As Christmas steadily approaches, millions of people are looking for the perfect gift that shows their friends and family just how much they appreciate them. While some simply enjoy spending a lot of money without limitations, for the most part, the generosity of the holiday season is pretty contagious. Unless you’re a Scrooge that enjoys watching The Grinch by yourself after too much eggnog, you can’t help but acknowledge what the presence of Christmas brings. Last week, we talked about the intrigue of timeshares to holiday shoppers. This week, it’s only fitting that we discuss whether or not Christmas timeshare gifts are a good idea.
But before we analyze this form of gifting, we wanted to remind you that the best Christmas gifts aren’t always the most expensive ones. If you’re really looking to show someone that you care about them, then time – not a timeshare – is normally a great gesture. Although it may appeal to you to gift the entire family with a “discounted” trip you stumbled across, try to consider how the experience could play out.
Every year, thousands of consumers plan on attending a getaway vacation that never transpires. Whether the cause is flight delays, family cancellations or an inability to book a timeshare during desired dates – the result can create quite a bit of bitterness for those anticipating the trip. While making unforgettable memories might have been on the docket, the only thing people might remember is your inaptitude of vacation-planning. Even though availability may not be your fault, the idea was.
So, if you’re considering a big splash purchase that’ll “wow” family and friends this holiday season, we suggest you invest in something a little more safe. There are plenty of things you can buy with the money it would cost to purchase a timeshare travel package. While a crafty, overhyped timeshare presentation may grab your attention, there’s usually more than what meets the eye. Like we mentioned last week, the overall burden of fractional ownership can leave you with Christmas timeshare gifts that keep on giving you a bad taste in your mouth.
Why Owners Give Timeshares as Christmas Gifts.
When a timeshare purchase turns out to be nothing like it was advertised, it still gives some buyers a unique opportunity to share the time (or interval) they purchased from the resort. For many, it’s tough to get everyone together during Christmas. So giving away an unusable timeshare week may be the best way to bless those you’re unable to see during the holidays. Especially when the purchase hasn’t exactly been advantageous. You might as well share it.
You see, far too many timeshare owners were told they’d be able to use the condo during the holiday season, only to find out they can’t. They simply assume the dates they discussed during the presentation would be available. Little did they know that booking far in advance is a critical step in guaranteeing usage. But even then, the condo isn’t always available. Truth be told, most resorts prioritize booking retail customers because the profits are higher. In turn, timeshare owners are given the leftover dates to choose from.
As you can imagine, this leaves a lot of buyers furious. The problem is, it’s extremely difficult to escape the perpetual agreement they signed up for. Because of this, a majority of owners spend a lot of time and money trying to create the experience they anticipated when they bought it. Whether they upgrade packages, invest in empty resale markets or even try to donate the timeshare, rarely are any of their efforts fruitful. This results in buyers doing what they can to make the most of the purchase – which is where Christmas timeshare gifts come into play.
Who Usually Accepts Christmas Timeshare Gifts?
Family members (especially those with large families) absolutely love it when they receive free accommodations during the holidays. Although limited availability is normally the cause, some buyers have excess weeks or a surplus of timeshare points that need to be used. This forces them to hand out intervals at the end of the year. While gifting a week may not be as big of a gesture as buying someone a timeshare for Christmas, nearly anyone would accept a travel package during the busy holiday season.
Sharing a timeshare is actually a pretty common gesture in today’s society. Recipients are given access to other people’s condos all the time. But it’s not just a communal opportunity for families. Well performing employees are sometimes rewarded with a timeshare stay for their hard work or successful role within the company. Newlyweds are often gifted intervals for their honeymoon. Even when timeshares become a burden, giving other people a chance to stay at a resort for free helps ease the pain a little.
How Gifted Timeshare Weeks Can Backfire on Owners.
While the idea of giving a free get-away can make a buyer feel better about a remorseful purchase, you have to understand what can go wrong. The last thing owners should want is for their guests to have a bad time. But sometimes, the timeshare gift is more overwhelming than enjoyable. At the end of the day, most resorts view all consumers as a potential sale. When they have an opportunity to sell them something, they do. So before you go handing out free intervals to everyone you care about for Christmas, you need to consider some situations that may arise.
In most cases, the resort methodically plans to welcome timeshare guests with a large helping of limited time offers. Upon arrival, many are given a tour and offered a number of upgrades to make the experience even more enjoyable. Free breakfasts or drinks are usually offered to establish some sort of trust or expectation that cost is not an issue. In some cases, first time users are taken immediately to a timeshare sales presentation and not allowed to leave until things get a little uncomfortable.
At the end of the day, their effort to persuade your guest to invest in something misleadingly explained as an asset is relentless. Thousands of people end up saying “yes” just to escape the harassment. They assume they’ll be able to cancel the purchase once they get home but they really don’t understand the depths of timeshare travel. Sadly, we speak to hundreds of people every year that become stuck in these types of situations. But the sale doesn’t end after the first impression.
While the first wave of aggression is normally noticeable, some of the additional tactics can be a little more subtle. Nonetheless, none are beneficial to recipients of Christmas timeshare gifts. Once other sales representatives find out there’s fresh meat on the premises, they begin circling like vultures. The check in process may even get drug out just to inconvenience the guest while the plot thickens. Before handing over the keys to your timeshare interval as a gift, make sure recipients understand they could experience quite a few high pressure sales that they don’t need. While it may seem like the resort is being helpful, in most cases, they only want their money.
What to Expect From Timeshare Gifts After Check In.
If they’re able to avoid the timeshare presentation, they’re not quite in the clear. For the most part, people visiting someone else’s timeshare need to practice a firm “No.” Letting salesman know you’re not interested – no matter what they tell you – will get them off your back. While this may cause them to retaliate and hinder the experience, it’s far better than dealing with phony customer service with bad intentions. There are plenty of ways to get this point across.
When guests are unable to communicate a firm “No,” they’re known to receive routine courtesy calls that offer further incentives, free accommodations and even forced to attend presentations. Mandated “owners update meetings” are a common way the resort attempts to gain control of the visit. Although this is normally presented upon arrival, some places have been known to harass visitors throughout their stay, even making threats if they don’t attend one of the meetings.
Even when guests are able to escape the hotel lobby and avoid relentless phone calls, most destination cities are riddled with timeshare offers. Off premise concierges (OPC) are one of the ways timeshare developers attract tourists. These are usually in places that are the most popular for travelers. Whether guests go to the beach, walk the strip, or attend an event – you can almost guarantee someone is looking to close them on something. While most tourist-focused businesses are overpriced, the cost of a timeshare can be devastating.
If you’re going to give a timeshare as a Christmas gift, you have to acknowledge the possibilities. Although it may seem like a nice gesture, the main beneficiary is going to be the resort. While not all timeshare experiences are bad, most resorts are greedy. Preparing guests by educating yourself on expectations can go a long way. You never know, it could save someone receiving a Christmas timeshare gift a lot of money and a whole lot of heartache.
If you’re frustrated with your timeshare or you know someone that is, we’d be more than happy to help. All of our consultants have been trained to avoid haggling and stick with the facts. We understand a majority of timeshare owners have been put through the ringer and the last thing we want is to be categorized with the deceit. At the end of the day, we know how to get out of timeshare contracts and take pride in delivering on our promises. To learn more about our attorney based process, you’re more than welcome to schedule a free consultation or proceed with the qualification form below.