HOLIDAYMAKERS are being warned to be wary of the age-old issue of timeshare scams.
Trading standards officers in Warwickshire say holidaymakers were still being targeted abroad by salespeople pressuring them to buy into accommodation or discount schemes, which could lead them to part with large sums of money.
A growing number of complaints regarding timeshare, holiday clubs, timeshare resale, and exit companies, are being made often with high sums of money involved.
Warwickshire County Council community safety spokesman Andy Crump said: “Holidaymakers are still being approached whilst abroad and enticed by offers of further holiday accommodation opportunities to encourage them to attend ‘presentations’ selling timeshare, holiday ownership or discount holiday clubs.”
“Consumers need to be aware that the cost of timeshare is not just a one-off payment, but there are additional monthly maintenance fees on top, and these may increase significantly over time.”
The European Union has specific legislation covering the sale of timeshare and other holiday products, and there are strict rules about the way sales should be made including providing key information, cancellation rights, and no upfront deposits should be taken.
There is also growing concern over businesses offering assistance on how to get out of timeshare contracts.
People wanting to exit their agreement, either because they are no longer in a position to travel, can no longer afford maintenance fees, or because they do not want to burden their family with the problem of disposal in the future, are also being targeted by businesses which have sprung up to ‘assist’ consumers wishing to exit their agreements – often at a very high cost.
Chartered Trading Standards Institute spokesperson Andy Allen said rogue companies were ‘very clever at developing a variety of guises’ including the use of the title ‘specialist claims ‘lawyer’.
He added people should also be wary of UK based timeshare ‘lodges’ – and anyone considering looking into such a scheme should consult legal advice.