Excellent service from start to end from Chris and his team
(Reviewed December 2020)
Kwikchex provided me with first class advise and support when I became involved with ECC who promised to help me divest my timeshare. Having paid money and received nothing in return, Chris Emmins and the Timeshare Task Force helped me terminate my agreement with ECC and make a claim against them.
Throughout a long couple of years Chris gave me excellent advise and, much needed, financial support in my fight against ECC. Completely free advise and support was provided in a timely manner. Kwikchex do an excellent job in fighting the rogues, and helping others do the same I cant thank them enough.
To anybody who is having difficulty with a timeshare issue I would say to them to contact Kwikchex for advise, they wont regret it.
(Reviewed December 2020)
We had tried to terminate our timeshare membership previously, but unsuccessfully. Following a huge life-changing event, this became even more important. Finding the Timeshare Taskforce was just what we needed. From the first contact with June, it was clear that she was knowledgeable & that her advice was given with the confidence of experience. She listened, advised & reassured at each step, giving us the confidence to send emails & negotiate over the phone with our timeshare company representative, which was tricky at times. June was available to take regular calls & advise on next steps until within a few weeks our timeshare ownership was confirmed as terminated.
Without June & the Timeshare Taskforce, I doubt we would have achieved this outcome. An amazing service. Thank you so much
(Reviewed November 2020)
From start to finish we received amazing support which was efficient, reliable and got us the result we needed. Can’t speak too highly of Kwikchex
(Reviewed November 2020)
After nearly becoming entangled with a couple of companies offering to help us leave our timeshare contract, I found help in the form of Kwickchex. June Payne gave me some excellent advice, to approach the company to find out the procedure for surrendering the timeshare. After a few emails it has become clear that is possible, which is a great relief. Thank you Kwickchex!
(Reviewed November 2020)
I spoke to June who fully appreciated the problem in our dealings with a timeshare exit scam in Tenerife. Her advice was invaluable, enabling us to cancel the contract with them and recover our deposit.
(Reviewed September 2020)
Excellent service, anyone having the particular problem we were experiencing ( timeshare litigation fraud) need look no further for help & advice. A friendly ,knowledgable voice in the face of a difficult& stressful situation. Put our minds at ease& guided us through the process. Always a call away when needed. In our minds , reason in the face of adversity . Can’t thank them enough for a successful outcome. Use them , you won’t regret it. You most definitely are not alone.
The more information given , the better to track & find these fraudsters.
Keep up the good work.
(Reviewed September 2020)
On Friday 22 November a judge ordered European Consumer Claims (ECC) to refund a timeshare owner in full after he took legal action over their misrepresented claims service.
While seeking guidance on exiting his timeshare in Portugal, Mr. G was offered advice by the ‘Timeshare Advice Centre’. Their advisor directed him to another business, at the time known as the European Claims Centre (ECC). In 2017, he attended a meeting with their representative at Churchill House in Langley, Slough, where he was encouraged by news that a large compensation claim would be possible. The ECC representative provided him with a document that outlined his potential claim of £11,802. There was one small problem with this document – it contained information about a claim in the Spanish Supreme Court, but Mr. G’s timeshare was in Portugal.
When he queried this with the representative, he was told that this would apply across the EU – which was a gross misrepresentation of the situation.
With this information in mind, Mr. G paid nearly £3,000 on the basis that he would be getting back nearly £12,000 in compensation.
Case referred to M1 Legal
Having chased ECC numerous times for an update, Mr. G was eventually informed that his case had been handed to M1 Legal, a Spanish law firm. After a period, they contacted him with news that they had terminated his timeshare contract and the case was resolved. At this time there was no mention of any forthcoming compensation.
Upon checking with his timeshare company, they informed him that his contract had not been terminated.
With no further contact from M1 Legal about the £12,000 compensation claim and with his timeshare contract still in force, he started investigating ECC.
Links between ECC and ‘ITRA’
The offices at Churchill House in Langley, Slough, where the original meeting took place have been used by another business – ITRA. ITRA is part of the infamous ‘Club Class’ network of scam businesses that was shut down by UK authorities in 2012 after scamming thousands of timeshare owners with false promises of timeshare exits, claims and exclusive holiday and lifestyle deals.
What’s also known is that the people who are involved in ECC are the same people that controlled ITRA. When ITRA was wound up in the UK High Court in 2019, they had already taken steps to switch to the newer ECC brand.
Multiple ECC entities
Mr. G was to encounter further problems when he filed a claim against the business he had paid – European Claims Centre Ltd., a UK registered business.
This business claimed that they had only acted as a ‘payment agent’ and thus weren’t responsible, that the contract itself listed European Claims Centre LLC, registered in the state of Washington, USA, and that any claim should be directed towards them.
Mr. G argued in court that there was no indication that they were providing the services he had paid for, but the judge informed him that he had sued the wrong company.
He sought information on European Claims Centre LLC but results were limited because the names of the people behind that company were hidden.
Then he started proceedings against the US company and M1 Legal, where it was discovered that they had previously been called ‘European Claims Chambers’ and used the ‘ECC’ brand.
Mr. G finally contacted KwikChex for advice and they assisted in arranging for him to be represented by a UK lawyer.
On Friday 22 November, more than 3 and a half years after he had originally paid for their services, a judge ordered that ECC refund him in full.
A BBC News broadcast on Saturday 21st November highlighted a report about online fake reviews. One featured business, Timeshare Termination Team, said to be based in Truro, Cornwall in the UK.
An investigation by the BBC found highly suspicious fake Google reviews on the profile of Timeshare Termination Team. One 5 star review of the business left by a ‘Richard Harrison’ claimed that Timeshare Termination Team had helped him with an unwanted timeshare – but the BBC revealed that the picture on the reviewer’s profile was that of a Tanzanian government minister, who has never heard of the company. This then raises into question the veracity of many of the other positive reviews posted online.
Timeshare Termination Team responded to BBC questions with claims that they are investigating. However, this shouldn’t detract from the following –
Timeshare Termination Team – what we know
Reports from timeshare owners reveal that Timeshare Termination Team frequently make declarations of ‘unilateral termination’ when it comes to terminating timeshare contracts.
Unilateral termination is a declaration by the business without full legal principles being applied – and it can lead to serious disputes. We have witnessed this previously when Praetorian Legal used the same methods. They tried to take the consumers to court when they refused to pay, but were unsuccessful, which resulted in them paying the significant legal costs.
Timeshare owners have said that although no upfront fees were requested by Timeshare Termination Team, shortly after entering into a contract with them, they received invoices for thousands of pounds and were told that their timeshare contract had been ‘unilaterally terminated’. When checks were made with their timeshare companies, it became apparent that all that had happened is that Timeshare Termination Team sent a standard letter to the company and then declared the timeshare terminated themselves. In fact, these letters had been rejected because of concerns the timeshare company had about the legitimacy of Timeshare Termination Team, and so the contract between consumer and timeshare company was still valid. With this knowledge in hand some consumers have refused to pay Timeshare Termination Team and instead made reports to Trading Standards.
Connections between Timeshare Termination Team, Mercantile Claims Management Solutions Ltd and Praetorian Legal
Timeshare Termination Team invoices used the VAT number of Mercantile Claims Management Solutions Ltd, which is under the same ownership as Praetorian Legal. These companies have all used the same ‘ARTS indemnity scheme’ and Praetorian Legal and Mercantile Claims have previously made claims about a similar ‘insurance policy’, said to be underwritten by Munich Re. Munich Re have shown this isn’t true.
Addresses and documents seen indicate that these businesses are all linked to Gary Smith, director and owner of Praetorian Legal and Mercantile Claims. It is known that he held the previous role of ‘Legal & Compliance Director’ for EZE Group, which was itself a scam and closed by a criminal prosecution.
Smith was co-director of Praetorian Legal with Dominic O’Reilly – now in prison for his part in the EZE scam.
Another related company, LCM Law Ltd., was owned by Smith and used to chase consumers for payments on behalf of EZE Group. When payments weren’t forthcoming and EZE victims took their complaints online, LCM Law threatened legal action.
There are further links between Praetorian Legal and ‘Monster Travel’, which has also been subject to a series of raids and arrests by police in the UK and Spain and has subsequently closed.
Gary Smith has publicly denied any responsibility or involvement in these criminal activities. He points out that he has not been arrested and has cooperated with the police and Trading Standards. He emphasises that Mercantile Claims and Praetorian Legal are both assessed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority which authorises them to carry out claims activities.
Thousands paid to ABC Lawyers by timeshare owner, then after paying thousands more, European Consumer Claims (ECC) fails to keep any promises made.
‘ABC Lawyers’ – the fake lawyers issuing ‘exit certificates’ not worth the paper they are printed on
Investigations into ABC Lawyers have revealed that these aren’t lawyers at all, instead they’re part of a nexus of timeshare related scammers using high pressure selling tactics to persuade consumers that their options are limited and time sensitive. This business has scammed thousands from unsuspecting timeshare owners.
In 2016, ABC Lawyers convincing Mrs. K that it was in her best interests – in fact the only option available to free her from her timeshare, to pay £9000 for their ‘expert legal services’. Afterwards Mrs. K received an ‘exit certificate’ confirming that she had successfully exited her timeshare agreement. However, it became apparent that this certificate was worthless when she was subsequently chased for the outstanding annual fees, which she had been instructed by ABC Lawyers not to pay. This would place a lot of stress on Mrs. K as her annual fees continued to build up and her timeshare company’s lawyers explained that the ‘exit certificate’ was nothing more than a con by ABC Lawyers.
In 2017, after thousands of consumer complaints, police in the UK and Spain conducted a series of raids and arrested the ringleaders behind the scam operation.
European Consumer Claims (ECC) – the new owners of the ABC Lawyers brand
Moving forward to January 2020 and Mrs. K had been contacted by European Consumer Claims (ECC), the new owners of the ABC Lawyers brand. They promised that they would succeed where their predecessors failed and would definitely be able to conclude the contract termination, citing their “exclusivity to Spanish firm of lawyers, M1 Legal.”
Once again, a fee was asked and shortly after Mrs. K paid ECC another £8995. Enter Steven John of ECC – “Don’t worry” he affirmed “We will sort this out in a few weeks”.
This is where things once again take an all too familiar turn. ECC had promised to pay an agreed settlement figure to end the timeshare contract and pay off the outstanding fees. They had in fact promised this several times throughout, but they repeatedly failed to keep their promise, with Mrs K and the lawyers finding it increasingly difficult to get a meaningful or honest response from Steven John. That’s likely due to the fact that Steven John is nothing more than a fake persona invented by Patrick O’Connor, known to have used the alias Steven John for years – he did the same thing for ECC sister business ITRA, which was wound up in 2019 after failing to provide promised services and then failing to make court ordered refunds.
After the fake ‘Steven John’ saga, having been scammed by ABC and then handing more money to ECC, Mrs. K was forced to pay nearly £5000 to finally put an end to it all. The timeshare company’s lawyer had by this time told Mrs K that she could have exited her timeshare directly – there was no need to pay ABC Lawyers or ECC.
Finally, Mrs. K contacted KwikChex and received free advice that has enabled her to claim back all the money she paid ECC under a Section 75 claim. The monies she paid ABC lawyers are now the subject of liquidation proceedings.