Today’s article is from one of our readers, Andy contacted Inside Timeshare for help and advice regarding his timeshare, here is his story.
Like others on holiday we were approached in Bali and lured into the timeshare trap. It would be unfair to say that it was all bad, we bought a week in Goa, had some nice holidays out of the deal mainly on exchange basis. We were lead to believe we could use the week as we wanted, it would hold its resale value and if we eventually got to the stage of wanting to sell the timeshare there would be no problem.
Over the following years maintenance and exchange fees rose on a yearly basis, this coupled with the availability of cheaper, easier to book and more adventurous holidays the timeshare became more a burden than a pleasure. I contacted the resort management company, which by then had gone through a couple of name changes since we had acquired the original deal (Ivo, Royal Resorts & Karma) . I enquired about the possibility of them selling the lease on or returning it back to themselves. They responded by saying they do not do resale and forwarded a list of agents, none of which when contacted seemed that interested or would hold out much hope of a realistic sale price.
I turned to the internet to do some research and learnt of people spending more money to get out of a similar situation and ended up only being further out of pocket with no meaningful result. I went through the process of filling out enquiry forms for a couple of companies, getting the same responses, “invest more cash and we guarantee that you will be free”, even promises of more money back than we invested initially, eg: Sell my timeshare. Cold calls in abundance promising everything you could imagine, even a call from a source claiming to be the Timeshare Ombudsman recommending a company that would help.
I began to realise that getting any money back was probably going to be a fruitless task and had got to the point of just wanting to get rid of the burden, so I tried to find out more about relinquishing my contract. Whilst investigating this further I came across the Inside Timeshare web page and began reading some newsletters and reports about different companies involved in timeshare scams and false promises of help. I decided to use their contact page to query a few of the companies who had contacted myself especially the so called ombudsman who had previously been in touch. I started a dialogue with Charles Thomas who confirmed my initial concerns about these so called good Samaritans. We continued our conversation, exchanging basic information of my timeshare company dealings and discussed what I was hoping to achieve in the end. Once l confirmed I only wanted to relinquish my agreement Charles offered to draft a letter for me to submit and told me not to pay that years maintenance fee. Once amended I both e-mailed and sent a hard copy to the company. Within a short period of time I received a reply stating that as I defaulted on my payment, my membership would be cancelled but I would receive automated reminders and to ignore them. After consulting with Charles regarding this reply he confirmed that this was a common response and that I am now free from it.
Apart from escaping from the timeshare nightmare the most gratifying thing to come out of all this was to eventually come across Inside Timeshare and Charles Thomas. It was the first time I felt that I had spoken to someone who really understood how I was feeling, trapped into paying out money yearly and how these companies operated. It was refreshing to find someone who wanted to help improve your situation and have a discussion that didn’t involve parting with more money to achieve it. I know I have not recouped my initial outlay but I now have peace of mind and no further annual outlay.
There are many people out there in the same horror story, all I can say is, don’t give up, there are a few people that really want to help and not scam you out of more money.
Thank you Andy, Inside Timeshare is glad we were able to help you, his story goes to show how careful you need to be when dealing with any company contacting you. If Andy had not done his homework, it may have cost him thousands, now he is timeshare and maintenance free, all for the cost of some time researching his options.
If you need help in checking any company that contacts you, or even one you have found on the internet, contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.