An everyday story in the timeshare resale industry.
Telemarketers called a Colorado man with dementia and got him to spend thousands.
They called a California resident, drowsy on painkillers and dying of cancer, and charged him hundreds.
A desperate man from Kentucky was called because his home was foreclosed on and his life savings were taken.
This is a daily story in the industry—specifically in Florida—telemarketers call timeshare owners from behind darkened windows to avoid public view.
They promise that for a fee, upfront of course, they can achieve the impossible dream: Selling an unwanted timeshare. There are claims that another buyer is on the line and methods are explained that lead customers to believe that this is a guaranteed sale.
Owners hoping to sell their timeshares and avoid future maintenance fees trust foreigners and get nothing in return.
Analysis of timeshare resale companies
The Tampa Bay Times reviewed thousands of complaints and spent months investigating timeshare resale companies; This is some of what they found:
Timeshare resale schemes have become the most widespread form of consumer fraud in the southeastern US.
Florida AG received 964 complaints against timeshare resale companies in 2008. Then 2,929 in 2009. Then 12,257 in 2010.
The department renewed the license for the resale of timeshares that were fined or accused of fraud by timeshare owners.
Reselling a timeshare is a legitimate business. Companies agree to advertise a timeshare for a fee on their websites. As with advertising, you don’t have to sell membership for the rates to be legitimate.
The difference between an honest timeshare resale company and a scam is when the company falsely suggests that it has a buyer waiting for your timeshare, or imagines unrealistic and overly optimistic sales possibilities.
Since the 1970s, many Americans have been swayed by the timeshare sales pitch: Own a week here and never worry about vacationing again.
For as long as timeshares have been sold, owners have tried to sell them without success. Timeshares are not investments, they are purchases and therefore do not increase in value over time. Their initial prices are inflated by marketing expenses and their value plummets after purchase.
The timeshare resale market is so poor that you can get them on eBay for free; owners are willing to pay transfer fees. They just want someone to take care of their maintenance fees.
One financial expert said, “Timeshare ownership is a trap from which there is no way out.”
Timeshare resale companies have used this to their advantage. They know that owners are desperate to sell their unwanted timeshares and act accordingly.
Victims: by thousands.
In June 2012, a woman in a damp, air-conditioned office in Vallarta, Mexico, called Megan Weinsorgh, a 57-year-old semi-retired paralegal and college mother of two.
Weinsorgh owns two timeshares, one in Mexico and one in Florida. She spends about $1,400 a year on maintenance fees for timeshares that she can’t use regularly.
The woman said her name was Jennifer Watson, she worked for Sierra Resales, and said she had a client interested in her two timeshares.
The catch: Watson asked for $3,500 in transfer fees.
Megan questioned the woman. She didn’t have the money and she was hesitant to use her credit card. Watson assured him that the sales procedures would arrive in less than a week after the payment was made.
That was the last time Weinsorgh spoke to Watson. The calls were not answered.
This story repeats itself -under different names- almost 40,000 since 2008 throughout the United States.
Timeshare scams are cyclical. They increase during tough economic times. The only way to prevent this is to educate timeshare owners.
The only effective way to get rid of a timeshare and avoid future maintenance fees, the risk of being scammed by one of these companies, is to cancel your timeshare.
Timeshares are expenses, the only possible way to get money back from a timeshare is to cancel it and get your deposit back.
Can it be done in all cases? “No, but if there is a way to get our client’s money back I will surely find it.” timeshare cancellation expert says.
If you are tired of having a timeshare that doesn’t suit your travel needs, is no longer affordable for you, or you just don’t want it anymore, contact Mexican Timeshare Solutions for a free consultation on how we can help you cancel your timeshare and restore the financial freedom you need.