No doubt about it...this post will anger a lot of people. However, I think it’s important to address the two 800 pound gorillas in the room.
Let me start by with a condemnation of any lies told by any timeshare salesperson. They are a menace to everyone, do enormous damage to the industry and should be thrown out of the industry, if not prosecuted.
Now, to the gorillas in the room.
Gorilla Number 1-The easiest way to eliminate this menace is for people to stop attending sales pitches and stop buying timeshare until they check out some of the outlandish claims below.
Gorilla Number 2-The outlandish claims below are so easily refuted that it strains my brain to think that anyone would believe them without so much as a cursory Internet search.
Despite what some people would like you to believe, not every person who fell for one or more lies is a 90 year old disabled person. These are relative healthy, in charge of their mental faculties and no doubt walk into a sales presentation with a smart phone capable of more calculations than a roomful of computers that helped send men to the moon in 1969.
There is absolutely no reason for anyone to fall for any of these lies. No reason at all, unless they also believe in The Tooth Fairy.
I’ve redacted the developers’ name in the list below because sadly, many developers are guilty of these lies.
Limo service from airport to the resort
Because we are not silver we can't see all of the resort options
We could use points to pay maintenance fees
That at silver status you get to choose your room
That the conversion ratio for cruises was much higher then it really was
That we could rent out nights out through a rental agency that worked with the developer for a large profit
That inventory in Hawaii was almost sold out(that was over 10 years ago)
That the value of the ownership would increase
Failed to disclose the special assessment for the water intrusion that they were aware of before we bought but we had to pay
That this investment will groe
When you sell you will get most of your money back.maybe a profit
That you could use points to book these amazing hotels in NYC, and all over the world using points but failed to disclose the huge number of points needed
Book a week and then the developer will pay you to use the week for free deals for prospective owners
Pay the maintenance fees with points-didn’t tell us how many it took to qualify
That you can use points to pay for your maintenance fee
We were told the timeshare room off the pool would be “Splashes Restaurant “ for owners to enjoy. 25 years later and it’s still restricted to timeshare presentations
That we can bring our dogs to any of the locations
If we became platinum, then after 3 years the developer would buy out the 90K equity that we had paid into membership
If you don’t want the points in a few years time no problem just sell them back to us
Being told I only needed 5000 points as I could book all my holidays at half points
They told us that our maintenance fees would go up to $70,000 in ten years if we didn’t move our points over to the elite program. We pay less than 3,000
That I had lost my equity in the time share but could get it back if I upgraded
I was told it would cost me $82,000 to convert to the new contract. If I didn't I was told my maintenance fees would be $30,000 a year in 5 years
I could easily refinance for 1.2%
That we could sell our points and get out in the future
That we could reimburse unused points for checks for 'travel outside of diamond' and use it to pay our maintenance fees
We were told that points were just like real estate
When we refused to give our SS number to the salesperson and we finally gave it since she promised they would not run a credit check. Our credit reporting company later informed us that they did run a credit check on each of us.
We’d have no cost valet parking at the resort
Sample/trial points would never expire
I was told I could sell back. When we decided we didn’t need the timeshare anymore we were told the only way to get out was to convert to points first then we could sell back
I was told if we upgraded to silver that the maintenance fees would go away
That we could use our points right away —at least two days after signing. We tried a month after but no points available
Incredible isn’t it?
If you’re angry, I’ve done my job. Well, the first part of my job. In the next month or so, I’ll be unveiling a new partnership that will go a long way to preventing these lies from being told and believed. There’s a caveat to this of course; consumers need to understand that they, not the salespeople or the developers have the ultimate power to bring about change.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to see if The Tooth Fairy has been spotted around here.