Timeshare owners get their voices heard in annual survey
Timeshare Consumer Association invites more owners to share their 2021 experiences
Following a huge response in 2020, the Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA) is keen to keep the momentum going with this year’s survey. This is an excellent opportunity for owners, as lots of timeshare news coverage is heavily centred on legal proceedings and economic analysis. These are obviously excellent resources for finding out about successful timeshare solicitors, and avoiding any new scams as they’re discovered. Hidden amongst these legitimate articles you’ll also find plenty that turn out to be more adverts for timeshares, masquerading as opinion pieces by happy customers.
What’s frequently missing is the voice of the many timeshare owners who are looking for a way out. Timeshare solicitors hear these stories on a daily basis and support owners to understand their situation and what options they have next. Outside of these private conversations, it can seem that the only places where stories are shared freely are with friends or through dedicated social media groups. Raising the profile of these stories is an excellent way to fight some of the main factors that timeshare scammers rely upon: confusion, isolation, and frustration.
The shifting language and tactics employed by the timeshare industry are intended to confuse customers, and unfortunately, the legislation doesn’t always clear things up any further. Often, fraudulent resale schemes use this confusion to prey on owners, offering an “easy way out” without any more headaches or hassle. Reading the testimonies of other people with timeshares can help remove some of the mystique, on everything from jargon-busting to sharing information on current scams to look out for.
There’s also the feeling of isolation that comes from failed attempts to contact a timeshare company. Particularly during the first year of the pandemic, many owners tried to contest maintenance fees that were still being charged to them and were met with silence. The TCA’s 2020 survey highlighted how each company was responding to the issue, helping owners to gain perspective on the state of their own contract. Knowing that there are others in the same boat, and that some have managed to get out of it, offers a sense of community and hope.
Situations like the industry-wide charging of excessive maintenance fees can be deeply frustrating. Even in times of global challenge, timeshare sellers take any chance to make some extra money. Along with the fees, the TCA has noted that responses to the survey frequently raised many other issues of ownership. That’s why the 2021 survey is more broadly focussed on satisfaction, providing room to explore a variety of grievances. Though in the short term it may seem more frustrating to discover further problems with the system, knowledge really is power with timeshares. The more information that is shared between timeshare owners of these concerns, the greater chance people have of protecting themselves from future scams and sales pitches. While the role of timeshare solicitors is to provide regulated and safe advice to clients, the shared experience of the owner community is a great resource to tap into for these reasons. To get your voice heard, respond to the Timeshare Consumer Association’s 2021 survey here.