When we talk of the “Timeshare Industry” people generally understand that sales involve huge timeshare conglomerates like Wyndham, Westgate and Diamond Resorts, and smaller timeshare sellers from international destinations including the Caribbean and Mexico, such as Groupo Mayan and the Villa del Group. If you know about Timeshares you may be very cautious; however, a lot of people don’t know that brand-name US Hotels also sell the same sort of Timeshares. This includes prestigious Flagship Hotel giants such as Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton, and Holiday Inn—they all sell Timeshares! To some this is a big surprise, up until the moment they are in a presentation for 4 to 6 hours. Many clients are shocked to find out the degree to which they may have been misled when getting into their timeshare. Rightly so, many are frustrated that not only are most of the things stated in the presentation entirely illusory, but that this is just how the timeshare industry works. As a matter of course, they bring people in and get them to purchase in high-pressure presentations and then make it as difficult as possible to book/get out while still slamming them with fees. A lot are left wondering “how does an industry like this survive?” It is a good question and a fair one. The problem is really two-fold, first is when people learn that timeshares are not what they were promised and second is the limits on what they can do about it.
When did you know?
So how does an industry like this survive, or at least not become more notorious. The main issue is when a person realizes they have been ripped off. These resorts are billion-dollar corporations with huge marketing budgets and the only way to figure out what is really going on is by reading other customers’ complaints. Most people do not start by reading other complaints. The first thing they see is blue oceans, sandy beaches, or gorgeous mountains that are designed to entice you into an idea that these are the type of vacations you could be booking and after a lengthy high-pressure sales presentation you are sold. Now it is often too late, you have signed some contracts, you start trying to book and it becomes immediately apparent that this is not at all what they said it was. You cannot make your first booking for a year and the places/weeks they promised are always “full”, or unavailable. It does not matter how many complaints or 1-Star reviews you read now, because they already got you to sign a contract, and they are not keen on letting you out of that. This scheme just repeats over and over per customer and by the time people know what they have gotten into they are already outside the time period to cancel (See, All States) their contract. That leads into the second problem, what can they do about it now even if they do know.
What can you do now?
Regardless of how unfair a contract seems, the default assumption is that you had a chance to review the contract before you signed it and thus your name is on all of those contract provisions that tell you, you are not entitled to a specific week, or unit. These contracts are written by experienced and well-paid lawyers, and they are designed to favor the resort and leave you with little to no way to get around them. All that stuff they may have told you in a presentation is signed away by some line in the contract that says in effect only what is written in this contract is being relied on, a timeshare is not an investment etc. and there is your signature right next to it whether you read it or not. The language of a timeshare contract is rarely going to be a good place to look for hope of getting out of it. That is not to say there is no recourse though, it’s just probably not going to be spelled out in your contract.
Where to look for an option?
What you will need is someone (an experienced consumer protection attorney) who is able to look past your contract itself and find other more actionable ways to fight for your rights against the resort. What you need is a lawyer who is experienced in resort tactics and knows the weaknesses that the resort will not be prepared to defend against, to get you out of your timeshare contract.
If you want to get rid of your timeshare, contact our team of attorneys online, or call our office to become a Pro Bono (free) client of the law firm for legal Advisement, Case Analysis and Testimony (all pro bono): 360-918-8196.
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