Friday, April 30, 2010

RCI Membership Fees

I've been bombarded lately with e-mails and calls from consumers asking about RCI membership, actually the correct term is "subscription" fees.

The Annual Network Dues and Subscription Fees are US$124.

Unfortunately, I hear from consumers who have been charged more, sometimes significantly more by the resort. On top of that, outrageous "Administrative Fees."

Very simple...if you're asked to pay anything more than the standard RCI fees, DON'T DO IT. And then call RCI and tell them.

Remember, people have the power to start some positive changes.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stay In A Timeshare Before Or Instead of Buying

Just finished checking out EV Rentals...they have hundreds of Last Minute deals at timeshare resorts around the country (and some outside of the country). Prices are great...$349 for 7 nights in a studio, $379 for 7 nights in a 1-bedroom and $399 for 7 nights in a 2+-bedroom. (plus taxes).

Best of all (for most people) is that there is NO timeshare sales presentation required. You will most assuredly be asked to take a timeshare presentation (and be bribed with money or tickets or some combination) but it is NOT a requirement.

Recent statistics clearly indicate that more and more people are staying at a timeshare before event thinking about buying one. Smart move!

Take A Deep Breath...and Begin

Breathe in and hold it...OK, I'm officially announcing that I am in fact starting a new book. Both "Surviving A Timeshare Presentation..." and "Timeshare Vacations For Dummies" have been out for some time now and I've been asked over and over again about a new edition.

Along with new information and updated stats, I've learned MUCH in these past years as I've been honored to meet with both timeshare professionals and timeshare owners who have been a huge source of knowledge and insight.

And so the journey begins...this will be an e-book...saves everyone time and money...unless I get a huge cash offer for a print book.

Feel free to e-mail me with ideas and suggestions...this book will feature a large section of helpful tips from people.

And breathe out...Chapter 1...

Friday, April 23, 2010

How's This For A Timeshare Bill of Rights?

I originally wrote this almost four years ago...I've made a few minor edits...
The Preamble to The Timeshare Consumers’ and Timeshare Salespersons’ Mutual Bill of Rights

In Orlando, and in all jurisdictions where timeshare sales presentations occur, the timeshare consumer and the timeshare salesperson, long at odds, have expressed a desire to come to an agreement in order to prevent miscommunication and/or abuse of their respective powers.

Therefore, it is resolved by both the timeshare consumer and the timeshare salesperson, including the timeshare resort and the broker, that these Mutual Bill of Right be adopted this, the fourth day of July, two thousand and six.

The articles shall make valid and shall be for all intents and purposes “the law” that governs the relationship between the timeshare consumer and the timeshare salesperson.

The Timeshare Consumers’ and Timeshare Salespersons’ Mutual Bill of Rights

1. The consumer shall have the right to not be judged as poor, rich, a mooch, stupid, too old, too young, owners of too many weeks of timeshare or anything else IF AND ONLY IF said consumer does not judge the salesperson as a thief, a liar, stupid, too old to communicate, too young to know anything or anything else…until at least 15 minutes into the presentation.

2. The consumer has the right to request another salesperson if the salesperson tells them that they need to hurry up and decide if they want to buy because they have a 12:00 tee-time IF AND ONLY IF the consumer doesn’t tell the salesperson to hurry up and get on with it because they have another timeshare presentation scheduled at 12:00.

3. The consumer has the right to ask if the salesperson is licensed if in fact the presentation is taking place in a jurisdiction where a license is required IF AND ONLY IF the consumer is prepared to prove to the salesperson that they are gainfully employed and earn more than $50,000 per year.

4. The consumer has the right to call the salesperson a liar to their face if they use the words FREE, PERFECT, ALWAYS and/or NEVER IF AND ONLY IF the salesperson has the right to call the consumer a liar to their face if they use the excuse “we’re buying a house”, or “we don’t vacation”.

5. The consumer has the right to check the salesperson’s math and call them on any errors they may find IF AND ONLY IF the salesperson has a right to check the math on the $250,000 mortgage that the client said they just signed.

6. The consumer has the right to walk out on the timeshare presentation (without the gift offered as a bribe by the marketing company) at any time if the salesperson disrespects them IF AND ONLY IF the salesperson reserves the right to keep the consumer for 3+ hours if the consumer disrespects them and/or sits silently and not answer any of the salesperson’s questions.

7. The consumer has the right to not purchase anything at any time during the presentation IF AND ONLY IF the decision is made on solid information and not on some “pact” that was made prior to walking into the sales center.

8. The salesperson has the right to ask the consumer to purchase 3 or 4 times IF AND ONLY IF the salesperson does not utter the phrase, “Buyers are liars…liars are buyers” at any time.

9. The consumer has the right not to believe the “fact” that the timeshare they can purchase today for only $10,000 will be worth $20,000 in 10 years IF AND ONLY IF the consumer doesn’t tell the salesperson that they are still paying $40 for a good hotel room just like they were doing 10 years ago.

10. Finally, the consumer and the salesperson both have the right and the responsibility to spread the truth about the timeshare industry, in an attempt to bring positive changes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Congratulations To Trading Places International

Congrats to Trading Places International who received the highest possible rating, an A+ from the National Better Business Bureau.

Trading Places International will be featured on the May 27th FREE webinar that I'm moderating with Holiday Group. The log in information will be posted shortly.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Twitter Name

We've changed our Twitter account name to make it easier to find. You can now follow Timeshare Insights at @timeshareauthor.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Great Service

We were introducted to Garden Grocer recently, a service that allows timeshare guests to order their groceries and other items ahead of time and have the items delivered right to their door at the resort.

Face it, the last thing you want to do on vacation is go grocery shopping, especially if you don't have a car.

We'll be writing more about Garden Grocer soon.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Need For A Better Educated Timeshare Consumer

Many years ago, when I was living in the Chicago area, I was a fan of a retailer with the advertising tagline of, "An educated consumer is our best customer." Since this was in the "dark ages" before the advent or perhaps the invention of the Internet and global communications as we now know them, the tagline was unique. In this day and ago however, it is a necessity.

Today's consumers have access to more information than ever before about every person, product and service out there. And while it is true that the glut of websites, blogs, social networking sites, etc. perhaps contain too much or at times irrelevant information, there can be no doubt that consumers are getting an education.

Here are some reasons why an educated timeshare consumer is a good thing:

1) Educated consumers know the truth about timeshare...all the truth
2) Educated consumers know how to best use the produt
3) Educated consumers who are using their timeshare well are likely to be happier than those who aren't educated
4) Happy owners lead to repeat and referral sales
5) Repeat and referral sales lead to higher revenue

What was true in the late 1980s for a retail store in the Midwest is all the more true for the timeshare industry in educated consumer is their best customer. One of the greatest issues facing the industry today is "Who is going to educate the consumer? You or the old-school financial report who says that timshares are a bad financial investment?

Its up to someone in the industry to take the initiative and educate the consumer...and reap the rewards

Stay tuned for information about Vacation Ownership Education sessions being held in Orlando this June.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Resources Available To Owners

Timeshare Insights now has a new place where timeshare owners can post questions.

Here's the link:

We look forward to your questions.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Note About Ads

I was doing my timeshare research thing morning, checking out various site with various people making various complaints about various timeshare entities.

I got to one page, the name of which I won't bother posting, which has a tagline of "Knowledge is Power." I was reading some of the complaints on the site when my eyes wandered up to the top of the site. Now, this site looked very official...even having some material from the Attorney General of a midwestern state on it.

To quote Clement Moore, "but what to my wandering eyes should appear..." there were ads placed by Google on the site. And some of the ads were for the very same entities that certain of the complaints mentioned!

I'm not the brightest crayon in the box when it comes to SEO, linking to other sites to increase my ranking in Google or even making money from what I do.

But I believe strongly in remaining independent. That's why you won't see any ads on my webiste, You can't remain independent and have the trust of consumers if you do. And independence and consumer trust is ALL Timeshare Insights has.

Thanks for your support.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Things That Can Not Be Repeated Enough

1) Buying a timeshare, any timeshare, is NOT a financial investment and you will never see a positive financial ROI on it.

2) Renting a hotel room, any hotel room, is NOT a financial investment and you will never see a positive financial ROI on it.

3) Giving someone thousands of dollars and your paid off timeshare because you want to get out of a $600 annual fee makes no sense.

4) Giving someone thousands of dollars and your paid off house because you want to get out of cutting the grass, shoveling the snow and painting the exterior makes no sense.

5) Wasting hours at a timeshare presentation while on vacation just so you can get some stale bagels and $100 cash when you already know you are not interested or can not afford to purchase a timeshare makes no sense.

6) Timeshare is one word. Not two and not hypenated.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

No Such Thing As Free Travel-Anyway You Look At It

A recent report by the National Business Travel Association showed that the average hotel room rate throughout the United States was $95.61 which did not include $13.12 in room tax.

As if paying $95 per night to sleep was not bad enough, now travelers have to pay taxes of $13 per night to sleep. Seven nights at this hotel would run $669.27 plus $91.84 (almost a full night itself) for a total of $761.11.

Hmmm, but if I purchased a timeshare for say $3,000 from a reputable reseller, with annual fees of $500, I would break even after just a few years.

No such thing as a free vacation, or even a positive financial ROI on a vacation, but I would sure rather pay taxes on a something I own than $91 a night on something I rent.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Not An April Fool's Joke

No, this is not an April Fool's joke...I'd like to hear from everyone with their tips on what they would like to see happen to timeshare to make it better.

Go ahead, unload...responses will be published later this month.

Comments may be edited if they are offensive or if they would cause someone to yell, "libel" so be nice...but truthful.