Press release -
Why claiming timeshare compensation is the right thing to do
Timeshare companies and their lobby groups are wringing their hands over massive compensation awards being levied against the industry. Are consumers being greedy, or is this justified redress?
Why compensation claims?
The Spanish timeshare industry of the 1980s and 90s has been likened to the Wild West. Aggressive touts hustled the beachwalks, driving victims to attend high pressure sales presentations. Unregulated, commission only salespeople bullied the vulnerable into joining expensive clubs.
Spain caught up in 1999 and enacted laws to protect consumers. Most resorts ignored these new rules. For years nothing happened. The promised protections did not seem to be materialising.
Then along came the claims firms.
Power to the people
Until recently, members who discovered their contracts were illegal had no idea how to do anything about it. Spain is a country that (many people find) reveres endless, nonsensical, pointless bureaucracy. A foreigner trying to navigate the legal system is generally doomed to grinding, miserable defeat.
This presented an opportunity for timeshare claims firms to assist stranded foreign owners by shouldering the burden, and seeing compensation claims through to completion. Like Horatius at the bridge, they valiantly accept the overwhelming challenges, and what's more they succeed. Despite the resorts trying every obstructive tactic at their disposal, the claims process is now well and truly established.
The timeshare companies are exposed to tens, and maybe hundreds of millions of pounds in compensation awards.
Was it such a big deal?
Many owners question whether they really deserve tens of thousands of pounds in compensation. 'Sure, the resort broke a few rules, but should I really jeopardise the future of the company for my personal gain?'
Daniel Keating of the Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA) asserts: "Mis-sold members absolutely should claim every penny they are owed.
"When the protective legislation was enacted, the resorts didn't 'forget' to comply. It wasn't 'by accident' that they continued to take deposits on the day, or issue contracts in perpetuity. They didn't 'misunderstand' that Points and Floating Weeks were now illegal.
"Ignoring these laws was a calculated decision to maximise profits at the expense of the consumer. Allowing people 14 days to go away and think about their decision, for example, would have given people the opportunity to consider their finances in the cold light of day. Many people would have decided against this life changing decision, and rejected the sale. The resorts wanted that money regardless of whether it was in the customer's best interest."
Three good reasons
Daniel Keating explains why it is imperative for mis-sold timeshare owners to claim their compensation: "Firstly, those resorts broke the law to take money at your expense. The almighty dollar was more important to them than your welfare. The only effective way to penalise them is to answer in kind, by making them pay money. A lot of money.
"Secondly, it's your obligation as a caring human being to protect others from being targeted the same way. The financial penalty to these companies must become so great that they are forced to do business the right way. Maybe you have recovered from the expense, but what about vulnerable people like retirees?
"Thirdly, the train is leaving the station. The resorts are being swept away by an avalanche of claims. The money hasn't run out yet but their cash reserves are not infinite. We have to consider the possibility that companies may be forced into liquidation, and if they are, do you want to be the only members left with nothing at all?"
Keating warns: "Seek guidance before retaining a firm to make your claim. Many organisations offering this service are actually fraudsters who will take your money, then disappear. Clearly it is vital to find an honest and capable firm.
"The best source of advice is another owner that you know, who has been through this process and successfully claimed their own compensation.
"Otherwise the website timesharetrust.co.uk details how you can do your own research on a firm you are thinking of retaining.
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Timeshare Consumer Association. Contact us on: T: +44 2036704588 or +44 2035193808 (ask for Daniel), E: firstname.lastname@example.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
Timeshare Consumer Association Newsdesk here
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Timeshare Consumer Association website here
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