No, it’s not what you think…but a timeshare operation has made the world’s smartest investor and his company Berkshire Hathaway feel like a jaded timeshare owner just on a larger scale…
Warren Buffett and his company had purchased Netjets Europe, which offered timesharing on private jets in order to fly clientele around the world. Only 18 months ago, Netjets was hiring hundreds of pilots and purchasing more aircraft for its fleet. Today, it must lay off the equivalent of 300 pilots, or about a third of its pilot staff.
With the global economy in crisis, even the wealthy are conserving cash and forgoing travel or finding alternatives that are less expensive to the private-jet timeshare operation. That’s left the company paying for pilots and aircraft that they were not using, to the tune of 60,000 excess duty days.
Whereas Buffett and Berkshire can cut their expenses by letting go of staff, timeshare owners of resort units have little recourse except to continue to pay for their timeshares even if they do not plan to use them. Bound by firm and court-defended contracts, owners face harsh penalties like garnished wages and default court judgments with added court fees should they not pay their maintenance fees or special assessments.