Timeshare Trap

Timeshares are one of the worst investments you can make. This journal is to inform people who are thinking about purchasing a timeshare not to do so and help those trying to get rid of their timeshare.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Data Stolen From Timeshare Company: Fraud Alert

Our Comments: A possible identity theft and financial fraud nightmare for some timeshare owners. If you have a timeshare with Marriott Vacation Club International, make sure to monitor your credit reports for possible fraud. This is one situation that even timeshare owners shouldn't expect to have happen...


Marriott Vacation Club International (MVCI), the vacation ownership division and subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc, said today backup computer tapes containing data pertaining to approximately 206,000 associates, timeshare owners and timeshare customers were missing from the corporate office in Orlando Fla...

Although the tapes require specialized equipment to access content, MVCI continues to encourage recommended steps to safeguard against misuse. Included in the notification letters, MVCI is offering to individuals impacted by the situation an opportunity to enroll in a credit monitoring service at no cost to them. After enrollment, each person will be regularly notified of credit report activity so they can take action if needed.

For those impacted associates, timeshare owners and timeshare customers, the company has established a special contact telephone number of (800) 952-8145 and a website at http://www.vacationclub.com/datasecurity, or impacted individuals may e-mail the company at datasecurity@vacationclub.com. Press Release

Friday, December 23, 2005

Timeshare Selling Tactics

Our Comments: It's good to see the hard sell tactics being reigned in a bit. Kudos to Belize for making it so timeshare salespeople can't pester people while they're trying to enjoy their vacation!


Several reports have reached the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) office regarding Time Share Operators (TSO) on Ambergris Caye. Complaints were of tourists getting beleaguered by TSO's when they were enjoying their relaxing vacation on La Isla Bonita.・

On Thursday, December 8th, 2005, representatives of the various TSO's met with Lloyd Enriquez, Registrar of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation, police officer and members of the San Pedro Town Council to come to an amicable resolution. During this important meeting, the Off-Premises Contact (OFC) was thoroughly discussed and the following were the conclusions reached:

All TSO were asked to cease and desist from soliciting time share sales in public areas, which means no soliciting on the streets or beaches, effective immediately.

The second resolution reached was that all TSO's need to apply for a trade license for their respective time share booths at the San Pedro Town Council. These booths will be confined to private properties or buildings and no licenses will be granted for booths residing in public areas. The San Pedro Town Council will embark on this feat to ensure that all unlicensed booths be removed from the streets of San Pedro Town and that the proper procedures regarding trade licenses are followed. Entire Article

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Timeshare Complaint

We received the following complaint about a timeshare:


Sunset Lagoon Cancun Timeshare Fraud

I purchased a timeshare a few months ago at Sunset Lagoon in Cancun, Mexico. I was given a written "guarantee" that I would receive rental income for two years and that Sunset Lagoon's US subsidiary would sell my existing timeshare for $10,000 within 90 days. As it turns out, the US subsidiary is not a part of Sunset Lagoon at all, they are just a marketing company and have no record of any guarantee made by Sunset Lagoon. Sunset Lagoon now tells me that the document I received is not a part of the contract and refuses to cancel the contract and give me my money back.

Sunset Lagoon lied to me and scammed me out of nearly $10,000, and has stuck me with a timeshare that I certainly do not want. I have filed formal complaints with my credit card company, the FTC, Profeco, econsumer.gov, RCI and the Attorney Generals in NC and FL (where Sunset Lagoon maintains an address for purposes of collecting money). At this point, I'm just waiting to see what comes of this and looking for any advice anyone can give me. If anyone has been in this type of situation, I would appreciate any help you can offer.

Needless to say, I advise everyone to stay away from Sunset Lagoon, Sunset Beach, Royal Sunset, Fisherman's Village or Sunset Clubs while in Mexico. These resorts are all owned by the same lying thieves!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Timeshares Continue To Grow

Lots of timeshares being built, which means they have to be sold. Make sure you know exactly what you're getting into before you sign on the dotted line!

In 2006, 39 Timeshare projects are forecasted to open, having 3,998 dedicated Timeshare units while '07 will have 27 projects/3,699 units.

The total Timeshare Pipeline currently contains 111 projects being actively pursued by developers with 15,360 units. 56 of those projects are currently Under Construction, 41 are Scheduled to Start in the Next 12 Months, and 14 are in various stages of Early Planning. 41 of the projects contain a total of 3,074 Fractional units. 63% of all Pipeline projects are for new ground-up construction, while 37% are for the unit expansion of existing Open and Operating Timeshare projects.

Casino destination areas are the most popular locations for development with 4,244 units in the Pipeline, or 28% of the total. Oceanside vacation areas and theme park destinations follow, each having 17% of all Pipeline units, then mountain and ski areas with 16%. Las Vegas is the most popular market with 26% of all pipeline units, followed by Orlando with 17%.

Marriott's Vacation Club has 12 company-owned projects with 2,413 units in the Pipeline, while Hilton has four projects with 1,108 units. Cendant's two brands - Worldmark and Fairfield have a combined 14 projects/1,327 units. Ford commented, 'Although the branded vacation clubs are developing most of the large projects, Timeshare is still pretty much a fragmented industry with 74 out of 111 projects in the Pipeline being constructed by smaller local and regional developers.'

Timeshare Presentation In Australia

While this reporter decided that a timeshare was appropriate for her family, they could have gotten the same thing 8and saved $10,000) if they had purchased through the resale market instead of directly from the company. Plus, the sales tactics were pretty seedy...


"Despite the hard sell on vacation clubs, Lucinda Schmidt signed up anyway.

The letter arrived looking much like many other pieces of junk mail: "Congratulations! You are in a very select group! You have been selected to receive one of the following gifts with a retail VALUE OF UP TO $800."

For details on how to receive "this exciting package", which promised one, two or four nights' free accommodation in various hotels owned by the Accor group, we were urged to call a free number "within 72 hours of receipt of this letter!"

In the fine print on the back, the letter disclosed that the promotion was designed for couples or singles earning more than $50,000 a year and you had to attend a 90-minute timeshare ownership presentation to get the gift.

Which was how, a few weeks later, my husband, our four-year-old daughter and I ended up in a suite in Melbourne's Mercure Grand Hotel, listening to a young saleswoman preach the virtues of Accor Premiere Vacation Club (APVC), a joint venture between the global Accor hotel group and Melbourne's Becton property development group.

In essence, what she was promising was one week's holiday each year, until 2080, at 12 club-owned properties in Australia, for a capital outlay of about $20,000 and an annual maintenance fee of about $500.

Our plan was to listen to the compulsory sales spiel, then bolt with our voucher for four nights in Noumea. Three hours later, when we finally escaped to pick up our other daughter, we had signed up and paid a $2000 deposit.

How did this happen? Partly, it was the high-pressure sales tactics. Rather than sitting back in a room full of people and snoozing through a general presentation, the five couples at our seminar each had their own club salesman taking them through how often they went on holidays, where, why, how much it cost, how much they thought holidays for 80 years would cost and, finally, how the club worked (see panel).

There was a video of delighted members extolling the virtues of the club, a whiteboard with photos of the club's resorts around Australia, vouchers for free meals and - most worrying of all - a "special deal" with extra benefits and a reduced price if we signed up on the spot..."

Entire Article

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Timeshare Spammer Gets A Year In Prison

This is a couple weeks old, but worth mentioning. It goes to show that that there are a lot of people desperate to get out of their timeshares any way they can - even to give personal information to a spammer in the hopes of getting out of the timeshare trap:

Peter Moshu was found guilty of sending millions of unsolicited e-mails that sought personal information by offering brokerage services for people interested in selling their timeshare vacation homes.

A man dubbed the "Timeshare Spammer" was sentenced Thursday to a year in federal prison and ordered to pay $120,000.

The sentencing of Peter Moshu of Florida stemmed from his conviction in June on a federal charge of violating the federal CAN-SPAM Act. Moshu was arrested by federal officials after he was named in a lawsuit filed in January by Earthlink Inc., based in Atlanta.

The suit accused Moshu of sending millions of unsolicited commercial e-mails in 2004 and 2005. The missives sought personal information by offering brokerage services for people interested in selling their timeshares, an agreement in which people share vacation homes.

Entire Article

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Branson Timeshare Sued For Sales Tactics

yet another timeshare operator getting sued for unethical business practices...

Nixon Sues Branson Timeshare Broker for High-pressure and Misleading Sales Tactics

Alleging high-pressure and misleading sales tactics, Attorney General Jay Nixon is suing Festiva Resorts L.L.C., which sells timeshares at the Cabins at Green Mountain, located in Branson.

Jefferson City, Mo. - infoZine - In a suit filed in Taney County Circuit Court, Nixon says Festiva violated Missouri consumer protection laws by misleading customers into buying timeshares. The lawsuit alleges Festiva lured consumers by falsely promising to:

Help them sell other timeshares they owned.
Help them rent out timeshares they bought from Festiva.
Help them get good deals on condo rentals in attractive locations.
Help them get good deals on vacation packages.
Give refunds to those dissatisfied with their purchase.

Nixon also says Festiva didn't give consumers enough time to make decisions, creating a sense of urgency and a high-pressure sales environment...
Read more at inforzine.com