Don’t miss the train with your timeshare compensation claim
The timeshare claims train may be leaving the station. If you are not on it, you could miss out…
Since January 1999 there have been laws in Spain to prevent timeshare companies taking advantage of consumers. The timeshare business was out of control and needed reining in. The trouble was that most resorts took no notice of the protective rules. Why should they? They were making money hand over fist and nobody was penalising their lawlessness. The illegal contracts were a civil matter and foreigners didn’t have the time, means or energy to navigate the labyrinthine Spanish court system.
Expert claims companies came to the rescue. For a fee they took on the timeshare companies and doggedly pursued justice through the courts, no matter what excuses and obstacles the resorts’ expensive lawyers threw at them. In the beginning claims were slow, taking years to complete. Andrew Cooper, CEO of European Consumer Claims (ECC) remembers: “One by one we overcame their arguments and delaying tactics. Precedents were set. Gradually the process got easier and quicker, and now the resorts have nowhere to hide.
Paying the price
“The timeshare ‘Wild West’ years have caught up with the industry,” continues Cooper. “We should keep in mind that these were not victimless crimes. The piles of money the resorts made came from ordinary, hard working people, many of whom could ill afford it. It is only fitting that timeshare companies are made to pay back and compensate those same consumers they took from in the first place.
“Some resorts,are being forced into very uncomfortable places, financially speaking,” says Mr Cooper. “They are upset and many of them are blaming claims firms for their hardships. In fact they have brought their situations entirely on themselves.
“Past powerhouses like ANFI, Club la Costa, Diamond Resorts Europe, Azure and Silverpoint have all been reported as suffering in one way or another, with some of these even facing liquidation.
Out of cash
“There are many people who are on the fence about whether to make a claim,” Andrew Cooper explains. “People who don’t want to make a fuss, or who have bought into the resorts’ narrative that a few silly rules being broken wasn’t that big a deal.
“Leaving the moral questions aside, making a compensation claim now could be the only way many timeshare owners come away with anything at all.
“If a resort goes into liquidation, which many are doing because of the avalanche of compensation awards against them, then registered creditors have to be prioritised by the administrators
“People who are entitled to compensation should really make their choice as soon as they can. If they decide to go ahead they can often secure themselves tens of thousands of pounds, sometimes more. They can still holiday in timeshare resorts, as most of them are now available on regular bookings sites and often for less than a member would pay in maintenance fees.
“Deciding not to claim means they continue to holiday with their club as normal, but with the possibility that the club folds and, worst case scenario, they lose their membership and money. The members would have nothing at all to show for their loyalty.
Mr Cooper adds a final note of caution: “Don’t just choose a timeshare claims firm because they called you out of the blue, or because you found them on Google. Unfortunately there are a huge amount of fraudsters waiting to take your money but not actually pursue the claim.
“The best advice is from another owner who you trust and who has already claimed successfully
“Or you can get in touch with our team, for a free, confidential chat.”
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- European Consumer Claims review
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- ECC customer reviews
- ECC contact page
- Timeshare giants fading into history
- £80k to join an “exclusive” timeshare club that is now on booking.com
- Why are genuine timeshare claims firms so rare?
- Latest timeshare scams
- Timeshare Consumer Association
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Andrew Cooper background article can be read here
First published on MyNewsDesk May 2021