It’s that dreaded time of year again;
when you know that a little envelope is going to land on your mat, containing a
very large bill. This is your lovely timeshare resort wishing you a Happy
Christmas by sending you their best wishes in the form of a massive maintenance
Unsurprisingly this is also when we
receive the greatest amount of calls for help and advice as to how poor
timeshare owners can escape this onerous burden.
Unfortunately, as the interest in
buying or owning a timeshare dwindles the sales people that once lurked around
your resort trying to spoil your holiday, have now migrated into the Timeshare
Exit business, and many of these have now sprung up in the UK. These ex
timeshare sales people are now offering you an Exit and we are sure you
remember how their silver-tongued promises persuaded you to buy in the first
place, and then the second and third time and in some cases even more
Worryingly their services can involve them coming to your house to explain how their Exit works, you might be thinking “what can be the harm in that?” The problem is that although there is a fee to Exit your timeshare which all Exit companies will charge, these travelling reps will base their fee on your house, your furnishings, the car in your drive, so whereas a genuine company will have a standard fee, a visit from one of these ex timeshare reps and you may find yourselves paying double or even triple the amount a genuine company would charge. In addition to this none of these people that you are letting into your homes have been ‘vetted’, and in some cases these ex timeshare people may have criminal records.
Another type of Exit company we have been hearing about is the type that is set up by the big timeshare groups, you’re probably thinking that doesn’t make sense; Oh but it does – as the timeshare companies find themselves facing more and more court claims for mis-sold timeshares, it is in their best interests to let you Exit, in doing so they will attempt to have you sign away your rights to any compensation claim or from pursuing them in any way.
Many of these ‘satellite’ Exit companies are springing up, so if you are receiving calls where the caller appears to know a lot about your timeshare history then beware because it is probably the same company, under another name, that sold it to you in the first place. This also causes concern, in this era of Data Protection none of these new companies should have your information, unless of course they already had it, perhaps they’ve slipped away with the secret laptop containing all your historical data and purchase history.
Some timeshare resorts having been inundated with requests to relinquish and have also begun offering this service, however their relinquishment will also involve a large fee and again you will have to sign away your compensation rights. More often than not once they know you have involved an Exit company, they will try to offer you relinquishment (at a fee) as they still feel they are entitled to that money from you and will usually send out defamatory emails, in an attempt to scare you into staying with them. These people know every trick in the book, which is why they have been successful in the past and around for so long.
The other aspect of successfully
exiting your timeshare is compensation, a swear word for the
timeshare resorts, but a must for the 1000’s of owners who have been mis-sold
or misrepresented by the sales people. Compensation is not a given, you
will need a genuine Claims Management Company (CMC),
regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) to pursue
the claim on your behalf, you can try to pursue it yourselves of course, but it
can be quite a minefield with many people giving up, unlike a CMC who will
doggedly continue the battle on your behalf, at a fee of course, which should
always be on a “no upfront fee” basis, this will ensure that they do
work hard for you, as those taking payment straight away have no incentive to
try. You should expect to pay a fee because if they are successful, this
is money you never expected to see again.
Always ask the CMC for their Firm
Reference Number (FRN), this is the number issued to them by the FCA to prove
they are a legitimate company and you can check this number on the FCA website
All CMC’s were required to register with the FCA by the 31st March
2019, many companies did not bother as they knew they would not pass their
stringent requirements but may still be operating thinking that the public are
unaware of this. Those that did register and pass, were all given
Temporary Permission (TP), this is not a cause for concern, the only companies
to get automatic permission were solicitors. This TP is sufficient for
you to put your trust in them.
A bona fide CMC will never guarantee
that you will receive compensation, give a timeframe within which you might be
successful or any compensation amount, so if you are being given a written guarantee
that you will receive compensation then be cautious, there are two areas of
concern here, firstly it may be that if you only receive £1.00 back this could
be sufficient to absolve them from their written guarantee or it may be that
the same company will charge you an exorbitant Exit fee and then refund you a
part of it (your own money in effect) under the guise of being compensation.
Don’t be disheartened readers there
are genuine companies out there that can assist you with an Exit and with Compensation,
so before you pay that maintenance bill or any questions about points in this
article, please do not hesitate to call or email us.
Posted on: November 12, 2019
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 0203 519 3808 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk