Just wanted to warn everybody about a "promo" that is going on if you make a reservation by phone. I'm a longstanding Goldmember, and this morning I made a reservation for a stay in LA using my annual voucher for being a Marriott Visa cardholder. As usual, very helpful when making a reservation by phone. They told me about a promo going on where you listen to a 3 minute commercial for Marriott Vacation Club, and you get a % off coupon. I agreed just because the gal was so nice, and I figured she gets a perk for every referral.
So I get transferred over to Tamar in Orlando at the headquarters. Tamar explains that Marriott is looking for word-of-mouth advertising, so I can get a sample of the Vacation Club by giving him $199 today which goes toward a stay within 12 months at any Marriott Vacation Club resorts. I'm hesitant, so he sweetens the deal to $149 now and gives me 15 months to use it. He said the Kauai resort in Lihue is $799 for 6 days, 5 nights (great deal, loved that resort in 2013). Tamar asks for my wife's name two times and confirmed the spelling. I thought that was kind of weird (now I see why; we'll come back to that). As Tamar is explaining everything I am googling the Marriott Vacation Club and similar deals. I find that there are sometimes presentations that you have to go to for the rate to count, so I specifically ask Tamar twice, "Do I have to sit through a presentation?" Tamar responds, "No presentation, you do a brief VIP tour and fill out a comment card." After I get his word on this, I'm ready to make the plunge. I confirm my credit card, address, email address, and middle initial and get transferred over to the quality control and fine print guy who reads me a script. The first sentence out of the QC guy's mouth is "Are you aware that you will have to sit through a 90-minute presentation?" At this point I'm mad. I tell him that I specifically asked Tamar about a presentation twice and was guaranteed there is no presentation. Now I'm putting two and two together that Tamar wanted my wife's name to lock her into sitting through the presentation as well. I tell the QC guy to transfer me to Tamar's boss because I will not stand for being lied to. So I talk to Tamar's "boss" who is probably just the person in the cubicle next to him, and she even tries to sell me on the deal: the nerve! I told her, "You lost me when Tamar lied to me." She realized that she wasn't going to make a sale out of me, said she would talk to Tamar, and let me go.
The deal was actually pretty good. And I would have probably done it if Tamar had talked straight with me. But I will not buy-in to anyone who blatantly lies to me to secure a sale.