Jackass #3 – The Guy who Invented the Timeshare

Timeshares got their start in the late 1970s. This was when drunk people in leisure suits thought becoming a 1/52nd owner of a condo was a great idea – maybe even a significant “investment!”

Timeshares, it turns out, are a freaking rip-off. Nothing more than another money-making scam for investors and developers who are now long gone. Can you say Charles Keating?

Google “timeshare resale,” and you’ll see that people are giving them away today. I know individuals who bought one for literally 1 dollar.

Why do these timeshares suck so bad that people are giving them away?

  • Annual fees – you could get a decent hotel room for the equivalent of the yearly “maintenance” fee. Better yet, this is without the strings of a fixed place and time.
  • Self-serve administration – you need an enigma machine to decipher the rules for “keeping your week” or “converting your points.” You best be savvy. Otherwise, you’ll “losing your time” will be all you’ll get for your costly maintenance fees!
  • Nickel and Dime-ing– welcome to the world of the “reservation fee,” “split-week fee,” “transfer fee,” and “cancellation fee” all incurred when using the website!

Most of these timeshares were sold using the most high-pressure tactics around. A  “free” weekend at a “resort” turned into a 4+ hour sales pitch that would make used-car salespeople blush. Appeals like “isn’t your family worth $50 a week (over ten years) to guarantee you’ll spend time together?”

Insulting. Only a jackass could say such a thing with a straight face.

Oh, and while you are googling “timeshare resale,” go ahead and put in “timeshare litigation,” and you’ll find 285,000 results.

A great moment in jackass history was the invention of the timeshare!


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