Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Time-Share Scam

The post card will turn up in the day's mail and you'll give it a glance. Offers of free dinners, or better yet, an offer for a free trip to some warm, sunny place in the middle of winter.

Do you bite? Or do you take another look and realize that it's just a ruse. A promise of something fun hides the real reason for that offer being made.

You just know that if you eat that free meal or take that free trip, you're going to be made to sit in a room with a trained salesperson, and you will be subjected to some high-pressure sales pitch to buy a time share that no one wants.

Pity that some of our Congressmen aren't so well aware of the pitfalls of the free vacation offer. Jim McDermott of Washington fell for it, and he's looking the fool now.

Free vacation, all expenses paid, visit sunny Baghdad. Who could resist, when the weather at home is miserable and D.C. isn't known for its salubrious climate.

Off he went, with two colleagues, for the free trip. He asked the State Department if it was all right for him to go, and they laughed at his naivete before waving good-bye. Sure, go on, they said. Enjoy that badgering to sway your opinion. Have at it. Don't stay long, though. We'll be invading in a few months time.

Mr. McDermott and pals returned, only to begin singing the praises of Iraq. Don't go disarming those lovely people, the trio demanded. Don't try to get the rest of the world to unite against them.

Sure the sales force makes that time share look attractive so that you'll fall for their spiel. It takes someone with a drop of cynicism to ask what's in it for the seller before succumbing to the intoxicating aroma of shite and onions.

The Congressmen did nothing wrong, in the legal sense. They did, however, violate the rules of common sense. But then, if the high-pressure tactics didn't work, no one would ever buy a timeshare that no one wants, and we all know that those worthless deals are made all the time.

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