Press release -
Timeshare owners furious over paying for years of holidays they can't have
British government makes holiday travel illegal until at least May 17th, leaving timeshare owners facing more potential years of misery, paying for holidays they are unable to take
£5000 fine for holiday travel
The British government announced today that non essential travel abroad is now punishable by a hefty fine. This comes as a blow to Britain's 550,000 timeshare owners, a huge number of whom were looking forward to their first holiday in two years
"Unlike regular holidaymakers, timeshare owners have to pay whether they take a vacation or not," explains Jack Dawson, timeshare contracts expert with European Consumer Claims (ECC). "They paid full fees in 2020, and got no discount from their resorts. Instead they were promised double holidays in 2021
"For many people double holidays are impractical as they have commitments at home," continues Dawson, "but even those who could take the extra weeks were sceptical at where the extra empty rooms would come from to accommodate these promises
"Now holidays are cancelled again, and maybe even for the whole summer. Are the resorts going to offer triple holidays in 2022? Obviously that can't be done, and yet we are hearing no reports of timeshare companies refunding even part of the annual maintenance fees"
UK Government propping up the economy?
"It's pretty obvious from a financial point of view that this move will benefit the UK's economy," explains Andrew Cooper, CEO of ECC. "A sceptic could infer that the government is deliberately keeping everybody's money firmly in Britain instead of letting it flow out to the Costas this summer"
Cooper believes there is a strong chance that 2022 is under threat too. "There are delays rolling out the vaccine, new COVID variants popping up all over the place and Brexit difficulties adding to the problem. In the beginning we were told to endure a 14 day lockdown to make the future safe. Now most people are resigned to the fact COVID may be around for years"
Timeshare owners hit hardest
"At ECC we talk with hundreds of timeshare owners a day," says Andrew Cooper. "They are furious at having to pay the full cost of a holiday without getting it. These people pay around £1000 a year in maintenance,. they don't have a choice. They don't even get a discount in most cases. People are out of pocket thousands of pounds and it isn't fair
Andrew Cooper. CEO of European Consumer Claims
"The majority of people paid their fees in 2019 for 2020 for a holiday they didn't get. Then were charged again in 2020 for 2021, again no holiday. Later this year they will be forced to pay again for 2022."
"Most owners we speak to don't believe they will get their holiday next year either, and they are desperate to escape the commitment so they can stop the cash hemorrhaging. People just don't have money to waste like this in these uncertain times"
Be careful where you seek advice
"There are a lot of fraudsters out there waiting to take advantage of timeshare owners' despair," warns the ECC boss. "It may be possible for a trustworthy firm to get you out of your timeshare, and sometimes even claim compensation on your behalf. Just be careful not to give your money to one of the many fake law firms out there
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