Timeshare travel can be one of the most intriguing, yet confusing products in the tourist marketplace. This is because consumers rarely search for them but fall for them rather quickly. The idea of a discounted vacation is just too good to pass up for most. Up until recently, buyers were forced to adhere to perpetual contracts that didn’t give them much option but to pay. Today, things seem to be evolving a bit.
Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has ransacked people’s ability to travel freely, timeshare companies are looking into additional measures to sign up new members. Because of their inability to close contracts, it appears timeshares are pushing more inventory out to online retailers so they can be reserved without a contract. So, how do current owners feel about this?
Travel Daily News Analyzes Timeshare Strategies.
According to an article by a travel website in Europe, “People just aren’t buying timeshares any more. 30 years ago they were ground-breaking disrupters to the travel business [but they] have failed to evolve at the same pace as the rest of the holiday sector,” it read. As a result, consumers have been skeptical of the product’s restrictions and poor value.
“People don’t want to pay money to commit themselves to outdated holiday systems [anymore],” it read. Now that timeshares are finally getting the memo, they’re too far behind to simply adapt – they have to play catchup. Because of this, Travel Daily News seems eager to blow the roof off of their latest strategies to make money.
Unused Inventory Is Being Offered Up For Cheap.
At the end of the day, timeshares are going to look to recoup their 2020 losses. They’re left with a “cash flow deficit to fill,” the article says. “Most companies have chosen to make up the lost new-member revenue by advertising the empty apartments to the general public on sites like Expedia.”
This is also something many owners have noticed. Aside from giving them a short term influx of cash, it also helps timeshares save the millions of dollars spent on sales techniques every year. As you can imagine, current owners are not happy. The exclusiveness they paid for (and are still on the hook for) no longer carries value. This sabotoshes the timeshare’s client base.
Timeshares Are Not a Cheap Ticket.
Why would anyone purchase a timeshare from someone that doesn’t want it when they can book something cheaper online with zero liability? “The cost that the timeshare apartments are being advertised for, is about the same as a member pays in annual fees for the same week,” the article continued.
Not only do members have to keep paying the same amounts, but they’ve “already paid thousands” for their weekly interval – despite worldwide lockdowns.
Are Timeshares Moral for Collecting During a Pandemic?
Travel Daily even went as far as calling the collection efforts as a “Pandemic Maintenance Heist.” Some people are paying hundreds of dollars every month for something they can’t even use. Then they’re being charged high, additional fees at the end of the year despite a lower need for resort maintenance.
“We have had a dramatic increase in timeshare owners wanting to get out of their memberships,” a source from the article said. But like they acknowledged, doing so is easier said than done.
“Timeshare contracts are written to commit the member to the annual fees. Members can no longer easily sell their timeshares because demand is almost non-existent. Most can’t even give them away because it’s almost impossible to find someone to take on the commitment. In fact, “people need expert help to relinquish a timeshare,” the article reads.
News Media Needs To Be Honest About Timeshares.
Unlike the advice we published from CNBC last week, it’s good to see news providers sharing the facts of the matter. Travel Daily went on to say “be careful who you ask for help” and we couldn’t agree more. In fact, we even encourage you to question our motives and value until you can confidently say we’re worth your trust.
Truth be told, all timeshare exit companies should spew this type of sales pitch. Unfortunately, they don’t and the article explains why. “Sadly there are a large number of criminals masquerading as timeshare law firms. These people act and sound like genuine firms, but are only interested in stealing your money,” it reads.
The Article Echoes What We’ve Been Saying.
The dangers of the exit industry are real – and they can be devastatingly costly. “There are regular media reports of people losing significant amounts of money to fraudsters. If you are not sure about who to trust, seek advice,” Travel Daily says.
If you’re unsure of who to speak to, there are a number of consumer protection agencies (like the FTC and BBB) worth looking into. Otherwise, keep an eye out for critical articles like this. While we’re not exactly privy of European business dealings, there is a lot we can learn from overseas handlings.
One Possibility For European Vacation Owners.
The closing of the article went into detail about some options current owners may have. Because of the unfair disadvantages of the supposed grab, buyers ought to be able to request some sort of restitution. “For some owners (mainly those who bought in Spain during or after 1999), there is a chance that they can not only escape their membership, but also claim some financial compensation too.”
While we’re not certain of this claim, it could be a step in the right direction. “Many resorts ignored protective legislation [that was] put in place to protect consumers against high pressure sales tactics,” the article claims. “As a result, there are a lot of owners whose contracts are invalid.” It wouldn’t hurt to ask about this if you do decide to work with an expert to get out of your timeshare.