12.09.2013 - 12.09.2013 28 °C
Matt and James headed off to the right of the accommodation to the Buffalo restaurant as they felt it was better for breakfast than the all you can eat to the left. However with it being low season many places are closed or open only during selective hours, and buffalo is one of those places, so it was off to the all you can eat for their familiar menu. The boys had promised that they would be independent from Camilla and myself so they are effectivly independant, except for the evening meal feed.. Beaches to the south of Kata had been suggested, so we were going to walk over the hill to see what we could find, the exercise would be good for us having spent so long cooped up in the airplane. Just as we left we were accosted by Paul, he is a pom from Geordie land, a big guy who (claims) has been over here 6 years with his wife, just had a child etc. Those who know us know I have cynic written all over me, but Camilla has sucker, so we duly open his scratchie and surprise surprise we have 'won', but to claim our prize we have to go through a 90 minute presentation on timeshare. I'm ready to walk on but Millie is getting excited, hey we get a free Taxi to Patong and back, it's not like the walk and the beaches will go away, and we had earlier in the day briefly discussed the idea of looking at a timeshare in Thailand, so let's play the game. We inform Paul that we will sign nothing until both an accountant and solicitor have reviewed the contract. That's OK he assures us as we hop into a Taxi. In Patong we are introduced to Rosanne, a young Canadian who has been over here 4 years working for the company 'Absolute World', she supplies us with a coffee and we have a chat, we must have passed the first hurdle as we are introduced to a manager, again a big english guy with has been in hospitality / travel for over 20 years etc. Interestingly the conversation was more about him and what he had done. We passed that hurdle and were now allowed to be shown some of the hotels available in Patong. It's all so heavily scripted I can see how people get suckered into these things, it's so easy to predict the next steps. It's pissing down with rain but we head out to 'Twin Sands' a newish hotel, that does seem quite empty, I ask about occupancy rates, Rosanne has no idea and has never been asked that before. I explain that with a low occupancy rate they will not be making much money and I lose my investment, with high occupancy rates there is no suitable accommodation available for the members. The hotel has great views across two bays, one on each side of the saddle the hotel has been built in, but it's out of the way and isolated, there is nothing to do except stay in the hotel.
Finally we head back to the main hotel / office, along with numerous others and go through the presentation. All along I have set Rosanne expectations that nothing gets signed on the day, and nothing gets signed until I have done my independent research and had both an accountant and solicitor review the contract. Rosanne does a good job of answering the questions she is allowed to answer and avoiding the ones that matter, like what are we actually signing up for and how much will it be costing us. Eventually we are introduced to Erwin, the first thing Rosanne says is that whilst we are interested we have made it very clear that we will not be signing anything. Erwin launches into a 'you have to sign today if you want all of the additional benefits'. At this point I get into 'Peter Mode', and point out that anyone who insists we sign to day is either lying, or hiding something, or both, the pitch made by Rosanne goes downhill rapidly from there and she appears to be visibly shaken. As part of our 'exit interview' Warren wants to get details on how the people performed. We tell him. Bugger me he then has yet another offer for us. Just pay $791 (didn't say which currency) and get temporary membership for 18 months. We head off into Patong for a beer and lunch, and discuss the days entertainment. So long as we get back to the hotel / office by 16:00 there's a free Taxi back to Kata. We return with me anticipating them having yet another go at us!! - it doesn't happen.
On getting back to the bungalow I start to check out Absolute World. Everywhere there are negative comments about people being given the hard sell then getting back to their country of origin and having a change of mine. Absolute then send in the solicitors and debt collectors for breach of contract, although it appears than they have never gone beyond the letter stage. Frankly if people sign contracts without performing some kind of due diligence then the ongoing issues and loss of $$$ becomes an expensive lesson for them. Absolute World may have a great product, but if they have, then finding details was drowned out by the noise of silly people signing contracts for something they didn't want in the first place. It was a very entertaining day.
Our evening meal was at a pseudo Italian, whilst we ate Thai style, the pizza's on the table next to us looked very appetising. The boys seem to have no problems what so ever ordering beer's, even though the drinking age in Thailand is 20 (or 21).