Friday’s Letter from America: Covid Nursing and Timeshare

Welcome to this week’s Letter from America and the return of Beth whose story we highlighted some time ago. Once again Inside Timeshare would like to thank our friends from across the pond who have helped to prepare and edit this article.

Today Beth warns younger people to think carefully before buying a timeshare. She was convinced to upgrade after her parents gave her their timeshare points. This happened at the height of the Covid pandemic while Beth worked as a front-line Covid nurse. The consequence was being left with no choice but to default. 

TIMESHARE TALKS is a new initiative, a YouTube forum hosted by John Raymond, owner of Resort Reseller, Wayne C. Robinson, author of Everything About Timeshares and a former timeshare executive, and Irene, a timeshare owner for over 35 years. The two goals are to promote the secondary market and call attention to the oral representation clause that has been a source of tragedy for many families who have reached out to Inside Timeshare over the years. Contact John if you are interested in being a guest. 

Beth decided to share her story after Earl, Faith and Service Dog Raven shared their Mexico timeshare and organized timeshare crime resale disaster in last week’s interview, CRIMESHARE. 

A Warning to Younger People Buying a Timeshare 

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June 11, 2021

By Beth, a Tennessee Timeshare Purchaser

I watched a TIMESHARE TALKS interview with Earl, Faith and Raven. The interview hit home especially for me since I bought a timeshare in Tennessee. Earl mentioned in his interview that he had been scammed by Your New Tennessee. It was brave of Earl to share his story and brave of Wayne to talk about how sales agents lie. I think Raven is a natural mascot for the episodes.  

I was forced to default on a timeshare I purchased after learning that a $4,500 purchase was really $40,340. The $4,500 was just the down payment that was charged to a Barclaycard provided by the resort. 

Wayne talked about the importance of reading the contract. I did not do that due to being in the midst of a whirlwind crisis. I thought I had not been given the contract, but when I searched through my papers I found it. 

I attended the presentation to learn how to use 10,000 resort points my parents had given me. The sales agent told me that the points I had would not get me very far and were in fact worthless. He talked about the benefits of achieving a loyalty level which required 15,000 points. He explained that he could get me 5,000 more points for $4,500. The contract was signed on a small tablet. He went through the contract quickly saying I should not worry because the contract would be sent in a few days. I was surrounded by salespeople who kept telling me how they wished that they had this opportunity at such a young age. I’m 24.

The actual signing was recorded. I never heard $40,340. I would have never purchased if I had heard this amount. That’s more than I owe on student loans and my loan balance which will reach $80,000 by the time I finish graduate school. 

The resort used the recording against me. I asked if I could listen to it because I have no recollection of the closing agent disclosing the purchase price. I was told I could only listen to the recording if I retained a lawyer who would need to issue a subpoena. I was prepared to do this, despite the stress of working as a front-line Covid nurse. A lawyer said that in order to issue a subpoena he would have to file an arbitration case. The demands of my work would not allow me time to do this and the case would be my word against the agent. I have no choice but to default. I wanted to buy a car and a house but now may have to wait.  

The company provided a portion of the recording’s transcript. I have to take their word for it that the figure of $40,340 was mentioned. I clearly remember $4,500 explained by the agent as being the cost to obtain 5,000 additional points.  

My warning is to never buy anything in the middle of a crisis. After listening to Earl and Wayne, I learned I should not blame myself for being younger. When we took a break from the hard-sell sales session, I called the hospital to check on my primary patient. I was informed that she was being taken off life-support. She was six months old and I had cared for her for four months. To make matters worse, the next day Nashville had one of those really bad tornadoes and power was lost. I was scheduled to move out of my apartment and into a new apartment the day after I signed the contract. Due to the loss of power, I could not move into the new apartment, but had to vacate the one I was living in.        

My mother is horrified. She thought giving me their timeshare points would provide relief from the stress of nursing. The stress of caring for Covid patients was overwhelming. I caught Covid twice. 

When something like this happens, you need support. You feel violated and alone. There are member-sponsored Facebook pages that provide support and straight answers. My mother reached out to Irene, one of our Facebook volunteers. I was able to get straight answers. I was advised to work directly with the resort. I learned that what I had before was 10000 Liki Tiki resort points that converted to 9000 Diamond points and that I had bought 6000 Diamond points for $40,340. I paid $6.72 per point. I’ve learned this is a high price. I didn’t read the contract until it was too late.   

I read about how some call me gullible. The phrase “pouring salt into a wound” evolved as a form of torture employed by pirates. It makes the wound worse and is designed to add to the pain. It doesn’t help the patient. 

Thank you to Earl and Faith, Raven, John, Irene and Wayne. I subscribed to TIMESHARE TALKS YouTube channel and hope you do too. The only defense from timeshare harm that I know of is consumer education and awareness.      

Diamond Resort Member-sponsored Facebook

Thank you Beth for your contribution and all those who have had a hand in this article. Have a great weekend.

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