In our article yesterday the basic signs and what to look for when approached by any company, especially via cold call, unsolicited emails and texts, today we follow on with another tactic which we have found is prevalent around this time of year. We also explain some useful information about the many new companies that seem to be appearing and what we expect the “pitch” will be.
Yes, it’s that time again, you will have received your maintenance bills before Christmas to be paid by January, some of you will have paid and received a “small discount” for paying early. Many wait until the last minute and some will pay monthly. Whichever option you choose, it’s paid, but what if you have relinquished, can they still “re-activate” your account and start billing you for arrears?
The answer is basically no, but we are receiving information from very concerned readers regarding information given by these cold callers. They all have one thing in common, they relinquished their memberships directly with their timeshare company. They fulfilled the conditions set by whichever club and duly received official notification their membership was ended, they had no further obligations or liabilities for maintenance fees.
It is not unusual for those “ex-members” to still receive maintenance demands or demands for arrears for some time after. That’s not a problem, a quick call or email and you will be told to ignore it as they are automatically generated, problem solved.
Then comes the cold call and you are informed that a new company has taken over your old club, it turns out your membership was not terminated “legally” they did not terminate your contract, and they will chase you for the arrears.
Now you are beginning to worry, you explain that you had confirmation that you were not liable for any further maintenance, but the answer comes back, “but they didn’t terminate your contract, they only suspended your membership”.
Next comes the solution, they will have your CONTRACT “legally terminated” and also claim “compensation”. However there is a fee, this is to cover the legal costs of the “termination”, the “compensation claim” will be done on a “no win no fee” basis.
What an enticer!
Especially when they give the figures on how much they will claim for you.
One problem, here, is you are already out of your membership, you have not received any bills or demands for arrears, you have had no correspondence with your timeshare since they confirmed termination.
But you are very anxious by what you have been told, the possible threats of County Court action and debt collectors, once again designed to “scare you into paying”.
This particular company is based supposedly in Harlow Essex, they seem to appear this time of year, the rest of the time they seem to be off the radar. The pitch they are using is the same each time, it is just the companies that change. They are just one of a number of companies using this tactic, it is one of the oldest and was also used to extort money using not claims but “resale” as the option.
It is important that you do not take any notice of what you are being told, there is only one way to know for certain and that is to contact your old timeshare or club. Explain the situation, name the company that has cold-called you and what they have told you. If you need help in checking the company use our contact page. Give the dates of when you received the confirmation, have a copy scanned and ready to send if needed.
This is the only way for you to confirm that you are no longer liable for any timeshare or vacation club annual fees, or any other liability to yourself or your family. The timeshare will probably give you further written confirmation if you ask.
Another regular occurrence this time of year is the number of new “legal consultants & claims” firms embarking on a cold call campaign. These appear to be legitimate firms, their websites tend to be quite professional and they also show their business registration numbers. The pitch however is the usual, compensation for mis-sold timeshare, relinquishment packages and claims against card and finance.
The business registrations check out with UK Company House and also with the Spanish Company Registrations, where they show a Spanish SL company. Many are now setting up in both countries, it gives the consumer (you) the impression of dealing with a legitimate UK company. The address where the company is registered and the name or names of any Directors/Administrators listed.
All good you might think until you see when both companies were incorporated or formed. The latest to emerge were all registered towards the end of 2021, around October. Yet according to their websites, they may be claiming to have helped hundreds of clients over the past 10 years!
One thing which is different is the names of those listed as directors/administrators, they don’t seem to be linked and listed as directors of any other company. They are also unknown.
In the past, you could find the links between the companies by following the director’s listings. One scam company gets exposed, you can safely bet that the others they are linked to are scams as well.
Are these new companies being set up by the old names, using newcomers to front the companies with the promise of riches then take the fall?
These companies may also be part of a continuing scam, it is one we have seen in the past. This involves the closing down or “liquidation” of another company that is associated however vaguely.
Suddenly the new company approaches the clients left in the lurch, they can take on their case and get their money back from the other company. You guessed it, for a “FEE”.
These scams are never-ending, they will continue to develop with more plausible scenarios all designed to get your money, don’t fall for it.
After Inside Timeshare would like to hear from any of our readers who have been contacted by any company regarding your timeshare. The information we will need is the company name, contact details and nature of the call. This will be checked and added to either our black list or the red list which is being compiled.
These lists will not be published and are for reference purposes only.