In 2016 a couple from the U.S. filed a lawsuit against Marriott Vacation Club, which bought into question the way in which the resort is marketing and selling timeshare in the State of Florida. The suit alleges that from 2010 unwilling customers were duped into purchasing MVC points that the resort claimed were deeded purchases. This meant owners believed, at the point of sale, they would own an interest in a property like that of timeshare ownership whereby a member owns a specific week each year in a chosen resort or property.
The lawyer arguing the case on behalf of the timeshare owners, stated that this violated Florida property laws as it tried to sell a points scheme by disguising it as real estate sales, when in fact there was no actual property interest involved. Lawyers for Marriott were able to successfully argue that the deeds at point of sale, identify a timeshare as a property interest, and under law timeshare is a legal real estate property. The judge ruled in favour of Marriott on this occasion, however the owners are not satisfied with this judgement and have asked for the case to be reconsidered, stating that under Florida law, MVC points to not represent physical deeded property ownership.
In making the ruling, the judge asked whether or not the owners had suffered any losses as MVC had not voided their deeds. However, the owners were forced to pay fees and take on financial burdens like maintenance fees, taxes and policy premiums which are normally associated with actual timeshare ownership but not receiving any of the benefits. Instead of having a dedicated week or two each year, MVC owners are allotted points, based on how much they spend, that are then used to book days at various resorts. This is often subject to additional costs and owners have complained they find it hard to book and availability is limited.
Ever thought of purchasing a holiday club membership?
Before purchasing any points-based holiday product, do the math first. Can the amount of points purchased provide you with the holiday you want each year, without having to purchase additional points you did not budget for?
Can you gain access to the types of locations and facilities you want to visit when you want to visit them? There are too many holiday club members who report being unhappy with the standard of accommodation using their annual points allowance. There are even reports of people being unable to book a specific week during peak season, despite having two years of accumulated points.
Research any company or organisation you are investing your hard-earned cash in. It is important to note that points owning members enjoying the highest levels of satisfaction generally have a good understanding of how to get the most out of their products.
New and exclusive developments are sure to attract many new customers seeking a unique holiday experience. However, many are persuaded to purchase ‘points-based’ holiday products, which are often non-refundable, non-transferable and with virtually no resale value. In addition to this, you will face mounting maintenance fees.