- Lie: “It’s not a timeshare!” Truth: It’s a timeshare
- Lie: “You can cancel at any time!” Truth: You can’t cancel after the cooling off period
- Lie: “This investment won’t lose value!” Truth: All properties can lose value
The phrase “lies, damned lies, and statistics” refers to the use of persuasive numbers and statistics to bolster weak arguments. This is precisely what many of those who have mis-sold timeshares have done, along with telling some outright lies not even thinly veiled by statistics.
In recent months, a rise in compensation claims – and significant payouts – has led to some of these lies (“This is really a fractional ownership property, not a timeshare”) being exposed during important legal rulings.
A spokesperson from Timeshare Compensation explains,
“Each judgement that goes against a timeshare company is clarifying the picture of the kind of mis-selling that can lead to compensation. This has so far included floating week products, contracts that last longer than 50 years and sales that saw money being handed over during the cooling off period.
“Timeshares that were dressed up as fractional ownership properties have now also been deemed illegal. This is excellent news for many of those who bought timeshares in good faith, only to find that they weren’t signed up to quite what they were expecting.”
To aid families who have been mis-sold timeshares in the past, along with those who are currently thinking of investing in a holiday property of some sort, the Timeshare Compensation team has put together a list of the most common lies, half-truths and misrepresentations used by timeshare companies.
The Timeshare Compensation Guide to Timeshare Lies
“This is not a timeshare!”
In any kind of arrangement that involves you sharing the use of accommodation without owning a share of that property, this is a timeshare. Whether the accommodation is a villa, club, apartment, or even a boat, where you use it for a short period of time on an annual or bi-annual basis, you are in a timeshare agreement.
“You can get a bonus week (or ‘extra week’) for both you and your friends, on an unlimited basis!”
You would actually be very lucky to even get one ‘bonus week’ a year. These are almost impossible to get, and definitely not available on an unlimited basis.
“This is ‘gold crown’ accommodation. That’s the highest quality rating in the exchange system!”
Many salespeople claim that a resort is ‘gold crown,’ even though it’s not true.
“Your ‘sleeps 4’ accommodation can easily be exchanged for a ‘sleeps 6’ whenever you need it!”
This is absolutely not guaranteed.
“You can cancel any time, just by getting in touch!”
Once the cooling period has passed, they will definitely not accept a cancellation.
“This offer is only valid if you sign today!”
This is something they tell everybody, every single day. In fact, you could probably get all the same benefits elsewhere at a fraction of the price… they just don’t want you to have time to find this out.
“Your loan repayments will be just £300 a month!”
You’ll probably find this not to be the case when the loan details actually arrive. Nor does it take account of annual maintenance fees.
“Your ownership will allow you to exchange for another destination anywhere in the world, whenever you like!”
This is almost never the case. In particular, if you buy a low season period, you will find that you are not eligible to exchange for a period in high season. If you buy into a points club, or a floating week system, this is all the more unlikely to be true.
“Don’t worry about reading the paperwork.”
If you aren’t given the opportunity to look over the paperwork, it’s probably because there is something in there that contradicts what they have told you.
“You only have to pay the annual fees if you use the accommodation!”
Whether the accommodation is used or not, you will be eligible for annual fees. If your ownership is bi-annual (every two years), it may be payable only on those years. But otherwise, those fees will be payable every year.
“The annual management fee is limited by control of the owners, and is limited to the rate of inflation!”
Many resorts have increased fees by three times the rate of inflation in recent years.
“This is a great investment, and will not lose value!”
The price of your timeshare accommodation will plummet the very moment you sign on the dotted line. This lie has left many timeshare owners feeling entirely helpless, as they cannot sell the timeshare at any price.
For those who have been taken in by lies like these, it’s time to use the Timeshare Compensation online compensation calculator. Mis-sold timeshare owners are finally taking back the power.