For most timeshare owners November is the time when their annual maintenance bills start to arrive, over the years we have seen them sent out a lot earlier, usually with incentives to pay now and get a discount. But it is also the start of “open season” for the cold callers, they know as well as everyone else, that maintenance fees tend to be the main reason for owners to want out.
It is more than likely most owners have received these calls offering to get you out of your timeshare and how you could be in line to receive compensation, the old claims pitch. At first, these were primarily to do with taking legal action through the Spanish courts, but as we know, these are all but drying up as the bulk of cases were against three entities now in administration.
We are still seeing a “claims” pitch being used, primarily against loan providers and credit cards using consumer protection and finance regulations. As anyone who has gone through that particular process will attest to is that it is long drawn out and a very frustrating one. You may win, you may not, but if you do win, the payment will not be the amount that was promised by the “sales rep” who cold-called you.
You also have to consider the “exit or relinquishment” aspect, are they going to legally get you out or just tell you that you are?
This brings us to the next twist in the pitch, you tell them you no longer own, you got out years ago, and their response is simple, no you are not, you are still liable. They will also attempt to scare you into believing that the timeshare company is issuing writs and legal action to recover the “arrears”. We have already seen a huge increase in the use of the “European order for payment” scam, whereby the owner is told that the timeshare company has filed for payment against them, a system that went out with Brexit.
It doesn’t end there, even those who have used genuine law firms and had their cases resolved are in for a shock, with the inference that the law firm didn’t do their job. No problem, they can make a claim against the law firm for you. For those with claims against one of the companies in administration, they are being told their lawyers haven’t placed their claim with the administrators, but again they can do this all for you, for a fee that is.
It has been said so many times before, cold calls will never tell you the truth, they are there to get your money, it is marketing pure and simple. If you fall for their scam now, you are left wide open to further scams in the future, and we’ll bet that a claim against whoever “ripped” you off the last time will be on the cards.
If you are worried by what you have been told, verify it first with your timeshare company or with your lawyers if you are a client, never take at face value what a cold caller tells you. You can also contact AIT via email or through our Facebook page if you have any questions or would like to share your experience.
Baby Dog has returned and keeping me company, he seems to know I’m not well and has toned down his playful antics and is just playing with his ball quietly on the sofa.