On 5th March, the Sunday Times published a response to a question regarding timeshare claims in Spain.

Whilst the general context of the reply regarding a Spanish Supreme Court ruling was correct, the writer went on to recommend that contact for further advice should be made with The Timeshare Consumer Association and also gave contact details to a ‘Timeshare Compensation’ business. The response claimed that consumers would get ‘independent advice’. Our own evaluation is that would not be the case as both sites mentioned are connected to businesses that have been the subject of consumer concerns and media coverage suggesting that extreme caution is advised.

Comments explaining the concerns were submitted to the Sunday Times and emails sent to them alerting them to the issues, but no action seems to have been taken by the Sunday Times to date. The content of the comments is published below.

A clarification note regarding the two websites / organisations mentioned in this article. 

The Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA) was sold to a company named Tolmex Ltd., which was owned by Mark Rowe, who also owns a number of businesses such as SellMyTimeshare.tv. The Daily Mirror investigated this thoroughly and cast doubts on the independence of the TCA – see article http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/timeshare-consumer-association-claims-independent-9367808. 

SellMyTimeshare.tv was the subject of an undercover BBC investigation, which showed that consumers seeking advice on timeshare relinquishment were persuaded to buy other holiday products which claimed to provide discounts and were purportedly a ‘financial investment’. See the link to the BBC article – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37690840

The site timesharecompensation.co.uk is also under the same ownership through a business named ABC Lawyers Ltd. See Companies House profile – https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10477058/officers.  There are no legally trained persons in this business. 

Jodie Beard, who is described as “Head of Timeshare Compensation’s legal department” is in fact the ‘Marketing Director’ of the businesses controlled by Mark Rowe and has no legal expertise – see her Linkedin profile – https://www.linkedin.com/in/beardjodi/ 

Consumers are advised to take these facts into consideration and to exercise diligence by carrying out comprehensive research on the businesses involved.