The timeshare industry has certain terms that many consumers often don’t understand. One of these key terms is the “rescission period.” The rescission period refers to a period of time that may be stated in your timeshare agreement that you signed at the timeshare resort where you bought your timeshare membership. The rescission period is also known as the “cooling-off period.”
Why do you have a rescission period?
When you are buying your timeshare membership, you are naturally very excited. This can lead you into making financial decisions that you may have to rethink once you see your bank statements with fresh eyes. Therefore, the cooling-off period is an opportunity for consumers to think about their purchases with a cool and calm mind, taking time to read the contracts that they have signed. Depending on the country where you have bought your timeshare and the company selling the membership, you will generally be given a certain amount of time to go over the terms and conditions that are in your otherwise-binding contract. Generally speaking, if you cancel your timeshare during this rescission period, you will not be penalized. After this time, your contract is legally binding.
Rescission Period Explained for Timeshare Consumers
The rescission period was added to the process of buying a timeshare to protect both the consumers and the timeshare companies. That way, timeshare companies are working within ethical conditions while consumers have the chance to fully consider the implications of owning timeshare outside of the salesroom. Let’s face it, we have all done it at one time or another–purchasing a luxury item on impulse–and most of the time we can trust our instincts. But it is always good to know that there is a cooling-off period in case we really do go overboard.
The rescission period supports the timeshare company too
A defined rescission period is important for reputable timeshare companies to ensure that owners are happy and committed to their investment. No high-quality timeshare company wants disgruntled owners. A reasonable rescission period also supports the timeshare company’s sales procedures so that it can pay staff commissions in a timely manner once the cooling-off period has passed and consumers are committed to their timeshare purchase. Reputable timeshare companies benefit from having happy members who will leave positive reviews about their timeshare experiences.
The rescission period means that, once you have been through the timeshare presentation and the tour of the beautiful resort where you are about to become a timeshare member, you have some “downtime” to think about the reality of your purchase. The rescission period gives you the chance to change your mind or modify your purchase (including upgrading) once you get home and the excitement and emotion have subsided a little. While only a very small percentage of consumers actually cancel their timeshare contract, knowing that they may do so during the rescission period makes the whole timeshare purchasing process more pleasant.
How long is the rescission period for timeshare purchases?
Timeshare companies usually give consumers the opportunity to change their mind, but only during the rescission period. Of course, the rescission period time length depends upon the laws on the country and the contract that you have signed, but most rescission periods are usually less than two weeks. You are advised to check with your timeshare provider for an accurate answer to this question.
Rescission Period Rights for Consumers
During the rescission period is the only time that you can cancel your timeshare contract legally; if there has been money paid, you will usually get that money returned. However, you must contact the timeshare company directly to find out their specific procedures for cancellations. Most will require that your cancellation is sent in writing. Often, you can’t just call the timeshare company and cancel the timeshare membership contract over the telephone. If your purchase loan has been linked to your contract, then you will have to contact the loan company in writing as well. Use timeshare cancellation companies at your own risk and cost; unfortunately, timeshare cancellations are one of the biggest scams, so beware of cancellation companies.
To protect yourself against timeshare cancellation scams, just remember this easy rule of thumb: if anyone claims they can lawfully cancel your timeshare after the rescission period, that person is most likely promoting a scam and just trying to take your money. Don’t be fooled.
What happens after the rescission period time has passed?
After the rescission period time has passed, you generally have no legal grounds for cancelling your timeshare membership unless the timeshare company has breached its contract, such as by selling you a non-existent timeshare. Bear in mind that reputable timeshare companies are very unlikely to breach their contracts and that grounds for legal cancellation are unlikely.
Unfortunately, the number of timeshare scams is growing. If ever you have a question about whether a timeshare offer or cancellation is legitimate or is a scam, just contact your timeshare provider to get the best advice.