Why Las Vegas Timeshare Owners Want to Get Out of Their Agreement

Why Las Vegas Timeshare Owners Want to Get Out of Their Agreement

When most people plan a destination vacation, entertainment normally plays a big role in their decision. Although some prefer a quiet escape with minimal distractions, most people travel to do what hasn’t been done or see what hasn’t been seen. In Las Vegas, Nevada, there isn’t much that doesn’t catch your eye. The city’s ability to grab and hold one’s attention span is unlike any other point of interest in our country. For example, it would take one person 288 years to stay the night in every single Vegas hotel room.

Nearly every American citizen has been to Las Vegas at least once in their lifetime. Some people never leave once they arrive. It’s been estimated that over 1,000 people live beneath the city of lights in underground tunnels. A few people even find pleasure in not being able to remember what transpired during their stay. The popular slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is the real deal. People looking to get loose for a weekend or two seem to be able to do so without any regrets. Not many places have been able to thrive with that motto.

While this only adds to the element of what has become known as “Sin City,” there is still a tourist draw to the Entertainment Capital of the World. Some people enjoy themselves so much that they plan multiple vacations to the strip every year. The lively, recreational landscape changes so much that they’re able to relish in something new each trip. Although gambling, sensuality and partying might headline most recommendations, live shows, sporting events, business seminars, product launches and people-watching can be just as appealing to travelers.

Either way, we can all agree that there is something for everyone on the 4.2 mile long strip in the middle of the desert. You don’t have to look at the city from space to know that it’s one of the most radiant places on Earth (actually the brightest from space). If it wasn’t so alluring, people wouldn’t be so willing to cash out in Nevada instead of a tropical paradise elsewhere.

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While Las Vegas may not seem like an ideal place for timeshare developers, it most certainly is. There are plenty of ways they use the city to maximize revenue. Although it may not be ideal for an American traveler to buy into an annual vacation across the World, Las Vegas always gets their attention. So before we explain why Las Vegas timeshare owners are exiting their contracts, let’s discuss a few of the deceptive practices being used to get people to make a lifetime travel commitment to Sin City.

The Las Vegas Lure is Advantageous for Timeshare Companies.

Since Vegas timeshare developers don’t have to spend a lot of time selling people on the perks of the city, all they have to do is dangle the idea of a free trip to garner attention. This simplifies their approach, unlike sales tactics for timeshare resorts in other parts of the country (or world). Most consumers tend to know what a “trip to Las Vegas” entails. This gives resorts an advantage when investing in cold calling techniques and direct mail campaigns. Although solicitation efforts have dwindled in the timeshare industry today, many consumers will listen to discounts in locations that already interest them.

Regional Outreach Efforts Entice Proximate Residents

When it comes to outreach methods, Vegas timeshare companies understand their biggest opportunity lies in neighboring states and cities. Geographical proximity targeting increases their ability to sell fractional ownership because of the convenience of the package. Whether prospects are being targeted through the mail or over the phone, the possibility of them driving to Vegas to check out the offer is a lot higher than other geographical locations.

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Since Las Vegas is located in the center of multiple major U.S. cities, this gives developers an advantage when luring people to the Entertainment Capital of the World. Come to think of it, we have offices in Scottsdale and Malibu that are only a few hours from the strip. Sales teams have already been known to say anything to get people to a timeshare presentation. It’s a lot easier for them to lure aspiring travelers to Vegas with a “complimentary” stay or for “a deal of a lifetime.” In the timeshare marketing world, this technique is called a “mini vac.”  Their job becomes easier once they get you to Vegas.

What many people don’t realize is that there are some drawbacks to accepting “free” offers. In order to use certain entertainment packages and perks, guests are required to jump through certain hoops. Normally, attending these requirements take up a majority of their trip to the strip. If you refuse to follow through with “your end of the bargain” (even if you weren’t briefed), you could end up with some unexpected situations that can be costly in themselves.

Targeting Travelers During Their Vegas Trip.

Vegas timeshare solicitation doesn’t stop with cold calling and mailers. Timeshare companies know there is a huge advantage to targeting travelers during their vacations to Sin City. It’s easy for them to reel in tourists that are stuck in a state of vacation euphoria, looking to enhance their experience. In Vegas, a majority of these people aren’t in a clear state of mind and resorts know it. The Las Vegas Sun even did a piece on how tourists are bucketed and targeted. Thrill seekers and those intoxicated (or hung over) are easy to engage and manipulate. The loose spending habits that normally accompany Vegas travelers also gives resorts an upper hand.

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As the article states, Vegas tourists are easily persuaded to attend a “free” show, dinner or nearby activity with little resistance, in exchange for 90 minutes of their time. If attendees are already enjoying their Vegas experience, they’re normally intrigued by the idea of something free. Once they’re pampered a little, returning to Vegas every year at a discounted rate sounds even better.

What starts off as a brief, “no purchase necessary” invite quickly turns into an all-day event. From here, many travelers leave with a $20-40K mortgage on top of a perpetual timeshare contract they know nothing about. Nearly every buyer walks away believing they made a good decision. They normally don’t realize they made a mistake until booking their timeshare becomes problematic down the road.

The Main Reasons Vegas Timeshare Owners Want to Cancel.

At this point in the article, you can probably assume why so many people want to get out of timeshare agreements in Las Vegas. Misspeak and commission breath is believable when you’re on vacation, especially in Sin City. Thousands of travelers say yes to something that doesn’t match the description. They quickly realize they’ve been duped into buying something they can’t even use. Once payments kick in and they receive their annual fees, their desperation to cancel can go into overdrive.

Aside from being misled, many timeshare owners struggle to even enjoy their purchase. Finding availability in a popular tourist destination (during ideal dates) can be nearly impossible. If you split the contract cost with someone else, conflict regarding usability may arise. Certain properties can even be difficult for aging travelers to access. Layouts and amenities sometimes hinder those with medical conditions or parents with young children. At the end of the day, many Vegas timeshare owners are left unable to use the vacation but are still required to pay the dues.

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While timeshare owners always have the option to pursue upgrades or exchange programs, they’re often left reeling throughout their experience. Once the “too good to be true” offer is seen for what it really is, fractional ownership is tarnished. Paying more for a property you’ve yet to experience can be hard to stomach over time. With all of that being said, it’s easy to understand why so many buyers want to get out of their timeshare agreement as quickly as possible.

It’s Never too Late to Cancel Timeshare Contracts.

Although listening to an intriguing sales pitch about routinely vacationing in Vegas may entice you, we urge you to proceed with caution. It’s always important that you don’t make a hasty decision during the heat of your trip. Often times, your judgement will be clouded and you won’t be able to make a rational decision. A Vegas timeshare isn’t something that’s only going to cost you a few thousand bucks. It’s a lifetime agreement that funnels you into a perpetual sales cycle that’s hard to escape.

If you feel that you prematurely signed up for a timeshare and believe you’ve been deceived, we’d be happy to help you exhaust your options. Timeshare cancellation only makes sense if the contract doesn’t match the original sales pitch. You can schedule a Free consultation to learn more or you can proceed with a timeshare qualification form below.

7 Reasons the Future of Timeshare Ownership Looks Bleak

7 Reasons the Future of Timeshare Ownership Looks Bleak

Over the last decade, the timeshare industry has done little to keep up with the evolution of destination travel. While technology and online booking continues to advance, the tactics and value propositions of timesharing have essentially remained the same. The diminishing number of uninformed consumers has begun to work against new acquisition as many consumers have begun to lose faith in the purchase.

Knowing what timeshare ownership might entail is enough to persuade vacationers to pursue other travel options. Instead of waiting for timeshare companies to get with the program, consumers seem content with watching the entity fade off into the sunset. Unless the industry makes a hard right turn, it’s difficult to envision a mass recovery over a mass exodus.

Even if things were to change, will it ever be enough to overcome a half-century long reputation? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why we believe the future of timeshare ownership is looking bleak.

1. The Increasing Costs and Liability of Timesharing

Over the years, certain occurrences have caused vacation ownership to steadily rise in cost. Besides general inflation, developers didn’t properly assess demand during most of their expansion efforts. In the early years, decisions seemed to be based on opportunity instead of probability. When timeshare ownership wasn’t able to sustain its popularity (due to bad experiences and mistrust), resorts turned to current owners for the difference. What they didn’t realize was, this approach affected the perception of happy fractional owners.

Because timeshare companies are now left scraping the barrel for gullible consumers, expansion opportunities are ceasing to exist. This forces them to sell more aggressively while charging more per unit. Over the past few years, timeshare maintenance fees have been steadily rising at 4-5%. Surprise, special assessment fees have become more common. Resorts have found ways to recoup earnings when acquisition slows down.

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According to the ARDA (2016 AIF Owner’s Study), 66% of timeshare owners wanted to exit their contract because “the maintenance fees are too high.” Moreover, 46% of those that cancelled a timeshare mentioned annual fees as their primary reason. Small increases can amount to thousands of dollars over time. What makes this interesting is that resorts have notably avoided proper upkeep at some resorts. Not only are users not getting what they paid for, but they’re paying more for lower quality. The liabilities that come with these decisions are one of the reasons we believe the future of timesharing looks bleak.

2. There is No Resale Value for Timeshare Properties

Like we’ve mentioned in previous articles, a good number of new timeshare owners aren’t aware of the actuality of the resale market. Aside from the misspeak that timeshare sales reps use to persuade potential buyers, there are a ton of misleading options that take advantage of those looking to exit timeshare contracts. Once they realize that reselling isn’t ideal, it’s too late. Attempting to sell something that no one wants can be extremely costly. Throwing more money at something they don’t want and can’t make any money on can be demoralizing. Many of our clients talk about how they’ve spent thousands of dollars on resale platforms that didn’t provide a single lead.

Learning that you were lied to during the timeshare presentation and realizing the market doesn’t exist can be hard enough to swallow. On top of this realization, many timeshare owners underestimate the number of scams that cloud the resale arena. Just ask Darren Kittleson. When things aren’t working out and all hope seems lost, predatory agencies know exactly how to persuade you otherwise. They always have a meticulous agenda that uses disappointment and desperation to their advantage. Although platforms worth trying do exist, the overall uncertainty creates a bleak outlook for the industry as a whole.

3. The Timeshare Industry is Now Flooded with Scams

When it comes to timeshare fraud, the mischief doesn’t just dwell in resale. Victimizers also dabble in the buyer’s market from time to time. Claiming to have amazing deals in premier destinations, they lead people on long enough to collect quite a bit of cash. Verified Craigslist posts and Ebay listings have milked travel enthusiasts for decades now.

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At the same time, these are only a few examples of the consistent and ever growing misconduct in the timeshare industry. People are now being scammed before the purchase, during ownership, while they attempt to exit the contract and once they’ve terminated the agreement. If you’re already disgusted by the lies your timeshare company has fed you (to keep you under contract), realize this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Scammers know how trapped most timeshare owners feel and how desperate they’ve become. There are plenty of angles they can take to deceive you into believing their solution is worthwhile. From advocacy groups to legal representation, it’s difficult to know what to believe anymore. Anything seeming “too good to be true” normally is.

Some 3rd party agencies even work with resorts to ensure timeshare owners don’t make progress with cancellation. Not to mention that a large percentage of timeshare exit companies aren’t real. Thousands of dollars have been wasted on resolutions that don’t even exist. It’s a real shame, but only adds to the stigma of the industry. Even if you’re able to finally cancel your timeshare agreement, scams surrounding travel clubs, vacation rentals and advanced payments can flood your inbox – due to your online behavior. Since many consumers and industries refuse to touch timeshare with a 10 foot pole, the future looks bleak.

4. Today’s Travel Options Are Valued More by Travelers

Instead of waiting to see if timeshare companies are willing to overcome the reputation they’ve built (at the consumer’s expense), travel enthusiasts are now pursuing vacations that better suit their needs. Perpetual contracts just don’t make sense anymore as luxury vacation rentals and retail resorts are prevalent in today’s society. While scams do exist in other travel options, a number of platforms have established themselves as trustworthy entities.

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When timesharing first came about, most people were thrilled to be able to afford a vacation in a place they’d never dreamed of visiting. The ease of global travel has given consumers the unique ability to explore the world without being tied to one location. Although points and exchange programs broadened the horizon for timeshare owners, availability and quality was still a problem.

For the most part, today’s vacationing options consistently meet the expectations of travelers. The experience usually matches the presentation. Even if small inconveniences occur, the user isn’t tied to payments. They also have an ability to review their experience to order to warn future travelers or find resolve with the property. Timeshare companies have failed to value the user experience. Because of this, the future doesn’t look bright for timeshare ownership.

5. The Evolution of E-commerce in the Travel Industry

Options for travelers is only one element of timeshare competition. Since fractional ownership is based on perpetual (or lifelong) agreements, retail travel makes more sense. One click bookings have taken the market by storm over the last decade. Consumers now flood to reputable sources for online vacation deals and packages. Travelers even have the option to schedule flights, lodging and a rental car in the same place. It’s very difficult for the timeshare industry to compete here.

Even online retailers are now pushing timeshare weeks without ownership. Air BnB, VRBO and HomeAway are currently dominating vacation rental. Because of the user experience, travelers now feel far more comfortable using consumer to consumer e-commerce sites for travel related bookings. Removing the middleman (Ie: timeshare company, rental and resale platforms) allows them to keep everything in front of them. Instead of believing in “promised solutions,” timeshare owners are now taking matters into their own hands. This alone should tell you how standoffish people are about the timeshare industry – whether it comes to perpetual agreements or retail access to their inventory.

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6. Timeshare Companies Have Been Overselling Inventory

Ever since the timeshare rush in the late 1900’s, developers have been selling non-existing products. As the points evolution grew, this became even more popular. It was a way for timeshare companies to, once again, keep buyers under contract. It’s almost as if they never saw the repercussions of doing so. Overpromising and under delivering has never really been fruitful. It’s just not sustainable when it comes to large purchases.

In a recent article, we wrote about the ramifications Midtown Manhattan Club received for selling unavailable reservations. Although the property remained full, this rightfully angered their users. You’d think they’d at least limit the inconvenience when selling air. In the end, the NY Attorney General required them to pay $6.5 million in restitution, amongst other things. This goes to show that regulations are increasing and timeshare companies are no longer able to just get away with unethical sales practices. For this reason, the outlook of timesharing doesn’t look good.

7. A Consistent, Perpetuated and Tarnished Reputation

If you analyze each of the aforementioned reasons, you’ll realize that the timeshare industry has had every opportunity to redeem themselves. But the growing level of greed has basically clouded the entirety of experience altogether. Temporary solutions have sprouted up, but have failed to actually address the problems timeshare owners have. The thing is, it’s not like timesharing has only been around for a short while. For nearly 60 years, the industry has compiled substantial amounts of skepticism.

Every travel innovation experiences roadblocks. Even vacation rentals have endured some backlash from consumers. The difference is their willingness to make things right. The way the timeshare model is set up, there’s limitations on what they can do to overcome negative perception. They’ve already proven their unwillingness to decrease prices. High pressure sales and unethical tactics have remained consistent. Worthless incentives and non-existent service has been their achilles’ heel for a long time.

The best way to understand this is that they’re maximizing profits before the market runs out. Either way, the consumer continues to lose unless they’re able to prove misconduct in court. As we’ve discussed before, this is very difficult to do. Timeshare companies are banking on their ability to hold onto their fractional owners for life. A lack of interest in overcoming this perception and repaying those taken advantage of is the main reason we believe the future of timesharing looks bleak.

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If you’re interested in learning more about getting rid of your timeshare contract or what you’re options are, we’d love to provide you with a free consultation. If you believe you’re ready to pursue cancellation services, feel free to fill out a qualification form below.

How Telecommunication and the Internet Revolutionized Timesharing

How Telecommunication and the Internet Revolutionized Timesharing

Fractional ownership has come a long way since the 1960’s. What was once seen as a revolutionary way to travel is now more commonly viewed as perpetually bad decision. While timeshare companies have been doing their best to address negative perception since the 1970’s, they haven’t been able to truly overcome the number of bad experiences travelers have had. Especially when consumers have given the hospitality giant every chance to redeem themselves. Just like any other major purchase decision that ends in disappointment, it’s hard for timeshare owners (past or current) to buy back into the product or service. It’s why so many want to get out of their agreement.

Disappointment and Disdain for Timeshare Owners

Throughout history, it has seemed like timeshare companies have continued to ignore the simple fact that buyer’s remorse (or regret) doesn’t only affect the individual. The customer experience eventually becomes an evergreen recommendation. A disappointed timeshare owner carries a lot more weight than a positive review. Early on, this wasn’t a major concern for resorts.

Prior to advancements in telecommunication, resorts didn’t have to worry too much about rapid word of mouth exchanges. They could keep negativity fairly contained while trekking forward with development. But as technology advanced, resorts were too busy chasing communicative opportunities to notice that timeshare owners began communicating their indifference.

Technology Became a Double Edged Sword for Timesharing

Like we’ve mentioned in previous articles, the lack of information about timesharing greatly benefitted the resort’s ability to close consumers on their concept for travel. The uninformed had no way of researching the product or skimming reviews in order to make an informed decision. In most cases, they couldn’t even phone a friend that knew anything about timeshare ownership.

The actuality of the experience was cloudy at best. Most stereotypes were combated with ongoing, promised improvements including credible hotel chain merges and rewards programs. But using intrigue to distract current and potential timeshare owners instead of improving the experience proved to be unsustainable. It was just a matter of time before that cat got out of the bag.

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When communicative innovation began, the timeshare industry viewed it as an opportunity instead of a hurdle. While they were busy expanding call centers and streamlining marketing for new acquisition, consumers were talking. It’s like they didn’t forecast the inevitable. When a business avoids listening to their customers while turning up the volume of their sales message, the end result is rarely favorable. Happy customers normally give glowing reviews when asked, but disgruntled buyers typically tell anyone who’s willing to listen. Misery loves company and timeshare owners that were taken advantage of began to voice a reason for skepticism.

With that being said, let’s take a look at some of these technological advancements that have altered the industry for good.

How Telecommunication Spread the Word of Timesharing

If you’ve looked into the history of timeshare ownership, you’ll see that the industry expanded quickly. The ability for investors and entrepreneurs to communicate about expansion opportunities over the phone was the main reason growth occurred so quickly. Striking up deals and uncovering destination travel was revolutionary for the hospitality industry. Places people hadn’t dreamed of visiting easily became a reality. What buyers didn’t realize was that timesharing wasn’t always what it was “said” to be.

Timeshare Cold Calling Tactics.

For a good part of history, resorts used one-way communication to describe the timeshare experience. Call centers focused solely on acquisition controlled the message by enlightening consumers on opportunities they’d never heard of. Because people thought they’d won something unique, they weren’t even cognizant of the sale. Although cold calling was first documented in 1873, call scripts and sales strategies over the past few decades have boosted the reach of sales organizations exponentially. .

What was typically done on a local level by small businesses was quickly implemented on a global scale for timeshare travel. Early on, people weren’t normally bombarded like we are today with telephone scams. This allowed cold calling to be initially effective for timeshare sales teams. Before spam calls were common, people were intrigued, more willing to listen and easily sold on something they weren’t privy to. Since the overall perception of timesharing was still vague, salesman took advantage of an innocent, gullible audience.

Timeshare Owners Can Communicate Too.

As knowledge of the unfavorable transaction spread and cold call tactics were exposed, people started talking. Instead of continuously waiting for customer service departments to right the ship, they began taking advantage of public phone directories to file complaints with government divisions and consumer rights programs. As laws and regulations started cracking down on timeshare sales schemes, the industry had to look towards other means to acquire fractional owners.

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Unlike yesteryear, persuading a consumer to buy a timeshare over the phone is nearly impossible today. While the initial call may be used to build rapport, additional measures are now needed to fully persuade targets. Because of this, sales presentations and tours have remained the main source of new acquisition for timeshares.

Over the last decade or so, timeshare companies have realized they have to find ways to get consumers to call them. Initially, direct mail marketing campaigns with enticing pitches aided their ability to do so. But as technology continued to evolve and with remorse still a concern, resorts knew the rise of the internet provided them with the best opportunity acquire new customers.

How the Internet Changed the Timeshare Industry for Good.

Today, you don’t necessarily have to sit through a timeshare sales pitch in person. Technology has given sales and hospitality organizations an advantage when interacting with consumers. Aside from participating in a live demo, you can also receive digital messages and virtual tours online. But it wasn’t always this easy. When the internet first came into fruition, email was a huge opportunity for resorts to get in front of prospective timeshare owners.

Email Gave Timeshares an Advantage

The same persuasive tactics that were being used over the phone and during events could now be typed into a personalized message used to target the millions of people online. Can you imagine receiving a “too good to be true” offer in your digital mailbox for the first time? We might balk at it today, but email was extremely powerful in the early 2000’s. Online discernment was basically nonexistent and many users were extremely gullible.

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The internet era brought a ton of value to timeshare companies but it also opened the door for digital fraud and predatory scams. This tainted the industry’s reputation even more. Over time, spam and phishing regulations cut down on misleading emails and fraudulent activity. But online decision-making was still minuscule. Although email scams still exist, consumers have become more aware of tactics and are less prone to engage with this form of communication.

Aside from new acquisition, emailed allowed resorts to also upsell current property owners while improving the way they managed retention. Despite sales tactics remaining the same, the added element helped them expand their reach while maximizing revenue streams. It even gave them a persuasive advantage when it came to targeting older generations that refused to educate themselves on the internet realm. Sadly, the online aging demographic is still a major target for sales organizations today.

The Benefit and Backfire of Additional Online Advancements 

Despite the emergence of text messaging in the early 2000’s, email has continued to be a strong form on communication. Nearly every form of verbal communication has been replaced with written messaging. You can now reach online users on social media and other platforms that typically require an email address to use. In turn, the ability for timeshare companies to collect and segment user data (emails, social media accounts, bookmarks, subscriptions, etc) has become extremely important. Once an entity has your email address, they can pretty much find you anywhere online with your digital footprint.

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Technological advancements in online marketing have given companies the ability to target, track and re-market consumers on multiple channels. When one message isn’t effective, they try another. When you hang up the phone, they can now email you. When you unsubscribe from an email list, agencies can (and in most cases will) sell your information to another entity with a different product or agenda. Once you show interest by attending a timeshare sales presentation (or by clicking your mouse) they’re going to do everything they can to close you. They’re very good at this by the way. Not only does this help them address the increased acquisition costs of presentations, but it allows them to maximize their initial efforts. Phone scripts and email campaigns have turned into engaging social media posts, video presentations and other forms of interactive media. Resorts have even paid famous influencers to promote their timeshares.

Timeshare Scams Lurk Everywhere Online

Besides strategic variation, the online scape also provides timeshare companies and predatory agencies with a unique ability to pivot when things go south. Even though online reviews and scam reports expose unethical practices, online businesses can easily rebrand their company and launch a new website in no time. With the internet still being considered a wild west of sorts, it’s been extremely difficult for consumer and government organizations to regulate the space. Online booking has also made it very easy for online entities to mislead and take advantage of oblivious internet users. This is why it’s so important that you research digital purchases before making them.

What Does the Future of the Timeshare Industry Look Like?

Despite the reputation of the timeshare industry being at an all time low, conglomerates have continued to find a way to make billions of dollars every year. With the rise of vacation rentals and other non-contractual options, one can assume the timeshare industry will eventually slow down. But it seems like people have been making that claim for quite some time now. No matter how bad morale gets, the industry always seems to find a way out. While a number of timeshare owners struggle to make the most of their purchase, the timeshare sales machine continues to trek on. Will the online voice of the consumer be enough to put an end to the perpetual agreement or will timesharing overcome? Only time will tell..

Are you a timeshare owner that’s frustrated with your current agreement? Would you like to discuss your options? We take pride in helping fractional owners exhaust all their options before discussing our timeshare cancellation service. If you’d like to know more, you can schedule a FREE consultation or submit a qualification form below.

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The Evolution of Timeshare Ownership Since 1980

The Evolution of Timeshare Ownership Since 1980

While you might be reading this to help you determine if a timeshare is worth it, some of you may want to know why your timeshare experience isn’t what it used to be. The industry has come a long way since its conception over 55 years ago and it’s very advantageous of you to pursue a better understanding of the perpetual purchase. Knowing what to expect from timeshare companies and how to make the most of your purchase is important. The evolution of timeshare ownership after 1980 played a big role in what owners face today.

The Reality of the Timeshare Industry

Although traveling options have evolved tremendously since the 1960’s, the purpose of timeshare ownership hasn’t really changed. What’s actually become more clear over time is the intent behind travel corporations and the resorts themselves. Instead of vying for consumer attention with convenience, timeshare companies have slowly shifted their focus towards the mass amounts of revenue within the travel industry. When you think about it, you can’t really blame them. You’d think most people wouldn’t make an impulse buy of this magnitude, but they do. It’s been rather simple for many of these companies to persuade their way into million-dollar market shares without much consideration for those driving the revenue.

Whether timeshare owners view the purchase as fruitful or not, they’re still under contract with an obligation to pay. Perpetual agreements have been extremely beneficial to resorts and have fueled the success of the multi-billion dollar industry today. In reality, any business with guaranteed monthly revenue would thrive. In our last article, we touched on the infant stages of timesharing and the massive expansion efforts that followed. So, let’s travel back to the 1980’s and see what happened once the rush of the industry was in full swing.

How Timeshare Ownership Evolved in the 1980’s.

As the industry exploded in the 1970’s, many timeshare owners started to realize availability wasn’t what they thought it would be. Because of this, they slowly began demanding a little more flexibility from resorts. This trend continued into the 1980’s when even more unfavorable solutions continued to put a bandaid on the problem. Although “The Two Bobs” pioneered a points system to reward their owners early on, not all timeshare companies followed suit into the 80’s. The revenue-focus of the 70’s eventually clouded the judgement of resorts. Taking care of their primary source of income wasn’t a priority like it was for the industry’s pioneers.

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During this decade, resorts also began to experience a growth in general travel inquiries. This was due to the exposure they received from timeshare travel. In comparison to fractional ownership, retail opportunities during peak seasons provided a much higher return for resorts. They realized they could hike up prices during peak seasons and divvy out the remaining weeks to their owners. Sales organizations (which is what most timeshares companies evolved into), are always going to focus on what drives the most revenue. Because of this, timeshare owners typically received the short end of the stick. But it didn’t mean timeshare companies stopped trying to appease fractional owners. The problem was, their efforts weren’t sustainable.

Fixed Systems Evolve into Limited Floating Systems

In order to find a balance, timeshare companies began promising owners a certain number of weeks throughout the year to choose from. A well-known example is the float system. This was created to give users options outside of the traditional fixed system. They could either use their purchased unit (villa) during their scheduled week or they could use a floating week during certain times of the year on a similar unit (number or rooms, size or location). A typical unit in the 80’s consisted of two bedrooms and two full baths with a maximum sleeping capacity for six to eight people.

While this was a step above what owners received before, the ineffectiveness of the resolution actually created more problems. Today, many timeshare owners still face availability concerns and incomparable lodging. We can’t imagine what it was like in the 1980’s. Because of limitations, many developers began expanding into urban markets to provide users with a variety of options. But like the previous decade, far too many were offering packages and plans that didn’t even exist yet – throwing yet another wrench into the timeshare owner experience.

The Beginning of Timeshare Sales Regulations

By the early 1980s, the tactics of development companies began to get out of hand. While this affected the global trade, the United States was one of the first countries to take a stand. Since many timeshare destinations were located in Florida, the state became concerned with unethical selling practices that were affecting their tourists. In turn, they passed a law in 1983 that imposed strict restrictions that only complying developers could meet.

While the main objective was to eliminate unethical practices in Florida, this moment in time could have single handedly saved the industry from collapsing altogether. Another important accomplishment of the 1980’s was the formulation of the ARDA. What started out as a small regulatory organization slowly turned into a conglomerate that regulated timeshare sales while attempting to maintain a certain level of ethics within the industry. Coupled with the entrance of major lodging companies, like Marriott in 1984, government regulations strongly influenced consumers in the 80’s. Although the negative perception wasn’t totally removed, these occurrences added extensive credibility to timeshare travel.

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How Timeshare Ownership Evolved in the 1990’s

Although timesharing stumbled into 1990, expansion continued. The main reason was because the industry proved it could dominate holiday travel. At the same time, regulations still weren’t able to slow down misleading sales tactics and the number of complaints by users. Rapid expansion made it difficult for the government to keep up and once again things got out of control. While some may say timeshare travel was far worse in the 90’s vs the 80’s, it’s hard to say. Timeshare ownership had grown to 4 million global users and over 2,300 shared resorts in the 90’s. The increase in consumer dissatisfaction might have simply been caused by the drastic increase in owners. Either way, something needed to be done to get things under control.

What’s interesting about the 80’s and 90’s is the industry’s strategy to overcome its flaws. Instead of addressing the problems fractional owners had, timeshare companies continued to distract their users with anticipative efforts. Not much has changed today. In order to paint the picture of a brighter future, major hotel brands continued to step onto the scene. While Marriott got their foot in the door first, Ramada, Four Seasons, Sheraton, Hilton, Radisson, Disney, Ritz-Carlton and Westin all pursued the potential of timesharing in the 90’s. As sales continued to skyrocket, the experience remained less-than-stellar.

Rapid Expansion Left the Government Reeling.

By 1990, the Office of Fair Trading launched its first investigation and report for the timeshare industry. To give you some perspective on how bad sales had gotten, it took the government almost a decade to organize and respond to the overwhelming number of unethical sales and false advertising complaints. While many people felt as though the government failed them, forecasting this type of epidemic was nearly impossible. Nonetheless, the basis of these investigations and reports helped formulate the Timeshare Act of 1992.

No matter how many laws passed in the 90’s, nothing slowed down the aggressive tactics of sales organizations until Europe banned upfront payments in 1998. Despite progress for consumer rights, nothing actually decreased the number of complaints timeshare owners filed. In the end, misleading tactics continued to prevail because regulations were ignored or manipulated by companies fueled by greed. Those with disdain for laws and regulations simply continued to prey on vulnerable fractional owners.

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The Evolved Timeshare Industry of the 2000’s.

Towards the end of the 90’s, industry concerns became further complicated when rental properties came into fruition. Online communication and email also made it even more difficult for regulations to keep up. At this point, anyone could take a stab at the travel market. Aside from unethical sales practices online (that had also never been seen before), timeshare owners were now being marketed improved opportunities for lower prices. If they were disgruntled before, this only added bitterness to their experience. This is when predatory agencies began preying on desperate, gullible fractional owners. The deceit of the industry enhanced sales but only added to the negative stigma of timeshare ownership.

After nearly 4 decades in motion, the timeshare industry was still experiencing the same problems that troubled it’s users from the get go. At this point, some consumers had been dealing with dissatisfaction for a long time. Others grew tired of their purchase and were ready to find a way to move on from their agreement. Since major hospitality organizations controlled the marketplace, there wasn’t much users could do to escape their unwanted timeshare contract. This changed (kind of) when resale opportunities emerged.

Resale Opportunities Provided Hope For Timeshare Owners

Timeshare companies initially discouraged resales for obvious reasons, but were forced to compete when secondary markets began offering relief. These independent resellers whom consisted of smaller, local real estate brokers, used traditional real estate techniques to resell timeshare contracts. The problem was, most buyers didn’t purchase their timeshare through real estate channels, rather resort marketing programs.

Because of this, these tactics rarely worked. Either way, resorts wanted to make sure their users weren’t being enticed by possibilities to get out of their contract. Again, sales organizations aren’t focused on refunds and eliminating residual income. They viewed resales as another opportunity to sell fractional owners on something else and the manipulation continued. There are plenty of resale, transfer and exchange tactics from the early 2000’s that are still used today.

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Could the Timeshare Industry be History Soon?

No matter what tactic resorts rolled out, they were never really able to slow down the rising number of frustrated timeshare owners. Instead of focusing on the consumer experience when they had the chance, they slowly started to lose their grip on the travel industry. By the mid 2000’s, timeshare companies became so concerned with trying to get their users to forget about the past that the future of the timeshare industry started looking slim.

Once the vacation rental revolution finally started gaining traction, timeshares couldn’t compete with their ability to deliver on a positive experience. As the media grew it’s reach and social media took over the internet, the deceit and unethical practices of the timeshare industry became a bigger topic of conversation.

Timeshare cancellation services also began helping fractional owners legally get rid of their contracts for good. Despite continued scams, the legitimacy of these services are now at an all-time high. As awareness continues to grow, a majority of consumers are making informed decisions on timeshare ownership. Today, nearly ⅔ of timeshare owners unwillingly pay their annual maintenance and assessment fees. One could say the perception is at an all-time low. If the trend continues then we could see a drastic change in the timeshare landscape by 2025.

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Aside from a number of improved travel options emerging, consumers are now able to research and purchase travel packages that best suit them. While the timeshare timeline has lasted almost 6 decades, it looks like it’s time for the industry to start sharing the wealth with platforms that value the user experience. They don’t really have a choice. But it’s safe to assume they’ll continue targeting uninformed consumers until the market completely dries up. The history of timeshare evolution doesn’t really show us otherwise.

If you’re frustrated with your timeshare contract..

and want to learn more about canceling your agreement, we’d love to schedule a free consultation with you to go over your options. If you’d like to skip the guidance and jump right into the qualification process, then you can fill out an eligibility form below.

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The Result of a Poor Timeshare Investment. Is the Purchase Worth it?

The Result of a Poor Timeshare Investment. Is the Purchase Worth it?

The timeshare industry is a booming business. Today, plenty of timeshare owners enjoy vacationing for a fraction of what a second mortgage would cost. At the same time, a large percentage regret the purchase and view it as a bad investment. Because of this, more and more timeshare owners are looking to get out of their contracts every year. You would think profits would suffer due to this increasing trend – but, even when complaints were peaking, the industry brought home close to $10 billion in 2017.

This successful endeavor has continued to thrive due to a persuasive “bait and switch” sales model that prioritizes occupancy. Every room has to be booked and sometimes overbooked in order to guarantee maximum profits. Timeshare companies believe their greed is justifiable because the vacation rental market is slowly taking over a large percentage of their market share. We can only assume they’re focusing on sales over customer retention because they know it’s only a matter of time before hard-selling is no longer effective. I guess until that time, they don’t plan on changing anything. As sales teams continue to master the art of deception, timeshare owners continue to bite on presentations that seem too good to be true.

When it’s all said and done, impulse buys can leave a lot of people looking for relief. Instead of focusing on the reasons why timeshare owners want to get out of their contracts, let’s take a look at what the result of a poor timeshare investment can be.

1. A Travel Void Arises

The most common result of a poor timeshare investment is that people still have a desire to find an escape away from home. The further along they get with timeshare ownership, the easier it is for them to see that the property isn’t fulfilling the need they initially set out to satisfy. Their inability to use the timeshare during preferred vacation days is a big reason why that void still exists. Aside from availability, the amenities and promoted activities have now created an expectation that timeshare owners begin to covet over time.

What’s really intriguing about the timeshare industry is that most people attending the sales presentation have no intention to buy. This means, the desire to vacation wasn’t necessarily present at the time. Moreover, when they decide to make the purchase, many new timeshare owners don’t even know exactly what they’re agreeing to. They’re too distracted by the possibilities to understand the actualities of the “deal.” In the end, the features and benefits get them excited about the idea of routinely vacationing.

Even when timeshare ownership loses its appeal, owners may still feel inclined to continue pursuing that experience. Just like any other poor investment, money wasted forces them to make it work. Timeshare owners normally won’t give up on these aspirations just because the commitment they made wasn’t reciprocated by the resort. If anything, it ignites the pursuit.

Think of the Travel Void Like a Bad Relationship

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The desire to fill this void is kind of like dating. You put yourself out there to experience something magical and in the end, the other person is only interested in their own agenda. If you’ve invested a lot of time into the relationship then it can be difficult for you to end it. But, once you let go, human nature tells you to immediately fill that void. You’re tired of the “what could have been.” In order to stop thinking about the possibilities of the previous relationship, some people might even double down on their dating efforts – or their overall investment. It’s just like the way plenty of timeshare owners cope with their bad experience.

This can be dangerous because it may cause some to obsess over righting their wrong. It’s easy for timeshare owners to believe “upgrades” and other forms of eye candy will fix the problem. They fail to consider the consequences simply to bury the previous mistake.  Multiple failed attempts might make most hesitant to try again, but it doesn’t mean the desire to fill this void goes away. Especially if a timeshare owner feels obligated to make up for the impact the loss has had on family or personal relationships. The desire to provide the vacation home everyone was anticipating is probably the most disheartening result of a poor timeshare investment.

2. An Increase in Debt

If we were to rank the most devastating results of a poor timeshare investment, the financial aftermath would easily be number one. Hundreds of thousands of timeshares are owned by people who can no longer afford it. People end up wanting to get out of their timeshare because they simply cannot continue chasing a return by spending more money than they originally budgeted for. Some timeshare owners are in denial about how much they’ve put into making it work. But, when they’re forced into purchasing hotel rooms just so they can go on vacation, things have gotten out of control.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t credit the effectiveness of the timeshare sales presentations for their contribution. Upfront costs for a timeshare are extremely high and sales teams do an immaculate job at persuading prospects this is an affordable investment. According to certain associations that monitor the industry, the typical timeshare week costs anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000. On top of that, each timeshare owner is responsible for about $200-$1000 in maintenance fees every year.

In order to show you how ridiculous maintenance fees are; A resort that books 100 rooms for 30 weeks a year with $600 in fees can deposit $1.8 million. What’s worse is they can charge more if they want or feel the need to.

Timeshare companies reserve the right to revise these annual fees when they see fit. Additional costs normally skyrocket after natural disasters or during resort buyouts and mergers. Moreover, many timeshare owners use credit lines to keep up with payments. When you factor in interest rates for mortgages and credit cards, the unexpected fees start to add up. Being on the hook for these expenses causes many to verge outside of their initial budget.

This is a big commitment for an industry dominated by middle class America. Would you spend that much on a car you could only drive for one week every year? Even if it was a Lamborghini, I think most of us would balk at the proposal. The fact of the matter is, millions of timeshare owners are initially led to believe owning a timeshare is a worthwhile investment. As they get further away from their expectation, it’s easy for them to dish out more cash to to satisfy the desire they initially invested in. Just like the first result in this article. Refusing to see the reality of their situation only puts them in a bigger hole.

When it comes to being realistic, we have to understand that timeshare ownership is an expense, not an investment. Eric Mohrman of USA Today encourages us to look at it purely from a financial standpoint. “An investment should generate income, increase in value or, in the best cases, do both. Timeshares don’t do either.” At the end of the day, there’s no equity involved in a timeshare purchase. Timeshare owners are simply buying real estate interest. Instead of experiencing a return over time, the timeshare diminishes in value. In other words, if you sell the property, you’re going to lose money. A lot of it. Even claiming capital loss as a tax deduction requires you to jump through some hoops with the IRS.

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Although a major loss is anticipated when re-listing the property, many believe this is their only option to exit timeshare ownership. Far too many people pursue this resolution without knowing the resale market is oversaturated with options. Over time, they realize the small percentage they hoped to recoup is nothing but a pipedream and the resale “opportunity” costs are eventually added to the overall expense of timeshare ownership.

This is normally where debt catches up to the consumer and desperation sets in. Losing more money by trying to rent or sell causes them to become desperate for a way to get out. Unfortunately, many timeshare relief companies prey on their vulnerability as well. Time and time again, owners end up right back where they started. If they would have known the overall expense would be so high, I’m sure a majority of them would have avoided the investment altogether. Unfortunately, once they sign the contract and agree to upgrades, they’re financially obligated to continue paying or further damages loom.

Walking Away From a Timeshare Can Be Very Costly

Debt can be a burdensome result of a poor timeshare investment. It can get to a point where timeshare owners literally can’t make payments anymore. If they happen to default on their mortgage payments, foreclosure normally follows. Even when the timeshare mortgage is paid off, defaulting on other financial obligations (like taxes, maintenance fees or special assessments) also triggers a foreclosure. If this occurs, they can expect further financial consequences on top of their accumulation of debt. They’ll have trouble taking out another loan while experiencing higher interest rates and a damaged credit line. If you’re not careful, the result of a poor timeshare investment can be extremely costly. You could end up paying for the decision for years to come.

3. Personal Grief

Have you ever despised your employer? Does the poor work environment carry over into your personal life? In most cases, it does. Similar to the way these conditions affect the home, bad investments can create emotions that impact people’s everyday lives. Over a long period of time, it can become difficult for some to embody a positive outlook when they continue to experience disappointment or deception. Not only can this affect their ability to trust, but also cause them to become extremely skeptical. A negative outlook can have a big impact on current relationships as well as future interactions. When timeshare owners feel defeated and trapped in an investment, it’s easy for them to act sour towards others. The self-pity, resentment and grief can really alter their perspective.

I wonder how many relationships or marriages have suffered to the tune of a bad investment. The blaming game can be enough of a distraction in itself. Taking a loss can be difficult. Sometimes, multiple people are involved. The demeanor of a person can change when a beneficial resolution isn’t in sight. Especially when the overwhelming debt has handicapped their ability to enjoy life.

In addition to the psychological disadvantage, many timeshare owners struggle to afford some of the things they’ve grown accustomed to over the years. They might even be forced to make sacrifices just to keep their head above water. Whether it’s social events or personal purchases, their inability to enjoy these things can also create a sense of bitterness. Having to give up personal interests in order to pay for a regretful purchase can be a recipe for disaster.

What Did I Get Myself Into?

Another result of a poor timeshare investment is being forced to constantly deal with high pressure sales and marketing tactics. Whether timeshare owners are disappointed or content, resorts are always looking for ways to increase their revenue. Even when they pursue ways to get out of a timeshare, submitting their information places them into new sales campaigns that never seem to end. Many consumers don’t realize that a lot of these timeshare programs actually work together. No matter how many times you tell them “no” someone is always countering your disinterest with another shiny object. When salesmen don’t respect your wishes or listen to your responses, general annoyance can turn into frustration. This causes a majority of timeshare owners to believe every offer is a ripoff or scam. Their negative outlook grows colder.

Purchase Skepticism Can Result

An experience like this can also affect large purchases outside of the timeshare industry. Timeshare owners might begin to assume the worst in other scenarios that aren’t relevant. Car salesmen or real estate agents could easily be misjudged prior to any form of interaction. Online purchases might get overly compared and contrasted. Legitimate “deals” might not have the same appeal anymore. A bad investment can easily turn into something bigger than a bad attitude.

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For the most part, travel and hospitality companies have taken the biggest hit. Timeshare owners that regret their decision struggle to trust these purchases as well. From our perspective, the timeshare industry is single handedly destroying tourism in many destination cities. The fear of being bamboozled can detour some from truly exploring the world and participating in other expeditions. It’s truly sad to see.

The personal grief experienced by timeshare owners is the main reason we officially launched our company back in 2014. We were tired of seeing people get taken advantage of while timeshare companies thrived. Although some timeshare experiences are amazing, there are plenty that consistently fall short of consumer expectations. Our commitment to helping timeshare owners with an ethical approach has earned us an unmatched reputation in the cancellation industry.

We’re the only company that offers guarantees that are actually backed by 100% success rates. If you feel like you have nowhere to turn with your timeshare, we’d love to point you in the right direction. At the end of the day, we want to make sure your end result to a poor timeshare investment is a positive one.

Check Your Eligibility

View our eligibility form below to inquire about our qualifying for our timeshare cancellation program. This is the first step of learning how to get out of a timeshare contract.

Are Timeshares an Archaic Thing of The Past?

Are Timeshares an Archaic Thing of The Past?

This article is written from the perspective of Susan Rodgers, who’s been featured in multiple lifestyle publications.

When searching for the perfect timeshare to spend your vacations, do you ever ask yourself, “Are Timeshares an Archaic Thing of The Past?” Most people would say absolutely yes! Most people would say absolutely yes! With the rise of vacation clubs, Air BNB, hotel and airfare apps, traveling these days is easier and less costly than ever before! “Timeshare” is no longer what it once was. So, why burden yourself with all the baggage that goes with timeshare? Yes – pun intended!

The Reality of Purchasing a Timeshare.

According to Hospitality.net, 32% of timeshare owners wouldn’t purchase another timeshare and nearly 90% of them regret they did so in the first place. They now wonder how to get out of their timeshare ownership so that they can grasp a new modern and affordable way to explore the world. They can also sleep better at night once they find a way to dump their timeshare and not worry about being bombarded with ongoing fees and unexpected expenses due to being an “owner” of a timeshare.

Not only have timeshares lost their value and appeal, they’re just not logical anymore. Why waste money on the cumbersome costs associated with a timeshare once you own one? It costs thousands and thousands of dollars to make the purchase before you’ve even traveled anywhere! If you’ve got a few thousand dollars to spend on a dream vacation (like that weekend in Fiji, or that Alaskan cruise), it’s easier to research your options (via your phone or computer) and invest in a one-time trip! Today, it’s more affordable than ever to travel to exotic places across the world! Plus, you’ve got no rules on when you can go and where you can stay. You can plan ahead or be spontaneous and do what you feel like doing at the time, instead of being given a small option of places to go.

But the reason you’re probably even reading this is because you don’t know how to get rid of that vacation dinosaur of the past, your timeshare. many of you realize that once you are able to put it behind you, then the real dream of adventure in travel can begin. Timeshare needs the boot! It’s obsolete. This makes those who prey on travelers to purchase a timeshare even more desperate to sell you one.

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The Manipulation of Timeshare Sales.

I’d also like to address the whole nightmare of the manipulation on how you were burdened with this thing in the first place, sign here, sign there, free this, and free that, all under the auspices of a lavish free meal or adventure. Remember what your parents or grandparents used to say, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”? I hate to say it; but they’re right! You’d be better going online for a half price meal or an adventure on Groupon, rather than obtaining it through some timeshare salesperson who will lie, cheat and use whatever malicious tactic they can to get you to sign the dotted line and spend ridiculous amounts of your hard earned money on a mainly useless piece of property.

Once You’ve Taken the Bait, Promises Aren’t Kept..

The real true nightmare is once you’re saddled with a timeshare, people often start by dropping twenty, thirty thousand or more for one week a year to participate in their timeshare – if they are even lucky enough to get the dates they hope for. Then there are the mandatory maintenance fees, taxes, the ongoing property maintenance fees if something goes wrong at a property you “own”. Yes “own.” If you really own it, then why can’t it be a tax deduction like your other property taxes? You own houses and cars, but do you really own a timeshare?

These so called deeds or deeded properties are not worth the paper they are supposedly written on. Oh yeah, just think, in the next couple of years, you could own a timeshare in the devastated terrain of Puerto Rico or the volcano ravaged areas of Hawaii – you could easily receive a ten thousand dollar bill or more for repairs any day now. How crazy! You shouldn’t have to spend all that hard earned cash for one or two weeks of a vacation. It’s ridiculous and you know what? It’s wrong in all aspects. It’s got to stop. I haven’t even broached the whole “perpetuity scam” of how your timeshare will burden your loved ones you might want to pass it on to. Don’t do it – get out while you can.

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How We Help You Dump Your Timeshare Mortgage.

Our company has not only had ongoing success and one of the world’s most renown source of legal teams behind us to get you out of timeshare forever, it’s also surprisingly affordable. We don’t rely on gimmicks and expensive marketing plans that make your costs higher for our services to get that timeshare monkey off your back; you’ve already spent too much money on your archaic timeshare with its draconian rules to ownership. Yes, draconian (origin: 7th century law of code with harsh laws which prescribed death for every offense of breaking those rules) or in modern times: harsh, a draconian legal code. I can’t think of a better word in the English language to describe the rules of timeshare ownership beside appalling and downright evil!

I haven’t even probed so many of the other burdens of timeshare ownership or the details on how these charlatans got you to purchase it in the first place, but believe me I’ve got a lot more to say about it. Stay tuned…my husband and I are now off to Italy to stay with a family we found on Air BNB and use our airline points to fly there for free. Arrivederci!

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