Here at ABC Lawyers we have heard of the many and varied horror stories on the internet and in social media, proving that people can end up buying timeshare by accident. This means that they are in a situation where they may need support as they could actually be severely out of their depth. When you search for these stories on-line and research the detail, it is quite clear that almost anyone has the ability to buy into a timeshare scam. Intelligent and professional people are known to be victims of ruthless sales people and scams. If you are reading this and you have been sold a scam, take some comfort in the fact that this is rife across the timeshare industry and you are not alone.
Timeshare isn’t something that privileged, rich and retired customer’s buy. The timeshare industry and timeshare companies have noticed that they are currently only tapping into a small amount of their potential market and are getting much more creative with their advertising to younger people and families. Even Disney now has a vacation club that seeks families that want to simplify their holiday plans.
The difficulty with these groups of people buying timeshare is the fact that life can change considerably over the years, more so that for example a retired couple. A family with you children may want or need to cancel their timeshare as their children grow and their interests change and expand. Couples could start families, go back to school, change or start their careers or a number of different factors could mean that they need to get out of a timeshare they brought, not considering how life changes could affect that timeshare and what level of commitment and money a timeshare contract requires.
As time has moved on in the timeshare industry ‘millennials’ are more often than not, the target of the marketing within timeshare, this is because there is a perception that millennials are single, or at the very least, don’t yet have children, have great earning potential and often well paid jobs and travel all over the world is a priority for them. One of the reasons that millennials are a great ‘catch’ for the timeshare industry is because if you buy a timeshare in your twenties, the timeshare contract will keep you paying the timeshare fees over several decades, which is a much longer time that someone who purchases timeshare that is in their 50’s or 60’s. And although this group of people are considered to be smart and have lots of potential there is a perception that millennials can be impulsive and will often buy something they see as a ‘bargain’ and may not have considered what the timeshare contract ties them into.
Timeshare exit teams are witnessing more and more young people who have brought into a timeshare contract and inevitably then start looking for various different ways and means to get out of said contract within the first few years of the purchase. As explained above this is often due to big life changes and changes in circumstance, people getting married, having children and changes on financial situations, marriage and babies cost money and a timeshare property will cost you money every year without fail, often with the fees rising year on year as well. Travel may become difficult for people or simply less of a priority.
When life circumstances change, people often change how and what they want from their breaks and may look for more flexibility and cheaper holidays, where they are not tied into a contract with someone for certain weeks or places each year. It is normal that people’s behaviour often changes as they get older and they become much more settled and want to start saving money for a rainy day, a bigger home or for their retirement.
Timeshare cancellation often starts to make financial sense for people whose financial situation has changed since they purchased their timeshare. Timeshare owners who have some technical prowess may consider using social media or other platforms to rent out their timeshares trying to get some money out of it or even to just sell it. However it is more of a possibility that they will find out that their friends and acquaintances are perhaps in similar situations or quite simply they don’t actually want a timeshare. When people actually realise that they can’t ‘get rid’ of their timeshare it is likely they will start researching the internet trying to figure out how to get out of their timeshare contract. There are a number of exit teams that can help get people out of their contracts for good. If you are in this situation and looking to get out of your timeshare contract, make sure you research the exit team you are using. Look at reviews, star ratings and speak to people!! However this is the cure! Think about prevention, if you are thinking of purchasing timeshare, make sure you put thought into what that means for the future and what it means for the future you!
Please see our recent post regarding protecting your parents from timeshare sharks.