Friday, August 23, 2013

Here's A Interesting Timeshare Scare Tactic

Late last week, I received an e-mail about getting rid of my timeshare.  Which in and of itself is interesting, as I don't own a timeshare.

Here's the newest scare tactic that some companies are using:

Avoid paying 2014 maintenance fees - act now!

I wanted to take a moment to give you an update on an upcoming deadline that will affect your donation.  If you are an owner at Bluegreen Resorts and do not want to pay your 2014 maintenance fees it is very important you submit your donation to our office by June 1st, 2013.

Bluegreen Resorts will not allow any transfers to take place once the maintenance fees are billed out to the owners.  Most Bluegreen maintenance fees are billed in October for 2014.  In order to transfer this ownership into our charity and back out to a new owner before the fees are billed, we need all signed donation agreements returned to us by fax or email by June 1st.

There are other resorts that invoice early also.  Please call me today to determine if your resort falls into this category. 

True?  Not true?  Anyone from Bluegreen care to comment?


Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Short Word About Comments That Are Really Ads

In a word, "no."

I do not post comments on this blog that are ads.

If you are a timeshare owner with comments about a company that you've dealt with, I'm happy to post your comment provided it is relevant to the topic that you're commenting on.

This blog has been hit with a rash of "comments" that are advertisements.

They are not published...and will not be published.

I hope you, my readers and contributors, appreciate this stance I've taken.

NTOA Looking For Two Research Assistants

As I announced here some time ago, I've been appointed the Executive Director of the National Timeshare Owners Association.  There's lots of exciting news to follow and once I firm up the membership structure, I'll announce it here.

In the meantime, I wanted to let you know that the NTOA is seeing two research assistants.  Here's the text of yesterday's Press Release:

The National Timeshare Owners Association

( today announced that it is seeking two
volunteer researchers to assist the association in media development. "There are
literally great stories going on in the timeshare community right now and the NTOA
wants to highlight the benefits of vacation ownership through member involvement and
by bringing much deserved attention to these positive experiences. While there appears
to be no lack of negative attention in the media about the timeshare industry, we feel it
is important to be fair and balanced”, said Lisa Ann Schreier, Executive Director of the

Training will be provided and individuals can apply for the research position by emailing or calling 727-502-6877 ext 1001 Applicants should include some
information on their timeshare knowledge, if any, and indicate why they are interested in
this position. The deadline for applications is September 15th, 2013.

A decision will be made on the research assistants on October 1, 2013 and these
research assistants will serve a six month term as well as receive a one-year
complimentary membership to the NTOA.

About The NTOA

Started in 1997, The NTOA is the largest independent association serving the timeshare
community in the United States. Originally formed as the Maryland Timeshare Owners
Association, the NTOA is focused on timeshare owners and the issues related to their
vacation ownership. For more information on NTOA, please visit

I hope to hear from many of you.  As a reminder, the NTOA website is in the middle of a total overhaul.  We thought it best to keep the site up while we were working on the new site which will be operational within 3 weeks.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Steve Burton Reviews Stouts Hill

I have been looking forward to writing my review about Stouts Hill in England not least because it is my favourite timeshare resort of the many that I have visited in my home country i.e. the United Kingdom.
I would first of all like to say that my review of Stouts Hill is totally impartial not least because I am not an owner there because by the time I first stayed there in the mid 1980's I already owned ten timeshare weeks so I had no need to buy further timeshare weeks even at such a superb timeshare resort as Stouts Hill.
In my view there are three important items that you look for in a timeshare resort and yes I have heard the saying it's location, location and location. However I would say that they are location, quality of the units and amenities/activities. I have visited many resorts where we have two of these and as Meatloaf would say two out of three ain't bad. However in the case of Stouts Hill it has everything and I mean everything.
Let's start with the units:  nine of them which are two and one bedroom units plus one studio are to be found in a Gothic country house mansion that was constructed in the 1740's with five further two bedroom units in a separate block that was constructed in the early 1990's. The units are all of a high standard and I guess its a matter of personal taste if you would prefer to located in the Gothic mansion or the newer outbuilding. In the mansion there is a superb library, drawing room and a dining room. I would like to especially mention the dining room because most Wednesday evenings there is an opportunity to have a meal in the dining room and meet other guests staying at the resort. A four course menu is available with several choices for twenty one pounds i.e. around thirty two dollars. I mention this figure in dollars as I believe that the majority of readers of Timeshare Insights are probably Americans.
I have many American friends due to my extended stays in your country and many of my friends enjoy watching Downton Abbey on TV. Well Staying at Stouts Hill is in my view rather like staying in Downton Abbey such is the scale of the country house and the extensive grounds. The amenities at Stouts Hill are by far the best of any timeshare resort that I have stayed in and they include twenty seven acres of private grounds in which to stroll. In these grounds there are two rose gardens, a three acre lake for fishing, a nine hole pitch and putt golf course, nine hole putting course, croquet lawn, tennis court, swimming pool and a Jacuzzi. Indoor amenities  include a badminton court, indoor swimming pool and a games room which has snooker and pool tables, table tennis and air hockey.
So far I have talked specifically about Stouts Hill resort but not its location so let me say straight away to my American friends that Stouts Hill is located in the Cotswolds which is an area of outstanding natural beauty an area that many would consider to be the most beautiful part of England. It is so beautiful that several of the British Royal family live just miles from Stouts Hill , for example Prince Charles' home is Highgrove in nearby Tetbury. The Cotswold area is as Americans imagine England to be with country lanes, quaint pubs and rose covered cottages. When visiting the Cotswolds it is like going back in time to how England used to be many years ago. I would recommend visitors to Stouts Hill should consider planning day trips to historic Bath, Cheltenham and Gloucester.
A further point I would like to mention is that with there being only fourteen apartments at Stouts Hill you never feel if you are overwhelmed by the number of other guests staying there in the way you may feel when visiting other large resorts such as Orange Lake in Orlando.  I remember staying there in February one year when I did not see any other guests I felt like I was the Lord of the Manor having all that Stouts Hill has to offer to myself. I recently mentioned this situation on the telephone to Maureen the resort manager and she told me that a number of owners and guests had said the same thing to her at the end of their stay at Stouts Hill. I will not pretend that availability is good at Stouts Hill with RCI because most owners don't want to exchange their weeks at Stouts Hill and after staying there on perhaps ten exchanges since the mid 1980's I can understand why most owners don't bank their weeks. However because of the excellent indoor amenities it is worth considering visiting Stouts Hill in the out of season winter months when availability may be a little higher. I well remember being there one February when it started to snow lightly and yet I was enjoying a swim in the warm water of the indoor swimming pool and apart from my friends the pool was all to myself. This is a feeling you get time and time again at Stouts Hill as there is so much to do and so few other guests around. It truly has an exclusive feel to it and I cannot wait to return there next June. I hope some of the readers of Timeshare Insights will have the opportunity to visit this fantastic resort in the coming years.

Friday, August 2, 2013

And Finally...The News I've Been Waiting To Announce

Thank you to everyone who has patiently awaited this much anticipated announcement.

It is with great pleasure that I announce my appointment as the Executive Director of the National Timeshare Owners Association.  The first of several Press Releases will be available early next week.

Two things I want to make crystal clear:

---Timeshare Insights and this blog are not going anywhere.  I will continue this form and discussion as I have since 2005.

---My voice here as/on Timeshare Insights and this blog are mine and mine alone, with exceptions of you, my valued and loyal followers.  My voice is NOT to be confused with my work and voice of the NTOA.

This is an extremely interesting and important time to be a member of the timeshare community.  The new NTOA website will be launched shortly and when it is, I invite you to acquaint yourself with the NTOA and see what we are doing for the betterment of all timeshare owners.

Once you do, I'm confident you'll see the benefits and value of becoming one of our charter members.

Onwards and upwards!

Timeshare Good Guys vs. Timeshare Bad Guys

There are lots of good companies in the timeshare community and there are millions of happy, satisfied and knowledgeable timeshare owners out there.

There I said it.

However, as everyone is well aware of there are lots of not so good companies out there.  Companies that employ people that strong arm consumers, lie to consumers and have questionable at best business practices.  Every week, Google News delivers these stories to my mailbox..,many of which I report on here on the blog.

What I find curious about all these stories is the total and complete lack of a reasonable rebuttal from the timeshare community or any action to disassociate the general timeshare community from these bad guys.  To say nothing of a public "shaming" or outing.

Why is this?

Why won't the timeshare community police itself?

Perception, especially on the part of consumers, is reality as we all know.  And the perception is that "everyone" in the timeshare community is a bad guy.  Unfortunately, the good guys lack of conviction to stand up for themselves and disassociate from the bad guys may very well signal the beginning of the end.

Is anyone out there brave enough?  Anyone?