Timeshare Show Stoppers

During the high impact sales pitch, the salesman will blurt out some words in regards to "availability".  It's something that very little attention is paid to.

This is where a timeshare really starts looking like a scam ( if you were not already convinced by the math and resale value).  Availability is such an import word, so important that the sales pitch will try to avoid dwelling on the subject as much as possible.

You see, as a timeshare owner, you work from a pool of rooms and destinations.  The majority of units are allocated based upon the actions of other owners.  This action is called a "deposit", and it's the core function of the timeshare exchange program.  When one owner decides to "deposit" their unit, it goes into this pool.  This unit becomes available to use by any other owner.

As an owner, you are guaranteed that your unit (if not deposited) will be available for use for the time you purchased it for.  The exchange program's available inventory is built mostly by owners who deposit their time/week.  In theory it sounds like genius, in reality it feels like a ripoff.

Your are led to believe you can stay at any resort for a small exchange fee.  When you try to  book a reservation, you quickly discover there is NO AVAILABILITY.  Timeshare owners have complained about this, and several hotels and resorts have responded by adding points systems, flexible units, and internal exchanges to the ownership package.

The primary problem is that all these "gimmicks" still work off of an isolated inventory of rooms set aside for owners.  Things get real ugly when that inventory runs low or is depleted.  There may come a time (more often than not) that your home resort has no availability for your travel dates.  You attempt to book your "owned" unit using exchange, points, or internal exchange and find out their are no rooms available.  Yet, the hotel has several rooms available on their reservations system for the standard nightly rate.

You could end up paying the standard nightly rate at your home resort while your "owned" unit remains useless.

The hotels and resorts do something real nasty here.  They "sell" rooms to travel agencies and partners.  Those rooms become unavailable to owners but remain available to the public.  In essence, owners are given lowest priority.  Worse, the hotel may actually have empty rooms that you as an owner can't use.

Exposing the truth in timeshare and vacation ownership scams.
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