Surveying Administrative Remedies for Timeshare Consumers Seeking Relief

Surveying Administrative Remedies for Timeshare Consumers Seeking Relief

A survey of administrative remedies (and some non-administrative ones as well) for timeshare owner consumers to consider if they are seeking relief

This article is divided into three sections: an introduction, a more detailed description of each of the reported agencies available, and a summary and conclusion. This initial section is an introduction into the complaint process, who the players are, what’s involved in filing and what to anticipate in terms of agency response.

The second section will list and describe any “agency” we are aware of who will accept a complaint on a consumer-related timeshare issue. Instructions for initiating the process will be included along with a summary of the agency’s particular makeup and its relationship to the consumer and the timeshare industry.

The last portion, the Summary and Conclusion, brings into play the more complicated questions of whether filing a complaint is a worthy endeavor if your intent is solely to get someone to actually assist you with your dispute.

The issue of effectiveness of the complaint in terms of enhancing your developer dispute by bringing in some third party “muscle” will be discussed throughout this text, addressing what the author perceives as an overall general ineffectiveness in the administrative complaint process and some speculation on the possible reasons therefore.  For now, let me suggest that in the absence of a resort’s willingness to address your grievance with you, I do strongly recommend filing complaints with all or as many agencies as practicable. It’s important that record of your dispute be made; do not accept “no” for a final answer without taking your dispute as far as possible. Although I cannot provide you with any assurance that your issue will be appropriately addressed, your failure to register a complaint will both guarantee it won’t be addressed, and further deprives the industry from any notice or incentive to improve its relationships with owners.

The agencies I recommend you reach out to are both public and private, with the public, or governmentally sponsored ones divided into state and Federal. There is significant logic in attempting to involve the Feds, particularly if the state administrative agencies with primary regulatory control do not appear to be vigorously attempting to advocate the consumer’s issues. 

In addition to the agencies included in this survey, I’d encourage you to be creative and look to local agencies, legislative channels, and even news agencies if your specific facts warrant that kind of exposure as well. The more fuss you can stir up the better.

In summary and to further emphasize this point, we do recommend you avail yourself of all avenues of dispute you have available to you. Even if your complaint isn’t addressed to your satisfaction, you haven’t lost anything but the amount of time in so doing, and, if you don’t make the attempt, the results of your inaction are clear. Recall the adage, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Lastly, if not for your own situation, take some solace from the fact that your input may assist other owners with their further issues (there is strength in numbers, after all).

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