On the 22nd January 2016 The New York Times ( by Gretchen Morgenson) published an article about Diamond Resorts International. Following this article the Share Price plummeted by around 15% on the New York Stock Exchange. So what prompted this plunge?
The article highlighted the high pressure sales tactics that Diamond sales staff employ at their sales presentations. A lady called Mrs Mary Ann Gutierrez aged 77, who had been an owner at Lake Tahoe California for around 25 years, visited one of the timeshare units she owns. While checking in she was given a $100 gift voucher to attend a presentation. She was then subjected to 5 hours of hard sell. Before this happened she had to fill out various forms including her credit card details.
The pressure she felt was enormous, but she did not give in, eventually the sales staff gave up trying. The next shock came a little later, a Diamond representative gave her a voided credit card voucher for $4,840. This sum had been deducted from her card without her permission, the Diamond sales staff felt that confident she would purchase, they put the transaction through before the end of the meeting.
This was not the only case The New York Times Highlighted. (See link below)
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is looking very closely at the timeshare industry in the US, and many are calling for tighter regulation and controls. It may be that as in Europe self regulation does not work. Is it time for outside control of this industry?