KwikChex has seen a surge in reports from timeshare owners being contacted by unregulated businesses offering timeshare compensation claims services. To protect themselves and other owners, it is strongly recommended that owners do not engage with unregulated claims businesses, and instead file reports with the authorities about the contact made.
The following provides more information
Credit card and loans claims
Only businesses authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) can provide any advice or claims management for such services. Answering enquiries from KwikChex, the FCA confirmed that without authorisation, there would be a breach of section 19 of FSMA, which is a criminal offence punishable by up to two years imprisonment, a fine or both.
The FCA further clarified that the unauthorised businesses cannot legally provide any advice, saying “Advice includes any type of advice in relation to a claim, including advice on the merits of a claim, advice on the procedure for pursuing a claim, advice on how best to present a claim, and advice on possible means of challenging an unsatisfactory outcome to a claim.”
Any owner being contacted about such claims can check whether a business is authorised by consulting the FCA register, which is available online – https://register.fca.org.uk/s/
Owners can also contact the FCA by phone to check – and to report unauthorised businesses on the following numbers
Spanish court claims
Following a ruling by the Spanish Supreme Court in 2015, a substantial number of timeshare compensation claims have been put before the Spanish courts, with many ruling in favour of the claimants. Regrettably, this has led to a huge tide of fraudulent and dishonest claims activity, including the following.
Scores of such businesses have preyed on timeshare owners – most of them cold-calling, and some advertising online and on radio and TV, with losses to owners running into the millions.
If you are an owner that wishes to evaluate whether you may have a potential claim in Spain, remember that only a fully qualified Spanish lawyer can conduct such claims. Insist that you talk only to the lawyers directly – and have a written viability report from the lawyer before paying any money or entering into a contract. Do not engage with people and businesses that are not qualified or regulated – thousands of owners that have done so have suffered serious financial losses.
Claims against insolvent timeshare businesses
Some timeshare businesses have entered into insolvency proceedings – administration or liquidation processes. When this occurs, the risk of there being no funds subsequently available to pay compensation, even if a court has awarded a compensation amount, increases significantly.
Several unregulated ‘claims companies’ are charging upfront substantial sums to owners, inferring they will recoup the fees and gain thousands more in compensation, despite the insolvency of the timeshare business. To not fully disclose that there is a significant risk of the owners wasting their money in paying fees is irresponsible at best, and in many cases is an act of deception.
If your timeshare company has entered into an insolvency process, it is important to clarify the position. In many cases, owners have been able to continue using their timeshares if they wish – clarify if this is the case, if you wish to keep using your membership. If you are wishing to investigate a claim, then making contact with the appointed administrator / liquidator is essential – ask them for the latest updates, and if you have been approached by a ‘claims company’ that has said you have a viable claim, share this information with the administrator / liquidator and ask them if any claim is as viable as you have been told.
Be extremely cautious when seeking advice
We recommend extreme caution when seeking advice on timeshare claims. There are several websites and cold callers that describe themselves as ‘advice centres’ or some type of consumer association or authority that are actually controlled or affiliated or connected to rogue businesses past and present. Ask if they have any official or approved status and to confirm this in writing.
KwikChex timeshare resources are vetted and approved by UK Trading Standards and KwikChex is an award-winning fraud protection business. See links below
The Timeshare Business Check website provides verified information on many timeshare businesses – https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/ and owners can increase their self-protection when considering timeshare issues by following the advice on this link – https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/urgent-advice-for-timeshare-owners/
You can seek additional advice by contacting the European Consumer Centre Network. Note – whilst the UK has left the EU and is no longer an official part of the network, UK based consumers can use the UKICC organisation when the timeshare is outside the UK. Information is on the following link – https://www.ukecc.net/
EU based consumers can use the following link – https://commission.europa.eu/live-work-traveleu/consumer-rights-and-complaints/resolve-your-consumer-complaint/european-consumercentres-network-ecc-net_e