Initially the timeshare sales contract was intended to be a document whereby a willing consumer could purchase time at a vacation resort for enjoyment and relaxation. As time passed, however, more and more consumers realized their purchased timeshares held little to no value and the associated fees far outweighed any of the supposed benefits of vacation ownership. Resorts had hit the jackpot. They had introduced a valueless product that generated billions of dollars in sales and financing profits, along with billions from perpetual and ever-increasing maintenance fees and annual revenue. As owners started to seek ways out of their timeshares, consumers started to see timeshares as a liability rather than an investment.
As a result, less and less people sought to purchase timeshares.
The lack of ready, willing, and able consumers threatened the Timeshare Industry’s large profits, so they decided to change their marketing and sales methods to ensure future purchases.
Today, the average timeshare purchase is made on location at a timeshare presentation. Resorts offer discounts or incentives to potential consumers in exchange for attendance at the presentation. Upon arrival, a sales agent is assigned to make the pitch and, usually with the help of a manager and finance/contract person, close the deal.
Because of the large drop in timeshare sales, some resorts employed “tactics” as a surefire way to lock the consumer in. From eight-hour presentations without food or water to elaborate promises to today-only offers, consumers are pressured to sign on the dotted line before leaving the presentation room. Once signed, the timeshare sales contract is final and consumers are trapped in a never-ending cycle of liability.
Years passed and many resorts continued these unscrupulous methods until timeshare cancellation companies began to emerge as a resource for timeshare owners who had purchased their timeshares as a result of fraud and duress. These companies negotiated with resorts and effectively were able to obtain a cancellation of their timeshare purchase contracts.
As more and more consumers found relief from their timeshares, the Timeshare Industry’s profits were again threatened, so they decided to change their negotiation and settlement methods to ensure future profits.
The effect? Some timeshare companies, often referred to as “The Dirty Dozen”—Westgate, BlueGreen, Hilton, ResortCom/the Villa Group, Holiday Inn/Orange Lake/Silverleaf, and Berkley Group/Vacation Village/Lando Resorts/El Dorado stopped releasing, even from the nation’s leading timeshare Consumer Protection law firm, any and all consumers from their timeshare purchase contracts altogether, regardless of whether sales contracts were purchased under fraud and duress.
The Dirty Dozen made the mistake of not cooperating with the nation’s leader in Consumer Protection law, and lumped them together with upfront fee timeshare cancellation and aftermarket companies, which resorts rightfully started filing lawsuits against for Fraud and Racketeering, due to their often 100% upfront fee and 0% success rate.
The reality is, however, that these Dirty Dozen resorts still employ high pressure sales tactics, along with fraud, duress, misrepresentation, and bait and switch tactics, leading the timeshare sales contracts that were signed as a result to be illegal, but timeshare owners do not know how to seek relief.
Despite the demise of timeshare cancellation companies, there is still relief for victims stuck in illegal timeshare contracts—litigation. The hard part is finding the right advocate who knows how to fight the tricky Timeshare Industry on your behalf.
If you are a victim of illegal timeshare fraud or duress contact a Consumer Rights Attorney and see how you can get relief as part of a Multi-Party Action. Call The Abrams Firm at (360) 918-8196 for a free consultation with a licensed Consumer Advocate Attorney. We will discuss the remedies available to your specific case, so you can make an informed decision as to what is the right strategy—divestment or litigation—for you. The consultation is 100% free and we are the only company to never charge any upfront fees for divestment. We are Consumer Protection Attorneys dedicated to fighting for you.