You're absolutely right. I paid $9,600.00 for a 3Br eoy that I deeded back for $2,500.00. But Westgate owes TUG a debt of gratitude because I had planned to walk away from the obligation (Here in the Bahamas I would not have been affected by any collection efforts) but you Tuggers talked me into doing the right thing
Where was the unit? I tried this several times with Westgate (Lakes), in person, over the phone and eventually confirmed in writing that they didn't buy back units.
The funniest thing thing was the rep claiming that it would a 'conflict of interest' for them to buy units while selling them, although they'd happily part exchange my unit for a more expensive one.
I decided to sell mine for a dollar, and that went through a couple of months back.
I had it for 16 years (also eoy) and got a good amount of use out of it but it's tougher to use from the EU. We stayed at it a couple of times and were very happy, plus we had some good swaps via Interval International. With the lock-out originally we would get two quality week's swap in EU for about $500.
In the end it got too expensive to fly the family out to the States for it and it's actually very hard to get II swaps in Europe. I would phone and there would be, say, no swaps in France what-so-ever in the summer at all. This year we actually paid for a holiday to go where we want to go rather than be limited to II availability - plus with package deals it's not much more expensive. We also had a nice II week in Cornwall over Easter so not all bad but it's likely our final swap week will go unused.
My other concern is the lock-in: that you can't give up the ownership without finding someone else to take it over. Combine this with the lack of control over the maintenance/service charges (which have almost trebled in my case since 2000) and you've more or less signed a blank cheque...
I don't know how Westgate treats resale differently - I'm not really sure how they can? (If you own the deed you're an owner! - there are no classes of owner?) They are fairly aggressive about further sales when you stay there. I've heard this is particularly bad for people who go there on cheap/freebie deals and there being dreadful treatment of people who don't cooperate with the sales process... On our two stays, the first year we went to a breakfast, which culminated in us trying to get them to buy ours back (to no avail). The second yearI said we wouldn't be attending and they left us alone.