So, what is the timeshare Sales Persons take on Timeshare?
This is the normal pitch.
When considering a timeshare, many travellers compare their options based on the experiences they have had with hotels. If you’re deciding between your timeshare and hotel options, here are a few things to keep in mind:
– Most timeshares are as good or better than a hotel in terms of luxury and service. In fact, many of the best timeshare resorts are owned by the most trusted names in the hotel industry, like Disney, Four Seasons, Hilton and Marriott.
– Timeshares typically offer much larger accommodations than their hotel counterparts. In fact, many timeshares include multiple bedrooms, fully equipped kitchens, dining areas, living room spaces and balconies or patios.
– With a timeshare, you not only have access to luxurious accommodations but also to all that the resort has to offer, such as workout facilities, pools, tennis courts, activities for the kids and much more.
– Your timeshare property is a vacation you can count on. Rather than worrying about hotel room availability, especially during peak seasons, your timeshare is there for you to enjoy year after year.
– Many timeshare properties offer exchange programs, enabling you to see the country or even the world through the benefits of your timeshare ownership.
– Unlike a one-time stay at a hotel, your timeshare ownership is an investment that can be shared with friends and family and even passed on to future generations.
So what’s the real experience like?
Below is a typical response from a potential timeshare purchaser?
I’ve been suckered in the past into attending timeshare presentations and definitely wanted to avoid spending our vacation time being pushed to buy property or join a vacation club. I looked on TripAdvisor and saw several posts of travelers who complained about being bullied into sales presentations we decided to lower our expectations, especially since it was a free trip but we were going to stay firm and avoid any sales presentations.
Everything seemed great when we arrived the resort. We were offered transportation from the airport and when we got to the resort we noticed that it was one of many properties owned by a company called Vedanta
The service was impeccable during check-in but as soon as we received our keys we were immediately asked to meet with a manager. The manager explained the key attractions and benefits at the resort then asked if he could invite us to a free breakfast. Red flags and melee went up and we politely declined over and over. The manager kept insisting that we attend and wanted to show us all the benefits of becoming a member of a luxury vacation club we still said no. The manager also asked about booking excursions and when we told him that we had already booked our own tours online he seemed pretty annoyed.
Fast-forward to the evening and we noticed that the room was really noisy, the wall seemed thin and we had a connecting door that didn’t help.
We basically heard our neighbours conversation and the music that they were playing on their phone since we got an early morning tour we decided to ask the front desk if we could get a different room preferably one without a connecting room or at least a connecting room that didn’t have occupancy
We were really surprised at what happened next. The front desk was unwilling to help us; we went back and forth with the manager for about an hour and at one point they agreed to put us in another room. We were asked to pack up our stuff and return to the front desk when we stayed there for about an hour and then we were told that the room was not available and that we would have to stick to our original room. We decided to leave the resort the next day and forfeit our free stay.
Using my Chase Ultra Wars points I transferred 60,000 points to Hyatt and booked to stay at the Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya down the road the hotel was incredible and a complete contrast to our experience at the Mayan Palace
So what’s the difference between a hotel versus a timeshare or vacation club for those of you who don’t know the difference
Timeshares are agreements where several joint owners have the right to use a property as a vacation home usually for a specific period of time. The key word here is owner as you’re actually purchasing the right to the property even if it’s only for a week or two in a year
Timeshare owners typically enter a real-estate deed for specific dates at a specific property; it’s like owning two weeks of a furnished condo in Hawaii. You’ll have to pay some maintenance fees for the property but it should be less than owning a second home or property
With timeshares, you can usually participate in networks where you can trade stays with other timeshare owners allowing you to travel to other properties in the world. This can be a bit tricky especially around popular travel times and locations.
Vacation clubs are slightly different, it’s basically a membership that gives you the right to access properties under an umbrella of resorts. The key term here is right to access rather than buying into a property you’re paying a membership fee to your Resort
You’ll get more flexibility on the location and time that you want to use it but you’ll sacrifice the equity that you would earn if you purchased a timeshare.
In summary the pros for timeshares are:
The cons for timeshares include:
- limited flexibility on the timing of your vacation
- the annual maintenance fees
- less services than you would find with a regular hotel or resort
For vacation clubs the pros are
- more diversity of destinations and resort types
- you have a little more flexibility with the timing of your vacation
- you get more hotel and resort services
The cons for vacation clubs are:
- they’re typically more expensive than timeshares both upfront and annually
- you’re also limited to the availability it may be difficult to book during certain high peak seasons
- you have no equity or ownership
- you don’t have the ability to exchange outside of the vacation club network
If you do decide to purchase or join one of these resorts here are some things to consider:
1) hire resort costs and prices. My experience at vacation clubs is that the prices at the resorts are generally higher for the value that you receive while I expect prices for meals to be more expensive at a resort or hotel I generally don’t mind if I feel like that quality is also high, unfortunately we found the prices for meals drinks and groceries outweigh the quality and customer service since it’s sometimes difficult to leave the resort so you can become quite reliant on what’s available and being charged
2) prices may not be competitive. There is a tonne of stories online of folks who research to stay at the exact same location and timeframe and found it to be the same cost or cheaper than their timeshare or vacation club rate. Also, where services like Airbnb you now have more options when booking a vacation staying, so keep that in mind when considering the fees associated with a vacation club or timeshare
3) limited flexibility. This primarily applies to vacation clubs. I found that these resorts typically want to control the customer experience and when you deviate from it you tend to find problems or lack of support.
Our story from earlier is a perfect example everything seemed great until we deviated from the structure
We refused to attend the sales presentation and booked our own independent tours when we wanted to leave we were forced to have our luggage transported back to the resort’s main lobby rather just having a taxi pick us up with our luggage from the specific resort. When I spoke to the manager he was unwilling to make an exception even though certain guests were allowed to have a direct pickup from the resort.
This added another 45 minutes to our checkout experience and we felt uncomfortable giving up our luggage since we already were in conflict with the resort.
4) high-pressure sales. I can speak from personal experience that the sales tactics used by timeshare networks and vacation clubs are extremely aggressive. They usually try to lure you in with gifts or free services like meals tours and the event tickets then you’re stuck in a long presentation where the price keeps dropping and the pressure to sell increases
I know it is the nature of the industry to sell but I personally can’t stand spending my vacation time being pressured and bullied into a deal.
5) difficulty getting out. One tactic that’s often used by timeshares and sometimes by vacation clubs is the idea that you can commit now and if you change your mind you can just call and cancel within a certain period of time. These sorts of clauses are called a cooling-off period; this is often mixed in with justifications like “why not lock in the price now there’s no penalty if you change your mind”. The trick is that they make it very difficult to cancel you’ll often have to call different offices and send in all sorts of official paperwork.
Some vacation clubs don’t even allow cancellations so make sure to check the agreement if you’re considering entering a deal.
6) disputes. This goes for any hotel or resort stay, not just vacation clubs. If you encounter a payment dispute with the hotel. I was just refusing to sign the credit card receipt or invoice while the hotel and resort can still charge you the fee.
You basically forfeit the right to a dispute; by signing the invoice since you’re agreeing to the charges. We made this mistake at the Mayan Palace and we’re stuck with four nights of resort fees when we only stayed there one night. They refused to waive the fees and told us to call the booking agent. When I called them afterwards they said that we were misled since they don’t deal or receive any of the resort fees and that, as I’d signed the credit-card invoice, I basically waived my right to a chargeback. So definitely don’t make the same mistake as us!
Of course, there are people who love their timeshare and really find value in it. I guess I just really value having more flexibility in my travels and with points and miles and Airbnb I feel like I’m able to travel and afford things that would normally be out of reach.
One other thing that’s really important to me is customer service and intention I don’t expect things to be perfect but I expect there to be an intention to resolve issues my experience at the Mayan Palace versus Andaz Mayakoba Resort was like night and day
While we felt trapped, unsupported at the Mayan Palace our experience at the Andaz Mayakoba made us appreciate the importance of customer service and our desire to feel like valued guests when visiting a hotel.