As we enter a time in history that most have never seen before, luxury items tend to lose their luster. Although the closing of restaurants and local entertainment venues forces us to avoid indulgence, we’re also forced to look at our expenses. When it’s difficult to obtain basic needs like food, water, milk and toilet paper – our priorities shift tremendously. While some simply reallocate spending habits towards hoarding supplies and planning for Armageddon, many don’t have that luxury. What they pay for takes all they have. Delivery services and other added costs to obtain these basic needs only make matters worse. Especially if they’ve lost wages because of the Coronavirus.

Now that travel has pretty much reached a standstill (and halted internationally), people’s livelihoods have drastically changed. While some are able to adapt, others can’t. Businessmen have the advantage of video conferencing and avid vacationers can take a break, but what are timeshare owners to do? If the economy shifts outside of their control, should they have to pay for something they can’t use? It’s easy to assume they’re going to be extremely concerned with paying for a luxury item that removes thousands of dollars from their budget every year.

How Will Your Timeshare Respond?

So the real question is, how will timeshare companies respond? Will they pardon owners or force them to adhere to their contract? Will they only see it as their loss or will they have compassion? While the implementation of operational protocols and the gathering of facts is important, what about touching base with the hand that feeds you? When you think about it, vacation ownership has got to be one of the most handicapping expenses right now. To date, reasonably resolving owner complaints hasn’t been a strength of timeshare companies.

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Will Vacation Owners Be Reassured?

If you’ve been checking your email lately, you’ve probably received a number of updates from all kinds of businesses and organizations. Whether they’ve been informative, reassuring or annoying, the effort is there. It shows that they care. Timeshare owners deserve the same. No matter how you’ve been impacted by the Coronavirus, you shouldn’t have to bear the burden alone of something beyond your control. 

Have you been contacted by your timeshare? If not, you may want to reach out to them with your questions to gain an understanding of how they are reacting to this pandemic and how it impacts you as an owner. You have the right to be concerned here. Unlike most U.S. businesses, timeshare travel should have seen this coming with the way the rest of the world was responding to the Coronavirus. It hasn’t been uncommon to see many organizations step up to alleviate the effect of the pandemic.

Others Take Action, in Full Communication.

Due to the recession concerns, the Federal Government even slashed interest rates to nearly zero in an attempt to invigorate the economy. Lending institutions and creditors have followed suit by proactively sending out correspondence that acknowledges possible instances where customers may find themselves facing financial difficulties. The willingness of banks to discuss assistance is extremely encouraging.

TRAVELING

Travel companies are prepared for loss and currently offering discounts on future endeavors or rewards in the form of points. Airlines are also advertising “no change fees” and cutting up to 50% of their schedules as travel bans continue to expand. As airport customers begin screening for the Coronavirus, health officials are urging people to stay home.

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LOCAL BIZ

Businesses that remain open are taking extra measures to ensure their environments are sanitary. Restaurants are taking advantage of free delivery services while drive-thrus are closing their eat-in services. Medical and dental offices have heightened their safety procedures and have increased the use of medical grade equipment.

TIMESHARES

Has your timeshare informed you of what measures they’re taking during this time? If you’re currently traveling or planning to use the timeshare in the near future, have you been provided with any safety measures, guidelines or tips? Sadly, it’s been well-documented that many timeshare company’s ignore buyer complaints. But we hope history doesn’t repeat itself and that resorts step up by taking action. Responsibly ensuring that owners have safe accommodations will go a long way.

What Can Owners Do During a Pandemic?

Just the other day, politicians began proposing that every American receives a $1,000 stimulus check to ease the economic impact. Markets are being impacted, financially hindering many families across the country. Why should timeshare owners have to think about using this boost to avoid repercussions from the resort? One of our most recent clients signed up for our services because she wasn’t able to garner help from her timeshare company.

As a caretaker, changes in her work environment forced her to face a hard reality that wasn’t expected – unemployment. Losing her ability to work made canceling the timeshare contract now an easy decision. Vacation owners that count on income from tips, commissions or wages from non-essential businesses are experiencing a lot of unknown right now. Aside from your average hard-working American, those with preexisting conditions are forced to implement even further precautions to avoid the Coronavirus.

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Is your timeshare company taking notice? If they’re more worried about their losses then they should take notes from those serving society amidst a crisis. It could easily reverse their trajectory. The Coronavirus isn’t just affecting the timeshare industry. Mind you, their sales were $9.6 billion in 2017. At some point, they’re going to have to face the music and do something for owners with fixed weeks, confirmed reservations during travel bans or owners experiencing new financial hardships. 

The Reality of Timeshares and the Coronavirus.

The fact of the matter is, entire countries are being shut down and quarantined right now. Schools and local businesses are being forced to close their doors. The CDC has urged Americans to halt all gatherings of 10 or more people (SC is limiting groups to 3). Even if you aren’t following the news, you’ve most certainly noticed the change. Most supermarket shelves are empty as people frantically barricade themselves from the Coronavirus. 

While the main concern should lie in a massive influx of hospitalizations, one can’t help but notice that quality of life has dipped quite a bit. At the same time, the pandemic has also given people a unique opportunity to reconnect with others or even themselves. In times like these, finding the blessings in life can really be life changing. 

Listen, we know that finding peace can be difficult to accomplish when costly payments on a luxury item only adds to financial stress you’re going through. So if you’ve found yourself in a new financial hardship because of the Coronavirus, we encourage you to contact the timeshare directly. You may never know how they’re willing to assist you financially if you don’t ask. This virus is impacting everyone right now. 

The biggest question is, will they be willing to change their policy to assist those affected by the pandemic? It would seem as though financial solutions to make ownership more affordable would be a good initial idea. As we walk into a potential recession, what other choice do they have? If a majority of vacation owners are unable to make payments, it would cause a devastating effect on the industry – and everyone involved.

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What Might Timeshare Companies Do?

As we saw during the Great Recession, the first thing Americans stopped buying were luxuries – or anything that wasn’t deemed a necessity. Are timeshare companies going to ethically work with their owners on deferred payments, restructured installment loans or offering other forms of relief (for owners unable to use their timeshare)? Or are they going to continue their aggressive path by threatening clients with legal action and damaged credit as history shows?

If we were to speculate here, we can assume timeshare companies will push the narrative that the market will eventually settle back down. Based on the breadcrumbs, they may try to buy themselves as much time as they can before taking action. Unless there are terms regarding a pandemic in the buyer’s contract, relief may not be granted. While there is a possibility that discounts will be given, it’s hard to understand how timeshares will be able to supply the bottlenecked demand after weeks (or possibly months) of travel restrictions

Thousands of owners to date have stated their timeshare failed to provide promised availability for while they were expecting flexibility, how will they recover from this? The Coronavirus is something timeshares should address quickly. How could a legal battle play out if they force loyal customers to pay in a time of crisis? How far will they be willing to go to ensure it doesn’t get ugly? What are they going to do for owners that paid their maintenance fees for 2020? Like we said before, there is an easy way to avoid any conflict here. Take care of the consumer.

MARK CUBAN SETS THE PRECEDENT 

If you are following the news you may have seen the respectable interview with Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. Chris Cuomo from CNN stated how Mark had an option and he chose to pay employees as the NBA suspends the season due to the Coronavirus. His response was, “It wasn’t in the policy, it wasn’t an option, it was the right thing to do”. The network calls those helping others in this difficult time “AmeriCANS.” At the end of the day, these types of decisions will aid the economy tremendously. Will timeshares be willing to invest their earnings back into the customer?

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A Response Regarding the Pandemic is Inevitable.

It’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out and if timeshare owners are rewarded for their years of steady payments. If you’ve found yourself at a crossroads with your timeshare, we’d be more than happy to answer any of your questions. Our team is knowledgeable in the industry and can be trusted to consult you on alternate routes if cancellation isn’t in your best interest. For those interested in our qualification process, you can proceed with the link below.

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