2021 New year message from Andrew Cooper; CEO of European Consumer Claims
2020 has been an historic year. It has tested all of us in every aspect of our lives and we have learned new ways to cope, empathise and work together even though physically we have often been forced to be apart.
Finally the powers that be have reached a Brexit deal after years of standoffs, wrangling and gamesmanship. All involved must be exhausted, and hopefully the result will be beneficial to everyone.
At ECC we too have had a demanding 12 months as COVID shone an unforgiving light on the flaws of the timeshare industry.
At a time when airlines, hotels and other holiday and travel sectors have striven to act fairly by refunding customers who booked or bought services they could no longer use, the timeshare resorts almost without exception took advantage of the opportunity to maximise profits. This led to accusations of profiteering and a mass exodus from what is becoming an increasingly outmoded holiday system. Owners appalled at being charged full annual fees despite not being able to take their holidays have been seeking safe ways to relinquish memberships or seek compensation in greater numbers than ever.
Under pandemic restrictions ECC have had to innovate in order to cope.
Extra demand under challenging conditions
Through use of video calls, distance working and by adding additional team members we have met the extra demand; we have continued to work closely with our legal partners M1 Legal, so far achieving 287 positive court judgements and £4.4 million in compensation awards, as well as thousands of relinquishments. Our success rate is close to 100% in both timeshare relinquishments and compensation claims.
We expect this demand to increase over the coming year and our team is ready and prepared to handle the workload.
Timeshare resorts collapsing
The giants of the industry are closing their doors one by one. Club La Costa PLC as well as some of their Spanish companies have filed for administration. Azure and Silverpoint have done the same. Diamond have reduced their sales activities in Europe by a significant amount and there are rumours that other huge names are about to announce closures too.
In that regard we have issued an alert to all timeshare owners, whether they are considering relinquishment/compensation claims or not, to get their paperwork in order. Many owners joined a long time ago and have long since mislaid their ownership documents. No club is safe at the moment and if they close without warning it can be difficult or impossible to obtain copies of your documents.
A simple call or email right now to request those copies from your club will give you peace of mind.
2021: A new chapter
Will we be able to travel next year? Nobody knows if COVID will get worse or better, or what effect it will have on timeshare usage.
It is possible that airlines will demand proof of COVID vaccinations and as yet there are no official timelines for mass availability. If the resorts repeat the 2020 response of promising another extra week in 2022, that would stretch their credibility beyond most people’s breaking point as they clearly won’t be able to accommodate the demand.
If 2020 is any indication we can expect the resorts to charge full maintenance again; further driving home to people the inflexibility of the timeshare model. Paying the same amount that non members pay for a week of holiday, but being committed to the expense whether they can holiday or not is not a situation that even diehard timeshare advocates can justify for long.
Peace, love and safety, from us to you
Whatever your new year has in store for you, we at ECC wish you prosperity and that you and your loved ones stay safe and happy.
We are here for any timeshare related challenges. For everything else I’ll leave you with this quote from Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata
“whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy”
Andrew Charles Cooper.
For updates on ECC and the timeshare industry follow Andrew on Twitter here
- Andrew Cooper Twitter page
- M1 Legal
- Maintenance heist of 2020
- Can you safely escape an unwanted timeshare?
- Is there a future for the timeshare industry?
- Club La Costa discontinues new timeshare sales
- Club la Costa Members’ anxiety as Spanish CLC companies file for bankruptcy
- Timeshare owners advised: Get your paperwork in order
- European Consumer Claims
ECC provides timeshare claims services, expert advice and help.
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First published on MyNewsDesk December 2020