I think one of the best words in the world is the Hawaiian word aloha. When I lived in Hawaii, the locals told me that it means hello and goodbye. Apparently, there’s more to it. Each letter signifies an admirable personality trait we should all strive to maintain. It’s not easy in timeshare.
I started researching timeshare in 2015, after a dubious timeshare transaction. In 2016, I reached out to the author of an article published in Spain. The author was Charles Thomas. He responded to my inquiry about a lawsuit filed against Diamond Resorts by replying that he looks forward to a “lifelong collaborator relationship.” That was quite a response! I need to see the whites of the eyes of anyone I put my name to, I convinced my husband we needed to fly to Spain to meet Charles. It was an uneventful flight except for boarding the wrong plane in Madrid, and ENDING UP IN AMSTERDAM!
They say that when you give, it comes back tenfold. Serving as a volunteer since 2015, what I have given has come back to me twenty-fold after being offered the opportunity to help people have great vacations by buying or selling Marriott or Disney timeshares on the secondary market. Timeshare developers have gone to great lengths to suppress the secondary market. I often use the analogy – think what would happen if you could not sell your primary residence because of an outstanding loan. Some resorts won’t take back a timeshare under any circumstances.
Charles and I have heard from over 3,000 timeshare members since we started writing together. We never hear from Disney Vacation Club members and Marriott Vacation Club complaints are infrequent. Both companies have some resale value. Most timeshares have little to no resale value. You have to pay timeshare resorts like Westgate Resorts, Diamond Resorts, and Vacation Village to take back your timeshare.
They also say when God closes one door, he opens another. The burden of a weekly article was getting to be too much. At age 72, as a newly minted Florida real estate associate, I will be putting in full-and-a-half time on this new opportunity to market Marriott and Disney timeshares. Life can be unpredictable. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be selling timeshares in any way, shape or form. The Marriott owners I have talked to are mostly, like me, getting up in years, saying a bittersweet goodbye to their weeks or points. It’s a far cry from the frustrated and more than a little angry members that are held timeshare hostage.
Last year, we joined Timeshare and Resort Developer Accountability (TARDA) with AIT. TARDA, was formed by a group of current and former timeshare owners who worked to resolve their timeshare dispute through self-advocacy. The process worked for us, and for many who have reached out to us. We are also are committed to reaching out to lawmakers, regulators, and the media working towards a more consumer-friendly timeshare industry. We all believe there is no true consumer voice in Washington D.C. I will be posting one a month on TARDA, and we hope Charles will keep us abreast on what is happening on his side of the pond.
Grateful this Thanksgiving for our readers, contributors, and current and former sales agents and managers who share our beliefs.
Thank you, Irene, as they say, all good things must come to an end and it has been quite an eventful journey since our first contact back in 2016. Over those years we have seen many changes in the timeshare industry, some for good some for worse, we have also seen a huge rise in the number of scam operations which have affected thousands of mainly senior timeshare owners, not just in Europe but also in the US. We have attempted to warn readers of the latest scams and how they operate, but as we know, one closes and others are ready to take their place, most of the time it is the same people, just a renaming, new numbers and new websites, but the scams are always the same.
Our warnings have always been the same, Cold Calls usually equal a Scam, they will use any means to frighten you into signing up and also promise you the earth. They will tell you they are a law firm or paralegals, but as we all know they are nothing but marketing companies, lawyers and law firms are not permitted to solicit for trade themselves and many lawyers have also been conned into working with these people. So our final warning is if it is a COLD CALL, beware it will more than likely be a scam.
For me, it has been a pleasure to have helped so many people and prevented them from being scammed, for those who fell for it, we hope that we have given you the information you need to get your money back. But it is time for me to move on explore other areas and spend more time writing on other subjects other than timeshare. The transition will not be easy as this website and the previous one, Inside Timeshare, have been a huge part of my life, I will however try to submit the occasional article for Irene to publish on the Tarda website, so watch that space.
I would like to thank Irene for her support over the years and also all those who have helped with information for the articles and especially those guest writers with their testimonies. IT and especially AIT has always been driven by you the readers with your inquiries and questions, with many of you providing valuable information which has certainly helped others. Even though we will no longer be around, you are not alone, a huge network of support groups has grown and continues to grow, and I will be keeping in touch with all the groups.
So it leaves me to say from myself and Baby Dog, goodbye and thank you for your support over the years, take care and beware the scammers.
Charles Thomas “Timeshare Insider” and Zeus “Baby Dog”