Timeshare companies are infamous for their aggressive sales tactics, which they use to lure in new buyers and convince existing owners to upgrade their memberships. To put it in perspective, upgrading a timeshare is similar to going in for a routine oil change and being persuaded by the mechanic to replace your air filters and tires, even if they don’t need it at the moment. These unnecessary upgrades are often pushed by persistent salespeople who pressure you into agreeing to more than what you actually need.
If you’ve had enough of the constant badgering from your timeshare developer to upgrade, don’t worry. We’ll uncover the tactics that timeshare companies employ to coerce you into upgrading and explain why it’s not in your best interest to fall for them. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to identify if you’ve been duped into a timeshare upgrade scam and take the necessary steps to escape it.
Is a Timeshare Upgrade Really Necessary?
Recall the moment when you first decided to purchase a timeshare, lured in by glossy photos of happy people on luxurious beaches in Cabo San Lucas or Miami, and a sales pitch that convinced you of the convenience and luxury of vacation ownership. So, why is your initial purchase no longer sufficient? Why is your timeshare company insisting that you get a timeshare upgrade?
Despite the inevitable decrease in value as your timeshare ages, maintenance fees and special assessments are designed to address this issue. Therefore, there is never a real need to upgrade your timeshare, and your company shouldn’t pressure you into a new membership that you don’t want.
Regrettably, many timeshare owners are pressured to upgrade, falsely informed that the new membership offers a better experience that will replace their old membership. Or they’re misled into believing that an upgrade will lower their maintenance fees, when the opposite is true. Here are some upgrade tactics to look out for.
The Membership Upgrade That Becomes Two Timeshares
Timeshare developers often use company mergers as a means to coerce timeshare owners to upgrade their membership. One prominent example is the merger of Hilton Grand Vacations and Diamond Resorts. Hilton Grand Vacations is a major timeshare company based in Florida that boasts hundreds of properties worldwide, while Diamond Resorts is a lower-tier provider that was acquired by HGV in 2021. The merger led to the creation of a new membership category called HGV Max, which allegedly provides an improved vacation experience for owners from both companies.
While timeshare mergers can mean access to more vacation destinations, they can also result in additional charges. It is crucial to fully understand the terms and costs of any upgrade before agreeing to it. Some developers view upgrades as an opportunity to sell an additional timeshare, leading many owners to make the unfortunate decision to purchase a second property. Sales representatives may assure owners that the upgraded membership will replace their existing timeshare, but in reality, they are signed up for a second one and are now liable for double the maintenance fees.
Equity Discounts and Lower Maintenance Fees
Timeshare developers often use the promise of equity rollover to convince owners to upgrade their membership. They claim that the equity they’ve accumulated in their current timeshare will be applied towards the purchase of a more expensive property, just like in real estate. However, this is a deceptive tactic, as the inflated prices of the new membership don’t match the value. In addition, upfront fees may be required to upgrade, and maintenance fees may not actually decrease as promised. Furthermore, the equity rollover is unlikely to result in a significant discount on a more expensive timeshare, as it would in real estate. Thus, owners should be wary of this tactic and carefully consider the costs and benefits of upgrading before making any decisions.
Confusing Contract Jargon
It’s important to thoroughly read through any contracts and documentation provided by the timeshare company, especially when it comes to upgrades or changes to your membership. If you’re unsure about any of the language or clauses, seek the advice of a legal professional who specializes in timeshare law. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to timeshare ownership.
Don’t Fall for a Timeshare Upgrade
It’s important to note that as an AI language model, I cannot endorse or recommend specific companies or services. However, it’s always a good idea to do your research and seek out reputable and trustworthy companies before working with them. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel you have been misled or tricked into a timeshare upgrade, it’s always a good idea to seek legal or professional advice to help you navigate your options.