Consumers are still been lured into purchasing timeshares, and why not, imagine been lucky enough to own one or two weeks in a luxury resort abroad. Lots of couples and families enjoy them year after year. With most resorts catering for children, allowing families to relax while the children are entertained.

However, unfortunately the bad press and horror stories surrounding timeshare will never go away nor be forgotten.

For anyone considering purchasing a timeshare they must attend a presentation, some can last several hours whilst others most of the day. There will always be the genuine consumer interested in purchasing and there will always be the time waster who only attends for the free gift. If you are the latter and think you can dupe the salespeople, think again. These reps are professionals and will use key words like ‘freedom’ and ‘relaxation’ showing you photos of luxury sandy beaches and sunsets, and hey presto, you’re hooked. Once signed on the dotted line, you are now the proud owner own a timeshare, whether you wanted it or not.

Not only will you pay a large sum of money for the privilege of owing a timeshare, you will also be liable for the annual maintenance fees along with ‘upkeep fees’ which can be applied whenever the resort feels like it. Suddenly the realisation of what you have signed hits home and you no longer think this is a good idea………. but is it too late? Not necessarily, there is always a ‘cooling off’ period.

Owners should check their contracts, re the ‘cooling off’ period. The ‘cooling off’ period allows buyers time to cancel the contract should they choose to, thus giving them the right to cancel, no questions asked. The only stipulation is they are doing so within the time stated. It’s advisable to check with a professional if you are unclear about the contract’s contents, if it’s a very recent i.e. days after signing, you may be covered, and you may be able to annul the contract. Should a consumer wish cancel, this should be done in writing, never over the phone or via email, send the cancellation letter via recorded delivery and always keep a signed copy for records.

Should the ‘cooling off’ period have passed, it has been known in the past that the resort will buy back the timeshare. This is rare; however, it has happened, * note that what was paid is certainly not what they buyer will get back.

If the owner is desperate and needs to dispose of the timeshare quickly, they can approach the resort and ask them to take it back for ‘free’. Obviously, the owner could be looking at a detrimental loss, but to some it is also a release from a financial burden.

Timeshares do work for hundreds of thousands of owners, after all, they cost a lot less than owning a holiday home. And in most cases, much less than paying for a full on 5-star luxury holiday every year. However, there are still several downsides to owning a timeshare. Here are a few negatives to consider before you buy.

• You will be committed to the same company
• Some timeshare companies only allow you to use the resort which you initially purchased at
• There may be no flexibility in weeks
• It means going to the same place year after year
• The initial purchase price averages around £20,000, * note, this does not include the annual maintenance fees
• The timeshare will never gain any value, nor will it generate any income unlike a holiday home, which could be rented out should the owner choose

For those wishing to purchase a timeshare, do so direct from a seller, in doing so they will get a much better deal. Resale prices on timeshares are significantly lower than the original sale prices. If you insist on owning a timeshare, buy used.

There are many reasons owners wish to get out of their timeshare, things can change. The most common reasons are;

• Consumers buy on the spur of the moment
• They were taken in by the pitch
• They didn’t really understand the context until going away and looking into the contract further
• Finances can change
• Personal circumstance can change, maybe a separation or the death of a partner
• Too old to travel
• Too ill to travel

Consumers considering purchasing a timeshare really should weigh up all the pro’s and con’s before committing to something which they could ultimately regret, timeshares are not homes, they are a depreciating asset and there are always more sellers than buyers.

Think with caution.

Posted on: November 8, 2018

For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 0203 519 3808 or email:

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