Monday, December 29, 2014

Consumers' Rule---Remember That

As 2014 is almost over with, I thought I'd end the year saying yet again, that consumers rule.  No obscene amount of money that someone at a corporation spends on a "reputation management" company will change that.

Over the past week, some new commercials have been airing here in the Orlando area for a car dealer.  They feature supposedly unscripted testimonials from consumers about the car buying experience.  Are these truly unscripted?  I don't know.  But, what I like about the spots is that the dealer has the good sense to acknowledge the fact that 99.9% of people don't like the car buying experience.

Acknowledging that there's a problem, or shall we say, room for improvement, is the first step in fixing the problem.  You can't fix what you don't admit to.  You can't gloss it over, you can "fudge" the facts, you can't throw people off the trail with surveys; no matter how expensive those are to least not in the long run.

There's a lesson here for those astute enough to learn it.

Happy New Year.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Visit the UK's Incredible Timeshares

There's a world of timeshare opportunities out there for those who take the time to discover them.  Today we take a look at 5 of the UK's countryside timeshare resorts, courtesy of Callum Davies, of Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket

UK cities are renowned for their historic attractions from Buckingham Palace in London to Edinburgh Castle in the Scottish Capital but what about the fabled British countryside?

From National Parks to ancient woodland these rural locations take centre stage when booking a vacation in the UK countryside whether its over the holiday period or during the height of summer. Home of natural surroundings and tranquil meadows the UK countryside has drawn many award-winning timeshare resorts out of the city and into nature and illustrates what traditional Britain is really all about.

The top 5 were chosen for their proximity to a bountiful National Park, rich historical culture in the local area and their high levels of quality. These resorts are all affiliated to RCI or Interval International which means your current week can be exchanged for one at these rural retreats below. Furthermore, weeks at these resorts can also be acquired for a fraction of the original developer price on the resale market. Based in the UK, Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket are Europe's largest resale company who offer all the resorts below and more with prices starting from as little as £995. Established since 1996 they provide a consultative approach to buyers and sellers alike and have hundreds of weeks available on their books. Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket also have their own exchange system, albeit on a smaller scale to RCI's, offering some great exchange and rental opportunities.

So, if you're seeking a countryside vacation you've come to the right place.

Cameron House

Hugging the banks of Loch Lomond in Scotland, is the Interval International Premier Resort of Cameron House, easily accessible from Glasgow Airport. This TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014 winner presents deluxe 1-4 bedroom lodges that serve as a perfect retreat to escape the hustle and bustle of city-life.

During your vacation here embark upon a Loch cruise listening to tales of the past, explore the Highlands with a sea-plane trip departing from the Loch itself or join a pony trekking excursion into the Trossachs National Park.

Revitalisation is found in the award-winning Carrick Spa, a stones throw away at the sister resort of The Carrick which is also home to the Championship Carrick Par-71 golf-course. Back at Cameron House take on the mischievous Wee Demon 9-hole course, a favourite amongst past visitors. Outstanding dining from the Michelin-Star Martin Wishart Restaurant involves innovative ideas and signature dishes made to order, whilst the Cameron Grill serves up mouth-watering salmon and local delicacies. A world of leisure is captured within the heated adults swimming pool and bubbling jacuzzi overlooking the tranquil Loch whilst a twisting children's slide and splash pool are also provided.

De Vere at Slaley Hall

Located in Hexham, North-East England and surrounded by 1000 acres of Forest and Moorland is the magnificent Edwardian Mansion of De Vere at Slaley Hall. Regarded as a Premier Resort by Interval International the resort offers luxurious 2, 3 & 4 bedroom lodges and apartments for a rustic countryside escape.

Kielder Water & Forest Park is nearby and features Northern Europe's largest man-made lake and if you're lucky you may even be able to spot the Northern lights from the Kielder Observatory. Hexham offers a world of history with Hadrian's Wall, dating back to AD122, running through it and the 1,300 year old Hexham Abbey and Queen's Hall Art Centre both sitting in the heart of the city centre.

The Sophisticated Hadrian's Brasserie serves up heart-warming dishes using local produce or indulge in a refined dining experience at Duke's Grill with a steak and lobster banquet. The 2 superb Championship golf courses of Slaley Hall are complimented by PGA Tuition, a Floodlit driving range and practice game areas. The Spa blends natural products with an ESPA treatment tailored to your needs and a dip in the heated 20-metre indoor pool adds to your relaxation. Take a stroll in the bountiful grounds and steam off within the sauna or use the full-gym if you're in need of more.

Hilton Craigendarroch Country Estate

Situated only 8 miles from the Queens Scottish residence of Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside is the revered Hilton Craigendarroch Country Estate and its well-appointed Studio to 3-bedroom lodges.

Bring the taste of the highlands home at the Royal Lochnagar Distillery and pick up a bottle of the regions famous 12 Year Old malt. Deeside Activity Park has a wonderful array of outdoor activities to get stuck into from kart racing to clay pigeon shooting and can't be missed with an ex-service tank on the door!

A 2-story fitness centre and House Spa are the premier leisure facilities of this RCI Gold Crown Resort nestled on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park offering rejuvenating treatments and pampering ESPA. Enjoy the lagoon-style swimming pool or take to the court for games of tennis and squash during your stay. Ponder the appetising menu of the Keiller Brasserie which delivers a delectable selection of local Scottish produce and European favourites whilst lighter bites can be had at the Keiller Lounge. A playground allows the kids to run off all that vacation excitement and they even have their own pool fitted with a slide for extra fun!

Rhinefield House

A residence since 1709, Rhinefield House is situated on William the Conquerors old hunting grounds amongst 40 acres of the New Forest in Southern England. Awarded TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence for 2014 it now presents luxurious 1, 2 & 3-bedroom countryside apartments.

The New Forest area encompasses 200 square-miles of walking, cycling and horse riding trails and features the quaint English villages of Burley and Brockenhurst where ponies and donkeys wandering the high streets are a common sight. The towns of Christchurch and Lymington add a splash of the coast to your vacation and their pretty marinas provide an idyllic location for afternoon tea. Day trips to Portsmouth's Historic Dockyard, Stonehenge and the famous Salisbury Cathedral are all available whilst London's acclaimed attractions can also be easily reached within 1 ½ hours by direct train from Brockenhurst station.

Awarded 2 AA Rosettes The Armada Restaurant serves delicious dishes to indulge in whilst a private dinner-date can be booked in the Alhambra Room, taking inspiration from Spain's Alhambra Palace. Choose between indoor & outdoor swimming pools, best accompanied with a soak in the jacuzzi or a soothing therapy from the world-class spa. Work-out at the full fitness centre or take to the court where tennis is available as are fantastic croquet facilities if a slower pace is more your style.

Barnsdale Country Club

Experience England's smallest County, Rutland, from the comfort of Barnsdale Country Club. Settled within 60 acres of woodland and parkland neighbouring Rutland Water Nature Reserve are the well-appointed 1, 2 & 3 bedroom lodges and apartments of this Interval International Premier Resort.

The typically English market town of Oakham is nearby so pick up a souvenir at the local shops or experience Norman life with a visit to the late 12th Century Castle. Catch a Shakespearean performance at Rutland's Open Air Theatre during the annual season of June-August or take a stroll through the Barnsdale Gardens that feature 39 pocket-sized themed gardens.

The resort features a luxurious spa which includes a unique Dead Sea floatation tank to accompany the heated indoor pool and soothing jacuzzi. Take a swing at the 9-hole pitch and putt course that overlooks Rutland Water whilst squash and tennis courts are also provided. Dine in elegance at the Brasserie or for a more casual affair the bar menu offers a classic selection of traditional dishes for you to try!

Brilliantly written, Callum.  I'm all ready to book a trip.  For more information about these and other UK timeshare resorts, visit Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket at

Monday, December 15, 2014

Five and Almost 10 With...Bryan Lunt

Today we meet Bryan Lunt, Chairman and CEO of Absolute World Group.

What was your first job in timeshare?

OPC in Tenerife, someone said to me don’t do this job, it doesn’t pay good money… I tried it and found it was easy and continued to get lots of couples in way back in 1984.

What was the greatest lesson you've ever been taught?
Sales training, why you need to get several No’s before you get to the Yes.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?

I am stuck deciding between two places, Koh Samui in Thailand as well as Noosa in Australia.

If you could change one thing about timeshare, what would it be?
The bad reputation it has from the 80’s and 90’s when many rogue operators were not controlled as they are today. The various shared ownership products are simply fantastic and offer families excellent value for money as well as secure quality accommodations – well at least at Absolute World we do!

What is your favorite color?
Red – after my football team.

Thanks, Bryan.  For more information on Absolute World Group, visit

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Is Timeshare Rescission Fair to Purchasers?

A long time reader of this blog e-mailed me a question last week that bears discussing:

"I'm curious to what your thoughts are on the very short period of time that a consumer has to decide to buy the timeshare or not---generally within the confines of a 3 hour high-pressure sales pitch and the relatively short time frame---generally a week or so that they have to decide to cancel or not vs. the length of time the resort has to allow you to use the product---generally several months at best.  Why the inequality?"


I hadn't really given it much thought before, but this reader raises a very interesting point.  Why the inequality here?

Let's look at other purchases and other "rescission periods" and the reasons one may rescind such purchases.

If I purchase an article of clothing, I not only get to try it on at the store, but I get to try it on in the comfort of my own home.  If I bought a pair of shoes, they may fit, but they may not match the dress.  So I can return them for a full refund.  And while I don't need to provide a reason within the mandated 15 or 30 day refund period, the point is I've had a chance to use the shoes and make an informed purchasing decision.

Other, larger ticket purchases also allow the purchaser to use the product.  You don't buy a $35,000 automobile under the terms "we'll mail you the steering wheel within 3 months, but you only have 3 days to cancel your purchase."  You need the steering wheel to use your purchase.

There's airline tickets and hotel reservations that you pay for now with "delayed usage" of course.  But, if the airplane doesn't take off or the hotel is not what was advertised, you have rescission recourse.

With timeshare, an average purchaser puts down $2,000 (an increasing number pay cash in full, according to a recent ARDA survey) and has an average of 7 days to cancel and receive a full refund.

However, their usage can be months, or up to a year away.  Think about it...the resort has to send the exchange company paperwork to the exchange company and the exchange company has to process the paperwork.  The best case scenario for this is a month...certainly longer than the average rescission period.

Then there's the matter of when the purchaser actually receives the week or points into their account and when the all-important "usage-year" begins.  My conservative best guess on this is 90-120 days.

Am I and my reader missing something here?