It’s important to remember that timeshare companies often use high-pressure sales tactics to convince you to buy into a timeshare upgrade that you may not actually need. They may try to convince you that your equity in your current timeshare will be applied to the cost of the new membership, or that the new membership will come with lower maintenance fees. However, in reality, these offers are often scams designed to get you to pay inflated prices for a new membership that you may not actually want or need.
If you’ve been pressured into a timeshare upgrade and now find yourself stuck with additional fees and responsibilities that you didn’t want, there are options available to you. Centerstone Group is a full-service advocacy group that specializes in helping people escape from timeshare scams and navigate the complex legal landscape surrounding timeshare ownership. With the help of their team of timeshare exit specialists, you may be able to resolve your contract issues and find a way out of your unwanted timeshare upgrade.
Is a Timeshare Upgrade Really Necessary?
Recall the moment when you made the decision to purchase a timeshare. The enticing images of contented individuals lounging on the sandy beaches of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico or Miami, Florida, likely influenced your choice. Additionally, the sales presentation presented vacation ownership as a comfortable and luxurious option.
However, why is it that your initial purchase is suddenly inadequate? Why is the timeshare company urging you to upgrade?
Although your once-new timeshare may lose value over time, and your resort will inevitably require upgrades, that is precisely why maintenance fees and special assessments exist. Be assured that there is no actual need to upgrade your timeshare, and your company should not be pressuring you to take on a new membership that you do not desire.
Unfortunately, numerous timeshare owners are coerced into upgrading. They may be informed that the new membership will enhance their experience and replace their old one. Alternatively, they may be convinced that upgrading will lower their maintenance fees when, in reality, the opposite is true.
Here are some of the upgrade tactics you should be wary of.
The Membership Upgrade That Becomes Two Timeshares
Company mergers have often been used as a tactic by timeshare companies to pressure their owners into upgrading their membership. One recent example is the merger of Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV) with Diamond Resorts. HGV is a well-established timeshare provider that owns properties all over the world, while Diamond Resorts is a lower-tier company that was acquired by HGV in 2021. As a result of this merger, a new membership option called HGV Max was created, which promises an improved vacation experience for owners of both companies.
Although HGV already had multiple membership levels such as Hilton Grand Vacation Club and Hilton Grand Vacations Elite, HGV Max is unique because it allows members to stay at both HGV and Diamond Resorts properties. However, while the merger may provide more vacation destinations, it can also lead to higher fees. It is crucial for timeshare owners to thoroughly understand the terms and costs associated with any upgrade before signing up.
Some developers may use timeshare upgrades as an opportunity to convince owners to sign up for an additional timeshare. Unfortunately, many timeshare owners fall into this trap and end up with two properties to maintain instead of one. Sales representatives from various timeshare companies may claim that an upgraded membership will replace the owner’s old property, but this often results in the owner paying maintenance fees for both properties.
Equity Discounts and Lower Maintenance Fees
Timeshare developers often use a deceptive tactic to persuade owners to upgrade their membership by claiming that the equity in their current timeshare will roll over. This strategy is similar to the one used in real estate transactions, where the investment made by the seller can be applied towards the purchase of a new property. However, this offer is a scam for timeshare owners.
The idea of using equity to buy a higher-valued timeshare property is not practical. For instance, one wouldn’t sell a paid-off $300,000 home and use the equity towards a $1 million home of the same size. Similarly, the equity discount excuse is used by timeshare companies to convince owners to pay inflated prices for a new membership. Even if the new membership comes with better perks and amenities, the prices charged are usually not proportionate to the value. Moreover, owners may be required to pay upfront fees in addition to the timeshare cost to upgrade their membership.
Additionally, timeshare developers may offer a lowered maintenance fee as a deduction to upgrade their membership. However, in reality, they imply that the new membership will be cheaper than the current one, resulting in the owner still having to pay the maintenance fees owed presently and the fees on a new property, which they may not find out until it’s too late to cancel.
Confusing Contract Jargon
Timeshare developers often use misleading language in their contracts to trap people into buying timeshare properties. These contracts contain numerous clauses that are difficult to understand, making it almost impossible for the buyer to cancel their purchase once the rescission period is over. If you have already fallen prey to this tactic, it is important to be cautious of timeshare upgrades.
When presented with a new contract for an upgraded membership, it is crucial to pay close attention to the language used. The contract should clearly state that your original membership or deeded week is being surrendered back to the developer. If this is not the case, it is highly likely that you are being enrolled in an additional timeshare property or membership. This means you will have to pay double the membership and maintenance fees, which is not an upgrade but an additional financial burden imposed by the developer.
Don’t Fall for a Timeshare Upgrade
It’s important to note that while Centerstone Group may be able to assist in resolving timeshare issues, it’s always best to carefully review any contracts and agreements before signing and to do your own research on any timeshare company or developer before making a purchase. Prevention is always better than having to seek a remedy.