A couple from Ohio have launched a lawsuit against Wyndham Resorts, for allegedly violating the Florida Vacation Plan and Timesharing Act. According to the complaint, the couple have suffered substantial financial losses, because the resort intentionally misrepresented the price, cost and, value of the timeshare. They say that Wyndham Resorts told them that the Timeshare would increase in value and that they would be able to use it anytime they wanted and visit any resort within the Wyndham properties portfolio.
In reality, the couple struggled to use their timeshare and later learnt that it had no value in the resale market. They are seeking a trial by jury against Wyndham and are asking for compensation of more than $15,000, plus court costs and expenses.
What is the Florida Vacation Plan and Timesharing Act?
Owners often find it extremely difficult to sell their timeshare because there is virtually no after-market for them. As a result, fraudsters often take advantage of desperate timeshare owners and mislead them into thinking that they have someone waiting in the wings that wants to buy the timeshare. But there’s a catch—the timeshare owner must pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in upfront fees. Once the fees are paid, the scam artists claim that they were simply offering advertising services for the upfront money paid and no buyer ever materialises.
1. Florida law provides the following protections to shield consumers from this type of resale scam:
2. Timeshare resale advertisers are not allowed to claim that there is a buyer interested in the owner’s timeshare without providing the potential buyer’s name, address, and telephone number.
3. Before collecting fees greater than $75 or engaging in any resale advertising activities, timeshare resale advertisers must obtain a written contract to provide services that is signed by the timeshare owner.
4. Timeshare owners can cancel any signed contract with a timeshare resale advertiser within 10 days and, if cancelled, the timeshare resale advertiser must provide a full refund to the timeshare owner in 20 days (or within five days after receipt of funds from the cleared check, whichever is later).
- 5. If a timeshare resale advertiser violates the law, it can be penalised up to $15,000 per violation.
People who enter into Timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and simply cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the Timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract. There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of Timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with Timeshare exit schemes. Before agreeing to any Timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advice and fully research any company you are thinking of working with.
It is also important to remember that purchasing a Timeshare should NEVER be viewed as a financial investment. Timeshare is an investment in lifestyle, in future holidays and family time together. There is almost no resale value to a Timeshare.
The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry and these type of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between.
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 feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible Money Back Claim.