Trading Standards are warning holidaymakers to be on alert whilst traveling abroad, for salespeople pressuring people into buying timeshares and holiday products, which could lead to people being parted with thousands of pounds of their hard earned cash.
Trading standards have seen a growing number of complaints from holidaymakers, regarding timeshare sales, holiday clubs, timeshare resale and timeshare exit companies. The watchdog is warning consumers not to let their guard down. Warwickshire County Councillor, Andy Crump said: “Trading Standards are concerned that holidaymakers are still being approached whilst abroad and enticed by offers of further holiday accommodation opportunities, to encourage them to attend ‘presentations’ selling timeshare, holiday ownership or discount holiday clubs.”
Trading Standards have issued a warning to consumers to be aware, that if you should be enticed into attending a timeshare presentation, you will subjected to high pressure sales tactics, and could see you parting with large sums of money which often runs into the thousands.
The watchdog also wants to highlight some of the problems timeshare owners face when committing themselves to the purchase, such as the additional monthly maintenance fees which increase year in, year out, something a salesperson will neglect to tell any potential buyer. They also try to sell timeshare or other related holiday products on the premise that it can be an investment for the future. This is not the case. There is almost no resale value to a timeshare or holiday product and people can struggle to give them away!
Thanks to past awareness campaigns and the many articles published on timeshares and the issues people face, consumers are becoming more aware of the pitfalls and scams associated with ownership. However, there is a growing concern over fraudulent companies, offering timeshare exit services and the vulnerable people they target. Many people bought their timeshares when it was far more popular, and these companies are exploiting people who are desperate to get rid of the burden of ownership.
These timeshare exit companies offer their services at very high prices, promising to sell the timeshare for an upfront cost. But this won’t be all they try to sell you. They may also pressure you into buying additional products, such as discount clubs, alongside the service they are offering you. Many consumers have reported entering into new timeshare agreements to offset the old one ! What more often than not ends up happening is, customers are left with two timeshares and the company they dealt with refuse to deal with the client or help in anyway.
These type of rogue companies continually evolve their products, which helps them evade the protection of consumer legislation, netting them vast sums of money. They often close down when they have made enough money and re-brand themselves at a later date to continue their operations. It is simply a money making scheme, which targets vulnerable people to scam even more money from them.
The European Union has specific legislation covering the sale of timeshare and other holiday products, and there are strict rules about the way in which the sales can be carried out. These include the requirement to give consumers key information and cancellation rights, and the prohibition of any upfront deposits being taken. Despite this, scammers will continue to target people, finding ways around the rules at every opportunity.
So, the advice is to be aware that when holidaying, you could be approached by salespeople offering you incentives to attend a presentation, and if you do attend, you will more than likely be subjected to hours of hard selling.
Don’t be fooled by the term ‘Investment Opportunity’. Timeshares are almost impossible to sell on and have barely any resale value.
Research any company before you agree to attend a presentation. If you have the information beforehand, you can make an informed decision.
New and exclusive developments are sure to attract many new customers seeking a unique holiday experience. However, a word of warning: many of these properties are used to sell the dream and, more often than not, customers are persuaded to purchase Long-Term-Holiday-Products and point based holiday products, which are often non-refundable, non-transferable and with virtually no resale value. In addition to this, you will face mounting maintenance fees, which resorts can increase on an annual basis and this is entirely at their discretion.
If you feel you have been mis-sold a timeshare or holiday product, please get in touch with us for some free advice, to discuss a possible money back claim on: 0800 470 3900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org