Armed with generic Flonase spray and a Cetrizine tablet, I am ready to brave the pollen and get outdoors. I am hoping we get the promised spring shower this morning to cleanse the air of that nasty stuff. As I walk, here are few random thoughts I will be thinking about.
-On John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” show this past Sunday, he had two pieces that were quite illuminating. Like Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show,” Oliver’s show is a comedic news show, but one that does its homework. It is actually far more informative than many pseudo-news shows that are on the air and far more accurate than any of the well-known opinion hosts could offer, as he deals in facts amid the humor.
-Oliver first focused on the troubled Silicon Valley Bank, who decided to fail Banking 101 and mismanage risk causing a run on the bank. Yet, what was comical is to see Oliver show how four separate Fox News opinion hosts told their audience that the bank’s failure was due to its “wokeness.” These opinion hosts even referenced it as the “woke bank.” Oliver had a field day making fun of this inanity. One banking analyst responded to these absurd accusations by saying “that is like saying the color blue is the answer to 1+1.”
-Oliver’s larger piece on the show was around the predatory time share industry and its surrounding permutations. This is where you buy a set week of vacation at a resort or a week of points at multiple resorts which last a lifetime and even beyond. One telling thing is time share contracts have a clause which one attorney called a “license for the sales agent to lie clause” where the company says they are not responsible for anything the agent says. The industry is built around not just the initial sale, but the maintenance fees and upgraded contracts that give you more access. And, they focus on a key word in the contract – perpetuity meaning they make it quite difficult to get out of.
-What I found interesting as well, is the number of fly-by-night time share exit companies that are also predatory. These folks sell you on an upfront fee to get you out of your time share or sell it if they cannot. These companies sound convincing, but many close up shop and set up one under a new name. If they are around too long they get sued for malfeasance. Yes, they are too good to be true.
-So, the key take away per Oliver is DON’T BUY A TIME SHARE and warn anyone you know who is considering one. This truly is the best and maybe only defense against this predatory industry. And, if you are willed a time share, you need to move quickly to say in writing you do not want it or you get on the hook. Some states have a time limit on your ability to do this.
Fortunately, my wife and I never did bite on the offers to sell us time shares. I feel for those who have as it sounds like they were running uphill against this industry.