While timeshares can be good for some people, sadly there are bad guys at every step of the way when it comes to timeshare matters. Unfortunately, seniors fall prey to these practices more often than other consumers. It’s imperative to keep your wits about you when dealing with timeshare matters.
Here are 6 ways that unscrupulous individuals take advantage of seniors:
Lying About How Your Heirs Will Be Stuck With The Timeshare Unless You Do Something
Unless your heirs are actually on the timeshare deed or whatever form of ownership you have, they are under no obligation to accept the timeshare when you die. It’s important to understand that your estate will be required to pay off any debt you still have on the timeshare however. Buying more timeshare or upgrading to some made up ownership level will only increase your debt, but will have zero impact on your heirs being stuck with your timeshare.
Keeping You At A Sales Pitch Longer Than The Required Length Of Time
When you accept the terms of whatever sales presentation you attend, there will be a stated minimum length of time you are required to stay in order to qualify for whatever you’re receiving. This time limit must be in writing. Find it and stick to it. You are under no obligation to stay for anything longer than that. I’ve heard countless stories of hapless seniors who were kept for 4, 5 or more hours, often without food or drink by sales personnel using one ruse or another. Don’t fall for this. Get up and leave at the appropriate time. Remember that you, not the salesperson is in control.
Lying About How You’ll Be Able To Pay Your Maintenance Fees If You Buy More Timeshare
Just not true, or at the very least, not the way they make it sound. Do not ever buy more timeshare for any other reason that you want more vacation time.
Claiming That They Have A Buyer For Your Timeshare And Need Money For Costs Which Will Be Refunded To You Upon Completion Of Sale
If you own a timeshare you may want to sell it. In any event, it’s imperative that you maintain control and do not ever engage with any company or person that initiates contact. 99% of timeshares are worth only a tiny fraction of what you originally paid, and there are millions of timeshares currency for sale on the secondary market. No one has a buyer for your timeshare that you haven’t even advertised yet. You should not ever pay in advance for selling your timeshare.
Lying About The Fact You Have To Attend An Update Or Survey
There are only a few cases where you are obligated to attend a sales presentation. One is if you accept those conditions in exchange for something that you’re receiving such as a discounted stay, theme park tickets, dinner show tickets, etc. Another case is where you previously purchased some sort of trial timeshare and each time you use part of it at a resort, they have another opportunity to sell you on the full program. That’s about it. There is no such thing as a mandatory owner update or customer survey.
Pretending To Be Your Friend
Sadly, I hear this one more than any other story. Remember that the sales person is just that, a sales person. They have no other reason to be nice to you or appear to have your best interests at heart other than to sell you something. However much they might remind you of your children or grandchildren, however many family photos they may show you or however many personal stories they may tell you, it’s all done with only one purpose-to sell you something. These people are very well trained in these tactics because they work so well. Don’t fall prey to them. You’re not being mean to them by not buying anything they’re selling.
Lisa Ann Schreier has been involved in the timeshare community since 1998. After cutting her teeth as a timeshare salesperson and manager at a number of Orlando area resorts, she grew increasingly frustrated with the antiquated marketing and high pressure sales techniques that were (and sadly still are) the norm in the industry.
Seeking to be a catalyst for positive change, she wrote ‘Surviving A Timeshare Presentation…Confessions From The Sales Table’ and ‘Timeshare Vacations For Dummies.’ She is a frequent contributor to major media outlets and a sought after speaker at consumer advocacy groups.
In addition to her articles at SeniorNews.com, she is on the Advisory Board of ConsumerAffairs.com where she ensures that content is unbiased, accurate and helpful for consumers as well serving as the lead timeshare advocate at Elliott.org and a featured blogger on RockStarFinance.com.
Her ‘tell it like it is’ blog (http://www.thetimesharecrusader.blogspot.com) covering timeshare issues is a source of solid information and continues to alert consumers to the myriad of less than reputable companies and practices.
Twitter users can follow her at @LisaLooksAt
Questions? Looking for assistance? Email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org
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