Police warning for timeshare owners

KwikChex has received details of a warning and advice from the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit UK police. This is related to ongoing matters concerning an investigation into a number of businesses. It makes specific mention of the following:

  • Fake Citizens Advice referrals
  • ABC Lawyers
  • Monster Credits
  • Staycation Lodges
  • Fraudulent claims of existing legal cases where compensation amounts are being held for consumers

The police advice is as follows –

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

In recent weeks we have received an increasing number enquiries from victims reporting contact from several different companies offering services in relation to either their previous timeshares, their monster credits or their investments in Staycation Lodges. The majority of the information provided by these companies when offering their services is incorrect or at times untrue. For legal reasons we are unable to name the companies directly, however if you are contacted by any company that offers a service based on any of the following information we would strongly advise you to not to accept their services.

1. A company claiming you have been referred to them from Citizens Advice Bureau. Citizens Advice Bureau will NEVER provide your details to any company or ask any company to contact you unless they have your express permission. They are an independent body and if they feel you need assistance from any other agency you will be provided with advice on how to refer yourself.

2. Companies offering to take civil action to reimburse you for your purchase of Staycation Lodges.

3. Companies claiming that Monster Credits had a perpetuity clause that was transferred to your Staycation lodges purchase.

4. Companies claiming that you still own your timeshare with an ever increasing maintenance bill and although you have not received contact for years the timeshare resort is looking to send you a large bill.

5. Companies claiming that you still own your timeshare with an ever increasing maintenance bill and that over the years your maintenance demands have been sent to ABC Lawyers.

6. Companies claiming that various defendants have been prosecuted abroad securing millions in compensation but payment is required to release funds to you.

If you have engaged the services of any company who offered their services based on any of the above points and you have concerns then please contact Citizens Advice.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

KwikChex is already providing free assistance to many consumers affected in the ways described and will be pleased to help all those affected or with concerns. As these are timeshare related matters, consumers can use our dedicated online reporting resource – https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/free-assistance/

Monster News

June 2019
Several consumers have informed us they have received documents relating to the purported liquidation of Monster. There has been no substantiation that we have seen that this is a genuine legal process and would therefore advise extreme caution.
We have also been informed that the police team conducting the investigation of Monster are also aware of this but have stated that they cannot offer specific advice regarding this at this time. We presume that this is because of the current status of the investigation.
More information regarding Monster and connected companies: https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/monster-travel-sellmytimeshare-tv-warning/

Clarification on Sunday Times advice regarding timeshare claims

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.