How do Timeshares Get Away With Lying to Travel Enthusiasts?

How do Timeshares Get Away With Lying to Travel Enthusiasts?

For decades now, millions of consumers have been talked into spending tens of thousands of dollars on a weekly timeshare vacation. While some are content with a simple trip to a familiar destination, others become consumed by efforts to make the purchase worthwhile. Whether lust or disappointment drives the pursuit, the timeshare sales system is built to take advantage of both. Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked a lot about the sales process and how buyers are misled. But the way timeshares get away with lying is just as concerning. 

In order to understand this better, it’s important that we remain focused on the contract signing. Oftentimes disputes by a vacation owner stems from the initial presentation. This is because actual contract terms are rarely disclosed, causing many buyers to sign perpetual agreements under false pretenses. In other words, sales teams have been known to lie in order to place unsuspecting consumers under a legal obligation they don’t exactly understand. 

Lying About Timeshare Ownership is Getting Worse.

In the past, getting out of a timeshare agreement has often been viewed as an unattainable feat. This is due to the amount of money poured into the sale of the contract. But over the past few years, people have started noticing that timeshares get away with lying more often than not. In return, consumer protection and government agencies increased their efforts to expose misleading sales practices and crack down on unethical timeshare operations.

Soon after, companies like ours began publishing industry truth to combat the deceit. Because of this, many major timeshare resorts have focused their efforts on additional ways to get away with lying. When you think about it, providing proper disclosure and an adequate follow through would solve a majority of their problems. But apparently, they’re more concerned with protecting themselves from backlash right now – while keeping owners under contract.

worried-younger-woman-placing-hands-on-forehead-as-if-shes-preparing-her-mind-for-letdown

“License to Lie” Clause Created to Protect Timeshares.

In last week’s article, we briefly covered a clause that is commonly being used in timeshare contracts today. Visible on most written agreements, this “license to lie” purportedly gives timeshare companies the “right” to disqualify any “verbal promises” made by a timeshare salesperson during the sale. These clauses are written in a way to protect the timeshare from any type of legal complaint regarding the presentation. 

Although this is currently in play, we’re not sure how they plan on enforcing it. Many prospects aren’t even allowed to view the contract until the sale is final. So if the purchase is based on a lie, then how can a buyer’s obligation be binding? The simple fact that prominent resorts are trying to legally protect themselves from being held accountable for false promises made by their own sales teams is absurd! Even more important, how can timeshares get away with lying when they’ve already been busted for singing the same tune?

Lying About Timeshare Contracts is Nothing New.

There’s a reason why timeshare companies use highly aggressive sales teams. Anyone with sense can see the intent here is to maximize their bottom line at the consumer’s expense. Extra effort has always been made to blame buyers for their ownership experience. Timeshares have their hands deep in lobbyist’s pockets to ensure lawmakers enforce short rescission periods and uncapped annual fees. The state of Florida recently increased the cap for special assessments. Even customer service teams are trained to make buyers feel responsible for the inconvenience of the purchase.

The never ending sales process, that’s jam packed with excuses, helps timeshares get away with lying and deflect any wrongdoing. The thing is, the problem still remains. The more owners they lie to, the more problems they have. Contractually forcing them to pay is not the answer. If anything, the license-to-lie clause will only make matters worse for resorts and their timeshare programs. Refusing to revise sales strategies and show empathy to a number of wronged customers is not a good look.

crazed-millennial-stressed-out-over-terrible-booking-options-and-customer-service-by-his-timeshare-resort-team-lying-is-not-ok

Timeshares Find A Way to Keep Owners at Bay.

Government officials are either oblivious to the timeshare industry’s deceitful schemes or they’re benefitting from them. What makes this “license to lie” situation interesting is the California Attorney General recently sued a well-known timeshare group for it. But after the operation settled with the AG and removed the disclaimer from their contracts, they simply repositioned themselves under a successor company. 

Doing so allowed them to create new contracts with the exact same clause – and it’s being leveraged still to this day. Powerful hotel chains know that government agencies just don’t have the funds or manpower to continue fighting the same battles. Since the first settlement took years to execute, they apparently feel it’s worth the risk to do it again. It’s almost as if beating the system makes them feel accomplished.

The current use of the disclaimer against new owners gives the resort enough ammunition to quietly continue selling contracts and collecting payments. The losses from COVID-19 have added even further urgency and aggression to their sales tactics. And like we mentioned before, timeshares get away with lying because a majority of the general population isn’t aware of the actualities of the purchase – or what to watch out for during the sale.

old-man-wearing-hawaiin-lay-signing-up-for-timeshare-vacation-package-like-it-was-a-good-deal-but-salepeople-lied

Are Travel Enthusiasts At a Disadvantage?

Rarely are people ever prepared or even motivated to properly document a timeshare presentation in order to protect themselves from sales fraud. Oftentimes, many feel as though they’ve stumbled across an opportunity of a lifetime. The charisma of the sale can be captivating. This is why all aspiring vacation owners should always have an attorney review the terms before signing anything.

Even a simple mention of this during the presentation can work in the buyer’s favor. But it’s hard for most to think this way. Many want the salesperson’s spiel to be true. Instead of challenging any and every promise before committing to the deal, they believe in the pitch. Little do they know that timeshare offers should be viewed with skepticism. Questioning the purchase could be one of the best decisions they ever make.

Timeshares Want Owners to Believe All Sales Are Final.

Travel enthusiasts will continue making ignorant timeshare mistakes until they fully understand the pitfalls of the industry. As buyers progress in ownership, they often have a number of questions about their contract. But once the rescission period is over (usually 5 days) and the agreement is binding, it’s awfully difficult for them to do much about it. As they discover more truth, remorse usually sets in quickly. Timeshare companies know this but many simply don’t care. They know they have leverage. 

As long as owners don’t turn to cancellation services or formulate a strong class action lawsuit, resorts know they can milk a vacation owner for tens of thousands of dollars before they even know what hit them. This is why a majority of their news releases and industry updates discuss exit scams. If they can create fear around an owner’s timeshare contract exit resource, they can make a lot of money off of one buyer.

pretty-gal-feeling-uneasy-about-purchasing-vacation-ownership-after-finding-out-how-timeshares-get-away-with-lying-to-travel-enthusiasts-all-the-time-creating-discomfort

Will Timeshares Get Away With Lying Much Longer?

While the whole concept of lying is disheartening, it tells us that timeshare companies are becoming more desperate than ever before. The simple fact that they’re using old, failed tricks proves they’re running out of options. Society just doesn’t value an annual vacation like once before. Even though many have enjoyed their purchase in the past, the greed of the industry continues to rear its ugly head.

Buyers that were once able to travel effortlessly are now experiencing limitations. Mergers and new laws have added inconveniences to the overall fractional ownership experience. Points programs haven’t exactly been fruitful. Now that the travel industry is extremely competitive, some believe it makes more sense to simply cancel the timeshare. While we’re not quite ready to put a fork in the industry, the future most certainly looks bleak. 

When timeshares get away with lying because they’re avoiding the truth, it’s only a matter of time before it bites them. If you feel as though you’ve been misled during a timeshare presentation and want to learn more about our qualifying process, you can always schedule a free consultation. At VOC, we’re committed to understanding your current situation so we can point you in the right direction. Thanks for stopping by.

How Timeshare Prospects Are Worn Down During Sales Presentations.

How Timeshare Prospects Are Worn Down During Sales Presentations.

When it comes to timeshares, the amount of time and money that goes into the sale is staggering. But it’s not because travel has become extremely competitive over the last decade. Instead of advertising intervals online, timeshare companies prefer to meet with timeshare prospects in a secluded environment they can control. It’s just too big of a purchase for consumers to sporadically make anymore. Vacation rentals have taken over and nobody is actively searching for vacation ownership – giving resorts even more reason to utilize shady methods to fill presentations and sell their timeshare product. 

Pressure filled environments have always helped sales teams wear down attendees and increase their chances of closing the deal. While most attendees escape the arranged demonstration unscathed, many timeshare prospects don’t. Sadly, they become victims of the timeshare sales cycle. This is why it’s important that all consumers understand how deep the sale of vacation ownership weeks and points can go.

How Are Timeshares Leveraging Sales Presentations?

In our last two blog posts, we did our best to explain the process by which timeshare companies use misleading promises to coralle consumers into a persuasive presentation. Now that you know how these aggressive selling swindlers get in front of unexpecting consumers, it’s time to take a closer look at the exposition itself. While it may seem like we’re bashing the industry for selfish gain, just remember we’re trying to help those that have yet signed up for the agreement. 

Even though some of these occurrences may qualify you for our services, we would still need to inspect your contract(s) before advising you on relief or further restitution. While we do believe many timeshare operations aren’t consumer-friendly, our intent isn’t to sell you on our services. With that being said, here are some of the ways timeshare prospects are worn down during sales presentations.

older-lady-rubbing-eyes-as-if-she-can't-believe-what-she's-seeing-and-hearing-from-timeshare-sales-presentation-white-background-denim-button-up-glasses-on-head

1. Short Meetings Usually Last a Long Minute.

If you’ve been invited to a timeshare sales presentation, then you’ve more than likely been offered something in exchange. Whether it be a free night’s stay at a prominent resort or a voucher for dinner and a show, you’ll be required to attend a “meeting” to receive the gift. Since most people balk at this, it’s often presented as a brief, 90 minute presentation to explain the details of the offer. Sometimes this isn’t disclosed until timeshare prospects arrive on location. This is done so consumers don’t change their mind or research the experience beforehand.

When you find yourself being talked into attending a meeting in order to receive something that was already promised to you, then you have to take notice. This is the first red flag of a lopsided presentation. What you’re going to be offered is not worth it. Don’t let the “prize(s)” distract you. Any lack of disclosure should create concern for timeshare prospects. This is important because once you step in the doors, it will be difficult to leave. Although you may think you’ll be able to say “no” and walk away, never underestimate the tongues of timeshare salespeople. It is very much so a group effort to close you.

Everybody knows someone that loves to talk. They’re the one person you can never find a way to break away from. This is exactly how timeshare sales presentations are. We’ve helped clients who claimed they weren’t allowed to leave the sales presentation for water and food due to diabetic concerns. It’s harder than you think and why resorts prefer to sell this way. It’s not uncommon for a 30 minute meeting to turn into an 8 hour presentation that eventually wears down timeshare prospects. Nearly every timeshare group operates this way.

2. Shiny Objects Keep Timeshare Prospects Distracted.

The first step of the sales presentation is to engage the audience. During this time, a number of appealing destinations, perks, options or possibilities are dangled in front of timeshare prospects. This helps them build excitement around the product from the podium. During this time, cunning sales representatives begin to segment the room and determine who they’re going to target and with what pitch. The “check-in” paperwork that guests were required to fill out gives them further insight on every attendee – helping them with this process.

As the lead presenter explains certain deals, packages and benefits, sales teams observe the responses of guests and take note of their intrigue while reviewing their financials. This allows them to “build a friendship” with timeshare prospects before they even meet them. Some have even been known to research certain guests online to gain an advantage.

young-men-sitting-around-conference-room-table-doing-research-on-computer-scheming-for-sales-presentation-for-vacations

When attendees are distracted by shiny objects and the endless possibilities of ownership, it’s hard for them to notice they’re being preyed upon by commissioned contractors. If you ever feel as though something is too good to be true, then it probably is. If you’re giving sales teams personal information that isn’t necessary, think twice. Far too often, timeshare prospects are worn down by appealing possibilities and charisma during sales presentations. Don’t let that be you. 

3. You Can’t Leave Once You’ve Made a Commitment.

When it comes to the timeshare sale, psychological tactics are very much so at the forefront. Like we mentioned before, most people don’t like to think they’d fall for a one sided sales pitch. But once your intrigue is real and you’ve been sucked into the sales presentation, it’s difficult to let go of the desire to go on vacation. The longer you wait for a reason to leave, the harder it will be to walk out. Once the sales rep proves he’s continuously willing to wheel and deal, most timeshare prospects simply cannot stop playing the game.

If you already agreed to sit through a 90 minute timeshare presentation (and you weren’t caught off guard), then you were probably already expecting some sort of spiel. But if you knew nothing about the presentation itself, let alone the company name of the host, then why did the “incentive” appeal to you? We mention this because many attend these sales presentations with the hope it’s going to be fruitful. Even though it may seem sketchy, the possibility of an affordable annual vacation is attractive. When free gifts and invested time are at stake, many don’t want to let the opportunity go. In turn, the sales presentation wears them down and they do something they regret.

Personal Commitments and Timeshare Misconceptions.

What makes matters worse is the sales staff’s involvement in the inclination of timeshare prospects. In other words, the psychology of it all is troubling. Once distractions and excitement have been sewn into the podium pitch, the sales reps pull the attendees aside to a secluded room to finish the deal. This is normally the point of no return. 

Some may be skeptical and bold enough to voice that they have fulfilled their 90 minute requirement and demand their free gift. Sometimes this is effective but rarely does it matter. Sales teams have an answer and contingency for nearly every “no.” There always seems to be “one more thing to do” before they give you what they promised.

older-man-glasses-looking-off-as-if-annoyed-during-sales-presentation-worn-down-by-representatives-white-background

Many salespeople simply state they aren’t authorized to give out certain gifts and call in another representative that has “the paperwork” for the deal. When you’re handed off like this, it’s called a takeover (TO). With each new sales representative, timeshare prospects are continuously persuaded on different products, features, perks, destinations and options. The presentation always continues with an offer for a better product, a different getaway or something that’s “better suited for your budget.” 

Even those that continue to demand their free gift are often met by another closer with better skills. The longer they can distract attendees, the more likely they are to settle on something. The mind game played here causes many attendees to forget what they’re even looking for. With each tick on the clock, they feel more committed and determined to get something in exchange for their time. At this point in the presentation, sales teams know timeshare prospects won’t just get up and walk away. 

With each closer, the pot gets sweeter and sweeter in the eyes of the timeshare prospect. Once the sales presentation has worn them down, nearly anything could seem like a good consolation prize. But giving in to get out of the presentation is dangerous. Most buyers never receive what they believe they paid for because they didn’t get verbal promises in writing. If you find the presentation extremely frustrating and you’re not sure what you’re getting yourself into, then just walk away. There’s no penalty for making a smart decision.

4. Lying About a Timeshare Prospect’s Ability to Cancel.

One of the most misleading elements of the timeshare sale is the idea of “today only deals.” Nobody should believe this facade for a second. Besides, all you need to do is compare the overall cost of ownership with a retail vacation to see it’s not much of a deal after all. Regardless, there is another lie that is far more concerning. Once a timeshare prospect has been worn down by the pitch, sales reps have been known to make false verbal promises about their ability to cancel or even that they will buy back the timeshare from them. Telling a tired and hungry attendee that they can always “cancel if it doesn’t work out” makes it easy to capture a signature.

This is why you must understand that these presentations are designed to be drug out as long as possible. They want you to believe you made the decision to buy and that the only way to leave is to find something that works. No matter what you think, they will do what it takes to get you under contract. Too much money has been spent and their reward is too high to give up. Leading you to believe you can easily cancel perpetuity is a last resort tactic that’s used once prospects are ready to leave.

vacation-ownership-consultants-white-logo-blue-background-with-middle-aged-man-in-glasses-scratching-head-as-if-confused-by-timeshare-sales-presentation-2020

The Reality of a Vacation Owner’s Ability to Cancel.

The problem is, the details of the cancellation (rescission) period are rarely disclosed. Paperwork for this is often said to be missing (“fallen out”) and has even been found in “hidden compartments” of presentation folders at the spine. In most states, buyers have less than 5 days to change their mind. No matter how worn down timeshare prospects are, they have to be willing to ask questions. Many assume they’ll be able to visit the resort before making a decision to cancel – but they’re wrong.

Even though the rescission period has been a constant controversy for lawmakers, it has yet to change. Many believe consumers should have a chance to test the experience, but it doesn’t change the fact that thousands of buyers find themselves unwillingly under contract every year – simply because a timeshare representative told them they could cancel. What ends up happening is, once they realize they can’t get out of the timeshare agreement, they attempt to make it worthwhile. If they’re unaware of other costs, like maintenance fees or assessments, then they could be in for a big surprise.

Don’t Misjudge Sales Pitches as a Timeshare Prospect.

Owning a timeshare may seem like a pleasant experience for only $20k, but after interest, fees and travel expenses, it can be overwhelming. Upgrades and additional contracts can quickly turn the purchase into a 6 digit expense. While there are plenty of people that enjoy vacation ownership, people need to understand what they’re purchasing before they say “yes.” If you’re leaning on a sales team (that is highly incentivized) to lead you in the right direction then you should probably reassess your strategy

Hopefully these articles have given you a better perspective on what to look for throughout the timeshare sales process. The last thing you need to be doing is getting yourself trapped in a timeshare agreement you don’t want or need. Plenty of timeshare prospects have taken the time to do their own research and you should too. If you have any questions about your timeshare contract, you’re always more than welcome to schedule a free consultation.

Why People Purchase Timeshares & How They’re Lured to Presentations.

Why People Purchase Timeshares & How They’re Lured to Presentations.

Our world is stuck in a time of despair. Since the wake of the Coronavirus, people’s livelihoods have been turned upside down. Local shops and businesses have been forced to close their doors and millions of Americans are living on pennies. Casualties have become eager to voice injustice. Deep societal issues deservedly dominate our nation’s headlines. Most consumers are probably making payments on something they can’t even use. Costly inconveniences are steadily becoming more and more of a problem. So what are corporations doing about it? 

Over the past several months, we’ve been studying the responses of timeshare companies during the pandemic. Not once have we come across a strategy to relieve the industry’s highest paying customers during the pandemic. By April, many decided to begin layoffs and point vacation owners to government and financial institutions instead of lessening their burdens. But this shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise. So why do people purchase timeshares even though resorts have been taking advantage of owners for decades?

Why Buying Timeshares May Be Appealing Today.

When consumers first come across a timeshare presentation, many believe it’s truly an opportunity of a lifetime. It’s safe to say a majority of buyers have never even looked into the purchase before. Even if they did, major hotel chains do a great job of squashing negativity about their brands. Once they’re able to convince potential buyers that bad press stems from exit scams, most people overlook the red flags.

older-grey-haired-man-in-aged-striped-swimwear-gazing-towards-right-with-hand-blocking-sun-shine-looking-for-answeres-to-timeshare-purchase

We tell you this because a great number of people will be looking to travel in the near future. Society has been shut in for months. While the goal of many will be to recover from the financial crisis that has ensued, some will immediately look for a way to escape. You might even be looking for a vacation right now. What’s important to understand is, timeshare companies are going to be looking to capitalize on this desire.

When People Purchase Timeshares Out of Impulse.

When you’re unprepared for a timeshare presentation or unaware of what the purchase entails, salespeople tend to be rather convincing. In other words, people purchase timeshares because they’re uninformed. Anyone that takes the time to truly investigate the expensive product will clearly see it’s not worth it. Something that may seem like a much needed getaway for an affordable price can easily turn into a costly burden during an inconvenient time. 

People that have recently bought timeshares are currently troubled by this decision. Many won’t even be able to use it this year. The problem is, the low monthly cost that was advertised isn’t their only obligation. Interest, taxes, and other annual fees often catch buyers off guard because they’re not mentioned in the sale. Perpetual agreements enforce obligations during crises and assessment fees help resorts cover reparations.

clueless-looking-man-in-sport-coat-arms-raised-grey-hair-spanish-goatee-vacation-owner-white-backdrop

So as you venture into public in a post-pandemic world, you have to be willing to inspect what appeals to you. No matter how good a timeshare may sound, you have to check the facts. Greedy operations have probably been scheming for months now. Resorts have lost a lot of money. Aside from overbooking their resorts, selling timeshare agreements is the fastest way for them to replenish revenues. 

So what can we expect from an industry already known for aggressive methods? 

Filling Up Timeshare Presentations is Key.

Getting people to sit down for a timeshare sales pitch is no easy task. This is why the industry hires charismatic, convincing people to position the product. Whether you’re approached in person or over the phone, the initial goal is to get you to believe you’ve been selected for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There are many ways the sales team makes random targets feel special.

Timeshares Lure Consumers With “Free” Incentives.

Giving away physical items or experiences typically gets people’s attention. But these types of incentives aren’t always what they seem. Timeshare companies have been using misleading gifts to lure consumers to timeshare presentations for decades now. “Free” activities or attractions offered are usually nothing more than certificates or premiums that need to be redeemed. But people purchase timeshares not knowing this.

gift-certificate-or-voucher-wrapped-in-fake-bow-on-paper-held-by-cheerful-younger-gentleman-seemingly-excited-about-redeemable-gift-towards-bought-timeshare-product

Redemption programs have always been extremely difficult to process. Oftentimes, there are several steps that need to be completed perfectly in a certain time frame in order to receive the perk. Many buyers never follow through and forget. It becomes so difficult for others that they just give up. How many times have you purchased a new item (such as a cell phone) with promised savings only to find out the rebate was limited or it became void because you missed a step? 

Plenty of people are leveraged to purchase timeshares just to cash in on the gifts. Accepting concert tickets and a two night stay in Miami seems worth the risk – especially when they’re already on vacation and loosely spending. Many believe they can just cancel the contract when they get home. 

Sadly, a majority of people that purchase timeshares for the gifts don’t know they have to cancel within the rescission period (usually 5 days) in order to void the transaction. What’s worse is some buyers don’t even receive the gifts they were promised. This leaves them stuck in a binding, unwanted gift that keeps on giving. Just remember, nothing in life is free. Even if you think you’ve struck gold, don’t make an impulse decision. Short term potential is not worth an extended burden. Don’t play their game.

Gifts Can Be Leveraged Against Vacation Owners.

While incentives can be used to generate appeal, they’re also used to establish further revenue. Oftentimes, timeshare companies will make the deal with a new owner, then offer to buy back some of the gifts they’ve given out – before the buyer realizes they’re not worth it. What ends up happening is, people purchase timeshare to get a free gift, then exchange the gift for an upgraded timeshare package. While some vouchers can be redeemed, many are used as a ploy.

grandma-over-grandpas-shoulder-reaffirming-his-purchase-decision-with-sleezy-timeshare-salesman-punching-numbers-at-desk-with-greedy-grin-predator-of-elderly

This should show you just how conniving and misleading timeshare sales teams can be. Normally when this happens, upgrades are positioned as “price drops” that recently just became available. In other words, another, better limited opportunity. Truth be told, this sales pitch never stops. Once you’ve signed the agreement, timeshare sales teams will always look for ways to get you to spend more. In reality, you could have simply picked up an interval on eBay for $1 and avoided a year of maintenance fees. People are that eager to get out of timeshare contracts. 

The face value of most incentives given to timeshare owners are under $100. If you’re walking down the strip in Vegas and someone offers you $80 show tickets in exchange for 90 minutes of your time – just keep walking. It’s best to just pay for the tickets yourself. Doing so could help you avoid a completely devastating experience with double digit financial hardship.

4 Timeshare Lies That Resorts Commonly Tell Potential Buyers.

4 Timeshare Lies That Resorts Commonly Tell Potential Buyers.

For those that have bought a timeshare, the ownership experience can carry quite the mixed bag of emotions. People either enjoy it or they regret the decision. Truth be told, it all starts with the sales presentation. When buyers are fully aware of all the purchase entails, it makes it easier to find contentment. But when they’re sold on false hopes, then higher costs and minimal availability, regret tends to be the result. When a salesman from the timeshare lies about the reality of the product while leaving out pertinent information about the contract, buyers feel rather forsaken to say the least.

When you think about it, buying a timeshare is no different than any other large purchase. An informed decision that matches expectations will be a satisfactory one. An expensive, impulse decision that was too good to be true would leave a bad taste in anyone’s mouth. While it’s never a good idea to make an uninformed purchase of this magnitude (interest, fees and mortgage usually exceeds $40K), it’s hard to fault the consumer when the timeshare lies.

Misleading Consumers is Extremely Damaging.

When a retailer has the ability to lock uneducated buyers into perpetual (lifetime) agreements, a higher level of responsibility needs to be expected. If the travel opportunity is so great, then selling people on the concept shouldn’t be difficult. You shouldn’t need to lie or hide details in order to close a deal. Some people have no business owning a weekly timeshare interval. The simple fact that consumers are pressured into buying something they’re not even seeking out – for a misleading price – is downright criminal.

One unexpected expense can easily push most people over their budget and into financial hardship. So in order to help them avoid haste, we thought it was a good idea to break down four ways timeshare companies convince potential customers with lies. If you’re not aware of the strategy behind this, you could be easily swayed into a disastrous situation. No matter what the resort tells you, the signed contract terms are the only thing they’re legally bound to. Broken promises happen frequently here and if you’re unaware of common timeshare lies, misconduct is extremely difficult to prove.

aging man with beard looking borderline angry after finding out news about potential lie

Why Lies About Timeshare Travel are Common.

Timeshare sales teams know that once the rescission period (a trial period that lasts 5-7 days in most states) is over, new owners are officially bound to whatever they signed that was in writing. Any undocumented guarantees, hypothetical scenarios or suggested possibilities cease to exist. This gives customer service teams a chance to position up-sales as solutions. When the timeshare salesperson lies and the owner can’t prove it, they’re often forced to spend more money just to make the purchase worth it

When they can’t use the property the way they envisioned, many find themselves at the mercy of the resort. It’s hard for them to say “No” even when they don’t have the money because thousands of dollars are already going to waste. Pride and hope often gets in the way here. So, preventing a bad decision starts with asking the right questions. Once you know how and why the salesman of a timeshare lies to you, it’ll be easier for you to identify deceit, confidently say “no” and walk away. Hopefully this article equips you to act accordingly.

Lie #1: Cheap Travel Options Are Available.

When it comes to assessing the sales strategies in the timeshare marketplace, the ideal target audience is pretty clear. Resorts usually crave to speak to those who rarely even think about traveling or lavish vacations. These groups of people tend to be 35 and older with an average annual income of $50K. Most of which aren’t privy to the history of timeshare travel and don’t have a lot of extra funds laying around for a nice family vacation every year. 

So why do they target people with limited funds and zero travel aspirations? Because the timeshare lies about the product being an affordable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that isn’t actually out of reach. They know how to make it seem like it’s a deal not worth passing up by leaving out potential limitations, costs and fees. But first, they have to gain their victim’s trust by showing them a smashing good time.

senior citizens jumping up in the air on rocks by seashore vacation front lured by timeshare lies throwing hat in air

Creating Appeal Before the Deal

Every year, timeshare companies advertise free gifts in order to lure hundreds of thousands of ideal customers to their destination resorts. The only thing they require is that each guest attends (or endures) a “brief” timeshare presentation. Wining and dining consumers that rarely experience a pampered lifestyle creates an uncommon sense of euphoria. 

This opens a consumer’s mind to possibilities. It’s like getting your spouse drunk to elicit a reaction that benefits you. By the time attendees are told an affordable getaway is at their fingertips, the excitement of the new experience blinds them from their intuition. In the midst of bliss, escaping for a week all of a sudden becomes appealing.

Undisclosed Dollar Amounts.

In reality, buying a timeshare is rarely what it seems. Far too many people end up finding this out the hard way. During the sale, specific number amounts are normally highlighted or pointed out in order to mislead the buyer. What tends to be left out are annual maintenance fees, potential special assessments, interest and even taxes. What was said to be $359/month all of a sudden becomes $525/month after the first year is all said and done. That’s $6,500 and an unknown liability cost for mediocre accommodations for a week. Does that sound like an affordable travel alternative to you? Since maintenance fees rise every year and special assessments are spontaneous, there’s no telling how much the overall cost will be. 

When the purchase sends a buyer into financial hardship, additional costs and penalties can devastate their livelihood. Something that was sold as a way to bring the family closer together can end up tearing them apart. Even if the timeshare lies and claims the total cost won’t exceed $19K, most vacation owners end up paying close to $41K by the time they’re repayment term ends. This is assuming all payments were made on time. It also doesn’t consider the simple fact buyers are on the hook for maintenance and assessment costs for life. So, the true “all in cost” (at maturity) is closer to $56K.

Timeshare Lies Prove to be Costly.

When it’s all said and done, forking over six figures for an annual trip isn’t unrealistic. Even for a median income household. This is crazy to think when far cheaper options are available. If buyers knew the cost would play out this way, it’s safe to say most would have walked away. But since they were told they could afford it and lied to about the financial commitment, many are forced to adapt to a financially handicapped situation. All for the sake of a few thousand dollars in commissions paid to a sales representative with no conscience.

pointing fingers like guns sales teams for timeshare companies confidently lie about sales packages to consumers

Lie #2: Timeshares Are Investment Opportunities.

Since we’ve discussed this a number of times in other articles, we’re going to keep this short and to the point. A timeshare is not an asset, it’s a liability. Think of it like leasing a car. You can’t resell the vehicle and it’s only costing you money to use it. There isn’t much that’s advantageous about it from an investor’s standpoint. The fact of the matter is, timeshares hold zero resale value – now and in the foreseeable future. If anything, they’re depreciating faster than ever before due to improved travel options and other advancements that the timeshare industry is failing to adapt to.

Buying a vacation interval isn’t even comparable to the purchase of a new car that depreciates when you drive it off the lot. It never carries any value. The market is so dense and competitive that it’s nearly impossible to ever even get in front of someone looking to rent or buy one. So when the timeshare lies and mentions resale or rental as a fallback or investment option, don’t believe it. A weekly interval should never be mistaken for a business opportunity.

Supplemental Pipe Dreams.

The resort wants you to believe that the more you buy the more you’ll be able to make. The low risk, high reward sales pitch works when people think they can earn supplemental income while vacationing for free. Especially those with limited incomes and not a lot of spare change. It’s extremely appealing to them and often used to combat their initial remorse. But a mediocre interval during a limited week will never be able to compete with timeshare marketing strategies or premium vacation homes that are visibly listed on AirBnB or similar.

depressed-middle-aged-woman-sitting-on-couch-alone-in-dark-space-wondering-if-shell-ever-be-able-to-sell-her-timeshare

Lie #3: Booking Priority and Convenient Availability.

One of the biggest lies timeshare companies tell involves availability. Nearly every day, we talk to someone that was told a specific week or destination was going to be available and it wasn’t. It’s just another way sales teams use verbal affirmations to get people to sign the dotted line. Buyers that are on the fence about the purchase usually want certain guarantees before agreeing to the deal. When they’re able to lock in a date that the entire family would appreciate, the pot becomes too sweet to pass up.

But the Actual Deal is Usually Sour.

In reality, first dibs for bookings almost always go to third party online travel retailers like Expedia and Priceline. Although new owners may have been led to believe they had priority booking, it’s highly unlikely. You’d have to make a substantial investment to guarantee a specific date – at which point you are drastically overpaying for something you can reserve through one of the aforementioned third parties. Resorts profit far more from retail travelers during peak seasons. They’re not going to hand over these dates to clients that are already obligated to pay.

If the buyer doesn’t figure this out within the first week, the trial period will end and they’ll be stuck with limited dates and destinations for good. Misleading statements and guarantees about availability can really put a damper on the entire experience for the consumer. Especially when the scheduling department for the timeshare lies further by claiming another vacation owner booked the week first. Ironically, this sets the resort up nicely to pitch an upgrade for the desired dates.

interesting-middle-aged-woman-with-white-husband-speaking-to-sales-staff-about-potential-timeshare-relief-options

Lie #4: “Beneficial Interests” Add to the Family Legacy.

If you stay at a timeshare presentation long enough, sales teams know how to start tugging on your heart strings. After a few hours they start trying to make attendees feel as though they’re letting loved ones down by passing up an amazing opportunity they may never come across again. Whether they’re referring to children, extended family members or a close group of friends; the timeshare company knows how to pull information out of you and use it against you.

A Legacy Pitch is a Red Flag.

Telling a proud father that his kids deserve an annual trip is a good way to chip away at the sale. One of the more famous ways they go about doing this is what’s called a “legacy pitch.” This leads potential buyers to believe they’ll be able to leave their kids a piece of vacation property (otherwise known as “beneficial interest”) for future use once they pass away. This tends to be pretty convincing for aging couples nearing the end of their lives.

Unfortunately, it’s just another way the timeshare lies about the actualities of the bargain. While the offer is normally sold as a points program through a trust, in most cases, the contract language states the owner doesn’t actually own anything at all. The trust owned by the timeshare does. However, the owner is on the hook for the mortgage, maintenance and assessment fees. What ends up happening is, the children of the deceased buyer end up absorbing the burden down the road and the resort begins requesting liability payments from them.

younger-blonde-woman-on-phone-by-computer-and-bills-arguing-liability-of-timeshare-after-parents-passed-away

Avoid the Lies and Focus on the Facts.

At the end of the day, the only reason a timeshare should be purchased is for the travel experience. However, participating in minimal research and simple comparisons will show this to be a poor financial decision. While the purchase is sold as an affordable expedition with ideal dates that are too good to pass up – you must understand that you’re paying a premium to vacation this way. Nothing is guaranteed unless it is in writing. If you feel as though your emotions and personal relationships are being used to leverage your decision, it’s always best to walk away.

The truth is, it’s very hard to identify timeshare lies and deception at the point of sale. But when you know what to ask and how to confirm pertinent details, you’ll always be able to make a confident decision. The last thing you should want is to enter a never-ending sales cycle that continues to prey on your desperation with false hopes. If you’re stuck in an unfavorable agreement, we’d love to help you exhaust your options with the resort before helping you find a favorable outcome. We provide free consultations that explain how to get out of a timeshare or you can begin the qualification process below.

The Truth About Sales Practices in the Timeshare Exit Industry | Part 1

The Truth About Sales Practices in the Timeshare Exit Industry | Part 1

The timeshare exit industry is interesting to say the least. While hundreds of thousands of people have benefitted from their ability to legally cancel a timeshare agreement, just as many have been taken advantage of. Far too many cancellation programs are in business for the wrong reasons and they’re using the exact same sales practices that caused the buyer to seek relief in the first place. Unfortunately, this is a continuous cycle within the marketplace. Whether it’s the original purchase, resale or termination, a majority of consumers have a hard time knowing what’s real and what’s a scam. We know this because we talked to dozens every day.

A sense of confusion inevitably clouds the judgement of fractional owners during the decision-making process. Genuine companies like ours are often bucketed with scams because of the lies vacation owners have been told in the past. Broken promises, misleading information and greed tend to create skepticism that’s hard to break. So in order to show unhappy timeshare owners that we’re not interested in scheming them, selling their data or taking their money, we have to be willing to break down the reality of the sales practices in the timeshare exit industry. Hopefully this helps readers see that we understand what they’re up against and care about their burden.

The Truth Behind Guaranteeing Credit During an Exit.

When it comes to escaping a perpetual timeshare agreement, one must understand that they’re going to receive some backlash from the resort. Our clients have been known to receive threats from the resort and it’s sales teams that collect hefty commissions off of the deal. For the most part, these are simply scare tactics, but you have to understand that no company in the timeshare exit industry can guarantee your credit when you’re at odds with the resort. In the end, the timeshare is the only party that’s able to execute this request.

blue-voc-suit-serious-middle-aged-man-looking-at-camera-with-stern-look-regarding-exiting-timeshare-company-with-resort

Because buyers sign a contract and a promissory note that states they’re obligated to pay for the weekly interval, the resort is going to do everything in its power to keep you under that contract. Unless you’re able to prove that you were misled during the sales presentation, you have no leverage. When a sales rep in the timeshare exit industry makes this guarantee, they better be able to provide evidence. In reality, they’re just trying to persuade you to commit to them, just as you did with the timeshare. 

Vague claims that seem too good to be true should raise red flags. Especially if you’ve already been told one thing by the resort and something else transpired. Learn your lesson here and realize that a number of operations in the timeshare exit industry only want your money. They do everything in their power to gain your trust while protecting themselves from your inconvenience. Even if you’re desperate, looking into guarantees will save you a lot of heartache and further regret.

Credit Repair in the Timeshare Exit Industry.

Some exit agencies will even go as far as partnering with sketchy credit repair services to strengthen their guarantees. But the people managing a handful of these operations are usually connected to the ploy. Tradebloc is an organization worth keeping an eye on in this regard. While their process is quite vague, we do know that they only accept clients from referral sources in order to avoid a transactional relationship with the client. They do a very good job of protecting themselves from potential legal issues while claiming they have the ability to block creditors from reporting.

The CEO, Tim Clark, is proudly listed as “the credit repair industry’s number one money earner.” On the company’s website, he describes Tradebloc as “unique and unprecedented.” If you take the time to analyze their about page, you’ll find that there is a lot of bragging and zero results. Boasting about acquiring “71 corporate clients and generating nearly 1000 new credit repair clients each month” really only says they’re good at sales. Ironically, there are no customer reviews or any type of organization support listed online.

funny-man-emotional-face-arms-raised-frustrated-at-laptop-computer-about-false-advertising-in-timeshare-exit-industry

Further research shows that people have actually gone to jail in the past for making eerily similar claims. All they were doing was filing false police reports that claim identities were stolen and reporting it to credit bureaus to block credit reports. This is not legal and unknowingly ties the timeshare owner to the illegal activity. Fractional owners in search of the best timeshare exit option tell us their credit has been guaranteed by one of our competitors all the time. But they’re never able to tell us exactly how something like this will take place.

Far too many timeshare owners buy into possibilities. This form of desperate optimism is what we refer to as “industry hope.” Agreeing to verbal promises and not asking the right questions in order to garner an accurate understanding of the product is what landed the owner in the unwanted timeshare to begin with. Buyers have to learn as much as they can about the promises made. While it’s yet to be proven that Tradebloc is engaging in illegal activity, the operation does raise quite a few questions. Vague responses that vary from one representative to the next and zero transparency on how the process works should be concerning. 

The simple fact they announced that they’ve “teamed up with the number one travel fulfillment company in the world to give its members the world’s best, authentic, discounted travel,” tells us they’re prepared to target current customers with new offers down the road. When it comes to unethical sales practices in the timeshare exit industry, this is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Avoiding relationships and creating obscure partnerships screams dubious activity

Selling Guarantees Doesn’t Mean a Timeshare Exit is Certain.

While exiting a timeshare contract and repairing your credit may appeal to you, most disgruntled buyers first turn to resale platforms for relief. Followed by leasing, this is usually seen as the most viable and promising option when the timeshare just isn’t working out. Unfortunately, many owners don’t know that the possibility of actually finding a buyer is slim to none. There just isn’t a resale market for timeshares and there never has been. Unless you hold the keys to a week that’s in high demand, it’s a pipedream.

eagerly-pondering-idea-of-eliminating-vacation-ownership-through-exit-company-claiming-guarantees-instead-of-qualifying-applicants

If you happen to be told that a reseller has a buyer waiting to take the interval off your hands, you have to understand this is a common sales tactic in the resale realm of the timeshare exit industry. After the owner commits, they’re normally told the buyer backed out at the last minute. Since the owner already made a payment and has begun the exit process, they usually decide to wait it out. Resellers know how to play this game and continue leading owners on until they’re willing to lose money just to get rid of the timeshare. This allows them to profit tremendously while you suffer.

If you find yourself involved in a scam, then the outcome can be far worse. In these scenarios, timeshare owners are often misled for months. They believe a buyer exists and continue processing fees, closing costs, tax documents and more in hopes of offloading the contract. After the con artist is satisfied with the stolen amount or senses some tension, they disappear. This costs owners thousands of dollars while the same perpetual agreement remains in their name.

The Reality is, the Timeshare Exit Industry Breaks Promises.

In today’s society, people want to believe they can trust someone’s word. Especially when it comes to expensive business transactions. Sadly, a company’s ability to persuade consumers to hand over money for broken promises is becoming more of a norm. At VOC, we believe people should have a fighting chance when it comes to making large purchase decisions. At no point should they ever feel pressured, alone be misled. For many, financial hardship is right around the corner and they never would have made the purchase had they known the contract would hold them hostage.

elderly-alone-in-dark-room-thinking-about-previous-mistakes-made-in-timeshare-exiting-industry-after-believing-coperation-could-help-but-lied

Milking consumers for money as long as possible is a terrible strategy. Unfortunately, it’s the past and current state of the timeshare exit industry. In fact, it’s pretty much the approach of timeshare travel as a whole. Every day, more and more people are falling into a devastating financial pit that takes time to climb out of. Buying into credit or resale guarantees may seem advantageous, but it doesn’t mean it’s true. 

Hopefully this first installment will help you avoid setbacks and find a viable option that suits you best. While the sales practices of the timeshare exit industry have a long way to go, we want you to know that you can trust our word. The last thing we want is for you to remain in remorse.

Next week, we’ll expand on this even further by discussing a few more ways our industry persuades. Omitting information from timeshare owners and refusing to qualify interested parties only leads to disaster. To learn more about our attorney based process or to discuss other options for relief, you can always schedule a free consultation with us or proceed with our qualification form below. Thanks for stopping by!

Are Christmas Timeshare Gifts a Good Idea?

Are Christmas Timeshare Gifts a Good Idea?

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.

women-in-bra-on-vacation-drinking-something-that-left-bad-taste-in-her-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.

uncle-rico-with-bag-of-christmas-presents-for-relatives-looking-to-go-to-his-timeshare-during-the-holiday-season-

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.

woman-by-christmas-tree-in-kitchen-thinking-about-giving-timeshare-vacation-up-for-the-holidays

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.

traveling-couple-african-american-middle-age-talking-to-resort-salesman-about-timeshare-upgrades-upon-arrival-to-family-vacation

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.

packaged-gift-in-blue-by-man-offering-timeshare-vacation-keys-in-box-for-christmas

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.

vacation-ownership-consultants-christmas-timeshare-gift-blog-with-passports-and-blue-voc-luggage

By using our site you agree to the following Terms of Service.