Every prospective owner should always be aware of what kind of timeshare they are being sold. Contract prices and terms can be totally different for two buyers, even though they purchased at the same resort, on the same day. But one common feature is that what is said during the sales pitch usually doesn’t reflect the reality of the contract terms being signed. Timeshares are shrouded in restrictions and costs not readily apparent to the consumer, and typically have a much higher cost than simply booking the room online. They are pushed to consumers through deceptive presentations, often taking 4 to 6 hours that create stressful situations during what should be a relaxing vacation.
While each case is different, there are two main types of Timeshares:
Shared ‘Deeded’ Ownership: These represent ‘true’ Timeshares, in that the room is treated legally as a property owned by the resort condominium and a 1/52nd interest (a week) is sold to the new owner. As they are treated as property, they can be publicly traded, or transferred to family by a Will. But unlike normal real estate, it is a negative investment of a debt mechanism, with no appreciable return, where owners find themselves not being able to sell the timeshare for even $1 on eBay.
Points: These represent what most people think of a Timeshare as. They are deceptively similar to Deeded Timeshares, but the critical difference is that the resort still retains all legal ownership. The sad truth however, is that more often than not, what is advertised as true ownership is actually just points in an overly restrictive booking system, where the deed provided is a ‘sham deed’ that does not grant true property rights. Now, Timeshare Resorts and Vacation Clubs have ‘points systems’ exclusively governed by booking companies that have fabricated rules and restrictions. These use rules are arbitrary, and the points themselves do not correlate to any real monetary value, meaning your benefits stay solely within the [oppressive] booking program, rather than resting within the property itself.
With this in mind, how do the resorts manage to conceal the nature of what they are selling?
The Sales Presentation
While the Timeshare Industry makes use of dozens of marketing ploys, many consumers are pulled in through internal sales presentations. When one checks in for a stay at a hotel or a resort, you may get fed a few interesting lines at the counter—other locations, bigger rooms, bonus accommodations, or reward programs. If the consumer considers the hooks, they are directed towards attending a specific presentation somewhere in the resort. They may be incentivized with complimentary coupons for local attractions or a lunch or dinner, a several-hundred-dollar discount on future bookings, or ways to reduce the cost of their stay. The resort may even have salesmen stationed around the lobby, aiming to entice potential buyers with additional packages or membership programs, and ultimately, a sales presentation.
Whatever form the presentation takes, it always amounts to the same thing, potential buyers are led into an extended sales pitch lasting about 2-6 hours (sometimes up to 10 hours), designed with the singular purpose of signing a Contract then and there (Often 10-15 minutes). They may lead consumers with a dazzling view of the timeshare rooms they have the potential to stay at, the resort’s best, and offer a chance to secure these rooms annually. Behind the scenes however, these rooms are hardly more than display pieces, and most go completely unused year-round. What started off as a complimentary gesture became an event, taking up to an entire day of the consumer’s stay within the hotel or resort. Sometimes these sales pitches can be much more predatory with the salesmen leading the consumers straight into a conference room, or taking a small break in a ‘presentation room’ filled with resort staff posing as excited timeshare owners and vacationers. In extreme cases, the salesmen employ high-pressure sales techniques, often bringing emotional turmoil to the consumers.
How to Beat the Timeshare Pitch
Everyone makes mistakes, and even the most savvy of consumers may still fall prey to the Timeshare Industry’s deceptive marketing practices. It’s by design, and how they entrap millions of consumers around the world. Hope however, is never lost, and there is always a way out. The first method is making use of the rescission period, a period of time in which the contract can be rescinded within days of the purchase. While it differs by State, most are around 5-10 days upon signing the contract. Get the exact number for your state of purchase; Rescission Laws by State. It grants enough time to get back from your vacation with a clear head and new perspective. These laws are designed to protect you, as the Timeshare Industry is notorious for fraud schemes and false advertising.
In the event that you have missed the rescission period, the best solution is to get in contact with a licensed attorney quickly as possible who is knowledgeable in timeshare laws, consumer protection laws, and Fraud schemes specific to the Timeshare Industry. While massive, the Timeshare Industry can be beaten, and every detail regarding the nature of the contract and sales pitch can be crucial in securing a settlement against the resort.
To learn more about deceptive practices used by the Timeshare Industry, visit, http://thetimesharelawfirm.com/
To schedule a consultation, contact The Timeshare Law Firm at, 321-224-1111