At the Timeshare Consumer Association we see that for most, buying a timeshare can be worthwhile, however, there are a few things to bear in mind to play it safe.
Across the United States, Americans have invested in timeshares properties liking the idea of part owning an apartment or condo for just week each year.
Timeshares can be found all over the world and in many different places, including the capitals of the most beautiful cities, in the mountains or by the beach, the destinations and surroundings areas are endless. For many families or travelers, they guarantee a week long holiday each year. However, the grey cloud over timeshare still remains, tourists and residents alike should still be cautious when faced with the prospect of buying a timeshare, states professors, William & Mary.
High-pressure sales tactics and high interest rates can sometimes result in sticky situations or worse, buyer’s remorse, William & Mary communications professor Robert Stowers said. “I don’t think timeshares are doing anything morally or ethically wrong,” said Stowers, who teaches in the William and Mary Mason School of Business. “People just sometimes don’t really have time to think about what they’ve done.”
It’s an issue that can pop up anywhere, even locally. In early August, a Maryland couple filed a civil lawsuit against Williamsburg Plantation the owner of the Colonies at Williamsburg timeshares, alleging they were coerced into buying a timeshare at a high interest rate.
This particular case was filed August 6th 2018, to date there is no scheduled hearing nor an attorney is listed for Williamsburg Plantation, which has not filed a response to the allegations.
Messages left with the Williamsburg Plantation sales department and attorney for the Maryland couple were not immediately returned.
The lawsuit, filed by Maryland residents Tuan and Diane and Davis, alleges salespeople with Williamsburg Plantation used high-pressure tactics to coerce them to buy a timeshare.
According to a complaint filed in the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court, the couple stayed at the Colonies at Williamsburg were invited to a 90-minute “presentation,” with the promise of a $100 gift card. The presentation ran about four hours, with sales representatives allegedly creating a high-pressure environment and leading the couple to believe they couldn’t leave the presentation, the lawsuit indicated.
After 4 hours of intense pressure the couple finally ended up buying a timeshare for $14,157 with a 17 percent interest rate, that coupled with the interest meant the timeshare would total $28,647. The lawsuit sues for $28,647 in damages.
“I’ve done a lot of articles about how communication happens,” Stowers said. “When I hear about this couple, they probably felt the message they were being told wasn’t a totally honest one.”
Timeshares have become a significant part of the Williamsburg region’s tourism since hotel visitation began to decline more than two decades ago, Stowers said.
In 2016, there were nearly 6,700 timeshares in York County, James City County and the City of Williamsburg, according to data from the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance. “A lot of people want to come to Williamsburg to stay and vacation,” . That’s why they became so popular. “Timeshares can be welcome development in some localities because it generates tax revenue, but doesn’t burden local schools or generate as much traffic as an apartment complex“, Stowers said.
Stowers himself has lived in Williamsburg for many years, and opposed the Colonies at Williamsburg more than a decade ago when it was proposed. He lived in the neighborhood adjacent to the property, and researched timeshares extensively during the process.
“We were more against the idea of building it in our backyard, The Board of Supervisors passed a scaled-down version of the Colonies at Williamsburg application”, Stowers said.
While any sales presentation can be convincing, Stowers suggests stepping back from the sales pitch and weighing the deal before signing a contract.
Buyers should also look for fees that might not be apparent during initial sales discussions.
In high-pressure situations, don’t be afraid to forego any offered benefit, such as a gift card or free dinner, and leave, he added. “If you walk around the Premium Outlets, there are people there wanting to sell you property,” Stowers said. “They’re always offering dinners or overnight stays.”
While buyers should take precautions when buying timeshares, the properties can be a great fit for some.
“I’m not against timeshares in terms of financial viability,” Stowers said. “They could be a good value. For some, I’m sure they’re wonderful.”
See our recent post regarding reasons to buy a timeshare.
Posted on: October 15, 2018
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 01253 804 318 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk