When we think about all the travel we’ve done or dreamed of in the last year, it’s easy to get caught up in complaining about how stressful it was to get through TSA at the airport, or how that trip to your nearby national park was canceled during the government shutdown. But Christopher Elliott of the Seattle Times does a good job of summing up the successful role that the government has had in improving travel. He highlights fines for airline companies that have hassled consumers, inducing hotels to be more upfront about sometimes hidden “resort fees” not included in their advertised costs, and this bit about the timeshare industry:
The [FTC’s] biggest win for travelers in 2013 came in June, when it announced 191 federal and state actions to prevent fraudulent operations from peddling timeshare property resale services and travel prizes. Fraudulent timeshare resellers, a persistent problem in the travel industry, persuade consumers to pay upfront fees while claiming that they have buyers who are ready to pay top dollar for the properties. They don’t.
The FTC also pursued companies that offer discounted or “free” vacation packages supposedly worth thousands of dollars to lure unsuspecting consumers into high-pressure timeshare sales presentations. All told, the FTC stopped operations that drained $14 million from consumers’ wallets, according to the agency.
Well done, and thank you, Federal Trade Commission. One of the things we blog about quite frequently at PTR is the struggle to legitimize the timeshare industry in the midst of fraud and inflated prices. We’ve done more than a few posts on scams and putting away the fraudsters, but the state and federal actions that Mr. Elliott mentions will go a long way in support of a legit timeshare resale industry.
Instead of relying solely on consumer smarts to NEVER PAY UPFRONT FEES, now the government is getting in on the action, and making it more difficult for fraudulent timeshare resale companies to prey on timeshare owners. And those high-pressure timeshare presentations? Get ‘em outta here.
Premier Timeshare Resale is excited to be one of the few timeshare resalers striving to serve timeshare owners and potential buyers with hard work and integrity. Our agents are state licensed Realtors, and the Division of Real Estate keeps us accountable and let customers know we’re the real deal. (Look up PTR agents’ licenses here).
Timeshare property, or vacation ownership, does make sense for many families and individuals, but may not be for everyone. Please contact us today if you’re interested in buying a timeshare resale and talk to one of our agents to see if it might be right for you.