For decades, the timeshare industry has made pie-in-the-sky promises to consumers, hooking them into lifetime contracts that leave far too many customers feeling ripped off.
If you don’t want to fall victim to a timeshare scam, you’ll need to be aware of these three common and deceptive tactics used by the timeshare industry:
Timeshare Trap #1: High-Interest Loans Via Internal Financing
Over the past several years, timeshare companies have been offering internal financing to customers – that is, instead of waiting for a customer to obtain a loan through a bank to pay the timeshare purchase price (which is often in the tens of thousands of dollars), the timeshare company will lend its own money directly to the customer to fund the purchase. However, such loans aren’t regulated or operated the way that bank loans are, and as a result, customers can find themselves paying loans with interest rates as high as 15 percent. Under such loans, customers can find themselves on the hook for over double the original purchase price of the timeshare! In addition to the exorbitant debt, such customers also experience serious damage to their credit that takes years to repair.
Timeshare Trap #2: A Money-Back Guarantee That Really Isn’t
Timeshare companies often promise a “100% money-back guarantee" in order to reassure skeptical customers and convince them that a timeshare purchase is a low-risk investment. However, these “guarantees” often come with strings attached, in the form of specific requirements, obstacles and procedures hidden in the fine print. Even those customers who manage to jump through all of the hoops placed by the timeshare company still find themselves unable to cancel their contracts or recover any of their money.
Timeshare Trap #3: Third-Party “Add-Ons” That Add Nothing But Expenses
One of the newer sales tactics employed by timeshare companies is to bundle the timeshare purchase with online products – such as online credit monitoring – operated by third parties. Often these products are available elsewhere and are cheaper than the price you ultimately pay under the timeshare “deal”, since there are usually extra fees associated with claiming or using the “perks” being offered. These extra products may make customers believe that they are getting something as a bonus, but all they’re really getting is a useless product that sucks their bank account dry.