On 2 November 2016, Inside Timeshare published the article News From America: “Wyndham Launches New Surrender Program”, by Irene Parker. (See the original article via the link at the end). It focused on the new initiative by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, which is one of the largest timeshare concerns in the USA.
The new initiative is called “Ovation”, it is designed to give timeshare owners a secure and legal way out of their timeshares, without fees, hidden costs or the need to make additional purchases in order to participate. Irene even managed to get a response from their media contact Lori Ford, in her statement she said “Our goal is to help owners transition to the next phase of their life and reach as many owners as possible, before they are contacted by fraudulent companies,” it certainly looked promising for owners.
Inside Timeshare was contacted by a reader Steve Lloyd, he had several enquiries about various timeshares he owns and how to get out of them. He explained what he owned and asked what were his options to either claim back, sell or just relinquish. Well we all know that the resale market is virtually non-existent, so that left the claims or relinquishment option the only course.
It turned out there was no possibility of claiming, so we looked at the only course for him to take, relinquishment. It was explained to Steve that two possibilities existed, hire a reputable law firm to do it for him or contact his resorts. Inside Timeshare advised to contact the resorts first and see what they had to say.
Then came the news about the Wyndham programme, we contacted Steve with this news and he duly got in touch with Wyndham. That was on the same day as we published.
Yesterday 16 January 2017, Steve sent an email with some great news, he received an answer from Wyndham. His timeshare has now been surrendered through the Ovation Program. This is his email:
“The attached was received this morning and signals the successful completion of our exit from WorldMark via their Ovation programme. A very successful and satisfactory process, I feel. All through the process, WM/Wyndham staff have been friendly, courteous and helpful, and the final letter shows a nice human touch that doesn’t cost them anything. Please use the contents of the letter for the good of all as you see fit”.
As you can see, he is very pleased with the result, praising the way he was treated and how courteous they were, this is truly a good sign for the timeshare industry. He is still waiting for a response from Diamond Resorts (Europe).
Irene Parker received this brief statement from Lori Ford, the Wyndham media contact:
Thanks so much for the opportunity to provide a response. Please feel free to incorporate the following statement.
“According to Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO), “We are pleased to hear of Mr. Lloyd’s positive experience with the Ovation program. We remain committed to tailoring simple, safe and secure exit strategies for owners who have fulfilled their vacation goals.” With the introduction of Ovation by Wyndham in early 2015, WVO has received over 55,000 inquiries and helped more than 20,000 owners exit their ownership with peace of mind, and without any additional costs”.
“With its portfolio of customized exit options, Ovation by Wyndham acts as the first layer of defense against unscrupulous third-party exit and resale companies who may aim to mislead owners. The program is continually evolving to suit our owners’ needs, and we encourage owners to call Wyndham first if they are interested in exploring potential exit options”.
Irene also provided the following from a past press release:
Wyndham Vacation Ownership Wins ACE Innovator Award for Ovation by Wyndham
According to Wyndham’s Press Release
Program First of its Kind in the Industry to Provide Exit Path for Timeshare Owners
ORLANDO, Fla. (May 9, 2016) – Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO), the world’s largest vacation ownership company and a member of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies (NYSE: WYN), won the ACE Innovator Award, along with 12 other prestigious industry awards, at the annual American Resort Development Association (ARDA) Awards Gala at the Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.
The ACE Innovator Award recognizes the company’s development of a groundbreaking product, service or concept. In 2015, WVO became the first developer in timeshare history to launch a comprehensive, proactive, and uniquely positive approach to help longtime owners seeking to exit their timeshare. Ovation by Wyndham offers simple, safe and secure options for owners in situations where lifestyle or vacation preferences have changed. There are no fees, hidden costs or additional purchases required to participate in the program.
“While we applaud Wyndham for leading the industry in an owner friendly timeshare exit program, we hope efforts emerge to boost the price of a timeshare’s secondary market value. In the US, an owner is fortunate if they are able to recoup 10% to 15% their initial investment. The problem can be devastating if an owner buys a timeshare and suffers a life crisis shortly after purchase. A few timeshare companies have virtually no secondary market”.
As you can see there is still a long way to go, one of the main points that keeps coming up in these articles from America is the lack of a secondary market. The same can be said in Europe, throughout all sales presentations consumers are told that they can always sell their timeshare if no longer required. Or they are told the developer / resort will buy it back, as we know that is not the case.
Inside Timeshare leaves it to you the reader to make up your own minds, your comments on this subject are welcome.
If you require any information regarding this or any other article, or just need advice on any company you may be thinking of dealing with, contact Inside Timeshare. We will do our best to help you.
Link to original Wyndham article: