Have you ever heard the saying that hindsight, is 20/20? How many times have you wished that you could go back in time, and rethink a decision you made, that cost you time and money? We’ve all been in that situation, and as experts working since 2004 in the timeshare industry, we’ve helped many former timeshare owners who have one thing in common: they wish they had never bought one.
The truth is that the entire timeshare sales and contract model is designed to benefit one party; the resort, management and shareholders. When you extrapolate the dynamic of the average timeshare contract and experience, it never seems to be the consumer that comes out on top. Realizing that something like ownership wasn’t right for you is one thing (we all make mistakes). But when you conclude that there are very few legal options available to get out of the contract, the entire experience takes on a different tone.
If it feels like entrapment, that’s because the industry is designed to recruit new buyers, promise extraordinary (and frequently false) benefits, while charging a premium price. As years go on, the guarantee of affordable vacationing becomes a distant memory, as maintenance fees and membership fees continue to rise, on average, by 8% in the United States, every three years. When you do the math, it’s not hard to project exactly how expensive your contract will be, four, or ten years from now. And that’s a big problem for many families.
Each Timeshare Cancellation Case and Story Is Different
We wish we could share some of the most compelling client cases, where we’ve helped American families escape the vicious financial consequences of timeshare ownership. Consumers are used to being treated with a baseline level of respect, when they are a customer of a business, such as a resort or timeshare organization. This is not true for the timeshare industry, on average, and when it comes to horror stories, we’ve seen how bad it can get, for timeshare owners.
Because each case is different, our timeshare counselors sit down and retrace the entire contract and purchase process. The high success rate that we experience is due predominantly to our legal guidance from a dedicated attorney, who is versed in real estate and timeshare contract law.
We don’t give up, until we succeed at nullifying the contract, and helping our client enjoy the benefits of financial freedom from rising fees and timeshare costs. But each time we successfully cancel a timeshare contract, our clients share things that they wish other people knew, before considering the purchase of a timeshare. To help protect more consumers, our cancellation counselors would like to share five of those facts with you.
Don’t Attend the Presentation
Some of our clients have indicated that they had a strong and negative opinion about timeshare ownership, before they attended the sales presentation. Many of them report that they were persuaded during the sales pitch to a degree, where purchasing more than one timeshare seemed like a great opportunity. How does someone opposed to buying, become swayed to sign a contract, over the course of a few hours?
Most sales professionals must undergo certification and training, to work as an inbound or direct sales person. Timeshare sales experts, (the ones that can make well over $150,000 per year or more) are trained at special schools that teach them how to overcome every single objection you may have. In recent years, states have now required that they be licensed by a real estate association, prior to being certified to sell on behalf of resorts. A small step forward, for the industry.
More than half of our clients claim that they had misgivings about attending the sales presentation, but they were enticed by the free offer. Don’t underestimate the power of a seasoned timeshare sales professional. A free dinner or cruise, isn’t worth years of debt and fees to a timeshare resort.
Buying Extra Points Is Not a Good Idea
Imagine for a moment, that you are dissatisfied with your timeshare membership. You may not be able to get the weeks you want at your favorite resort, or worse yet, the accommodations and amenities may be lower standard. It’s never a good idea to buy into a timeshare resort, when you haven’t had the opportunity to do a site and accommodation visit; you really can’t tell what you are buying into, no matter how great it looks in the brochure.
The first option that timeshares offer is of course, buying more points. The points promise to give you more selection in terms of resorts, and better peak season accessibility, so you can vacation when you really want to (including holidays). We can’t express how upset some of our clients have been, when we evaluate their legally binding timeshare contract, and discover that they own two, or possibly three different contracts, because of buying more points. Our clients then must contend with cancelling not one, but two or three endorsed contracts, which can complicate or delay the process.
Don’t Buy It for Your Kids
Imagine your parents (their grandparents) offering you the use of a timeshare for a couple of weeks annually, in exchange for thousands of dollars of maintenance, membership fees and more. Does it sound like a good deal to inherit what is effectively a debt? Would you want to hand that off to your children or grandchildren? Of course not.
Timeshare sales people are experts at zeroing in on the emotional aspects of vacation planning. They know you want to spend more time having fun, with your family. Part of the common pitch involves a legacy speech, where they indicate that your 99-year or 50-year timeshare can be transferred to surviving family members. Trust us when we say that few children, or grandchildren, will want a legacy of debt and escalating expenses.
Never Buy a Timeshare Online or Through the Mail
Buying a timeshare has the same legal consequences, as buying a financed house with a mortgage. Would you ever buy a house, site unseen, that you found online? Of course not! The financial consequences and risk to your personal credit score alone, are reason to avoid buying any type of property online. But sometimes the deals simply look too good to be true (and they are, in fact, not true to their claims). Consumers get trapped in a risky resort ‘investment’ when they shop for deals online or resale by private owners.
Don’t Stop Paying Your Fees
When you are embroiled in a dispute with your timeshare, it’s easy to get angry and feel like you are being victimized. An emotional response to the problem is to stop payment on all obligations, including membership and maintenance fees. It’s understandable that you are disappointed, frustrated and angry, but don’t allow your timeshare dispute to have a negative impact on your personal credit.
Any timeshare owner that stops paying fees, ends up paying a higher price in the long run. First, timeshare companies do report directly to credit bureaus, for incidents of nonpayment; it only takes one report to start a downward spiral on your credit score. Second, non-payment of fees gives the resort the best excuse in the world, to make even more money from a dissatisfied member, through non-payment penalties and late fees. Check your contract to learn more about the fees you can expect to see compound, if you stop paying your timeshare (even during the cancellation process).
We invite anyone who is considering their options for timeshare cancellation, to spend some time reading our client reviews on Trustpilot. There, you will find real people expressing their relief, after using our cancellation counselors to end their contract legally. If you really want out of your obligation, start today and be free of your timeshare contract in 12-months or sooner, with Aconsumercredit™.