Are there timeshare scams?
People sometimes feel that they were pressured to buy their timeshare and while that may be true, that does not mean they were “scammed”. The sales tactics used to market timeshare are often high pressure and sometimes even deceitful and like many situations, we find ourselves in when buying something, the old adage applies, “let the buyer beware”.
Now that the large hotel chains are in the timeshare business, you may overpay if your not careful, but the real timeshare scams are encountered by many timeshare owners when trying to sell their time
The most common occurrence of being scammed in the timeshare industry happens when someone wants to sell their time.
According to the Internet Crime Reporting Center (www.ic3.gov), in the typical scam “timeshare owners receive unexpected or uninvited telephone calls or emails from criminals posing as sales representatives for a timeshare resale company.
The representative promises a quick sale, often within 60-90 days. The sales representatives often use high-pressure sales tactics to add a sense of urgency to the deal. Some victims have reported that sales representatives pressured them by claiming there was a buyer waiting in the wings, either on the other line or even present in the office.
In some cases, the center said, “timeshare owners who have been defrauded by a timeshare sales scheme have been subsequently contacted by an unscrupulous timeshare fraud recovery company as well.”…More at Need to Sell Your Timeshare? Not to These Guys, You Don’t. – Better Business Bureau (blog)
As of July 1, 2012, Florida has passed the first law to protect their residents from most but not all of the problems that people have been experiencing.
Some of the key provisions penalize resellers who:
Misrepresent that some buyer has an interest in buying a timeshare resale
Collect payments from sellers before the seller signs a written agreement to the terms of the resale
Do not honor a seller’s cancellation request made within seven days of a signed agreement or fail to provide a refund within 20 days of cancellation
For some time, we consumer advocates have been warning about scams targeting you if you want to get out from under a timeshare you no longer want. This new law will protect you from at least some, but not all of the misrepresentations — and only in Florida.
Probably the most important part of this act is the penalty for trying to lull you into an unsound deal by claiming “we have buyers waiting” for your timeshare. In general, few if any timeshare intervals enjoy a list of potential buyers “waiting” for availability: Overall, the numbers of owners hoping to resell at a decent price far outnumber potential buyers. Enforcing a “cooling off” period and strict time limits for refunds is also an important gain…
You must protect yourself
There are many people, especially seniors, that are being taken advantage of every day across many industries in this country and the timeshare industry is no exception. There are timeshare scams, but that said, the majority of companies in the resale market are doing an honest job of helping people to sell their unwanted timeshares. Many of them are linked to from this site. We must always shop for all our goods and services with our eyes and ears open and protect ourselves from those who would cheat us. Educate yourself and check people out before doing business and you’ll never regret it.