The Australian government is looking into whether timeshare companies should be allowed to continue paying sales agents’ commissions on their sales.

The government want to review the quality of advice given to consumers during timeshare presentations. They also want to eliminate bad practice in the timeshare industry, including lengthy, poor value contracts, high pressure sales tactics which end in consumers taking out unaffordable loans.

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority receives over 170 complaints a year from timeshare owners. They say complaints are centred around the mis-selling of timeshare, where sales staff have failed to disclose cooling off rights, failure to adequately explain key features, benefits and risks and giving false or mis-leading advice.

This news follows a ruling last year by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, who ordered Future Holiday Finance to refund customers $3 million. The ASIC found that they had signed people up to loans when they attended Ultiqa Lifestyle timeshare sales seminars, without assessing consumers financial health before persuading them into taking out loans they could not afford or were not right for them.

Customers who took out a loan with Future Holiday Finance between 1 July 2012 and 30 August 2018 to buy into the Ultiqa Lifestyle timeshare scheme, can now apply to have the loan cancelled and refunded. Future Holiday Finance were also fined $135,000 for breaching its responsible lending obligations.

People who enter into timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the Timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract.

There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with timeshare exit schemes. Before agreeing to any timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advice and fully research any company you are thinking of working with.

It is also important to remember that purchasing a timeshare should NEVER be viewed as a financial investment. Timeshare is an investment in lifestyle, in future holidays and family time together. There is almost no resale value to a Timeshare.

The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry. These type of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between.

If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a Timeshare or a ‘Holiday Points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or simply want to end your agreement, get in touch with us today to see how we can help with a possible timeshare termination.

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