Timeshare owners have to pay expensive membership fees every year, even when they don't actually use it. Soon, these annual fees for 2023 are due, and members who don't want to pay are running out of time.
It can be difficult to understand the timeshare trap if you're not an owner, so here's a helpful analogy:
Let's say you decide to visit a hair salon, and they offer you the chance to join their special membership club.
You pay £10,000 and make a commitment to visit the salon for a number of years.
On top of the lump sum, you then have to pay every time you get a haircut. Sometimes this is the regular price, but often it's more expensive.
If, one year, you decide to go somewhere else to get your haircut, you still have to pay the salon.
And if you decide not to go to the salon one year, you still pay the annual fee for being part of the club.
Even worse, the club can also increase prices whenever they want to, and you are obliged to pay.
They may even provide lower standards and hire hairdressers who are not as good, or they may decide not to upgrade their equipment.
In the end, you might hate going to the salon and want to go somewhere else. Perhaps the salon cannot fit you in because it is overbooked, often by people who are not members.
Whatever the situation, and no matter how much you want to get out, you are stuck paying your fee.
Would you find that annoying?
Lots of timeshare owners are finding themselves increasingly frustrated. They have paid a lot of money for often not a lot to show for it.
What's worse, many have been sold illegal contracts.
They often pay the same as other guests to use the resorts, even when these guests did not pay any joining fees and simply book on Booking.com and similar sites.
It's not exactly the 'exclusive' arrangement that members signed up for.
Add to that disappointment over the lowering standards, and it's no surprise that so many people want to get out of their contracts.
The problem for many members is that they feel stuck. Back when they signed their contract in the 80s or 90s, they were promised so much, and it seemed like a great deal.
Now, as many as 85% of owners have come to regret their decision.
Many believe that there is no way out.
Contrary to what some believe, it is often possible to escape from contracts if you get expert help.
Industry propaganda has frightened people into thinking that they cannot get out of their contracts, but this is not the case.
When members are able to find a trusted company to assist them, they often find that they can get out with no problems.
But they want to act fast to escape from the need to pay the next annual fee.
Andrew Cooper, the CEO of European Consumer Claims says that "it takes an average of two or three months to relinquish a timeshare contract". Sometimes it can take a little longer and sometimes it can be under two months.
But with maintenance bills being issued in the next few months, now is the time to get out to avoid paying for another year of maintenance.
In addition to this according to Cooper, "a significant number of timeshare owners' contracts are actually illegal."
When this is the proven case, not only will the owner have an avenue to get out of their contract, but the owner will be owed compensation from the resort.
It is essential that your timeshare options are discussed with experts.
If you want to explore your options regarding your timeshare membership, speak with our trusted and experienced advisers at the Timeshare Advice Centre for free and confidential advice.