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Timeshare fail

So I had 11 direct inquiries about our timeshare week that we put up for donation a while ago. I turned everybody away and, lately, directed them to contact the sales department of the closing company dealing with my donation.

The closing company did not make any contacts with me during roughly six months since their original “we are looking to serve you in a timely and efficient manner” greeting. I periodically checked the online status of my file, which even suggested that a buyer was identified and the transaction was proceeding.

I finally decided to write to the closing company with a not-exactly-complaint that six months’ time was a couple of months over what they initially suggested as the reasonable length of the process. The response I received cordially informed me that the prospective buyer pulled out for one reason or another and that no other buyers could be identified. Therefore, my file was closed and the donation cancelled. “But thank you for your interest”, the email concluded.

I wrote back a snarky and annoyed response, pointing out that I missed on 11 opportunities to sell the week, while the inept “sales department” could not find more than one buyer; and that “timely and efficient manner” does not mean what the Resort Closings, Inc., thinks it means. I felt better as one could only feel after dispensing a brilliant tongue-lashing…

I asked the most recent prospective direct buyer whether she was interested in going ahead with the purchase. She said she was very interested and asked me a ton of questions. I answered some, but for most, I pointed her to a website with pretty good FAQs on the process.

She responded today that she decided to look for a timeshare in another part of Florida instead. She then proceeded to list various items that I “need to have ready” when a prospective buyer contacts me. I don’t recall asking for an advice, but that’s my net gain from this transaction so far.

I suppose I have nothing to lose by contacting all of those other people whom I have turned away to see if they may still be interested. If not, I’ll try donating again through a different channel.

Epic fail! Deserving, too1.


1 As Natasha keeps reminding me, she was not too enthusiastic about getting into interval ownership in the first place. It was I who felt that buying a timeshare week was a grand idea back in 1995.


  1. Vince

    Ah, yes. Those gentle reminders when what appeared to be a good idea doesn’t pan out quite the way you expected. Not snarky, not nasty, but… let’s say a slight bit of satisfaction in being the smarter partner.

  2. Jeri

    Is it something you can use now that you’re returning to the US? I’ve never considered buying one, and some close friends who did only used theirs for a couple years and then haven’t messed with it — the points system for alternate locations is just too painful to screw with.

  3. Ilya

    Oh we could use it even while we did not live in the US – the interval exchange program theoretically allows us to go to any one of hundreds of member resorts worldwide instead of the one we own. (And there is no points system in our case; the swap, in theory, is very simple: You deposit your week into the pool and have a two-year window to pick a week elsewhere in return.)

    The problem is that it does not fit our travel style at all. We do not like to come back to the same place over and over, so exchanging the week is the only useful route for us. Plus, there are limited occasions when we stay in one place for a whole week (which, depending on the resort, may not start on a weekend day). Even in those cases, we want very specific locations, which we have not been much successful in finding available for the weeks we needed them.

    Timeshare ownership is perfect for people who either like spending holidays repeatedly at the same resort or are flexible with where/when they go depending on exchange availability.

    We have been “giving” the week away to friends and family for years. Yearly maintenance fee of several hundred dollars is not such a big drag, but it’s the fact that we own it and have no interest in using it that bugs me.

  4. Brian Greenberg

    I have this argument discussion with my parents all the time. They bought a week in Aruba more than a decade ago. The sales pitch included a “do it for your children” argument. For them (both retired), it’s a wonderful thing – they go there every year, they know where their room is, they have their favorite restaurants, their favorite spot on the beach, their favorite bell captain, etc..

    But for us (two 40ish working people with young kids), the thought of going to the same place each year is not appealing. They get a little upset whenever we say we’re not going (we go once every few years), and they don’t seem to remember that when they were our age, they balked at the idea of taking us (then, small children) to the same place every year as well…

  5. Timeshare Relief

    The greetings of some closing companies are really enticing. But the reality is the transaction could take a longer time. It seems that you have missed lots of opportunities to dump your timeshare. You’re right. You have nothing to lose if you contact again those other people whom you just turned away and see if they are still interested in your timeshare.

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