Four of the Most Common Misleading Timeshare Practices

Four of the Most Common Misleading Timeshare Practices (Source: - used as royalty free image)

Timeshare ownership originally rose to fill a need for affordable, reliable travel in the vacation industry. However, over the course of many decades, this once-consumer friendly alternative has become a quagmire and a bit of a black sheep, known more for its aggressive sales tactics and confounding costs than for passing any value on to the consumer.

Today, the timeshare purchasing process is characterized as “the hard sell,” and timeshare interests are looked at more as burdens than opportunities, with just as many consumers trying to extricate themselves from the industry as there are seeking to buy in.

How did the situation get so dire? Much of it comes down to the practices that the timeshare industry has adopted, many of which pressure, mislead, or fail to adequately consumers. Here are four worth noting:

Presenting timeshare ownership as a real estate investment

Better Vacation Options for the Price of Your Timeshare

Better Vacation Options for the Price of Your Timeshare (Source: - used as royalty free image) 

Timeshare maintenance fees are part and parcel of timeshare ownership, and they tend to rise year over year, regardless of the rate of inflation.

For many timeshare owners, high maintenance fees are a key factor pushing them away from the industry altogether, as industry surveys have indicated. This unhappiness with fees – which are piled on top of assessments, interest payments, and other expenses – is exacerbated by the fact that the average timeshare consumer is all but powerless to affect change or protest their fees, given the complex entanglement of most timeshare owners’ associations, boards, and management companies, which together comprise a system that empowers developers to run their resorts unchecked by engagement with or interference from the resort’s individual “owners.”

The point? On average and across the board, maintenance fees are extremely high and likely to keep rising, and there’s very little to be done about it once you’ve signed on the dotted line. This is a major turn-off to many, particularly since vacation ownership originally rose as a more affordable travel alternative for many families. Today, however, the unchecked avarice of major developers has driven the price of buying into the timeshare industry up and up, to the point where many idyllic vacations are significantly less expensive than owning a timeshare interest and keeping up with its attendant fees.

Why Do Other Pros Turn to Finn Law Group for Help?

Why Do Other Pros Turn to Finn Law Group for Help? 

Because of the active suppression of the timeshare resale market on the part of major resort developers, the aftermarket that consumers face is often quite daunting. Besides the ever-present threat of scam artists and schemers looking to make a quick buck, owners looking to exit or cancel their timeshare obligation – having already accepted that it’s all but impossible to make back your money, let alone turn a profit – are often solicited by third party companies offering speedy resolutions and money-back guarantees.

Of course, as we’ve written before, it’s important to take all of these claims with more than a few grains of salt. Start by asking how these companies operate. What makes them any different than you when it comes to interacting with the resort?

The Importance of Attorneys

Why Does Finn Law Group Have So Many Five-Star Reviews Online?

Why Do We Have So Many Five-Star Reviews Online?

For timeshare owners looking to extricate themselves from their lifelong obligations – which come complete with rising annual maintenance fees and other financial commitments – the road to freedom is often fraught with dangers, from a sparse secondary market to the ever-present threat of scam artists.

We have long advocated that the best route for consumers looking to “exit” their timeshare contract is to retain an attorney, rather than taking a gamble on the secondary market, or with a questionable rental, resale, or redemption company.

In our experience, direct negotiation and litigation are the most effective options for timeshare owners looking to make a change, and we have the record to prove it!

Our team is endlessly proud of the reputation that we’ve earned as effective advocates for timeshare consumers looking for answers. Our clients reach out to us with positive feedback all the time – and our profiles on major law recommendation sites reflect their trust and loyalty.

Looking at the Strings of a Timeshare Repurchase Program

Looking at the Strings of a Timeshare Repurchase Program

We wrote recently about the various ways in which your resort developer can impact your timeshare “resale,” including a right of first refusal and, of course, the severe restrictions that have historically been placed on the growth of any sort of timeshare aftermarket.

Because of these constraints on resale value – the sort of thing we take for granted for consumer goods ranging from property to vehicles to furniture – timeshare owners are often left scrambling for a viable way out of their obligation and its attendant yearly fees. Some consumers try to turn a profit by renting out their weeks, only to find that it can be tedious and difficult to do so. Countless more turn to the shadow market that has crept out of the internet, only to be duped a scam that leaves them with nothing more than even greater debt and an increased sense of desperation.

So when the resort offers up the promise of a no-strings-attached “repurchase program” – one that offers you money in exchange for your unwanted timeshare points – it can be powerfully appealing. The only problem? More often than not, there are, indeed, strings attached.

For an in-depth look at one repurchase program offered by a major resort company, we encourage you to read this recent post brought to our attention by Lisa Ann Schreier (@LisaLooksAt on Twitter), the timeshare industry expert and crusader behind Timeshare Insights. The machinations are complex and fascinating, and well worth a thorough examination.

Broadly speaking, the resort’s repurchase program offers members the opportunity to have their points bought back on a first come, first serve basis. And while this is certainly an appealing offer on paper, it comes with numerous caveats.

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