A Consumer Finance Guru Looks at Timeshares

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Aaronson Law Group - Timeshare Recession and Cancellation

A Consumer Finance Guru Looks at Timeshares

Clark Howard is a consumer financial expert and host of the nationally-syndicated radio show, The Clark Howard Show.  A no-nonsense guy who often touts his stingy ways, his mantra “is to help you keep more of the money you make . . . and save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off.” Mike Timmermann contributes several articles on Howard’s blog, and his take on timeshares is well worth a moment of your time.

While using a family member’s timeshare vacation package, Timmermann had an inside look at traditional timeshare indoctrination.  It began on arrival with the concierge’s invitation to a “complimentary breakfast” to learn more about timeshare opportunities. Not exactly a novice, he asked about incentives and was offered free use of a refrigerator during his stay (no, thanks!) followed by a $125 credit toward charges to his room.  He wondered, “If timeshares are such a good deal, why do they have to pay people to attend these presentations?”

Two days later, he entered a room full of mostly seniors having breakfast and was chatted up by a salesperson. The usual questions about his vacation habits, wishes and spending followed. Then the salesperson pulled out a tablet with a customized presentation that focused on Timmermann’s bucket list preferences, explaining that this points-based timeshare package allows owners to visit properties all over the world.

A tour of the property – with which he already was familiar during the first two days of his visit – offered ample opportunity to explain all of the advantages and upgrades. Back at the meeting room, the salesperson ran his credit – not at his request but to process his reward. He also was required to attend the full 90-minute presentation and meet age and income requirements: age 28+ with at least a $60,000 income.

Time for the offer and the salesperson’s manager! The deal?  Purchase a $19,000 package for 105,000 points a year that would give him about 7 to 10 days of accommodations per year . . . and a $60 monthly maintenance fee that could increase annually. Financing was available with a 14% interest rate (again, no thanks!).

The skeptical consumer financial guru asked for time to crunch the numbers. Not an option (huge red flag!).  The decision had to be made on the spot – why? In the long-story-short-department, he was escorted out after indicating no interest and left with his $125 credit and more questions.

Why are so many timeshares available online for as little as $1?

Why the hurry? Why the need to decide on the spot?

Of course, Timmermann questioned the lack of transparency as well as the push for a hasty decision. Naturally for such a large investment, you want time to take the numbers home for review and even family discussion.  Unfortunately, many – especially seniors – buckle under the significant pressure and find themselves signing paper after paper that ultimately saddles them with a lifetime of financial obligations.


If you succumbed to timeshare sales pressure and need help, chances are good that your timeshare developer is exposed legally in ways that are relatively straightforward and provable. You owe it to yourself to hire experienced, competent counsel. At the Aaronson Law Firm, we have over 80 years of combined legal experience. And we are willing to sue, if necessary, in the interest of getting your timeshare cancelled. Contact us today for your free consultation.