I'm unsure whether to be upset at silverleaf resorts or Spirit incentives or both. Either way, the two combined wasted my time and led me to this post. Last June, I was at a local festival and some reps from Silverleaf resorts were present advocating their local timeshare. They offered a a $25 gas card, 4 waterpark tickets, and 3 day/2 night stay at Great Wolf Lodge. All I needed to do was commit to listening to their 2 hour presentation.
We ended up going to the resort and found it well enough. The first impression was good, but it went downhill quickly. After being served, several types of cookies, lemon-aid, popcorn, large (60") flat panels were on several places on the wall, leather couches, plush carpets... it was actually pretty nice. Our escort came and picked us up and took us to a chaotic room with 40~50 other sales people and potential 'clients' The roar is the room made it hard to hear, but we listened for ~45 minutes and answered her questions about our vacation habits. She then took us on a tour of the property. By the time she had finished we were solidly unimpressed. She offered a price (I forget now the exact numbers, but something like 18K).
We said "No thank you." and she graciously said 'thank you for your time. Let me go get my boss to get your certificates." This is when the real mind games began. He proceeded to ask why we weren't interested and he lowered the price to 15K and provided some extra incentives like bonus weeks, travel packs, etc. We said we still weren't interested, so he went to go get HIS boss.
The third guy came by and we explained a third time that we weren't interested. He dropped the price to about 8K because they had a special 'just returned because someone else upgraded', offered additional time we could use including ad-hoc reservations that didn't count against our main reservation, blah blah blah... turns out to be a gimmick.
Anyway, we passed with person #3 so he said thanks, go ahead and go to the building across the courtyard to get claim your certificates. By this time, our 2 hour presentation was almost 3 1/2 hours into it and we still didn't have our certificates.
We went to the building across the way and all I can say is "WOW! The paint was peeling on parts of the wall, it was dirty from where kids had been rubbing on the walls, rows and rows of metal chairs crammed into a little room... you could barely walk at all it was so crowded... and the smell, oh the awful musty smell. The closest I can guess is if someone were changing dirty diapers in your middle school gym locker locker room where none of the boys use deodorant. No snacks. Not even water. There was a single 14" television for this whole room that had the hue turned way out of whack so the whole screen was red playing lion king I think.
We waited another 1 1/2 hours before we were called (so we were now at 5 hours). We received our certificates and gas card without incident and returned home thinking the worst was behind us.
When I went to claim the certificate for Great Wolf Lodge, I discovered first that my 'no restrictions' certificate could only be used for a Monday-Wednesday check in, required a $100 deposit to pay for taxes, and couldn't be used on major holidays. Although I was agitated at the difficulty, I thought I was near the end, so I sent in the $100 deposit to so I could attempt the reservations.
Today I received notice that I can now select my dates... in the next 6 calendar months, there are only 25 days available that can be used (of the 180). None of these work for me because my kids are in school. Furthermore, you have to pick multiple 3 dates, 60 days apart and they will not guarantee that you will get any of the 3 dates you request.
In fact, although it is mid October 2011, there is only 1 day before June 21, 2012 that is not on a school day, and the company cannot guarantee that I can have it... and once I request it, my deposit becomes non-refundable.
At this point, I've called the company and asked for my deposit back. I'll chalk the whole thing up to experience and take every opportunity in the future to warn people if I see them about to do business with these pathetic companies.