When you think about it, nearly all of us long for a vacation. The stagnancy that comes from a routine is hard to ignore. Because of this, most of us are highly intrigued by “affordable” opportunities to get away. For more than half a century now, timeshare companies have been taking advantage of this desire to travel. But the industry didn’t exactly thrive because of consumer interest. Major hotel chains pay a lot of money to talk people into timeshare contracts. It’s why they unexpectedly present their product in a pressure filled environment with minimal disclosure.
Every year, thousands of people jump on the opportunity before it “expires.” The problem is, there isn’t really a limited time offer. Also, the smoking deal isn’t too hot after maintenance fees, taxes and interest are actually included. Special assessments could occur at any time. Who knows which timeshare verbal promises will actually come true. Unfortunately, timeshares aren’t an investment property and they carry zero resale value. So, a return shouldn’t be expected. We’re telling you this because the industry’s “license to lie” has gotten out of hand.
Don’t Make a Mistake Before it’s Too Late.
If you look around, hundreds of thousands of vacation owners are seeking restitution. Although major resorts do a good job keeping things quiet, public records do exist. Dozens of owners call us on a daily basis looking for help. Most of them have continued to make further financial mistakes just trying to get out of the agreement. It can easily become a mess. The sad thing is, a majority of people wouldn’t have even made the purchase if verbal promises or misleading information didn’t convince them.
At the same time, hearsay is difficult to prove when a signature is involved. Verbiage found on most written timeshare agreements actually states that the contract governs the purchase and that “verbal promises” hold no weight. A majority of buyers don’t notice this until it’s too late. This eventually forces them to make the most of their perpetual agreement.
This is why it’s so important to understand the sale. Once the rescission period passes, the interval or membership in beneficial interest is yours. Even if you thought it was only going to be $20K. As our nation comes out of a pandemic and a season of protests and riots, most of us will be looking to find a new normal. It’s safe to say many of us will be looking for an escape. If you do go on vacation, then expect to be approached by a timeshare company looking to make up for their recent losses.
Even if a deal seems too good to pass up and you really want to go on vacation, it’s important to use logic here. Reaching consumers in unexpected moments or during vulnerable circumstances helps them position value. The last thing consumers should do right now is make an impulse decision when the “license to lie” is at an all time high.
False Verbal Promises Made By Timeshare Sales Teams.
Timeshare ownership may not be a complete disappointment to many buyers, but everyone can admit that the model does have its flaws. Natural disasters, resort failures and today’s travel restrictions from COVID-19 are all prime examples. But these realities of ownership are rarely discussed during sales presentations. Instead, verbal promises and possibilities are used to persuade. Here are a few common examples of such.
1. The Perks of Cheap Timeshare Availability.
The biggest sales pitch you can expect from a timeshare salesperson is the ease of travel and convenience. Aside from convincing you that you deserve a vacation every year, they’ve mastered the ability to present the product as financially affordable and easily accessible across multiple destinations. But this is simply not true. Not all inventory is available for timeshare owners. Package levels limit buyers to certain resorts. Even though the cunning salesman made a verbal promise to give you access in a certain destination, it won’t change what you signed.
2. Timeshare Owners Get First Choice.
If you’re going to talk someone into handing over tens of thousands of dollars for a vacation package, then you better make them feel important. This is why sales teams have been known to position “VIP access” as a perk of ownership. Since the travel industry is highly competitive and it’s difficult to find a good deal, getting the first pick on where you stay is extremely valuable. The thing is, inventory is first pushed out to the general public before going to the highest bidder. Timeshare owners receive the remnants. Unless you can confirm this in your contract, it’s certainly almost never true.
3. Usage and Income Opportunities Are Vast.
After talking to thousands of timeshare owners over the years, the biggest misconception has got to be resale potential. Far too many buyers are determined to find a way to make money off the timeshare. They would never believe this to be true if they weren’t sold on this possibility during the presentation. Renting or selling timeshares usually comes with additional fees and no guarantee to garner a return. Similar to the timeshare itself, many of these programs also sell possibility as a product.
Utilizing a points program can be just as frustrating and discouraging. Many people are sold millions of points that they’ll never even be able to use. They find themselves in further peril after struggling to exchange the product. Timeshare presentations are structured to get attendees to believe there is value after the transaction. This makes them directly responsible for everything the buyer endures throughout ownership.
4. Buying A Timeshare Gives You An Asset.
While the presentation may seem compelling, there is no reason for anyone to believe a timeshare is an investment opportunity. Buyers don’t own the condo and receive no equity in the transaction. Once a salesman starts singing this tune, walking away is the best decision you can make. Today, most states regulate timeshare practices, specifically labeling it an asset. Intervals are absolutely not supposed to be sold as an investment property. But cunning tactics are normally used to get around the law. Verbal promises are the easiest way they can garner a signature and lock people into long term payments.
Even those already under contract are continuously fed these lies. Timeshare reps have been known to go over numbers with owners, explaining how increases in “today’s point rates” have impacted the investment. However, the perceived value they slap on points programs makes no difference. Either way, timeshares almost never hold any value on the resale market anyways. This is a very misleading tactic used by timeshares to give the perception that there is equity to be had. Doing so allows them to offer today only deals that seemingly sweeten the return. All the while, the owner has no idea the timeshare is worthless and they’ll never be able to sell the property.
Resale should never be considered a perk of ownership and verbal promises like this should tell you everything you need to know about the industry.
You Can’t Believe Everything You Hear.
In a time of an awful lot of uncertainty, making wise decisions is important. We could all use a much needed vacation right now. But it doesn’t mean going all-in on an annual trip is a good idea. Take the time to investigate the opportunities that come your way over the next few months and always be leery of a timeshare salesman. If you have any questions about your contract or you’re looking to escape your burden for good, a no-cost consultation is only a phone call away.