The timeshare sales industry has always had a particularly hungry eye for the elderly. But the switchover from the previous format of timeshare interest “ownership”—in which the interest owned was tied to a particular timeperiod at a particular property—to the newest format for this scheming industry, the concept of “points,” has the timeshare resort industry salivating uncontrollably. And they are licking their lips with their eyes on older Americans with alarming frequency and with a characteristic lack of scruples, resulting in a stark rise in accusations of elder abuse.
“Points”—which the timeshare industry likes to claim are the same as a deeded interest in their properties but with the added benefit of flexibility—actually have no value whatsoever beyond their use to take a vacation at a resort’s properties. They don’t give their owner a reserved timeframe in any particular resort—meaning that those who own them have to battle for the most desirable properties during the most desirable weeks, as if they were trying to book a hotel in Fort Lauderdale a month before Spring Break, which means added stress (since there are a lot fewer properties available to points owners than to people whose wealth is still in dollars). And they can’t be resold.
So when you’re buying points, you’re buying yourself into a restrictive situation that lasts for years (or, in many cases, perpetuity). And yet the people buying most of these points are the elderly—those who have the least amount of time to use them. And why do they buy them? Because the timeshare industry subjects them to multi-hour, high-pressure sales “presentations,” using tactics that take a page out of a torturer’s handbook. (That’s not hyperbole).
One resort company, Diamond Resorts International—a corporation worth $2.2 billion—sends busses to assisted living facilities. It considers our vulnerable elders to be easy marks. The same company was confronted with a lawsuit in 2019 alleging it had sold $250,000 worth of timeshare points to an 89-year old man with dementia. What the hell is THAT? That’s elder abuse, is what that is. And it’s unconscionable.
If you or an elderly loved one has recently signed a timeshare contract, Attorney Joe Brien of The People’s Advocate is willing to put his real name, license, and reputation on the line. He will be glad to review that document for you. And The People’s Advocate offers all of the other legitimate exit services to boot. So if you or that loved one have been pressured into a timeshare purchase and need to get out, contact us to schedule a FREE information session. We will fight for you every step of the way.