Do you regret buying a timeshare after being wrongly convinced by a random salesperson that it would be the key to incorporating regular vacations in your life? If your answer is a guilt-ridden yes, you should take it as a consolation that buyer’s remorse is highly correlated with timeshares.
There are many reasons to back out from a timeshare agreement – unprecedented high maintenance fees, unmatched expectations, and the list goes on. Whatever your issue is, you’ll be pleased to know that you can get out of the timeshare agreement.
Now, before you continue reading, we should warn you. Canceling your timeshare agreement isn’t easy, but luckily, it’s not impossible either. The first step is to write your timeshare cancellation later. If you don’t know how to go about the letter, you’ve come to the right place. Together, let’s explore how to write the perfect timeshare cancellation letter!
The Basics Of A Timeshare
Before getting started, let’s look at what a timeshare is. A timeshare or holiday ownership is a part of a property located at a prime vacation spot and owned by several people. By signing a timeshare agreement, you own the rights to use it for a specified period during the year.
Timeshares are either in the same place or based on a points system. The latter allows you to use your points to choose a different location for vacationing each year.
An Introduction To Timeshare Cancellation
After purchasing a timeshare, buyers get cold feet all the time. As the costs incurred sink in, buyers rethink whether the timeshare is worth the money. Fortunately, a timeshare cancellation comes into play in such a situation.
A timeshare cancellation ensures that buyers get a full refund without facing a penalty after canceling their timeshare agreement. However, it isn’t the easiest task, given that you have a limited period to follow through on the cancellation process.
Reasons To Write A Timeshare Cancellation Letter
It is not uncommon for people to cancel their timeshare contract. Here are some of the valid reasons that usually cause people to write a timeshare cancellation letter:
1. Lack Of Availability And Inflexible Reservation Slots
Most of the time, people never get to use their purchased timeshares due to inflexible dates. You might rarely find a reservation slot when you wish to stay at the timeshare.
What is worse is that when you contact the customer support team of your timeshare company, they will be incredibly unhelpful. They will either tell you that there is nothing on your contract to prevent this situation or that an upgrade is underway to improve things.
2. Soaring Maintenance Fees
It does not matter if you are utilizing your timeshare; you must pay a significant amount as “maintenance fees” for upkeeping the property. However, this fee rises periodically and sometimes contains hidden charges. Of course, your finances take a considerable hit every time you pay the maintenance fees.
3. Additional Charges
You will, on most occasions, find the company demanding additional money labeled upfront costs, transfer fees, liability charges, etc. Timeshare contracts are generally rigid, so there is little to nothing you can do about paying these amounts.
4. Insignificant Resale Value
For the sake of selling you the timeshare, the salesperson may have told you that it has great resale value in case you change your mind. However, that is mostly not the case. It is very difficult to sell your timeshare, especially at the same price you bought it.
5. Difficulty In Renting Out Timeshare
The salesperson will exaggerate the extra bucks you can earn by renting out your purchased timeshare. It is actually a nightmare to find customers to rent your timeshare. This difficulty leads a lot of people to cancel the timeshare contract.
6. Exploitation And Malpractice
Timeshare companies are notorious for feeding lies to customers. They often exasperate you by calling for upgrades and other ways to squeeze maximum money from you. You observe that they have little to no consideration for you. Apart from that, malpractice and fraud are common in timeshare companies.
7. Poor Utilization Of Maintenance Fees
You keep paying maintenance fees but notice that your timeshare’s state is deteriorating gradually. There is no evidence that the high maintenance fees you pay are being put to good use. When you realize you are not getting your money’s worth, it is time to take a step toward timeshare cancellation.
Steps For Writing And Mailing A Timeshare Cancellation Letter
It is common for buyers to change their minds after purchasing a timeshare. If you want to back out of the timeshare agreement, the first task is to notify your timeshare company by mailing them a timeshare cancellation letter.
The steps to follow when writing and mailing your timeshare cancellation letter are as follows:
1.Take a Note of Your Rescission Period
By law, timeshare agreements have to include a rescission period. It is also known as the “cooling off” period. It is the time determined by the state during which the buyer can cancel their purchase and collect a full refund with no penalty.
The rescission period is beneficial because it ensures minimum consequences for the buyer. However, it is essential that you conduct a thorough research about it. On average, the rescission period is 5 to 7 days. Some companies offer over a week for the buyer to get their things in order, while others offer less than 3 days.
Another thing to consider is if the company excludes weekends and holidays in the rescission period or counts calendar days. This crucial information can make the difference between getting or not getting your hard-earned money back.
2.Thoroughly Read Your Timeshare Contract
The only way to formulate the correct timeshare cancellation letter is by reading your signed agreement thoroughly. The agreement will give you the exact cancellation process if you have not reached your rescission deadline.
Some contracts even include a timeshare cancellation form. You can fill and send it to the timeshare company. Other contracts specify that you must send a timeshare cancellation letter and some documents to kickstart the process.
3. Write The Timeshare Cancellation Letter
Finally, you can move on to writing the timeshare cancellation letter. We have discussed in great detail the tips to keep in your mind while writing the letter. So keep reading to find out! When you are done writing the letter, mail it to the address mentioned in the timeshare contract.
4. Confirm That The Timeshare Cancellation Letter Has Been Received
Don’t sit back after mailing the letter. Considering that you have limited time to cancel the timeshare purchase, you need to be alert and quick on your feet. Ensure that you get a confirmation from the timeshare company upon receiving the letter. Also, save receipts that prove that the date sent and received are within the recession period.
Tips To Write A Timeshare Cancellation Letter
We understand that you might be overwhelmed at this moment. Considering the finances, you have put into purchasing a timeshare, it is justified. However, maintaining composure is the best way to get an optimal outcome from sending the timeshare cancellation letter. Here are some tips for writing it correctly:
1. Maintain All Documentation
This tip is crucial. Getting a separate file to store all timeshare cancellation-related records is better. The timeshare cancellation letter is not an email. It is supposed to be typed, printed, signed, dated, and finally mailed. Ensure that you keep a copy to maintain your file!
2. Be Straightforward
You need to be straightforward in your letter – no beating around the bush. Ensure you send a crystal clear message to your timeshare company by using a subject line that explicitly states “Timeshare Cancellation Request” or something along the same lines.
There is no need to use a mean tone in your letter, but you must be rigid about getting things done your way. In the letter’s body, start by stating your request to cancel your timeshare contract with the company. It can be like, “This is a formal request for immediate termination of my timeshare contract.”
Considering that the timeshare cancellation process is lengthy and cumbersome, you have to make it easy for you at whatever point you can. Being straightforward in your timeshare cancellation letters is one such way.
State in the letter’s body that you will need a full refund of the amount you paid, which you have full rights to according to the contract.
3. Don’t Make the Letter Redundant Or Too Passionate
With your money on the line, it is easy to be blinded by emotions and say the wrong things while missing out on the right points. Instead of being hyper or emotional, collect your thoughts to pen out a well-structured letter. Make sure you are stern and attentive to the topic.
The optimal length for the timeshare cancellation letter should be a few paragraphs. It should not be lengthier than a page. In haste, you might find yourself listing various reasons why the timeshare contract fails to meet your expectations. You need to take a breather if you observe yourself writing blocks of paragraphs comprising complaints.
We assure you that ranting about unkept expectations only makes things worse for you. The timeshare company does not prioritize your satisfaction level but their earnings. Be direct in the letter by stating that you want to proceed with canceling the timeshare contract along with its details.
It is fine if you add a line or two about the increased maintenance fees, inflexible dates, or whatever issue has been inconvenient and frustrating for you. But writing any more than that is a waste of your time, energy, and paper.
4. Radiate Confidence and Surety
Would you be more inclined to listen to someone saying, “I was wondering if I can cancel my timeshare contract and get a refund” or “Consider this letter as a formal request to cancel my timeshare contract and process my refund”?
Definitely the latter, right? It is because the second one radiates confidence, surety, and firmness. When the timeshare company employee reads your letter, they should not be left under the impression that there is a margin for you to stay in contract with them.
Refrain from using words like might, maybe, wonder, think, perhaps, etc. These will encourage your timeshare company to convince you to stay. Be firm about your decision; you are not willing to keep a contract with them and inform them politely but directly of it.
5. Don’t Leave Out Important Details
Here is one thing you need to keep in mind: the timeshare company’s employees are paid to keep you under contract. Meanwhile, you need to do the opposite – ensure they have no reason to avoid processing your timeshare cancellation request.
So you need to write a complete letter that comprises all the information the timeshare company would need to follow through with your cancellation request. If you leave out anything, it works in their favor. They will try to convince you to upkeep the contract, or in the worst-case scenario, your rescission deadline might pass.
Refrain from giving this chance to the timeshare company. Here are some details you must mention in your letter:
- Your name.
- Your contact information (mailing address, email, phone number).
- The legal name of the timeshare company, as mentioned in the contract.
- All the names mentioned in the timeshare contract
- Timeshare contract number/ID.
- Your membership ID.
- Timeshare purchase date.
- Reason for writing the letter (Mention that the letter is to notify them of your timeshare cancellation request, which you have the right to, according to the contract and state law).
- Amount paid.
- A request to process a refund.
- Sign and date the letter.
It is a great idea to emphasize the information above by bolding it or structuring them in bullet points. This way, all important information will be evident to the reader while helping you form a clear cancellation request.
6. Know The Contract Requirements
Read your timeshare contract carefully so you are aware of all the details that need to be mentioned in the cancellation letter. The contract will also mention if there is any other documentation you need to submit with the letter. You must keep these important requirements in mind while writing and mailing the timeshare cancellation letter.
7. Don’t Let The Company Talk You Out Of The Timeshare Cancellation
As mentioned above, the timeshare company earns by keeping you in the contract’s shackles. Fortunately for them, the contract helps them in this task too. If you initiate a cancellation request, they will resort to any promise or action that results in you continuing to co-own the timeshare.
Be smart and mention clearly in your letter that you do not want to continue with the timeshare contract. Also, state that you are not interested in entertaining ownership opportunities, timeshare resale, or beneficiary transfer. These are some of the common tactics timeshare companies use to prevent clients from leaving. Your job is to refuse to be coerced into anything.
You can also say in the letter that you expect a response from the timeshare company in 7, 15, or 30 days via registered or certified mail. The response should acknowledge receiving your timeshare cancellation letter.
8. Use A Certified Mailing Address
Do not leave loose ends that cause misery during the timeshare cancellation process. It does not matter whether the contract states that the letter should come from certified or registered mail. Do it anyway.
There is nothing more your timeshare company will take pleasure in than telling you that they did not receive the cancellation letter. Sending the letter through certified mail will prevent such an incident. Also, when required, continue to use the same certified mail for the remainder of the timeshare cancellation process.
9. Follow The Right Mailing Method
Ensure that you are mailing the cancellation letter as instructed by the timeshare company. Instructions exist for a reason. In this case, they will help you deliver the letter before the rescission deadline.
Some timeshare companies are dedicated to not letting you cancel the contract, which is why they will nitpick your letter. If they have mentioned that the letter needs to be sent from a certified or registered mail, follow through with it.
10. Take A Follow-Up
Do not sit back after mailing the letter. Ensure that you contact the timeshare company and find out whether the cancellation of the timeshare agreement stands valid. Once you get a positive response, things are good to go.
11. Maintain Patience
We wish we could tell you that you will be done and dusted after mailing the timeshare cancellation letter, but that is not the case. The letter is just the first step of the months-long cancellation process. Some companies cleverly prolong the process for years.
A lot of people get fed up and refuse to expend more resources in this cumbersome process after some point. Do not be one of those. We encourage you to keep holding on. You will find a way out of the deal you were once convinced was good for you and your family!
12. Seek Expert Opinion
Writing and mailing the letter is something you can manage on your own after reading up on how to do it. However, it is always better to take second opinions. You should talk to people who have been through the same ordeal or took the help of a timeshare cancellation lawyer.
Getting insights from credible sources will ensure that you remain updated about the tasks you are supposed to carry out throughout the process. More importantly, you can be ten steps ahead of the timeshare company. You will get to know what schemes to expect from the company to keep you under the contract and how to deal with them.
A Sample Cancellation Letter
To make things clearer, we have put together a sample cancellation letter. It will tell you just how to go about writing your letter.
Address (2-3 lines, including city)
Zip Code/Postal Code
Timeshare Company Name
Address (2-3 lines, including city)
Zip code/postal code
Subject: Timeshare Cancellation Request
Consider this letter a formal request for the termination of my timeshare contract signed with [company name] on [date of purchase] with [names mentioned in the contract] under the law of [state name]. Additionally, I would like to lodge a formal request to process my refund of [amount paid].
Here is the relevant information for you to find my case:
- Name and contact information.
- Contract ID.
- Membership ID.
- Timeshare purchase date.
It is regretful that I have to end the timeshare agreement, but [issues] have driven me to take this decision. Under Clause [X] of the contract, I have a right to initiate the cancellation process and acquire a full refund without serving a penalty.
Please ensure that you send a response upon receiving the letter as a confirmation of the cancellation in 5-7 working days. I will expect you to send my full refund in 30 working days. Thank you for your cooperation.
Actions To Take If The Rescission Deadline Has Passed
Has your rescission deadline already passed? No need to fret about it! You can still initiate your timeshare cancellation process (we should warn you, though – it becomes more complicated). You will need assistance from a lawyer to go through with it.
It is doubtful that you will be able to get a refund, but a timeshare cancellation attorney will smoothen the process for you. If you are up-to-date with your payments, the property owners may even purchase the timeshare from you.
If you have gotten this far, we have some great news for you – you undoubtedly have the patience and dedication to making it through your timeshare cancellation process!
The key takeaway from this article is to leave no margin for your timeshare company to mess up your cancellation process. Since the letter is the first time and comes with a crucial time constraint, you must get it right.
Take a few deep breaths, put your emotions aside and write a to-the-point, concise letter that sends your message loud and clear – you want to cancel your contract, and you mean serious business.