Ritz Carlton Timeshare Club members are bringing a mass action claim to a federal judge. The claim alleges Marriott Vacations caused the value of Ritz-Carlton Club members’ deeded units to decline and, in some cases, owners lost up to 90% in the value of their timeshares at the resort. Owners claim that an affiliation between Marriott Vacations Worldwide and Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, which allowed Marriott members to trade one week at the Ritz-Carlton Club in Aspen Highlands with points-based members of the Marriott Vacation Club, caused the value of their investments to sink. Ritz Carlton Club was sold to owners as an exclusive and upmarket resort, which would yield an investment for owners over the years.

The mass action has been bought by more than 200 owners, who say that Marriott Vacations actively engaged in fraudulent activity and breached their financial responsibilities to owners. They claim that the affiliation between the two companies decimated the value of the owners’ original investment that the timeshare owners purchased from the group. The owners claim their timeshare units are now worth less than 20% of the original purchase prices and the hospitality giant, Marriott, is to blame for this.

Marriott introduced The Ritz-Carlton Club as a luxury alternative to its Marriott Vacation Club timeshare offerings, selling this holiday product at a substantially higher price, based on incentives such as longer use and access to upscale properties. By doing this, it caused the value of existing owners timeshare units to plummet and owners now say their assets are virtually worthless and, will see no return on their investment. They also state that they were not consulted on the proposed affiliation between the two companies and the deal went through without the owners association’s approval. The case is due to be heard by a federal Judge in November.

Some common difficulties timeshare owners experience.

  • It can be extremely difficult to end your timeshare contract, even if your circumstances change and you can no longer afford to keep it or you become physically unable to travel, your resort will do everything in their power to keep hold of you rather than let you out of your contract.
  • Maintenance fees will more than likely increase every year. What started off as  £400 a year, could easily end up being a £900 a year fee.
  • You are locked into going to the same resort, or chain of resorts every year.
  • Promises of return on investment are often just a sales tactic to get you to sign on the dotted line. In almost all cases, there is no resale value to a timeshare.
  • Policies often change over time, and this can affect how you are able to use your timeshare. This can then become an excuse for the resort to sell you another timeshare product.

People who enter into Timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and simply 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 advise 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 and 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 feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help your timeshare termination.

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