A quick straw poll of timeshare owners as to one of the main reasons that they purchased in the first instance would show the exchange system being one of the most popular benefits that motivated them to buy.
To anyone unfamiliar with the timeshare system it works very roughly like this;
• You generally buy a timeshare from a resort developer.
• The developer will affiliate to one of the two main exchange companies, either II or RCI.
• A timeshare owner then has the option to deposit their week into the exchange banking system, often referred to as the “Spacebank’.
• Clients can then choose from the available accommodation that has been deposited into the banking system.
• The exchange company charges yearly membership fees and exchange fees.
• Flights, transfers and other travel services can be provided by the exchange companies.
With such a seemingly simple system you have to ask yourself just why so many timeshare owners complain that they can’t get the exchanges they had expected. It does seem reasonable to the outsider that an unwanted timeshare can be ‘swapped’ for a more suitable location, destination, date or indeed type of holiday. However it does seem to become a huge problem when timeshare promises become reality.
So, here is the answer to questions surrounding timeshare exchanges and the problems related to them. It is timeshare resorts and marketing companies that promote the exchange system and they are the guys that sell the benefits and therefore expectations in the first instance. So as usual as we have come to learn, timeshare is not so much the problem but the timeshare salesman is!
Here are some common timeshare complaints relating to exchanging:
• I was promised I could go anywhere in the world with my timeshare.
• I was told that I could get any size accommodation that was available.
• I was led to believe that I could always get school holidays.
• I can hardly ever get an exchange in Britain.
• Why is it only ever Tenerife and Florida that is available?
It seems that during a timeshare presentation potential clients are often misled into thinking that the exchange system is a breeze! Clients often sign up to expensive timeshares on completely unachievable promises about what they can expect from the exchange system. With clients being encouraged to sign up quickly on the day, it appears that RCI members are not getting the chance to peruse RCI’s terms and conditions that highlight that even they don’t recommend anyone purchases timeshare for exchange purposes alone!
If you feel that you have been mis-sold, misled or misrepresented during a timeshare purchase, please feel free to contact us at the Timeshare Advice Service and we will discuss your circumstances and your options.