25
8. Re: BlueGreen Vacation deals/ sale pitch/ scam...

Joe you know not what you speak of. Actually, I was a PAID mystery shopper for several years, working on behalf of the industry!

Additionally, as a long time owner in the Wyndham system, they practically hijack owners & guests to do their owners' updates, paying some sort of premium to get you to attend.

Sorry but you are barking up the wrong tree here!

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,825
reviews: 25
9. Re: BlueGreen Vacation deals/ sale pitch/ scam...

P.S. Welcome to Trip Advisor Joe!

Virginia
posts: 3
reviews: 18
10. Re: BlueGreen Vacation deals/ sale pitch/ scam...

I agree that nothing is free. However, those of us who agreed to the tour kept our end of the bargain. For the timeshare salespeople to keep an 8.5 month pregnant woman like that for three hours is really abusive. I hope she filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. Remember, know what the timeshare people expect, but also know your rights!

TimeshareVon, we have also done the mystery shop thing. It's a lot of fun!

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