Timeshare resorts don’t like claims companies, or, in fact, any company which might help you be released from the onerous burden of your timeshare contract. Why would they? They don’t want you to end your timeshare agreement they want you to continue paying the maintenance fees every year.
So it is not surprising that timeshare resorts and affiliated ‘consumer advocacy’ organisations go to great lengths to highlight the bad practices of claims companies, or anyone who will shed light on the bad practices of timeshare resorts and the mis selling of timeshare products.
That is not to deny the fact that there are plenty of stories of people and organisations that act fraudulently to scam trusting timeshare owners. The reality is that there are many individuals acting with the sole purpose to take money from people who are vulnerable and who are desperate to get rid of maintenance payments.
However, whilst the timeshare resorts are happy to point out the bad practices of these companies, they neglect to state the reason why these people are able to operate in the first place. If resorts were not so obstructive towards owners who want to be released from making maintenance fee payments and actually gave people a fair exit process, then there would be no opportunity for scammers to seize.
Despite this, resorts will continuously claim they offer owners a viable exit from their contracts, but this is far from the truth. The reality is that they make it as difficult as possible for people to leave. There are thousands upon thousands of timeshare owners who are struggling to pay the ever-increasing maintenance fees, but unaffordability is not a good enough reason for a timeshare resort. Ill health is not a good enough reason either, as owners get older and are less able to visit their chosen resort. Many wish to end their timeshares, but this is not an acceptable excuse for a timeshare resort.
A survey of timeshare owners found that a staggering 85% of timeshare owners regretted their purchase. Unsurprisingly, mounting maintenance fees were the number one reason for owners wanting to exit their contracts. They also complained about the availability and difficulty in booking their resort when they wanted. Owners also complained that they could find their resort at equal or much cheaper prices online, and that non timeshare owners could book without being burdened with maintenance fees.
The timeshare industry has relied on high-pressure sales tactics to survive for years. After all, why would someone sign up to paying thousands of pounds upfront, annual fees, and having to attend sales presentations every time they visit their resort, if they knew all this information before they agreed to attend their first timeshare presentation?
Timeshare has a bad reputation for a reason and, perhaps, if the resorts acted for their members, instead of trying to keep them in an endless cycle of upselling, mistrust, and rising maintenance fees, people would be more likely to keep their memberships and be loyal, satisfied owners.