Many holiday experts now widely accept that timeshare is a bad deal and makes no financial sense. So, what made people buy it in the first place? And why do some people stick with their timeshares?
Timeshare certainly looks like a bad arrangement these days, but it did solve a problem back in the 1980s and 1990s.
It was a way for people to avoid ‘Holidays from Hell’, where they booked a stay in a supposedly wonderful hotel only to turn up and find something which resembled a building site.
It was no wonder that they were happy to buy timeshare to avoid this outcome.
But the travel industry has now evolved and has overtaken timeshare. It is easy to research all aspects of your holiday online and reviews in real time offer the reassurance holidaymakers need. In addition, it is easy to book holidays at timeshare complexes on sites like Booking.com, and it’s often cheaper than the annual fee paid by timeshare owners.
Most people who holidayed in Spain or Portugal towards the end of the last century will know all about timeshare touts.
- They worked on commission-only
- They hassled people on the way to the beach
- They put pressure on holidaymakers to go to timeshare presentations
- They did whatever it took, including lying and even bribing with cigarettes
Often, holidaymakers simply gave in to get it over with. The problem was that they were then seen as easy targets for the second wave of touts who would apply more pressure.
The sales process used by touts was very sophisticated, and it has been reported on widely.
They basically gained the trust of the holidaymakers, found out what their holiday problems were, and used this against them in the presentations. All the salespeople cared about was getting their commission.
Many people who signed up now realise that that timeshare is not a great deal.
People often defend decisions they know were not great because they don’t want to feel embarrassed.
Timeshare maintenance hikes are gradual, so owners may not notice just how much their position has changed.
There is another problem: challenging resorts isn’t easy. It means great effort and involves commitment. Sometimes, it’s easier to accept the situation.
Many timeshare owners think they cannot get out of their contracts, even if they want to because of the fees. And while they can relinquish contracts, they often need professional help.
But if you bought timeshare in Spain in or after January 1999, there is a great possibility that your contract may not comply with consumer laws which were enacted specifically to deal with the timeshare industry.
If you are considering this option, make sure you choose your help wisely because there are many fraudulent claims companies out there.
You need to choose a claims company that is honest, committed and delivers results.
Here are a few tips:
- Read reviews on TrustPilot or Google reviews
- Use sites that help with doing your own research
- Contact consumer associations for free advice
- Find companies that have video reviews from genuine customers
For confidential advice on your options as a timeshare owner, contact the friendly and experienced team at ECC.