Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Forget Gilligan's Island---This Was a 6 Hour Tour!

I received an e-mail today from a very frustrated timeshare owner who wanted my help in getting out of a timeshare purchase, long after the rescission period.


Here's a snippet of the e-mail in question:

Thank you for responding so fast.  There are many reasons why I want out of this contract.  I pay $156 a month for 8000 points biannually. Plus $670 in maintenance fees every year.  This adds up to $5,084 every two years.  When I use my points for a vacation all I get is 3 nights in a two bedroom condo at NAME OF RESORT REDACTED FOR PRIVACY PURPOSES.  This is a total rip off and I can get far better deals at much nicer resorts for this kind of money.  I am never able to book anything because it is always full.  I was also given an option for what they call bonus time.  This is another scam because you can only book a room 45 days in advance using bonus time so there is no availability.  They gave me a tour of the presidential suite and said I would be able to use it any time.  Yea right,  this unit is booked up for the next year and in order to use it it would take 32,000 points so that would be six years worth of points for just 3 nights.  It is impossible to use your bonus time because the suite is rented out for the next year and you can only book bonus time 45 days in advance.  I am so frustrated and don't know what to do. I went there for my 30th birthday party and that's when I sat through their 6 hour presentation and I made the mistake of being talked into it.  They were feeding me alcohol at the meeting and even took me to the liquor store in the facility to buy me more beer while in the 6 hour meeting.  I feel I was taken advantage of.  Please Help!!!! This is ruining my life.
Wow...just wow.  So, where to begin:
1)  this person is being charged $670 annually in maintenance fees for a biennial timeshare
2)  the sales presentation lasted 6 hours
3)  there was alcohol being consumed during the sales presentation
And this is in addition to not paying attention to the financial numbers nor the point numbers during the presentation.
Some facts this person should have known:
1)  the average maintenance fee is around $845 annually for an annual timeshare
2)  sales presentations lasting more than 3 hours are a sure sign of too much pressure
3)  alcohol should not be consumed during any sales exceptions
Make no mistake...if everything the owner is telling me is true, there is absolutely no room for this behavior on the part of the resort sales personnel.  This has to stop.
But you also have to wonder if this owner had done even a modicum of research and had a basic understanding of what timeshare and timeshare sales pitches are all about prior to attending if he'd be in this situation.


  1. Lisa, you hit the nail on the head. Anyone that drinks during a presentation and makes a purchase, has to be a fool. Better off go home, drinking a 12 pack and buying the same on E-bay for $1. Sure the maintenance fees will be the same, but there's no pressure on E-bay.

    As far as trying to rescind. Good luck! I know you won't agree with me but I've been told by timeshare salesmen to just not pay. They may turn you into collections but rarely credit bureaus. After a year, they usually do a deed back.

    I personally got rid of one of my useless weeks: had to go through a company for a price, the "resort" exercised their right of first refusal.

    Don't get me wrong, I bought on E-bay and everything worked fine for about five years. But then, no availability, increasing maintenance fees and a complete change in staff. I found that I could rent my same week through Interval for 1/3 or my maintenance fees. No brainer without having to will this albatross to my heirs.

  2. Great comments...thanks for your input and I'm glad things worked out for you. It is a shame however that rentals are so readily available at such a low price. Resorts seem to be doing next to nothing to preserve any owner only rights.

    1. I believe this is one of the biggest scams going in the industry. They promise all these wonderful vacations when in reality; you're just paying the maintenance and taxes on your unit and never able to use it (no availability). Then the resort rents your week to a bunch of hoodlums that run up the utilities, do damage and make it very uncomfortable for other guests and the owners pay. The developer pockets the rent and 15% of the maintenance fees. Win-win, for them.

    2. Once the developer sells a unit the owners are stuck with the annual fees and that is all the HOA cares about. More and more potential owners are enticed with gifts and "your accommodations" to preview the resort. There you have the vicious circle that happens in the timeshare industry. Even Florida laws benefit the developer as all the sales lies and promises are not in writing.

  3. Lisa, timeshare buyers are cash cows to the resorts. You have no value at all to them.

    I have said it before, you can nearly always rent a week at the same resort for less than the maintenance, which is a complete ripoff. Why can't you get the week you own?

    Because they rented it to me, or maybe to you!