According to the American Resort Development Association, more than 9.9 million U.S. households own a timeshare. But, considering the average American only receives two weeks of paid vacation per year, how useful is a timeshare?
If you own a timeshare in a faraway location or feel bogged down by daily life and responsibilities, getting away can be a challenge. You know you need to get out of your timeshare financial responsibilities. You have plenty of other ideas where to put that money and time.
But, how can you do it? Before you act, there are timeshare exit mistakes you need to know.
These mistakes can cost you money, time, and seriously decrease your chances of breaking free. Before cutting ties, check out these tips for getting out of timeshares the right way.
1. Going Digital
Sending an email is the easiest and quickest communication form. And you may have your timeshares general email account or sales team handy. But, don’t press send.
Emails are challenging to track and may not be accepted as legal evidence of cancellation. Instead, send a typed and signed letter. Or, you may handwrite a letter.
A timeshare cancellation letter should go to the central time shares offices. Unlike digital communication, letters are often considered legally bound documents.
But, don’t drop the letter in the mailbox and walk away. Send the letter through certified mail and include tracking and signature.
This ensures that the letter arrived and was received by the timeshare company. This method protects you and avoids the possibility of the timeshare company denying receipt or “lost in mail” excuses.
2. Missing Information
If you wrote a letter, you may be missing important information that can delay the timeshare cancellation. Getting out of timeshares is all about making the process undeniably straightforward and easy for the other party.
While each timeshare requires different cancellation information, create a checklist so you do not forget the important facts. This is the information your letter should include:
- Accurate timeshare address and correct point person or office
- Your phone number, email, and other contact information
- Full name on timeshare
- Any membership ID numbers or contract numbers associated with the timeshare
- Date of requested cancellation and date of the letter
If you leave out important information like your account number or address, the timeshare office could reject your cancellation or ask you to resubmit. This creates an additional hassle and wastes valuable time.
3. Including Falsities
Do not include false statements in your timeshare exit strategy. For example, you could claim an illness or hospitalization. But the timeshare company may request for follow-up medical bills or a doctor’s letter.
If you do not have that information, you could create a legal issue and ruin your chances of an honest cancellation. Avoid making claims that were never communicated to you. For example, don’t claim a timeshare employee once told you your “refund would arrive within the week.”
Unless you have specific employee names, dates, and facts to back up the claim, you can’t disclose this information in writing. These excuses can be timeshare exit scams. And in the end, falsities can hurt your reputation with the company which will make leadership less likely to work with you.
4. Including Emotional Statements
Like falsities, emotional statements won’t work. There is a science when it comes to managing customer emotions and expectations. Instead of focusing the letter on your aggravations and disappointment, transfer value and understanding to the timeshare company.
For example, instead of writing: “I’m so disappointed and frustrated by your entire team.” Try this: “I understand your team has many responsibilities and they are doing the best they can. But perhaps, we can try to address some of my concerns.”
Emotional statements can create drama and increase stress. So, it is best to leave them out of the letter and stick to a formal, straightforward business tone for the best results.
5. Attending Another Meeting
Many timeshare companies may try to reel you back in by attending “one last meeting.” Unless you are legally bound to attend this meeting in order to cancel the timeshare, avoid going. You have been here before.
These sales meetings can attract and entice revenue. You may be sold into staying or worse, told you can’t cancel because of a new policy or waiver you just signed. Be cautious about attending these meetings.
6. Not Reading The Fine Print
Have you read your timeshare contract and cancellation policies? If you find the legal jargon confusing, you may need a professional to double-check the contract. Not reading the fine print is a classic timeshare mistake.
After the effort of writing a letter and feeling hopeful about your cancellation, a legal clause or waiver could suck you right back in. Don’t make this error!
For example, the timeshare cancellation policy may request you cancel 3 months before the end of the year. Or they may request you cancel the timeshare in person. Educate yourself on the policy to increase your likelihood of ending the contract.
7. Having Unrealistic Expectations
In its most basic form, timeshares are contracts. And in some cases, it may not be possible to cancel your contract in the timeframe you wish or with the reasons at hand. It can be very challenging or in some situations or impossible to get out of a contract if you don’t have the correct reasons.
Having unrealistic expectations about canceling the timeshare is an unfruitful strategy. You will only waste time, energy, and money pursuing cancellation with no reward.
However, if you feel you have the right to cancel and meet your timeshare cancellation requirements, there is hope. This site can help you navigate options for timeshares cancellations.
Develop a Strategy to Avoid These Timeshare Exit Mistakes
If you lack strategy, these timeshare exit mistakes can cost you time and money. Remember to avoid the digital route and write a letter when requested. Letters legally protect you and should include the important information to get your cancellation request going.
Avoid false or emotional statements that can be hard to prove and distract from the task at hand. Don’t get pressured into attending another meeting. Remember to read through the fine print in your contract and have realistic expectations about the possibility of canceling your timeshare.
Did you find this information helpful? Then, check out our other travel and vacation stories.