Timeshare maintenance fees are high already, but they are about to get even higher in 2023
Industry experts, European Consumer Claims ("ECC") published a few articles predicting that timeshare companies would soon increase their annual fees.
It is common practice in the industry for Timeshare companies to take advantage of tough conditions to boost profits.
During the pandemic, for example, timeshare resorts charged their members full fees. This was despite the fact that government furlough schemes often covered staff wages and other costs were reduced significantly.
At the time, many resorts were accused of profiteering. This happened while other businesses in the travel industry went over and above to help their customers.
Just a few weeks ago, one of our clients got in touch with the news that Macdonald Resorts in Scotland is now planning to increase their maintenance fees by over 30%.
Here's an excerpt of the email sent to this customer:
It details that their other managed clubs in the UK and Spain will experience similar increases.
Macdonald Resorts is the first to increase its rates. However, industry experts suggest that it will not be the last.
Andrew Cooper, CEO of European Consumer Claims (ECC), outlines that timeshare companies used to have two income sources.
One was their "high pressure sales and marketing operations" that generated a huge amount of revenue by signing up holidaymakers.
This was almost all profit, ensuring timeshare companies got incredibly wealthy in the 80s and 90s.
The other income stream came from maintenance fees.
These fees were to "keep the resorts in pristine condition". However, according to Mr Cooper, members were charged "way more than was required for maintenance".
In addition, there were rarely limits written into the timeshare contracts determining how much maintenance fees could increase each year.
Once timeshare became seen as dated and sales dried up, resorts started to "become more brazen about maintenance fee increases".
In fact, now it costs less to book a stay in a resort for a week via Booking.com than it is to pay the maintenance fee.
A more apparent fact to consider is with general inflation now about 10%, Macdonald Resorts are increasing their fees by three times that.
There is no doubt that other timeshare resorts are facing the same pressures and imploring like-minded attitudes so, the fee rise from Macdonald Resorts will likely be the first of many.
Timeshare contracts are designed to be very difficult to get out of.
Many people were taken in by the flashy presentation while they are on holiday, and they didn't notice that there was no restriction in their contract about how much resorts can increase their annual fees by.
Resorts often increase by as much as they can get away with. As long as the maintenance fee increases are introduced slowly, timeshare customers have usually tolerate them.
But some customers have had enough. If you don't want to put up with the situation anymore, and you want to be free of the liability, help is available.
Most timeshare contracts can in fact be relinquished with help from experts.
If you would like a free, no-obligation consultation, contact our team at the Timeshare Advice Centre today and find out your options for relinquishing your timeshare contract or claiming compensation.