When we hear the words vacation ownership, we think of happy families sharing memories together year after year. Timeshares are a great way to secure your vacation plans for years to come and travel the world.

People still wonder if timeshares a scam. If timeshare was a scam, would companies like Disney, Marriott, Hilton and Wyndham ever want to be associated with it?  Would they risk their reputations on it?

are timeshares bad

These companies have thousands of employees that work tirelessly every day to ensure guests and owners are well taken care of.  They all sell their own versions of timeshare ownership or vacation club membership.  They have created members-only benefits programs, offering discounts and savings, all for the benefit of their vacation-going families.

It is up to each customer to decide if ownership is right for them.  Value is in the eye of the beholder. There is nothing deceiving about what timeshare resorts stand for or the product they present.

Read more: Timeshare Wins Against Exit Companies

Timeshare Scams

While timeshare itself is not a scam, the timeshare industry does seem to attract fraudsters every now and then. We have been in business for 25 years as a trusted timeshare resale service provider. We have heard our fair share of horror stories from clients falling victim to fraud. For most people, it can be tough navigating the resale market. How can you tell the legitimate timeshare resale companies from the scam artists?  How do you know who can really help you exit your timeshare, cancel your timeshare or sell your timeshare?

It can be especially confusing when the media and pop culture takes individual cases of fraud and paint a picture of the entire industry. The timeshare industry has come a long way since the days of high-pressure sales tactics and misleading statements from timeshare developers. Vacation ownership clubs and resort developers want a positive reputation and satisfied customers. That’s their business.  Image is everything and these developers strive to represent value, trust and luxury. Even the resale market has seen legislature passed to make companies be more transparent. Even with these increasing guidelines, “bad apples” can still exist.

How can you tell the difference between fraud and legitimate companies?

When deciding to purchase a timeshare, it can be scary to know if your working with a good company. We get that.

Our owner, Bert Blicher, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) for his works to impose legislature that protects timeshare consumers. His passion for bringing honesty to the resale market is part of our teams daily mission. That’s why companies refer owners to work with us.

The best place to start when you are researching how to sell your timeshare is by asking your resort or HOA. Even if you are behind on your payments, they would rather help you find a legitimate resale service than become a victim of timeshare fraud.

Who can I trust to help sell my timeshare?

With all of these scams out there, the first reputable source to trust is your developer. These companies are large, publicly-traded entities with laws they must follow and shareholders to answer to.  They care about their brand, image and reputation.  They have taken the time to thoroughly vet industry partners prior referring their owners to a third party.

If you are not interested in owning your timeshare anymore, ask your developer or HOA where you should start. Some companies even have their own in-house programs, like Wyndham Cares, which offers multiple free options for Wyndham owners who no longer want or use their timeshare. 

Finally, if you feel that you have been a part of a scam, contact your local authorities. File a report and reach out to the state attorney general and file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. ARDA encourages timeshare owners to be careful. Thoroughly research any company before doing business with them or paying any upfront closing costs.

Author

Hannah O’Brien is a Rollins College graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. Her passions include writing, traveling and spending time with her friends and family. Originally from the mountains of Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, Hannah has been a serial traveler to the beaches of Florida since she was young and now lives year-round in Orlando.

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