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Trends in Timeshare Complaints and What They Mean to You

When a consumer is not happy about a company or its service, his or her most effective resource is the Better Business Bureau. The Better Business Bureau will log all complaints and make a report, and will file the report on their website. Lately the Better Business Bureau has dealt with a particularly high number of complaints about timeshare companies. While part of this trend might be due to the downturned economy (leading timeshare owners to be less tolerant of shady business practices), it cannot be denied that unethical or even illegal dealings are all too common in the timeshare industry. That is not to say, however, that you should always avoid purchasing a timeshare; you simply should be careful to educate yourself in advance to ensure that you deal with an honest and reputable timeshare company.

Most timeshare companies have maintenance fees associated with their ownership. In this current economy, a lack of money is hitting many families, who otherwise would not be bothered by a maintenance fee, very hard. For that reason, these families are finding it increasingly hard to keep up. Timeshare holders are looking for ways to cut corners and reduce expenses. Those who have purchased timeshares from shady or unethical companies may find themselves on the hook for maintenance fees far higher than they expected. The Better Business Bureau is warning individuals interested in purchasing timeshares to check the fine print carefully in advance to make sure they understand exactly what fees they will be expected to pay, and how those fees will change over time.

Another reason for the uptick in timeshare complaints is due to the increased difficulty of reselling timeshares due to the economic downturn. Where once timeshare owners who found themselves in a difficult position could simply sell the timeshare, they now may find it difficult to do so. In addition, increased desperation to sell burdensome timeshares has led some to fall prey to scams that promise quick resales.


Since many timeshare owners are in a real bind, they may be at risk for too good to be true offers. For example, some unethical timeshare selling companies are promising consumers positive selling results in exchange for a hefty fee, and then the timeshare holders see no sale and they have yet lost more money. Several different companies have earned an F rating from the Better Business Bureau for tactics like these, offering holders a quick sale in exchange for high upfront fees, and then no sale transpires.

The Better Business Bureau, in an effort to help customers avoid these types of unscrupulous operations, offers some simple advice that can help you protect yourself.


  • Check out a company first before allowing them to try to sell your timeshare and make sure they are highly rated with the BBB.
  • Verify all company information with that state’s licensing board, find out where the company is located and determine whether their sales team is licensed.
  • Find out exactly what fees the company charges.
  • Determine whether fees are refundable if the sale does not go through.
  • Never sign up with a company to sell your timeshares if they charge an upfront fee with no guarantee of results.
  • Never allow a company to pressure you into a decision you do not feel right about.

Next: A Look at Hawaii Timeshare Trends

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