Regretting That Timeshare? Act Quickly to Cancel the Contract
Timeshares are often sold using less than ethical methods. If you are regretting signing on the dotted line, there are exit strategies available.
Buyer’s remorse is a familiar concept in a whole host of sectors. It describes that sensation when you have just made a big ticket purchase and suddenly have that sickening and sinking feeling that you have made a terrible mistake.
The sad truth is that this is a phenomenon that is only too familiar in the world of timeshare, fractional ownership, vacation clubs or whatever other phrase the slick sales staff choose to adopt. Unfortunately, unlike car insurance or a satellite TV deal, cooling off periods are not always as straightforward or as attainable as they might seem and there is a need to call on the services of timeshare lawyers to exit the contract.
Timeshare sellers have a reputation for being able to sell snow to Eskimos. They have a variety of techniques at their disposal, and it is common for them to set up lavish sales presentations where would-be buyers are offered a bottle of wine, a round of golf or an a la carte meal with no obligation to buy anything.
Even the most hard-nosed individuals can find themselves attending for the free gifts and somehow leaving three hours later with a full stomach and a signed timeshare contract in their back pocket.
All too often, it soon becomes apparent that the amazing deal that was being described to them over a glass of wine seems a lot less impressive in the cold light of day. For example, many are not properly informed about the additional taxes, fees and assessment costs that they are expected to front up.
How to Cancel
Cancellation can sometimes be as simple as making a formal notification. The Timeshare Act of 1992 states that timeshare contracts must provide a cooling off period of 14 days, in which the buyer can cancel the agreement. Of course, this only apples to timeshares governed by UK law, but most overseas jurisdictions have similar provisions.
This means that if you do encounter buyer’s remorse, you need to act swiftly and cancel the contract within the cancellation period. Usually, you need to do this in writing, and even if the contract says verbal notification is sufficient, it always makes sense to follow this up with written confirmation. When you do so, you must make sure you include the following information:
- Your name, exactly as it appears in the contract, and contact details
- The name of the timeshare firm or association
- The date the timeshare contract was signed
- A brief description of the timeshare
- A statement in unequivocal language that you are rescinding the contract.
Note that under the terms of a standard cooling off period you are not under any obligation to give a reason for cancelling the contract. Always ensure the cancellation notice is delivered in a secure and trackable way, for example by registered mail.
What if the cooling off period has expired?
Even if the 14 day period has elapsed, there are still ways to cancel the contract, particularly if you believe the seller has misrepresented the deal. This will generally involve filing a lawsuit against the company, so it is vital that you seek legal advice from a professional legal firm that is experienced in timeshare mis-selling.