Lies about the options available to timeshare owners are all too common – and hugely detrimental

Timeshare owners are besieged by unsolicited calls and texts from so-called legal experts and terribly confused by what they see online. Despite frequent warnings from the authorities in several countries, timeshare owners are still falling prey to unscrupulous exit and claims salespeople.

The following are examples of how owners are becoming the victims of lies and false promises. 

Selling timeshares 

  • A statement from European Consumer Claims (ECC) to an owner they were charging £5000 to ‘dispose’ of a Scottish timeshare was “To clarify – timeshares cannot be Sold”. In this, and other instances, they have been extremely misleading. After the ECC process was halted, an alternative was found – 1 week was quickly sold by the owner for £7,500. As the owner had 2 weeks, the ECC services would have resulted in her losing a total of £20,000. 

Whilst it very much depends on the individual timeshare held, there are many that are in demand, so owners should always check if a sale is possible, firstly by contacting their developer / resort, and then by checking with established, transparent resale businesses. 

KwikChex recently asked RDO timeshare resale members Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket and Confused About Timeshare about the types of timeshare weeks they are selling. 

Best sellers from these businesses include 

  • Royal Savoy & Savoy Palace, Madeira 
  • Marriott’s Marbella Beach Resort 
  • Marriott’s Playa Andaluza 
  • Glenmor Seasonal Ownership, Gleneagles, Scotland 
  • Club Monte Anfi, Gran Canaria 
  • Grand Residence at 47 Park Street, Mayfair, London 
  • Cameron House, Scotland 
  • Kilconquhar, Scotland 

Sales of weeks at Glenmor include properties sold for over £30,000. 

To contact these resale businesses, see below 

Confused About Timeshare

www.confusedabouttimeshare.co.uk

Phone: + 44 1784 451355 

Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket 

www.timeshare-hypermarket.com

Phone: +44 1202 544870 

KwikChex has also seen several other examples of timeshares being sold recently, including Hilton Grand Vacations Craigendarroch and Coylumbridge resorts, and Timeshare Users Group in the US reports ‘exponential increases’ in recent sales totalling $57 million. 

Timeshare relinquishment 

The lies told to owners regarding simple relinquishments of timeshares (rather than sales) are too numerous to list, but in recent times we have seen many so-called timeshare exit businesses increasing the degree of deceits used to defraud owners. 

They have falsely stated (for example) 

  • ‘Timeshare companies will never release you from your timeshare’ In reality, many have direct exit options, including free relinquishment, particularly for owners in distress, including bereavement, illness / unable to travel and financial.  
  • ‘Your children will be forced to inherit your timeshare’ This is another common deceit. If you want to pass on your timeshare to your heirs, this can be arranged – but they categorically cannot be forced into continuing.  
  • ‘The timeshare you thought you had relinquished is still your responsibility’ This is a particularly heinous example of what rogues have been doing and they frighten ex-owners even more by telling them they will have to pay huge amounts in backdated annual fees. In every single case of the many we have investigated, these statements were utterly fraudulent. 

One connected group in particular have been prolific cold-calling scammers in recent times, using the lies mentioned above.

The group includes 

  • Meridian Litigation SL 
  • Aegis Direct 
  • J Foster Associates 
  • Newgate Legals  
  • Andrew Lewis Consultancy 

All of these, and over a dozen more, have referred timeshare owners to their ‘legal partners’, who they have named as Claims Solution Group and Fullbrook Associates; the former was previously a regulated Claims Management Company, and the latter remains a regulated business. These businesses subsequently confirmed they were accepting referrals from the rogue businesses, but deny any responsibility for the deceits. In reality, not one of the over 100 cases KwikChex has examined was honest – all could have been released for free or for a considerably lower cost.  

Timeshare owners need to be on their guard at all times when dealing with any form of timeshare sale or release. UK Action Fraud has specific advice on this and Trading Standards has vetted and approved the free to consumers, KwikChex-managed Timeshare Task Force resources, where owners can also read verified feedback from over 100 timeshare owners that have received free assistance with scams, relinquishments, sales and disputes.

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