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THANK YOU - escaping Westgate

kitkit27

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I hadn't even really heard of timeshares, decided to attend a 90 minute (more like 3 hours) presentation at Westgate in the smokies. After all the sales pressure, unfortunately gave in. Thanks so much for being here, because of you guys we are saving our 7800 and writing our letter tomorrow! I am still interested in having a timeshare, is it worth buying a Westgate for $1 on eBay or are they all around awful?
 

jwalk03

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Westgate strips most (or all) of the owner benefits out of re-sale contracts. Westgate may have some nice resorts (The Smokey Mountain Resort is great, I've stayed there!), but I would only rent not become an owner. Westgate is a slimy slimy company, there are MUCH better options if you really want to own something.
 

TUGBrian

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congrats on finding us in time to rescind and save a fortune!

take your time to do some research, you just might find another option works way better for you (and is still cheap via resale!)
 

Passepartout

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+1 on the congrats on finding us and rescinding! We'd recommend hanging around TUG for a while. Follow some of the other systems besides Wastegate, and for this Summer's vacation, rent either from the TUG Marketplace or from Redweek or somewhere else. Often rentals can be had for less than the underlying cost of the annual maintenance, so win-win deal. This will give you the opportunity to see other resorts, examine other systems, learn about salesweasels lies, and be able to make an informed decision on whether to buy or not.

Welcome to TUG!

Jim
 

Sandy VDH

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I too would vote on avoiding Westgate, aka Wastegate. There are plenty other good systems out their.
 

theo

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Congratulations to the rescinding OP :clap:. In my opinion, Westgate should be avoided much like one would avoid a communicable disease.

As already noted, Westgate's policies essentially render the value of their "product" immediately and completely worthless in the resale market. To rescind in time is to avoid that unfortunate fate. Well done, OP!
 
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kitkit27

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I am so glad this wealth of information is here! I really like the idea of a timeshare, but didn't do my due diligence before flying in blind, just assuming I could say no and be done. Now I have been looking at these forums and have a better idea of what will work! I'm sure I'll have more questions as time goes on!
 

theo

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I am so glad this wealth of information is here! I really like the idea of a timeshare, but didn't do my due diligence before flying in blind, just assuming I could say no and be done. Now I have been looking at these forums and have a better idea of what will work! I'm sure I'll have more questions as time goes on!
Take your time! Research and read (...maybe for weeks or months, not just for an hour or so; too much info to absorb in so little time).

Planet Timeshare has many different systems, numerous "chains" (and many independent non-"chain" resorts), points systems, reservation policies, etc. --- and no two are exactly alike. You might give ample thought to whether you want a "fixed" week at a single property, or maybe a "floating" week with different time window options, or maybe a "points only" system offering more property options (and the option for less than full week stays). Learn about annual maintenance fee costs at whatever places / systems you consider --- and assume that they will increase by a minimum of 4-5% every year, almost guaranteed. Know too that buying is easy, selling later is not --- and maintenance fees are forever.

Lots to learn, but folks here will always help to answer any specific questions you might present once you have established a bit of a knowledge base through some reading and research. There is probably several centuries worth of collective knowledge and experience represented here, so don't hesitate to tap into it. At the very least, people here can help you to avoid some of the many mistakes that we've already made ourselves. Good luck.
 
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sfwilshire

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Off topic, but how is the Westgate looking after the fires? We are owners at a different Gatlinburg resort, which mentioned they are using one of the same contractors as Westgate and sort of competing for resources during the rebuild.
 

kitkit27

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I didn't see it before, so don't have anything to compare it to, but what we saw was beautiful. They mentioned that there was a lot of damage and they were hoping to be rebuilt by 2018.
 

sfwilshire

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I didn't see it before, so don't have anything to compare it to, but what we saw was beautiful. They mentioned that there was a lot of damage and they were hoping to be rebuilt by 2018.
Thanks.
 

tscofl

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I hadn't even really heard of timeshares, decided to attend a 90 minute (more like 3 hours) presentation at Westgate in the smokies. After all the sales pressure, unfortunately gave in. Thanks so much for being here, because of you guys we are saving our 7800 and writing our letter tomorrow! I am still interested in having a timeshare, is it worth buying a Westgate for $1 on eBay or are they all around awful?
Hi, I'm a westgate owner and it seems I'm in the minority of liking our Westgate timeshare so I would say no, they are not all awful.
 

TUGBrian

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you will find most hatred of westgate surrounds the sales experience and or customer service/treatment...

the resorts themselves are generally quite nice.
 

WackyLucy

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I'm a westgate owner and it seems I'm in the minority of liking our Westgate timeshare so I would say no, they are not all awful.
The widespread contempt for Westgate has little or nothing to do with the quality of their properties.

Instead, the dissatisfaction with Westgate is about their internal policies and practices, which make reservations very limited and very difficult for resale purchase owners. Those unfortunate (and very deliberate) constraints make Westgate ownerships nearly worthless in the resale market.

The aggressive, routinely lying sales force is a separate source of broad dislike for Westgate, but that's not relevant to existing ownerships.
 
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tscofl

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Thank you all for clarifying. That's disappointing that they make it so difficult for resale owners. There's no need for that. They got their money, it shouldn't matter who owns the timeshare.
 

maddog497

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We have friends that bought a developer week 12 years ago and truly enjoy it. We picked up a resale week and never really used it at Westgate, although we have stayed there and also enjoyed the accommodation. With the restrictions and additional fees we decided to move it on. We banked our lockout unit with II. The year after we gave ours back through ROFR they increased the fees again on resale units and now restrict booking within 60 days only.

It's a shame that their effort to control the resale units devalue there properties so much. They just don't get it, or they do get it but just don't care.

Sent from my ZTE A2017U using Tapatalk
 

LannyPC

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That's disappointing that they make it so difficult for resale owners. There's no need for that. They got their money, it shouldn't matter who owns the timeshare.
I'll agree with you on that. And while I'm with the many TUGgers who don't like or agree with the Westgate sales tactics or internal policies, I understand why they would do that. When trying to sell retail, they have to give the potential buyer some incentive to pay thousands for retail as opposed to pennies-on-the-dollar for resale. Of course, whatever is gained buying retail does not compensate for what is paid buying retail over resale.
 

WackyLucy

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It's a shame that their effort to control the resale units devalue there properties so much. They just don't get it, or they do get it but just don't care.
Westgate "gets it" alright; their punitive restrictions and constraints which devalue Westgate resales are clearly by deliberate and willful design.
As noted in the post directly above, their restrictive policies on resale buyer reservations "enhances" their overpriced developer-direct sales.
 
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WalnutBaron

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The widespread contempt for Westgate has little or nothing to do with the quality of their properties.

Instead, the dissatisfaction with Westgate is about their internal policies and practices, which make reservations very limited and very difficult for resale purchase owners. Those unfortunate (and very deliberate) constraints make Westgate ownerships nearly worthless in the resale market.

The aggressive, routinely lying sales force is a separate source of broad dislike for Westgate, but that's not relevant to existing ownerships.
To the OP: Given that you were impressed with the resort and--if you think it is a place you and your family would enjoy visiting or trading within the Westgate system--it might be a good option for you. What you have to realize, however, is that because Westgate strips virtually all ownership rights from resale buyers, what you will own is premium rights of ownership with zero residual value. It also means that if your financial or family circumstances change (for example, if you suffer some kind of financial setback like losing a job or alternatively if you move to an area far away from the Westgate locations like here in the West where Las Vegas or the Arizona desert are the only options), you'll have painted yourself in a corner with no good resale options.

In practically every other system, we TUGgers almost always recommend rescinding and buying resale. Westgate is the exception, simply because of what Westgate does to resale owners and, indirectly, what retail owners also suffer the moment they "sign on the line that is dotted" (one of the great movie lines of all time).

As Brian has said, the Westgate resorts are beautiful. As Lucy has said, Westgate knows exactly what they are selling and what they are doing--and their interest and strategy is to support their sales team, punitively penalize the resale market, and ultimately make their units worthless in the resale market.
 
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