I received an e-mail last week asking for my help. Here's a bit of that e-mail:
I am a student working odd jobs. I received a letter
from a timeshare resort indicating i am qualified to receive a gift certificate for
two to stay in Williamsburg Plantation.Condition was 90 minutes presentation. I
did not know I was qualified for buying timeshare. I saw three salespersons and one sales manager all offering me to buy a timeshare. My credit is not good and I can not afford the payment. I
would like to know if there are there any requirement? Or timeshare is legal fraud? I need
answer and I will complaint to Attorney General that why contract is not
written in simple language.
Anyone who is familiar with my writing knows that I think the present day marketing and sales techniques that are routinely used in the timeshare industry need to change. Without knowing details, I'd venture a guess that this client did NOT match the criteria of the average timeshare owner in the US, regardless of whatever low "qualifications" the resort's marketing company set up.
And no contract, timeshare or other is written in simple language...which I think is wrong also, but that is not going to change.
BUT, to ask if timeshare is "legal fraud" and to complain to me and the AG about the fact that this person bought a timeshare knowing full well he couldn't afford it, strikes me as irresponsible behavior.
Regardless of the marketing techniques, regardless of how many salespersons are used, regardless of how long the pitch takes, no one has ever had a gun to their head and been forced to buy timeshare. No one.
This person, and every person has two ultimate powers: 1) the power to accept or decline any gift offered in exchange for attending a pitch and 2) the power to get up and walk out of said pitch.
To that I would also add that no one other than YOU can determine if you can afford to pay for a timeshare, a phone, a pair of jeans or a computer. ONLY YOU.
Do things have to change in timeshareland? YES. Do consumers have to start taking back some of their power and claim some responsibility? YES.