Our world is stuck in a time of despair. Since the wake of the Coronavirus, people’s livelihoods have been turned upside down. Local shops and businesses have been forced to close their doors and millions of Americans are living on pennies. Casualties have become eager to voice injustice. Deep societal issues deservedly dominate our nation’s headlines. Most consumers are probably making payments on something they can’t even use. Costly inconveniences are steadily becoming more and more of a problem. So what are corporations doing about it?
Over the past several months, we’ve been studying the responses of timeshare companies during the pandemic. Not once have we come across a strategy to relieve the industry’s highest paying customers during the pandemic. By April, many decided to begin layoffs and point vacation owners to government and financial institutions instead of lessening their burdens. But this shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise. So why do people purchase timeshares even though resorts have been taking advantage of owners for decades?
Why Buying Timeshares May Be Appealing Today.
When consumers first come across a timeshare presentation, many believe it’s truly an opportunity of a lifetime. It’s safe to say a majority of buyers have never even looked into the purchase before. Even if they did, major hotel chains do a great job of squashing negativity about their brands. Once they’re able to convince potential buyers that bad press stems from exit scams, most people overlook the red flags.
We tell you this because a great number of people will be looking to travel in the near future. Society has been shut in for months. While the goal of many will be to recover from the financial crisis that has ensued, some will immediately look for a way to escape. You might even be looking for a vacation right now. What’s important to understand is, timeshare companies are going to be looking to capitalize on this desire.
When People Purchase Timeshares Out of Impulse.
When you’re unprepared for a timeshare presentation or unaware of what the purchase entails, salespeople tend to be rather convincing. In other words, people purchase timeshares because they’re uninformed. Anyone that takes the time to truly investigate the expensive product will clearly see it’s not worth it. Something that may seem like a much needed getaway for an affordable price can easily turn into a costly burden during an inconvenient time.
People that have recently bought timeshares are currently troubled by this decision. Many won’t even be able to use it this year. The problem is, the low monthly cost that was advertised isn’t their only obligation. Interest, taxes, and other annual fees often catch buyers off guard because they’re not mentioned in the sale. Perpetual agreements enforce obligations during crises and assessment fees help resorts cover reparations.
So as you venture into public in a post-pandemic world, you have to be willing to inspect what appeals to you. No matter how good a timeshare may sound, you have to check the facts. Greedy operations have probably been scheming for months now. Resorts have lost a lot of money. Aside from overbooking their resorts, selling timeshare agreements is the fastest way for them to replenish revenues.
So what can we expect from an industry already known for aggressive methods?
Filling Up Timeshare Presentations is Key.
Getting people to sit down for a timeshare sales pitch is no easy task. This is why the industry hires charismatic, convincing people to position the product. Whether you’re approached in person or over the phone, the initial goal is to get you to believe you’ve been selected for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There are many ways the sales team makes random targets feel special.
Timeshares Lure Consumers With “Free” Incentives.
Giving away physical items or experiences typically gets people’s attention. But these types of incentives aren’t always what they seem. Timeshare companies have been using misleading gifts to lure consumers to timeshare presentations for decades now. “Free” activities or attractions offered are usually nothing more than certificates or premiums that need to be redeemed. But people purchase timeshares not knowing this.
Redemption programs have always been extremely difficult to process. Oftentimes, there are several steps that need to be completed perfectly in a certain time frame in order to receive the perk. Many buyers never follow through and forget. It becomes so difficult for others that they just give up. How many times have you purchased a new item (such as a cell phone) with promised savings only to find out the rebate was limited or it became void because you missed a step?
Plenty of people are leveraged to purchase timeshares just to cash in on the gifts. Accepting concert tickets and a two night stay in Miami seems worth the risk – especially when they’re already on vacation and loosely spending. Many believe they can just cancel the contract when they get home.
Sadly, a majority of people that purchase timeshares for the gifts don’t know they have to cancel within the rescission period (usually 5 days) in order to void the transaction. What’s worse is some buyers don’t even receive the gifts they were promised. This leaves them stuck in a binding, unwanted gift that keeps on giving. Just remember, nothing in life is free. Even if you think you’ve struck gold, don’t make an impulse decision. Short term potential is not worth an extended burden. Don’t play their game.
Gifts Can Be Leveraged Against Vacation Owners.
While incentives can be used to generate appeal, they’re also used to establish further revenue. Oftentimes, timeshare companies will make the deal with a new owner, then offer to buy back some of the gifts they’ve given out – before the buyer realizes they’re not worth it. What ends up happening is, people purchase timeshare to get a free gift, then exchange the gift for an upgraded timeshare package. While some vouchers can be redeemed, many are used as a ploy.
This should show you just how conniving and misleading timeshare sales teams can be. Normally when this happens, upgrades are positioned as “price drops” that recently just became available. In other words, another, better limited opportunity. Truth be told, this sales pitch never stops. Once you’ve signed the agreement, timeshare sales teams will always look for ways to get you to spend more. In reality, you could have simply picked up an interval on eBay for $1 and avoided a year of maintenance fees. People are that eager to get out of timeshare contracts.
The face value of most incentives given to timeshare owners are under $100. If you’re walking down the strip in Vegas and someone offers you $80 show tickets in exchange for 90 minutes of your time – just keep walking. It’s best to just pay for the tickets yourself. Doing so could help you avoid a completely devastating experience with double digit financial hardship.