Our main focus here at Finn Law Group is fighting on behalf of the consumer against companies using unfair or deceptive trade practices.
In recent years, one of our primary focuses has been on consumers looking to somehow cancel their legally binding timeshare contract. When a consumer dispute appears to be at an impasse and legal assistance is required to resolve the dispute or litigate the issue, consulting with an experienced timeshare lawyer may be the next step for consumers who feel victimized or trapped by the industry.
With that in mind, it’s important for our team to keep track of consumer trends within the shared vacation ownership industry, in order to provide the best, most knowledgeable representation for our clients.
Let’s take a look at some of the trends that jumped out at us from the AIF Owner’s Study 2016, a survey of timeshare owners that gives some fascinating perspective on the industry:
Are Timeshare Owners Satisfied With Their Experience?
This is a huge, loaded question, and it’s one that the AIF data does not give total perspective on. On the one hand, among more than 2700 timeshare owners, the majority are likely to recommend timeshare ownership, with 47% answering that they “definitely would recommend” it and 28% responding that they “probably would recommend” timeshare ownership.
In contrast, data also shows that rates of “buyer’s remorse” are high among “re-sale” and “non-resale” timeshare buyers and sellers alike, with slightly higher rates of remorse among those buying or selling resales; in all, 76% of total owners surveyed experience some kind of buyer’s remorse.
Why Do Consumers Want to “Exit” Their Timeshare Obligations?
Timeshare maintenance fees are part and parcel of timeshare ownership – and they’re also the biggest force driving owners away from the industry. Per the data from the AIF, maintenance fees being “too high” accounted for 66% of consumers’ reasons for exiting, and 46% of surveyed owners listed it as their “most important” reason.
Booking issues – related to not finding an acceptable location, time, or ability to travel – accounted for another large chunk of exits, as did “a lack of communication” from developers/brands (17%) and “a breakdown in trust” with timeshares (19%).
Maintenance fees accounted for the largest reason why survey respondents planned to sell, as well, with 50% citing no longer wanting to pay maintenance fees as their reason for selling; 30%, similarly, could “no longer afford the maintenance fees.”
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 50 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.