Timeshare Points Systems Under Legal Scrutiny
Several different types of timeshare contracts are under the legal spotlight at present. One of these is timeshare points systems, which are increasingly found to be unlawful in timeshare court cases across the globe.
Action on Timeshare Points Systems
In South Africa, the National Consumer Commission have already announced timeshare points systems are a scam. In Europe, the EU is urging consumers to challenge their timeshare points contracts in court.
Furthermore, an inquiry is due to be launched into these systems (and timeshare products in general). Over a period of six months, timeshare legal experts and a judge will together assess the legality and legitimacy of such contracts.
There is also a conference of lawyers from all over the world descending on Spain this month to consider the matter of timeshare points systems as part of their discussions on the industry.
What Are Timeshare Points Systems?
When you sign up to a timeshare points system contract, they may not use those precise words. Instead, you’ll likely be told that you are buying into an exclusive club, either comprising fractional ownership or a timeshare points system.
These ‘exclusive clubs’, however, are anything but. They are engineered by Trust Companies, and designed to benefit timeshare developers, not you.
When you sign up, you’ll be obliged to pay a large fee upfront. This will be followed by the obligation to pay further fees, which are converted into points in your account. With these points, you can ‘buy’ holiday accommodation. Or can you? Well, that depends on whether there’s any availability, which is far from guaranteed. Indeed, thousands have reported frustration that the holiday they want is never available, no matter how far in advance they try to book.
Timeshare companies have been found, in the past, to offer priority to their own staff for the best holidays, leaving them unavailable to points holders. With availability controlled by the resort themselves, they can pick and choose what they make available and when, which means you lose out time and again. In some cases, the accommodation people want does not even exist.
The Diamond Resorts Case
A good example of timeshare points systems in the spotlight is Diamond Resorts, who recently settled out of court to the tune of $800,000 in compensation to consumers who had been misled by the company.
No one was getting the product they paid for, and Diamond Resorts were found to be seriously to blame.
The Valueless Product
It is very debatable as to whether there is any value at all for the consumer from timeshare points systems. Many consumers have found that their contract simply boils down to the ‘chance’ to buy a holiday, which – of course – anybody has the right to do without being signed up to an extortionate contract!
The complicated terms and conditions of timeshare points system contracts make it extremely confusing for consumers to work out precisely what they’re entitled to. This means that they are in a position of needing a timeshare lawyer to comb through the convoluted clauses and translate it in a way that can be understood.
We’ve seen this so many times at Timeshare.Lawyer, and it really bothers us that so many people are being misled in this way. It just makes us want to work even harder to eradicate illegal and misleading timeshare systems altogether.
If you think you are under a contract involving a timeshare points system, then it’s important to get in touch. There is a strong possibility that your contract could be illegal, and thus eligible for nullification or compensation. Where the contract is ruled illegal, it is also likely that your legal fees will be paid as part of the settlement, so it really is in your best interests to avoid spending any more money on the scam, and get justice.