Hounded On Holiday: Timeshare Harassment And What To Do
There have been recent reports of people being hounded on holiday by cold-calling and general timeshare harassment. Those who have suffered this awful treatment are not only timeshare holders, who may be harassed into being sold additional timeshare products, but also non-owners, who are seen as potential victims of the resort’s timeshare scheme.
If you’re wondering how a timeshare company can get away with timeshare harassment in your resort, the answer is that the timeshare is run by the resort itself. Stories have been posted on TripAdvisor of people being repeatedly called in their hotel rooms by people trying to hound them into a timeshare presentation as soon as they have arrived. In one instance, the couple were prevented from getting into their hotel room on arrival until they had agreed to go to a presentation.
Another report, from a person visiting a resort in Orlando on a business trip, explained how he had been called in his hotel room to be told he had a welcome gift awaiting him. On going to collect the gift, he was rudely hounded by a woman trying to get him to go on a ‘tour’ of the resort. The gentleman in question resisted the pressure, but learned that other guests had fallen prey to the salespeople, and signed up for a timeshare that was not even at the resort they were staying in.
Timeshare Harassment in the Street
Being hounded by cold-calling in resort is not the only form of timeshare harassment people suffer on their holidays. One of the main ways that people are lured into high-pressure timeshare presentations is through being approached on the street, at the airport, and even on the beach!
Often this kind of timeshare harassment takes the form of being approached by someone offering a scratchcard. On scratching, you will inevitably find that you have “won a prize”. All you need to do to collect that prize is – you guessed it – attend a timeshare presentation. Some of these scratchcard sellers are very persistent, which can amount to harassment.
You must be very firm with these people, but do refrain from getting aggressive. Often their persistence is as a result of their desperation to make money, as many will be working on a commission-only basis. If the harassment persists, it may be necessary to find a member of the local law enforcement to help.
The reason so many people submit to the demand of attending a timeshare presentation is that it is made to seem very tempting. They will lure you in with the promise of free gifts, some of which may materialise. If you find yourself at a timeshare presentation, remember that you are under absolutely no obligation to sign up, even when someone gives you a free iPad! Our advice: take the iPad and walk away. It is, after all, apparently a ‘free gift’.
Another reason that people find themselves signing up after attending the presentation is the sheer enthusiasm of the salespeople. Salespeople are usually people who take this job because it suits them: they have charisma, they are persuasive, positive, and seem trustworthy. It may be hard to bear this in mind when they’re in the middle of their charming performance, but until you have gone away and seriously gone through all the figures with a fine-toothed comb, do not sign anything at all. There is a substantial chance that the timeshare harassment will continue until you either sign up or go home. Remember to stay strong.
If you feel that you have been the victim of timeshare harassment forcing you to sign up to a timeshare contract you don’t think is a good deal, it’s important to speak to a timeshare legal expert. Timeshare harassment can be seen as grounds for nullification of the contract, depending on the circumstances. It’s best to get legal advice to see if you have a claim.