High-pressure tactics are a trademark of timeshare companies and they often use these tactics to attract new buyers and persuade existing owners to purchase a timeshare upgrade. For those who are unfamiliar with the process, a timeshare upgrade is similar to purchasing additional services at an auto shop. Just like how a mechanic may push you to add unnecessary services to your oil change, a timeshare salesperson may pressure you to upgrade your membership with unnecessary additions.
If you’re tired of dealing with relentless pressure from your timeshare developer to upgrade, you’re in the right place. In this article, we will reveal the tactics that timeshare companies use to convince you to upgrade and explain why you should avoid them. Once you’re aware of these tactics, you’ll be able to identify whether you’ve been caught up in a timeshare upgrade scam and plan your way out of it.
Is a Timeshare Upgrade Really Necessary?
Recall the moment you made the decision to purchase a timeshare. It’s likely that you were swayed by enticing images of happy people lounging on beaches in destinations such as Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, or Miami, Florida. Additionally, the sales pitch made it sound like vacation ownership would be effortless and lavish.
So why is your original timeshare purchase suddenly insufficient? Why is your timeshare company insisting that you upgrade?
Granted, your once-new timeshare may decline in value over time, and your timeshare resort will inevitably age and require updating. However, that’s what maintenance fees and special assessments are for. Be assured that upgrading your timeshare is not necessary. Your company should not be coercing you into a new membership that you don’t actually desire.
Regrettably, many timeshare owners are compelled to upgrade. They are told that the new membership will offer a superior experience and replace their previous membership. Alternatively, they are persuaded that upgrading will lower their maintenance fees when in reality the opposite is true.
Here are some of the upgrade tactics to be wary of.
The Membership Upgrade That Becomes Two Timeshares
The consolidation of timeshare companies has been a significant factor in persuading, and sometimes coercing, timeshare owners to upgrade their memberships. A prime example of this is the recent merger between Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV) and Diamond Resorts. HGV, a profitable Florida-based timeshare corporation with properties across the globe, purchased the lower-tier timeshare provider, Diamond Resorts, in 2021. The merger gave rise to a new type of membership, called HGV Max, which supposedly offers a more exceptional vacation experience.
Although HGV is already known for having several membership levels, such as Hilton Grand Vacation Club and Hilton Grand Vacations Elite, HGV Max stands out as it allows enrollees to stay at both Diamond and Hilton Grand Vacation properties. Such mergers often result in new membership tiers, yet, while they offer access to more vacation destinations, they also mean additional costs. Thus, it is crucial to be well-informed about the terms and fees before signing up for any upgrade.
Many timeshare sales representatives view upgrades as an opportunity to lure clients into acquiring an additional timeshare. Unfortunately, several timeshare owners fall for this trap, believing that their upgraded membership will replace their previous property. In reality, however, they are enrolled in a second timeshare, causing them to pay two rounds of maintenance fees.
Equity Discounts and Lower Maintenance Fees
Timeshare owners are often pushed to upgrade their membership due to company mergers, such as the recent merger between Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV) and Diamond Resorts. HGV, a successful Florida-based timeshare company, acquired Diamond Resorts, a lower-tier timeshare provider, resulting in the creation of a new membership called HGV Max, promising an improved vacation experience.
While HGV offers various types of memberships, HGV Max is unique, offering access to both Diamond and Hilton Grand Vacation timeshare properties. Although timeshare mergers can mean expanded vacation destinations, it can also lead to increased charges. It is crucial to understand the details and cost of any upgrade before committing to it.
Some developers view timeshare upgrades as an opportunity to encourage owners to sign up for an additional timeshare, leading to owners paying two rounds of maintenance fees. Sales representatives from different companies convince owners that upgrading will replace their old property, but in reality, it results in a second timeshare and more fees to pay.
Confusing Contract Jargon
Developers often use confusing and misleading language in timeshare contracts, making it difficult for owners to pursue cancellation after the rescission period. Upgrades are another area where people need to be careful, as new contracts that come with upgraded memberships may contain red flags. It’s crucial to check the contract to ensure that the original membership or deeded week is being taken back by the developer, or else you may be unknowingly enrolled in an additional timeshare property or membership, which will result in double the membership and maintenance fees. This is not an upgrade but rather an added financial burden that the developer is placing on you.
Don’t Fall for a Timeshare Upgrade
Today’s lesson has taught us that timeshare upgrades are often deceptive tactics used by developers to convince owners to purchase additional timeshares or more expensive memberships that may not provide any real benefits. This adds to the long list of reasons why people should avoid buying timeshares altogether.
However, if you find yourself in a similar situation, where you have been misled into owning an additional timeshare, you can seek help from Centerstone Group. As a full-service advocacy group, Centerstone Group specializes in protecting timeshare owners from scammers who use high-pressure tactics, timeshare resale scams, and unauthorized wire transfers.
With an A+ rating and 4.78 out of 5 stars on Better Business Bureau (BBB), Centerstone Group has a team of timeshare exit specialists who are ready to help resolve your contract issues. If you have been tricked into a timeshare upgrade that does not meet your expectations, do not hesitate to contact Centerstone Group for a free consultation.