Why Buys A Timeshare?
In our law practice assisting aggrieved timeshare owners, we see all kinds of clients from every walk of life. Among people who have contacted us seeking relief are doctors, lawyers, politicians, engineers, scientists, and even a news anchorman.
On the other hand, there is a certain segment of society commonly targeted by unscrupulous timeshare developers – specifically, the elderly. http://www.civicresearchinstitute.com/online/article_abstract.php?pid=17&iid=845&aid=5589. Why is this?
For starters, the elderly are often ensconced in the older cities of the northeast, on fixed incomes, weathering long difficult winters without much of a break for months. Timeshare developers are savvy, if nothing else. They realize that, especially for this older demographic, the prospect of a dramatically discounted vacation cruise, airline tickets to Florida, or any kind of relief from the elements sounds very attractive. Accordingly, timeshare marketing is especially focused to recruit the elderly.
Often these older prospects don’t appreciate the catch 22 that goes hand-in-hand with these incentives, i.e., the necessity of sitting through a sales pitch. “Sales pitch”, of course, is something of a misnomer. The degree of pressure brought to bear on sales prospects during this process is often overwhelming. Moreover, many timeshare sales reps are, frankly unscrupulous. They will stop at nothing to transact the sale, even if it means flagrant misrepresentations. See our blog of Blog February 19th, 2015, Sociopaths and Actors as Timeshare Salesmen.
Though this is purely anecdotal, many older Americans will tell you that there was actually a time in the not-to-distant past, when a person’s word was his or her bond. There was less anonymity, less mobility, and shameless lying was simply not tolerated and would invariably, ultimately catch up with the liar. This was the society that produced the greatest generation, that won World War II, and its immediate offspring. But this is also the very generation that overwhelmingly buys timeshares, and the tendency to take promises at face value, to take people at their word, and generally trust the people with whom one deals can lead to vulnerability.
A recent study found that citizens over 65 are disproportionately the victim of crimes involving identity theft or fraud. http://www.victimsofcrime.org/docs/ncvrw2013/2013ncvrw_stats_elder.pdf
This vulnerability has lead to the enactment of legislation in many state that stiffen the penalties for anyone exploiting the elderly. Florida Statute §825.103, for example, criminalizes some offenses perpetrated against the elderly involving mismanagement or misappropriation of funds. .
You don’t have to be elderly to fall for a timeshare sales pitch. But if you or anyone you know is seeking relief from a timeshare obligation, please don’t hesitate to contact us in the interest of cancelling your timeshare contract.
Learn more about who buys a timeshare at Aaronson Law Group