Lots of useful information from EUROC (European Resort Owners Coalition).
Reporting unsolicited contact
Data abuse is prolific in the timeshare sector and fuels scams with many timeshare owners wrongly falling victim and parting with large sums of money. More so now than ever before, fraudulent operators are targeting timeshare owners offering them false promises and ways of exiting their timeshare.
It is advised any timeshare owner receiving any form of unsolicited contact (such as a cold call, text message or e-mail) from a 3rd party company or solicitor should report this as soon as possible by completing the following online form: https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/cold-calling-data-theft/
All reports will be investigated and evidence of data protection breaches and other unlawful behaviour will be collated and presented to the relevant authorities throughout Europe.
Please be very cautious if they:
- Cold-called you and initiated contact by email, phone or text – this will likely be a case of data theft.
- State that your club/resort, an exchange company or a European listing of timeshare owners provided your telephone number and/or have asked them to reach out to you. This will not be the case.
- Claim to already have a buyer for your timeshare.
- Tell you not to speak to your club or resort at all and to deal only with them.
- Promise to pay an unusually high price for your timeshare.
- Ask you to pay an upfront fee for legal, registration or administrative purposes. This is now illegal.
- Pressure you into signing up for a holiday club or discount travel club in return for your timeshare.
- Are a firm of solicitors asking for an upfront payment to help you obtain a refund of money you paid to a company which has failed to deliver the service it has promised.
Contact The Timeshare Task Force
If you have a query or concerns and require assistance with a problem relating to your timeshare; the independent and trusted team at the Timeshare Task Force are on hand to help with confidential advice on refunds, relinquishments and issues relating to law enforcement where potential breaches of law and data theft may have occurred.
Timeshare Task Force Contact Details
- Within the UK: 01823 510625
- Outside the UK: 00 44 1823 510625
- France: 00 33 (0)170702227
- España: 00 34 (0)932201691
- Italia: 00 39 (0)236006613
The Timeshare Task Force helpline offers a free service and is the recommended and legitimate resource for European timeshare owners. The Timeshare Task Force is operated by Kwikchex via funding received from EUROC and is approved by UK Trading Standards.
Cold-calling and online video sales advice
Timeshare owners have been contacting KwikChex regarding approaches made to them via cold-calling and online video meetings by businesses seeking to sell timeshare exit and compensation services. In many cases, they have been persuaded to sign contracts and often pay significant fees immediately.
KwikChex has discussed these issues with experts in consumer protection, including feedback from Trading Standards and the following are steps that we recommend to help owners better safeguard their legal rights.
- If contact with you was unsolicited, you can ask them to provide to you in writing the details of how they obtained your contact information and exactly what information they hold about you. If you are not satisfied with the response from the business, you can let them know and can take action on this (assistance will be provided by KwikChex).
- Insist that the video or phone call is recorded and in the case of Zoom type meetings, that you are enabled to record it as well as the business arranging the meeting.
Before the meeting call, ask the business to provide you with the following in writing.
-Disclosure of the identity of the business conducting the meeting and the identities of the representatives of the business that will participate in the meeting.
-Detailed descriptions of the proposed services, including the company or companies that would provide the services, together with any accreditation or authorisations they hold, an indication of costs, and your cancellation rights (see below).
Your cancellation rights
KwikChex has received numerous reports of owners being put under pressure to sign contracts and / or pay immediately. Under EU and UK law, you are entitled to a 14-day cancellation period (often referred to as a cooling off period) when sales are being conducted in these ways. The purpose of this is to allow consumers to carefully consider the value and integrity of the services being offered, including if they wish, to seek additional advice and to carry out their own checks.
In some cases, businesses attempt to persuade owners to forego this protection, for example, by saying that a chance of relinquishment or compensation may be lost if the owner does not agree to start immediately. This is rarely true, but if such pressure is applied, ask the business to put in writing the reasons for the urgency before considering waiving your cancellation rights.
Stop & consider and seek advice
Nobody should be rushed into making important decisions. You can insist on your 14-day free cancellation period and use the time to check into what has been presented to you and seek further advice before entering into a contract / making payment. You can carry out research online and organisations such as Citizens Advice in the UK and the European Consumer Centre network throughout the EU and in the UK are available to provide free advice. Further information is available via the Timeshare Task Force resources managed by KwikChex.
Visit the Timeshare Business Check website – A working partnership with timeshare owners
Those engaging in deceitful and unlawful behaviour are often reinventing their identities and purported services misleading timeshare owners on matters such as resale, transfer and marketing scams.
If any owners are unsure about any business they may be in contact with or have discovered online, it can be evaluated and reported via the Timeshare Business Check website. Following this process and reporting any potential fraudulent activity enables Kwikchex to carry out investigations and provide up to date advice and assistance to the owner.
Business Checking and decision making
Carry out checks on 3rd party businesses and products prior to making any payments or entering into contracts. It includes considerations regarding buying timeshare and related products/services, as well as questionnaires that can be submitted to businesses.
Click here to check a business: https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/checking-and-decision-making-section/
Business Warnings and Alerts
Always check for warnings about specific businesses. Warnings are issued on the basis that the business may have been the subject of official actions and/or are failing to properly disclose/intentionally hide details of ownership. If a business is not the subject of a warning notice, it is still important to carry out recommended checks.
Click to review the latest warnings: https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/warnings/