This post was updated on November 21, 2022.
We are Diamond Resorts International owners (now Hilton Grand Vacations) and wanted to share our perspective about the timeshare sales presentations offered by these properties. It’s important because so many people get asked to attend these meetings in exchange for gifts. The following is what you should know in advance.
Overall we have been pleased with DRI and most of the resorts. The properties have been really nice and staff members wonderful to deal with. And aside from some negative aspects of hotel living or a lack of proper etiquette by guests, it’s been great.
Additionally we’ve been able to save thousands of dollars from our vacation club investment since we started traveling full-time. This is important because we live in hotels and resorts 365 days a year, so being able to book at deeply discounted rates or attending presentations in exchange for club points, has been very beneficial to us!
The biggest problem we’ve encountered twice in two years has been visiting the Mystic Dunes sales presentation and this is why we want to warn you.
What is the Diamond Sales Presentation?
Many of the Diamond Resorts concierge staff will ask you to attend a 60 minute sales presentation in exchange for a reward. This can be free nights stay, discounted event tickets, a gift card, or additional club points.
In the presentation you will be asked about your travel dreams and goals and be presented with a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. Diamond Resorts is selling you on a vacation lifestyle and they are very good at discovering key motivators to entice you to purchase their program.
Remember –> Their goal is getting you to buy into a time share or vacation club package, often at prices $40,000 and above. You need to understand this going into this commitment.
Knowing this from the very beginning will save you a ton of frustration and you won’t feel like a deer caught in headlights. Beyond that it’s usually not a bad way to spend an hour of your time, especially if you negotiate well for the rewards you can earn. For example, we’ve stayed a LOT of nights free in resorts and cashed in on gift cards for our attendance in these meetings.
Often the presentation experience is fun and pleasurable, depending on the sales representative and location, but there are those damning instances when you get stuck in hell.
The Mystic Dunes sales presentation is a trap.
Mystic Dunes is located in Orlando, Florida, the mecca of timeshare and vacation resort pitches. The property itself is amazing but that is where it stops. If you ever get asked to do a sales presentation or member update there, do yourself a favor and run. Donetta and I have attended two meetings there and I can assure you, as God as my witness, I will never set foot in that place again.
They will hold you hostage and lie to you.
Now to be fair, you can walk out of any presentation at anytime. We’re all grown ass adults who have the freedom to stay or go, depending on how we are being treated. But if you want the gift you were promised, you might have to endure hours of lies and neglect.
The first horrible experience.
The first time we visited the Mystic Dunes presentation was in the summer. It was very hot and humid and there was very little air conditioning to make a difference. Because I suffered a heat stroke and heat exhaustion several times while serving in the U.S. Army, I’m more susceptible to getting sick in hot environments. Unfortunately after enduring an hour in this unbearable climate, I started to get heat sickness and almost passed out.
While the first sales rep was kind enough to finish his pitch, the second salesman (the exit interview) would not let us leave with our promised gift. Despite my condition, he continued to push us to stay in order to purchase a different package and refused to give us our paper to sign out. I decided it wasn’t worth the hell I was experiencing so I walked out. Then he continued to try to sell to Donetta, which is a big NO-GO for their company rules. It took us two hours before we were able to leave.
The way we were treated by Diamond Resort employees at the Mystic Dunes sales presentation was unprofessional and appalling!
The second and last horrible experience.
Yesterday we attended another member update at Mystic Dunes in exchange for 4000 points. In hindsight it was a very stupid move, but we figured since Hilton purchased the Diamond Resorts International brand, things would be different this time. We were wrong!!!
After spending an hour with our representative, it was coming to a close. But then she disappeared and never returned. Now this is often the case because when they can’t close you, they send in the backup person to offer you another and better deal. It’s like going to a car dealership and going through all the waiting challenges. They try to wear you down resulting in a sale. We waited an additional 30 minutes and that’s when I had enough.
Several “manager” people promised to help me get checked out, but they all disappeared. Again they were holding us hostage for our gift.
Unfortunately I had to resort to raising my voice so everyone could hear how we were being treated again at this unprofessional sales presentation. Different sales people were arguing with us about our rights and the process, the manager refused to help us and threatened to call security because I was loud, and the man holding our paperwork would not simply give it to us. WTF Diamond Resorts and Hilton???
Instead of giving us our gift and defusing a volatile situation, they kept telling us to come back in and sit down for another presentation.
Here’s the deal. When you agree to a 60 minute presentation that is all you are required to give. You don’t have to put up with another hour of bullshit presentations and pressured sales tactics. This is illegal in many states, especially where time-share programs have earned an atrocious reputation, and there are laws to protect you from this.
Refuse to be treated this way.
We will be filing a formal complaint with Diamond Resorts International, Hilton, and the Better Business Bureau. Additionally we’ll be leaving negative reviews and sharing our Mystic Dunes sales presentation experience in every possible way. This type of behavior and treatment will not be tolerated. And I will fight to ensure this doesn’t happen to you!
Over the course of 18 months, we’ve attended a dozen presentations and most of them have been good. We’ve benefited greatly from these meetings and earned a lot of free points. But Mystic Dunes crossed the line in so many ways and it’s unlikely I will ever invest more money or time into Diamond Resorts or Hilton simply because of these two presentations.
So please. Avoid a Mystic Dunes sales presentation in Orlando at all costs. It’s not worth the rewards they promise you. And be sure to read up on all the local regulations about what is legal and what is not. It’s out there and it will protect you.