This article is for anyone that has been the victim of verbal abuse at the hands of greedy and unscrupulous sales people. Not all sales people are like the one in the following story but you should be aware that they are out there and how to deal with them. This is what happened to us.
We went to one of those Time Share package vacations over the weekend, three days/two nights on the beach in Florida. The only stipulation was we had to listen to a 90 minute presentation. There was no obligation to buy whatsoever. They had gotten my wife's cell number somehow and had been hounding us for months to do it so we finally said let's go and have a fun weekend on the beach. We got there on Friday afternoon and had a lovely time at the hotel pool. Early next morning we woke up and walked across the street to the presentation. What follows is what happened. It hasn't been embellished or altered in any way.
The place was in an outdoor shopping center and it looked really nice. There was a sharply dressed man at the door greeting families as they came in. He did the same to us, warmly making comments on what lovely boys we had - we have two very well-behaved boys ages 8 and 3 - as he opened the door and showed us where to sign in. As soon as we did so, a nice man (our salesman) came up and introduced himself. He was going to be giving us our presentation. We noticed a large indoor play area through a large glass window with children inside. He ushered us to a door next to it. In that room was a small meeting auditorium with several seats all facing a wall with a screen. The room was pretty full with couples that had already signed in. As we walked in a large man said in a rather gruff tone "There's no room for children." My wife replied without pause, "They'll sit on our laps." We could hear him grumble under his breath but he said nothing else.
At the front of the room a small, well-dress man was talking to the crowd. He was very funny and making everyone at ease. It seemed more like watching a comedy show than a time share presentation. He was very nice and poked fun at members of the audience but light-heartedly. During this, he made light of the fact that many of us were just here for the weekend package with no intention of buying. He said he understood that and didn't blame us. He said the only thing he hoped we wouldn't be was a person that would keep stringing them along, pretending to want it then telling them no.
He picked a man in the back and had him leave the room then he told us all he was going to do a little experiment. He asked the man's wife for her place of birth, her astrological sign and the length of her hair. She didn't know how long her hair was and he wondered out loud how to measure it. My wife raised her hand and said she had a tape measure pulling it out of her fanny pack. Everyone laughed. The man in front couldn't believe it. He called her supermom.
When the man came back in they asked him where his wife was born and he got that right. They asked him her hair length and he didn't know. She didn't know either and didn't measure, my wife made sure to get the tape measure back. He didn't know her astrological sign but then he said - "In all fairness, Astrology is against my religious beliefs". My wife and I thought that was admirable of him but some lady near the back said "aw, come on." Like he was a moron. Comedian said some things that were not kid-friendly - adult type humor - and my wife pulled out a portable dvd player and headphones for our 3 year old. Comedian was flabbergasted. "She didn't just pull out a dvd player did she? Everyone laughed.
The comedian finished his act and left through another door but not before telling about ten people in the front row to join him. They were new trainees and he wanted to talk to them. The lights went out and we watched a ten minute music video about vacationing with the family complete with pictures of everyone having a great time and words such as family and togetherness popping up at key intervals in the music.
As soon as it was over, the door he left through opened and we were funneled into a large room with several small tables. Our salesman found us and led us to his table. We sat down and he pulled out a binder. He began telling us about himself and his family. How he lived on a ranch, had two kids, two dogs and two horses as well as another, home business.
The comedian came around with one of the trainees, a young woman, and sat her at our table. He said she was new and we couldn't ask her questions - jokingly. She was just observing. He then left. She introduced herself and sat quietly, politely smiling as our main guy began up again.
After introductions and pleasantries, our salesman asked us if we were interested in buying. My wife doesn't lie and said that we weren't interested in buying, that we were only here for the weekend package. He was nice to us. He asked if we had done time share presentations before to which my wife replied yes we have done a few. He said, so your timeshare veterans? We said sure, you can call us that.
Comedian walked by and our guy mentioned, "We have timeshare veterans here." The way he mentioned it appeared like he was pleasantly looking to see if comedian could help him. - Comedian was also the regional director for the entire company and a really good talker. What happened next made both our salesman's eyes and the trainee's go wide with shock.
Comedian: "Why would you do that to your kids? I would never subject my kids to 90 minutes to 6 hours of this."
My wife: "We're not going to be here 6 hours. We agreed in the contract to listen to the presentation for 90 minutes, anything after that and we are being held hostage."
Comedian: (smile fades - slight anger) "I've only been talking to you for a few moments and you're accusing me of holding you hostage?"
My wife: "I didn't say that. I said it would be."
Comedian: (anger growing) "What do you do for a living?"
My wife: "I'm a stay at home mom."
Comedian: "No, what do you do for a living?"
My wife didn't reply to him.
Comedian: (turning toward me) "What does she do for a living?"
Me: "She already told you. She's a stay at home mom."
Comedian: "That's not a job."
Me: "Yes it is."
At this point our guy and the trainee look like they've been slapped in the face. They are both wide-eyed and silent.
Comedian: (to my wife) "Why are you here, wasting these peoples time? They have to make a living. They have to feed their families."
My wife: We are not wasting anyone's time. We signed up to listen to the presentation and there was no obligation to buy whatsoever."
Comedian: "So what are you? Some kind of mooch?"
My wife: (contemplates) "Well, if you want to call me that, then yes."
Comedian: "I never called you that."(anger rising again) "Tell me, were you abused as a child?"
My wife: "I am being abused. You're abusing me right now."
Comedian: (furious) "Get out. We're done here. No one accuses me of abusing them. I lost my wife to lymphoma cancer two years ago. I've had to raise my son all by myself. Get out of here."
My wife: (calmly) "No."
My wife: "We are not leaving until you give us what you promised us."
Comedian: "You're not getting anything! Get out now!"
At this point, other families at tables near us are looking. Our salesman and trainee are both so wide-eyed I think their eyes are going to fall out. We just sit there calm on the outside, adrenalin pumping on the inside.
Comedian: "You don't want to go to this level with me."
We just sit there.
Comedian: (to our salesman) "Call the police!"
We just sit there.
Comedian: "Call the police right now. I want them out of here!"
Our salesman stares at us in fear and shock. He does nothing.
Comedian: "I'm calling the police. You will be arrested for trespassing if you don't leave now!"
My wife: "We'll wait for the police. I don't feel safe near you. I want the police here."
Comedian: (boiling inside - trying to keep it under control as he sees others looking) "Lady, you're a shining example to your kids! You should be ashamed of yourself!"
My wife: "Are you trying to shame me into buying? You're trying to bully us? You're the one trying to change things around, saying I accused you etc. You've changed this into something ugly, not me. You're the one who should be ashamed."
Comedian (to our salesman and trainee) "Get up! We're done here. They can wait for the police."
We politely sat at the table for about a minute. Our salesman came back and asked us shakily if we wanted to see the property. We replied sure.
As we stood up, my wife said "Sit down." She suddenly had a thought that they would get us to the door and throw us out. She talked to our salesman in a nice calm tone. "We want what we were promised, now. Then we'll tour the timeshare." He looked at us confused then asked us to wait a moment. He left and came back then said, "We can do that." He took us into another room and we were given the certificates we were promised. We then toured the timeshare with him. That was pleasant although he was still a little dazed and confused. At the end, he asked us if we were interested and I said that even though my wife wasn't interested, I was on the fence. Comedian had killed any hope of a sale with his immature, ignorant and vicious remarks. Our salesman kept apologizing for comedian's behavior telling us he had no idea the man would behave that way. We told him that we had no issues with him.
We came back to the table room and he found the local boss - the nice man that had greeted us at the door. That man shooed him away telling him to get rid of us. What a turn around. We left and enjoyed the rest of our weekend on the beach. The next day, we were driving through the parking lot of the timeshare place. There were many families walking to the timeshare resort and we saw our salesman walking. He saw us and immediately turned away. He couldn't look us in the face.