Timeshare Laws for Marketing + Advertising

Timeshare Laws for Marketing + Advertising

Over the years, the timeshare industry has transformed into a hospitality giant since it burst onto the scene in the 1960’s. Now that we’ve shared a solid overview on the history of timeshare ownership, let’s talk about some of the laws and regulations that hold the concept together. Although a number of initiatives, revelations and scams have shaped the industry into what it is today, timesharing is still a wild wild west of sorts.

Leading up to 2019, it’s been fairly difficult for programs and agencies to put a halt to unethical practices and the deceit within the industry. But it doesn’t mean society hasn’t progressed. It simply means greed is clouding the judgement of major stakeholders. Businesses fixated on revenue seem to always find a way around laws when the reward is worthwhile.


A declining market share also adds a little incentive maximizing profits. If you’ve been following along lately, then you’re well aware of the financial rewards that can come with timeshare sales. The problem is, a big percentage of timeshare revenue is at the consumer’s expense. And most likely on purchases that aren’t really necessary.

With developmental expansion slowing down and major hospitality players slowly taking over, it seems like a more systematic approach is in order for the timeshare industry. As the dust continues to settle, a good portion of sales processes and marketing initiatives are becoming more regulated. The tactics that have allowed timeshares to thrive throughout history are now common knowledge because of the internet. Consumers are able to make more informed decisions now than ever before.

Timesharing is Prime For Competition.

Although progress has been made, it doesn’t mean standardizations will eliminate consumer problems. There are plenty of ways to improve which is why vacation rentals and travel clubs are increasing in popularity. Until the people are able to completely trust the timeshare pitch again, we can’t expect an industry rejuvenation. Although outlook has been dim before, consumers aren’t as gullible as they once were.


The access to information is eliminating impulse purchases altogether. Because people want to know about timeshares, we want to help them understand what they’re getting themselves into. It’s not just about helping timeshare owners get out of their agreements. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the timeshare laws and regulations that have been able to keep resorts and predatory agencies at bay for the most part.

Timeshare Regulations for Marketing and Advertising

Before we talk about the aggressive sales tactics used by timeshare companies and resorts, we have to point out the role that marketing and advertising plays. Before most consumers arrive at the sales presentation, they’ve more than likely already been briefed on what to expect from the experience. In some cases, they might already be eager to sign the dotted line. Making an impulse buy with confidence typically means the marketing has done its job. What’s bothersome is that many timeshare companies know exactly what to say to get people in the door. If they can get you to arrive with minimal questions, they know it’s pretty much a done deal.

The Difficulty of Regulating Advertising or Misspeak.

Like other industries, advertising strategies don’t necessarily tell you the full truth. Trigger words and vague phrases are often used to manipulate consumers into believing the product is better than what it really is. Call it a mirage if you will. For example, food (especially produce) can market products with “organically grown” on the packaging. But it doesn’t necessarily mean their definition matches yours. Legitimizing phrases like “more fresh” or “healthier” is nearly impossible when you’re unaware of the actual standards of the term. When you think about it, it’s pretty difficult to define this type of verbiage anyways.


How Marketing and Sales Work Together

The same can be said for timeshare marketing strategies. More often than not, consumers are distracted by free gifts and potential instead of focusing on what the purchase is or can be. Timeshare companies know to hype prospects up while intentionally leaving out the details on drawbacks (availability, annual fees, perpetuity, taxes and resale value). The excitement of something they’ve been persuaded to believe in can easily overshadow the actualities of the deal. Call it false advertising if you must. Consumers deserve to be protected from this.

At the same time, it’s very difficult for misled timeshare owners to find restitution in court. In order to penalize an entity for misleading marketing tactics, one has to be able to prove they’ve been lied to. Some lawsuits have won, but only after a lengthy battle with an experienced legal team. While it’ll always be difficult to regulate hearsay when contractual agreements are involved, there is now a strong push to protect consumers from major purchase decisions like this. The best way to combat marketing misconduct is to educate consumers on the front end.

The Legalities and Laws of Marketing and Sales

Aside from public information like this article, nearly every state now has its own marketing and advertising regulations with the FTC, FCC, consumer protection agencies and other state sales statutes. While regulations may never stop unethical companies from breaking the law, at least there are now some consequences in place. Since tourism is more prevalent in certain parts of the country, some states need to have laws that are a little more strict than others. For example, California actually has its own advertising requirements.


While it’s good to see organizations keep an eye on an industry that can get out of hand quickly, we know it’s not the end all be all. With the internet still emerging, it’s only a matter of time before new regulations are implemented and reinforced. This is a tall order because the world wide web is still basically unregulated. Since regulations have increased marketing costs for timeshare companies, new acquisition is harder to come by. At the same time, it’s caused resorts to target their current fractional owners more aggressively to make up for the loss.

Combating Misleading Timeshare Marketing Tactics

Once you’re locked into timeshare ownership, not all hope is lost. If you feel as though you continue to be lied to, then you have every right to build a case for yourself. The timeshare industry uses a lot of 3rd party advertisers to re-market to their users. Understanding what they’re allowed to market will help you pinpoint unethical behavior and get out of your contract sooner than later.


It will be interesting to see what evolves in the next few years to combat the extensive amount of fraudulent activity online. In the meantime, do your best to thoroughly understand major purchases and the rights you have as a consumer. There are plenty of things to look for and ask when attending a timeshare presentation. At the end of the day, doing your due diligence and understanding common timeshare marketing misspeak can save you a lot of grief in the long run. 

To continue reading about Timeshare Laws, click part 2 below. If you’d like to learn more about our timeshare cancellation company, we’d love to hear from you! For those interested in learning how we can help you find relief, feel free to submit a qualification form.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

The History of Timeshare Ownership | Part 1: 1960’s and 70’s

The History of Timeshare Ownership | Part 1: 1960’s and 70’s

Over the last year, we’ve spent a lot of time speaking on the ins and outs of fractional ownership and how timeshare cancellation works. If you haven’t already noticed, we’re pretty passionate about helping people understand what a timeshare contract is and what getting out of one can entail. Far too many consumers say “yes” to timeshare ownership because they’re persuaded to be confident in a decision they know little about. They haven’t been exposed to anything other than the sale.

Since we live in a world overwhelmed by advertisements, it’s becoming harder for people to make their own purchase decisions. Because of this, being informed on timeshare ownership prior to attending a sales presentation can be a game changer. Not all timeshares are bad. There are plenty of owners enjoying their decision right now. But it’s because they took the time to fully understanding what they were buying before signing on the dotted line.


The timeshare industry has come a long way since it first took off in the 1960’s. Although the industry still thrives today, their sales-centric model is slowly chipping away at their market share. Right to use contracts, vacation rentals and travel clubs have emerged as viable alternatives that allow people to avoid perpetual commitments.

As vacationing continues to evolve, the timeshare industry hasn’t necessarily become what it was initially set out to be. Familiarizing ourselves with the history of timeshare ownership helps us better understand what went wrong and why so many of today’s fractional owners are now wanting to get out of timeshare contracts for good. So let’s take a look at the very beginning of timeshare ownership.

Where Timeshares Began

Like most innovative concepts, the purpose of the timeshare hasn’t changed much over time. The need and greed was always there. Even before evolving into the multi-billion dollar global sales machine that it is today, a convenient and affordable getaway was the initial proposition.


The First Ever Timeshare

The first ever timeshare came about in 1963 when a developer named Hapimag and his partner Dr. Guido Renggli constructed a 13-unit resort in Graubuenden, Switzerland after acquiring multiple resort properties in the area. They began selling right to use packages while pioneering the first points program and the very first timeshare rescission clause.

The First Hotel-Condominium Timeshare

In the meantime, Americans were developing their own variation on the island of Maui, Hawaii. The Hilton Hale Kaanapali broke ground in late October of 1965 and consisted of 6 buyers.  Greg Dillon, Conrad Hilton, Robert “Bob” Svoboda, Erik Jacobsen, Ed Hasting and Fritz Burns were the first to purchase a Hotel-Condominium Timeshare in the United States. Owned by Amfac, the property was located on a Pioneer Mill Plantation that covered 15,000 acres.

The First Timeshare Sales Strategy

Somewhere during the later half of the 1960’s (some say as early as 1964), Paul Doumier of the Société des Grands Travaux de Marseille development company was constructing his own timeshare concept for a ski resort in the French Alps. His firm, SuperDevoluy, was able to persuade travelers that buying a room at his resort was far cheaper than renting one. Doumier is an important figure to remember when it comes to the history of timeshares because his ad campaign is the framework for today’s sales presentations.


The First Non-Hotel Condo Timeshare

At the tail end of the 60’s, Hawaii stepped backed onto the scene when Robert Burns and Bob Ringenburg began selling weekly intervals for leasehold condos on the island of Kaua`i. Shortly after, The Kaua`i Kailani became the first non-hotel condo timeshare sold in America. “The Two Bobs” went from pitching forty-year leases in the spring of 1969 to launching their own company. Determined to prove they valued their members, they were the first timeshare to roll out a flexible points system. After 40+ years in business, VI Resorts still stands by the slogan, “Flexibility is Key.”

Timeshare Transformations in the 1970’s.

Once the trend of the timeshare hit the marketplace, there were plenty of investors after a piece of the pie. Something that had never been done before quickly became revolutionary for travel. Places that people didn’t dream of being able to visit were now at their fingertips. To say the timeshare industry took off in the 1970’s would be an understatement. In the early history of timeshare ownership, bad experiences weren’t viewable like they are today. Reviews and scams didn’t taint perception and it was easy for consumers to see the purchase was worthwhile.


As popularity grew, the revenue generated by the resorts provided timeshare companies with unique opportunities. Once success was had, expansion was inevitable. One of the biggest advancements of the industry was geographical expansion efforts. Anywhere in the world could now be turned into a vacation haven that locked buyers into lifelong commitments. All timeshare companies had to do was sell fractional ownerships. Keep in mind, the capabilities of marketing in the 70’s was nothing like it is today.

History of Timeshare Competition and a Sales Focus

Although some companies were content with where they were, other organizations emerged and exchange companies began to formulate. Since the industry was unregulated, competition emerged quickly in the timeshare industry. Exchange companies began to rise in power and dominate markets with their ability to spend. This decade saw ownership go from 45 to 350 buyers and resorts expanded from 10,000 to 200,000 properties.

While the 70’s is known for the growth in timeshare interest, it doesn’t mean the industry didn’t face it’s challenges. It was nearly impossible to predict and seamlessly address flaws or inconveniences that never existed before. Snags in the user experience started to evolve when when a U.S. tax ruling stalled the “right to use” concept.


When money slowed down for resorts, they started abandoning their customer focus and began spending more time developing sales tactics to fill intervals. While quality lodging was offered throughout this period, the stigma of consumer ripoff and dissatisfaction clouded the appeal of all recreational properties in nearly every destination – even when perception was inaccurate. Developers also began taking advantage of blind consumers by offering travel packages that didn’t yet exist. As a result of dishonest activity, state lawmakers started considering extensive product registration and licensing for timeshare enterprises.

It took years to overcome some of the misleading tactics and much of the negative stigma remains today. If you ask people that were involved with the industry during this period of time, they’ll tell you that consumer skepticism began in the 70’s. Timesharing didn’t even reach it’s 10th birthday before people noticed greed taking over. The quick dollar started to become valued more than long term sustainability and customer loyalty. It’s a shame because many of the founding fathers proved it doesn’t have to be this way.

Timesharing Officially Became a Movement by the 1980’s.

At the same time, this era of timeshare history also brought a lot of progress towards a better system. Secondary lenders began financing receivable and small regional sellers established themselves. The first national timeshare conference was held, publications started garnering interest and the ARDA founded the Resort Timesharing Council. Many of the events and happenings surrounding the industry today originated during this timeframe. The first and today’s largest exchange company, RCI, got its start in the 70’s. Interval International also opened for business in this decade. These two companies are currently affiliated with 99% of the timeshare resorts in the U.S.


A lot transpired during the first 17 years of timeshare history. New ideas, facilities, partnerships, merges and communities during this time in history revolutionized vacationing. As the travel industry continues to evolve today, one can’t help but wonder if timesharing will continue making billions long term. With more options geared towards the user experience, it’s hard to believe a sales approach will persevere. If the bad ends up outweighing the good, the timeshare could end up being history itself. It’ll be interesting to see where timeshare vacationing goes from here.

Get Your Questions Answered with VOC.

If you’re unhappy with your timeshare and would like to know what your options are, we’d be glad to review your situation during a free consultation. If you’re actually ready to cancel the contract and annual fees for good, you can always fill out one of our qualification forms below.
Request More InfoRead Part 2
Top 10 Reasons Fractional Owners Cancel Timeshare Agreements

Top 10 Reasons Fractional Owners Cancel Timeshare Agreements

If you’ve been following our blog content over the past few months, you’ve probably come to realize that canceling a timeshare agreement is no easy task. Whether you’re overwhelmed by sales, struggling to let go of the timeshare or dealing with deceiving predatory agencies – at some point, enough is enough. Sadly, many timeshare owners are left to wallow in their contracts while others scramble to figure out what to do next. It’s an awful, expensive position to be in.

Over the years, we’ve listened to thousands of timeshare owners talk about their story and how they despised their decision to pursue a vacation property. While plenty of travelers enjoy their timeshare purchase, not every owner gets to vacation in peace. These select, often taken advantage of individuals and families, deserve a chance to get out of something that isn’t beneficial.

At the same time, we don’t want you to feel like we’re trying to persuade you to pursue cancellation services if it doesn’t make sense. Unlike other companies, we take the time to qualify our applicants and make sure they exhaust all options before attempting to terminate a contract. We’d rather educate you on some of the reasoning we use when speaking with timeshare owners about their mistake. With that being said, let’s take a look at the top 10 reasons fractional owners cancel timeshare agreements and walk away from their resort obligations.

1. Limited or No Availability at the Resort.

Many timeshare owners leave the initial sales presentation full of euphoria and anticipation. They can’t wait to enjoy the fruits of their labor in a destination city they’ve always wanted to visit. What they don’t realize at first is the availability at the resort is extremely finite. Timeshare companies know exactly how to build up the value of their product with a whole lot of fluff in order to overshadow the actualities of the deal.


During the first few failed booking attempts, the resort does a great job of labeling the inconvenience as a fluke. This allows them to get passed the rescission (or cancellation) period. Once the fractional owner is under contract for good, many timeshare companies will refer them to the terms of their contract and say there’s nothing they can do. Unfortunately, there isn’t much that owners can do either. After years of being unable to access the property and thousands of dollars wasted, many begin looking towards cancellation services for relief.

2. The Financial Burden of Timeshare Maintenance Fees.

Aside from the letdown of lacking availability, timeshare owners typically aren’t initially aware of annual maintenance fees that flood their mailbox at the end of each year. These fees are another element of the contract that’s typically overlooked by distracted buyers. Instead of being viewed as a valuable, necessary contribution, it can easily become an irritating expense.

As each year passes, these routine costs tend to increase. If the bill is already causing bitterness during the holidays, then a raised expense probably won’t sit well for long. When coupled with other inconveniences, like availability, rising maintenance fees can easily compel owners to cancel their timeshare agreement before they get in over their head.


3. Caught Off Guard by Special Assessment Fees

Similar to maintenance costs, special assessment fees can become a costly reminder of a poor decision. Also known as liability bills, these fees can be sent out at any time, for any amount. Timeshare owners can usually expect to receive these invoices when a natural disaster occurs or major renovations are made to the property. It’s normally hard for fractional owners to make sense of.

Even when the numbers don’t add up, there’s really nothing they can do because of the contract they signed. In most cases, one they realize their money is going down the drain (towards expenses that feebly come into fruition), they decide that canceling the timeshare contract is in their best interest. To them, stopping the payments eliminates the problem altogether.

4. Personal Needs Aren’t Met by Timeshare Property.

Unfortunately, many fractional owners don’t look into the specifics of the property they’re buying. Some timeshare owners aren’t even completely aware that vacation ownership isn’t a travel club. So, when they sign the perpetual agreement, they don’t treat it like buying a home. If they’re unable to follow strict instructions to cancel their contract within the rescission period, then they can end up paying for something they may not be able to use.


In some cases, elderly owners can quickly realize the timeshare isn’t suited for their aging needs. Elements of the property may even be hazardous for them. What’s worse, is the sales team more than likely won’t point this out during the presentation. Anticipation can quickly turn into concern.

This is similar to those with medical conditions that require special attention or access to certain utilities. Moreover, many owners realize they can’t afford the timeshare shortly after the purchase and are unable to void the contract. When the location or the experience isn’t ideal, many decide that canceling the agreement and cutting their losses is in their best interest.

5. The Realization That Timeshares Have $0 Resale Value.

One of the most disheartening aspects of getting rid of a timeshare contract usually occurs when an owner tries to sell. Although some properties in certain destinations can be appealing, nearly all timeshares have zero resale value. Far too many consumers are led to believe that if they don’t want the property any longer then all they have to do is sell it.

Trying to sell the timeshare can cause owners to go down a number of costly path without resolve. After exhausting every effort, they finally realize that they have no choice but to contact a timeshare cancellation company. At the end of the day, wasting more money trying to get rid of something no one wants isn’t worth it anymore.


6. An Inability to Rent Timeshare Weeks

Similar to the seller’s market, many timeshare owners believe they can earn some additional income renting the property if it doesn’t work out. This mirage might even be used by the sales staff to persuade you to buy. Assuming a rental market exists can be dangerous for timeshare owners that are looking for a backup plan when selling isn’t successful.

Aside from the time put into listing the property, every month that passes incurs charges from the resort. Once owners realize they’ve lost another $1,000 pursuing a lost cause, they typically waive the white flag and legally cancel the timeshare agreement.

7. Harassing, High-Pressure Sales to Upgrade Timeshare.

All of the above frustrations aside, many timeshare owners can’t deal with the constant pressure of upgrading their package. What many consumers don’t realize is the timeshare sales funnel never ends. Every voice of concern or mention of desire can be used against them. Just like other strong sales organizations, timeshare companies know that locking you into a contract is only phase one.


A plethora of features, upgrades, entertainment options and tours are used to persuade you to spend more. While this can be exciting at first, many timeshare owners quickly become overwhelmed. They grow tired of being forced to attend presentations or being locked into unexpected expenses. Going from the royalty treatment to being viewed as a number can be eye-opening. This doesn’t sit well with some and canceling the agreement becomes a priority.

8. Failed or Broken Promises by Resort Sales Teams.

It can be maddening for those that give into the pressure tactics and their expectations aren’t met. Being blinded by the prize can cause them to overlook the strategies being used. Broken promises are normally experienced when timeshare owners upgrade in order to improve some of the above concerns, like availability or inconvenience. Some even give in when they feel as though getting rid of the timeshare is impossible. Making the most of it seems like their only option at this point. Otherwise they’ll just continue spending thousands every year.


The thing is, many timeshare reps have commission breath. In other words, they’ll tell you anything to get a piece of a sale. While we understand this is their livelihood, it can’t be too rewarding to bait and switch people. Nonetheless, getting burned over and over is a good enough reason for fractional owners to cancel timeshare agreements.

9. Safety Concerns and Poor Property Upkeep.

Besides wanting to terminate the contract because they don’t believe maintenance fees aren’t being used properly, timeshare owners may also want out due to poor amenities and upkeep. Can you imagine anticipating a lavish resort and ending up in a less than ideal situation? After experiencing a poorly kept location and an inability to get out of the timeshare contract, many owners turn to legally canceling the agreement and forgetting they ever stepped foot on the property.


10. Fractional Owners Don’t Want Heirs to Inherit Burden.

Sadly, many of our timeshare cancellations involve aging parents. After years of dealing with a timeshare they don’t want, a good number of them simply want to avoid handing off the burden to their children – or hiers. This is one element of ownership that isn’t fully understood by all parties. What makes matters worse, is when timeshare owners aren’t able to represent themselves due to old age or illness.

Even if children or caretakers are aware of the inevitable transfer, they may not be able to help. This can be extremely frustrating when authorized users realize they’re unable to find a resolution with the resort. Either way, many timeshare agreements are cancelled because the owner is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure someone else isn’t stuck in a timeshare that’s been a burden to them.

How Does Timeshare Cancellation Work?

Whether you’re on the fence about your fractional ownership or you’re committed to getting rid of your timeshare, we’d love to learn more about your situation to see if we can help. You can always schedule a FREE consultation or proceed with our qualification form below.

How to Know if You Need Timeshare Contract Cancellation Services

How to Know if You Need Timeshare Contract Cancellation Services

Coming to the realization that your timeshare isn’t ideal can be taxing. When the anticipation of timeshare ownership is met by inopportune availability and unexpected expenses, many timeshare owners begin to immediately regret their decision. Something that was once viewed as an escape-haven can easily turn into an unreachable mirage that’s gotten more vague as time has gone by. Once you become conscious of the resort’s disinterest in resolving your issues, it’s easy to turn to timeshare relief companies for direction. While this may seem like the right thing to do, thousands of timeshare owners are misled and once again invest in something that doesn’t provide the return they expected.

Over the years, we’ve talked to a good number of timeshare owners regarding their unfavorable situations. Some aren’t contractually obligated and others have sadly doubled down on their commitment to pay. In the first scenario, our services aren’t needed. In the second, your ability to cancel is slim to none. Whichever category you fall under, we want to help you find the best solution. If you’re unable to determine your need for timeshare contract cancellation services after reading this article, you can always schedule a free consultation to review your situation. If another way out exists, you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll point you in the right direction before proceeding to cancel your agreement.

Do You Need to Know How to Get Out of a Timeshare?

If you’re skeptical of “free consultations” – that’s OK, we totally understand. In order to help you avoid pitfalls and know what to do next, we wanted to highlight certain scenarios that either limit or benefit your situation. If you’ve read this far, then you’re more than likely looking for a way out of your timeshare. Although we’d love to continue telling you about our company values and what we stand for, let’s take a look at some of the situations that eliminate the need for timeshare contract cancellation services.

1. All Parties Are Not in Agreement.

Sometimes, a desire to get rid of a timeshare has nothing to do with the property itself. If there are multiple owners on the contract, there is a possibility that everyone invested won’t agree on what to do with the timeshare. While joint-signing can be financially beneficial, it can also cause a little tension. When other owners seem to always get the best dates, remaining parties normally become frustrated with the expense. This can become even more troubling when the resort is favoring retail reservations, limiting availability altogether.


Similar to banking, if a joint account was being closed, all signers need to be present to sign off. Those looking to waive their obligation have to rely on remaining parties to process the proper documents to transfer ownership. There is always a chance you can persuade each party by executing a quitclaim process. But, agreeing to pay more because another owner wants out isn’t going to be very persuasive. Although they can always add another owner, it doesn’t mean they’ll file the necessary paperwork to help you out.

If they’re unreachable or straight up refuse to cooperate, then it’s probably time to start weighing realistic options. Although canceling the timeshare contract may benefit you, the perpetual agreement you signed isn’t going to work in your favor. Ignoring your requests might be their way of telling you tough luck. These types of situations can get a little complicated when co-owners are married. Unfortunately in our country, a good number of marriages end in divorce. If one party wants to hold on to the property and uphold the other’s responsibility to pay, then the chances of canceling the contract are next to none.


Whatever the conflict is, it’s best to try to be proactive with your booking attempts. This will at least help you get the dates that are ideal for you. If you feel as though other owners are being unfair, then continue voicing your concern. The chances of you working something out are far greater than threatening to pursue timeshare cancellation services.

If negotiating becomes a lost cause then at least get some value out of the timeshare. You can always rent out your weeks or simply pay exchange platforms (Interval international, RCI, etc..) to book your desired dates. If you decide to walk away from the timeshare by refusing to pay then you have to be prepared to face serious repercussions. Late payments can (and in most cases will) lead to negative credit reporting, judgements, 3rd party collections, tax hits on the defaulted amount and even foreclosure. Timeshare ownership isn’t a travel club membership. Legitimate penalties can occur if you let your emotions get the best of you. Either way, an inability to come to an agreement eliminates timeshare contract cancellation from the equation.

2. An Authorized User Cannot Request a Cancellation.

If you are not the person who is financially responsible for the timeshare contract, then you’re legally unable to make any type of cancellation request. You have to understand that the resort is going to do everything they can to make the break difficult for you. This is true even when the owner is physically unable to pursue a resolution with the timeshare company on their own. Situations like these tend to involve authorized users or children of the owners (relatives or those that may eventually inherit the property) that are trying to help the owner get rid of their timeshare expense. It can feel like a hopeless situation for those aware of their fate.


Unless you add yourself to the financial obligation, the timeshare company will balk at your requests. But be careful how you approach this. Adding yourself to the contract can be extremely risky. If you become an owner and you’re unable to find resolve, sell or successfully cancel the timeshare contract then you’re agreeing to the contract terms for good. Evaluate the outcomes before committing to something that may seem necessary or worthwhile.

3. A Pre Existing Litigation Has Occurred.

Upon receiving a qualification form, one of the first things we need to be made aware of are current and previous court proceedings. Some timeshare owners decide to pursue resorts with a hired attorney. Although litigation can be an extremely costly and lengthy process, it is one way to open the door to negotiate a settlement with the timeshare company. A settlement can be reached if the resort finds it in their best interest to find common grounds outside of court as opposed to spending money on a legal battle. At the end of the day, it’s going to take a lot for them to take your claim seriously.

If a settlement is obtained with a legal council, make sure you fully understand what you are agreeing to. In other words, don’t get too excited until you’ve analyzed the offer. Try to identify any waivers that aren’t beneficial to you but favorable to the resort. While hiring legal counsel to file suit may be compelling, a lack of evidence can be damaging. If you don’t win, it will most certainly complicate or limit your options in hiring a legal timeshare termination service.


4. Settlements Can Void Cancellation Efforts.

Many timeshare owners aren’t aware that an attorney doesn’t have to be involved during negotiations with the resort. Sometimes, owners feel as though they have enough leverage to force the resort to settle. Many realize that filing complaints is getting them nowhere and they want to take a more aggressive approach. Others have simply gotten in over their heads. The cost of a timeshare can be unbearable for those that have invested in upgrades to acquire the experience they initially budgeted for. Over time, they realize owning a timeshare isn’t feasible and something needs to get done.

Unfortunately, financial hardships give many owners no choice but to settle. Desperation is a dangerous position to be in. Aside from the timeshare cancellation industry being riddled with predatory agencies, resorts know how to take advantage of vulnerability too. Signing legal waivers on top of your current contract gives the timeshare company all the leverage they need. When you think about it, they’re not really doing you a favor. They’re simply locking you into an additional obligation to pay. If you believe they’re eventually going to let you walk, then you should probably check the terms.

5. The Contract is a “Right to Use” Agreement.

Sometimes, timeshare owners are led to believe they’re stuck in a contract that doesn’t exist. Since the timeshare sale never ends, owners have to be careful not to sign additional agreements that override “Right To Use” contracts. These are paid in full and typically don’t require the user to pay annual maintenance fees, assessment fees and taxes on the property. If you’ve reached this point, there’s really no need for you to pursue timeshare contract cancellation services. A “Right to Use” contract has an expiration date and will eventually dissolve on its own.


6. Timeshare Access through Travel Club Memberships.

When it comes to travel clubs, there is absolutely no real-estate involved. This type of association is a membership agreement that gives members access to discounted travel deals. Travel Club owners are more than likely not obligated to pay mandated annual dues, unlike timeshare owners. Similar to a Right to Use Agreement, you may be led to believe otherwise.

There is no fractional ownership liability, property taxes or special assessment fees when a consumer is invested in a Travel Club. Nonetheless, the consideration of timeshare contract cancellation services isn’t necessary. If a Travel Club user stops paying their required annual renewal, their account will simply be closed. There are no repercussions other than the lost initial investment to join the club.

Interested in Timeshare Contract Cancellation Services?

If none of these scenarios apply to you, then it might be in your best interest to start looking into the benefits of legally exiting your agreement. Although there are other factors that may limit your ability to get out of a timeshare contract, speaking to one of our consultants will provide you with clarity on next steps. While selling can be an enticing option, it’s only a matter of time before you realize resale value doesn’t exist. At the end of the day, we want to make sure timeshare owners are exhausting all of their options before pursuing our services.

Submit a Qualification Form to Learn More About VOC

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