It BLEW AWAY Our Expectations

Anybody who is curious about how Time Out Travel/Global Travel Network works please read below or go all the way to the bottom for a Cliff Notes summary:
Just got back from our FREE 7 day stay in Kauai and I can tell you that this company is legit although their marketing practices arent for everybody.
Me and my Fiance (now wife) got pitched at the CA state fair last year (2012).
We live in Roseville so it wasnt much of a commute to their presentation. Honestly, it was a great presentation but it is the standard “follow the pen” routine when it comes time to close your business. After talking to the sales guy for about 15 minutes we got the price down considerably but he lost my interest when I asked to have a night to review the companies inventory and the sales rep pulled the sheet of paper back towards himself and said “sorry but this offer wont be here tomorrow.” Considering I work in sales, this statement effectively turned off potential to buying at that moment.
Here is where most people get pissed off and write their nasty review:
After you decline to buy the program and you request your 5 or 7 day free vacation, they ask for a $200 REFUNDABLE security deposit to make sure you leave your room in the same condition as when you got there. They tell you that after you pay that security deposit, a rep will call you in a few days to see where you would like to go. Considering they gave us a receipt for the deposit I was OK with that.
Sure enough they called us maybe 3 or 4 days later and asked where we would like to stay. We obviously say Hawaii because that is what they have at the top of their banner where ever they advertise their company and the free 5/7 day vacation.
The rep replies that there are none available in HI, only FL, GA and NJ (or some places similar to that). We then ask when the next years inventory is available and she tells us that November 1st is when they see the availability for the next year (2013).
We call back on November 1st and sure enough, the next years availability is out. After talking to the rep about where we wanted to stay, they email us an Itinerary for 7 days in Kauai sometime around the end of February 2013. Everything looked great except at the bottom of the itinerary there was a $350 per person PEAK SEASON fee. I am no expert in Hawaii but I am pretty sure that is peak season for whale watching….
Anyways… We politely declined because for $700 we could find out own hotel.
The rep on the phone IMMEDIATELY states that because of their marketing tactics and history with people feeling ripped off that he needs to get me over to a VP to find an acceptable solution.
I talk to the VP who listens to what I have to say, appologizes for the inconvineince and then goes to work finding something that would be acceptable for us.
Ultimately he came up with 7 days at the Pono Kai in Kapa’a in mid August with no peak season fee. Booked it.
I was still skeptical all the way up until we checked in… Everything was as said.
The HUGE benefit to staying at the Pono Kai (besides the full kitchen in each unit) was that there was no shortage of REAL, LIVE Global Travel Network customers who were their enjoying one of the yearly week long vacations.
In talking to at least 7 of these people, the ONLY complaint that they had was that all of Global Travel Network’s units are in standard properties. You will not be staying at the St. Regis or Hyatt.
To me and my wife, this is perfectly fine because when we vacation we normally go to explore the destination… not the hotel and all the amenities. As far as the Pono Kai goes, it BLEW AWAY our expectations for a free week stay. You can read my review for them at their yelp site if you would like more detail.
Cliff Notes:
– They really do offer a FREE stay at one of their properties but there is a process to follow.
– Yes they do ask you for $$$ upfront but it is with a receipt and refundable assuming you dont throw a Party X in the room.
– I was going to give 4 stars due to their high pressure sales presentation but then I realized that compared to some of the other “timeshare” presentations I have been to, GTN’s was actually not TOO bad if you know what to expect.

Matthew J, 2013