In a study conducted by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), timeshare exit solutions or teams were surveyed across the United States over complaints from over 400 consumers. The study highlights the documents and evidence from these consumers who believe they were victims of third-party companies.
According to the BBB review of timeshare exit teams and companies, over 700 complaints from 46 states have been made to the BBB. Reporting millions of dollars in losses, the BBB actually believes the number of victims to timeshare exit is much higher than the complaints they receive.
How Do Timeshare Exit Companies Work?
Timeshare exit companies prey upon owners that are no longer happy with their ownership. While doing so, they also paint a poor picture of the industry as a whole by making entirely false claims. The truth is, 85% of timeshare owners love their ownership experience. The timeshare industry has even seen over nine years of explosive growth and is only expecting to become more popular. Undeniably, there are many more owners that love their ownership.
While there are legal and responsible ways to exit your timeshare, exit teams will convince owners otherwise. They advertise using billboards, radio and TV commercials with highly influential people that endorse their services. Commonly, the owners they target are experiencing financial hardships and can no longer afford their timeshare.
By promising their services with a “money-back guarantee,” timeshare exit companies charge steep up-front fees that cost thousands of dollars. Once the prospect pays up, there are a few ways that a timeshare exit company may work. Some of them are a front that facilitates a buy-back with the developer. There are exit teams that disclose in the fine print of their contracts that if the timeshare goes into foreclosure, this satisfies their contractual obligation.
From the BBB’s study of timeshare exit teams, they found that more than $2.2 million went to relief solutions that failed to deliver their promise. Over 400 consumers in the study believe they have been victims of timeshare exit companies.
BBB Recommendations to Get Rid of Your Timeshare
- Before you consider buying a timeshare, keep in mind that it is not an investment and will depreciate dramatically.
- Reach out to your resort developer before considering third-party options. Your developer can guide you through the safest options or refer you to a third-party that has an A+ Rating with the BBB and are members of ARDA.
- Beware of steep up-front fees that are thousands of dollars.
- Take caution when a timeshare agent or company reaches out to you unsolicited. This is illegal and reputable companies will never do this.
There are safe ways to get out of your timeshare. For a running list of Timeshare Wins against exit scams like the ones reviewed by the BBB, subscribe to the blog for updates.