View Full Version : Timeshare/Holiday Companies

11th Mar 2006, 16:28
I recently attended an evening presentation by a Holiday company whose mode of operation is to sell you 'points' which can be used to obtain 'free use' of accommodation at their various compexes.

Seemingly, if I pay 11,500 for 7000 points, I can use these in perpetuum.

The system as explained means that all I pay for is the flights, plus a management fee of 500 a year.

Based upon say 2000 a year one should theoretically break even after 6 years.

I have a colleague who is in a timeshare but I would appreciate some views from those of you WITH experience of this.

Is this a con, for which I have not worked out the scam ??

11th Mar 2006, 16:50
Astro... check your pm's

11th Mar 2006, 17:08
May not be a con, depends on the firm offering the deal. These points deals have been about for a few years now. Reputable companies offered them originally as a solution to make money from leftover timeshare slots, and offer an alternative way to own timeshare, but now lots of other less reputable companies have jumped on the bandwagon to make money.

Points are a good concept. Most are based around timeshares which have spare 'weeks' available.

Timeshare accom is purchased in weekly slots where people either buy a 'week' of accom and can visit their accom in their week for free, or use an exchange system (RCI, Interval International, etc) and go at a different time of year to any resort in the world for a small fee.

The points system makes use of available accomodation which is not being used or has been saved specifically for use by points owners.

The best idea if you are going to go ahead with the whole idea is to find a resort which sells at the cheapest rate. This is likebuying car tyres, shop areound to get the best deal.

PM me with the company name and I'll let you know if they are reputable.

For the record though, any company which is a member of the Timeshare Council is usually a good one.

The exchange company they affiliate to is very important as it may be the difference between a handful or a magazine full of holiday options.

11th Mar 2006, 21:39
Not very impressed with any timeshares I have been offered but have been with Holiday Property Bond (HPB with a website) for 8 years and have been very satisfied with the product and the savings I make. Also an option to cash in your investment and get your money back. You have to use it to get the benefits, disadvantage is Judith Chalmers and Sue Barker do the promotional stuff.

12th Mar 2006, 04:36
if it seems too good to be true, well then....


12th Mar 2006, 07:05
Timeshare has had such a dubious reputation over the years that I have never been tempted to touch it. The industry may have cleaned up its act these days, but it used to be a hard-sell business which managed to sell a (say) £200,000 property for £600,000 by flogging it off a bit at a time, and then charging you a 'service charge' to stay in it. I rent privately whenever I go on holiday, and that way I can move around as I like, someone else sorts out the maintenance issues, and I don't have to pay a load of cash up front.

We were tempted by a private deal a few years ago in which four families were going to buy a French place between them, on the basis that nobody needs more than 13 weeks a year, but in th end we were all too busy to do it.

12th Mar 2006, 07:28
Just some of the scams around


You have two things to worry about ( well about a hundred really, but two principally come to immediate attention.)
1. Is the company very, very sound? You are giving someone a sackful of dosh for no real asset. Even if the company is sound now what if it is badly, or even mediocrely managed in four or five years time? As the company declines you have no asset value so your investment may become worthless. It is true a week's investment in a real timeshare (as in 1/50th of an apartment or villa) may well decline in value but at the very worst you still have somewhere to go every year or to lend or rent!
2. How good is the choice, is it easy enough to get a booking when you want where you want and does it represent really good value.

Basically you are giving a holiday company a guarantee of your business for the next six to twenty years, just a kind of inflated early deposit on holiday accommodation.

Just for comparison: We bought a timeshare in Teneriffe about twenty years ago. Two weeks in a villa with two bedrooms cost us about 5,000 GBP.

Between the exorbitant maintenance charges, the exchange membership and weekly exchange charges and the few years we have been unable to exchange (mostly for our own problems) etc we have just about broken even on what we would have had to pay for holiday apartments over that period. We would not today.

On the other hand, with the internet it has become ridiculously easy to book an apartment anywhere in the world, and cheap too. Mrs ChrisVJ and third son are in Italy on a school tour this week. Next week they are extending their stay. Mrs VJ booked an apartment right in centre of Venice for four days, 75 Euro/night. One in Rome near Piazza Fiore for four days, 65 Euro/night. We were there 18months ago and the apartments we had in Rome and Paris were great. The Internet has changed the dynamic entirely. You are no longer reliant on your travel agent or local agent called by long distance. The consumer price of rented apartement has dropped dramatically and availability and choice are incomparably better. Now we can get an apartment almost for the price of our maintenance charge.

This Summer we'll use our timeshare exchange, but we can't get exactly where we want to go so we have to compromise. Like a lot of things the system works best when it is flourishing and expanding. We used to get Hawaii etc, we don't seem to be able to anymore. If developers are not building tons of stuff vacationers equals apartments and the best go first. On the other hand you can always get a great exchange around Kissimmee! (Where you can now rent a three bedroom villa with pool for about 400 GBP a week!)

My advice. Put it into your flying account and enjoy it.

12th Mar 2006, 07:51
Just to clarify, HPB is not a timeshare. It is a company investing in property for its members and then renting the properties to its members at cost (usually about 50% of commercial rate). Properties available Europewide.

I have no connection with HPB other than as a satisfied customer.

13th Mar 2006, 09:59
i worked in timeshare for a number of years in Portugal, the most important bit of advice I can give you is do not buy of a resort as the prices are far more than you need to pay I shall give you an example. My parents wanted a timeshare in tenerife and asked me to find them two weeks I got them two weeks at the Holiday Mirage in Los Cristianos. Which is one of the best resorts in Tenerife. The quote I got for a two bedroom apartment from a freind of mine who works there as a 'liner' was about £24000. I did a bit of research and got the resale company which I approached, (now closed) we purchased them for £4200 total for both weeks, plus the transfer fees. Which if I remember rightly was £700. Points seem ok at first but the reason that companies are selling points and membership to 'exclusive' Holiday clubs is that the resorts have run out of inventory to sell. What they will then do is out up the number of points you will need to stay at your own resort and it becomes a nasty cycle of either not using your points because you have not got enough to stay a t a resort or constantly having to shell out a few more grand every few years in order to be able to go on holiday. The transfer companies RCI & II are at best mediocre and whilst I have met people who have been able to exchange I have met more people that have not been able to get a decent exchange. It is more of a lottery. The problem with the people that sell and run the timeshare industry is that they are very greedy and do not care who they rip of in order to pay for new merc or villa. IOf anybody has any qustions about any timeshare scheme or anything that you think may be related it then please do not hesitate to contact me as I worked in it for nearly 12 years and there is not many things I do not know about the timeshare/points/membership schemes out there.

P.S Do not use free holiday as they are what are known as fly buy's which means you get flown to a resort and if you are unlucky get followed around by a sales person all week trying to get you to part with cash for something or other to do with Holidays.

13th Mar 2006, 13:38

Sorry, the sums don't add up. You fork out 11500 up front. You then pay 500 per year. After six years you will have forked out 14500 for six holidays in a limited choice of accommodation (and even if you don't take a holiday for some reason). You've got flights to pay for on top of course.

Meanwhile, the other you tells them to sod off. You still take the holidays so the amount you spend on flights is unchanged but you decide to arrange accommodation yourself from the huge range available on the web. Of course prices vary but in Orlando, for example, you can pick up a cracking villa for 500 per week. So lets say 1000 for a fortnight. Therefore after six years you have forked out 6000. By my calculation you are still 8500 up on the deal.

In fact, my guess is that it would take you 23 years to break even and that does not take into consideration the money you could earn by placing that 11500 on deposit.

Oh, and don't fall for the 'this is an investment' bullshit that the salesman might tell you. It isn't, secondhand timesahre is worthless and I reckon second hand points will be similarly of no value.

Don't give 'em a penny...

Hew Jaz
13th Mar 2006, 18:34
.......I worked in it for nearly 12 years and ........

I'm curious.... Your post is negative, almost a warning - but you worked in the business for almost 12 years.

"the prices are far more than you need to pay" (sic)

What kept you in the business that long? Was it the commission?

13th Mar 2006, 20:02
500 per week plus flights and transfers.

You could get a package tour at a reasonable hotel for that price and a different place every year. Probably get fed as well. That's before you fork out eleven and a half grand.

In fact in some of these developing markets (Bulgaria etc) you could probably buy a flat outright.

13th Mar 2006, 20:03
In fact in some of these developing markets (Bulgaria etc) you could probably buy a flat outright.

Probably buy the Country in some cases ! :E :E

Metro man
14th Mar 2006, 10:12
Why bother with all the nonsense ? Save your money and just find a good deal on a place you want to visit when you want to go, have the choice of accommodation as well depending on requirements. Hotel, B&B, resort, cottage, mobile home,house swap etc. If you don't go one year, no worries.

The internet has changed travel completely.

14th Mar 2006, 10:22
I got into it at a very young age and made a shed load of money at it, I never had to lie to make a sale. But when I really looked at what I was doing and also started meeting some of the more unsavoury characters in the industry I decided that it was not something that I wanted to be associated with any more. The icing on the cake was when my boss told me that he was going start doing pensioners presentations.Then it was time to go. These people have no morals at all and also lie to the people that work for them.