People aren’t complaining about Timeshare scams. Instead they are confusing Timeshare with the shady world of the Holiday Pack or Discount
For most of the world’s 6.7 million Timeshare owners, the purchase of a Timeshare unit represents a wise investment in their future holidays. High quality accommodation, high levels of flexibility, almost limitless choice of location and unquestionable value for money make this holiday system a firm favourite with holidaymakers around the globe.
Nowadays, with industry regulations in place – codes of ethics, cooling-off periods and official trade bodies monitoring business practice – customers can buy a Timeshare, safe in the knowledge that their investment is sound and that they are buying into a bona fide holiday system.
So, if developers are building high quality resorts, and customers are buying a fantastic, flexible holiday product that represents true value for money, what’s the problem? Why are people complaining about Timeshare scams?
Well, the answer is they’re not complaining about Timeshare scams. Instead they are confusing the regulated and established Timeshare system with the shady world of the Holiday Pack or Discount Holiday Club.
In order to build a Timeshare resort that is good enough to become affiliated into one of the exchange companies, a developer must work to the highest standards. First-rate build quality, stylish décor, state-of-the-art equipment and excellent onsite facilities
In order to build a Timeshare resort that is good enough to become affiliated into one of the exchange companies, a developer must work to the highest standards. First-rate build quality, stylish décor, state-of-the-art equipment and excellent onsite facilities are all factors that must be taken into consideration. And these factors cost money – serious money.
THE HOLIDAY PACK
If a developer or marketer doesn’t have access to this sort of cash, how does he get his hands on a product to sell to the holidaymaking public? It’s simple – he conjures one out of thin air. Often taking the form of a Holiday Pack, this usually worthless product claims to secure owners a lifetime of luxury holidays.
So far so good, all that is needed now is an office and a glossy brochure – a whole lot cheaper than developing a luxury Timeshare resort.
Next comes the problem of marketing. How do you compete with the luxury bricks and mortar of a genuine Timeshare resort? Again the answer is simple – you create scare stories to try and discredit your competitors:
• Timeshare maintenance fees are going to spiral in the future
• There will be new taxes imposed on Timeshare owners next year
• There is no availability through the exchange companies so Timeshare owners often have to return to the same place time and time again
• Timeshare resorts are going bust on a regular basis which will mean a Timeshare owner will lose their investment
• Timeshare carries an inheritance tax that will become a burden to an owner’s children
And so on and so forth. In fact, the very livelihood of a Holiday Pack marketer depends on his ability to rubbish the Timeshare system. This tactic has helped to fuel an unfounded but negative view of genuine Timeshare.
THE RECLAIM CASHBACK CERTIFICATE
Lies and aggressive tactics aside, there is an even more sinister aspect to the Holiday Pack con which once again is wrongly publicised as a Timeshare scam. Not only are the public duped into parting with large sums of cash for a product that will return little or no benefit, but they are often sold this product using the biggest lie of all – The Reclaim Cashback Certificate.
In its original incarnation, this marketing gambit was completely above board and was employed in the late 20th century to boost the sale of white goods. The idea was that when, for example, you purchased a toaster, you were given a Reclaim Certificate that, if registered within a specific time period, would entitle you to claim back the full price of the toaster in 51 months’ time.
The Reclaim process was set up in such a way that if people missed the very specific window of opportunity to make their claim, they would forfeit their cashback payment. Because of the low value of these goods, customers more often than not forgot all about the reclaim – ensuring a healthy profit for the toaster company.
This concept is behind the Reclaim scam that is at the heart of the Holiday Pack scammers’ sales pitch.
The customer buys a pack worth £7,000 and is assured by the salesperson that they will receive all of their money back in 51 months time. Indeed, these victims will be presented with a Reclaim voucher that uncannily resembles a genuine bank cheque. But anyone who believes they will see their money again is sadly misguided.
Only a fraction, if any, of a buyer’s money is sent to Reclaim in the first place. Then, any chance of a payout is made even slimmer with the complicated windows of opportunity for registering and making claims. In fact, many victims have complained of backdated certificates and delayed letters which leave them without any time to register their claim.
So as we can see, there is a distinct difference between the unscrupulous Holiday Pack scammers and the established, mainstream Timeshare industry. 6.7 million owners can’t be wrong – Timeshare has been around for years and, despite the adverse publicity generated by the conmen of the pack products, is here to stay.