Where does the good go

The cure for what ails you

I make terrible decisions.

I really do, this is not up for debate. However, in some thirty plus years of not only making terrible decisions, but KNOWING I make terrible decisions, there has been one comforting thought: Whatever you choose will be wrong. So just choose.

And I do.

Thus it was that, about a year ago, I got a phone call. Unemployed, bored and somewhat cabin feverish, I answered.

(Terrible decision number one, answering a call from an unrecognized number in the middle of the day.)

I listened for a while. Something about a reward for being something or another. I thought it was Harrah’s, since I was a diamond cardholder at the time.

Just say no thank you and hang up whispered the monster in my head.

I got half way through head monster’s plan of action, when the voice on the other end of the phone interrupted me.

“No, this won’t cost you anything! It’s completely free. Is there anyplace you’ve always wanted to go?”


“In America?”

He began listing places and said “New Orleans.”

“Actually, I was thinking I wanted to go to New Orleans.”

“Great. I can offer you four days and three nights in New Orleans for free.”

I SAID HANG UP head monster growled.

Shh, head monster, I’m GOING TO NEW ORLEANS *FOR FREE!*

So, I readily agree to take my free New Orleans trip, say goodbye to my salesman — who informs me to stay on the line while he transfers me to my “relationship specialist” to finalize the details for my free New Orleans trip.

“Cool, thanks!”

After speaking with my relationship specialist for a few moments, he informs me that due to New York State laws, they cannot actually offer me the New Orleans trip. The Attorney General has restricted the destinations to the following eight places. He starts to list these places.



“Did you say Orlando,” my mouth monster asks.

“Yes,” my relationship specialist replies.

“Is that where Disney World is?”


“Okay, I’ll do that one.”

“Great, I’ll just need a credit card number…”

(If you’ve ever watched the Simpsons, this is the scene where Homer’s brain promptly floats away.)

My relationship specialist explains that they have to ensure that people come, and I’ll also be getting a $100 american express card for coming down. And a number of $100 hotel vouchers good for my stay anywhere. I was not to worry, everything would end up being free, just right now it would cost me $109. But I was not to worry, he was insistent on that. `

With my pesky brain monster now off drinking wine somewhere, I complied.

Some more stuff happens here, including my getting transferred to something called the fraud compliance department where I had to verbally confirm that I understood that this was a sales presentation and that the salesmen had not promised me anything that I was not getting.

“Um… well, he said I could go to New Orleans, but now I’m going to Orlando instead.”

“Oh, yes. We see that. We apologize. That’s your state’s consumer protection law at work. However, to make up for the mixup, how about I offer you a four day, three night stay at our Myrtle Beach property for just $90 more.”

Now, had my pesky brain monster still been in the room, I might have said “what is the New York AG’s office trying to protect me from?” or “I thought this was free?”

Instead, I said:

Less than a week later, I received a packet of information about my “free” trips. However, the day after receiving the “free” trips phone call, I had gotten hired for another job starting immediately. All the free time that would be spent traveling to Orlando, vanished in that instant.

Fast forward ten months, I discovered that packet while going through documents in preparation for refinancing my mortgage (its own disaster tale for another day) and I noticed that the trips were only good for a year!

WHAT THE WHAT? I looked for the company’s refund policy, I believe “LOL” is their official stance.


I quickly called and set up a reservation for May to go to Orlando. I decided to bring my mother. (Again, bad decisions make I.) The trip was all set. Then I looked into setting up the Myrtle Beach trip. Well, it turns out that unless I purchase a unit during my Orlando trip (which I ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY WOULD NOT DO! NU UH. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. RIGHT? RIGHTH?), I had to wait SIX months before going on the Myrtle Beach trip.


Not to mention to damn New York Attorney General’s office being COMPLETELY ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL and not protecting its consumers from these telephonic predators!!

I’m going to write a letter to the President.

Since this post is already tl;dr, I’ll save the Orlando story for monday! Also, hopefully I would have uploaded the pictures from my camera by then!

12 Responses to “The cure for what ails you”

  1. Classick Material Says:

    This is every “how we got stuck with this timeshare” story ever told, only over the phone. I believe the word you’re looking for is “hoodwinked”. Hope you enjoyed Orlando, if you went.

  2. Dawn Summers Says:


  3. Dan M Says:

    Moral of the story: Nothing is really free.


  4. Grange95 Says:

    The key takeaway is that you talked to a “relationship specialist” and instead of a dashing Zac Efron doppleganger, they set you up with a timeshare condo. Your bad decision was not holding out for the Zac timeshare.

  5. Dawn Summers Says:

    For real. Don’t answer the damn phone, bro. I’m serious.

  6. Gib Says:

    When I get home tonight, I am going to, without a word, smash every phone in the house with a hammer. When my wife wants to know what the seven hells has gotten into me, I will refer her to this post. If I get into any trouble, it will be your fault.

    Yes. This is a good plan.

  7. RedxBranch Says:

    Holy Cow! It never ceases to Amaze me that you are a LAWYER! Has anyone ever successfully sold you the Brooklyn Bridge? Seriously, though, it takes a lot of mental toughness to sit through a time share pitch and politely but firmly say “no thank you” over and over for an hour or more. (Btw, is your new Orlando condo a 1 or 2 bedroom?)

  8. Dawn Summers Says:

    hahahahahahahaha I. HATE. YOU. Aaanndd… they don’t sell ’em like that anymore. It’s a POINTS system now! *runs*

  9. Petitedov Says:

    grange for the win comment. Gib you’ve been married how long? you know that sh*t don’t work….

  10. Consi Says:

    I took the trip to Vegas.

  11. Clareified » Blog Archive » Orlando adventure in three parts Says:

    […] Part I […]

  12. timeshare cancel Says:

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