The Timeshare Scams That Keeps On Giving.
Victims of Timeshare Scams are littered all over the internet, whom of which, are stuck with a never ending nightmare from what was supposed to be an investment into their families happy futures! In 2008, the timeshare industry was worth a staggering $10.6 billion to the U. S economy.
Once considered to be one of ‘the’ smartest property investments now has ‘the’ LOWEST RESELL CAPABILITY in any industry online or otherwise. Timeshares started off on the right foot with affording great value for money to help families get away on holidays, for one or two weeks of the year cheaply, however, as time went by, an insidious ‘greed‘ took over, leaving customers stranded in a financial no man’s land and permanently stuck with a contract with horrible and legally binding obligations.
What are Timeshare Scams anyways?
I am glad you asked. This term has caused me some incredible confusion in the past. How can you sell ‘time’? Time – a concept that has stirred up more metaphysical/quantum physical ‘paradoxes’ than, probably, anything else in intellectual human history. Now, we are selling it! WOW! OK, so, here is what a timeshare is.
The Quickest way to get from your hum-drum life to a hot beach for a week or two is by plane. You buy your tickets for your self and your family and off you go. However, lets consider the cost of the flying the plane in the first place. Did you pay for the following fees:-
- Staff pay.
- Plane fuel.
- Interior paraphernalia, food and drinks.
- Safety Checks and Maintenance before take off.
So how did you afford to board that plane in the first place? Easy, as one example cited from a YouTube video, you ‘shared-time‘ with other people on that plane, thus, your tickets were cheaper! TIME-SHARE, or as one clever sales man of this scheme put it, Fractional-Ownership, which is just buying the exclusive ‘time rights‘, the right to occupy a place for a predetermined amount of time legally, of a holiday property for one or weeks of the year to vacation. That’s it. You DON’T OWN A FRACTION OF THE PROPERTY, JUST THE TIME YOU CAN SPEND THERE ON HOLIDAYS!
Pros of Timeshares.
Timeshares used to have a lot of ‘pros‘. Think about it, you can make an investment, which was relatively small, for the rest of YOUR LIFE you can take your family (as many members as the property could hold) and vacation for the one or two allotted time slots EVERY YEAR!
This was the HUGE incentive to entice customers into this once ethical industry, and why not!
- Take as many members of family and friends on holidays with you.
- Forces you and your family to vacation as the ‘slot’ is already available and technically paid for.
- A choice of what share (location) to choose from.
- Relatively low investment when you consider that lifetime price of vacationing in exotic locations for everyone.
- Peace of mind knowing your holiday is already there for you when you get back for next year.
Sounds good, right?
Back in the good old days of this well-intentioned industry, as I have said, this was ‘the‘ investment to get into to. However, many didn’t realize, I kid you not (people genuinely just did not know), it would be one of the worse investments of their lives! Here is why:-
- Most desirable time slots were hard to get i.e. peak of summer.
- You could be sharing this property with many other families, hence, time slot competition was high, probably open to further payments to secure it.
- Maintenance fees include, at first, were reasonable but soon rose to $200 MONTHLY!
- Should bought a share for, as one did, at $55.000, as soon as you walked out of the vending locale, your ‘share’ automatically depreciates by 50% and probably more.
- You sign a Lifetime Legally Binding Agreement to maintenance fees and other costs (improvements, insurance pretty much anything that the property requires)!
- This ‘share’ is now a part of your real estate, your ‘deeds’, thus, the monthly costs are legally passed onto YOUR CHILDREN – burdened for life to continue this crazy servitude.
- Timeshares are notoriously hard to resell. Statistical successful resell is just 1%!!!
- NO ROI (Return On Investment). Industry ‘Professionals’ say it is “an investment in your families happiness”.
- Further fees are incurred if you pay someone else to try to resell it, usually, somewhere from $200 to $700 and sometimes into the thousands per time. THIS IS A SCAM!! They won’t sell it for you, they will ‘list’ it, that is all.
- Most shocking of all is this, customers in this industry CANNOT EVEN GIVE THEIR SHARES AWAY!!
- SHOCKINGLY, people don’t always use their allotted share slots, thus, missing their time for vacation with their families! Sounds like a crummy investment guys.
- Timeshares are not an investment, because, you can’t even ‘GIVE‘ them away 99% of the time (FACT!), never mind trying to yield a profit.
Here is what some customers of 'Wyndham' had to say about their timeshares fiasco:-
Selling Your Timeshare.
I have stated it is not even possible, in most cases, to even give away your shares, such are the financial headaches and hardships that come with it, along with the added nonsense, of passing this nightmare onto your kids. The scam that keeps on giving part!
However, their exists people online, who’s sole purpose is to sell your timeshare for you. Sounds good! They will ring you up, as you are listed online and now, because of your ‘investment’, easier than ever to find, will offer to make good on your share by selling it for you (BUT) for a FEE!
That’s right, YOU pay SOMEONE else to sell something that legally belongs to you with an advanced price!.
This is very slippery ground.
BBB (Better Business Bureau) cites one such example. Here a website owner contacts such customers with shares and offers to sell them for a ‘closing price!’. You pay the price! and you never hear from this person again. IT IS A TOTAL CON! Don’t fall for it.
Another con, as mentioned briefly above, is a company will ‘list‘ your share for, in many tragic cases, $2000/3000 a pop! Your ‘listing’ doesn’t sell and so ANOTHER COMPANY will call you, explaining why the previous company was unable to sell your share, then, proceeds to tell you why they are better and how they WILL actually sell it for you. Fee:- $2000/$3000! It’d be funny if it wasn’t so cruel. All they do now is ‘list’ it. It won’t sell, if it does, it’ll be next to nothing for what you paid for it in the first place. Timeshares have been one of the BIGGEST CONS/SCAMS in marketing history online or otherwise.
Should are thinking about buying timeshares here are a few things that you may inherit from such timeshare rentals. QUICK TIP:- GO TO EBAY.COM. You will buy them there for $1. I kid you not. $1!
Sounds good huh. Here is what you may ‘inherit’ if you do decide to sign a timeshare contract.
“YOU ARE NOW THE PROUD OWNER OF ‘THIS’ SHARE IN FLORIDA BY THE BEACH!” Yes, deal of the century! You go out and celebrate at your genius. However, soon enough, you start getting emails, letters, phone calls informing you of your ‘responsibilities‘ regarding these newly acquired units.
The former may have exorbitant arrears in maintenance and other unpaid fees that now, since you own it (including debts), you have to pay!
$1 is a great deal but you have to take on the all the:-
- Physical Assets and up keep thereof.
- Insurance costs.
- Hurricane or weather damage (one example a lady was paying $200 per month, after a hurricane, it rocketed to $500 in repairs, AND, she was not allowed to use the property for it was too badly damaged).
- Staff fees, if any.
The $1 sale price is to make it ‘LEGAL‘ in the eyes of the law. It is a get of jail card for many desperate people who own a timeshare vacation spot. Imagine passing this legally binding nightmare on to your children!!
Leaving Time Shares.
Here we will now find ways for ‘stuck’ holders to leave time-shares behind them. Let us consider how to do this practically and legally.
- You could ‘rent’ you contract to help with the costs of having one. Not leaving one but it does help.
- Why not consider donating your contract share to charity? You won’t make any money but you’ll be rid of it for good! In the U.S.A the IRS will give you a $5000 write off though!
- Resell your time-sharing rentals online at eBay.com. For a $1!
- Sounds harsh, lol, pass it on to your kids (LMFAO – don’t) or someone you ‘like’ that ain’t either ‘savy’ as a christmas or birthday present! “YAY”! You’ll be a hero in their eyes – for a while…
- Lastly, research local charity events and give your time to be raffled off to one ‘un’-lucky winner!
- Go back to your sales guy who sold you this nightmare and tell him you want to sell it back to them for half price at double commission to himself. It’s bribery but it does work sometimes.
- Straight up offer to give it back to sales man for nothing!
There are some suggestions intended to be more comical than a serious alternative given the inherent flaws of such a business venture.
Key Points To Protect Yourself With.
Should find yourself in the unfortunate position of being ‘stuck’ with such shares and want to sell it or them then please adhere to the following:-
- Do not allow sales people who say they can sell your share for a price!. This is usually a con.
- Don’t pay ‘appraisal’ costs etc for such a service.
- Know in advance how much your time-share is actually worth, many sales people will exaggerate its true value, to get money for listing it on line for you.
Timeshares are like paying for all your holidays in the one go. That one payment does not return any investment. Should took that one investment cheque and actually ‘invested’ in something else, then, that something ‘else’ would’ve paid for your holidays for the next twenty years or more anyways.
These contracts are too hard to get out of. You can’t give them away most of the time. Need I go on!? Stay away from these online scams and real world versions. Don’t be pressured by fancy smooth talking sales people.
Remember also, for the love of your children and family, when you die, you legally pass on this total life long nightmare to your children. That to me is just really sickening.
You are also ‘stuck‘, year in and year out, at the same location every year. What at first was a dream holiday could become quite monotonous!
In researching this, what – let’s face it, has turned into a scam, I was shocked at how ‘legal‘ all of this actually is. Do you have a story regarding this kind of ‘investment’? Do you know of someone that could do with the advice contained herein? Why not leave me a comment and I will offer any help advice that I can further uncover to help people who are unlucky enough to be caught up in this dire situation!
*Information contained in this post is not to be considered legal advice, moreover, it is an attempt to inform and warn others about going down this unfruitful avenue before making any decisions. This is not to say everyone is dissatisfied with such shares, however, it has become a horrendous investment for many if not most!
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