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Timeshare is a word synonymous with “con”, “scam”, “robbed”, bandits and “cold calling”. Not only in the UK but all over the globe consumers “rant” about the way they were approached, the way they were mis-sold, treated and how they ended up in a crafted convoluted timeshare product.

Consumer complains about the objectionable way the resorts are controlled, about the constant hike in “maintenance fees” and for those who simply want to leave, the way they were treated in the exit process.

Welcome to the horrendous world of some timeshare holidaying experiences.

It’s fictitious to suggest that unrest does not exist and its simply “lying” to suggest that many timeshare contracts which consumers acquired are “lawful”.

From Europe to America, from Africa to Asia timeshare resorts are “beating the drum” of “a good product” and insubstantial opposition are many consumers claiming it’s all a “con”. In the UK, timeshare companies are being investigated by the legal profession, in the USA there are wide-reaching federal investigations, in Spain there is a flux in litigation, in South Africa the Consumer Association is claiming the timeshare “points” systems are “scams” and many timeshare resorts all over the world are refusing to amend their sales practices, failing to abide by the laws set and failing to provide the timeshare concept with the good name it most certainly deserves.

That all said, a timeshare can be and is a good product and can be enjoyed by many. By far the best resorts are those controlled by consumer committees. Those resorts take into consideration the views of the many members, try to enhance the benefits provided, protect to the objects of the club, try and reduce maintenance fees, and most of all, try to deliver for all the members the promises made.

Today and when facing a timeshare sales pitch the word “timeshare” is not mentioned, is not expressly referred to in the contracts and is silent. Why? Because it’s blighted! therefore avoided, at all costs. Words like “Holiday club”, “Fraction Ownership and Long Term Holiday Products are expressed to deflect the attention of the consumer and away from the bad press surrounding the word “Timeshare”.

That deflection in its self is a misrepresentation as in some circles some consumers were only aware they had bought a Timeshare a few years later and when it was too late.

This again is an admission, as some resorts openly pervert the sales information to get you to buy something you would never have bought if you had been simply told the truth. Therefore, telling the truth is “not profitable” as many sales are being made by resorts knowing that the consumer was completely unaware a timeshare was being sold. When the consumer did realise they had bought a timeshare, it will cause conflict in the future.

Therefore, its true to say sales are being made knowing a conflict will be entered into later. Knowing that discord will exist and knowing that the consumer and the club will enter a dispute, many timeshare industries try and smokescreen real advice.

When that conflict does commence, of course, it has to be dealt with and up the sleeves of many resorts are functions, entities and mechanisms which deflect the conflict away and from paying compensation. The claims are either diminished, diluted or restricted, so some timeshare resorts can continue and enjoy misrepresenting holiday products.

This is where the Governments should step in but do not, this is where consumers need protection but that protection is vacated by the elected the many elected governments. These days many resorts rely upon the fact that governmental investigations cost a lot of money, for which many government enforcement officers are on budgets. Therefore, the concept of “justice” is the only deliverable should a budget permit.

Low budgets deliver low, bad or no justice at all, whilst good budgets deliver the justice you expect. To simply asses if the consumer is protected or whether a government has the right to state it operates justly, all a consumer has to do is to open their eyes.

In the case of timeshare, the justice everyone seeks is not and has not been delivered since the 1970’s and is still not being delivered today, consumer/resort conflict is still prevalent and consumers are still up in arms, as enforcement is practically non-existent unless you pay to get it.

In the case of health is has always been stated that “prevention is better than cure”. In the case of timeshare, the bad resorts are not prevented from a continuance of mis-selling, therefore like the 70’s little prevention is done and the cure costs many tens of thousands of pounds and the loss of many tears.

Today, we end up with a large amount of fakery, pearlescence and smoke and mirrors in the form of timeshare associations, helpers etc.

On many occasions, you are told you “won a prize” when you didn’t, you were told what you acquired was “valuable” when not and resellable when its incapable of being re-sold.

The “short” presentations are “long”, the advice is non-existent and the compliance officers rarely comply with independent assessments.

Consumers are lured with the promise of a 5-star holiday yet are not told “they are unavailable”, consumer is not told that availability is subject to the whim of timeshare developers who demand to control the clubs, elevate fees, each and every year and refuse to assist its consumers to resell the timeshare they bought.

The cheap holidays do not exist; you end with a currency you cannot spend and a “floating” timeshare which never materialises.

Dressed as assets, you are locked into a perpetuity contract which does not exist in law, shrouded by convoluted and unfathomable terms which are designed to dissuade you from cognitive understanding and with copious amounts of complaints, you are hushed up by fake enterprises dressed up as consumer’s associations.

If you are retired, unemployed or skint it’s still no problem as resorts introduce you to un-affordable locked in loans, you can’t afford and have been deemed unfair in any event.

That the “luxury” of some timeshare contracts

What’s the point?

Jocelyn Curtis wrote last month: “I have timeshare which I am trying to get out of as it has become too pricey for me. They are allocating me more points for 2017 (apparently worth about R 258,000) and I just cannot afford to pay the fees or use the timeshare any longer. Not that I ever used it much.”

In South Africa, The National Consumer Commission (NCC) announced in 2013 that it was launching an investigation into “holiday club” abuses. Last year, it vowed to fight the holiday club matter “until the end” because it was inundated with complaints from consumers mostly related to the “points” system.

In the USA those same “points” are under investigation and in Europe (particular Spain) they have been made unlawful.

Yet the timeshare resorts still seek to hold its members to the very contracts deemed unlawful or they will harass you with debt collectors. Is it not easy to like a timeshare?

Posted on: 5th December 2016