Consumer successfully released from ITRA demands and timeshare

In July 2016, a consumer contacted KwikChex via the Timeshare Business Check website, with the following request

“I have been mis-led and signed up for relinquishment of my timeshare with DRI. I thought I was seeing a consumer advice person at Timeshare Advice Centre Exeter only to be told that ITRA will be working on the relinquishment of my membership for a fee which needed to be paid immediately. Fortunately I realised before paying by BACS to a Bank in Morocco that all was not as it seemed. I cancelled the agreement within 3 days and asked for the return of my Deeds. They are refusing to do this unless I pay work in progress of £1280. Can you help?”

After intervention by KwikChex,  the deeds have been returned by ITRA to the consumer and have ceased demands for payment. In addition, the consumer has now relinquished their timeshare in return for a very low administration fee. These services were provided free of charge as part of the role played by KwikChex leading the Timeshare Task Force.

Asked to comment on her experience with KwikChex and the Timeshare Task Force, the consumer replied

“ I have no objections to helping others if I can and have appreciated the help and information given by yourselves and Mindtimeshare who gave me your contact details.”
Mrs B, Nov 2016

KwikChex can report on a court victory for two consumers regarding International Timeshare Refund Action (ITRA)

The contract the consumers were persuaded to sign was declared illegal and null and void by the judge and they were ordered to repay the full amount they had taken – over £7000.

Whilst the judge’s decision was based on contravention of specific laws relating to timeshare, including non-disclosure of key information relating to the rights of consumers – and the illegal taking of monies during the cooling off period, there was much more presented by the claimants in court.

Undue pressure and misrepresentation
As mentioned in the article, the consumers were pressured into paying immediately, with claims by the ITRA salesperson that time was critical – that they must pay on the day of their meeting with ITRA as a compensation case was about to be filed and they might miss out. In fact, no such case existed. This pressure and the misrepresentations were clearly in breach of Consumer Protection Regulations.

The consumers were also told that their timeshare would be compulsorily passed on to their children. This too was a lie and was exposed as such in court. Not only was there no such liability – in fact, the Walkers were entitled to relinquish their timeshare free of charge – something that was achieved soon after they contacted KwikChex.

The ITRA defence was completely dismissed by the court.

Legal support
The consumers – Harold and Brenda Walker had contacted KwikChex via the Timeshare Task Force after having their complaints rejected by ITRA. When they filed a claim in the Small Claims Court ITRA sought to defend by appointing law firm Pinder Reaux and using a barrister in court. We considered that ITRA should have acted ethically and refunded the monies, instead of using expensive lawyers. Because of this escalation, we sought support on the Walker’s behalf from the Resort Development Organisation (RDO), which funds the Timeshare Task Force managed by KwikChex. RDO agreed and paid for legal representation. KwikChex gave witness in the trial itself, presenting evidence of many consumer complaints regarding ITRA, including to Action Fraud.

ITRA’s previous involvement with consumer detriment
ITRA have previously been exposed as a business operating a ‘bait & switch’ operation. Named in a report by the Insolvency Service in 2012 as a business luring consumers into extremely detrimental purchases of ‘Club Class Concierge’ membership with false promises of timeshare relinquishment. Such was the seriousness of these activities that seven connected companies were compulsorily wound up by the UK authorities in the interest of consumer protection.

Consumer monies not protected
The Walker case also exposed the misleading impression that ITRA gave of protecting client’s monies by saying that they would be held in a client account with accountants Sochalls LLP. In fact, Sochalls was simply another part of the ITRA operation – and they sent monies paid by the Walkers almost immediately out to another one of the ITRA businesses based in Spain – Eurafric. Eurafric is currently sending out demands for fees to victims of the Club Class Concierge scams – attempting to persuade them that they are legally obliged to pay for services for a products considered sold illegally and with gross misrepresentation by the UK authorities.

News of the court ruling comes just after another ITRA network business – Timeshare Advice Centre (European Claims Centre LLC) was ruled by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to be misleading consumers – ASA Ruling

At the recent Consumer Affairs & Trading Standards Conference, KwikChex gave a presentation and discussed the type of problems experienced by the Walkers. Law enforcement and consumer organisations are now looking very closely at such issues. The reality today is that there are few complaints received about new timeshare sales. This is because strict compliance with consumer laws is observed – and there was a significant weeding out of salespeople that broke the rules. Consumers need to know that there is help available and as in the Walker’s case, it is not only laws that will protect them – there is also significant relinquishment assistance underwritten by for example the RDO member’s Code of Conduct. Whilst many consumers have enjoyed their timeshares for years, some have genuine concerns and need help they can trust. They should resist any type of undue pressure and misrepresentations and seek advice from the likes of Citizens Advice Bureau and Trading Standards or talk with a solicitor. KwikChex, as part of the Timeshare Task Force provides free assistance.

Excerpt quote from Harold and Brenda Walker

“Had it not been for the actions; dedication and encouragement of Chris Emmins and his team at KwikChex it is highly questionable whether we would have been able to pursue this action through to a final successful outcome against ITRA. We would encourage anyone who is or have been victim to similar treatment as experienced by us with ITRA to make contact and place themselves in the safe and trustworthy hands of KwikChex.”

The full letter is available on this link

Latest TimeshareTaskForce Customer Testimonial

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In mid – 2014 my wife and I were in dispute with an organisation named INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE REFUND ACTION LIMITED (ITRA). The dispute centred on the validity of a contract which we had been persuaded to sign with them and make full advance payment on the day of £7k+ at the ITRA offices in Langley, Berkshire in June 2014. We soon thereafter discovered that the main premise by ITRA that our children would be responsible for ongoing annual timeshare maintenance was wholly inaccurate and that a supposed ‘3rd Party’ Agent quoted as being used in Spain by ITRA for disposal of our timeshare turns out to be ‘EURAFRIC’, which is an associate company of ITRA.

Fortunately, we happened to read an article in the financial section of the Mail on Sunday, dated 9th August 2014, in which Mr. Chris Emmins, the co-founder of KwikChex warned of  the activities carried out in the past by ITRA  and its associates. We contacted KwikChex immediately on the number provided and for the next several months kept them apprised of our efforts in corresponding with ITRA in our attempt to recover our outlay. During this time staff at KwikChex were most supportive and helpful with their advice to us. Following several months of our telephoning/corresponding with ITRA it became plain that they would on no account accept our cancellation demand re the June 2014 contract.

Thus in December 2014 we advised ITRA that we were then escalating matter further and placed our case fully in the hands of KwikChex. From then on the support and reassurance we received from the staff of KwikChex, and in particular from the CEO, Mr. Chris Emmins was totally professional and positive. After considering various options investigated and suggested by KwikChex we decided to opt to recover our outlay via the County Court Small Claims process, for which the necessary paperwork was prepared and submitted on our behalf by KwikChex.

From thereon, the court process was followed through until Judgement in our favour was made by the County Court in Milton Keynes on 14 June 2016, in which it was declared that the original contract with ITRA was deemed to be null and void and that full refund of our £7k+ outlay, together with allowable costs be made to us within 14 days; further, that our original timeshare deeds be returned to us.  We are truly grateful for the fantastic work and support we have received from KwikChex, inclusive of their organising solicitor representation. Had it not been for the actions; dedication and encouragement of Chris Emmins and his team at KwikChex it is highly questionable whether we would have been able to pursue this action through to a final successful outcome against ITRA.  We would encourage anyone who is or have been victim to similar treatment as experienced by us with ITRA to make contact and place themselves in the safe and trustworthy hands of KwikChex.

H & B Walker
Buckingham, UK

Latest TimeshareTaskForce Customer Testimonial

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KwikChex assisted this consumer with with a Section 75 refund for a deposit made to Monster Travel.

“I would recommend the advice KwikChex has given us. The timeshare resale scam which led us to losing a large amount of money, came to a wonderful conclusion today when our section 75 claim was granted and a complete refund was given to us.

Thank you KwikChex for your help and wonderful advice, a great weight has been lifted off us. Two months of feeling like an idiot for falling for this scam can now be healed.

Well done to the KwikChex team, keep up the good work. We need to work hard to get rid off companies like these.”

Mr & Mrs D, Nov-15

Note – no fees are charged to consumers seeking help regarding timeshare and related products by Timeshare Task Force (managed by KwikChex).

Latest TimeshareTaskForce Customer Testimonial

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KwikChex assisted this consumer with a chargeback claim to Monster Travel.

“I have just received a letter from Vanquis Bank regarding my claim over the transaction of £500 to Monster Travel.

I was delighted to be informed that the chargeback was successful under the Visa Rules and Regulations and that further action is not needed as the case is now closed.

I cannot express strongly enough how grateful I am to both of you and KwikChex. Many times I was going to chuck the towel in but you never gave up, your professional way and the time you gave my case was fantastic, I was in serious trouble and without your assistance, I dread to think.”

Mr & Mrs H, Nov-15

 

 

Note – no fees are charged to consumers seeking help regarding timeshare and related products by Timeshare Task Force (managed by KwikChex).

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KwikChex assisted this consumer with a Section 75 refund for a deposit made to EZE Group.

My mother and I have recently been involved with a timeshare exit company and paid a deposit to them, I got concerned about the amount of money they were charging and what we were paying it for. I sent an
enquiry email to KwikChex (a service I found on the internet). I have been very impressed with their knowledge, help and support, the quick responses to my emails and their encouragement for us to try to get the money back though the bank dispute services, including writing a letter to the bank on our behalf. We are now delighted to say the bank have got back the amount we paid. We really appreciate the help we have had from KwikChex.

Mr C on behalf of Mrs B, Nov-15

Note – no fees are charged to consumers seeking help regarding timeshare and related products by Timeshare Task Force (managed by KwikChex).

Direct Marketing Commission responds to complaints about Hollywood Marketing, Tenerife

DMC

A report has been published by the Direct Marketing Commission (DMC) which is highly critical of the businesses owned by Hollywood Marketing SLU. It recommends that Hollywood Marketing’s membership of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) be terminated.

The DMC carried out a lengthy investigation after being contacted by KwikChex, acting in our role leading the Timeshare Task Force. It contacted affected consumers and other organisations, including a UK Trading Standards Officer who has been dealing with complaints from consumers.

Their conclusion was that the practices of Hollywood Marketing and its principal brands – SellMyTimeshare.tv and Monster Travel breached the DMA code of conduct, citing four rules that had been broken. The report details several aspects of the operation, including what would be termed as ‘bait & switch’ methods between SellMyTimeshare and Monster Travel – the promising of one service which is subsequently replaced by the sale of an unwanted product. It also casts doubt on the value of the ‘Monster Credits’ product.

The report also reveals the scale of the Hollywood Travel operations with the figures quoted for selling Monster Credits over the last two years appearing to exceed £100 million.

UK consumers that have been affected by these operations can report them to:

For the full DMC report click here

Latest TimeshareTaskForce Customer Testimonial

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KwikChex assisted this consumer with a Section 75 refund for a deposit made to Monster Travel / Hollywood Marketing SL.

I cannot thank you all enough for all your help, work and kindness in what has been for us a hard lesson and learning curve. Time will tell if this is the last of it.
May you all be truly blessed in all that you do.
Thank you so much

Mrs L, Oct-15

Note – no fees are charged to consumers seeking help regarding timeshare and related products by Timeshare Task Force (managed by KwikChex).

Latest TimeshareTaskForce Customer Testimonial

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KwikChex assisted this consumer with a Section 75 refund for a deposit and balance payment made to Intelligent Software Solutions SL (ISS).

“Just to let you know that we received an email and telephone call confirming that the bank have offered us £9,026.69 in full and final settlement of the claim.

We would like to thank you for all your help and assistance that you have given us regarding this, we feel sure that without your help this would not have been possible.”

Mr & Mrs P, Oct-15

Note – no fees are charged to consumers seeking help regarding timeshare and related products by Timeshare Task Force (managed by KwikChex).

Latest TimeshareTaskForce Customer Testimonial

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KwikChex assisted this consumer with relinquishment of their timeshare.

“I am more than pleased to be able to tell you that in April this year my request to surrender my ownership of the weeks I owned ​was accepted. Not only that, but they even refunded me to the tune of £1,062.60 for maintenance fees paid but not able to use.

I have to say that you played a vital part in this operation, and I am convinced that without your help I would still be fighting my case.

Once again a massive thank​ ​you.​ ​I will remain grateful to you and I wish you every success with your business. If I can be of any assistance in helping you with other clients, please feel free to approach me and​ I​ will deem that a pleasure.”

Mr & Mrs H, Oct-15

Note – no fees are charged to consumers seeking help regarding timeshare and related products by Timeshare Task Force (managed by KwikChex).

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