This week Timeshare giant Hilton Grand Vacations has announced they will be letting go of 1,600 employees after putting them on unpaid furlough for six months during the Coronavirus outbreak.
HGV placed the workers on furlough back in April when local lockdowns began and so far this year the company has reported losses of $123 million and unlike some of the other timeshare resorts has been refunding some guests which has cost them around $3 million. In the same period last year HGV reported profits of $39 million but this year revenue has fell by 73% due to cancellations and owners choosing to stay at home.
Mark Wang, president of HGV said in a statement: “Due to the prolonged impacts of Covid-19 and the uncertainty of the duration of the pandemic, we have made the extremely difficult decision to reduce the size of HGV’s workforce by approximately 1,600 of our team members. It is with a heavy heart that we are making this necessary business decision, which we believe will position us for the long-term success when the world, our industry and communities rebound from this challenging time.”
This news is in complete contrast to Wyndham destinations, who despite the pandemic, have reported gross sales totalling $168 million. Wyndham said the figures are from profits made during July and August and as a result of customers returning to their resorts. Incredibly they say the volume of guests rose by 30% in July and August which was an increase on last year. The figures are calculated by dividing vacation ownership sales by the number of people who attend sales presentations.
The timeshare company is expecting these figures to improve further as people are opting to vacation in ‘drive to locations’ to avoid local lockdowns but still be able to make the most out of their timeshare memberships. In a statement Chief executive Michael Brown said: “As we said in July we are continuing to see the green shoots of the recovery with continued steady growth in volume per guest as resort occupancy started to rebound while our owners began to enjoy their summer vacations. While many resorts in Hawaii and California have yet to reopen, we’re able to reaffirm key business metrics that demonstrate the resiliency of our business.”
The two announcements are worlds apart as one resort appears to be struggling and the other is seeing record increases. It comes after timeshare companies have been targeted in the press for so called ‘profiteering’ and taking advantage of their members during the pandemic. It seems that most of the big resorts have continued to charge their members maintenance fees, despite most owners not being able to use the facilities at all this year. Some of the resorts have been providing refunds for booking fees but so far it seems none are planning to refund maintenance fees, offer any discounts or indeed move reservations to another time. It has left owners furious and wondering if they would be better off getting out of their timeshare contracts altogether.
If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a Timeshare or a ‘holiday points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or simply want to end your agreement, get in touch with us today to see how we can help with a possible money back claim.