A couple from Scotland have been involved in a dispute with their timeshare resort over having to pay maintenance fees, even though they have not been able to use their timeshare because of the Pandemic.
The couple purchased two separate weeks at a resort in Cyprus and told the Sunday Post newspaper that up until now they have been happy with their timeshare and enjoyed many holidays at the upmarket resort. However, after forking out around £12,000 for two separate weeks the maintenance fees had risen to £900 a year for both weeks. They explained to the newspaper how they were shocked and disappointed to see that the resort was still demanding maintenance fees from them, even though both weeks they had purchased had been cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The couple purchased one week at the resort in Cyprus 10 years ago and 3 years later purchased an additional week and as the years have gone on the retired couple are now paying £450 for each week a year in maintenance fees. And although they say they had enjoyed the resort up until now, they were disappointed that the resort was demanding maintenance fees even when they had not been able to use their weeks at all last year because of the Coronavirus pandemic. They went as far as to say they felt the resort was being heavy handed in demanding fees be paid and threatened they would repossess the timeshares if they failed to pay maintenance fees. The retired couple paid the resort half of the fees and asked if they could carry over the additional cost for the following year, but the resort continued to demand they pay the full amount which they then did.
Speaking to the Sunday Post timeshare owner Mr Younie said: “I said I was willing to pay half, and I did, even though we couldn’t use the apartment. I also asked for the rest to be carried over to this year, but we were told we had to pay the full amount. I was very disappointed that the resort would not do what most other holiday and travel companies have done during the pandemic and given people refunds for holidays that they could not take. I then started getting emails saying that if I did not pay then our timeshare may be ‘repossessed’. I thought that was heavy-handed.”
This is just one of many timeshare owners who have experienced the same treatment from big timeshare companies, who have been continuing to demand maintenance fees during the pandemic. There are millions of timeshare owners across the globe and maintenance fees are a money maker for resorts. It is estimated that timeshare resorts rake in Billions of pounds annually in maintenance fees alone, helping to keep the industry afloat. When the pandemic hit, this was virtually their only source of revenue, so it makes sense they collect these fees from owners. But it is not exactly ethical when people are struggling financially and they have not even been able to go on holiday because resorts are shut, flights are cancelled, and people are confined mostly to their homes. Despite all this, timeshare resorts continue to make profit at the expense of owners, and although the travel and leisure industry has been one of the hardest hit industries, due to the pandemic, timeshare resorts continue to report profits and make plans for the future growth and bigger profits.