Acknowledging the notorious high-pressure tactics of timeshare companies is crucial for any timeshare owner. These tactics are employed to continuously attract new buyers and convince current owners to upgrade their timeshare. Obtaining a timeshare upgrade can be likened to purchasing additional services at an auto shop, where you may agree to unnecessary services under the persuasion of the salesperson. If you are tired of being relentlessly pressured to upgrade your timeshare, this article will shed light on the tactics utilized by timeshare companies and why it is best to avoid them. By understanding these tactics, you can identify if you have fallen victim to a timeshare membership upgrade scam and take action to extricate yourself from it.
Is a Timeshare Upgrade Really Necessary?
When you made the decision to purchase a timeshare, you were likely swayed by images of happy vacationers enjoying the sun and sand of popular destinations like Cabo San Lucas or Miami. The sales presentation probably painted a picture of luxury and convenience. However, why is your timeshare company now insisting that your initial purchase is inadequate and that you need a timeshare upgrade?
It’s true that over time, your timeshare may lose value and require maintenance and updates, but these costs are typically covered by maintenance fees and special assessments. The truth is, you do not actually need to upgrade your timeshare, and your company should not be pressuring you to do so.
Unfortunately, many timeshare owners are subjected to high-pressure tactics to upgrade their membership. They may be promised a better vacation experience with a new membership or convinced that upgrading will lower their maintenance fees, when in reality, the opposite is often true. It’s important to be aware of these upgrade tactics and avoid falling prey to them.
The Membership Upgrade That Becomes Two Timeshares
The merging of timeshare companies can often result in pressure for timeshare owners to upgrade their membership. A recent example is the merger between Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV) and Diamond Resorts, where a new type of membership, HGV Max, was created to provide an enhanced vacation experience for owners of both companies.
While timeshare mergers may offer more vacation destinations, they can also lead to increased charges. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly understand the terms and costs of any timeshare upgrade before agreeing to it.
Some timeshare developers view upgrades as an opportunity to convince owners to purchase an additional timeshare, and unfortunately, many owners end up making this decision. Sales representatives may mislead owners by claiming that an upgraded membership will replace their existing property, when in reality, they are signing up for a second timeshare and incurring additional maintenance fees. It is essential to be vigilant and fully informed before making any decisions regarding timeshare upgrades.
Equity Discounts and Lower Maintenance Fees
Timeshare companies may use the promise of equity rollover to convince you to upgrade your membership. They claim that the equity you’ve built up in your current timeshare can be used as a discount on a higher-valued property. However, this offer is often a scam. It’s like selling a $300,000 home and using the equity to purchase a $1 million home of the same size; it doesn’t make sense.
Timeshare companies use this “equity discount” excuse to convince you to pay inflated prices on a new membership, even if the new membership offers better amenities and perks. Moreover, you may have to pay additional upfront fees, in addition to the timeshare cost, to upgrade your membership.
Another supposed benefit of upgrading is lowered maintenance fees. However, timeshare companies may actually mean that your new membership will be cheaper than your current one. This means that you’ll still have to pay the maintenance fees you owe now, in addition to fees on a new property that you won’t know about until it’s too late to cancel.
Confusing Contract Jargon
It’s important to read any new contracts carefully and thoroughly, paying attention to all the terms and conditions. If you’re unsure about any part of the contract, ask for clarification from the timeshare company. Don’t sign anything until you fully understand what you’re agreeing to and how it will affect you financially.
Remember, you don’t actually need to upgrade your timeshare. Don’t let developers pressure you into a new membership that you don’t actually want or need. And if you do decide to upgrade, make sure you fully understand the terms and costs involved before signing anything.
Don’t Fall for a Timeshare Upgrade
It’s good to know that there are resources available for people who may have fallen victim to timeshare scams. Centerstone Group sounds like a reputable organization that can help people navigate the often-confusing world of timeshares and potentially help them exit their contracts. However, it’s always important to do your research before working with any advocacy group or legal service to ensure that they have a good reputation and are legitimate.