If you like the millions of other timeshare owners across the world, find themselves in the position where you feel stuck by your timeshare and desperately want to find a way out, then there are some important things to consider before you start your journey to financially unburdening yourself from a timeshare contract.
Has your timeshare become unaffordable, or perhaps you have been hit, like the millions of others, with financial strain due to the Covid-19 pandemic? For the majority of people life is changing all the time and we don’t always find ourselves in the exact same position we were a few years ago. Sometimes life gets easier but often it gets tougher too and this last year has been a great example of how quickly life can change unexpectedly. When our circumstances change we often have to make adjustments to suit this and even make sacrifices. Unfortunately for those who own a timeshare this if sometimes not an easy option. In fact, timeshare resorts don’t want to make this an easy option for owners, despite knowing that peoples circumstances can change for whatever reason, they want to keep owners tied down and locked into paying those annual maintenance fees.
Perhaps you have thought to yourself, now is the time to exit! Maybe your timeshare no longer represents good value for money or you simply don’t want to be burdened with it any longer. Whatever the reason is for you, you should have this option available to you. No-one should be stuck in an unaffordable contract, that may have been mis-sold to them for an eternity. That said, you also need to be aware to avoid common timeshare exit scams, and here is how to do so:
Stay away from cold callers: Cold calling is a tactic used by scam companies. This may sound like a bold statement, but there is no better way to describe it. Cold calling is illegal and new legislation to protect people was introduced for this very reason, to protect people from scam companies. People who cold call you have most likely obtained your personal details illegally and are calling to exploit your vulnerability and desperation to be free from your timeshare. They will lure you in with false promises and when they have you hooked, demand large upfront fees for services they have little to no intention of performing.
Upfront fees: If you have engaged the services of a company and they have asked you to pay fees upfront for a service they are yet to perform, chances are it’s a scam. There are not many legitimate companies who would ask you to pay large fees for services they are yet to perform, much less that will make claims they can successfully negotiate your timeshare exit within a certain amount of time. We have heard this one many times before from our own clients who have been called out of the blue and told “we guarantee timeshare termination within 4 weeks”. This is simply untrue, each resort and country is completely difficult and sometimes it can be tricky dealing with large timeshare companies. That’s why you need to use a company with a proven track record and specialist in timeshares.
Only use a reputable authorised company: We speak to clients daily, who have been through the turmoil of a timeshare scam. It’s heart-breaking for many people and can leave them out of pocket, financially strained and sometimes in debt. With so much at steak it pays to do a bit of research. Is the company you are thinking of working with regulated by anyone? Sometimes they say they are but check this out too as this is very common. You can check the Financial Conduct Authority register for registered companies and also your local trading standards.
Finally if you do find yourself the victim of a scam or you have been cold called by a company claiming they can help you, report them. If the authorities are made aware of rogue companies and people complain they can investigate and possibly take action to stop future potential victims from being scammed out of their hard earned cash.