As travel lockdowns presume, timeshare travel is doing its best to keep vacation owners from getting restless. While some are hoping to use their purchased vacation in 2021, many have been feeling a bit jipped since March. We know this because we’ve spoken to a good number of people that are looking for a way to get rid of their timeshare due to the pandemic. So we decided to start sharing some of these stories and experiences to help others in a similar situation. We hope a vacation owner’s perspective gives readers a good idea of what a timeshare can entail.
Vacation Owners Quickly Become Skeptical.
The first letter we’d like to highlight is from a current client that did a great job researching their exit options prior to choosing our attorney based service. Even before the couple began reaching out to third party companies, they truly exhausted their efforts with the resort (which we’ll leave anonymous, for now). Due diligence is key to an effective termination, no matter who you hire. From this vacation owner’s perspective, a constant pursuit for restitution was warranted. Here is the opening paragraph of their letter:
“As I told you when we last spoke, we sent a certified letter to [the timeshare] in order to establish that we wanted them to rescind or buy back our timeshare contract (attached). We cited age, health, cost, and the inability to travel safely as the major reasons for our decision. [They] responded in writing that they would consider our request and let us know within 30 business days. We felt hopeful,” she wrote. But in August (2020), the resort called (on a recorded line) and told them they would not approve their cancellation request due to the couple’s loan obligation.
Vague Reasoning Leads Owners to An Exit Strategy.
Since the contract was “signed in January 2020”, the couple was told that their only options were to sell the property themselves or give it away to someone who’d use it. Instead of buckling and adhering to leveraged commands, they dug in. This owner’s letter went on to say, “At this point, our only option is to move forward with our initial plan to find a reputable timeshare cancellation company.” While our initial contact with them went rather well, we wanted to wait until the couple was completely comfortable with our process, staff and exhausting their options.
“We’ve watched YouTube confessions, YouTube warnings about timeshare cancellation/sales scams, we’ve consulted with attorneys who ‘don’t do timeshares’, and we’ve interacted on the Timeshare Users Group (TUG) to make sure we have the information we need to make the right choice. A lot of things, companies [or] options were recommended – but we kept coming back to the conversations we had with you,” said their letter. In other words, industry skepticism didn’t cover the vacation owner’s perspective of quality business.
“Overall, we feel that you were straightforward in explaining to us how the process of getting rid of our timeshare will unfold and what it is going to cost us,” one of the owners wrote. The letter described how the couple had worked their entire lives to pay bills on time and develop a good credit history, which the timeshare is now proving to compromise. According to them, deciding to go ahead with a cancellation company was the “hardest decision” they’ve had to make in a long time.
Remorse Over Timeshare Purchase Evident.
In order to appreciate how devastating a timeshare product can be, the couple was kind enough to let us in on the vulnerabilities behind buying one. “It is not a good feeling to realize that we made such a costly mistake or that we allowed people to take advantage of us. We’ve made decisions that didn’t always turn out favorable, but the more we looked into this upgrade, the more ripped off we felt,” they told us.
Come to find out, being lied to wasn’t the only tough pill to swallow. The letter went on to point out price integrity issues: “There were people who had far more points for far less money.” From the vacation owner’s perspective, they were being ripped off in plain sight. “I can’t even explain WHY it sounded so good to me in January. It is so unlike me to spend this kind of money or go into this kind of debt – [and also] so UNLIKE my husband to agree to something that doesn’t make sense to us, today,” said the owner.
An Organized Approach Aids Buyer’s Exit Vision.
For the most part, a vacation owner’s perspective is littered with doubt. Even after the couple decided to move forward with our services, they still had a number of valid questions worth answering. At the end of the day, the couple rightfully wanted to “hear some assurances” and simply know the appeal of our “experience” was survivable.
Again, because of their organization and diligence on exiting their agreement, we thought it would be valuable to share these questions with you to include in your research before hiring any company.
- Some timeshare exit companies provide “escrow accounts”, how does that work?
- If our timeshare cancellation results in a default, will there be a lien placed on our estate? Specifically, can a lien be placed on our home or other assets that will have to be paid during probate?
- We were approved for American Express credit cards to make the down payment ($25,000) [on the timeshare]. If we’re canceling the timeshare contract, can we “cancel” or stop paying American Express (AMX), too? Can or should we file a dispute with AMX to stop payments?
- Can [the timeshare company] still collect payments from my bank accounts after I cease payments?
We will be answering these questions thoroughly in next week’s article.
Every Vacation Owner’s Perspective is Valuable.
If you’re also on the brink of getting out of your timeshare contract, you probably have some questions as well. Not every vacation owner responds the same way this couple did. Sadly, many fall for further entrapment, making it even more difficult to escape. Over the years, we’ve learned that every buyer is different.
This is why we spend a lot of time understanding the variety of situations buyers place themselves in. In the end, we hope that sharing their decisions aid you in your timeshare quest.
Do You Have a Story Worth Telling?
If you’ve suddenly realized a timeshare purchase isn’t making sense, the best thing you can do is exhaust your options. A vacation owner’s perspective also tends to be littered with promising distractions. In the exit industry, falling for the first compelling pitch is extremely risky. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Find a company you know will go the extra mile to ensure your best interest is at the forefront of their agenda.
Either way, sharing your story can impact the future timeshare decisions while getting your experience off of your chest. Have you written a cancellation letter with a similar response? You’d be surprised at how many buyers are in your shoes. Feel free to reach out to us for consideration, or leave us a comment below. We’re looking to publish hundreds of perspectives in 2021.