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Compensation. Is it real, or just a way for fraudsters to charge you fees?
Compensation. Is it real, or just a way for fraudsters to charge you fees?

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Spanish timeshare compensation claims. Fact vs fiction

British, and own a timeshare in Spain? If so you have probably been approached by firms offering you big bucks in compensation claims. The Timeshare Consumer Association explains the reality of who can and can't claim, and in what circumstances.

Why compensation claims?

Half a million British families holiday through some form of timeshare. Just under 50% of those people bought their memberships in Spain or the Canaries.

Since 1999 protective measures have been in place to protect consumers from the industry's infamous high pressure sales. Most timeshare resorts saw the new rules as unworkable and chose to ignore them, banking on either the rules not being enforced, or that the individuals involved would have made their money and fled by the time consequences caught up with their company. This means that hundreds of thousands of timeshare contracts are flawed, and the companies who issued them are at fault.

Red tape

These mis-sold timeshare owners are able to seek financial compensation against their resorts and clubs. However, the process is daunting. Red tape and legal pushback from the companies mean that help from a law firm is essential for most owners to have any hope of success. A slew of new firms sprung up to facilitate these claims, and now (after some initial, inventive resistance from the timeshare companies) the owners are being awarded the money they are entitled to (often tens of thousands of pounds to a mis-sold member).

So who can claim?

A general guideline for Spanish timeshare claims is that if you fit the below conditions, you are eligible to claim compensation from the resort you bought from:

    • You bought your membership in Spain. So far successful compensation claims have mainly been achieved in Spain. If you own timeshare elsewhere it may still be possible to claim compensation and if not, timeshare law firms may be able to help you relinquish your ownership.  

    • You bought during or after 1999. If you bought before this you will not be eligible to claim compensation.  (You may still be able to relinquish your ownership, and escape the commitment to paying ever increasing annual fees.)

     • Your contract is in breach of the regulations:  Is your contract 'in perpetuity' (or lasting longer than 50 years)? Did you pay a deposit on the day (or within 14 days of signing the contract)? Is what you own a 'nonspecified ownership' (such as floating weeks or points)? 

Those three conditions mean you are probably eligible for a claim.  There are others (such as failure to offer 'full pre-contract information').  Also can be circumstances where people outside these conditions may claim.  

If you believe the above three conditions describe you (or you have another good reason for believing you are entitled to claim), then you should seek advice from either a reputable claims firm, or a free, independent advisory body like the Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA). You may be due a significant financial award.

Beware criminals and fraudsters

"Unfortunately, like any new development involving the timeshare business, the claims industry has attracted a huge amount of criminals," explains the TCA's Daniel Keating. "These firms look, act and sound like real claims firms, but when you pay them money they will disappear without providing the service they offer. They are stealing money from people who have already been wronged by the timeshare industry."

The odds are not great of finding a genuine company by yourself, according to Keating: "We have a black list, a grey list and a white list, all based on the huge volume of feedback we receive on our helpline," he says. "The Black List are definitely fraudsters. The Grey List are firms we don't have enough data on yet to make an informed judgement. The White List are definitely trustworthy/capable firms whom we are confident to recommend. 

"Nearly every single firm offering compensation services are either on our Black List, or on our Grey List (and statistically will end up on the Black List). Our White List currently has only three firms on it.

"This means that the chances of accidentally doing business with a genuine firm are minimal. Recently we were contacted by a former accountant who was sadly duped for over £35,000 by a staggering 24 fake law firms in a row before contacting our helpline. We were able to direct him to a White List firm and his claim was successful. This is an intelligent man, but the criminals are very sophisticated. 

"It's safe to say he wishes he had contacted us earlier."

So how do I know if and how I can claim?

"This is straightforward," says Daniel. "Before giving any money to anyone at all offering claims or relinquishment services, check them out by getting in touch with a consumer organisation like ourselves (our contact details are below).  

"Avoid the organisations funded by the timeshare industry, such as KwikChex (Or their avatar sites, Timeshare Business Check and Timeshare Task Force)

"Alternatively there is a website called Timeshare Trust which provides resources for people to do their own research."


________________________

Timeshare Consumer Association. Contact us on: T: +44 2036704588 or +44 2035193808 (ask for Daniel), E: enquiries@timeshareadvice.org (Address to Daniel).

WhatsApp (message only) +447586871055

TCA provides a central resource of consumer information on timeshare matters for the media and other organisations – We work towards encouraging responsible, honest, timeshare operators. We also publicly expose negative consumer practices and organisations which operate in a manner detrimental to timeshare buyers and owners.

An important part of our mission is to lobby UK and European Governments and regulatory bodies for improved consumer protection in the timeshare environment and collect information on frauds and mis-selling, for action by enforcement authorities.

We are staffed by former and current timeshare owners, as well as former timeshare industry staff. We know our way around the timeshare business

We are a proud member of the UK Small Charities Coalition

Timeshare Consumer Association

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Free, expert, impartial timeshare advice since 1997

Timeshare Consumer Association. Contact us on: T: 01908881058 (ask for Daniel), E: enquiries@timeshareadvice.org (Address to Daniel).
WhatsApp (message only) +447586871055

The Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA) was started in 1997 by Sandy Grey, a timeshare owner himself, who became sick of what he saw as repugnant sales practises in the timeshare industry.
Sandy ran the website diligently from his home in Blythe, gaining a reputation for integrity and fearlessness at a time when some timeshare companies skirted with criminal behaviour and employed unsavoury characters.
Sandy was gradually joined by other volunteers, disaffected owners and even former timeshare sales staff, sick of the “dishonesty” in the industry as a whole.
Over the years, Sandy and his band of volunteers built up a huge volume of consumer testimony and knowledge. TCA became the number one source of impartial, expert advice regarding the latest scams as well as organisations that actually can be trusted.
Sandy sadly passed away in 2013, but he had started a movement that could not be stopped. Consumers continuously contact us to both ask for and give advice, sharing their experiences to help others stay ahead of the industry scams and pitfalls.
The information is moderated, assessed and categorised under the watchful eye of director Keith Dewhurst. With Keith at the helm, TCA has become the number one timeshare consumer organisation in the world.
Whilst there are paid employees, the TCA operates on a shoestring budget, relying on volunteers and donations, though these are never accepted from sources that could compromise the organisation´s integrity.
With your help, we will continue to hold the timeshare industry to account.
While there is timeshare we need the Timeshare Consumer Association watching.

Timeshare Consumer Association provides a central resource of consumer information on timeshare matters for both the media and the public. – We work towards encouraging responsible, honest, timeshare operators. We also publicly expose negative consumer practices and organisations which operate in a manner detrimental to timeshare buyers and owners.

An important part of our mission is to lobby UK and European Governments and regulatory bodies for improved consumer protection in the timeshare environment and collect information on frauds and mis-selling, for action by enforcement authorities.

We are staffed by former and current timeshare owners, as well as former timeshare industry staff. We know our way around the timeshare business.

A proud member of the UK Small Charities Coalition

Timeshare Consumer Association
Artemis House, 4a Bramley Road, Mount Farm
MK1 1PT Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes