Timeshares & the Metro Moneybook

Timeshares & the Metro MoneybookWhen we were in Hawaii, Sheryl and I decided to go whale watching. We had never seen an actual whale outside of a zoo, and thought what better place to do it than Hawaii. So, while out one night at the Yard House, we started talking to our server about where we can get the best deal and the best tour. He talked a few minutes about some different ones and then said there was actually a place where you could get some free tickets. So, we thought we would give it a shot.

He said that we needed to head over to the corner of (insert street name here) and the street that our hotel was actually on. He said that on that corner we would find a booth set up, and there would be any number of people handing out free tourist attractions tickets. That next day we went walking only to find no booth. But, we saw what looked like what our server had explained. We thought we would give it a shot the next day.

So, after waking up early for whatever beach we were headed to that next day, we thought we would start by walking past the booth yet again. This time there was someone there. He asked us if we were tourists and if we were newlyweds. Of course we said yes to both because we wanted some free whale watching tickets. We were, as you know, tourists, but we are not in fact newlyweds. He asked us a few questions about our marriage and while I felt bad lying, I knew seeing a huge fifty foot whale for free would make up for it.

Just when I thought all we had to do was shake hands and take our tickets, he began discussing a timeshare presentation that we had to sit through before we could claim our tickets. He said it was no longer than an hour or so and that we had zero obligations to buy. Well, I had never been through a timeshare presentation before, but thought why not, we were saving about $75 a piece and getting a free whale watching lunch cruise the next day. (Yeah, the whale watching was not on a small boat or anything, it was on a full blown five deck cruise ship. And the buffet was incredible.)

So, to save you from having to hear all about the timeshare presentation, just know that the guy setting everything up handed us this booklet before we left. He said this booklet, known as the Metro Moneybook, would have all kinds of deals and discounts in it and it was free of charge. Well, free of charge the booklet might have been, but the subscription to the program was not free. To be able to even use these coupons you had to join a club that required a yearly agreement. Being as we only had a couple of days left in Hawaii, it was neither worth our time nor our money to drop on this booklet. But, I did read through it and found some of it quite interesting. For example, the club rules are as follows:

(The book starts off by saying, “Read these rules carefully before using this passbook. Not sure about you but that seems like a pretty sketchy way to start off a coupon book that is simply supposed to save me money.)

  • A membership card is included on the back cover of this Passbook. Sign and carry it with you. Present this membership card to the restaurant to receive your Society of Gourmet Discounts. The card may be used by member and his or her family. You do not have to carry your Passbook with you to obtain your discounts.
  • When two (2) persons dine together the restaurant will deduct the least expensive order in accordance with the stated discount in the Metro Passbook.
  • When more than two (2) persons dine together, the following rules apply:
    • One bill for the table – no individual bills
    • No more than four (4) Metro coupons/membership cards per party.
  • When dining alone, the restaurant will deduct a 50% off your order in accordance with the stated discount in the Metro Passbook.
  • When adults and children dine together, the restaurant will deduct the least expensive adult order in accordance with the stated discount in the Metro Passbook.
  • Your discounts are not valid on any major holidays including Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Sweetest Day, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Easter, Labor Day, and July 4th unless otherwise specified.
  • Coupons cannot be used for discount priced daily specials, senior citizen’s and/or early bird specials, banquets, and buffets unless otherwise stated.
  • Tipping for acceptable service should be equal to 15-20% of the TOTAL BILL before the discount is subtracted.

Then it goes on to say Metro Passbook Publishing Inc. &/or subsidiaries will not be responsible is any establishment breaches it’s contract or refuses to accept cards/coupons. However, we will attempt to secure compliance. Metro Passbook Publishing Inc. &/or it’s subsidiaries will not be responsible in the event of acts of God, fire, causalities, strike(s), or other events beyond it’s control. I am not sure but that sounds like they really couldn’t care less about their members.

In this book there are two for one-discount coupons, single person discounts, and all other types of food and dining deals. For example, you can save up to $40 at the Chart House. You can receive a 50% discount at Senor Frogs, Bonsai, Gyu-Kaku, Hukilau, and many many more establishments.

But, like I said earlier, not only are you saving money on high end food, but also entertainment and dining in more low key and relaxed restaurants. For example, with this discount book you can take advantage of deals from Hooters, The Shack, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KCL BBQ, and many more establishments. My personal favorite in this book is the 50% off at Dairy Queen coupon.

But, remember when I said that this program was not free? Well, what does something like this cost? To be honest, I would think that these restaurants would want it to be free to the end user, especially if you are going to be choosing their restaurant over another. But this offer will run you $25 per person. So, if you want to drop $25 before you even save a dime, be my guest, but I will pay full price and not have to worry about these offers. Also note that they cover themselves by saying these offers are not guaranteed. So you could literally waste $25 for this and never see a single benefit from it.

So the next time you are handed this “great discount book” from a guy trying to sell you into a timeshare, take it, smile, and find the nearest trashcan. There is no way that a company like this is getting my credit card number. But, I will tell you that writing this made me hungry. Too bad I am not a member or I could take advantage of one of their one-person discount!