If you have ever thought about purchasing a timeshare or holiday club membership you may have considered attending a sales presentation with one of the many large resorts in the market. However, before you do it is important to go armed with some very useful information, you will not hear about when you are there.
Firstly, did you know that over three quarters of all timeshare owners are unhappy with their timeshares? Well according to a study by The University of Florida, this appears to be the case. As a company that represents timeshare owners, we hear daily the complaints from owners who feel they were lied to, tricked, and even forced into purchasing one. And this is not as uncommon as you might think. Timeshares were once very popular and did represent good value for money. However, the industry has had to change to compete in the competitive tourism industry and many more companies and innovative travel solutions have sprung up that offer greater flexibility, more choice and better value for money. The way the timeshare industry has responded, seems to be by locking people into lengthy airtight contracts that are almost impossible to get out of and forced to pay those all-important maintenance fees.
The problem with timeshare goes much deeper than this and more sinister when you investigate it. In fact, the way in which they are sold is, in many cases, almost unethical. There are countless stories out there about the epidemic of timeshare mis-selling and the countless people who are tricked into signing up to expensive timeshare contracts. These people often attend meetings after the offer of a prize or gift and end up being held hostage for hours on end and are persuaded into purchasing something they did not know they wanted in the first place. It is also no secret that during these meetings sales staff will employ every trick in the book to make a sale and that includes telling all sorts of tales to get you to sign on the dotted line. So, before you are invited or persuaded to attend a timeshare meeting this year, here are a few key points to consider before you do so:
Should you invest in a timeshare?
Well, first of all timeshares are not an investment in any way shape or form. It is a purchase of a holiday product that will guarantee you a certain amount of time at a chosen resort each year. The problem with this is that you are then restricted, unless you have a larger annual holiday fund than the average family, to spending your hard-earned holiday time at your timeshare. This may not be the best fir for you and your family, and you may prefer more flexibility as your family grows up or even expands. Another important consideration to take into account is that if you do want to swap your week or weeks around, the resort will probably charge you a fee to do so, which can add to the cost of your yearly holiday. You will also have to pay additional expenses, such as maintenance fees and for some resorts taxes on top of this. The costs can quickly add up and when you factor in getting there, food and entertainment a timeshare can be more expensive than a package holiday deal you could find online or through a travel operator.
So before investing your hard-earned cash in a timeshare or holiday club membership, do your sums. Determine if this is the right fit for you, your family, and your expectations. Timeshares are sold as an idyllic way to spend your annual holiday, but the truth is there are far better options and more exciting places to visit than the same place and at the same time year in year out.