Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Another Warning For Timeshare Owners

certainly hope some of you frustrated timeshare owners are taking the time to read this. 

It’s come to my attention that there’s a Facebook group that’s ostensibly about so-called timeshare cancellation. From what I can ascertain, it’s run by, no surprise, a self-proclaimed timeshare exit company.  They’re not using their name however, but individuals are answering inquiries asking owners to DM/PM them.

While this is troubling enough…if you’re going to run one of these pages, at least have the faith in your company to use the company name, there’s something that’s even more worrisome.

It’s timeshare owners themselves.  The sheer number of people chiming in claiming to have ‘the answer’ is troubling, but nothing in comparison to the misinformation being amplified. 

I can not stress this enough…before you entrust the very serious and very complicated matter of exiting your timeshare, PLEASE do your due diligence.  At the very least, contact your developer but NOT the sales department.  Talk to Owner Services or whatever that department is called at your resort.  Even if they don’t offer a reasonable exit strategy, and most of them don’t, they’ll be able to answer a question.  Check online reviews. E-mail me if you want with a quick question.

If you need a reminder as to why you shouldn’t blindly trust an unknown person with such a serious matter…chances are that’s EXACTLY how you got into your timeshare mess to begin with.

Stay safe.  Stay informed.  And stay tuned…big news for you and The Timeshare Crusader will be announced soon!  

Thursday, December 9, 2021

2021 Recap

 I’d like to say that things greatly improved in timeshareland this year. But they didn’t. Again. 

So, here’s my list of the Top 5 Timeshare Related Stories of 2021:

  1. Exit Companies 
  2. Mergers and Acquisitions 
  3. Same Old Sales Practices 
  4. Still A Dearth of Exit Options 
  5. A Giant First Step 

Exit Companies 

Exit companies are not going anywhere. Despite the AGs of several states filing lawsuits against any number of these scam outfits, consumers throw them millions each year. Timeshare Exit Team and Timeshare Termination Team were two of the biggest names. The former pulled their advertising from Dave Ramsey and incurred the wrath of the Washington’s AG. The latter abruptly shut their doors in July leaving thousands of owners up the creek. No doubt 2022 will bring more actions against these two outfits. Despite the media coverage that I and media outlets give these stories, serving as a strong warning against paying these firms a dime, they continue to proliferate. 

Mergers and Acquisitions 

The biggest acquisition news of the year was Hilton Grand Vacations’ of Diamond Resorts. Full details have not been worked out, much less released despite the unscrupulous timeshare sales staff pitching everything under the sun in an attempt to scare and up sell existing owners. Welk Resorts was acquired by Marriott, marking the end of a well known and fairly successful independent developer. I predict more M&A activity in 2022. This is not good news for consumers as it means fewer choices and less chance of a timeshare developer to really break out and do something wonderful. 

Same Old Sales Practices 

Day in and day out, I receive emails and read posts on social media sites about 4 hour sales pitches, credit checks being run without consent and timeshares being pitched as investments. Add to that the fact that owners can’t access their information online until significantly after their rescission period has ended, thereby creating tens, even hundreds of thousands of owners dealing with the harsh reality that the truth isn’t quite what the salesperson said. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…since there’s nothing overtly illegal about these disgusting tactics, educating consumers and stopping them from attending these pitches is the only way to stop them. 

Still A Dearth Of Exit Options

The industry could, if it wanted to, put an end of the entire exit industry. Instead, only a handful of developers offer beleaguered owners a way out. The entire secondary market continues to be suppressed by the developers. It continues to baffle me why any self respecting developer would allow their product that was sold for $20,000 yesterday to be ‘worth’ less than $2,000 today. Or why every single developer doesn’t offer an exit strategy that isn’t an insult. 

A Giant First Step

I conclude this year end post with an item that may be a little egotistical, but one that’s important nevertheless. ARDA, the trade association for the timeshare industry took a monumental positive step earlier this year by partnering with me to create this document  As far as I know, it’s the first time they’ve ever worked with someone outside their enclave and the first time they’ve ever addressed the oral representation clause that relegates all but the most egregious consumer claims directly to the garbage. There’s a melancholy coda to this story…since that important document was released, ARDA has not taken the opportunity to continue this relationship by working with me on any number of issues despite the fact I’ve suggested a number of consumer facing projects. I continue hold out hope. 

Lastly, there will be some exciting news to announce within a few days. Stay tuned. 

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Case Of The Mysterious $1,000 Bribe

Last week, a Diamond Resorts owner reported that she was offered $1,000 off of her annual maintenance fees if she and her husband attended a 60 minute update regarding Hilton’s recent acquisition of Diamond. 

You know where this is going, don’t you?

Let’s start with the fact that timeshare salespeople know about as much as I do about the details of the Hilton/Diamond deal. Meaning nothing. Nothing has been publicly announced. Timeshare salespeople have absolutely no inside information. 

Now let’s ask if this owner got this offer of $1,000 off their annual maintenance fees in writing. I know you’ll be as stunned as I am to find out that nothing was in writing. By stunned I mean of course about as stunned to find out that the sun rose this morning. 

At the end of the update, which of course was nothing more than a sales pitch revolving around the ‘fact’ that these owners would be at a lower level once Hilton fully took over-which could be alleviated by buying thousands of dollars worth of more points today-no one including the Quality Control person and the VIP Lounge person had any idea about this $1,000 offer. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stop laughing/crying at the titles of those people. Quality Control?  VIP Lounge?  Just another example of how nefarious companies use these titles to give off the air of importance to their customers when in reality, there’s no quality control and no one is a VIP. 

Let me say that the person who offered this offer that doesn’t exist should be fired. Immediately. 

But again, some of the burden falls on the consumer. This person is an owner and already has experience with this timeshare developer promising things that never materialize. And yet, they took the hefty and quite unrealistic bribe without demanding it in writing. 

While the owner in question refused to purchase additional points, they should never have attended the pitch at all. 

The problem of course, as with so many timeshare related issues, is that no actual laws are being broken to my knowledge. Lies are being told, but the only recourse seems to be shining a light on them. Which is exactly the point of this post. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Broken Paradigm…But Which One?

Over the weekend, I read the regular litany of complaints about high pressure timeshare sales tactics. 


Don’t get me wrong…the high pressure, the misinformation, the nonsense of the ‘today only price’, the running of credit without prior approval…I’ve heard every single one of them. And it needs to stop. 

But does it really need to stop?  It’s obviously working for the developers or else they’d stop it. For all the bitching and complaining by consumers, reporters and consumer advocates; it’s still working. 

For every consumer that stands up at the end of the mandated 120 minutes, there are at least 7 that stay for who knows how long. For every consumer that does their advance homework and knows that the $20,000 timeshare the salesperson is hawking is available for $1,000 or less on the resale market. For every one person that understands the resale market, there are at least 10 that think that $20,000 is a good deal because the salesperson originally said it was $45,000. For every consumer that understands that the resort update is a sales pitch and not required, there are at least 12 that go along with the pitch the ‘concierge’ gives them. 

You’d be hard pressed to come across anybody who either hasn’t heard about these antiquated practices or personally encountered them. 

And yet every single day, timeshare sales centers around the country are filled with consumers sitting across little round tables listening to the same tired pitches. And for the past 20 or so years since I stumbled into this industry, an average of 10% of those consumers purchase something. 

So is the timeshare paradigm broken?  Not even close, buster. Not even close. You know what is broken?  The customers’ paradigm. Change that and I guarantee you the developers will change immediately. 

Friday, October 22, 2021

Some Good News…And Some Questions

Earlier this month, North Carolina became the first state to regulate self-proclaimed timeshare exit companies. A few of the key provisions are:

Timeshare exit companies may not advise or suggest timeshare owners to cease making payments on their timeshare obligations

Timeshare exit company contracts must provide timeshare owners with a right of rescission

Timeshare exit companies cannot charge timeshare owners for a transfer or exit service that amounts to foreclosure or repossession

Timeshare exit companies are not entitled to a fee for a transfer or exit service if the timeshare owner procures their own transfer or exit

Written evidence of the transfer or exit must be provided and include the method of transfer or termination, along with legal documents

Timeshare exit companies must escrow the fee charged to timeshare owners

While this is certainly a step in the right direction, I can’t help but think this would be unnecessary if there was a legal provision in place that mandated that every…every…timeshare developer have an exit option for every…every…paid in full timeshare interest.

No more hiding behind the “you didn’t purchase it directly from us” excuse. No more telling media outlets that there’s an exit option when depending on the time of day, there’s a ton of exclusions. No more “here’s the number of a reseller” when an owner calls and wants to be released. 

And the exit option has to be either free or a reasonable amount. What’s a reasonable amount?  No more than one year of current maintenance fees. 

Several questions spring to mind about this. 

>Why has this taken so long?  

>Why was one of the leading timeshare law firms working on this with the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and not ARDA-ROC?

>Why hasn’t the North Carolina Real Estate Commission looked into promises made by the timeshare developers at the point of sale as well?  Namely charging consumers upfront for a product/service that will not be available until well after rescission?  

However, it’s Friday. Let’s end the week on a positive note. This is a good thing for timeshare owners. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Way Too Little…Way Too Late

Several days ago, I saw a tweet from Responsible Exit…the consortium of a handful of timeshare developers who claim…I say ‘claim’ because I’ve heard both good and bad reviews…to provide a way out for owners…saying “Want to exit your timeshare? Maybe you should consider learning how to best take advantage of the benefits available as an owner. ⁣⁣Contact your developer to learn more about how to get the most out of your ownership.”

I almost spit out my iced tea. 

“Maybe you should consider learning how to take advantage of the benefits available as an owner”?  Seriously?  And then suggesting that the beleaguered owner contact the developer?!?  Are you kidding me?

The same developers who disguise their never ending sales pitches as “information sessions”?  The same developers whose only answer to frustrated owners is to buy more?  The same developers who routinely employ salespeople whose knowledge of the timeshare industry consists of nothing more than what management wants them to know?

Now, there are some developers who do provide owners with some continuing education.  They are to be commended. I recently saw that both Wyndham and Marriott were offering some virtual sessions and of course, DVC is way ahead of other developers. 

But the vast majority of developers collect their money, shove new owners out the door with some phone numbers, a link to their website and some paperwork and then continually try to get them to buy more so that the owners will be able to do what they were initially told their timeshare would get them. 

After years of not getting adequate information, after years of rising maintenance fees and after years of being lured by the unscrupulous self-appointed exit companies; NOW the developers want owners to come to them to learn all about the many benefits of ownership and how get the most out of their timeshare?

Way too little…way too late. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Guest Post From Attorney David Hancock

This is a well thought out post written by attorney David Hancock addressing the perils of consumers engaging with self-proclaimed timeshare exit companies. 

By accepting referrals from timeshare-exit companies like Timeshare Exit Team and Atlas Vacation Remedies, lawyers harm their clients.

By involving a timeshare-exit company in a client’s representation, these lawyers endanger a client’s attorney-client privilege, and they make it more difficult for a client to terminate his or her financial obligations to a timeshare developer.

Timeshare Developers Are Aggressive Litigators

Major timeshare developers aggressively litigate cases against timeshare-exit companies like Timeshare Exit Team, a.k.a. Reed Hein & Associates.  

Reed Hein, for example, has been sued in federal court by (a) Diamond Resorts, (b) Orange Lake Country Club, (c) Welk Resorts, (d) Westgate Resorts, and (e) Wyndham Resorts.  In all five of those cases, the timeshare developer also named as defendants the lawyers who accepted referrals from Reed Hein. In each case, the developer alleged that the lawyers were part of a scheme to defraud their own clients. Each developer therefore argued that the lawyers had forfeited the protections that lawyers typically enjoy. These arguments were generally successful.

The Attorney-Client Privilege

The lawsuit between Orange Lake Country Club and Reed Hein is a good case study.

In that case, Orange Lake sued Reed Hein — and Mitchell Sussman and SGB Law. Sussman and SGB Law were sued because both had accepted thousands of client referrals from Reed Hein.  In October 2018, a federal court ordered SGB Law to hand over to Orange Lake thousands of email messages and other communications between the law firm and Reed Hein customers whom SGB Law claimed to represent. The court rejected SGB Law’s arguments that the communications were protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege.

The court started its analysis with black-letter law: Communications between lawyers and their clients are privileged only when the communications are confidential. A third party’s involvement in an attorney-client communication destroys any claim of privilege.

Because Reed Hein was involved in the communications between SGB Law and the consumers whom Reed Hein had referred to the law firm, the court rejected SGB Law’s claim of attorney-client privilege. The court ordered SGB Law to hand over to Orange Lake the law firm’s communications with thousands of affected consumers.

The court rejected the argument that Reed Hein and SGB Law could somehow circumvent the law requiring that privileged communications be confidential:

The court is not persuaded by SGB Law’s argument that Reed Hein and SGB Law “envisioned a relationship whereby privileged material would be freely exchanged.” What Reed Hein and SGB Law “envisioned” is irrelevant.

The Scam Continues

Reed Hein persisted in its misbehavior.

In October 2019 — one year after the court had ordered SGB Law to disclose attorney-client communications to timeshare developer Orange Lake Country Club — Reed Hein employee Chasity Porter submitted a sworn declaration in a lawsuit filed against Reed Hein by Westgate Resorts.

Incredibly, Porter swore to the following:

If Reed Hein decides to hire a law firm for a customer, Reed Hein and the law firm specifically intend to create a relationship under which privileged relationship is freely exchanged. As such, the law firm, customers, and Reed Hein all intend that the attorney-client privileges and protections apply to all three parties in the agency relationship — the law firm, the customers/clients, and Reed Hein.

The results were predictable. In March 2020, the court ordered SGB Law to produce to thousands of attorney-client communications to Westgate Resorts.

Consumers Suffer

In August 2019, SGB Law lawyer Thomas Breen testified to the negative consequences that consumers suffer when a timeshare developer is able to access a law firm’s files and identify the specific individuals whom the firm represents. According to Breen, timeshare developers are less likely to release a customer from his or her financial obligations when they learn that a customer is associated with a timeshare-exit company.

Breen testified that timeshare developers are willing to “use individuals as pawns in some kind of a competition with Reed Hein.” To prevent those individuals from concluding that Reed Hein has delivered value, timeshare developers are willing “to pummel them financially even further than they already have — to prove a point with Reed Hein.”

Summary & Solution

The take-away for consumers is simple: Timeshare-exit companies are part of the problem in the timeshare industry.

Lawyers who accept client referrals from timeshare-exit companies are also part of the problem. These lawyers deprive their clients of multiple protections that clients are supposed to enjoy — including the right to privileged communications with their lawyer. Having deprived their own clients of this basic protection, these lawyers are unable to effectively fight timeshare developers.

The bottom line: By accepting client referrals from timeshare-exit companies, lawyers convert themselves into part of the timeshare-exit scam.

The solution is simple and straight-forward: If a consumer is interested in terminating legal financial obligations to a timeshare developer, he or she needs an independent lawyer who refuses to work with timeshare-exit companies.

Postscript from me:  All of these nefarious self-proclaimed exit companies could be shut down permanently if timeshare developers did the right thing. Offer a respectful way out for fully paid owners and stop suppressing the secondary market. 

Friday, September 24, 2021

A Tale Of Two Postings

I’m fairly active on social media sites, looking for things timeshare related obviously. 

The different experience that consumers have and share online is truly stunning. 

I just read a post from a new DVC member. Within 2 hours of posting, it received over 70 comments all using one form of congratulations or another. Not one comment about overpaying. Not one comment about dirty rooms. Not one comment about how they felt they had been lied to, sorry I mean mislead, by their salespeople. 

On another site, someone posted that they were thinking of purchasing a timeshare and were soliciting feedback. Within a day, there were over 130 comments. EVERY SINGLE ONE TELLING THE POSTER TO RUN AWAY AND/OR RESCIND. Every single one. 

I’m not mentioning the developer. You may be able to guess. All that’s important is that it wasn’t DVC. 

It is possible to market and sell good timeshare to the right people. It’s also possible for the developers to run their timeshare in a way that’s both profitable and consumer friendly. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Meet Vacation Ownership Advisor

Today, we're meeting Jonathan Stoker, the Founder, and CEO of Vacation Ownership Advisor, a relatively new player in the timeshare industry that looks as if they'll make timeshare easier to understand and easier to use, manage and provide travel perks as well. 

Jonathan, can you give my readers a quick recap of your timeshare experience and the driving force behind the establishment of Vacation Ownership Advisor?

My journey in the timeshare industry started in 1998 in the Crown Paradise Hotel in Cancun, Mexico. In 2000 I began at Mayan Resorts Cancun, then Puerto & Nuevo Vallarta as a Sales Manager until 2007. This led to being offered the Sales Director Of Royal Sunset Resorts in Cancun. In 2011, I decided to relocate to the US to allow my son to live and know both cultures. From 2012 to 2020. I had the great fortune of working with Hilton Grand Vacations in NYC, Marriott Vacation Club in South Beach, Florida and finally in Las Vegas  I resigned my position on November 1, 2020 to launch Vacation Ownership Advisor. 

Over my career, I noticed the disconnect an owner has day in and day out; by this, I mean that both new owners and long time owners often do not understand what they own or are using it in ways that diminish its value. Additionally, far too many owners realized that the follow up that was promised by their salesperson was merely a sales tactic These frustrated owners then turned to social media where they found misleading and often false information at best, and at worst, self proclaimed experts whose sole purpose was to encourage people to walk away from their purchase. 

Vacation Ownership Portfolio Management provides owners with the insight they need to understand, use, and get the most value from their ownership. We have a very detailed process of touchpoints with the owner to ensure an excellent customer experience while using our services from day one, continuing throughout the year. Among many things, we show the owner the value of their maintenance fee, so they view it positively.

In looking over your website, you seem to offer timeshare owners a multitude of services. Can you give us a brief description of both the concierge services and the travel benefits?

Our Concierge Services allow a member to contact a Vacation Ownership Advisor Team member simply by texting. We currently focus all our Concierge Services around travel, such as a Member with a flight delay that needs to contact the hotel or contact a rental car service. We have helped members find and book the best-valued properties with their points, assist in setting tee times, dinner reservations, and even have sent flowers to a loved one for a member on their anniversary.  

Our travel benefits have been uniquely designed to assist timeshare owners who need to travel outside their ownership by offering an online travel platform with over 850,000 hotels worldwide and growing. Let me share with you a real-time example. February 10th to February 17th, 2022, at the "Nautilus by Arlo" 1825 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, Florida, is $5,110 on and We show our members the rates on public travel platforms such as and; we then show them a cashback amount they will receive for booking that hotel within approximately 72 hours of booking. Our Members may book the same Superior King Bedroom with Free Cancelation for $4,547; next, they receive a cashback amount of $1,796 credited to the card they used at the time of booking within 72 hours! Saving our members $2,359 on one hotel stay! We also provide enormous savings that members may access with over 100,000 significant retailers and businesses across the United States.

Many owners are promised that the sales representative will be their liaison and assist them throughout the year with all their needs but this just doesn’t happen. Unfortunately, lack of follow-up results in a direct reflection on the brand itself.

Does an owner sign up for only part of the services you offer, or do they automatically get everything?

All our members receive access to all our services with their Membership to Vacation Ownership Advisor.

It seems as if every single company offers varying degrees of travel benefits and savings. How do your offers differ?  Do you have unique relationships with travel companies, and if so, what makes them special?

Yes, there are so many travel companies, and it is hard to know what works best for you and your family. Our level of service towards our members is exceptional; our members don't wait on hold, wasting their valuable time hoping someone calls them back. Our team is available by phone, text, email, and even video call 7 days a week. We only allow a Team Member to assist and work personally with a certain number of Members. This creates a special relationship between the Member and the Team Member allowing an elevated customer experience throughout the year.

When a Vacation Ownership Advisor member contacts you, will they be dealing with your company or directly with a third party when it comes to getting the travel-related benefits? 

Our members deal directly with Vacation Ownership Advisor Team Members. 

Perhaps this is an obvious question, but is Vacation Ownership Advisor only open to timeshare owners?  And are all timeshare owners eligible?  Are there any timeshares that don't qualify? 

Great question! We currently do have members that are not timeshare owners but love the travel savings and benefits. Also, it is incredibly beneficial to have someone to call that actually picks up the phone, calls back when they say they will, and you can even text about your travel plans! Hard to put a price on that nowadays.


We currently work with owners and members of multiple timeshare companies including but not limited to Marriott, Hilton, BlueGreen, Holiday Inn, Vistana, Wyndham, Vidanta, Shell Vacations, Hyatt and Disney Vacation Club. Timeshare owners from any resort are welcome to use and enjoy our one-of-a-kind services. 

Are you affiliated with any vacation clubs, or worse, any self-proclaimed exit companies?  Will owners' information be sold to third parties?

We do not recommend or will ever work with a timeshare resale company. Timeshare owners have worked hard to pay for their ownership, and our job is to assist them in getting the most enjoyment and value from using it. 

Can you walk us through the sign-up procedure? Let's say I recently purchased a timeshare and a Vacation Ownership Advisor membership. What information do I need to input, and what should I expect in terms of offers and communications?

Our sign-up process is quick, easy, safe, digitally secure, and paperless. 

Members have a secure online registration link they may open on their phone, tablet, laptop, or home computer to fill in their names, addresses, best contact information, and timeshare properties owned. With a quick digital signature and a simple click of a button, the member will be redirected to a secure online form to input their credit card information for the annual membership. Once completed, the Vacation Ownership Advisor experience will start with a personalized welcome text, email, and welcome call to introduce you to your Vacation Ownership Advisor Team Member that will be working with you throughout the year. Our membership is based on a yearly renewal. If for any reason, you don’t wish to renew, just let us know 30 days before your renewal date. No questions asked. But we value your feedback, so if you do choose to not new, we want to know why.

Does it matter if I purchased it recently or many years ago? 

Our membership is for the person or family that just bought a timeshare for the first time yesterday to the most experienced timeshare owners.

I see that the annual membership is $249. A few questions about that-Are any timeshare developers currently paying for that, let's say, as part of a first visit incentive?  Do you offer a discount if owners want a multi-year membership?  Do you offer a free trial? 

Currently, we aren’t working with any developers that offer a membership to their owners, although it’s obviously something we’re open to. We only offer a year-by-year basis at this point. We want our members to have complete flexibility and control of their membership. 

We want to extend a special offer to all your loyal followers; anyone who emails us at and uses Timeshare Crusader as the  Subject will receive a 30-day trial of our services at no cost, full Membership benefits! My passion is to travel, and having been allowed to learn so much from this beautiful Vacation Ownership Industry over the years, I want to share that knowledge and provide a level of service that timeshare owners expect and deserve.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Publix Delivery To Timeshare Resorts

While attending ARDA’s annual conference back in June, I noticed that Publix was a sponsor. I was unable to visit with them during the conference due to scheduling issues, but they were able to answer my interview questions. 

For this interview, their Manager of Omnichannel Business Development answered my questions. 

Edson, can you tell my readers a bit of the backstory of how Publix entered into a partnership with ARDA and it’s members?


Publix entered a sponsorship with ARDA because we feel it is a professional organization that brings the timeshare industry together. Through this sponsorship, it affords us the opportunity to share the grocery delivery message as a service to all developers.


You’re obviously a well known brand name in the Central Florida area where I live and where a lot of timeshare resorts are located. Can you tell us in what other areas/states you offer your services?


Publix Super Markets operates in 7 states – Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Through our grocery delivery partner, Instacart, delivery is available in all our operating states and we are actively expanding our curbside pick-up coverage.


Does the resort or HOA have to have an agreement with you before vacationers use your service?


A resort or HOA does not need an agreement with Publix or Instacart before vacationers use the delivery or curbside pick-up services; however, when we establish a formal partnership, we are able to collaborate with our partners on a formal marketing strategy. We offer promotional discounts, marketing materials (digital and physical), marketing support and even offer an incentive program for Developers for sharing the Publix delivery and curbside pick-up message with their owners.


Any interested Developer can visit for more information and to submit a request for contact.


Timeshare resorts seem like the perfect partner for Publix as most of their units have partial, if not full kitchens. Are owners limited to what they can order for delivery?


The full kitchens and typically longer vacation stays are what really piqued our interest in the timeshare industry. Owners view their timeshare as a home away from their home. We really want them to maximize their vacation and alleviate any stress they may have – we say, “Sit back. Relax. Let someone else do the shopping.”


Publix and Instacart work very diligently to bring our in-store product selections online so for the most part you are not limited on what you can order online, in fact, we also share our same in-store BOGO and sales online*.


*prices vary from in-store


Speaking of delivery, are the groceries delivered to individuals’ rooms at the resort, or is there a central drop off location at the resort?  Or do individual resorts have different policies?  I’m also wondering about frozen or refrigerated foods. 


The groceries are delivered by Instacart to the owners’ room at the resort. The owner is encouraged to add their building number (if applicable) and room number to the delivery address. I would add that it is best practice to include the resort name.


Instacart monitors and optimizes the routing of their delivery drivers. Routes are typically short and delivery drivers are encouraged to use insulated bags to keep refrigerated and frozen items cool.


Can you tell us how your delivery fees are structured?  Flat fee?  Sliding scale based on order size?


Delivery fees are flat. Instacart offers an annual express membership to help eliminate delivery fees.


How long in advance do you recommend that people place their orders?  


Through our partner Instacart, delivery is offered in as little as 2 hours. You’re covered should you want to plan in advance or if you decide to wait until you settle in after check-in.


Thanks to Publix for the information. By the way, I was not able to determine if any resort is picking up delivery charges for their owners, although I think that’s a great idea!




Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Disconnect Is Real…And Huge

had the pleasure of meeting with a few head honchos at ARDA’s annual timeshare conference last month. Some of these people I’ve known professionally for years, others for first time. Some names you’d recognize, others you wouldn’t. 

I’m left with one overriding impression after talking to these industry heavyweights…there’s a very real and very large disconnect between what they want for the industry and the timeshare consumer and the actions of Joe or Jane Shmo who sits across from the consumer every day, trying to sell them something…or more of something. By the way, I used to be Jane Shmo, so I have more than a passing knowledge of what happens at timeshare sales centers. 

The gentlemen that I met with were not sales managers or even Director of Sales. We’re talking about guys with letters like CEO, COO and the like after their names. They all knew me. They all were familiar with my body of work and a few of them even referenced recent blog posts of mine. 

To a person, they all expressed in their own ways their disappointment that so many consumers had poor experiences at their sales centers and the fact that they, the CEOs and the like, had measures in place to fire salespeople who misrepresented their product. Was there some showing off going on?  No doubt.  But I’m honest enough to understand that not a single one of these guys owed me anything. I’m a very small fish in a very large pond. They didn’t need to seek me out as many of them did and they certainly didn’t need me to do any image polishing for them when they have teams of overpaid people to do that. Not that I’d do that anyway. 

So here’s the thing…as I’ve said for years now, it’s imperative for consumers to call out and report bad behavior from all developers and use the name of the individual. It’s individual salespeople that tell consumers they’re purchasing an investment, that they need to purchase more in order to qualify for the exit program, or that they can spend their points for hotel rooms through Expedia. It’s not INSERT NAME OF DEVELOPER. Remember that DVC, Diamond, Travel & Leisure, Marriott, etc. only exist in the legal sense. They, and all companies rise and fall on the actions, good and bad of their employees. 

Some of you might disagree with my opinion on this topic. Some of you might think that I’m easily impressed. That’s fine. That’s why the name of the blog is The Word From The Timeshare Crusader. And that’s me. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

A Few Words About Filing Regulatory Complaints

I wish this was either made up or an exception. The truth is this happens much too often. Unfortunately, these consumers turn to online groups who convince them that they should file regulatory complaints or just walk away. Filing regulatory complaints to whom?  For what?  Just because you made multiple poor financial choices is no basis for a complaint. Walk away?  So now after making multiple poor financial choices, you’re going to take legal advice from someone other than an attorney?  

“After four presentations, my husband and I have gone from Sampler, to Standard, to Gold, and then to something they called an upgrade from "ownership," to "membership."  We now have 19000 points,  two mortgages totaling over $45000, and annual maintenance fees of nearly $4000.  And we have already paid over $20000 in down payments and monthly mortgage payments in just 15 months.  We will never take vacations worth the amount of money this is costing us. Is there any way out?”

Before I get screamed at online, I should note that there was no mention of anything being misrepresented by the salesperson in the original post.  So, please save your breath and don’t make anymore accusations of me blaming the customer rather than the salesperson. 

There are a lot of serious matters facing the timeshare industry. There are a lot of serious issues that regulatory agencies should be looking at. Don’t waste valuable time by filing complaints when the only valid complaint is that you made a series of poor decisions. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Meet Lemonjuice Capital & Solutions

I was happy to meet with some great companies while attending Timeshare Together, the annual ARDA conference. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to introduce you, the timeshare owner, to some companies that you may not be aware of. Some of the big complaints that I hear on a regular basis from timeshare owners is that there’s nothing new, that their options are limited and that they feel trapped. Not necessarily true.  Today, I’m introducing you to Lemonjuice Capital & Solutions. I think they have a compelling story and I’m looking forward to working with them on a number of initiatives moving forward.  

Can you tell my readers a little bit about the history of the company?  Why was it created?

The Lemonjuice Capital & Solutions’ story began in 2016. We knew the time had come to provide innovative pathways to help timeshare owners, associations, and boards to unlock the value of their resort properties.  We began doing so through our Reimagine ResortsTM process by finding viable and real solutions to solve complex financial and legal title issues and those created by exit companies.  Since the company was originally founded, we have expanded our services to include resort management, rentals, sales, technology and software solutions, and we are continually expanding our resources and capacity in new and innovative ways. 


So, you seem to offer multi-tiered solutions for aging resorts. 

When we Reimagine ResortsTM, we take into account what owners want.  In some cases, it means that we help the association and the Board right-size the resort to a financially sound and operationally sustainable resort.  Lemonjuice wants to restore resorts to financial good health when at all practicable.  We restructure the legal ownership of resorts when that option seems most appropriate and, in all instances,  we re-engage owners who want to continue vacationing by making sure that they have a product that they like and a relationship with one of the exchange companies.


Are aging resorts your number one focus or have you worked with resorts that are being mismanaged as well? Or perhaps we should use the term “under managed.”

We do work with resorts that prefer a new management company.  For years, resorts enjoyed the relationship with their management company.  As the timeshare evolved, and things became more challenging, many management companies were without the expertise and know-how to explore creative ways to Reimagine the situation.  Lemonjuice brings a fresh new perspective to the industry.  One of our core guiding principles is that owners deserve to be treated fairly, and that promises made yesteryear should be kept.  This means great service and great vacations must still be the number one priority while the myriad of issues are being attacked.  If an owner lifestyle has changed, and they are ready to vacation in other ways or not vacation at all, we provide solutions to help them get to where they need to be.  These solutions make the desirability of predatory exit companies obsolete.     


Lemonjuice is unique to our industry.  We Reimagine ResortsTM by helping the Board determine the highest and best use for their property and what is best for all resort owners and stakeholders.  Then we execute the Board’s decisions.  In some cases, right sizing a resort involves a reduction of timeshare units in order to place the resort in a more secure financial footing.  The remaining units will be sufficient to accommodate the needs of vacationing owners.  In some cases, our management team’s expertise can dramatically improve resort quality and operational efficiencies to limit more drastic changes to the resort’s overall legal structure.   And, in some cases we restructure a resort because the owners determine it is the best path to take.   In all cases, Lemonjuice takes a consultative and organic approach and leaves the Board in control.  No other company does what Lemonjuice does, nor do they have the capacity or know-how.  Are there some that will claim they can restructure a resort?  Yes, but unfortunately, the methods used are contrary to the best interests of resort ownership.  Competitors force out owners through extraordinarily high special assessments, leaving owners (many who are on fixed incomes) with little choice other than to give up their deed in return for nothing – no vacation, no money. 

Let’s talk for a minute about Sunset Clauses. Can you give us a basic definition and why they’re so vitally important, yet almost never understood by the average owner?

Sunset provisions are typically included in the governing documents of most legacy timeshare resorts developed through the 1990’s. A sunset date is defined as the planned termination of the timeshare, or shared ownership, regime of a resort property. Many developers included the provision as a precaution if the project failed or if resort ownership wanted out entirely. It created an opportunity for owners to assess their vacationing needs and the fiscal health of their association and develop a plan of action to make their new vision and resource needs become a reality. 

Without clear legal guidance or a practical arrangement, the sunset event can confuse owners and create chaos. In most states, once a timeshare property’s regime sunsets, owners become tenants in common because the timeshare use plan is terminated. Legally, owners can then coordinate among themselves to use their week(s). However, mastering this task is virtually impossible without professional guidance, and continuing to operate under an expired use plan can put the board, the owners, and resort’s staff in legal jeopardy and financial ruin.  

Can you give us a little background on the principals of the company?  From what I can see, you have a team with both long and varied experiences within the timeshare industry. 

The company was founded by our CEO, Alexander Krakovsky.  He recognized the deficiencies in the aging timeshare model and how it impacted the owners, the associations, boards, and the surrounding communities.  Prior to starting Lemonjuice Capital & Solutions, Alex and his partners worked in the energy sector building powerplants worldwide.  Once this company went public, he set off to find a new endeavor working with contract and capital partners with which he had long-time business relationships.  It was through Alex’s vision that he was able to attract a sizable capital partner, which skyrocketed  Lemonjuice from a concept to reality.  To learn about Alex and the rest of the Lemonjuice team, you can find him and all of our backgrounds on LinkedIn. 


Can individual owners who are having issues with their current management company and/or HOA contact you?  

We welcome contact with owners; however, we are compelled to work through the Boards, Resort Managers, or Management Companies in order to make any progress.  Those entities control the resort and are the ones with which we can develop a comprehensive strategy that is then memorialized in the form of a written agreement.   The Board is accountable to resort owners and its decisions must align with its fiduciary duties in providing the best solutions and outcomes for the financial stability of a resort and its vacationing owners.   


Are there any types of timeshare that you can’t work with?  

There could be some properties that Lemonjuice’s involvement would not make economic sense.  Certainly, we are open to talking to any Board, Developer, or Management Company to evaluate how we can help. 


What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the timeshare industry as a whole in the next five years? 

The lack of planning for the future of legacy resorts is now being fully exposed around the country.  Over 50 percent of legacy timeshare properties are 40 years old or older.  In many cases, properties were converted from existing hotels and have outlived their commercial life making it impossible for them to keep up with much-needed maintenance and capital improvements.  Old buildings often require millions of dollars of improvements and resorts do not have the financial wherewithal to respond to these rapidly deteriorating conditions.  When you combine aging structures to the availability of newer vacationing models and the changing lifestyles of owners, many of whom are advanced in age, it is difficult to see how some legacy resorts can remain competitive and thrive.  Yes, some organizations will continue to push their agendas, but we believe that it is time for a new voice in the industry to be heard.  It is one that can effectively Reimagine ResortsTM to give Boards, owners and associations what they richly deserve and desperately need.