Seniors suffer over timeshare scams
Timeshares are meant to be an investment tool to secure future vacations at a reasonable price. Learn why seniors are easy targets for resorts to fall pray of timeshare scam.
The timeshare contracts are normally made for a period of 25-30 years, and some for up to 99 years. At Mexican Timeshare Solutions, we receive several calls and emails per day from seniors who have been taken advantage of for thousands of dollars of their retirement savings. Many of these clients will not be able to use their 30 year timeshare package as they are already in their late 70s or early 80s. We hear from many clients that they were either confused about what they were purchasing, or realized afterwards that the package was not presented in an honest manner. The following are some of the sales tactics that the timeshare scam companies use to attract seniors to buy:
Senior timeshare scam No 1:
The timeshare can be willed to their children or grandchildren.
Many seniors purchase the timeshare package thinking that it will be a nice inheritance for their family members to receive upon their passing. As the timeshare is sold under high pressure, they are not given the time to contact their families at home and consult with them as to whether or not they would like to own a timeshare in Mexico. After returning home, most of the seniors find that their family members do not want the commitment of having a timeshare contract and an associated maintenance fee payment. When the seniors contact the resort to try to cancel the contract, it is often past the 5 day rescission period and the resorts do not give them an option to cancel.
The timeshare company will not charge them annual maintenance fees.
Most timeshare owners are expected to pay an annual maintenance fee, which increases substantially each year. This is often a deterrent to senior citizens who are on a fixed income. The timeshare salespeople claim that because they are seniors, they do not have to pay maintenance fees due to a special type of contract they will have. In some cases this is true, however, if a family member who is not a senior citizen inherits the membership, they will be required to pay an annual maintenance fee. In other cases, the promise of no maintenance fee is a lie that the timeshare scam salespeople use to entice seniors to purchase. The seniors are often shocked to receive a bill each year for several hundred dollars.
Senior timeshare scam No 3:
Resales of Previously Owned Timeshares
Many retired seniors have already been timeshare owners for several years and are used to travelling in this manner. They are accustomed to the idea of paying a maintenance fee and having a fixed vacation every year. Timeshare salespeople are skilled at asking leading questions to find out if the potential buyers already own another membership. They used this old timeshare as a way to sell the new timeshare to the elderly people, claiming that they will sell the old timeshare for a high ticket value and use that money to pay for the new timeshare which does not have an annual maintenance fee. Even if the claim of no maintenance fee is true, the other property never sells, and the pensioners are responsible for paying the maintenance fee for the old timeshare as well as the total amount for the new timeshare purchase.
Senior timeshare scam No 4:
A good financial investment when pension funds are failing in a desperate economy.
The recession that started in 2007 is the worst recession since the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Many pensioners are suffering from large financial hits to their retirement savings, and are looking for other ways to invest to make their dollars stretch. It is difficult for many seniors to survive, let alone take a vacation, in these uncertain economic times. The timeshare salespeople are aware of this and promise large returns for the rental of their timeshare weeks. If they choose not to use the weeks, the amounts they can rent them for can pay off the initial investment and provide the pensioners with extra money to live on. Unfortunately, this false promise of a financial investment is one of the most common timeshare scams.
Senior timeshare scam No 5:
Ability to accelerate weeks
Another timeshare scam that the salespeople in Mexico use to sell contracts is the false promise of accelerated weeks. The salespeople claim that seniors have the special privilege of being able to use their allotted weeks in a shorter period of time. For example, if the clients purchase 1 week for a 30 year contract, the salesperson will make claims that they can use 2 weeks for 15 years, or 3 weeks for 10 years. When the clients try to book the weeks on this accelerated program, they are denied. This is a common verbal promise that is not stated in the written contract.
Senior timeshare scam No 6:
Time and Size
For many elderly people, high pressure sales situations are very stressful. They are not given the time to read the contract thoroughly and carefully. Also, the font size of most of the contracts is so small that even a person with 20/20 vision struggles to read the fine print. The timeshare scam salespeople take advantage of many seniors who trust that their word matches the written contract.
If you or one of your elderly family members has fallen victim to timeshare scam in Mexico, contact Mexican Timeshare Solutions today! We are committed to helping people of all ages to obtain a swift resolution to their timeshare problem.
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