The Helsingborgs Dagblad newspaper recently published a warning about the UK-registered company, Gravamen Consultants Ltd. The article calls attention to the plight of Swedish couple Ingrid and Lars-Göran Ljunggren, who paid Gravamen Consultants to help exit their timeshare contract and recover monies. Journalist Mikael Brandt reached out to KwikChex for further information.
Here is a translation of the article –
Couple from Helsingborg stuck in expensive timeshare dispute
The Helsingborg couple wanted to get rid of their share in the apartment in Tenerife after ten years. A company offered to help. Then the couple got rid of 60,000 kroner.
It was ten years ago that Ingrid and Lars-Göran Ljunggren bought a share in the apartment in Tenerife. The stake was SEK 120,000 to have access to the apartment for one week a year.
There was perhaps never any further business, given that the week also entailed an annual fee of SEK 8,000.
They previously had another condominium in the Canary Islands, with good experiences.
Ingrid, 77, and Lars-Göran, 81, therefore decided last year to try to get rid of their condominium.
But it turned out not to be so easy, the market is limited.
The offer from a British company, Gravamen Consultants Ltd, came as a gift from above. The representative called the couple via Skype and offered to arrange for the couple to be released from their contract. They would also get a lot of money.
– We would then receive compensation for the effort, minus their expenses. It sounded very good, says Lars-Göran.
The couple checked out the company’s website and were able to take part in references with good jokes. They then received a contract proposal. It would cost them 5,450 euros.
They also called the given phone number, a Stockholm number, and got to talk to a “Lisa Larsson” who sounded credible.
– We then thought we had made the necessary checks, says Lars-Göran.
They signed the contract in October last year and paid the equivalent of almost SEK 60,000. 1,000 euros were paid via Mastercard, the rest via transfer from an account in Swedbank.
They were promised that they would be contacted within three weeks. Instead there was silence.
– Their phone number suddenly no longer worked to call. Then we started to sense owls in the marsh, says Ingrid.
They filed a police report but were quickly informed that the possible crime will not be investigated by Swedish police.
The couple also turned to Swedbank and Mastercard, which brokered the payments, in the hope of receiving compensation, but were turned down.
Lars-Göran and Ingrid have been inspired by Åsa Ikhekua and Gitte Pålsson who went public with how they were deceived in connection with advanced frauds. They therefore also want to tell about how they were affected.
– We never give up, says Ingrid Ljunggren.
However, they still have the apartment.
– We have received an offer from the resort to be released from the contract, but then we lose the bet, says Ingrid.
Gravamen Consultants has a website where they claim that they have been successful in 3,376 cases and that 353 clients are on the waiting list.
In addition, the company claims that it has access to 18 “international” lawyers. It is illustrated with a photograph of three men in suits – but the same photo can be found in many different contexts on many websites.
HD has been in contact with Gravamen Consultants via email. The person who answers says that the company has always been in contact with Ingrid and Lars-Göran.
But – the person claims the couple breached the agreement with Gravamen Consultants because they made a police report. As a result, the work on paying out the compensation has been interrupted.
However, says the person, Gravamen has fulfilled its commitments.
HD has been in contact with the company that owns the time share apartment. Via email, a representative says that they have never heard of Gravamen Consultants and have no cooperation with either it or any similar company.
There are also warnings for the company posted on the internet. We have been in contact with a British company, KwikChex, which is committed to consumer issues and has pursued several cases to protect consumer rights.
KwikChex knows Gravamen Consultants very well. According to KwikChex, the company makes false claims that owners of time share homes can get money back and avoid fees – in return for paying tens of thousands of kroner in fees.
Consumers are also cautioned against paying fees in advance for services offered by Gravamen Consultants, or other similar companies.
Credits: Mikael Brandt, Helsingborgs Dagblad 18/07/23
KwikChex have offered to provide free assistance to the couple.