Hergott: Let legal details get in the way of so-called great deal

My wife and I are now veterans of the Mexican time share sales machine.

My wife and I are now veterans of the Mexican time share sales machine.

During our spring break family vacation, we stayed at two different, but related resorts.

Each of them gave us their best shot with their 90 minute sales pitch.

During the first “90 minute” encounter,  which took over three hours, we worked our way through three different salespeople, each with an increased command of the English language, sharper dress and paler skin.

At the end of the marathon, I was pretty much sold.

Had they given us the opportunity to seriously consider the “investment,” they might have gotten to second base.

Having the opportunity to think is not part of their sales model. My request to take overnight was flatly refused.

I was upset about the three hour waste of time, but that didn’t stop me from putting myself through yet another salesman for our second 90 minute encounter.

This time, I started with my mind closed.

We weren’t there to hear about the time share —we were there because they provided a cheap excursion in exchange for our time.

Wouldn’t you know it, though, this second package sounded even better than that first. I found myself asking to see the paperwork.

The salesperson seemed a little taken aback. What? I wanted to actually read the contract?

This special request took a while for the salesperson to comply with.

I didn’t get through the first half of the first page without getting stuck.

The words on the printed page were simply not jiving with the words coming out of the salesman’s mouth.

I have to hand it to them, they were very compelling. At the ends of both pitches, the similar but differently packaged products looked mighty attractive.

They were at that “too good to be true” level. It was like deciding not to sign up was throwing money away.

The deals were, indeed, too good to be true.

The clever packaging unraveled when carefully considered and the contract wordings didn’t match some of what was being promised.

The fact that I came close to committing leads me to wonder how many others must be taking the plunge.

It’s a heck of a thing—subjecting yourself to a carefully scripted sales pitch, delivered by some of the best in the business, and being asked to make a snap decision without legal advice.

My father would say “buyer beware.” Sure, there was no gun to my head. No prudent consumer would make the snap purchase decision without careful consideration and without all those verbal promises being clearly set out in a written contract.

Yet obviously many, many people make that snap decision.

Laws have, in fact, developed to protect us from ourselves in these circumstances.

The protection is a brief time frame to wake up to the reality of what you’ve done and get out of the deal. In B.C., that time frame is 10 days.

I have no Mexican law expertise, but the research I’ve done leads me to believe that there is a similar law in Mexico.

If I got it right, the time limit is five days.  Mexican law would apply to a purchase made in Mexico.

I don’t know what technical steps must be taken within those time limits, nor whether it’s calendar or business days.

My suggestion would be to immediately hand deliver written notice of your intention to reverse the deal and then get urgent legal advice to find out whether or not that was sufficient.

Got cold feet after the time limit has expired?

An Internet search will uncover companies willing to help you.

When I read through their online sales pitches, though, I wonder if they might be just as bad as the time share salespeople.

This column is intended to provide general information about injury claims.  It is not a substitute for retaining a lawyer to provide legal advice specifically pertaining to your case. Paul Hergott is a lawyer  at Hergott Law in West Kelowna.


Just Posted

UPDATE: Vehicle rollover on Highway 33

Emergency crews are responding to a single vehicle rollover near Big White Road

Vernon one of Canada’s most dangerous places

Penticton, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country and Salmon Arm also make Maclean’s list

Fence to go up along part of Mission Creek

360 metres of chain-link fence to go up in Mission Creek Regional Park

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

Three-vehicle accident on Highway 33

Crews are on the scene of the multi vehicle collision about 10 kms east of Kelowna

Okanagan ski hills open for the season

Both Big White and Silverstar Resort open for the 2017-18 season Thursday

Four years for discharging shotgun in home, school break-in

Yvon Martel also threatened his wife and broke into an elementary school

Traci Genereaux: Gone, but not forgotten

COLUMN: Family, friends want justice for Vernon teen

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Up close and personal roots performance on Vernon stage

The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society presents William Prince Nov. 29-30

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Letter to the editor: Missing woman’s parents appreciate search effort

To take part in the banner drop, poster distribution and the drone… Continue reading

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

Most Read