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Timeshare annual fees:  No restrictions on increases
Timeshare annual fees: No restrictions on increases

Press release -

Out of control timeshare maintenance fee hikes: A case study interview

Former timeshare owners Henry and Gillian Brown (names changed at own request) share their journey, revealing the shocking maintenance increases along the way.  

Purchase history

Henry:  "We first attended a GVC sales presentation in Exeter over 20 years ago, and spent about £3,000 to buy 20 points which the salesman told us would be enough for our holiday needs."

Gillian:  "We were told that if we were flexible and took advantage of the cheap £99 'extra weeks' then 20 points would give us the holidays we wanted.  They also told us the points would increase in monetary value and we would make a financial profit if we wanted to sell them any time in the future.  Neither turned out to be true."

Henry:  "Every time we took a holiday with the GVC points we were targeted by more sales staff who told us that we needed to buy additional points because what we had was not enough.  We upgraded a couple of times but we soon lost interest in doing so.  

Gillian:  "It had become pretty clear that GVC would never stop wanting more money, and that no amount of points would ever give us what we want for our holidays.  Nowadays it's easy to get the quality we want through sites like, without committing to an expensive membership and annual fees."

Annual costs shock

Henry:  "We were told upfront that there were annual fees to cover the maintenance of the complex.  It was originally £175 a year, which we thought was a little on the steep side, considering that it (when you multiply that figure by the 52 owners) works out as £9100 per year for a studio.  Maintenance alone surely would not cost that much.  But we realised it was still cheaper than a week's hotel booking, so we accepted it."

Gillian:  "That price didn't last long.  Originally the salesman told us that the maintenance fee was linked to inflation, which would have been fair.  Unfortunately that was not true and the fee increases have been completely out of control."

Henry:  "The trouble is that these sales presentations last for hours.  When you're checking the contract before you sign, there are just too many details to remember and we forgot to check that the maintenance fees were linked to inflation.  The very first year it went up to £228. A 30% increase right off the bat. "

(Ed note: During the 90s and next couple of decades background economic inflation was low.  Less than 2% a year.) 

Gillian:  "We questioned the increase with the salesman trying to sell us the upgrade on that first visit and he gave us some old chat about an emergency refurbishment.  We gave him the benefit of the doubt, but next year the increase was even greater."

Pattern forming

Henry:  "Yes, we kept all the maintenance bills so I can tell you, in 1998 it went up again to £309.  Around 35% this time, we worked out.  And it was only going to get worse."

Gillian:  "By 2004 it had reached £445.  That was the first year we realised that it at least equalled the cost of a week in a nice hotel.  We could see the writing on the wall in that it was going to be as expensive (or more so) than normal hotels.  GVC always had an excuse as to why the fee hikes were so huge.  But after those first few years it was pretty clear that these increases were about the resort getting as much money from us as they thought they could get away with."

Henry:  "As Gillian says:  Now we had reached the level of expense where we were paying normal hotel rates.  Except we had paid several thousand pounds for the privilege of committing to stay in GVC complexes.  At that point we would have preferred to spend the money on going where we wanted to instead of the same little GVC studio every year."

Gillian:  "We were getting worried.  We were stuck in this unwanted membership with seemingly uncapped fees.  We had no way to tell how expensive things were going to get.  Like most other GVC owners we knew, we became desperate to escape."

976% increase in costs

Henry:  "By the end, in 2020 our maintenance fees were £1709. Think about that for a second.  Almost ten times the original cost.  (Ed note: 976.15% to be precise) It was terrifying.  We had no legal protection and seemingly no way out.  We had to pay whatever GVC asked!"

Gillian: "When you compare the slight general inflation rise in most prices over 22 years, vs the rise in our timeshare fees, there is no possible justification.  It is greed, pure and simple."

(Ed note: During the same period annual UK inflation averaged around 1.9%. Compounded over the 20 plus years, that was less than a 50% increase in all normal costs of living. The inflation of these timeshare fees rose 18 times as fast as other outlays.)

Henry:  "God knows what they would be charging us now if we were still members.  Thank goodness we found ECC and were able to escape the contract."

Gillian:  "The fees have stopped for us now, and we have filed a compensation claim against GVC, or Hilton Vacation Club as they are now called."

Henry:  "The claim is going well. We are looking at compensation of around £37,000.  Although to be honest we were already happy enough to be free from the contract and fees.  The extra money from the claim really is a bonus."

Gillian:  "Yes, maybe now we can have some of those dream holidays we missed out on because of our GVC membership."

The unfair truth

"People just aren't buying timeshare memberships any more," explains Andrew Cooper, CEO of European Consumer Claims"The concept is dated, expensive and it just doesn't work. 

"This leaves the timeshare companies with only one remaining revenue stream and that is the annual maintenance fees which members are legally bound to pay.

"These fees are literally uncapped and timeshare companies are increasing them by exorbitant and unjustifiable amounts.  There is no longer any pretence of providing a sought-after, luxury service.  It has become a straightforward money grubbing exercise.

"Anyone stuck in a similar situation can contact our team at ECC for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation.  Get in touch and talk through your options with our specialists."

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Mark Jobling

Press contact Communications Director Communication +442039962044 European Consumer Claims

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Timeshare Advice Centre has its UK Office in Henley-on-Thames, supported by a network of regional offices throughout the UK.

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