At Mercantile Claims we like to keep our clients informed about what is happening in the Timeshare industry, and pride ourselves on being transparent about our business. With this in mind and the recently enacted General Data Protection Regulations, we feel this is a good time to talk to you about cold-calling and what to do if you receive cold calls.
Mercantile Claims do not sell, resell or exchange of Timeshares, nor will we sell what now is referred to as alternative timeshare products. These alternative products are often points or credit schemes based on discounted holiday, travel and accommodation. Our specialism is Timeshare Termination, financial reclaim and compensation where possible. We never participate in cold calling and nor do we purchase, pass on or distribute your personal data to any other organisations. Our clients are referred to us through personal recommendations or contact us directly via our online and social media advertising campaigns.
We have received many complaints from our clients, telling us how they are receiving cold call after cold call, from companies they have never dealt with or volunteered their details to. The people making these calls are very convincing but the information they give out is often untrue and confusing. Should you receive such a call from someone you do not know or, have never provided them with your personal details, you should immediately stop the conversation and insist that they tell you where they obtained your personal details from. You should not agree to enter into further conversation before you are satisfied that the person you are talking to is authorised under the new regulations to have contacted you lawfully.
The majority of these companies we refer to are based in Tenerife, Spain and in the UK. They are relentless in their pursuit to take money from Timeshare owners and bombard them persistently with cold calls, so much so that owners often tell us they are frightened to answer their own telephones. They claim to be able to terminate a timeshare within 4 weeks, whilst possible, it is unlikely that you will ever see or hear from these cold callers once they are in receipt of your monies.
Most concerning of all, is, where these termination services are sold to owners at huge costs. We have heard of many instances where customers have paid up to £20,000 or more to terminate a timeshare with no provision for a cooling off period. You should avoid paying any monies to anyone until you are completely satisfied that they are legitimate companies and they can demonstrate that they can undertake the work you are paying them to do.
What is a Cold Call ?
A Cold Call is an unsolicited telephone call from a business seeking to attract new customers.
Cold Calling is not illegal, however there are restrictions on how and when a marketing cold-call should be made. The new GDPR regulations along with the ICO’s Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations tighten up these restrictions, and as from 25 May 2018, any organisation involved in cold calling will have to abide by strict guidelines or face hefty fines. The only instance where you can be lawfully cold-called is if you have given consent before being contacted.
In addition, organisations cannot call numbers that are registered with the TPS. The TPS (Telephone Preference Service) is a free service. It is the official opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. It is forbidden for organisations to make telephone contact with anyone registered on the TPS database.
To register with the TPS follow this link:https://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/number_type.html
You can also log a complaint with the ICO here: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/nuisance-calls-and-messages/