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Timeshare Troubles.

January 17, 2011

One sunny morning while on a family vacation in Florida, my parents woke me up extra early to take me, I assumed, to Disney World.  I was so excited I was rushing them out the door. You could imagine my surprise and intense disappointment when we showed up at the Radisson Hotel for a Timeshare presentation. I searched for Mickey Mouse hoping there was some sort of mistake, but alas I settled on the breakfast bar and hoped it would end soon. My mother reassured me it would only last an hour but we didn’t leave until almost lunch time. I remember seeing pictures of these really nice condo’s and slides showing all the places we could travel. A tall slender man with a headset emphasised words like, flexible travel, free trips, and reduced airfares. Since none of this involved  Princess Jasmine or Abu, I decided a nap was more beneficial. Did I mention I was 12 at the time?

Years later, I encountered another Timeshare presentation and instead of napping and eating I listened. This was  for a timeshare in the Poconos. The offered accommodations were great, a six bedroom villa with 2 jacuzzi’s, fireplace and a full kitchen. We even got coupons for local restaurants and discount rates for ski resorts and snowboarding. All they asked for was a one time payment of $99.99 to book our first trial 3 day/2 night vacation stay. If we didn’t like the resort, we weren’t obliged to purchase the timeshare. Sounds too good to be true? That’s because it is. In the fine print, once you give your credit card information you are automatically charged for the purchase price of the timeshare which can run into the $10,000+ range. It can take anywhere from 30-60 days for a cancellation to become active. This didn’t even include any yearly maintenance fees, which was conveniently left out of the sales presentation. Scam alert!!

If you are thinking of buying a timeshare, make sure you do your research. According to an article I read in The New York Times, getting as much in writing can save you thousands in hidden charges. The legit timeshare’s will cooperate and if not, move on. Ask about travel block out dates, yearly maintenance fees, and don’t be afraid to negotiate. Oh and that one hour presentation will run more like two and a half hours, but you may be able to get some free theme park tickets out of the deal. Don’t sign anything you don’t understand and if you are a compulsive buyer then maybe skip this event.

At GAI (www.gunwel.com) we would love to hear about your experiences with timeshare’s. Looking to see if you can afford it? Let us help you by handling all your bookkeeping needs. So stop by or give us a call at 212-979-6830, we would love to hear from you! See you soon!!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lynne permalink
    January 17, 2011 9:12 pm

    Did you ever get to Disney World or am I going to have to take you there myself? And did Uncle Tony ever buy the timeshare? So many questions.

  2. January 17, 2011 9:55 pm

    Come and visit me and I’ll answer all your questions.

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