Know the potential financial risks before you commit.
As the summer draws to a close and the tans begin to fade, some of us may be looking into booking future holidays, hoping to secure a bargain by booking early. Others may be considering the prospect of investing in a timeshare or holiday membership, locking in todays’ price for all future holidays.
It sounds like a fantastic way to save money on future holidays, and there are millions of people all over the world who enjoy and benefit from their timeshares. So, if you are, or ever have thought of buying a timeshare, here is what you should consider.
Investigate the cost involved: A timeshare or holiday product can cost anything from a few thousand pounds up to tens of thousands. This is a lump sum you will pay upfront and depends on the location and standard of property. Timeshares are also more expensive during peak holiday times, like school holidays and the summer months. It can be useful to work out if the cost of the timeshare divided by how many years you intend to use it for, makes good financial sense to you.
You also need to consider maintenance fees, on average people pay around £1,000 a year in maintenance fees. In addition to this you may be charged resort fees or local taxes, it is important to know this information before signing a contract as these fees can add up.
You will also need to consider your travel expenses, how much is your airfare, taxi and transfers ? Are all these costs combined, cheaper than a package holiday ?
Understand the different types of timeshare: Not all timeshares are alike. For example: Some allow you to book a certain week every year. Others operate a floating week, where you can reserve the property for any date you choose. One of the biggest complaints from owners, is that they have never been able to book the date they wanted due to the resort being at full capacity. This can be extremely frustrating when attempting to use something you have already paid for. There are other types of timeshares including: Points based membership, where by you purchase points and use these points to book holidays within your resorts network. This again has its own problems, as many people find it hard to book what they want with the amount of points they have. When they complain, the resort attempts to sell them more points.
Timeshares have plenty of pros and cons, while often sold by pushy reps as an investment It is important to remember that purchasing a Timeshare should NEVER be viewed as a financial investment. Timeshare is an investment in lifestyle, in future holidays and family time together. There is almost no resale value to a Timeshare.
People who enter into Timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and simply cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the Timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract. There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of Timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with Timeshare exit schemes. Before agreeing to any Timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advise and fully research any company you are thinking of working with.
The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry and these type of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between.
If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a Timeshare or a ‘Holiday Points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible claim for compensation.