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If you get tired of reading this.... go to the bottom for the summary and an example of how much a vacation package would cost with and without Silverleaf.

My wife came home with a brochure she got at the mall one day. Attached was a credit card receipt for $40.00. When I asked her about it, she said that it was for a 2 night stay at the great wolf lodge for 6 people. I was amazed, because the last time we stayed there it cost us over $450.00. "So what's the catch?" I asked. The catch was, we had to sit through a timeshare sales meeting for Silverleaf resorts. She was told the meeting would last about 45 minutes. At the end of the meeting, we would receive a visa card with our $40.00 on it. We would also be able to book our Great Wolf Lodge trip.

Here is an account of the meeting.

Our meeting was scheduled at 12pm. We arrived a few minutes early to the Irving Silverleaf sales office. Upon entering the parking lot we noticed that there were only 3 empty parking spaces out of about 150. We looked at each other and my wife said "I wonder if they are all here for the presentation."

We walked inside and handed one of the many desk clerks our pamphlet. He gave us a small questionnaire to fill out which we did and promptly gave back. He asked us to have a seat and someone would be with us shortly. I looked around the waiting room and saw no less than 40 people. Some with kids, some single etc.

After about 20 minutes, someone came up and introduced themselves as our guide. I omit his name on purpose. He took us to another room filled with well over 100 tables. All but one table was filled with people sitting and talking. We were escorted to the one empty table.

In the beginning, the "guide" A.K.A. sales person was giving us some relatively meaningless chatter about how we like to vacation and where we like to go. He also wrote down how much each vacation was going to cost. For example, we told them that we would be going to Las Vegas to visit my family. We were honest and told him it was costing about $4,000.00 as we had already bought airfare and amusement park tickets and a van rental. We gave a little room for food and shopping. We also advised we were going to do the same in the fall for a trip to Maryland. That trip will cost around $3,500.00. He then asked us to include all of our "stay-cations" etc. He asked if it was fair to assume that we would spend about $10,000.00 this year on vacationing. We agreed and continued with the presentation. He then asked us for a list of "dream" vacations we would like to take in the next 3 years.

During the presentation, the "guide" showed us pictures and amenities offered for about 16 different resorts. 6 of them located close to us in Texas. Keep in mind, this is all presented in an over-enthusiastic pitch. All of it was presented as being nearly (nearly being the key here) free of charge if we were members. Everything from camping, fishing, and horseback riding to beaches and skiing in the mountains. I am going to insert a spoiler here...(all of the amenities cost money even if they might be discounted)

Our guide then took us on a tour of a mock suite... set up right there in the strip mall! I couldn't help but think how weird it was to have an actual 2 bedroom suite built into a sales office at a strip mall. The halls we walked through had vacation pictures carefully placed throughout. Our guide excitedly pointed out each one and an experience he had had at most of them. It was also a carefully laid out maze for herding group after group through. Which ultimately ended back at the big room full of tables.

Now the set up has been laid out... get ready for the real pitch. Keep in mind, my wife at this point has diamonds in her eye's and a checkbook burning a hole in her adventurous soul. I on the other hand am wondering how this 45 minute presentation has evolved into an hour and a half already. I am also listening to the people on the sides of me noticing familiar memorized lines that I had just heard, most of which are verbatim. I also forgot to mention that every time a sales person closes a deal, someone gets up in the center of the room and interrupts everyone to welcome the new "owners". Which happened 12 times when we were there. This is obviously to try and increase the momentum and hype.

"So, what is the bottom line?" my wife asked. The guide would thank us for any questions we asked and readily have a rehearsed answer for them. Always above and beyond our expectations. I say rehearsed, because before we got out of there we went through 4 different sales people with bigger and better offers with the same rehearsed answers, but I'll get to that in a minute.

The bottom line.... There are 3 tiers to their time share system. Blue, white, and red. I think they are carefully picked colors to pry at the loyal Americans' heartstrings. The first 2 have blackout periods and the final having no blackout periods. All of them are for a week of "nearly free" vacationing at one of the 16 resorts or the option to trade your week with RCI to stay almost anywhere in the world. (not mentioning that none of these include meals, travel expenses or airfare, which is most of the cost of going on vacation anyway) They also all come with bonuses and other benefits that come with being a card carrying member. For example, we were told that we could book anytime with any of the resorts even when it wasn't our week for a 2 room suite for a mere $75.00. That is a killer price, I would agree. They also said that we could go to any of the resorts at anytime to enjoy the countless amenities they had to offer even while not staying there. They made it sound like we could just walk into one of the resorts anytime we felt like it and do anything we wanted to. I did notice however, that every single sales person made sure to tell us that many of the amenities are not completely free.

The first package is presented to us as the bottom "blue" package. It included all of the bonuses, and a 1 week of selected dates vacationing for $15,500.00. They needed 25% down today and $486 monthly for 3 years. After that all we would have to pay is the $76.00 monthly maintenance fee. (to upkeep our timeshare) I start calculating in my head and notice my wife is going online on her phone to look at our bank account. The "guide" keeps on talking and going over all of the bonuses as I try to calculate and pretend to engage in conversation. I then notice how loud it is in the room, with all of the excitement of the other sales people. I also notice a panel of sales people waiting and watching from the front of the room.

I turn to my wife and say "honey, I don't think we can squeeze $4,000.00 out of our savings right now." Knowing we only had about $400.00 in the bank till payday anyway. She turns to the "guide" and asks if we have to come up with it now, or could we pay ion 1 week. He advised us that we could come in tomorrow, but that the deals would be a lot different and more money. I don't like it when anyone says I have to buy now or lose out. It makes me very apprehensive and suspicious. The "guide" tells us he can't do anything about the price, but maybe one of his friends in another department can do something. He calls over this girl with a single gesture of 2 fingers. In a busy, noise room with people moving around and some even flailing their arms. That's when I realized that the panel of sales people at the front were 2nd level vultures. Not to skip ahead, but the next time he signaled a person he used 3 fingers.

The 2nd sales person was above average looking, had an accent, and was even more excited than our "guide" AKA first sales person. She teamed up with the guide and went over much of the same sales pitch we had already heard. She then went over her "position" in the company was actually in upgrading, not initial sales. Several times she would actually run off saying she had an idea and run back with another special offer to throw in. The thing that really set me on guard was she explained that when a customer moves from one tier to another they roll their already paid equity in the time share week up to the next tier. This makes sense, right? Then she says that she takes the lower deed and can resale it at a lower cost because it has already been partially paid. It got me thinking about the house we just bought. Basically this sales person was saying that we could take all of the equity paid into this time share and use it to knock down our payments. Not only that, but the monthly fees would be lower because it was bought on a different plan than they offer now. Wow, I wish we could have gotten that deal when buying our house. Imagine that... a $200,000.00 house we get for $120,000.00 because the previous owners had paid into their mortgage. We would even have lower property taxes because the house was originally purchased when the taxes were lowered and she can guarantee we would be grandfathered in. So our new down payment on the "red" vacation week with no blackout dates and more bonuses and a lowered monthly fee would be only $1,700.00.

I wont even bother to tell you about the other 2 sales people that came over to offer even lower cost deals. The lowest being 1 free week with no down payment for an 18 month contract as a thinking period for just $76 a month. (yes, the free week would cost over $800.00) I will say this.... every time I asked for some time to talk it over with my bedazzled wife, they would leave for less than 30 seconds, and be right back with something else for us to think about. So I finally looked her straight in the face and said "NO" that is my final answer. I know we wont use this vacation package like you want to use it.

Finally, after around 3 hours and an intense litigation with my wife, the sales people led us into a room to claim our "free" gifts. We were given a visa card with our $40 on it. (which was legitimate) we were also given a scratch off ticket that we could have won a car or a lot of money on. (it was also legitimate) You can only scratch 5 out of 25 squares to win the big prize they all have to be the pot of gold. After I scratched the 1st square which was not a pot of gold, I scratched the rest of the card and saw there were indeed 5 gold pots on the card. We then moved on the Great Wolf Lodge package that my wife had been sucked into this whole thing for in the first place. We were then told that it was only for 4 people, not 6. We would also be responsible for all of the taxes and surcharges. It would end up costing us around $120 for a 5 person 2 night stay at the Lodge, which is still a tremendous deal if it pans out. My wife argued with the person saying they promised it for 6 people. She stapled a card to the flyer and asked us to call the person to see what they could do. I told my wife later not to bother. I didn't want them getting our phone number or anything.

Finally, onto the summary.

The best vacation package Silverleaf offer us was $13,000.00 plus $76.00 per month after the initial 38 month mortgage was paid. In the first year alone you would spend about $5,300.00 including your initial $1,700.00 down payment. This is only for hotel accommodations for 1 week (subject to availability) plus the right to go to any of the 16 US resorts and pay for amenities and/or accommodations at anytime.(I don't know if you can get in if you are not a member because most of the sites have the same free things pitch to sign up for.)

Let's see a breakdown of 2 like vacations. One in the US and one outside the US to see how the compare.

A 5 star hotel room in Galveston would run about $800.40 for a 5 night stay.Silverleaf would allow this week to be used for your 1 free stay.

You can buy an all inclusive package for either hotel including food etc for another $50 a person per night. Or, you can eat out or purchase groceries for less.

Any amenities of either hotel and surrounding area would cost you full fare price.

Both vacations you would have to add gas/travel expenses.

If you did this twice in the same year, the Silverleaf would allow you to stay the second time for $75.00 for the whole time. (at least that was what was told to us) Which would give you an added savings of $725.00.

All said and done from your 2 vacations, not including the travel expenses, food, or entertainment would be the following totals.

Silverleaf for 2 weeks of vacationing = $5,375.00

5 star hotel for 2 weeks = $1680.00 (discount for whole week included)

Cut-rate beachfront hotel for 2 weeks = $1063.00 (no discounts included)

Judging by the fact that I don't spend a lot of time in my hotel room other than to crash... I'd take the third option and save $4,312.00 the first year.

Now, let's take a look at a trip to Paris.Again, keep in mind this is WITHOUT airfare, travel expenses, amenities, and food.

Silverleaf will let you "trade" your 1 week hotel accommodations for a fee of $199.

5 star hotel in an executive room for 6 nights = $ 3,220.94

Cut rate nearby hotel for 6 nights = US$ 513.34

My family would take the $513 room and save $5,060.00

So, lets say we alternate US vacationing for 2 weeks and foreign vacationing for 1 week for the first 4 years we are paying off our Silverleaf deed. Below are the known totals if no price changes happen in those 4 years.

With Silverleaf = $21,500.005 star without = $9,802.00Without Silverleaf = $3,153.00

A savings of $18,348.00

After 4 years the cost of Silverleaf would go down from $5,375.00 to $912.00 per year dues. Plus 2 more sales meetings per year with aggressive up-selling tactics explained on many websites. If you miss payments it is like not paying your mortgage... you'll lose bigtime!

For the next 4 years if you follow your same vacationing scheme as above it would look like this.

Silverleaf = $4046Without = $3153

Still saving you $893.00 for the 4 years. With nothing more to buy and no obligations or contracts. This doesn't even include those things that happen in life that make it so you can't go on vacation. With Silverleaf you would still owe the money regardless.

So, for the final 8 year summary.

With Silverleaf = $25,546.00 With monthly contractual obligations.5 Star Without Silverleaf = $19604.00cut-rate Without Silverleaf = $6,306.00

If you vacation like I do, over 8 years without Silverleaf you could save up to $19,240.00 with no sales meetings to waste your valuable vacationing time, and no restrictions on where and when you stay. No further obligations of $76.00 a month for as long as you wish to be suckered for the rest of your life or children's lives. (They kept mentioning you could pass your week timeshare down to your kids) You would save a lot of money if you didn't go on a full fledged vacation twice a year or even book through a travel agency for package discounts.

Has the wool been lifted? I hope so!!!

Review about: Silverleaf Resorts Customer Care.

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Anonymous
#834206

Oh my!!! I just went today to a presentation...

And you completely described it to a T!!! Lol

I'm so thankful I did not get suckered in!!

Anonymous
#792676

Just got through the same sales experience this morning. I've been through other time share presentations with salespeople who were respectful of my time and were actually honest about their products.

This organization makes used car dealers look like the model of honesty. Appointment set up for 10:00 - important because the 90 minutes I was told the whole shpeel would take would have had us finished by my 1 and 4 year olds lunch time. 1:30, still hadn't received our prize and we are literally sitting at our table with our tier 1 salesperson while my kids are screaming to leave and the tier 2 hawk is just standing by a counter letting us suffer before coming in to repeat the same sales talk I had already clearly said no to.

All for a night at Great Wolf Lodge that doesn't include taxes/fees. Why would anyone ever consider "investing" with a company that would treat its customers like this on their first interaction?

Anonymous
#782519

Why didn't I read this before I decided to purchase! Ugh!

We are so upset and in some sort of way feel violated.

Live and learn! I need to find out how to sell this garbage.

TIMESHARE ADVOCATE
#712031

I can help you to stop your monthly payments, protect your credit and get you out of your loan balance. In some cases we have even got some of our client's a refund based on fraud and misrepresentation.

We have successfully helped over 4000 clients so far and we have offices in Houston, Austin & San Antonio with Licensed Texas Realtors.

We are accredited with the BBB and have an A rating! Visit us on the web at TimeshareGone.com and ask to speak with Kevin Hanson or give me a call at 713-554-3334

Anonymous
San Antonio, Texas, United States #662196

:upset same exact thing to us today. 90 mins turned out to be 3 hours.

My hubby was on narcotic pain meds and Valium for a herniated disk and I told the sales people he couldn't sign legal documents today while under the influence and the didn't even care, kept pushing us to sign.

Finally we made them take us to get our prizes ad then left. People need to stop being such gullible pushovers.

TIMESHARE ADVOCATE
#648325

After only 4 years in business, Timeshare Advocacy International, LLC (TAI) has completed over 4,000 Timeshare contract terminations. Saving our clients over $32 “million” dollars in total timeshare liabilities.

TAI assists timeshare consumers who feel they have been lied to, misled, or had deceptive sales tactics used against them in the purchase or upgrade of a timeshare. Additionally, TAI helps those who no longer want the timeshare to transfer the ownership out of their names thus removing them from any future dealings with the timeshare company. Whether you are paid in full or still have a loan balance on your timeshare, we can help!

If you feel like you have been the victim of timeshare fraud or misrepresentation call today for a free consultation!

Kevin Hanson

Texas Regional Sales Director

Licensed Texas Realtor since 1996

Timeshare Advocacy International, LLC

kevin@timesharegone.com

www.TimeshareGone.com

713-554-3334 Ext 805

936-689-6690 mobile

TIMESHARE ADVOCATE
#548746

.

Timeshare Advocacy International is the leader in timeshare contract resolutions!

If you have been a victim of deceptive sales practices during your purchase or upgrade of your timeshare we have the solution. We are the only advocacy group in the U.S. that focuses on deceptive sales practices within the timeshare industry that is accredited with the BBB .

Additionally, we are the only company to win in court against the biggest timeshare company in the U.S. Timeshare Advocacy International Wins Lawsuit against World’s Largest Resort.

In November of 2010 TAI was sued by the largest timeshare developer in the world for assisting timeshare owners out of their contracts with their resort. The charges ranged from violating the Tennessee Uniformed Secrets Act, Tennessee Consumer Rights Act, unauthorized practice of law, intentional interference with business relationships, civil conspiracy, breach of contract, unfair competition, procurement of breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. On July 19, 2012 it took a jury less than 45 minutes to deliberate and return a verdict of “Not Guilty” on all charges.

“We are excited to finally have this decision behind us so we can now focus on one thing, and that is our clients. During the last 2 years they have been trying to do one thing and that is to shut us up and bankrupt us through the court system. We always felt that at the end of the day a jury would see that TAI is in the business to help people. If the timeshare industry would stop lying and sell their product honestly we would be out of business,” said Sean Austin.

“The jury’s verdict represents a victory for free speech and free enterprise, and against corporate bullying,” said Austin’s attorney, Greg Oakley of DHPM PC in a press release.

Timeshare Advocacy International is headquartered in Mount Juliet, TN and currently has a staff of 19 that do nothing but consult, coach, and mentor timeshare owners who have been deceived during their purchase or upgrade of their timeshares. “We specialize in helping timeshare owners not only get out of their timeshare contracts if they were lied to, but we also help them understand what happened and how they were scammed so this hopefully will not happen again!

If you feel like you have been the victim of timeshare fraud or misrepresentation call today for a free consultation!

pissedconsumer@timesharegone.com

Licensed Texas Realtor Since 1996

Kevin Hanson (Timeshare Advocate)

Regional Sales Director

Timeshare Advocacy International

855.702.6636 or 713.554.3334 Ext.805

TIMESHARE ADVOCATE
#524319

.

*CANCEL YOUR SILVERLEAF TIMESHARE*SIX HOUSTON AREA LOCATIONS*LICENSED TEXAS REALTOR*

After only 3 years in business, Timeshare Advocacy International, LLC (TAI) has completed over 1,200 Timeshare contract terminations. Saving our clients over $32 “million” dollars in total timeshare liabilities. We offer guaranteed results for all qualified properties.

TAI assists timeshare consumers who feel they have been lied to, misled, or had deceptive sales tactics used against them in the purchase or upgrade of a timeshare. Additionally, TAI helps those who no longer want the timeshare to transfer the ownership out of their names thus removing them from any future dealings with the timeshare company. Whether you are paid in full or still have a loan balance on your timeshare, we can help!

TAI is committed to working closely with local timeshare owners. Our consultants advise you on how not to fall prey to the fraud and scams that are affecting owners worldwide. Why take the chance of becoming a victim to some out of state company?

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CALL TODAY! (713) 554-3334 Ext. 805

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Anonymous
#503964

Glad to see you saved yourself some of your hard earned money... too bad it still cost four long hours of your life :upset

Anonymous
#503917

we must be twins...that's exactly the way it was presented do us!!! I'm glad i have a smart wife who didn't give in!!!

Anonymous
#502522

No maintenance fee,I needed that person around when I bought my weeks. :?

Anonymous
#493425

And all of this after you bought a $40,000.00 deed to what exactly? Is it even legal to call it a deed if you don't actually own something?

No maintenance fees? Are you kidding? That's a new one on me... anyone else?

Personally I don't think you can back that up! Besides, if your so happy, why are you reading the pissed consumer? Something smells fishy. (YES, I am calling you a LIAR!)

Anonymous
#493210

(from garland, texas, US)

My wife and I have been with Silverleaf since 1997. We started out with a 2BR/1BA cabin at Lake 'o the Woods. After a couple of years or so, we upgraded to a 2BR/2BA condo at Holly Lake. (NOTE: Using our equity from our cabin, we got a 0% (zero percent) loan to upgrade to this condo...PLUS, we got ZERO maintenance fee (for life)).

After another couple of years, we upgraded to a 2BR/2BA lodge at Holiday Hills in Branson, Missouri...also, with ZERO maintenance fee!!

After another couple of years, we upgraded again to a Presidential Unit at Silverleaf's Seaside Resort in Galveston, Texas...NOTE: Also, with ZERO maintenance fees!!!

We have made several day trips to Silverleaf (The Villages or Holly Lake) for an owner's 'update' several times. We usually hold out for $100/$150 cash. But, we stand firm on our ZERO MAINTENANCE FEE. Basically, we tell them that even if they 'give' us an extra week for free, if there was any maintenance fee ($25/$50/$75 or whatever), it was a deal breaker.

During our week stay in March 2012 at Holiday Hills (Branson), we went for the standard owner's update...NO deal, NO buy...but we did get a $100 Visa card.

So far, we've stuck to our guns and we have NOT bought an extra week.

CAVEAT EMPTOR!!!! (Buyer Beware!!!)

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