/ Travel & Leisure

The end of shameful timeshare pressure-selling?

'Timeshare' written in sand

A welcome change in the law this week gives us more protection against rogue companies who use dubious means to coax us into buying a holiday club or trial membership to a timeshare. But will it make them stop?

This Wednesday, some much-needed protection against holiday scams quietly slipped into EU and British legislation. In principle, this is great news for holidaymakers.

The new law closes loopholes in previous timeshare legislation that have allowed unscrupulous firms to take money from people on the spot after using heavy sales tactics. These could be for trials for timeshare that they don’t really want, or for holiday clubs offering a lifetime of discounted holidays that may not even materialise.

It could happen to you

It’s surprisingly easy to be charmed into signing on the dotted line for a long-term holiday product. On my first day on the Costa del Sol in 2008, a scratchcard tout duped me into attending a timeshare presentation – I went to pick up a prize.

Over a wearying five-hour period, the persuasive sales rep became my ‘friend’, sharing ‘inside knowledge’ with me. He gave me a glowing account of his 34-month timeshare trial, but emphasised that this special deal was only available if I signed a contract there and then.

Luckily, I went along as part of an undercover investigation for Which?, so I didn’t actually hand over any money.

Why a trial for 34 months? Well, until this week, the law stating that companies couldn’t take any upfront payment for timeshare products only applied to timeshares running for at least three years.

The new legal protections

Now the consumer protection applies to timeshare products lasting more than one year, as well as other long-term holiday contracts where the consumer gains access to accommodation benefits or discounts.

We’ve lobbied for these new rights, so we’re really pleased that many of our recommendations have been adopted, including a cooling-off period during which the buyer can withdraw from the contract without any penalty.

It would have been even better if the cooling-off period had been extended from 14 days to a month. If you get targeted on the first day of a 14-day holiday, you’d have to cancel before you got home.

But my main concern is how, and whether, these laws are actually going to be enforced. Won’t rogue companies just continue their slippery, heavy-selling ways if they know they’ll be able to get away with it? Or will they simply find new creative ways to get around the rules with some new product or trial?

We’d like to monitor whether companies will flout these new laws. So let us know if you end up at a presentation where they still insist on taking payment upfront with no cancellation rights or a 14-day cooling-off period.

Comments
Guest
Roger says:
26 August 2013

if it was a bank scamming customers like these people the government would say its illegal what you are doing you much compensate all your customers its all-right changing the law to protect people now from time share organisations but the powerfull people in the EU that dictate to the rest off us that we are changing your laws because we have decided it suites us so they will not do anything about existing companies in the time share industry because it would cripple the tourist industry in there country and put people out of work or even make them issue new contracts excluding the time share being handed down to your children when you die the contract should die

Guest
Charles Moranis says:
2 August 2014

That is why it is nessecary to “exploit, exploit, exploit” the methods these folks employ as much as possible, and as often as possible in order to get peoples attention. This is a people problem, and inaction is not going to solve diddly. Take it to the streets, and protest what is happening, and promote the change that is needed to protect consumers. It might be good to have some economic backlash so these people will understand this is not sustainable behavior!

Guest
Kelsey Franz says:
29 August 2013

You probably have heard of these sorts of timeshare promotions before. Why would a timeshare resort give you a free weekend in a wonderful destination for free, or for a very low price? The answer is simple: because there will be some strings attached. That means that you will have to sit through one of their timeshare presentations, and their main goal is to get you to buy a timeshare ownership.
http://www.timesharescam.com/timeshare-complaints-resorts-black-list/5-el-cid-resort-timeshare-complaints/

Guest

We have stupidly had the same thing happen despite knowing what the pressure salesmen are like. A couple of ladies virtually hauled us out of our car to do a “survey” on the first day of our holiday last Sunday when we had barely set foot in Spain after a tiring 24 hours awake. They excitedly gave us a scratchcard where we had”won” £1,000 We were whisked straight off to the presentation had the ring of salesmen circulating, offering drinks, food, going through a confusing set of facts and figures. We found ourselves signing up and they took nearly £5,000. There were 2 contracts, one which said it was a 3 year introductory members contract, and another which said it was 11 months only Premium club. The same money was recorded on both.The next day after discussion we decided it wasn’t for us and sent a letter cancelling by recorded delivery. The sales team called us to go back to sort it out and charmingly said we couldn’t cancel both as cancelling the one, left the other in place. They proceeded to offer a reduced amount, and said we could have some money back. We didn’t want this agreement at all and wanted to cancel fully, but were left with no uncertain feeling that we couldn’t do this. We filled in a complaints form on advice of a friend, and also rang Barclay to say that we had cancelled within the 14 day period and they told us to go to dispute. I have not had any satisfaction at this point (we are still in Spain on holiday) and the worry has totally ruined our stay. Have you any advice, I know we were gullible, but there must be a way out of this. I don’t want to end up with no holidays, and still owing money!

Guest
Paul says:
4 August 2014

Hi 117carolin,

Something very similar has just happened to my parents in Benalmadena, Spain. I have advised them to request the refund in writing by recorded delivery. I have also been in touch with the UK branch of the European Consumer Centre. Can you tell me if you have had any luck in getting your deposit back. They also cancelled their credit card that evening but it was too late, the deposit had already been taken. Did you fill in the complaints form with the company or was that with your own bank.

I have been doing internet research for them from home as they are not very computer savvy and they are still in a foreign country.

I was informed by the European Consumer Centre that the 14 day cooling off period did not apply as it was for 11 months, it only applies to contracts over a year.

Guest

Was this Heritage Resorts by any chance. I am having a dispute with them citing mis-selling by false and misleading information.
I know people have been winning cases via the Financial Ombudsman – but not if you paid by credit card. The credit card payment was made to an unrelated company. The taking of money in a cooling off period is illegal under European Law.
I have also been to the EEC – they wrote to Heritage but got no reply from them. They gave up as they have no powers of enforcement.
It looks like the only way is to go via a Spanish lawyer. I am in the process of consulting one at the moment. I was hoping to find one that had others in the same situation so a group action could be taken therefore reducing the costs per person.

I did get a suggestion of also contacting consumer programmes on TV. So far I have contacted “Don’t get done, get Dom” – they are not in production so no reply yet. Also planning Watchdog – Anne Robinson.
Maybe if enough people contacted them…….

Look forward to any replies

Guest
Annie says:
25 November 2014

I fully understand how you feel. Same thing happened to us when holidaying in Lanzarote. Won something from a scratchcard… went to the presentation, was shown the website (which we now know was dummy), said that it was a contract for three years and we would stay in Oasis Lanz Holiday Club for one week free, cheap flights, and after the one week in Oasis Lanz we could then opt for any other holiday resort of our choice at less than our travel agent could get us. After deliberating we went back two days to cancel and the salesmen told us that we would have to wait until we went home as a member of staff from headquarters in Tenerife would call us and offer us the free holiday and then we could cancel. I took unwell and collapsed due to the pressure and again the salesmen told us not to worry that they did not want bad publicity. I still was not convinced and emailed straight away to cancel it. After many emails back and forth they wanted me to sign a cancellation form which stopped us from contacting a lawyer. I was not happy with that and wrote out a cancellation letter which I emailed to Grand Holidays Club in Tenerif to which Kim Smallwood from Grand Holidays Club replied that we are not allowed to cancel even although I told her that we were informed at the time that we could. We paid 1,000 euros! Does anybody know how to get your money back? We tried our bank and they informed us that there are a number of people looking for refunds and they are acting on it, however it would have been better if we had used our credit card and not a debit card! Anybody know a lawyer who could act on our behalf?

Guest
Ian Gough says:
13 December 2014

I had a similar experience in Malta this year when I signed a contract for a holiday club which was for a period of 363 days.
I am still trying to get out of this mess and would appreciate it if you would let me know whether you have had any success and if so what action you took

Guest
Tracey Haworth says:
23 December 2014

We are in the situation with grand holidays we was in fueterventure november this year.put £400 paid deposit on the agreement only if we could get a bank loan .as the bank said no we let them know within the 30 days they gave us and now they have said our file has gone to collection …so angryx

Guest

Hi
Have you had any joy with getting a refund from the Grand Holiday Club in Costa Teguise? We also have just signed an agreement with them only 5 days ago and feel like such dummies. I paid them the full 2,300 euros with my debit card (which Karen drove me to my hotel to get).
I have written out a cancellation letter which I am sending to Siroco and Dumas directly as they are the ones that the contract is with and intend to send it today (5 days after signing).
Please let me know what your outcome was. I hope you were successful

Guest
maureen says:
10 February 2015

Hi we are going through the same thing we signed 22 nd Jan at oasis land with Karen. I. am in the process of trying to get my 1000€ deposit back,after a few emails I finally got a cancelation form but only to stop further payments and forgo my deposit I could also have a weeks holiday !!! I have been to my bank and they have stopped any future payments.I have also contacted the European consumer center and logged everything with them,just a case of wait and see now.

Guest
sheila durham says:
25 February 2015

i have just had court papers served upon mr andersn of heritage resorts for takeing money during the cooling off period.we were scratchcarded by the company but cancelled our agreement a week
later.

Guest
robert campbell says:
28 February 2015

Please keep me informed how you get on i got scammed by heritage to i would consider spanish lawyer as my claim through credit card company is at the eu omnibus waiting for a judgment i will post results when i get them to help all and rid of this scum once and for all

Guest

Hi,

I would be interested to hear how you got on. I have been speaking to a Spanish Law expert based in London.
He is not confident that we will get far on just the contract being illegal, but if I could get more peoples testimony that would add weight to the claim.

Also not sure but if a group got together with one lawyer maybe we could win and share the legal cost – which should be less than doing it individually.

Please let me know what you think and if we can share experiences.

Kevin

Guest
michael says:
29 April 2015

hi kevin my wife and I are in the same predicament of trying to get rid of our timeshare which has proven most difficult. I would like to join forces with you to get this done.

Michael.

Guest

Hi Michael,

I tried putting a comment up earlier with contact details, but it was deleted as it appears to be against the rules.

I’m not sure how we can get in touch with each other – I would have thought Which? would be encouraging contact under the circumstances.

We both need each other to corroborate information given by Heritage.

I have been in touch with a Spanish Lawyer – he said to fight I need others in the same boat (will work for you too) but if we are not allowed to contact each other……

Look forward to your thoughts. Unless you got my email before it was deleted then you can get me on that..

Also if Robert and Sheila read this it would be good if we could all get in touch – the more people with the same experience the better.

Kevin

Guest

Michael,
I was hoping to use Heritage for my tai chi classes too. If you want to find more about it search – infinite tai chi edinburgh kevin – you will find a contact page there………

Guest
peter appleby says:
10 June 2015

I am also experiencing problems with Heritage Matchroom in Mijas. I owned a fixed week and they have sold the apartment and told me that I still have to pay the maintenance fee and I will get to stay in which ever apartment is available which is totally unacceptable. I believe that I should receive 1/51 of the proceeds of the sale and no longer have to pay maintenance. I’m aware of other owners with the same issue. I’ve corresponded with Carey Forster (Finance Director) but got nowhere. Heritage need to exposed for selling properties they don’t own unbelievable

Guest

I have spoken to a lawyer (via Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce). Apert from all the stuff I hve put on here I have just remembered another suggestion.

He suggested writing to Anne Robinson of watchdog (BBC program). Or Don’t Get Done Get Dom.

Could I suggest all those with Heritage mis-selling problems contact Watchdog – if we all do it……..

Guest

kevin we were told when we bought our time share that there was no cooling off period as it was in spain and not the same as english law. we tried to sell and “Norman Anderson told us to up grade to sell costing us another £3800 another scam. how can we get in touch with others to stop Heritage and Norman Anderson

Guest

I put a reply to another Heritage comment below.

As how to contact each other. Which? doesn’t allow you to put contact details on this site – it would be good if it were allowed here as there are several of us in this situation.

I suggested a while ago and Jackie who has posted here has suggested we could all go to one lawyer and split the costs.
This would be great but would have to work out a way to contact each other.

Guest

Hi, We are in the same boat with Heritage Resorts and Norman Anderson, I think we should,all arrive there whilst they have their reps trying to rip,other people of at the same time!

It would be a good idea to get all Heritage people together who wish to claim against them and do and use one lawyer and split the costs, as the law has been passed for mis sold timeshares etc

Guest

Hi,

yes it would be great if we could all get together. I suggested it a while ago. Unfortunately this which? site doesn’t allow us to put contact details so we can all contact each other. This would seem such a good thing to do. I don’t know if anyone from Which? reads these and if so maybe they could help us in our quest.

From other posts I know someone served court papers as a deposit was taken in the cooling off period – this has always been gainst the law in europe.
Also someone won via the Financial Ombudsman and got their money back . They had a finance deal. I tried the ombudsnam, but money was taken via a company in Isle of Man (I paid by credit card), and they couldn’t establish a connection between the companies under the 1974 consumer credit act.

If anyone knows a way we can all contact each other then I’d certainly be happy to hear from you.

Guest

A lawyer at the local Chamber of Commerce also suggested writing to BBC Watchdog (Anne Robinson) or Don’t Get Done Get Dom (Dom Littlewood)

Maybe we shoud coordinate and pick a date to all write to those shows and see what happens.

Guest

Stephen Boyd of Althena Law is the lawyer to contact he is dealing with Heritage Termination of contacts at the moment through his company and also works for Justice4

Guest

I’ll get in contact with him. Thanks
Hope others do too

Guest
pdjwoodly says:
27 February 2017

we are in the same boat2

Guest
Amanda says:
25 June 2015

My parents have just returned from a holiday in Spain where on the second day of their holiday they were approached (and I hate to say taken in) by Heritage Hotels. They sat through the talk, took their free bottle of cava and then parted with £1,450. At the time they believed they were signing up to some sort of free holiday deal but on reading the small print and talking to family members back home they now realise this wasn’t quite the case and want to pull out. Obviously now they are back home they are over their cooling off period and even though they have saved themselves paying the rest of the £3,000 which was requested have lost the £1,450 already taken. Is there any way they can get this money back? I would be interested to hear from you if you are taking this further.

Guest
Amanda says:
25 June 2015

My parents have just returned from a holiday in Spain where on the second day of their holiday they were approached (and I hate to say taken in) by Heritage Hotels. They sat through the talk, took their free bottle of cava and then parted with £1,450. At the time they believed they were signing up to some sort of free holiday deal but on reading the small print and talking to family members back home they now realise this wasn’t quite the case and want to pull out. Obviously now they are back home they are over their cooling off period and even though they have saved themselves paying the rest of the £3,000 which was requested have lost the £1,450 already taken. Is there any way they can get this money back?

Guest
Belmount says:
7 July 2015

No joy with European Commission – they can’t do anything. They tried contacting Oasis Lanz Holiday Club and they did not return their calls – totally ignored them. Because we paid by direct debit it is not as easy to get your money back. Does anyone know of a no win lawyer who would help us with this?

Guest

I hope everyone in the previous comments have had some luck in getting their money back from heritage. we are in our late 70’s and have been with heritage since 2000, we originally bought privately 2 fixed weeks at Marbesa. We were talked into joining the points system in 2009 as this would mean the timeshare wouldn’t go into our inhertance tax. In 2013 we decided as we getting older and didn’t want our children having to pay the maintenance after we had gone, to exit the scheme .We were told by the sales reps that if we upgraded by paying £1950 we could exit when we wanted by simply putting into writing we wanted to exit. When we returned in April 2015 and talked about exiting out of the scheme the sales rep told us the policy we had paid for in 2013 was no longer valid as a new scheme had been brought out in which you had to pay £15000 for property bonds, we declined. Altogether we have paid about £10000 simply to try and exit but to no avail. Heritage is very clever as they don’t put in any details that you discuss in their documents and we trusted them which was very foolish of us .

Guest
newby says:
19 August 2015

Does any one know if Heritage has successfully taken anyone to court? we have a timeshare we were mis-sold years ago tried to cancel, told we would have to upgrade to do so (by the lovely Mr Norman Anderson!), told him where to go and have refused to pay any fees since. We are continually called from companies wanting to sell on our behalf or relinquish the contrac (for a fee)t, i know the money we have spent is gone but can i get out from them by giving it back?

Guest

Contact /

Contact Stephen Boyd of Althena Law he is a lawyer dealing with all Heritage claims works for Justiče4 too

Guest
Marie says:
27 February 2017

Hi. Would like to ask how is your claimed with Mr Anderson? Any progress? The very same thing happened to me…

Guest

we were also scammed, paid deposit on the day,

[Sorry, your comment has been edited to align with our Community Guidelines. Thanks, mods]

Guest

I have declarations in my emails as I wasn’t going to pay the balance without conformation

Guest
pdjwoodly says:
27 February 2017

we two have issues with this company

Guest
Paula Swift says:
14 June 2017

Please let me know your outcome. I had the same as you and have been told I cant get any monies back by the Heritage Club Resorts. I’ve written and sent a letter.

[Sorry, your comment has been edited to align with our Community Guidelines. Thanks, mods]

Guest

Hi Paula, sorry to hear this. What happened? If you’re a Which? member, it may be worth speaking to Which? Legal: https://legalservice.which.co.uk/

Guest
sheila durham says:
3 July 2017

papers were served but no response received.only way forward now is via Spanish court

Guest
Mikasa Lin says:
3 May 2014

Buying a timeshare under the impresion you will save money on the long run on travel expenses such as airfare or cruises equals to being a victim of timeshare fraud. Timeshares will barely provide you a small discount on accomodations and that´s it. Timeshares will not provide you, in most cases, any discounts on your vacation expenses. http://www.timesharescam.com/timeshare-complaints-resorts-black-list/5-el-cid-resort-timeshare-complaints/

Guest
George Mowat says:
8 May 2014

Dear Which,
As a member i would like to put across my complaint, like others we were duped into this scam with Petchey back in 2009, now 2014 and aprox £25,000 in debt later we returned to Tenerife in April this year got a call to go and see them. It ended up, after a few hours, that what he said was that if we paid £6000 then after 5 years we could walk away from Petchey who are now M.G.M. He kept on about this “Perpetuity” clause, that we couldn’t do anything about it. I didn’t agree with him and told him where to go. Later on that week we got another call from the chap saying that he had a chat with his boss and said that he got the fee down to £4000 and at the end of 5 years walk away. Aye. If I didn’t sign today then it would be 10 years and so on. we have been bitten so often, the £4000 and £5000 amount up to the figure above We tried to get out of our situation doing different things,getting caught out time and time again being succumbed to the greed of those company’s.paying out a further £10,000 to another company who said that they could get us out of
our situation if we went over to them. we have had to re-mortgage our home and will be paying this of for along time. It has taken it’s toll on my wife and I. The last 5 years has been hell and now (May) 2014 I have been diagnosed with Angina. Which I have had an Angiagram, the results been, that I am to undergo a triple by-pass later on this year. If you would like the full story. It is a waste of time getting in touch with the R.D.O. even TATOC are limited. there must be a legitimate organisation with the powers to act on the consumers behalf against the like of Petchey M.G.M. who think that they can treat you with contempt.

Guest
Mymothersasaint says:
2 June 2014

In response to George Mowat’s comment, I currently reside in Tenerife and have had the unfortunate experience of coming across Petchy Leisure. Their staff are very intense and bullying and from my experience not genuine! The offer you speak of is known as a surrender letter and is nothing more than a new way to generate more money for the company. It is horrendous reading your story and what makes it worse is that unfortunately you are not alone. It sound like you and your wife have suffered a terrible experience at the hands of these and other similar companies who are nothing other than parasites who feed off of peoples misery and anguish. There will be a way out of your contract there always is and by the sounds of it you may be able to get some of your money back just be very careful in who you trust.

Guest
Barbie Monroe says:
25 June 2014

Timeshare fraud has been around since the timeshare idea was created, but they increase during poor economy. When times are difficult, timeshare owners are stuck with properties they can´t travel to or even afford. Desperate to recoup some money to pay for bills, they can easily become victims to scams artists pretending to be their timeshare salvation who will take upfront fees -as much as five number figures in some cases- but fail to fulfill their promise. http://www.timesharescam.com/

Guest
J.J. Lanzo says:
30 June 2014

When are people going to realize that these folks have no other desire than to insult your intelligence, and make a mockery of you. They bait you with materialism and then ensnare you in a lifetime trap, and most of the time the bait doesn’t manifest, and when it does it is usually something of less value than that which you were entreated with, or nothing at all. Then the joke’s on you.

Guest
Urusula Rice says:
30 July 2014

Thousands of International travelers, particularly from the US and Canada, have fallen victims of timeshare fraud while vacationing. Resort developers hire skilled salesmen to represent their timeshares as many different attractive packages, such as financial investments, deeded properties, or vacation clubs, just to increase their sales.

Guest

Has anyone come across Diamond Resorts ‘new’ Club Select?
They have told us that we can join without buying one of their units by keeping our existing timeshare held elsewhere and depositing this week into their scheme – for a price.
They have advised us that their points are currently worth £2.25, but that we can deposit our week for a minimum of 7 years for a reduced fee. We are expected to maintain our unit and the responsibility for all associated maintenance fees and can pay them a reduced fee to deposit the week to gain a specified number of points (at roughly 30% of the £2.25 price.) They would pay the Interval International membership but we would need to cover all other fees (exchange, guest certificates, etc) Their selling point is more flexibility and availability but I am dubious that they can find units that II cannot. Has anyone tales to tell; good or otherwise?

Guest
Charles Moranis says:
21 September 2014

Friendly advise! If it’s sounding too good to be real, then it probably isn’t. I have been approached with these types of “deals” so to speak in the past, and they sounded more like a shell game, than the real deal, so being leary of this isn’t a bad thing. I was at our resort a while back, and one of the people staying there was having great difficulty securing his stay, and we had a brief moment to speak, and he and his wife told us they had accepted a similar offer to the one you are talking about, only to find out they had spent their money and were unable to get what they thought was part of their deal. They informed me that according to what they were told about their plan, they had bought the wrong package, and needed to spend more to get what they wanted. Yea I would be very leary, and be well versed on the offers being made. I personally stay away from these deals, as I have been burnt before, and it seems as though these resort people are only concerned with whats in their best interest, as to being fair. Good luck.

Guest
Beth Green says:
25 September 2014

Timeshares have always been a bad buy. But for those who really feel they need one I make one recommendation: Never buy from the developer. Always wait for timeshares to appear on the secondary market, usually at half-price. People like you get excited at the new developments and jump right in, only to become disillusioned later and dump the property onto the secondary market, at a loss, for a patient, informed buyer to take advantage of.

Guest

I have a timeshare or as it is now a right to use certificate, at a hotel in spain my maintenance fees would be classed as reasonable, if it wasn’t for the fact I could book independently for half the price surly this should be a bonus for the timeshare owners only, and make timeshares something of value It seems to be that the timeshare resorts themselves have made timeshares worthless and unsellable by being allowed to get away with this practice

Guest
Charles Moranis says:
8 December 2014

You are absolutely correct madmaid! It is the developers, and idividual resorts that are largely responsible for the loss of value in the so called holiday vacation/timeshares around the country as well as around the world. The developers keep developing, and the resorts keep building, greed is the great motivation for any kind of reckles endevour. I think the timeshare industry is heading for another collapse as anytime there is an over exagerration of the value of something it usually produces a bubble, and we all know what happens to those, don’t we? There should be a campaign that rings out around the world. (Just Say No To Timeshares) Just say no!

Guest
Ashol says:
24 December 2014

Still being chased by debt collectors for maintenance fees for grand holidays even though invoices have never been sent and they told us we didnt own it anymore after they bought the site from John Palmer. Nearly 5 years this has been going on. can anyone offer advice.

Guest
Robert WIlson says:
25 December 2014

Ohh wow I knew it was a fiddle yesterday we just fell for the scratch card scam signed two contracts and they wanted £500 which they split into two payments we paid £250 by visa debit card please can anyone advise can we stop the payment and what it’s our course of action now to cancel ? We are in fuertavetura it was ment to be grand holiday club however the contract was headed “a vacation in the sun” company …… They have invited us back to the hotel Atlantic Garden on Monday
for breakfast ha ha free ! Which is where we are ment to have our FREE holiday we are ment to have won. I did want to check them out on the Internet but they where keen to keep us busy and away form my iPad grrr I am so mad with myself and upset for my wife and little girl who had to sit some 2 and half hours of this sales script with four sales guys all at diffrent times grrr advice please !! Thank you

Guest
simplejack says:
25 December 2014

These people are a disgrace and have no moral compass. First thing to do is contact your card company and cancel the payment. Advise them of the situation and that you have been a victim of a scam. Do not attend the breakfast or accept the so called free holiday. Put in writing to the company a letter of cancelation. Any agreement has a 14 day cooling off period. If you have any problems in stopping the payment going through post again and I will advise you of the next step. All is not lost. Enjoy your holiday

Guest
Robert WIlson says:
25 December 2014

Thank you for your reply it’s very kind tried the card company closed today lol but will be on the phone first think tomorrow. I have sent an email to cancel but guess will have to put it in writing when we get home on 3rd thank you once again and have a happy christmas

Guest
Diane says:
16 February 2015

we returned from a holiday in Fuetuventra on 24th January , whilst there a guy passed us a scratch card , then told us we’d won a holiday or a iPad .He took us along to this complex to receive our prize ,we were then introduced to a man called Gary which ended up us being there for around six hours. In that time Gary and his boss Neil persuaded us into a holiday club .IMy husband paid this company (Grandholidaysclub) £515.00 we were never told this was not refundable should we wish to cancel. On retuning home I tried to get in touch with the email they gave me but kept saying invalid email address . I/we got very nervous and decided to cancel ,I forwarded a recorded delivery letter stating I wanted to cancel and asked for a refund of the money I’d paid them. They informed me that there was no cooling off period and they would not refund my money. I am fuming because they call themselves a reputable company . Could you please help me with this matter
Yours sincerely
Mr& Mrs G Bradshaw

Guest

Hi Diane, I’m sorry to hear about you and your husband’s experience in Fuerteventura. However, I’m pleased to let you know that you can get advice about this matter from our Which? Legal Team. You can read all about the Which? Legal Service and how to join here:

http://www.whichlegalservice.co.uk

I wish you all the best getting this matter resolved to your satisfaction.

Guest

We bought holiday points 10 years ago. They were sold in perpetuity. The maintenance rate now stands at nearly £1400 per year. We are 68 and 70 years old.

We are on holiday at the moment and have been offered a ‘new contract’. The offer says that if we buy 40,000 more points at a cost of nearly £8000 we can opt out of the perpetuity part of our contract and the annual maintenance in 5 years. During that time we have access to world-wide affiliate travel. After that period we may only use a handful of resorts owned by our own club.

We were told that if we didn’t accept this offer our children would inherit our debt.

We said we did not want more points; that I am struggling with serious health issues and may not be able to travel much longer and that my private treatment uses all of my income and more. My husbands entire income is £15000 so asking for £8000 seems extortion under the circumstances.

My husband went to the office to confirm that we could not pay, even with the loan scheme offered (extortionate), they asked him if he would sign without telling me!!! When he said no they made it clear they were not pleased.

We heard from other vacationers of extreme pressure and rudeness when they would not sign.

This practice is extremely unethical, lacking in integrity and immoral even if it is legal. When people have reached straightened circumstances, poor health, old age or other impoverishment, there should be a way they can opt out of the maintenance or the entire scheme if they wish.

Our only other alternative is to pay to leave the scheme which will cost, apparently, around £8000. When we joined this club we were told that if we wanted out that was absolutely fine but there would be a solicitor’s fee for ending the contract …. we were given the impression that this was minimal so I would call this mis-selling. Many others I have spoken to were given the same information.

We have had some wonderful holidays but the maintenance fee, in this day and age of cheap holidays, is outrageous. The pressure-selling still continues as the companies try to get holiday-makers to accept ridiculous options and they still make more and more money.

What is to be done? When will someone take up the mis-selling and pressure-selling as they have done with PPI?

Bee

Guest
simplejack says:
20 March 2015

These people are an absolute disgrace with no moral compas.

[Sorry simplejack, we don’t allow personal contact details on Which? Conversation. Thanks, mods.]

Guest
Kay says:
9 May 2015

Hi please let me know how you get on as we are in the same boat with Diamond Resorts. I would just like to get out of the contract as I have held a time share for 14-15 years and because of ill health have never used it

Guest
Catherine Anglesea says:
13 March 2015

As anyone heard of MTAS we were drawn in like fools whilst on holiday in playa blanca last month already shelled out but now on reflection it’s not for us a second payment is due in may don’t want to throw any more money at them what do I do?

Guest
Sarah says:
27 March 2015

Hi,
Very sorry to hear of others financel loss.
Our hard earned pennies are taken from us.
Terrible bully boy tactics. Preying on vulnerable.
My situation is different .Yesterday we attended our time share presentation lasting seven hours long at the radissun blu hotel Malta. We were almost convinced and bullied into buying a time share. Thank-fully we ever signed up. However we stupidly fell weak, parted with £950 pounds for a week holiday to be used later this year. This holiday is without flights and can only be used during low season. These terms and conditions were presented following transaction. I have contacted my bank who at the moment are unable to do anything as payment is pending. I have spoken to azure who took payment on behalf of time share bully ( sales manager)who are also unable to refund money. Tomorrow I have an appointment with sales manager to discuss canceling payment.

Guest
Susanne says:
25 July 2015

Hi Sarah, we have fallen prey to the same thing at the Radisson golden sands paying for a £950 week’s holiday which they told us is non-refundable. Have you had any success in getting your money back and if so how did you do it? Thanks

Guest
Sarah says:
27 March 2015

Hi,
Very sorry to hear of others financel loss.
Our hard earned pennies are taken from us.
Terrible bully boy tactics. Preying on vulnerable.
My situation is different .Yesterday we attended our time share presentation lasting seven hours long at the hotel. We were almost convinced and bullied into buying a time share. Thank-fully we ever signed up. However we stupidly fell weak, parted with £950 pounds for a week holiday to be used later this year. This holiday is without flights and can only be used during low season. These terms and conditions were presented following transaction. I have contacted my bank who at the moment are unable to do anything as payment is pending. I have spoken to the company who took payment on behalf of time share bully ( sales manager)who are also unable to refund money. Tomorrow I have an appointment with sales manager to discuss canceling payment.

Guest
Amanda says:
25 June 2015

My parents have just returned from a holiday in Spain where on the second day of their holiday they were approached (and I hate to say taken in) by Heritage Hotels. They sat through the talk, took their free bottle of cava and then parted with £1,450. At the time they believed they were signing up to some sort of free holiday deal but on reading the small print and talking to family members back home they now realise this wasn’t quite the case and want to pull out. Obviously now they are back home they are over their cooling off period and even though they have saved themselves paying the rest of the £3,000 which was requested have lost the £1,450 already taken. Is there any way they can get this money back?

Guest

This may prove difficult, Amanda, if, as you say, they are over their cooling off period on the contract they signed. However, Heritage Hotels may have broken the law in requiring your parents to pay a deposit upfront. I would suggest that they firstly contact the UK European Consumer Centre (www.ukecc.net) for advice on their situation. If it appears that the transaction broke the rules of the 2011 EU Directive, they should contact their credit card provider (assuming that they paid the deposit by credit card) and make a request to get a refund.

Guest
michael says:
21 July 2015

Is ITRA a safe company to deal with

Guest

HI is that the timeshare release company as we were wondering the same?

Guest
Jose Carlos says:
19 August 2015

We have just returned from Lanzarote and feel really foolish, we were duped by the scratchcard scam, winning a weeks worldwide holiday and a bottle of champagne, after being told we would have to sit through a 90 min presentation in which time a contract was drawn up, we were asked to pay a deposit of £500 with a visa debit card, being handed over to Karen and promised a week in Tenerife and 5 weeks to any where in the world. whilst signing the contracts we became suspicious the last page was on plain paper, we said we no longer wanted to go ahead , i made Karen draw 2 lines through each page to void the contracts but she wouldn’t let me have a copy, She couldn’t get rid of us fast enough, I came straight back to our hotel and cancelled my debit card no money had been taken, I returned home and phoned the police who put me through to the Action Fraud, They took a report and would be really pleased to hear from anybody else who has been duped by Karen , Richard or John so as they can build a case.

Guest
Sandra says:
3 November 2015

My husband and I ‘won a prize’ on a scratch card too that was given out by ‘Nicky’. We listened for 2.5 hours (but it felt more like we were being held captive) by Barry and his manager Richard who were giving us the hard sell. We explained our debit and credit cards were back at the hotel we were staying at. No problem they said, they could give us a lift to our hotel to retrieve them so we could leave a deposit of over £700! We left shortly after clutching our prize of a bottle of ‘champagne’.

Guest
M de neuvu0ille says:
7 June 2016

Thid our 1st week here before we have to sign out travel passport after reading various posts n waking up im not signing, anykne kniw what position im in.

Guest

I was sold a timeshare some 8 years ago, I was promised fees would only go up by around £15 a year and we could use the timeshare at other locations, these are now none existent, and the fees have done up by over 100%, I don’t know what to do.

Guest

Hi
We saw advertised on the internet a company called Timeshare release which stated that they are able to release people from timeshare within 6 weeks, as anyone had dealings with this company?

Guest

If they are linked with Eze Group dònt do it we went to an appointment we thought was with a Lawyer from Eze Legal after 5 hours with a representative and he tried to charge us £5908 to get out of the contracts! We told them we thought he thought we came down in the last rain shower!

Try Stephen Boyd Althena Law

Guest

The best advice is NEVER buying a timeshare anywhere. It is a scam and the so-called timeshare you buy is sold over and over again to other people. It is very difficult to sell your timeshare now and renting isn’t in the deal. It will cost you more to buy a timeshare and maintenance fee than to rent a hotel room or a full ownership of a condo. Don’t do it. There is good information about timeshare scams.

Guest

Is the purchase of accommodation vouchers for 7 days with a long term use by date paid by credit card in timeshare complexes covered by the legislation?
No cooling off period was mentioned .

Guest

The applicable legislation will probably be that of the jurisdiction in which the contract was made.

Guest
Andrew sneap says:
22 November 2016

Nearly got duped today. Visiting Tenerife, was told I’d won a holiday and stupidly followed the person to the flamingo resort hotel…it was so genuine they gave us drinks and showed us around an apartment. Luckily my wife saw through the scam when they wouldn’t show us paperwork nor give us a few hours to think about it..I went back in this afternoon and took photos of four of the people involved and also warned a couple just about to part with their money 🙁 I’m thankful I we didn’t go through with it but feel bitter about the time wasted

Guest

I avoided being conned myself just last week, thanks largely to these comments,

Most people, understandably, are so eager to recover their money that they lose sight of another aspect: warning others.

I believe that there is action we can take to warn others. My idea, for what it is worth is as follows, but others may well have better ideas.

Essentially, we write a narrative that assembles our combined experiences. A composite narrative that includes the range of tricks, cons, illusions, etc. to which we have been subjected. A narrative that takes us from that first contact with the ever-so friendly fellow with the scratch-card through to ‘signing along the dotted line’, making payment and zero recourse.

To avoid any possibility of libel issues, no names should be used. I suggest that we avoid any mention of companies or organisations. If we could mention countries and towns, all the better, but a lawyer’s input here would be welcome!

If you agree with me that “something needs to be done”, would a recent victim (one who has actually made payment) please start. Do try to remember every little detail. In what circumstances did the scratch-card tout approach you? For example, in my case he was very clever. We had driven back to our holiday flat in xxxx and as we waiting for the sliding gate to open to let us into the parking area, a scooter drew up to my side. A native of the country where I live and speaking the language, the rider said that he recognized our foreign licence plate and that he came from a town in the same general area. What a surprise! After a few seconds chat, I asked the obvious (and in hindsight, regretable) question, “Do you live here?” (meaning, “do you live in this block of flats”), to which he replied affirmatively. In one fell swoop he had become our ‘neighbour’ (and we trust our neighbours, don’t we?).

Guest

I am unsure if we have a claim. We were mid sold a week on a U.K. Canal barge in 1999. Does anyone know if can pursue a claim and if so how do we go about it.

Guest
Maureen Thomas says:
16 February 2017

I’ve been conned into a year agrelement and been told I can’t have a cooling off period

Guest
Marie says:
27 February 2017

Hi. We were on the same situation as you all are . Just signed a contract as well from Heritage resorts and then decided a day after that we couldn’t do it in a long run. Spoke to the manager who was present that time about our dilemna but he can’t answer us and still refer us to Mr Anderson as he knows all about the finance. Mr Anderson on the other kept telling us that we can still reconsider it after we get back in UK. Told him we have to do it while we’re still in Spain but nope he didn’t agree with it. Told us that we have signed a paper stating that no refund for the down payment we made. So thats how they scam us through all the downpayment we pay on that day especially if you just gonna lose it and not continue with the membership. All of them are scammers and to think all of the reps are from England and scamming their own fellow men..

Guest
Polly says:
7 June 2017

I’ve just returned from Lanzarote and parted with £1000 on a credit card at destinations direct , part of Mtas . I thought I could get some holiday deals for my family but now realise how niave I was . They told me there was no cooling of period . But I now believe from what I have read in Which that it is illegal to take the money with out a cooling off period ? Does anyone know if this is right ?

[Sorry, your comment has been edited to align with our Community Guidelines. Thanks, mods]

Guest

Hi Polly, sorry to hear that. Do you have the Terms and Conditions of the agreement? It would be worth taking a look through them to see what it says. There may be ways for you to recover your money, if you’re a Which? member then you might wish to speak to Which? Legal – https://legalservice.which.co.uk/ . Alternatively, we have some advice available on our Consumer Rights site: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/