Data from law enforcement agencies and details received by KwikChex via the Timeshare Task Force resources show that the majority of consumer complaints being made within the greater timeshare and long term holiday products sector’ concern the following.
- So called timeshare alternatives; where it is claimed that substantial discounts are provided by paying very large fees upfront. These include the products often known as ‘Leisure Credits’.
- Illegal ‘bait & switch’ practises where timeshare owners are lured in with promises of ‘legal help’ and are then duped into buying another product.
- Poor or fraudulent offers of assistance with timeshare relinquishment, claims and resales.
- Unsolicited contact by phone (‘cold-calling’), text message and emails.
Because these are the great majority of complaints received by Action Fraud, Trading Standards and KwikChex, this is the key focus of the Timeshare Task Force resources.
Of course, some consumers do make complaints or express concerns about traditional timeshare resorts and products, including RDO members. These too are unequivocally accepted by KwikChex and the same diligent processes followed. Some cases are quickly resolved to the satisfaction of consumers. Where this is not immediately possible and it concerns an RDO member, they may be passed (with the consumer’s permission) to RDO’s Consumer department. RDO has a mediation and arbitration service to resolve cases under their members Code of Conduct. However, KwikChex continues to monitor such cases and to provide further assistance if the consumer wishes. This is independent of the RDO processes and is subject to scrutiny by Trading Standards.
In all cases, where resolutions are not quickly achievable, KwikChex will advise consumers as to their further options. These may include assistance with using the UK ‘Small Claims’ court processes, claims under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, or where these are not practical, advice to consult an expert and qualified lawyer. The latter is often the advice given if the case involves for example, parameters that may be within the scope of the Spanish Supreme Court decision primarily regarding ‘perpetuity’.
Any consumer contacting KwikChex with concerns regarding a RDO member is made aware from the outset that the free services being provided under the Timeshare Task Force initiative are being funded by RDO and RDO members and it is emphasised that they are of course, free to seek additional or alternative assistance from other sources, such as UK Citizens Advice or a solicitor. This information is also transparently published on the relevant websites managed by KwikChex.