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BBB’s Summer Warning: Beware Timeshare Traps

BBB's Summer Warning: Beware Timeshare Traps

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning people to watch out for potential scams and an increase in customer complaints regarding timeshares and vacation clubs. BBB’s summer warning: Beware timeshare traps and vacation options that may seem overly appealing. The contracts linked to these purchases can be long-term and difficult to terminate, often resulting in significant expenses. In order to prevent being caught in timeshare scams, it is essential for you and your family to have a comprehensive understanding and awareness of the agreement terms.

BBB's Summer Warning: Beware Timeshare TrapsBBB Unmasking Deceptive Practices in Timeshare Traps

The BBB has conducted an in-depth study unveiling some deceitful practices and misleading strategies by certain timeshare and vacation club companies. A video interview with Fox23 emphasizes the dangers people face when hastily agreeing to timeshare or vacation club contracts without sufficient caution.

The BBB discovered that individuals often experience high-pressure sales techniques, ambiguous promises, and a lack of clear information about significant contract details. Many people face difficulties when attempting to cancel their contracts or secure refunds, leading to financial problems. The findings underscore the need for greater transparency, stricter regulations, and better consumer education to protect potential buyers from fraud in the timeshare and vacation club sales industry.

Consumer Challenges, Warnings, and Complaints

Beware Timeshare Traps - Nearly 30,000 timeshare complaints to the BBB.BBB Spokeswoman Amie Mitchell outlined the common problems consumers face: “What we find are consumers buy their timeshare, they have ‘X’ amount of points, they go online to book either things are blacked out or they can’t get the hotel they want, they can’t get the state they want, nowhere close to anything or they have to book two years out to do a special type of resort.”

From 2020 to 2022, the BBB dealt with close to 30,000 complaints and roughly 10,000 negative reviews about travel companies, involving disputed charges totaling $32 million. Mitchell stated that the primary complaint is about companies failing to deliver on the promises made during timeshare sales presentations.

Understanding 'Today Only' Deals in TimeshareFrauds and Scams in Timeshares

In the timeshare industry, there exist hundreds of companies. According to the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker, over 1,100 reports have been received regarding scam artists who employ aggressive sales tactics to deceive customers. These unscrupulous individuals have caused a staggering loss of $3.5 million over the past three years. Furthermore, new scams continue to emerge on a regular basis. To safeguard yourself and remain well-informed about these scams, you can utilize the BBB’s website to report any fraudulent activities and stay updated on the latest occurrences in timeshare.

resort fees are not included in the purchase price of a timeshare

The Importance of Researching Timeshares Before Commitment

Mitchell stressed the importance of research and consideration:

“The whole timeshare thing is something you really want to do your research, take your time and consider, you do not want to be pressured into one of those high-pressure sales tactics.”

Mitchell also warned about possible lures: “You get a free vacation or whatever they may promise, those are great, but most likely you’re going to end up signing a contract at the end of it, and you’re stuck.”

While there are companies that can legitimately assist in selling your timeshare, BBB often receives complaints about dubious timeshare exit firms. Mitchell cautioned, “It’s not an easy process and sometimes you have to pay to get out of those contracts, so you really want to be careful with what you’re signing.”

While there are timeshare businesses with a good reputation and satisfied customers, the BBB aims to spotlight those that have left consumers disappointed. Their goal is to increase consumer awareness and encourage better business practices in this sector.

Support for victims of timeshare fraudResponding to Timeshare Traps: Steps for Victims

If you have been victimized by a timeshare scam, you should report it to the BBB and contact your local law enforcement. Furthermore, you should take legal advice to determine what options may be available for canceling or refunding your timeshare purchase. With proper research and due diligence, consumers can protect themselves from being caught in a timeshare scam.

Avoiding Timeshare Scams: BBB’s Tips

Safeguarding yourself from fraudulent practices is essential, and the BBB is dedicated to helping consumers stay informed and safe. The organization recommends that potential buyers investigate timeshare companies thoroughly before signing any agreements. A simple search of the company’s name brings up valuable information on the business, confirming its legitimacy or exposing fraudulent activity. Furthermore, inquire about cancellation policies and read contracts carefully before committing to a purchase. With the right knowledge and precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of timeshare ownership without falling prey to unscrupulous scams.

Wrapping up, timeshares and vacation clubs can be an attractive option for cost-conscious travelers, but it is necessary to remain vigilant about potential scams. Investigate any company before signing a contract or making a purchase, and report any fraudulent activity to the BBB or local law enforcement.

This article is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Please consult a legal professional with any individual circumstances that you may have a question on.

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Led by timeshare attorneys J. Andrew Meyer and Michael D. Finn with over 75 years of combined legal experience. The Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in Timeshare Law. If you would like a free consultation to discuss your individual rights under the law, please reach out to our office at (727) 214-0700 or contact us through our online form.

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