While there are mainly legitimate companies who operate within the timeshare industry there are, unfortunately, fraudsters operating on the periphery. These companies make false claims as to the service they will provide, preying on consumers who are often in distress, sometimes charging many thousands of pounds without delivering that service.
Now that the majority of countries in Europe are protected by the timeshare regulations, companies previously selling illegal or ‘dodgy’ timeshares and holiday clubs have had to adapt their sharp practices. They are now pursuing the very people they fraudulently sold timeshare products to in the first place by suggesting they can sell the timeshare for you or get your money back.
Here is what to look out for:
Cold callers, letters, phone calls or emails from companies you don’t know offering great businesses deals out of the blue – never give out your personal details.
Companies that tell you that you have been ‘especially chosen’ or that you have won something.
Companies claiming they can sell your timeshare for you for an upfront fixed fee.
Companies suggesting that if you purchase a second timeshare they will buy you out of your original timeshare – this is a current common tactic and you are likely to simply end up with two timeshares.
How to check
Many of these companies set themselves up to look like a legitimate law firm when they are not. If you are in any doubt, or just want to check any company you might be thinking of hiring, use the free service provided by Timeshare Business Check. Their purpose is to verify information regarding businesses operating within, or associated with the European timeshare sector. Use this site to check for information on a business before considering using it. This website is part of the Timeshare Task Force Initiative and operated by Kwikchex which is vetted and approved by UK Trading Standards.
Also check with Citizens Advice who have an extensive section dedicated to holiday clubs and timeshare.