Timeshare: A Tourist Trap?
As tourists explore the many options for experiencing a new destination, they may come across timeshare companies or travel clubs which offer a seemingly irresistible package. Advertisements for “free” theme park tickets, shows, and dinners often entice vacationers to visit a tourist information center. However, there is typically one caveat – they must sit through an hour-and-a-half long presentation in order to qualify for the ‘freebies.’ But, is a timeshare or travel club really the right choice for vacationers or is it just a tourist trap?
The truth is, many of these so-called free giveaways are not actually free as we read an article by Lisa Molinari in Gullible’s Travels. In her own words, the writer says, “At the mention of “complimentary tickets” we leaned in, revealing our shameless penchant for freebies.” To her surprise, she discovers that the tickets were not free after all; instead, it required a lengthy commitment to attend a travel club presentation. It was basically an intense sales pitch that lasted 90 minutes and saw them offered packages at prices dropping from $12995 down to just $2995.
Although they were uncertain, the couple remained for the full duration of the program in order to acquire their promised gifts. Having experienced a timeshare presentation beforehand, they may have been better equipped to handle what awaited them at this meeting. Unsuspecting travelers who fail to compare prices however may be enticed by the prospect of half-priced vacation packages, yet rarely possess the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision.
Consider The Fine Print In Vacation Contracts
Tourists should consider the fine print before engaging in these travel clubs or timeshare presentations. It is important to recognize that timeshare and travel club memberships are often long-term commitments and require a significant upfront investment with no assurance of success. Those impressive glossy brochures and captivating ads can’t replace proper research and a wise perspective before you sign on the dotted line. It’s also wise to understand the full scale of your commitment beforehand, since no one wants later regrets. Remember: it is much better to be cautious than sorry when dealing with considerable travel expenses like this!
In addition, those who sign up for these vacation programs typically have fewer consumer rights and limited legal protection. Visiting tourists should be aware that they are likely to encounter high-pressure sales tactics and long-term commitments when engaging with these companies.
Today Only and Limited Time Offers
Ultimately, travelers must carefully reflect on their own needs and budget prior to committing to any travel club membership, particularly if they are feeling pressured into making a purchase immediately or on the spot. Timeshare is filled with “Today Only” deals and other limited-time offers that come with significant risk. Tourists should use caution when engaging with timeshare companies in order to avoid being taken advantage of by a tourist trap. By exercising due diligence and researching the facts, like reputation and track record for customer satisfaction, travelers can be sure they are making the right choice for their vacation needs.
In case we haven’t been clear, while timeshare companies and travel clubs may offer exciting deals and free gifts, it is important that tourists understand the details of vacation contracts before signing up for one. Prior to purchasing a timeshare or travel club package, tourists should consider all of the advantages and disadvantages. Doing so could help them evade getting caught up in an opportunistic tourist trap.
The financial burden of timeshare contracts can be especially daunting, especially for those who don’t read the fine print. Armed with this knowledge, travelers can make smart decisions regarding their vacations without falling victim to tourist traps.
This article solely serves as an information source and should not be interpreted as legal advice. For personalized guidance on any timeshare matters, you should consult with a reputable timeshare lawyer for the best possible outcomes.
Led by attorneys Michael D. Finn and J. Andrew Meyer with over 75 years experience. The Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. If you have a concern and would like to speak with a timeshare attorney, we invite you to schedule a free consultation in our office or over the phone, simply by calling 855-FINN-LAW or emailing us at [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter for more blog posts on timeshare.