Timeshare provides many people with happy holidays for years. At its heart, it’s a good product. However, the reputation and benefits of timeshare have been considerably marred by dodgy timeshare companies, scam artists, and bad press over the years. Whilst we believe in the value of timeshare, we also want to empower you to make the right decisions about the holidays you take and the contracts you sign. That’s why we’ve put together these top five tips to help you deal with any dodgy timeshare companies you may come across.
- Dodgy Timeshare Sales Pitches
Many people have a story about being hounded into attending a timeshare presentation on their holiday. Of course, you are not under any obligation to attend anything you don’t want to, so feel free to say no. Some holiday deals out there will ask you to attend a presentation or meeting in exchange for a discounted holiday, so if you do attend, you should still remember that you are absolutely not required to agree to or sign anything.
That being said, as many people will tell you, saying no to timeshare salespeople can be pretty hard. These reps are trained in the art of persuasion and will use every trick in the book to get you to sign up. Remember, their career (and possibly commission) depends on it, so they are extremely motivated to get a signature out of you. You may have to be as stubborn as an ox, and twice as strong-willed, but if you don’t want to buy something you never, ever should.
Often the deals that you’re being pitched may sound too good to be true. In this case, they probably are. Remember the horror stories of those who’ve been misled by dodgy timeshare sales pitches, only to sign up and find themselves trapped in a contract that is far from what they’d bargained for.
Check out our guide to surviving timeshare presentations.
- Dodgy Timeshare Phone Calls
If something is worth having, you’ll seek it out yourself, right? So why should any company contact you out of the blue to sell you something you’ve not asked for? Bear this in mind if anyone contacts you by phone offering you a timeshare.
If you already own a timeshare, someone may contact you offering to exit it on your behalf. They may even tell you they have a buyer lined up who is excited about your particular timeshare. Rest assured, this is a lie. Thousands have been duped out of money by timeshare scam like this. Don’t let yourself be the next victim.
- Dodgy Timeshare Contracts
Whilst many timeshare contracts are above board and aim to give you good value for money, some are not so pleasant. Certain timeshare contract clauses have been recently ruled illegal, such as ‘in perpetuity’ clauses which mean the contract exceeds fifty years in duration. Other contracts, involving timeshare floating weeks and points systems have also received some scrutiny by the courts recently, so be very wary. If you’re signing up to a timeshare contract, be sure to read it thoroughly before you commit to anything. Better still, get a timeshare legal expert to look over your contract before you sign.
- Dodgy Timeshare Accommodation
If you’ve happily signed up for a timeshare agreement, only to arrive on your first holiday to find the accommodation differs significantly from what you thought, you need to take action.
In a best-case scenario, your booking has been mixed up. Worst-case scenario: you’ve been stitched up. Either way, you need to speak up. If your timeshare company refuses to acknowledge your complaint, then you should take things further. Speak to an expert who will be able to advise you as to your next course of action.
- Dodgy Timeshare Fees
If your maintenance fees keep rising above what you expected, then get in touch with your timeshare company. Make it clear that the new sums are unaffordable, and – if possible – demonstrate that what you’re being charged differs from what you agreed to in your contract.
You may find that the contract is cleverly worded to avoid you having any argument against them. If this is the case, you may wish to exit your timeshare, or take further steps to try and get the contract annulled. In either event, you need to contact somebody who can help and advise you. The team at Timeshare Advice can do just that, so feel free to get in touch with us for some friendly, impartial advice on what to do next.
You may well find that none of the above dodgy timeshare problems applies to you. But if you’ve already made the most of your timeshare contract and feel that it’s time to move on, then we can help you. Just drop us a line and we will talk you through your options. You needn’t feel like you’re trapped in timeshare… there’s always a way out!