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Shell Vacation Club - Discrimination and Duplicity

I'm on vacation in Hawaii, visiting a (male) friend who works here at one of the military bases. I'm downtown and obviously just "touristing" and a young man asks if I'm interested in a Luau or Whale-watching trip - which I am. I'm alone all day and looking for fun things to do.

So, the first thing he asks is if I'm married and I say "no, I'm visiting a friend who works at the base and I'm not with anyone". Then he says he works for Shell Vacation Club timeshares and he can give me free tickets to a Luau and a day-trip to go snorkling for sitting in on a presentation. Well, it just so happens that my sister has 3 RCI timeshares and has told me that the presentations are great, the gifts good, and since my kids have finally moved away from home, I was actually open to the idea of finding a timeshare, so I said "Yes." So, then the young man goes through a list of questions, my salary, am I homeowner, etc. Then he has to go pass this info on to his supervisor and get a confirmation # for the next day's presentation - all told, probably 35-40 mins of talk and waiting.

SO, I get up the next morning, get dressed and go to the hotel where the presentation is being held. There is already quite a large group gathered, I'm obviously alone because the receptionist immediately asks me to step over to a different person. This person, who does not identifiy herself immediately says, "Are you traveling alone?" I said, "I'm visiting a friend that works here and he's at work" She then says (with an attitude already started),"Well in order to give you any gifts, your friend will have to attend with you or you can sit through the presentation and IF YOU BUY, we will give you gifts but we don't process individuals unless both parties attend".

I was taken-aback. I'm 43, have a secure job, own my own home, have raised two kids single-handedly and she's saying that I'don't qualify' because my friend isn't there holding my hand?!?! Then she got very snippy and just kept repeating that "that was the policy." I pointed out that their paperwork expressly says they don't discriminate based on marital status or household situation.

She basically made a scene of going to get my $20 deposit back and kept saying over and over, if you are visiting someone then they have to attend or you don't qualify. When I said, I'm on my own, financially able, not needing the assistant of my friend. She just kept repeating her mantra. Then, while I was standing there, she called the young man's boss that has signed me up and complained that they had sent her a "single, who was visiting". So I asked her if they did not sell to single people and she said, Yes, we sell to single people if they are traveling on their own.

How much BS. What a rude, obnoxious group of people!!!! I will eventually buy a timeshare but it would never be with this company and it makes me angry that they can get away with that kind of behaviour!



0 #4 Amanda Hayden 2009-04-20 14:05
I can empathize with your annoyance at those people- my husband and I were subjected to a similarly annoying experience in Cancun. If you are interested in buying a timeshare, we want to sell ours. We just don't use it, we travel everywhere in our camper. We bought 105,000 points from Fairfield, now Wyndham. We can trade through Interval International, and our points qualify as one week, high demand time, in a one bedroom unit. We used it once in Ft. Myers and it was great. Anyway, I am willing to consider any offer. Let me know if you are interested.
0 #3 Guest 2009-04-20 14:03
I'm terribly sorry to hear of your experience! We will ensure to stay clear of the "Shell Vacations". My partner and I are always going to these timeshare pitches and have had our moments, but none so abusive! I'm truly sorry for your experience. Timeshare Marketer's spend thousands to bring folks in to sell the dream... the woman you ran into must have been a)new b)hungry and/or c)losing the internal promo competition. And just as a note: one of the best plans I know is to find a red week/points at auction and trade it on the RCI or Interval Systems. I own timeshares that exchange on both systems, and Interval seems to have consistantly more upscale resorts, but RCI seems to have so many more options. I too am interested in selling my 21,000 points with BlueGreen resorts, (Keys, FL) though fabulous, I bought this with IRA funds am unable to use it personally and they changed their Rental Management program that makes it very complicated to work with as an IRA fund. But I'd recommend finding a "home" resort that is close to you... times and things change and sometimes driving to a place can allow you to take that well deserved vacation and still remain on a budget. Oh yes, and ensure your taxes and maintenance fees at your home resort are reasonable. All the resorts trade similiarly, no matter the taxes/maintenan ce fees you pay. I'm pretty sure you won't run into the same scenario... HIGH pressure sales, yes, but this abusiveness was way out of line. I'm glad you let us all be aware of Shell Vacations.
0 #2 Guest 2009-04-20 14:03
That is a bunch of crap! Sorry to put it like that but you do not need to be married and the guy sending you had to get an approval in order for you to go in the first place. Did he put that your friend would be attending on it or something? My brother is single and well to do, he went on several presentations by himself before making his purchase. He had 1 problem when they said his wife must attend, but I think it was because he was still married at the time. They had to give him the gifts anyway, that is the rule. Unless you lie to them and say "I make $100,000 a year and then get there and say $10,000" Sure they don't want you there, how can you afford one!! If they denied you your deposit that isn't allowed either, if they say you can't take the tour that is their doing and they must return it. The man who sent you is responsible to eat the gifts himself and the resort must go after him for sending you, like I said in the first place. You are still entitled to those gifts and since you may no longer be there, they have to compensate you. I would get in touch with the Shell Vacation club and be persistant. Make sure you document everything and everybody has a boss(keep going higher) I would put a complaint on that b---- and make her apoligize to you. They are lucky is wasn't me because I would have probably caused the scene after that. If you don't want to go through the hastle just keep doing what you are and telling people how they treat clients or potential clients. Just don't get in trouble for slandor, just watch what you say. You have me on your side and from now on I will remember that company and will tell people be careful!! Good luck!!
0 #1 Guest 2009-04-20 14:02
Thanks! I did contact a person at their main Hawaiian office who did at least listen to what I had happen and then said she would "elevate" it but she has not contacted me since then to let me know the outcome of their inquiry or to provide me with a 'gift' for my inconvenience (no surprise). I'm home now and will look elsewhere when I'm ready. There is a lot of good information on this site and I've been reading up!

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