Timeshare owners should be aware of dodgy timeshare firms, asking to help sell their timeshare and asking for upfront payments.
A Marbella owner has stated that she has never visited her timeshare, even though it costs her £200 a year. Recently she has been contacted by what she thinks is a dodgy resale firm. She says; “The company called me out of the blue and said that it could get my money back on a no-win, no-fee basis but then asked for £1,200 for ‘translation services’.
Sandy rey from the TCA added; “It is illegal for timeshare companies to ask for money up front.”
“The person I was speaking to seemed very convincing so I paid that amount by credit card over the phone.”
Fortunately, however, her daughter then decided to look into the company, which turned out to be on the Timeshare Consumers Association (TCA) blacklist.
Sandy Grey at the TCA said: “We know of lots of people who have paid Greenges more than £1,000 to sell their timeshares but still have them.”
On finding this out, Conway’s daughter immediately contacted the company and insisted it refunded the money as per its seven-day cooling-off period.
This has now been done. However, Greenges, which describes itself as “a professional mediation company”, is breaking the law by asking for an up-front fee.
As of February 2011, an EU directive bans resale companies from levying charges until an actual sale has taken place or a contract has been otherwise terminated.
“It is illegal to ask for money up front. Greenges is therefore breaking the law, as well as failing to fulfil its promises,” said Grey.
Alberto Garcia, director at action group Mindtimeshare, said: “Legitimate law firms never cold-call people and the reason is simple, they lack your contact details unless you hand them over.”
Greenges, which declined to comment on the case, is far from the only dodgy timeshare-related company targeting UK timeshare owners.
The TCA has hundreds of firms on its blacklist, which is growing all the time.
“Most companies disappear after about 15 to 18 months, only to reappear under a new name,” said Grey.
“In a lot of cases, we find that it’s the same people running the same scam but under a new name.”
Worse still, the new companies often then target people like Conway, who have already lost out to them or their competitors.