Posted By: bywarren
Time share - Good or Bad - 06/13/08 12:51 PM
There is much talk of the practice of time share sales related to other topics so I thought it might be interesting to talk about time shares specifically.
Other than the offensive sales techniques of some, I wonder what the difference is between someone pre-paying for their accomodations and someone who books a vacation direct with the hotel or through a travel agent.
If there is really no difference then I would think if the island had the will they could pass and enforce regulations restricting time share sales techniques deemed to be offensive so as not to brand AC in the same catagory as other vaction destinations doing that. And if they don't, then is it really the time share people's fault or the ones not doing anything about it other than complaining?
Posted By: Craigswench
Re: Time share - Good or Bad - 06/13/08 02:28 PM
I own a timeshare (not in Belize) which I love. It's in a place that I return to yearly, spend a week, relax and enjoy myself. I have taken friends, family, and it's worth every penny.
While I hate the harassment that is sometimes associated with timeshare sales, the end result can be a very pleasurable experience.
Just my two cents worth.
Posted By: SimonB
Re: Time share - Good or Bad - 06/13/08 02:51 PM
"they could pass and enforce regulations restricting time share sales techniques"
Laws were passed on Jan. 1 of this year, unfortunately there appears to be little effort in enforcing those laws.
Posted By: SimonB
Re: Time share - Good or Bad - 06/13/08 02:53 PM
Found the law:
The Off Premise Contract Regulation is a Statutory Instrument (SI) which will be signed into law by the Minister of Tourism, Godfrey Smith, and will go into effect as of January 1st, 2008. This SI regulates OPC’s around the country and below find some of the points addressed in the SI. Bear in mind that the SI has not been signed and some of the points outlined may change. However, according to Registrar of Hotels and Accommodations Lloyd Enriquez, it is not expected that much will change.
Some excerpts of the OPC SI are as follows:
Subject to the provisions of these Regulations, any person desirous of operating as an off premises contact person in and within Belize from the commencement of these Regulations shall complete and submit an application form to the Board, through the Committee, together with [medical certificate, police record, recommendations letter and such]. All licenses shall be issued by the Board upon payment to the Board of a license fee of one hundred dollars by the applicant […]
Duties of License Holders includes: It shall be the duty of all license holders under these regulations to […] prominently display upon their person a laminated copy of their license while performing their work. […] operate either from the developer’s place of business or from a booth authorized by the Registrar, with the approval of any trade licensing authority, […] distribute handbills, offers, timeshare documents and other material relating to the sale of timeshare rights from within ten feet of the booth authorized by the Registrar, […] inform purchasers that (i) any promised entertainment, prizes, gifts, food and drinks, games or other forms of inducement to execute the timeshare documents are offered for the purpose of advertising sales of timeshare rights in the timeshare accommodation of the developer; […] (iii) purchasers have cancellation rights as provided in section 20 of the Act. In addition to the duties specified in sub regulation (1), every license holder shall have an obligation- to promote and preserve the tourism industry in Belize; […] (j) to be hospitable and maintain good and courteous conduct towards purchasers at all times; […] (l)not to be under the influence of alcohol or controlled drugs or any other intoxicating substances while on duty.
An off premises contact person commits a disciplinary offense who use any promotional material or device without fully disclosing to purchasers orally that the material or device is being used for the purpose of soliciting sales of timeshare rights (among others).
Regulations of OPC Booths include: Every off premises contact person’s booth shall be located in a place approved by the Registrar after consultation with the developer and on the recommendation of the Committee; […] It shall be a disciplinary offence to operate an off premises contact person’s booth at a location which is not approved by the Registrar as provided in these Regulations; […]The Registrar may designate members of the Tourism Police and Inspectors appointed under the Hotels and Tourist Accommodation Act to issue violation tickets to any off premises contact person who contravenes this Part, and the violation tickets shall provide-a summary fine of one hundred dollars for the first contravention; a summary fine of two hundred dollars for the second contravention; a summary fine of three hundred dollars for the third contravention; disciplinary proceedings by the Committee for a fourth contravention.
Additional disciplinary offenses are also highlighted and include: An off premises contact person who insults, abuses or harasses a purchaser, either through word or deed, as well as an person who operates, advertises, or holds himself out as an off premises contact person without first obtaining a license issued under these Regulations.
Posted By: bywarren
Re: Time share - Good or Bad - 06/13/08 03:21 PM
All well and good, but it still remains that enforcement is the key. And, those bitching about how annoying and bad time share selling is for island would be better off, and the island would be better off, if that effort was directed to demanding of the authorities that the regulations be enforced.
Now granted maybe some are doing that. But it seems from comments on this board that many are devoting time and effort to ways to discourage being approached as opposed to demanding the rules be enforced.
Posted By: ScubaLdy
Re: Time share - Good or Bad - 06/13/08 03:29 PM
It does not appear to me that any laws, rules or regulations are enforced here.
There is a plan for a constable program; citizens who could arrest, ticket and take police reports. The people I know who are signing up for this are the type who would take enforcement seriously.
Posted By: Barbara K
Re: Time share - Good or Bad - 06/13/08 03:37 PM
In my experience, once people know a resort is a time share operation, they look elsewhere (except Banyan Bay which does not really advertise itself as a TS too much and only has a few units available for TS). But I have heard comments afterwards from clients who have stayed at Banyan Bay that the sellers for Grand Colony next door were obnoxious and annoying. Seen it in action myself when staying at Banyan.
Posted By: bywarren
Re: Time share - Good or Bad - 06/13/08 04:05 PM
OK, don't take this as I am endorsing time share because I am indiffernt. But just to further the conversation, I also see it happening at Banyan Bay and sometimes talk with those that have gone through the presentation. Some have commented that they enjoyed the time spent, even if they were not interested in purchasing, as the sales people were polite and offered not just the sales pitch but a lot of info on the island - like tours, restaurants, nightlife, etc.
My point being, not all is "black and white-good or bad". If time shares are presented properly they could be an added benefit to the island. People buying time shares have the incentive to use them - even with high airline prices - use it or loose it.
You know the saying, "make lemonade out of lemons".
Posted By: Loansum-Al K
Re: Time share - Good or Bad - 06/13/08 04:13 PM
We go down to our condo about 4 times a year and everytime we go we are approached by time share sales people.....just tell them we already own a place and they back off......still rather annoying....some of them we got to know personally and must say they are just ordinary people trying to make a living....better that not working at all and stealing for a living!