We have all heard the horror stories that are widely available on the internet about timeshare rip offs, however, not all companies are the same, if you do your research thoroughly and use a reputable resort you will have many happy years holidaying using your timeshare.

Most consumers find themselves returning year after year to their favourite holiday destination? Why not consider purchasing your very own slice of paradise.
We at ABC Lawyers would like to share a few pointers with you when considering purchasing a timeshare product.

• First and foremost, do your homework. Always research in detail the timeshare vender and the resort or group you’re interested in. Be sure it ticks all the boxes you require with regards to location and amenities.

• Once you have found a resort you like the look of make an appointment to attend one of their presentations. Pay great attention to the contract details ensuring you see exactly what your contractual obligations are, for example what are your annual maintenance and improvement fees likely to be and at what rate do they increase each year, please remember this is a huge financial commitment you are making therefore, take as long as you need to make your decision. It is imperative to understand the product is right for you before signing on the dotted line.

• Timeshare is a rapidly changing industry. Never rely on verbal information, request everything in writing. Some salespeople can be pushy and sometimes intimidating, however, timeshares do have many great benefits for people in the know. Professional salespeople will make it sound like you’re getting a great deal, however, if you feel the need to walk away and think about the possible commitment before you sign your name, do so, an honest and reputable seller will understand and allow you this time, rather than pressure you into making a decision you’ll regret. Never feel pressured into signing a contract. Always ensure you have a clear head and make time to read what you are actually agreeing to. Read all the small print and make sure the contract accurately reflects any verbal promises the salesperson has told you.

• Understanding a little about timeshare law is priceless. By allowing yourself time to become aware of such laws you will no doubt come across the ‘cancellation policy’. Some policies do differ with the timescale, however, please be aware most sales representatives will not inform you of your right to cancel. You as the consumer needs to ask about the time limit and the procedure should you wish to take this option. Normally the ‘cooling off’ period allows the consumer 14-days to cancel should they wish, use this time wisely to read and understand, consider your finances and remember it’s not just the initial purchase price you have to consider, but also the annual costs which are also involved.

• Consider your costs and all eventualities, from the purchase price to the annual fees, and other costs along the way, figuring out the financial implications, timeshares are not straightforward.

• Choose several ‘preferred weeks’ as appose to limiting yourself to one particular week. Other owner’s may also want that same week and it would be impossible for anyone to provide a particular week to everybody, so be realistic in your expectations and your holiday needs.

• Research the local areas, ensuring that the local amenities are something you and your family would take full advantage of.

• Book as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

• Always remember your timeshare will never increase in value, should you wish to sell for whatever reason, you will never receive the money you paid for it. Timeshares can be bought on eBay for as little as 1 pound, and should you wish to relinquish your timeshare please do so via a reputable seller. Avoid anyone asking for up-front fees, it’s highly likely to be a scam.

Here at ABC Lawyers we ask you to bear all that in mind, hundreds of thousands of consumers enjoy their timeshares year in, year out. It’s not all bad news and scams galore, therefore, if you are considering purchasing a timeshare please be cautious at all times and more importantly always understand what you are signing for, take your time and enjoy making happy memories with your loved ones.

See our recent post regarding timeshare choices.