It’s that time of year again most timeshare owners dread and a very painful reminder that we are locked into paying for something that, we may not be able to use as often as we would like, we overpaid for in the first place and has been a regretful purchase.
Perhaps your timeshare did not live up to your expectations and was not all the sales representative promised it would be. Well let’s face it, they very rarely are or why would there be so many unhappy timeshare owners? In fact, it may surprise you to know that after a survey of timeshare owners an incredible 85% reported being unhappy with their purchase. That is a staggering number of unsatisfied customers by anyone’s standards, so what are timeshare resorts doing so wrong to upset so many people?
Every day we are contacted by people desperate to be free from the burden of timeshare. They may have been recommended our services by a friend or relative or they may have come to us after being victims of a timeshare scam. So, we speak to a variety of people from up and down the country and hear the many reasons they have sought our help. Here is just a selection of the most popular complaints we hear:
Maintenance Fees: This is the number one reason people want to get rid of their timeshares. Maintenance fees are meant to cover all resort expenses, from housekeeping to general building maintenance. But this is not voluntary, it must be paid annually and can start anywhere from £400 a year. The thing that really upsets people, is these fees rise every year usually between 3 – 5 % and overtime this can add up. We regularly speak to people whose fees started off fairly modest and manageable but before they know it are approaching the £1000 mark. For many owners this does not represent good value for money. Resorts have even been known to raise fees far beyond the rate of inflation leaving behind a trail of shocked owners.
Interest fees on loans: Many timeshare owners sign up after attending long sales presentations and many cannot afford the hefty price tag. So, they are forced to take out loans to purchase on the day, more often than not these loans are high interest and owners end up paying well above the odds for their timeshares. Some people even complain that the repayments are unaffordable, and they struggle to keep up with them as well as their normal daily life expenses. Because of this timeshare ownership becomes a financial liability for many people. In addition to this timeshare sales reps are notorious for not carrying out affordability checks on potential unwitting members of the public, making a sale is far more important than whether someone can afford to make loan repayments.
People are lied too: The sad fact is that a timeshare resort will do anything to make a sale. We hear from hundreds of people every year who tell us that they were told their timeshare would make a profit or it was an investment. This simply is not true. A timeshare will lose money the second it is sold and (apart from on the rare occasion) will never be sold at a profit. Just type in ‘Timeshare’ on eBay and you will see desperate owners willing to sell them for a penny, just to be free from their maintenance fees and contractual obligations.
Constant Upselling: Most owners complain when they visit a resort they are hounded by sales reps and asked to attend meetings. Sometimes they may say it is a ‘members update meeting’ or something else obscure. The truth is they see it as another opportunity to sell you additional holiday products. You may get a free breakfast or lunch out of it, but you may also be kept for hours on end against your will.
Cheaper elsewhere: Most timeshare owners eventually realise that timeshare is a complete waste of money and after some simple online searches learn that they can find cheaper elsewhere, and sometimes even in the same resort they pay exuberant fees for. When you do the math, the timeshare just is not worth the hefty price tag and the mounting maintenance fees.