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.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Timeshare Lies - Letter From A Reader

Our CommentsA sad story, but one we hear all too often. Never let a timeshare salesperson convince you that selling your timeshare will be easy. It won't and as we have said time and again, it will usually be for a substantial loss. Take this situation to heart so you don't find yourself in a similar situation.


I am only starting to look into this, I hope I can get some direction. I purchased a timeshare at Los Abrigados, in Sedona, Arizona about 3 years ago, on an every other year deal. Had no problem with payments, or timeshare. One issue I brought up was that they state that income level must be $50,000. When I stated that at the time I was making approx. $35000, rep. said it didn't matter (using selling techniques much like a car dealer), also that I was not married and couldn't be suitable, per their rules-again it didn't matter. About a year later, I was offered an upgrade, to every year, at only a slightly increased price. My father was ill at the time (has since passed away) and I thought that it would be nice to use while he could. I expressed this to them that although I could make payments, how hard would it be to sell should his health deteriorate? Stupid me, I was assured that reselling it back to them would be no problem as money would be needed to help my ailing father. About 3 months later, I tried to deal with them, and as you can imagine, I got nowhere, and with other things going on this was put on backburner. Although I am aware that I made a commitment there must be some way to deal with them amicably. Due to financial burden with my father, have not paid them since Oct. 2004, as I could not afford it, I would be broke!! I do feel there was an element of misleading, and am willing to share some of the burden... - Dan

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Timeshare Presentation Pitches Coming To Those Booking Travel Online

Our Comments: It looks like you'll start getting Timeshare pitches when you book your travel arrangements rather than once you arrive. If you go for the discount, know what you're getting yourself into before committing to a timeshare presentation.


MiniVac gives online travelers the tools to book their own vacation rentals, then provides the option of getting a discounted rental if they agree to listen to a formal timeshare presentation...

Online travelers take a survey that evaluates their potential as a timeshare owner. If they don't qualify, they can still book their vacation at the regular price.

MiniVac will provide companies with vacationers who come pre-qualified as potential timeshare owners, said Tuzy Snyder-Wall, general manager of RMC Resort Management, which has used LeisureLink...

LeisureLink brings qualified leads into resorts who have a higher probability to convert to timeshare ownership...Entire Article

Friday, March 24, 2006

Timeshare High Pressure Sales Tactics

Our Comments: It's amazing the length that Timeshare companies will go to in order to pressure you to purchase (including psychological pressure). If you go to a timeshare presentation for the freebies, you need to understand that you are going to get a hard, hard sell. You also need to realize that all those freebies for everyone who attends whether they purchase or not, end up being paid for by those who purchase timeshares. While we don't recommend buying a timeshare for anyone, not having to pay for all these freebies is another reason to choose the resell market if you do decide to get one.


If we pretended to be married, and agreed to go to a timeshare presentation at the new Westin resort in Cabo, he’d get a commission, and we’d get about $300 worth of free stuff — including those elusive shuttle tickets...

Martin showed us all the resort's amenities, and explained how, for the low price of $15,000, we’d get a week of vacation each year for 40 years...

Martin was very friendly until we explained that we weren’t ready to take on such a long-term financial commitment.

“Fifty-two percent of American marriages end in divorce,” he said. “Of those who divorced, 87 percent said it was because they didn’t take enough vacations. Are you really willing to risk your marriage by not taking this deal?”

“I think we’ll be OK with weekend getaways for now,” my boyfriend said.

The negotiation room where we sat was filled with couples and their pushy timeshare salespeople. Every few minutes, a champagne cork would pop, and the room would burst into applause.

One out of three people who attend the presentation, regardless of their initial intentions, buys a timeshare, Martin explained. Hence the festive bubbly.

After he realized we wouldn’t be among that third of attendees, Martin said it was time to celebrate our visit anyway with a champagne toast. The cork popped, and everyone clapped for us. I bet the other couples wrongly assumed we’d made a purchase, just like we’d drawn similar conclusions about them.

They really have peer pressure and persuasion down to an art...Entire Article

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

When Is A Timeshare Worth $1.4 Million? - Never

Our Comments: First, let's give credit where credit is due - the press release plainly states that timeshares are a lousy investment in the first line. What we don't like about it is that it then tries to associate $1.4 million in golf tournament wins as a direct result of owning a timeshare (read: it's a lousy investment, but maybe it will make your kid a great golfer so it is a good investment). We see several problems with this:

1. The parents didn't get the $1.4 - their son did. They are stuck with a timeshare that probably has lost them a lot of money.

2. Being a pro golfer has nothing to do with owning a timeshare

3. If you believe it does, the odds of becoming a pro golfer because of owning a timeshare are worse that winning the lottery and a lottery ticket only costs $1 while a timeshare costs tens of thousands of dollars.

Luke Donald won because he practiced hard, not because of a timeshare. This "good feeling" association is standard timeshare practice because timeshares are hard to sell on their own merits - why else would timeshares have to make such a illogical leap to attract your interest?


"Timeshares may be a great way to vacation, but they rarely turn out to be a good investment for financial return. However the parents of PGA Tour winner, Luke Donald, might justifiably think otherwise.

The twenty-eight-year-old golfer has two PGA Tour wins to his name, the 2002 Southern Farm Bureau Classic, and as of last week, The Honda Classic. His win resume also includes the 2004 Scandinavian Masters, the 2004 Omega European Masters, and the 2004 WGC World Cup. The last week of March approaches, and Donald has already racked up a cool $1.4 million in earning from this year’s US PGA Tour play alone.

But young Luke, could have been a budding cricket or rugby star, had it not been for the fact that his parents purchased a timeshare. The family’s timeshare in southern Spain offered free golfing privileges on the resort course, so Luke, then eight years old, picked up a driver and the rest, as they say, is history..." Entire Press Release

Monday, March 20, 2006

RCI Timeshare Weeks Program Sued In Class Action Filing

Our Comments: Although the sales agents make is sound so simple to trade your timeshare unit for another one, you soon learn that it's not the case. There may be more to it than you first thought (why does this not surprise us in the least bit?). Green Welling has started a class action suit against RCI weeks program alleging that RCI rents out the most desirable vacation weeks instead of having them available for trade:


"Green Welling files a nationwide class action in New Jersey on behalf of RCI Weeks Program members. Through its Weeks Program, RCI offers its members the option of depositing their vacation week in a spacebank to exchange it for a comparable week from the spacebank. RCI states that the vacation weeks deposited into the spacebank are maintained in the spacebank for exchanges. Plaintiff alleges that RCI actually rents out the most desirable and highly demanded vacation weeks from the spacebank, thus depleting the most desirable options available to Weeks Program members who seek exchanges. Plaintiff seeks an order enjoining RCI from continuing this unlawful practice and an order requiring disgorgement of all profits RCI received in connection with renting out vacation weeks deposited for exchange in the exchange spacebank, in addition to other monetary relief.

If you have experienced problems with your RCI Weeks Program membership or would like to learn more about the lawsuit, please contact us at 415-477-6700 or email us at gw@classcounsel.com."

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Unloading Time Share Likely A No-Win Deal Article

Our Comments: We were quoted in an article by Gregory Karp in the Chicago Tribune titled Unloading Time Share Likely A No-Win Deal and are happy that the truth about getting out of a timeshare has been highlighted - it isn't going to be easy and you're likely to lose money. The list of steps to take in trying to get rid of your timeshare is good advice:

  • Don't pay an upfront listing fee.

  • Do try to sell it back.

  • Do try renting your time-share week.

  • Do try to sell it online

  • Do try selling it yourself

  • Don't abandon it

  • Don't ask too much for it.

  • Do consider using a pro.

  • Do your homework on resellers.

  • Do try to transfer payments.

  • Do consider donating your time share.

  • It's nice to finally see a mainstream media outlet addressing this issue as most people are left on their own when they find themselves in a Timeshare trap.

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Timeshares For Dummies Book

    We really wish that the book publisher had asked us to write this book rather than an industry insider who recommends that you can get good deals on a timeshare from the timeshare developers. This is just plain incorrect and you'll watch 50% or more of the value of you purchase fly our the window the minute you sign on the dotted line if you take this advice.

    We could have written this book in two succinct lines.

    1. For the vast majority of people, timeshares are a complete waste of money - don't buy one.

    2. If you happen to be the exception to rule number 1, buy used (a resale unit) - never from the developer.

    We just saved you $19 on the cost of the book and gave you better information. If you think our review is unfair and that the book may shed some light that will help you in regard to timeshares, borrow it from the library. Then when you see that it doesn't give you quality information you can use, you still haven't wasted any money on it.

    Monday, March 13, 2006

    Added Risks Without Rewards For Timeshares

    Our Comments: Another of the many dangers associated with timeshares. When you take ownership of a place, you take on a lot of potential risks. With most real estate transactions, you take these risks because of the opportunity to receive substantial gains in the property over time. Since this isn't the case with timeshares, you take on all the risks of ownership without the potential of increasing the value of the asset - one more reason why timeshares just don't make sense for the vast majority of people.


    Back in January, The Freeport News learned that several owners were talking with lawyers about a lawsuit against the Crowne Plaza Golf Resort and Casino at the Royal Oasis which shut down in September 2004. The owners cited the reason for the closure was for repairs. However, 18 months and millions of unpaid dollars later, there has been no word from the owners to the 1,300-plus displaced employees.

    A number of owners who contacted this daily had still been making the regular payments, despite the resort's closure, out of fear they would lose their money or their points if the resort was to reopen.

    One Virginia woman said she paid $12,000 cash for her timeshare and has never received a bill for maintenance fees. Some owners took out loans to purchase their timeshare... Entire Article