Unethical (and Sometimes Illegal) Practices of Timeshare Resorts
You may think it’s a matter of opinion that timeshare resort owners are unethical in their offering and practices but lets look at some of the facts. They lock you into a perpetual contract and want to take away your rights to leave, they restrict resale policies, they take advantage of distressed clients, they limit communication amongst other owners, and the list continues below. This is not just unethical or immoral, its criminal and needs to stop!
A University of Central Florida (UCF) study found that 85 percent of timeshare owners who go to contract regret their purchase. – Christopher Elliot founder of Elliot Advocacy
1. Look into a Perpetual Contract
Why do you they lock you into this contract. Does this seem morally / ethically right. The answer is simple. Absolutely not and more importantly it’s illegal to enforce.
Timeshare companies try their best to get as much money from you for as long as possible, sometimes it even gets passed on to your family upon your death. – by Mark Rowe | Law
Let’s put this in perspective for you. You decide to go on vacation and stay at a nice resort. You paid for your one-week stay and when you get back from your vacation, the hotel charges you an annual increasing maintenance fee that is in perpetuity and will be passed down to your children. Not only that but they will charge this fee whether you decide to go back or not. Now you decide to contact the hotel and they inform you that you are locked into a contract that gives them this right and you cannot get out. If you don’t pay they will threaten you with harming your credit. Would you stay at this resort? NO!!!!!!!!
So why enter into a timeshare contract?
“They make it easy for you to get in, impossible for you to get out.”
Jeff Weir CHIEF CORRESPONDENT AT REDWEEK
Wyndham, Disney, Marriot want to take away your right to leave their ridiculous contract that is full of purposely confusing language.
“The bills filed this year (HB 435 and SB 1430) aimed to take away consumers’ rights to get out of unfair deals.” – Drew Wilson, Florida Politics
Luckily senate turned both down.
That alone should be enough to convince you that Timeshare resorts are unethical and don’t care of your well being but if its not don’t worry there is more.
2. Restricted Policies for the Resale Market
For years Resorts such as Disney, Marriot, Diamond is making it difficult to buy in on the secondary market. Why you may ask?
Its simple, secondary resale market for timeshares is extremely abundant and growing everyday thus you could often buy into a timeshare for a tenth of the original cost if not less. This does not allow for the resorts to yet again take an over inflated profit on the existing timeshare that was already sold 50 plus times over.
Thus the resorts we know with countless claims of loyalty have declared internal policies to push aside anyone trying to get a fair deal and given right to purchase a resale.
They do so by:
- Restricting the usage rights and access to membership /club offers
- Restricted access to resorts that all others are welcome to enjoy.
- Charge additional transfer fees, conversion fees, and education fees, assessment fees
- Restrict the ability to exchange points
- Require a difficult approval process for resale purchase that can take several months
“These policies, our experts said, are designed to boost retail sales by making resale purchases more cumbersome and less attractive. They also complement the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) policies that virtually all developers exercise, when desired, to buy back valuable properties that are submitted to them for approval on the resale market.” by RedWeek’s Chief Correspondent, Jeff Weir
Another perspective: Imagine you buy a resale car and the car manufacturers such as Honda, BMW, Ford etc imply countless restrictions. They don’t allow you to use their maintenance and garage facilities for tune-ups, fixing etc. They only allow you to use the car on certain days and impose levies on whether you have access to driving on certain roads. Again, would you buy this car? NO!
3. Encourage Foreclosures and Distressed Buy Backs
They also make it a practice to sweep up distressed timeshares such as foreclosures and put them back on the market for full price. If you refuse to pay the fees they will quickly report you to the credit agency and get ready for a foreclosure. They will threat to destroy your credit rating. It seems surprising, as they were so accommodating when you purchased the timeshare right. No, that’s the mentality of a shark!
4. Cannot Communicate With Other Owners
So lets ask Wyndham, World Mark, Diamond and Disney why they make it difficult if not impossible to communicate with the other owners of your so-called timeshare. You apparently own it with 52 other owners but are not granted the right to discuss amongst each other.
It’s due to the fact that they do not want you to collude and discuss topics like rising maintenance fees etc. They do not want you to have a voice and potentially create a class action law suite against them, as they know they would loose every time.
Noted in the near past this has become such an issue that Assembly Bill 634 has been introduced. You would think this is good, but wait again. Some would say that this Bill made it even more difficult as it required a formal submission to the resort and they would deem if it was a legitimate reason. There was also an additional fee for this request.
“When people need answers to questions about what’s happening at their resort, they deserve to get them,” said Greg Crist, CEO of the National Timeshare Owners Association, based in Florida. “I am sensitive to the fact that there are bad operators out there seeking to take advantage of consumers by obtaining board data records, but there are legitimate reasons why members should be able to circumvent their boards and communicate independently.”
5. Developer Financing
Developer financing is lending offered by the timeshare operator and should be avoided at all cost. They know that the client does not have the cash at hand thus they come in as if its a favor at a ridiculously high interest rate. They will even go so far as to lie on the on the credit application about income levels. You inevitably will be get stuck with this as banks will not refinance a risky venture such as a timeshare. Yet another revenue stream for them and they will not loose that opportunity.
6. Completly Unethical Sales Tactics
A cliché is one for a reason as most of the time it holds truth. Here is one; a cheesy car salesman that would sell his own mother if he could. More perspective, there is no difference between them and a timeshare sales representative so why trust them?
They are full of constant false promises. Goal is to close with a sale no matter what. This leads to blatant lies such as take our financing now and when you get home your bank can refinance it at a lower interest rate, or they show false information on over inflating the value of the property. Also if you want to exit, they state that’s its not a problem but good luck with help from them as all you will likely to receive is “polite threats”.
“According to a lawsuit, Wyndham salespeople didn’t lie on their own volition, they were told to.” Drew Wilson, Florida Politics
Are these the business practices of ethical companies? Do you want to be associated or more importantly allow for these companies to flourish by continually providing the capital at alarming rates. In my opinion we are walking a fine line with business and or criminal activity.
So what do you do with all this? First thing is never enter into a timeshare contract but if you do then contact Easy Timeshare Relief as our 100% legal and guaranteed process could be your only hope to assist you.