5 ‘Red Flags’ To Look Out For When Buying Timeshare

One of the key priorities of the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA) is to aid the protection of consumers and shared vacation owners when targeted by questionable companies operating on the fringe of the industry.

Wherever a market exists, deceptive or fraudulent activity can also be present and the same is true for the timeshare industry.

“Unfortunately, there will always be companies that use fraudulent and dubious marketing tactics in an attempt to deceive consumers and timeshare owners for their own financial gain.  We want to help consumers to be vigilant and not a victim. These companies usually operate under the guise of being a legitimate timeshare resale company or travel club. As a result, the reputation of the industry suffers damage and VOASA members who operate legitimate businesses are impacted negatively,” warns VOASA spokesman, Alex Bosch.

He points out that all VOASA members must comply with the industry Code of Conduct and relevant law and regulations related to their business. Where applicable, this would include holding a current fidelity fund certificate from the Estate Agency Affairs Board.  

While the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud is actively investigating consumer complaints and pursuing just course of action against such dubious companies, VOASA advises consumers to look out for these 5 common ‘red flags’ when buying or selling timeshare: –

  1. If you receive unsolicited calls or emails from a company regarding the sale of your timeshare or the elimination of maintenance fees;
  2. If an offer sounds too good to be true (it probably is);
  3. Promises to modify or cancel your timeshare contractual obligations;
  4. Any call or correspondence offering to transfer your paid-off ownership to another party;
  5. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a representative of VOASA. VOASA does not perform any sales or resale services.

Bosch concludes by advising the public to only deal with accredited VOASA members, and this can be determined by checking the member’s directory on the association’s website at www.voasa.co.za or calling (021) 975-9607 or emailing voasa@voasa.co.za.

About VOASA (Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa)

Previously known as the Timeshare Institute of Southern Africa, VOASA was established in 1990 as a self-regulatory member-based Trade Association for the shared vacation ownership industry of South Africa. The Association seeks to create and maintain an environment through which the long-term viability and growth of shared vacation ownership and the protection of the rights of consumers and the industry can be optimally ensured.


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