Have you Been Victim of a Shill?
October 18, 2017
Do you know what a shill is, and would you know if you had fallen prey to their antics?
If you have no idea on either of these counts you should read ahead to find out about the history of the word and practice, and to find out how the average shill operates these day.
The origin of a shill
The word itself comes from the older “shillaber” which referred to those runners or troupers on the payroll of a circus who would mingle with the crowds whilst the ringmaster gave his speech. Once the speech was over they would rush to buy a ticket in order to create a sense of urgency. The idea was to make the real customers believe that tickets were in hot demand so that they would buy impulsively.
Shills in operation
A shill these days will most likely operate online by leaving comments and reviews online for a price. You will see them most often on forums and social media where they will leave reviews and comments about products and services. Depending upon who has paid them and what the job description is they may either leave positive comments or put down the competition. The job of a shill, to put it simply, is to create hype and bolster the reputation of their employer in order to draw in customers.
Shills and a genuine commenter
Shills, at least successful ones, are generally quite good at what they do and so it can be hard to tell which comments and reviews have been left by a shill. There are some signs to watch out for, however: If you copy and paste the comment in question into a Google search you will be able to find out if it has been posted elsewhere; if it can be found elsewhere word for word then it is likely a bought review. If the review can be found elsewhere discussing the same complaint or issue, but with a different company or product name you should also be wary… especially if they also suggest a better product, company, or a solution to the problem!
Have you been duped by a shill? Leave your comments (shills need not bother lol).
Recommended article: Common Timeshare Scams
Timeshare: What are the signs of a scam?
August 12, 2017
Not all timeshares are scams and there are some clear signs when you might be walking into a fraudulent situation. That is why I have compiled this list of hints and tips for recognizing a timeshare scam as opposed to genuine timeshare companies.
What are the signs of a timeshare scam?
There are some key signs which indicate that something or someone is a scam. If you remain open to them it can become pretty obvious which is which very quickly. Read on to find out how you can tell when someone is trying to scam you, and how you can protect yourself from fraudulent timeshares. These are some of the warning signs that you should be on the lookout for:
When things don’t add up
Little “white” lies might not seem like a huge deal, but the truth is that honesty in small matters is a key indicator of a business’s (or a person’s) integrity. If, for example, you’re are promised an incentive for attending a timeshare presentation that never materializes (or you are asked to pay for it), or if you are told that the presentation will last only a few hours and it lasts the full day… these are signs that the company is not honest You must ask yourself; if the timeshare agent is comfortable lying to you about this, what else are is he or she going to lie about in order to sell you a timeshare?
Is the timeshare company registered?
It’s a sad fact that you can’t check every company’s license and registration details when you’re on vacation as this would make side stepping timeshare scams a breeze. However, there are some real world indicators that a timeshare company have their legal affairs in order. A good rule of thumb is this; if a timeshare agent can produce authentic ID, or they can be found inside an airport or shopping mall, then they most likely represent a genuine timeshare company and not a scam.
No news is bad news
If the timeshare company in question is suspiciously squeaky clean of all news coverage; if you can’t find an article about them or get any information online, it is most likely because they are fraudulent. Even the best companies will have complaints online (alongside positive reviews), but a timeshare company with seemingly no history is a no-go and most probably a scam.
Timeshare exchange networks
If a timeshare company is recognized by and affiliated with exchange networks like RCI and Interval International then you can be sure that they’re legitimate. If in doubt check on their affiliations and partnerships; as the saying goes “no man is an island” and this is doubly true for timeshare providers wishing to succeed.
Are you taken to the right timeshare resort?
If you are shown a different resort to the one you’re supposed to be buying from, or you’re shown the right resort and then taken offsite for the presentation/ contract signing do not sign. Do Not Sign. This is a classic move for scammers looking to steal some reflected respectability from big companies. You should also check that your contract names the correct type of unit and reflects any verbal promises, etc.
Do you have a bad feeling?
Listen to your gut; if intuition tells you that something is not right, or someone is being dishonest, this is often the earliest sign of a scam. Listen to your gut and look out for more warning signs of a scam, and most importantly never go through with something that makes you uncomfortable.
What are your methods for identifying a scam? Leave a comment.
Recommended article: Timeshare with The Villa Group
Lawyers Who Claim to Cancel your Villa del Palmar Timeshare Contract
April 7, 2014
Timeshare lawyers who offer Villa del Palmar timeshare cancellation services are an ever-growing breed and there is much need for caution. While it is unfair to say that all timeshare lawyers are scams, you should take care when dealing with a timeshare lawyer who claims that it is easy to cancel your Villa del Palmar timeshare contract and get your money back. In reality there is little chance of getting your money back once you have signed a contract to purchase a time share and the cooling off period has passed, unless you have legitimate reason. What most timeshare cancellation lawyers are looking for is for you to pay them high fees to arrange a default on your contract (which neither cancels the contract nor gets you your money back)
What is a legitimate reason for canceling a Villa del Palmar timeshare contract?
There are occasions where cancellation of a Villa del Palmar timeshare contract is legitimate and possible. In those circumstances you will probably be entitled to getting your money back as well as cancellation of your timeshare contract. However, these cases are very rare as you would have to prove that you were intentionally mis-sold a property, lied to deliberately or there was a breach in the contract on the part of Villa del Palmar. It is highly unlikely that the first two of these circumstances can be proved, in addition to the fact that Villa del Palmar have very strict training and regulations for its sales team in an active attempt to clean up the timeshare reputation. The third circumstance is also highly improbable as Villa del Palmar contracts are checked with a fine tooth comb by legal aids.
So what does a timeshare cancellation lawyer offer?
In that case, you are probably wondering what a timeshare lawyer can actually do for you. The answer is, not a lot except charge you fees for advice. If you have a legitimate case you will probably find that you can negotiate directly with Villa del Palmar without the aid of a lawyer and save yourself the hefty legal costs.
Beware Cold-Calling Villa del Palmar Timeshare Lawyers
The worst kind of timeshare lawyers are those who call unsolicited to offer to cancel your Villa del Palmar timeshare. Under these circumstances, you can be pretty sure it is a scam and that the process is going to cost you money without a lot to show for it.
What is a Timeshare Attorney?
February 24, 2014
A timeshare attorney is a legal representative who can act on your behalf in a court of law. Unlike a timeshare lawyer, attorneys have the authority to represent you legally in court. A timeshare lawyer on the other hand can only offer you legal advice or guide you through a timeshare contract and so on.
The occasions when you might need a timeshare attorney are few. People who have been involved with a deliberate timeshare scam may call upon the services of an attorney to represent them against a fraudulent company. In these cases a class action suit may be a good idea. In the case of a deliberate scam, you will find there are many others in the same position as you and it may work out in you favor to join together in a class action suit and save on attorney fees. However, always beware of timeshare attorneys who approach you to join a class action against a genuine company, as you are not likely to win and the attorney will simply make a profit out of you.
Other occasions where a timeshare attorney may be necessary is if you have gotten behind on your maintenance fees. If you stop paying your timeshare maintenance fees, you will be vulnerable to a suit against you by the timeshare operator. In those cases you will need to seek legal assistance or pay your fees. It is much easier to pay your fees than contracting an expensive timeshare attorney. You will find that you can come to a payment plan without using a lawyer or an attorney to represent you in court if you speak directly to the timeshare operator.
The other thing to remember is that there are very few attorneys who are dedicated solely to timeshare, therefore, you are best to seek a recommendation from a friend. It is also wise to avoid pop-up adverts on the internet or on timeshare forums promoting timeshare lawyers or attorneys.
Timeshare Pros and Cons Explored
January 20, 2014
It is always prudent to look at the pros and cons of any venture that is asking you to part with your money, and timeshare is no exception. While there are many more timeshare pros than cons, it is best to make yourself aware of what you are getting involved in before you sign a timeshare contract.
Financial Timeshare Pros and Cons
PRO: The clearest pro to owning a timeshare is that you will save money in the long term if you use your timeshare every year or are able to rent it out when you cannot use it. You pay for your timeshare at today’s prices and thanks to inflation you will quickly see the economic benefit of your initial investment in just a few years.
CON: The con is that you are not going to get rich renting out your property, so you should not buy timeshare units as a money making venture. It will save you money rather than make you a millionaire.
Destination Pros and Cons
CON: When you buy a fixed week timeshare in a resort, you are tied into visiting the same destination every year. (Although you can always exchange your timeshare using a vacation club for other destinations throughout the world)
PRO: For many people, returning to the same place each year is just what they want to feel like they are part of something and that they have bought a home away from home.
Fixed Weeks Pros and Cons
CON: You take your vacation during the same weeks every year and cannot change them unless you upgrade to a points system or join a vacation club.
PRO: If you have a fixed week during Thanksgiving, Christmas or the school vacations you will be glad to have guaranteed accommodation during these dates.