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Timeshare compensation.  What exactly does the process look like?
Timeshare compensation. What exactly does the process look like?

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Anatomy of a timeshare compensation claim

Timeshare resorts are paying out record amounts of compensation to owners over illegal contracts, but what does the process look like up close?  We follow one couple's journey from signing up with ANFI, to receiving their compensation money.

Joining up

Paul and Pat Jordan (name changed) signed up with ANFI Del Mar, the Gran Canaria powerhouse timeshare sales operation, in 2003.

"We paid £966 deposit on the day and the total cost was £9660 for one week a year in the Beach Club," says Pat.  "The presentation was over 7 hours and felt very pressurised at the end.  The price was 'only for today'.  We had to sign up right then."

"The contract was forever," adds Paul.  "We have since been advised that is illegal, as it would unfairly burden the inheritors of our estate."

The Jordans were given little time to review the ANFI contract documents, and were informed verbally that if they stopped paying maintenance fees, ANFI would take back the apartment from them.

Disappointment 

The year after the Jordans bought their week at ANFI, the resort changed to a points system.  "This made it difficult to exchange our week," explains Pat.  "Availability was greatly reduced, it seems because weeks are being sold to external parties."

Maintenance fee hikes are another bugbear for the Jordans.  "They have gone up by over 50%," complains Paul.  "We sometimes found we were paying more for our week than non members were paying on Expedia."

Overall the Jordans feel that buying a timeshare at ANFI was a negative experience. "We were sold on a lot of verbal misrepresentation, the presentation was high pressure and there were several illegal aspects to the sale, including paying a deposit on the day, and the lifetime membership," says Paul.

Compensation claim

Pat and Paul had been targeted by timeshare claims firms already, but never entertained them.  "We heard all about the scams and didn't want to lose even more money," says Pat, "but after speaking with European Consumer Claims (ECC) one day we felt from the beginning that they were different.  There was no pressure, they took their time and set up a Zoom call with their consultant, Jack, who went through everything in detail and showed around their office on the video call.  We actually got to 'video meet' one of the lawyers who handles the compensation claims"

By the end of the Zoom call Mr and Mrs Jordan were ready to go ahead.  "We trusted Jack," agrees Paul.  "We couldn't carry on throwing money away with ANFI, so we signed up.  

"We paid £6835 for ECC to claim compensation from ANFI over the rules they broke when selling us the membership."

Delays

Not everything about the claims process was plain sailing.  "We got the impression that it would take a few months, maybe a year," says Pat.  "It was a lot longer than that, nearly four years by the time we got our money.  ANFI kept appealing and trying to get out of paying.  M1 Legal (the firm of timeshare lawyers ECC work with) kept up the pressure though, and finally we got paid.

"€21,500 so far," agrees Paul.  "And another €4000 or so coming in a few weeks time.  It did take longer than we thought, and because we were expecting our money earlier, at times we wondered if we had been scammed again.  If they had been more forthcoming about the timescales involved it wouldn't have put us off.  In fact it would have saved us a lot of anxiety if we had known that the delays were to be expected."

Great decision

Overall the couple are very happy with their decision.  "The membership was expensive, and the maintenance fees were a commitment we are glad to be free of," affirms Pat.  "Back when we joined it seemed like a better way to holiday, but now you can stay in these places without being a member, and often for less than maintenance costs. 

"To clear €25,500 in compensation as well is amazing.  ECC did exactly what they said.  It took a while, but they did all the extra work without complaining or asking for more money.  We couldn't be happier.

Would the Jordans recommend claiming compensation through ECC and M1 Legal?

"Definitely," says Paul.  "They were friendly, open and communicated well.  There are a lot of convincing scammers out there.  ECC are one of a very few honest claims firms."

ECC response

Andrew Cooper, CEO of ECC adds, "We are always pleased when we retrieve sizable compensation payments for mis-sold timeshare owners like the Jordans.

"Since Pat and Paul came on board with ECC, we have internalised the importance of setting realistic expectations regarding timescales.  We have adjusted on a corporate level.  

"We always wanted to be optimistic but of course factors outside of our control can always cause delays.

"These days our strategy is to under promise and over deliver, so that clients are pleasantly surprised when their payment is quicker than expected.  Also, many of the legal obstructions utilised by timeshare companies to delay payments have been overcome and the process is significantly quicker.  18 months is now a realistic average expectation.

"Not every timeshare owner qualifies for compensation, but most can at least escape their membership with professional help.  

"Anyone wanting to find out more is welcome to get in touch with our team, for a free, confidential chat."

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ECC provides timeshare claims services, expert advice and help

E: (for media enquiries): mark.jobling@ecc-eu.com

E: (for client enquiries) EUROPE: info@ecc-eu.com  USA: info@europeanconsumerclaims.com

T: EUROPE: +44800 6101 512 / +44 203 6704 616.  USA: 1-8777 962 010

Monday to Friday: UK timings: 9am-8pm. Saturday/Sunday closed.  USA 9am -8pm EST.  Sunday closed

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Andrew Cooper background article can be read here

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European Consumer Claims (ECC) are the UK & Europe’s leading timeshare release & claims specialists

ECC help timeshare owners from across the UK to release themselves from unwanted timeshares all over the world, and to recover money where possible.

We are expert timeshare release & claims consultants operating from a growing network of offices throughout the UK and a number of Europe’s timeshare “hot-spots”

Our mission is to help timeshare owners who wish to rid themselves of unwanted timeshare (and the associated long-term fee commitments) and to recover monies wherever possible.

European Consumer Claims (ECC)
The Henley Building, Newtown Road
RG9 1HG Henley-on-Thames
UK