Nightmare 30% maintenance fee hike for timeshare owners

Maintenance fees: Astronomical

Already out of control timeshare maintenance fees to be significantly increased in 2023

Earlier this year we published articles explaining why experts were predicting timeshare companies were likely to ask for disproportionate increases in their upcoming annual fee demands.

Resorts have a history of taking advantage of adverse conditions to profit at the expense of their members. They charged full fees during the pandemic years for example, despite staff’s wages being paid by government furlough schemes, and other running costs such as electricity and cleaning being reduced to practically zero.

Timeshare resorts were openly accused of profiteering, while other travel related businesses were making determined efforts to do be fair to their customers.

An ECC client got in touch with us a couple weeks ago, panicking over the news that her Macdonald resort in Scotland would be increasing her annual maintenance fees by ‘in excess of’ a staggering 30%. Below is an excerpt of the email.

Not only will the client’s home resort increase fees by over 30%, but MacDonald warn that all of their managed clubs should expect similar increases. Both in the UK and in Spain.

Industry experts agree that Macdonald Resorts are unlikely to be alone in raising their fees by such a degree.

“Timeshare companies used to have two separate income sources,” explains Andrew Cooper, CEO of European Consumer Claims (ECC). “They used to have high pressure sales and marketing operations generating vast amounts of revenue from signing up holidaymakers to their clubs. Almost all of that revenue was profit and timeshare companies got very rich in the 80s, 90s and early part of the 21st century.

“The second income stream was the maintenance fees. Ostensibly these were to keep the resorts in pristine condition, but members were charged way more than was required for maintenance. There was seldom any limit written into timeshare contracts regarding how much the maintenance could increase by annually.

“Once timeshare sales dried up, due to the product becoming dated, resorts began to become more brazen about maintenance fee increases. In some resorts it now costs less to book a week on than members pay in maintenance.

“Fee increases are justified on the flimsiest of pretexts,” confirms Andrew Cooper.

“Right now for example, general inflation is running at around 10%. This is already incredibly high, but Macdonald Resorts have taken the opportunity to increase their fees by an astounding three times general inflation.”

With similar pressures on other timeshare operations, and similar attitudes throughout the industry, most observers are expecting Macdonald Resorts to be the thin end of the wedge.

Timeshare contracts are designed to be impossible to escape. On that sunny day in Spain, at the end of a fun filled, luxury presentation most victims failed to notice that there was literally no contractual restriction on the amount or percentage by which the resort can increase annual fees.

Resorts on the whole want to increase their fees every year, by as much as they think they can get away with. However they know that if they push maintenance demands too sharply, they risk a member revolt.

Like the proverbial frog allowing itself to be cooked into oblivion in a gradually boiling water pot, timeshare customers have historically tolerated escalating maintenance fees provided they too were gradual.

If you can take an honest look at your timeshare maintenance fee situation and conclude that you would prefer to be free of the financial liability, then help is at hand.

Most timeshare contracts can be relinquished with expert guidance.

European Consumer Claims are arguably the most experienced, successful and trustworthy company operating in this space.

Get in touch with our team for a free, no-obligation consultation on timeshare relinquishment, or compensation claims.

ECC provides timeshare claims services, expert advice and help

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First published on MyNewsDesk November 2022



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