Since 2004, Aconsumercredit™ has been on the front-line of consumer advocacy, by giving Americans a path to rescind their timeshare contract. While each individual case varies, our experience has shown that timeshares are willing to allow disputes between vacation membership owners and the resort management team persist; not for months, but frequently for years.
For a small percentage of individuals who can own multiple timeshares without financial impediments, and for those who pick more reputable timeshare resorts to become a member of, the proposition isn’t one sided. We know many individuals who have thoroughly enjoyed their experience and long-term timeshare ownership. They are not however, the majority in an industry that contributed over $33 billion to the American economy in 2015 alone.
By the time our clients are ready to get help in their fight against their timeshare resort, they have already spent thousands of dollars on attempts to resell or rent their timeshare, and recoup some of their up-front purchase price. We would like to share four things that consumers don’t know about the timeshare industry.
1. Timeshares Profile and Target Specific Customers
Like any business, the timeshare industry has a target market, or a fine-tuned understanding of the type of individual or family that will be most interested in a timeshare. Unfortunately for consumers however, it is not based on affordability or affluence. Wealthy Americans on average don’t buy into timeshare memberships, because cost of vacationing is never prohibitive for them; they can afford the vacations that many people struggle to save for, on an annual basis.
The American Resort Development Organization (ARDA) published an article that demonstrated the demographics behind timeshare sales. If you’ve ever been curious about who the timeshare industry is really marketing to, check out some of the statistics provided by the U.S. Shared Vacation Ownership Consolidated Owners Report, 2016 Ed.
The average timeshare owner is 46.8 years old and married.
Only 3 in every five timeshare owners are employed full-time. Three out of ten timeshare buyers work part-time, or are retired on a fixed income.
60% of timeshare buyers are Caucasian.
20% of timeshare buyers are African American, while only 14% of buyers are Asian-American.
68% of buyers are married, while 17% of timeshare new-buyers have never been married and are single, or in a common-law relationship. Divorced Americans make up 7% of new timeshare sales on an annual basis.
When we look at the demographic data involving timeshare sales, we don’t see lifestyle choices, we see vulnerability and issues with affordability. For instance, the timeshare industry enjoys targeting seniors and part-time workers, who may be unable to conventionally afford other types of vacations. The low starting membership fees are enticing also for young couples who have children, and less residual net income. It promises affordable vacation options, but sadly, results in an expensive lease that grows exponentially in cost, while keeping the leaser locked in legally to a contract they cannot afford.
2. Timeshare Sales People Train Hard for the Hard Sell
Did you know that Aconsumercredit™, was founded by an individual who started as a successful timeshare sales associate? It was his integrity and honesty that lead him to quickly leave the timeshare industry, and “switch sides” to help consumers trapped by unscrupulous or fraudulent sales tactics, and predatory contracts.
It is because of this experience that we know first-hand, how aggressive timeshare sales people are. They are trained to be that way, with impressive commissions and bonuses that further drive them to push every button, to make a potential buyer sign. They go to school to become trained on the ability to overcome every obstacle and objection a potential buyer has, during a sales presentation. They have an honorary PhD in “not taking ‘no’ for an answer”.
If you have a hard time saying ‘no’ to a sales person, no matter how great the perk or free incentive is, we recommend that you avoid a timeshare sales presentation. Timeshare sales teams are highly-trained aggressive and motivated sellers.
3. They Like to Avoid Talking About the Fees
Consumers who cannot afford the buy-in price of the timeshare, are often coerced into taking a loan for the initial down payment. This is where a lot of families get into financial trouble, as throughout the timeshare sales presentation, the affordability is based on your membership costs.
Most timeshare sales people will avoid adding in other costs including the interest on your down payment loan, special assessments, property taxes, maintenance fees and utilities which are not always included in the monthly cost of your timeshare. Before signing anything, all buyers should be legally provided with enough time to read all the fine print on a contract; another luxury that few timeshare sales people allow buyers. The typical model is “sign now, ask questions later”.
4. There Are Very Few Taxable Benefits for Timeshare Owners
Another area where the timeshare industry rampantly ‘blurs the line’ is by using the term ‘investment’ and ‘tax deduction’ as benefits to owning your timeshare. For American’s, the average timeshare is a recreational expense, but maintenance fees are not tax deductible. If the timeshare is rented and an income is derived from the property, the owner may be able to write off some of the expenses, including the cost of property tax and utilities. This benefit tends to be limited to timeshare owners who have deeded rights to the property, as a co-owner of the unit.
Part of our commitment to service is to help educate individuals who are seriously considering the purchase of a timeshare. Do we think that all timeshares are bad? No. But decades of experience within the industry has shown us how much the timeshare industry relies on consumers who do not know their legal rights, when it comes to fraudulent sales, high-pressured (duress) tactics, and promises of services that are never delivered (even when they are outlined in writing, on a legally binding contract).
Get our team of timeshare cancellation experts on your side. In twelve months or less (average case time), we can help you terminate your timeshare contract for good, while helping you protect your personal credit. It starts with a free consultation. Call us at: 1-800-587-EXIT and learn more about your options.