Timeshare Industry Muddies Waters on Florida Bill That Will Gut Consumer Protections According to Coalition to Reform Timeshare
12 Mar, 2019, 14:15 ET
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Like many timeshare customers, Florida's elected officials are currently being subjected to the same kind of high-pressure, manipulative tactics for which the timeshare resort industry is known. In advance of today's hearing on Florida's proposed legislation (FL HB 435/ SB 1430), the powerful $9.6 billion timeshare industry lobby is pushing for the passage of this anti-consumer bill. The bill will destroy the ability of consumers to get out of restrictive contracts by eliminating their access to legal representation.
Among the bill's numerous anti-consumer provisions is a section that will limit, if not eliminate, a timeshare owner's efforts to exit their timeshare safely and permanently. As the timeshare capital of the world, restrictive legislation in Florida has far reaching implications to timeshare owners all over the country. The bill leaves consumers at the mercy of timeshare companies with little or no assistance when they are unable to use or afford a perpetual timeshare.
More than 9 million households own timeshares which resort developers frequently market with high-pressure, hard-sell, sales techniques that often result in overpriced, impractical and unwanted contracts. According to industry research, 47 percent of timeshare owners want out of their contracts because of money-related issues.
In advance of the Florida hearing, the timeshare industry's powerful trade association, The American Resort Development Association (ARDA), issued a press release from a non-profit to give the appearance that ARDA is working for consumer rights when the opposite is true.
"This press release from the timeshare industry is a sophisticated work of misrepresentation and distortion. It is propaganda supporting a bill that will eliminate hope for consumers trying to legally get out of restrictive timeshare contracts," said Brandon Reed, a founding member of the Coalition to Reform Timeshare (CRT). "Many timeshare developers have gotten rich by using high pressure and deceptive sales tactics to sell timeshares to middle class families. Many people think they are getting access to a nice vacation but find they are saddled with high annual maintenance fees and a contract that often can outlast a person's life and must be passed on to their heirs."
"Timeshare developers are trying to muddy the waters to hide the fact that they are the catalyst for HB 435, which protects their financial interests at the expense of consumers," continued Reed. "In fact, developers have employed an army of powerful lobbyists and lawyers, bringing the full force of a multi-billion-dollar industry against individual timeshare owners."
The head of this organization, ARDA's Ken McKelvey, is quoted in the press release stating that, "we need to protect our owners from becoming victims." Opponents of the Florida bill couldn't agree more. Consumers can join the Coalition to Reform Timeshare to help ensure Florida does not pass HB 435.
About Coalition to Reform Timeshare:
The Coalition to Reform Timeshare is made up of individuals and organizations dedicated to reforming the timeshare industry. We believe that timeshare companies should be subject to a strict code of ethics and transparency in their sales techniques.
We advocate for consumer rights to legally exit from timeshares and educate consumers on state, local and federal legislation that may positively or negatively affect timeshare owners. Our goal is to change the industry by holding timeshare companies responsible and advocating for honesty and consumer fairness.
For more information, please visit reformtimeshare.org.
SOURCE Coalition to Reform Timeshare
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