/ Money, Travel & Leisure

The murky world of timeshare resale

Row of colourful holiday homes

Do you have a timeshare you want to sell? If so, don’t fall into the trap of being scammed to the tune of thousands of pounds by unscrupulous resale companies.

Hundreds of timeshare owners are targeted every week by resale companies promising to take their timeshare off their hands. Typically, the companies request large sums of money upfront in order to secure a sale.

We’ve heard from numerous Which? members who have been duped into handing over large sums of money. Once they’d handed over the money however, they never heard from the company again – welcome to the world of the timeshare resale.

Although it might seem obvious not to hand over any money, these companies can be extremely convincing and are adept at delivering the ‘hard sell’. And, because owners are often desperate to sell, they’re more likely to fall for an attractive sales pitch – even if it sounds too good to be true.

Don’t fall for the cold call

Take the case of Geoff Faulkner. Over the years, desperate to sell his three timeshare products, Geoff has paid out thousands of pounds in the hope that one of the companies would deliver on its promise.

None ever has and although he has managed to recover his losses through his credit card company, he is still in possession of timeshares he doesn’t want, paying annual maintenance fees on properties he doesn’t use.

Judging by the letters and emails we’ve received, Geoff is far from being alone. And, with more than half a million British and Irish citizens owning timeshares across 1,300 European resorts, the potential for unscrupulous resale companies to deceive owners is vast.

How to spot a scam

Here are some of the techniques used to part you from your cash:

1. You’re told there’s a buyer ready to buy your timeshare, but first you have to pay a large fee to secure the sale. After this is paid, you never hear from the company again.

2. You receive a call inviting you to attend a presentation under the pretence that the company will sell your timeshare or that you will meet potential buyers. Typically, the presentation turns into a high-pressure sales pitch in which the company tries to sell you one of its own timeshare products.

3. You’re invited to a presentation by a timeshare company and told that if you buy their timeshare you’ll receive a cash-back certificate where you’ll be able to get all your money back. Needless to say, it’s rare you’ll ever get your money back.

Future proofing timeshares

There is some good news on the horizon. New legislation governing the sale of timeshares, resale, timeshare exchange and long-term holiday products comes into force in February 2011. It outlaws the practice of taking payments upfront and states that money should only be exchanged after a sale has taken place.

The legislation means that any company or individual that takes money upfront can be prosecuted. Hopefully this will deter unscrupulous companies and give timeshare owners more power if they do fall for their scams.

Comments
Guest
Harry Darby says:
6 March 2018

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John says:
6 April 2018

Is abc lawyers a front for monster credit.

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You can find details of connected businesses on the Companies House website. In addition,there are other ‘brands’ under the same ownership.

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Guest

List of ABC Lawyers connected businesses

Cheap Holidays Tenerife
Glenmore Consultants/Monster Rewards Ltd
Hello Consulting
Hollywood Marketing
Jive Hippo Limited
Justice4 Limited
Lansdown Financial Limited
Monster Community
Monster Rewards
Monster Travel
Monster Vouchers
SellMyTimeshare.tv
Staycation Lodges Limited
Timeshare Advice
Timeshare Compensation
Timeshare Consumer Association
Timeshare.Lawyer
Timeshare Owners Protection Plan
Travel Promotions
Tuloca Limited
Value My Timeshare

Guest

Chris are you advertising services ? Monster Travel is just one overseas company I checked out long ago and its previous aliases in the USA.

Guest

Hi Duncan. Please see previous posts concerning Monster Travel and associated entities. This is re Monster Travel of Tenerife,and SellMyTimeshare.tv which have now been replaced in trading terms by newer brands. My post provides the different names being used now and in the past.

Guest

There is a company – Kwikchex – that seems to be involved in improving the reputation of the timeshare industry, among other things.https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/07376192/officers

If this is the same CE I don’t know whether this has been declared earlier in this Convo. I would encourage businesses to contribute to Convos to get aspects of an issue that we might not otherwise see. I think that when that happens the business interest should be declared though. I don’t know whether the moderators would agree, or see it as promotional.