ACC - Featured in the New York Post
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Escaping the $10.5 billion U.S. timeshare trap
The timeshare paradox
It doesn’t take much ferreting around on Google to confirm what most of us suspected already: Owning a timeshare has a reputation among experts as well as ordinary Americans for being expensive, difficult to use, poor value for the money and associated with high-pressure sales.
Timeshare ownership was a groundbreaking idea in its day. It solved the genuine problem of experiencing disappointing vacation accommodations by guaranteeing luxury units in private resorts.
Then the internet happened. Modern vacationers no longer need timeshares. They can easily book high-quality resorts, at reasonable prices, with minimal notice and zero annual financial commitment via regular vacation booking sites.
So why did Americans still spend $10.5 billion buying this product in 2022?
Aggressive sales and marketing
Ever wondered how timeshare companies can afford to be so generous? They are suspiciously happy to give expensive theme park tickets, car rentals and even free vacation accommodations just for an hour of your time, so they can show you their vacation system and resort.
The reason is straightforward: They have justified confidence in the power of their sales process.
In our experience at American Consumer Claims, we have never heard of a client proactively approaching a timeshare company intending to purchase. Perhaps it has happened, but the vast majority of sales are the result of (sometimes quite forceful) invitations to a “one-hour” sales presentation. Several grueling hours later, without quite knowing how their perspective changed so radically, we have newly minted timeshare owners.
The closing percentage for a timeshare “track” is usually around 20%. A top-performing salesperson may be operating at double that. The timeshare sales process is a series of highly sophisticated psychological techniques designed to take the prospect from a guarded state of mind, to being comfortable spending thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars, to sign up for a membership right then and there. Ten million Americans have done this to date.
Those people may still have negative impressions of the industry as a whole.
They just believe their salesperson and resort are different…
The glow wears off
What new owners don’t immediately internalize is that the sales will never stop while they are alive.
Every single time they visit a timeshare property, they will be targeted by the “In House” sales department to spend more money. Regardless of how many timeshares the client owns, the In House team’s mandate is to always find something extra to sell them. The expense of purchasing a timeshare is only part of the story. Every year the client must pay maintenance or management fees, which are often around the same amount of money it would cost to stay in this standard of accommodation through regular booking sites.
These fees have to be paid every single year, whether the owner vacations or not. The fee can be (and is) arbitrarily increased by the resort, and the client has no option but to pay whatever new amount is demanded. U.S. timeshare contracts are generally in perpetuity. This means that the blasé “while they are alive” comment above suddenly becomes a little more sinister. The membership becomes part of the owner’s estate when they pass away.
This means that the responsibility for paying expensive annual fees is passed down, like some mythological curse, through the family bloodline.
Timeshare companies know that sooner or later, many of their clients will want to leave. They therefore write the contracts in such a way as to make leaving extremely difficult, or even impossible.
Timeshare owners desperate to escape look to Google for answers. The results direct them to companies that promise to get them out of their contracts for a fee. So far so good. Someone providing a service will naturally charge for it. The problem is that most firms advertising the service are either dishonest, incompetent or both. ACC came to the rescue when one such company made the headlines in 2021 announcing its impending bankruptcy, owing customers over $25 million.
So where can besieged owners turn for help?
Enter: American Consumer Claims (ACC). This international firm has been operating in Europe (as European Consumer Claims – ECC) since 2016, successfully freeing owners from their resort contracts and even claiming compensation in cases of mis-selling. So far, it has successfully claimed almost $31 million on behalf of 1,364 happy clients. It is currently managing a claims portfolio well in excess of $100 million.
During its seven years in business, ACC/ECC has freed more than 2,800 people from unwanted timeshares including many in the U.S., the Caribbean and Mexico.
The success inevitably led to incorporation in the United States last year as ACC, which also markets via associated brands: My Timeshare Claim and Timeshare Advice Center.
Here to help
“We can generally help cancel timeshare contracts from any country in the world,” confirms ACC spokesperson Suzanne Stojanovic. “We welcome enquiries from any and all timeshare owners who feel stuck or trapped. People who feel disillusioned after having wasted money with fraudulent firms, or companies that have otherwise taken their money but failed to extricate them from unwanted timeshare membership should also definitely get in touch.“Suzanne Stojanovic
The difference in professionalism and understanding of the issues involved between the experts at ACC and the companies they may have dealt with before will immediately be apparent.”
ACC’s online reviews with the Better Business Bureau are only just getting started, but their 5-star reviews (as European Consumer Claims) on TrustPilot and other review sites tell prospective clients all they need to know.
Media coverage has been overwhelmingly positive, too, the most recent report being in quality British broadsheet the Sunday Times:
“If your problem is timeshare ownership…ACC could well be your answer.”