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Listing Owners Timeshare Exit Uncategorized

Scam Alert! You Cannot Rent Bonus Weeks With Your Exchange Company

It’s P.S.A. time folks! KOALA’s mission is to empower timeshare owners. Part of that mission is to protect you against predatory scams that continue to victimize the timeshare owner community. Between the complexities of timeshare systems and onerous clubs rules, it’s no wonder owners are consistently faced with dilemmas around how to safely recoup cash for their unused timeshare. That’s why these scams can (and do) occur so frequently. One in particular seems to be on the rise: The Exchange Company Bonus Weeks Scam.

Mike Kennedy - Jan 24, 2024

Today, I wanted to share a story from one of our members, Kenny N. Kenny graciously shared a voicemail with me that he received just this week. The call was from a man named Paul at a timeshare rental company. He was offering to rent the “bonus weeks” on Kenny’s account for profit. I left out the name of Paul’s company and his last name, but that is inconsequential anyway as they change their name like a snake sheds its skin (pun intended).

Here’s The Transcript

“Hi, this is Paul ___ with ___ Accommodations…I was just giving you a quick call in regard to your timeshare account, well actually your exchange company. We noticed that you had some bonus weeks on your account currently and we’re just trying to see if you might have any interest in renting any of them out this year for a profit. If you are interested give me a call back at _____.”

You Cannot Rent Bonus Weeks With Your Exchange Company

Needless to say, you do not “own” bonus weeks with your exchange company – or any other company for that matter. They do not exist, they never have and this is a scam. You only “own” the points or weeks for which you are paying maintenance fees. You may, like any other member of RCI or Interval, have access to surplus cash weeks to supplement your travel. Make no mistake, you are paying for those stays. There is no circumstance where a random traveler would be paying you to access this inventory – hard stop. Even if you went through the process to rent one of these cash weeks, they are typically non-transferable using a guest certificate (the way your “owned” weeks or points are). Which means, you couldn’t rent them if you tried.

The Scam

Here’s how the scam works: if you were so inclined to return Paul’s call, they’d inform you that they already have travelers secured – typically for a corporate event. All you need to do is pay them several hundred (or thousands) of dollars upfront to secure the reservation. Obviously the only transaction that ever materializes is the one where you pay them. You will never receive any “rental profits” or any money whatsoever from Paul’s company.     

Can you imagine someone calling you to buy a car you don’t own? I doubt any of you would fall victim. But when a timeshare enters the picture, owners’ anxieties around sunken costs and ongoing maintenance fees meet information asymmetry around the product and that often changes the paradigm. That paradigm shift makes owners more vulnerable to becoming a victim. 

This scam is sadly quite pervasive and quite effective. It is for this reason I ask you all to beware of companies claiming guaranteed rental profits. We here at KOALA work tirelessly to get real rental results for owners, and trust me when I say it is not easy. We have built a trusted brand on the back of this track record, but we never promise “rental profits.” Be wary of those that do and, if you’re not sure, do not be afraid to ask us! Reach out to our team or join our Facebook community for timeshare owners to stay in the know. 


Mike Kennedy is the CEO and Cofounder of KOALA. 

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