The bait – The developer entices the prospective purchaser with free tickets to Disney, a free stay at one of the developer’s resort, a deeply discounted cruise, or the like. This inducement may come in the form of a cold call, an ad on the internet, an email, or the like. The only ‘catch’ is that the prospect has to sit through a ‘presentation’ of some kind. But as a matter of psychology, the prospect is now ‘beholden’ to the developer, who has seemingly extended considerable hospitality.
2. The pitch – The developer has a crack salesman generally pitching the resort and the timeshare concept in general to a room full of prospects. Glossy literature, videography, and a power point presentation showing opulent settings purportedly accessible to the prospect located all over the world are all adroitly calculated to soften whatever internal defenses the prospect has erected, and erode his resolve.
3. The break-out – The individual prospects break out into individual groups in smaller meeting rooms, and a specific ‘closer’ is assigned to complete the sales pitch and consummate the transaction.
4. The full court press – Tremendous pressure is brought to bear upon the prospect, for as long as it takes, to break him down psychologically. The closer is adeptly trained to respond to any doubts, objections, or concerns that the prospect may raise. Sometimes extraordinary measures are employed, including but not necessarily limited to copious free alcohol offerings, physical entrapment of the prospect (transportation back to the resort is ‘unavailable’), and invariably false promises concerning the nature and extent of benefits prospectively to be conferred through purchase of the timeshare. The latter typically includes misrepresentations to the effect that the prospect can access any of the developer’s resorts at almost any time of the year.
5. The capitulation – The prospect is finally broken psychologically, emotionally, and perhaps even physically exhausted. By this time he is willing to pay almost any amount of money simply to get out of the room. The salesman seems so sincere, so earnest, and so genuinely excited about the ‘investment’, and human nature is to want to believe him. The prospect is urged to peremptorily sign on each dotted line, including a sea of boilerplate language purporting to absolve the developer of any conceivable liability.
Material aspects of the contract may be left blank to be filled in later after the signing. Often copies of this documentation are not immediately provided, so, for example, the prospect – now victim, is not aware of his statutory right of rescission until well after the ten to thirty day periods (depending on the jurisdiction) has passed.
From a purely legal standpoint, however, as much as the developer has tried to insulate itself from potential liability, any one of half a dozen different defenses to enforcement of the contract have arisen. These include fraud in the inducement, failure of consideration, duress, lack of capacity, statutory rescission tolling, and fraud in the execution.
This has been an overview of the anatomy of a timeshare sale. If any of this resonates with you, please don’t hesitate to call us, as our law practice is focused on dealing with these issues, and we look forward to working for you.
We also have a new location in London for those who are in need of a timeshare attorney in the United Kingdom
Follow our Facebook page for our latest news!