Thursday, February 9, 2012

Of Course Consumers Are Confused

Yesterday I received two postcards from the same company claiming to take my timeshare off my hands for only $585, although "some" may be higher.  The postcard had the Better Business Bureau's logo on it.

This joins the pile of other postcards and mailers from other companies, the list of phone calls from companies claiming "no upfront fees" and of course the Facebook and other ads from similar companies.

I often marvel at the fact that so many timeshare owners are taken for a ride over and over again, oftentimes costing them thousands of dollars each time.

But then I thought about it and it becomes quite obvious why this continues...and it's not because there is a lack of consumer information out there...quite the's because there is so much information from so many sources that consumers continue to be confused.

There are so many so-called experts and sources of information out there, including myself, that consumers give up and do the wrong thing.  What do I mean?  Well, let's start with the fact that timeshare owners became timeshare owners for fun and vacation, NOT for meetings, information and getting involved.

So, if you own a timeshare who do you turn to for information?  Do you join the National Timeshare Owners Association for $100 a year?  Do you pay to go to the Florida Timeshare Owners Group three times a year?  Do you join TUG?  Do you read the information that puts out or subscribe to TimeSharing Today?  Do you turn to the LTRBA or read the information that ARDA-ROC puts out (or CRDA if you live in Canada)?  Do you read the forums on  Do you hire Timeshare Insights to give you unbiased information?

And if you do one or more of these (and I'm only mentioning a handful of the organizations that I have no qualms endorsing),do you discount the information from the others?  Because as you know, the LTRBA doesn't play well with, TUG doesn't like the NTOA and on and on.

The timeshare owner need to have ONE body to represent them and that ONE body needs to speak with ONE voice.

Timeshare Insights has been working for years to bring these various organizations (and others) together for some time now...but it's not working.

I hope to be able to bring home some workable ideas from next month's TATOC's ( Conference.  In the meantime, what do you think?


  1. I don't understand.

    It seems like they are offering to take it if I give them $585, which then makes that timeshare quite a bit less than worthless. I can't imagine I would have bought something that had less than zero value. If that's the case it sounds like I was sold something that I have to pay to get rid of.

    Do they want me to give them $585 to take my timeshare, or are they proposing I should sell it to them for $585? The latter is quite a bit less disturbing. Though it's still not by any means great news.

  2. These companies want you to give up your paid off timeshare AND $585. They claim to then transfer the title, but as many consumers know, that does not happen most of the time and they end up with rhe annual dues bill the following year.

    The entire issue of timeshare valuation needs to be resolved and be resolved quickly. It makes no sense whatsoever and consumers continue to be taken advantage of.

  3. So what they are saying is my timeshare is like excess junk in my garage that I have to pay to have hauled to the dump.

    Why in the world would anyone pay for something that later you have to pay to get rid of?

    This is the problem with timeshare.

    The laws should be changed so timeshare interests are at a minimim treated like other real property.

    As you know if you own real property and you don't pay for it the bank or other lender gets it and they are strictly limited as to your liability, it can *only* extend as far as the property. They can't collect any deficiency.

    If the property turns out to be worth less than they can sell it for they might 1099 you for your paper gain by your no longer owing money. But they can't come after you for anything except the real estate.

    Apparently timeshare is more like a monkey on your back that you owe an unlimited amount on and you *can't* get out of it.

    That's just wrong, isn't it?

    In fact, if the law were changed to harmonize the timeshare interests to be in accordance with other real property they couldn't just charge you whatever they want for assessments, because you wouldn't have to pay. You could just say *no*. To keep you paying them at all they would have to keep you happy.

    This might result in more restraint and fair dealings for all concerned.

    What do you think?

  4. Interesting thoughts all around. What timeshare needs is new ideas and people willing to step out of the old mold.

    The time is far, all talk, no action.