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.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Timeshare Guaranteed Prize Mailers

Our Comments: This is one of the worst ways that timeshares try to get people in the door so they can high pressure sell people into purchasing a unit. They pretend that the person has won a guaranteed prize of some type and then do the hard sell. This is especially bad since one of the mailings doesn't even have it in the fine print they are going to be hard sold a timeshare. Always approach these "free prizes" with extreme caution or they may cost you a lot of money.


A timeshare resort in South Lee, Mass., is sending residents mailings that promise cash and prizes if they attend a sales presentation...

The first mailing is described as a "free entry" with a "guaranteed prize" of a shopping spree, fancy car, cash or vacation. But the small print says, "you must attend a 90-minute timeshare sales presentation to be eligible to receive your prize and gift(s)."

The second mailer claims that the person who received the letter, won a "great prize." But, the resident has to pick up the prize in person. There is no mention of the timeshare, but the mailer is also for the Oak 'n Spruce Resort... Full Article

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Timeshares In Europe

January 22, 2006

Our Comments: Sales of timeshares in Europe seem to be even seedier than in the US (if that can be imagined). In the end it's a business that seems to attract criminal elements and it goes to show that the entire timeshare industry is one where scam artists thrive.


They once offered holidaymakers the dream of their own place in the sun. But years of bad press about scams, violence and corruption has shattered consumer confidence in timeshares to such an extent that the industry may be in terminal decline, a report obtained by The Observer reveals.

With sales falling, many leading companies in the industry are reporting losses. And the law has failed to keep up with the rogue traders, with reports that local police in Spain and Portugal have been bribed to turn a blind eye to any complaints from wronged customers...

A report by the Timeshare Consumers' Association describes an industry in crisis. It warns: 'Unless action is taken soon which will result in a recovery of consumer confidence there is every possibility that sales of timeshare in Europe will cease in the foreseeable future...'

The TCA's report found: 'The timeshare industry has sought to enhance its profits by applying corruption and bribery at all levels. Individual timeshare owners are targeted - wined and dined - to encourage them to act as "independent" endorsers of the product...

'Fraud against consumers has increased in intensity, sophistication and spread during the last year. More companies are now acting fraudulently, with more complex and clever frauds against more people. And some of the newer entrants to the fraud game are those businesses which, until a couple of years ago, were regarded as being respectable... Full Article

Monday, January 16, 2006

More On The Seedy Side Of Timeshares

Our Comments here is some more news on the types of characters involved in the timeshare industry in Europe. These are certainly not the type of people you'd want to have as your next door neighbors.


Police in Tenerife fear that a bloody international timeshare turf war may be looming after the murder of a British couple. A news blackout has been imposed after the killings of Billy Robinson, 58, and his wife, Florence, 55, who used to work for John “Goldfinger” Palmer, the millionaire timeshare fraudster.

The couple were attacked in two incidents last week after their cars were forced off the road. Mr Robinson was tortured before having his throat slit, and Mrs Robinson was bludgeoned to death.

It is thought that the pair may have been the victims of Eastern Europeans trying to muscle in on the timeshare market...

Detectives say that Eastern European gangs, particularly Romanians, are increasing in number in the south of the island, which has long been a magnet for criminals hoping to cash in on the booming timeshare market... Entire Article

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Seedy Side Of Timeshares

Our Comments - Timeshares are not alsways run by the most upstanding of citizens


Police in Tenerife are investigating after a British couple was found brutally murdered near their home on the island.

Florence Robinson, 55, was found lying next to her Mercedes car, near popular resort Playa de las Americas, just before midnight on Thursday.

Her husband Billy, also 55, was discovered yesterday morning on an industrial estate a mile away, lying on the back seat of his Porsche.

Both had suffered severe head and neck injuries, and the back bumpers of their cars seemed to have been rammed by another vehicle.

The couple, who ran a timeshare business, had lived on the Spanish island for more than 15 years. They divided their time between their villa in San Miguel and their house in London.

Some reports suggest that the deaths of Mr and Mrs Robinson were linked to rival timeshare businesses, as the industry has been associated with violent patch wars in the past.

A source close to the couple told The Times that Mr Robinson had been attacked by British gangsters two years ago...Full Article

Friday, January 13, 2006

Timeshares In China

Our Comment More high pressure sales tactics and dubious schemes that are rightly associated with timeshares finding their way to the far reaches of the world. No surprise here.


The sales pitch hit Mr Zhu as he made his way down the aisles of a Shanghai houseware store: If he filled out the survey, his name would be entered into a big prize draw.

A few days later, a caller asked him to go to an office building downtown. When he and his wife arrived, the staff welcomed them as winners of the draw and invited them to watch a video. It described a resort in Yunnan province where they could buy long-term rights to stay for a week each year, or accumulate credit toward longer stays. As the Zhus puzzled over the arrangement, staff pressed them to secure usage rights for 15 years for 30,000 yuan (HK$28,825).

The Zhus' debit card allowed them to pay only 3,000 yuan on the spot, so a staffer offered to escort them home for more cash. Suddenly, wary because night had fallen and their home was far away, Mrs Zhu declined.

Two days later, the Zhus began asking for their money back. They didn't get it, so they took their story to a local newspaper as a warning to other naive consumers.

Timesharing, an industry whose high-pressure sales tactics and sometimes dubious schemes has generated more than its share of complaints and lawsuits in countries from Singapore to Australia to the United States, has arrived in China... Read More

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Timeshare As An Investment

Our Comments While we once again feel that the Belize government made a much needed step to stop timeshare sales people from ruining people's vacations, we take issue with timeshare industry people who on one hand seem to applaud the Belize governments actions for stopping timeshare abuses and then make statements that imply timeshares are something that they're not. We once again see those in the timeshare industry implying that a timeshare is a good investment - and as we all know, it is one of the worst investments that you can ever make.

The following is a press release and the statement that shows the timeshare industry's true colors is "...investment in a lifetime of vacationing, recreation, and relaxation—not" Notice that they don't say "financial investment" but the way it's worded and using "investment" at all is quite misleading.


The Belize Tourism Board heard one complaint too many about the aggressive marketing practices of some timeshare operators on Ambergris Caye. They decided to take action to protect the laidback serenity of San Pedro, the quiet Caribbean town that is the major settlement on the one-mile wide, twenty-five mile long island strip.

Members of the San Pedro Town Council, including Mayor Elsa Paz, the Belize Tourism Board, and the San Pedro Police Department met on December 8, 2005 to address the problem. Present at the meeting were representatives of six major timeshare properties on Ambergris Caye.

The results were two ordinances, both effective immediately. The first requires, “all timeshare operators cease and desist from soliciting timeshare sales in public areas.”

The second required that timeshare operators obtain trade licenses for their booths or kiosks through the San Pedro Town Council, by December 31, 2005.

Tourism dollars from Belize’s nearly quarter million annual visitors, account for 15-20% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of Belize, according to published statistics of the Belize Tourism Board. Undeniably, timeshare dollars make a significant contribution to this income, but high-pressure tactics and intrusive sales people benefit neither the timeshare industry, nor tourism in San Pedro.

Jason Tremblay, CEO of Sell My Timeshare Now, LLC. says, “when local governments get involved in regulating the actions of overzealous or unscrupulous timeshare operators and off-property agents, the timeshare industry across the board reaps the benefits. Ethical timeshare sellers want to see people purchasing timeshares because they recognize it as an investment in a lifetime of vacationing, recreation, and relaxation—not because they are victims of strong arm timeshare sales tactics.”

Monday, January 09, 2006

More Hidden Risks In Timeshares

Our Comments: One of the many hidden risks with timeshares is that if something goes wrong with the building, you may be completely out in the cold. Take this news article for example:


Several time-share owners of the now defunct Royal Oasis resort are talking with lawyers and plan to file a class action suit.

Among those expected to be named in the suit are resort owner Driftwood Freeport, David Buddeyemer, president of Driftwood Freeport Limited, and Lehman Brothers.

The situation is leaving a bad taste in the time-share owners' mouths and a terrible impression on the government of The Bahamas...

Fifteen months ago, the Crowne Plaza Golf Resort and Casino at the Royal Oasis closed down, reportedly for much needed repairs after Hurricane Frances in September 2004.

The closure forced the lay-off of some 1,300 employees and subsequently the time-share arm.

With no word from the timeshare resort for several months regarding a pending sale or reopening of the resort, and virtually stuck with a time-share point system that is useless to them, several owners are threatening legal action... Full Article

Friday, January 06, 2006

Timeshare Con Artist Gets Jail Time

Our Comments: It's a shame that situations like this occur at all. Just another reason to be very wary when hearing a timeshare pitch.


A GREEDY timeshare conman has been jailed after he fleeced thousands of pounds from more than 70 would-be holidaymakers who dreamed of their own place in the sun.

Jeffrey Armstrong, 51, from Offerton, Stockport, put adverts in national newspapers with the promise of bargain timeshare deals.

He visited those who replied, offering them big discounts on holidays to Spain, Florida and Portugal, and in England and Scotland.

Victims handed over between £500 and £7,000 as deposits, but the certificates he gave them for shares in holiday complexes either did not exist or were worthless. It is thought he may have pocketed more than £200,000... Entire Article

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Timeshares In India

Our Comments: Even in far off places like India, timeshares have a bad reputation. There is only one reason why timeshare owners have to put on the hard sell. It's simply because if they didn't, nobody would buy. They would look at all the facts and see that timeshares aren't the deal that the seller says they are. I doubt I get many readers from foreign countries here, but no matter where you live, timeshares are to be avoided.


...Many clients have said that the sales talk has been so smooth or the brow-beating so systematic, that they have parted with a substantial sum of money needed for investment only to come home and realise that they have been conned. The contract states that deposits given will not be returned. In some cases, when people have tried to escape the net by stating that they have not carried their credit cards or cheque books with them, the timeshare company has sent an executive with them in the company’s car to secure immediate payment.

There is the danger of the owners of timeshare resorts exposing the amount collected through sale to financial hazards. Many owners have burnt their fingers in speculative investments, and find it difficult to maintain their properties. A vacation for a customer then becomes a nightmare.

Many timeshare companies have collected money from clients and never been able to either set up the resort or have set up a system far inferior in quality and quantity to what was promised to the consumers. Consequently, when the client wants to go to the resort, either it is overbooked, or the facilities are sub-standard. In some cases, the resort is non-existent.

Most timeshare companies also sell premises to travellers, like in hotel. Customers with cash are welcome. There are many complaints that exchanges are not available easily for genuine customers who have made payments upfront while buying the timeshare, but casual travellers get a booking three days prior to check-in...Full Article