A family from Missouri spent over $10,000 on a timeshare, they say, they have never been able to use. The timeshare was sold to them as a one week every year in their favourite location with Westgate Resorts. The sales rep told them that using their resort would be incredibly easy and so they decided to sign up, thinking they were getting a great deal for $10,000.
This was over 5 years ago and, every year, they have paid their maintenance fees, which have now reached nearly $900 a year. Despite this, the family have never been able to use their timeshare. They were originally told by their timeshare resort that they would be able to book the resort up to a month before they intended to travel. So, during their first year of ownership they tried to book, leaving it a month before they attempted to book, only to be told that it was too short notice.
So the following year, the family called six months in advance and were told “you are booking too early”. This saga continued and, to date, the family have spent over $16,000 on their timeshare and not spent a single night in it. When the family tried to complain to the resort, they were told they had to upgrade and this would make it easier to use. The only problem was that this was going to cost another $10,000. The family refused to hand over any more money to the resort and instead decided to put it up for sale. After all, they were promised the timeshare would increase in value.
It was a bit of a shock when the family learnt that, instead of the timeshare increasing in value, it actually was completely worthless and they couldn’t even give it away. They finally decided to cut their losses and hired a lawyer who successfully managed to terminate their contract.
The problem with timeshares.
If owners cant pass on their timeshares, the contracts lock them in for life and, although timeshares are no longer sold this way as it unlawful, there are thousands of people who still hold life long contracts with resorts. The management companies that run the timeshares often refuse to buy them back and most resorts do not handle complaints fairly at all. To make matters worse, owners will have to continue to pay maintenance fees until they have come to some sort of resolution with their resort.
People who enter into Timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and simply cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the Timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract. There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of Timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with Timeshare exit schemes. Before agreeing to any Timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advise and fully research any company you are thinking of working with.
It is also important to remember that purchasing a Timeshare should NEVER be viewed as a financial investment. Timeshare is an investment in lifestyle, in future holidays and family time together. There is almost no resale value to a Timeshare.
The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry and these type of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between.
If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a Timeshare or a ‘Holiday Points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible timeshare termination.