This blog post started off as something else. It was going to be about what consumers should do about timeshare related organizations that cold call (HANG UP) and what the industry should be doing about these organizations and the stronger warnings they should be issuing.
So to get started, I went to the ARDA-ROC site and started reading their information about so-called transfer companies. Now don't get me wrong...despite the fact that people running both ARDA and ARDA-ROC think I hate them, I don't. I think they do some good work mostly on behalf of the developers...that's their business model.
But if you take a look at the information on the website about transfer companies http://ardaroc.org/roc/get-involved/default.aspx?id=3604&libID=3624 you'll probably shake your head just as I did.
I love what they say about doing your homework before listening to any sales pitches. People don't do that. Years of selling timeshare via sales pitches have taught us that.
They also talk about checking with your resort manager, the Attorney General and the BBB. Right...I'm sure frustrated and scared timeshare owners are in the frame of mind to do such a thing.
My favorite (sarcasm indended) caution of all was: Before signing anything, check with your own legal or financial advisor(s). First of all, the vast majority of people being preyed upon don't have access to legal or financial advisors. Second of all, as bad as these companies are...and they are bad...we're talking about $3,000 - $5,000 at the most.
So, now we're issuing warnings to people to check with legal or financial advisors for a $4,000 fee, while at the same time, thousands of people are told that it isn't necessary to check with a legal or financial advisor regarding the purchase of a $20,000 timeshare.
All of this just creates more ill will, confusion and lost money.
It's very simple...ARDA-ROC, ARDA, the TBMA, TimeSharing Today, TUG, the National Timeshare Owners Association, the Florida Timeshare Users Group and anyone else purporting to have the consumers' best interest at heart should band together and release articles and press releases advising consumers NOT TO DO BUSINESS WITH ANY TIMESHARE RELATED ORGANIZATION THAT INITIATES CONTACT.
I've been saying this for years now. But then again, I have no political motivation, I get no voluntary or involunatary monies paid to me and I'm not afraid of telling truth.