Why is my timeshare listed on a holiday booking site?
If you’ve found that holidays are being advertised at your timeshare resort on sites like Trivago, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and other online accommodation agents you are probably left feeling very confused. Especially when it is evident that these agencies are offering holidays at the resort for lower rates than the timeshare owners are expected to pay (when maintenance fees are accounted for). The confusion and frustration is probably stemming from the fact that at the point you took out your timeshare it was sold to you as an exclusive resort where only maintenance fee-paying, timeshare owners would have access. So, why can other holidaymakers benefit from the resort that you are paying towards the upkeep of without having to pay any fees themselves?
Many other timeshare owners have made complaints about this very same issue and have been shocked to find that in the worst cases, resorts’ accommodation is advertised at as much as 60% cheaper for private renters than it is for a points member having to pay the yearly maintenance fee. So, the question is: how this is being allowed to happen and why do you have to face this unfair issue? The answer is that many resorts are not wholly owned by the timeshare companies that manage them and management companies may only have access to a certain amount of units and accommodation rentals to sell as timeshare property. Due to this, the resort will only receive a fraction of the maintenance fees from the timeshare management company and this, in turn, means that the resort is left with units that are not timeshare owned that they can rent out to make enough profit each year. This can be incredibly frustrating to learn, especially if you were led to believe that your purchase of timeshare would give you exclusivity in your holidays.
Adding to these issues of fairness is the fact that sites like booking.com and TripAdvisor can rent out the resorts’ additional accommodation a long way in advance. This can impact on the difficulty of timeshare points owners being able to actually choose the week they want because of restrictions in availability. Many timeshare management companies have a higher number of points owners than they do units and accommodation meaning peak weeks and high demand weeks can be extremely difficult to come across. Those without a timeshare unit at the same resorts may be able to find a week they want much more easily on online accommodation sites without the restrictions of weeks that come as a points member.
At these peak times of the year, for example the New Year, it may seem that the online booking agents are actually offering the price of the accommodation at a higher rate than a points member would be paying for the week. However, when you take into consideration the yearly maintenance fees you have to pay as well as the initial outlay to purchase the timeshare as a points member it still works out cheaper for non-timeshare members to holiday in the same resort as you at peak times.
Not only is it outrageous that holidaymakers can enjoy more flexibility in their bookings and all the benefits of the resort without paying anything towards maintenance, but when we consider the yearly fee itself we need to ask the question of where all that money goes. For example, if a timeshare management company had 100 units from their proportion of the resort and rented each of these units out for each week of the year that equates to 5,200 owners. That amount of owners paying a yearly fee of up to £500 equates to a huge £260 thousand pounds every year. Is there actual evidence of all this money being invested back into the upkeep of the resort for points members to enjoy? When all of this is considered it can start to seem that you may have been mis-sold information about the exclusivity of the timeshare you purchased. You may feel that despite being told you would have great benefits as a member you could have more freedom and cheaper holidays at the same resort as a private renter. If this sounds like the sorts of issues you have been facing, then here at Athena Law we can advise you of your next steps.
Get in touch with us today for professional, friendly advice that you can really trust. Our team of dedicated, expert timeshare solicitors will work closely with you to carefully consider your case and advise you on your legal rights. We have years of experience in this industry and many success stories for clients who have been in your position, and we may be able to help you too. We promise to beat any quote you are given and if we feel there are substantial grounds for your case we may be willing to represent you on a no win no fee basis.
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