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I paid over $4,000 to get rid of my Bluegreen “ownership”

Burnet, Texas
Level Contributor
12 posts
225 reviews
120 helpful votes
I paid over $4,000 to get rid of my Bluegreen “ownership”

My wife and I paid over $4,000 a couple of months ago to escape the Bluegreen membership that we paid over $5,000 to buy.

I need to say, in the interest of fairness, that the Bluegreen facilities that we have stayed at have been nice. We have stayed at the Fountains in Orlando twice and The Falls in Branson once. In addition we stayed at an RCI resort in central Arkansas with our points. All facilities have been clean, generally decently maintained, and the Bluegreen facilities have been in good locations. The Fountains is especially handy if you are going to Disney or Universal.

So given that we like the facilities, why did we pay big bucks to give up ownership in something that we paid a lot of money to buy that would give us continued access to these facilities? I think it came down to three things: (1) We wanted freedom to vacation our way again (2) We wanted to stop the financial bleeding (3) We felt that the membership was one of the most foolish things we have ever done and continuing our membership was an ongoing reminder of how stupid we had been to allow ourselves to make this mistake.

Bluegreen limited our freedom to vacation how and where we want. First, there are only 60 Bluegreen resorts. I live in Texas and the nearest resort to me is over 500 miles away in New Orleans. It’s not like I can just jump in the car and head out there on a whim.

In addition, booking a Bluegreen resort is a major effort. We had the low-end plan, which meant that we had 7,000 points to spend during a 2 year period. That translated into 2 studio rooms in Branson for 4 nights and 2 nights in both halves of a duplex cabin in Horseshoe, Arkansas for 2 nights. (Considering just our maintenance fees that translates to about $100/night for much better rooms than you would pay the same price for in a hotel. However, the finances are much less favorable when you consider the large initial buy-in.)

Although these were nice resorts, Bluegreen has better resorts. We had wanted to stay at the Bluegreen Wilderness Club at Big Cedar, which is also in the Branson area. Bluegreen aggressively markets this resort, which it co-brands with Bass Pro Shops. We were not able to do so because half of our points lost some of their value in the second year which meant that we couldn’t use them to book this resort during high demand times. We couldn’t even use facilities during the day. Bluegreen owners have this right for most Bluegreen resorts, but not this premiim resort.

Although we had fun in Branson, there are places we would rather have gone. However, we needed to go to a place where we could use our points because you have to use all your points within a 2 year period or lose them. Branson just happened to be the decision that was most workable for us. The workability of a destination should never be the reason you decide to go somewhere. It always felt like we had to settle, which detracted somewhat from the fun that we had.

We picked Horseshoe Bay because we needed a place to burn the rest of our points. Otherwise, we would never have chosen to spend 2 days there. Although the cabins were nice, we spent 2 days fishing at a lake in which we couldn’t even get the perch to bite. Sometimes it felt like our ownership was more like a burden.

We discovered that one thing we would never stop doing at Bluegreen is paying. The biggest burden of membership is paying maintenance fees, which were roughly $600/year for us. Members have to pay these fees regardless of how much they use the facilities. If you stop paying fees, you endanger your credit rating because you are legally obligated to pay these fees. In addition, there are other fees to pay. After the first year passed, we had to pay Bluegreen again to avoid losing our first year’s points. However, these points lost some of their value and we couldn’t use them to stay at a Bluegreen facility during a high demand period.

As I mentioned, there are no Bluegreen facilities in Texas, but there are RCI facilities. However, there is a fee to use your Bluegreen points at an RCI facility, so you pay again.

We realized very quickly that we should never have agreed to buy into Bluegreen. We resented Bluegreen for letting us buy our way into servatude. Ultimately, we realized that just like the fable of the scorpion and the frog, it’s just the company’s nature to sell an inferior product for a premium price. Instead, we rightfully blamed ourselves. One of our rules as a couple is to never purchase anything the day we hear a sales pitch. If the salesperson tells us that we’ll never see the price being offered at the time, then our answer is “No!” For some mysterious reason, we violated that rule the day we bought into Bluegreen, and it cost us in the neighborhood of $10,000. We could have flown our whole family to Alaska or Hawaii and stayed for a week for that much.

Earlier this year, we had the chance to get out of Bluegreen for about $4,000. It has been worth every penny. I’m not going to say I’m happy that I had to pay that much – because our whole Bluegreen experience was an unforced error. I will say, that freedom is always sweet no matter the cost – even if it’s freedom from something as trivial as a timeshare.

The timeshare business model puts the buyer at a disadvantage. You pay a company up front to obligate you to what is effectively a lease that’s virtually impossible to cancel. The lease takes you, the customer, out of the free market and limits your selection to the seller’s stock of properties. At the point that you sign, the seller never has to win your business again, because you’re obligated to keep paying – almost no matter what.

So if you’re thinking about visiting anyone’s timeshare, enjoy your time on the facility. Have a great vacation. But when it comes to making a decision, treat it like any other major purchase. Think about it. Look at the alternatives. Take your time. If you have the ability to travel a lot and take advantage of discounts, like bonus weeks, a timeshare arrangement might work for you. Just remember, you’re still obligated, even if the day comes when you can’t travel the way you do today. But it you’re like the rest of us and your vacation time is limited and you want to be free to vacation your way. Don't find out the way we did that in a timeshare, the company is the owner and you are the owned.

283 replies to this topic
1. Re: I paid over $4,000 to get rid of my Bluegreen “ownership”

Who did you go through to get out of the ownership and did you owe anything on it?

Colorado
Level Contributor
1,764 posts
27 reviews
9 helpful votes
2. Re: I paid over $4,000 to get rid of my Bluegreen “ownership”

Try looking here before you drop more $

http://tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44n

Lots of scams out there. Too many people believe the lies maybe because they want to and are looking for the easy way out

Ohio
Level Contributor
617 posts
48 reviews
53 helpful votes
3. Re: I paid over $4,000 to get rid of my Bluegreen “ownership”

We went to New Orleans last year as part of one of their presentations. I knew it wasn't for us because we like tropical vacation destinations. They still tried to sell us by saying that we could trade. I told the guy what I pay when I book on my own and challenged him to show me a better deal in REAL TIME. He couldn't, so we collected our gifts and were on our way.

Edited: 7 years ago
1 post
4. Re: I paid over $4,000 to get rid of my Bluegreen “ownership”

Hi, we are UK owners of Bluegreen timeshare and our desperate to off load our points. The advice we have been given by Bluegreen directs us to their Pinnacle company in the hope of selling our timeshare. We have decided not to do this as we'd rather not pay Bluegreen more money. We just want rid so we can actually afford to go on holiday and not have to pay maintenance fees. Any advice yo can offer would be greatly appreciated. thanks.

Javea, Spain
Level Contributor
1 post
5 reviews
14 helpful votes
5. Re: I paid over $4,000 to get rid of my Bluegreen “ownership”

we are in the UK too and can no longer afford the fares and the expensive travel insurance - so wish to cancel the Bluegreen points system but how ?

1 post
2 reviews
6. Re: I paid over $4,000 to get rid of my Bluegreen “ownership”

Wow. Thanks for the information

7. Re: I paid over $4,000 to get rid of my Bluegreen “ownership”

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the Tripadvisor community and has been removed.

 
West Monroe...
Level Contributor
1 post
4 reviews
3 helpful votes
8. Re: I paid over $4,000 to get rid of my Bluegreen “ownership”

Can you share how you got out of it? Did you hire an attorney or who did you go through? Please share as we are in great need to get out of ours. We have had changed in employment and it is a financial hardship to us now.

Santa Catarina...
Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
4 helpful votes
9. Re: I paid over $4,000 to get rid of my Bluegreen “ownership”

Are you interested in selling it?

10. Re: I paid over $4,000 to get rid of my Bluegreen “ownership”

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