BBB study dissects timeshare scams

An investigative study completed by the Better Business Bureau has uncovered some huge scams when it comes to timeshares and vacation club sales.

The BBB says there have been nearly 30,000 complaints across North America with $32 million disputed. There have also been close to 10,000 negative reviews from those who have reported to the BBB about timeshare sale scams.

Wes Lafortune, the manager of communications and media with the BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay told us there are ways you can protect yourself if you are considering a timeshare.

“The first and the best tip is, do you really want a timeshare? It’s not an investment. It’s not a real estate investment. It’s going to cost you money. There’s usually fees, annual fees attached. There’s a lot of limitations around when you can use them. So probably the best advice is don’t sign-up under those circumstances. The average cost to acquire a timeshare is $24,000. What we’ve heard from a lot of consumers is they sign-up for one of these things and they never use them. Another great tip is, again, always do your research. Make sure you’re dealing with a legitimate company. Don’t be in a hurry to sign any documents. Take the information away. Give yourself at least 24 hours, probably more like a week, to consider it. Talk to other people. Do research about the company that’s making the offer.”

Staff with the BBB said there have also been 1,160 BBB Scam Tracker reports with losses of 3.5 million relating to the timeshare industry.

Micah Quinn

After graduating from Mount Royal University in Calgary with a Broadcasting Diploma, Micah made the trek down to Lethbridge to work for Bridge City News. He has previously worked at City TV Calgary on the Breakfast Television morning show. He looks forward to connecting with this community, and reaching a new audience. Micah has a passion for interviewing and finding out why people think the way they do. You’ll often find him pursuing local feature stories and hard news.

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