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.
Solving Complaints about The Villagroup
January 8, 2014
It can be a real headache when we feel the need to complain, not only because of the disappointment that we feel about what has caused the problem but the very act of complaining can be as unpleasant as the cause. The Villagroup Timeshare try to make their complaints procedure as simple as possible, aiming to deal with your issues while you are still in the resort, before you leave.
The Villagroup Timeshare have an enviable reputation to protect, which is surely why they spend a lot of time and money ensuring that problems are resolved as quickly and as efficiently as possible. With nearly three decades selling and operating timeshare properties and designing new resorts in the top Mexican beach destinations, The Villagroup Timeshare does not want unhappy customers. In terms of timeshare selling, you can be sure that this is no scam and any staff members discovered lying are taken very seriously.
Therefore, if you have a problem with any aspect of your dealings with The Villagroup Timeshare, you should make your concern known, not just for the sake of complaining but as a means of helping this reputable company maintain their high standards. Always tell a member of staff if you are not satisfied with some aspect of your experience. If the problem is not resolved within reasonable time, then look to speak to a more senior staff member.
Some problems may not be fully resolved during your stay in Mexico, therefore you may need to continue the complaints procedure from home. In this case, make sure you have all the details you need before leaving the resort, like contact telephone numbers and email addresses. You will not be able to make contact with the resort through complaints forums as the company cannot guarantee they will see the complaint, so it is always best to deal directly with The Villagroup Timeshare.
Personal Data Fraud by Timeshare Attorney Firm
January 3, 2014
Beware New Timeshare Scam!
The Villagroup have issued a warning to its members of a new timeshare scam after discovering a number of its most loyal and satisfied members had been approached by what seems to be bogus representatives of a timeshare attorney firm.
The alarm was called when Villa del Palmar owners and Villa Preferred Access members were contacted by telephone and asked to provide their personal details. The callers claimed to be legal representatives from a timeshare attorney firm preparing a class action suit to take The Villagroup to court, despite the fact that none of the members who were called had solicited information regarding this. It is unclear whether the calls were carried out by fraudulent individuals or an organized group.
The scam emerges at a time when many people are at home during the dark winter evenings, targeting the most popular timeshare resort names. The best way to protect yourself from any kind of fraud or scam is to be sure that you know the person or the company that is calling you and avoid giving out your personal details over the phone.
Timeshare Opportunities at Villa del Palmar, Puerto Vallarta
December 14, 2013
Buying a timeshare is a great opportunity if you like to take vacations. It gives you the chance to buy something you can call your own without all the responsibilities of home ownership, especially if your vacation property is in a foreign country.
Purchasing or renting a timeshare at Villa del Palmar in Puerto Vallarta is an excellent choice, particularly if you like to return to the same place frequently. While there is no reason why you have to visit your specific property every year, thanks to timeshare exchanges and vacation clubs, Puerto Vallarta is one of those destinations where returning year in year out would never get boring.
Puerto Vallarta is a destination bursting at the seams with activities and pastimes that will engage all the family. With multiple options for fun in the ocean such as fishing, jet skis, banana boats, kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing … the list goes on endlessly … as well as great activities on land such as mountain hikes, zip-lining, bird watching, a botanical garden, horseback riding, ATVs and more, there is no reason why you should spend a single day with nothing to do. And that is not even taking into consideration days lounging by the pool or splashing around on the sea shore!
Villa del Palmar, Puerto Vallarta timeshare units are a great compromise between hotel living and a home from home. If you have a timeshare in another location, you can easily swap your unit for one at Villa del Palmar via a vacation club like Interval International or Universal Vacations. There are also still some great timeshare opportunities to be had at this excellent resort if you attend a timeshare presentation.
What makes Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta’s units so distinctive is their spaciousness and attention to detail and comfort. They are designed with ease in mind. Plenty of room for all the family and an easy to use kitchen with dining room. Even the smallest entry level suites have a kitchenette and somewhere to eat breakfast or lunch! The suites also have balconies with pleasant views, with many having great sea vistas or views of the resort landscape and pools.
The resort facilities at Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta will also make you feel like you have made an excellent choice selecting a timeshare unit there. An amazing spa with a long list of pampering therapies and massages awaits guests at a reasonable price and the gym equipment is well kept in a cool air-conditioned environment. There are three pools for timeshare owners or renters to use and two main restaurants and a deli. Visitors are made to feel like they are exclusive guests in their own home and have the option to buy all inclusive passes too.
PUERTO VALLARTA DISCOUNTS
Non-Taxable Timeshare Gifts
December 9, 2013
When you go to a time share presentation you will probably have been offered some kind of gift, discount or incentive to attend. Most time share companies give away bottles of wine, spa certificates, rounds of golf and the like or may provide free excursions, complimentary meals, day passes etc. These types of time share gifts are not taxable as most are considered a courtesy or comp. If you are told that you have to pay a tax on these at the airport, you are probably being scammed in some way.
Some time share developers may offer cash incentives and this can cause a little concern as in effect, the prize is an income of sorts. However, most reputable companies will offer discounts or monetary incentives that are redeemable against the purchase of something, so as to avoid any grey areas.
Common Timeshare Scams
November 22, 2013
Before going into the details about some of the most common time share scams, it should be stated that time share as a concept is not a scam, rather there are dubious companies out there profiting in a fraudulent way from the guise of time share. In fact, time share can be an excellent investment if the model suits your vacation habits; therefore it is important to remember that if you buy with a reputable company with a great track record, there is very little chance of running into a scam.
Resale phone calls
Beware of any unsolicited phone calls from agents claiming they have found you a buyer for your time share. If you are not looking to sell, this is probably a scam. You will be expected to pay for the details of the buyer who mysteriously never answers your calls.
Gifts with a Catch
To make time share presentations attractive, all operators offer incentives which are usually genuine. However, if the incentive seems too good to be true, then it probably is just that! Some deliberate scams make you pay a high fee to have your free gift delivered and sometimes you simply never receive it if you don’t buy a time share.
Time Share Properties that Never Get Built
Another scam that can cost a lot of money and heartbreak is the pre-sale scam that encourages you to buy a property that has not yet been built. You hand over your money based on the prospect of your dream second home, but it never gets built or the company goes bust. The way to avoid this type of scam is to research the time share developer before even attending a presentation. The genuine companies will be obvious, even with a quick on line check.
Trade in Time Share Scam
Some people are tricked into buying a second time share or joining a timeshare points scheme on the premise that the time share company will sell your old property. If you are offered this service, you are very likely being scammed and you will end up being responsible for two timeshares. The genuine option you have is to add your time share to a vacation club and begin to exchange it for other destinations.