It has been brought to our attention at the TCA that TATOC and RDO members, Silverpoint, may be taking advantage of their existing timeshare owners that they know are in vulnerable positions.
We have been written to by one such couple, whom prefer to remain anonymous at the moment. They have a timeshare week in one of Silverpoint’s resorts, Holiday Mirage Club in Tenerife. This is one of the cases where the clients are actually happy with their timeshare week, and have been able to make use of it for many years. However, in 2013 these said customers attended an “update meeting” after arriving at the timeshare resort. The meeting, as they all do, resulted in them being shown an additional week of timeshare to purchase by a member of Silverpoints sales team.
The couple explained their situation in detail; they are retired, have limited capital and support their 40-year-old daughter whom is seriously disabled. Further to this discovery the sales representative called over a manager, who in turn offered them what he described as a “favour”! As they were in no financial state to have the expense of a further timeshare, they were offered an ‘investment timeshare property’. The deal was to spend an initial £10,000 on a timeshare unit for one week, which Silverpoint promised to rent out in 2015 for a sum of £800. Then the full amount of £10,000 would be refunded when Silverpoint sold it on after its use in 2015. This seemed like a no-brainer, there were also promises that they would not have to pay any maintenance on this purchase as the sale would go through long before any further maintenance may be due on the unit.
On return to the resort in December 2014, the couple visited the sale team to conclude the said promised deal. The couple were told that ‘unfortunately since disinvesting in a resort close to the Hollywood Mirage Club, the demand for resale had collapsed and the unit was not likely to be sold for the next 2-3 years.’ We believe that they were referring to the Beverly Hills Club members being moved out of their ownership, this resort is being used as a Fly By resort. This, presumably would mean that there would be more demand in the Hollywood Mirage Club, not the other way around.
At this point, the distressed couple were convinced to trade this unit in, or upgrade, for another Silverpoint unit in Club Paradiso, which they were told was much more saleable and would be sold on by summer 2015. One knows that this is very common practice and just another sales pitch to continue the upgrade year-on-year as clients return to use their unit.
Surprise, surprise, these promises were not upheld. After a total investment of around £30,000, Mr & Mrs X have a unit in Club Paradiso that they cannot afford, they are now being sent demands for this units’ maintenance fees. Even if they wanted it, they simply cannot afford to own this and have written to Silverpoint to find out if their unit will be sold, or indeed if they have to now pay maintenance for something that they do not want or use.
It will be interesting to find out what Silverpoint respond to their clients whom were otherwise happy with their original timeshare week back in 2013. This was before being cajoled into the purchase of a second, right after being made fully aware of the couple’s financial position. Mr & Mrs X have requested information from Silverpoint, and we at the TCA have advised them to seek external advice. We are also keen to see how TATOC respond to the complaint to their members Silverpoint. After all, are they not meant to act for ‘Timeshare owners and committees’, but one knows that they have a vested interest as they are the ones that pay them.
Have you been told these exact same lies? Please contact the TCA helpline or email us for help and advice.
We would like to refer you to the following principles and legislations:
Sales and Marketing Principles
RDO Members will in no case mislead a consumer into believing that a product or service has other features and/or benefits than those laid down in the contract.
Find the full set of principles here:
Marketing and sales
14.—(1) Any advertising related to a regulated contract must indicate how the key information in relation to the contract can be obtained.
(2) A trader must not offer an opportunity to enter into a regulated contract to a consumer at a promotion or sales event unless—
(a) the invitation to the event clearly indicates the commercial purpose and nature of the event, and
(b) the key information in relation to the proposed regulated contract is made available to the consumer for the duration of the event.
(3) A trader must not market or sell a proposed timeshare contract or long-term holiday product contract as an investment if the proposed contract would be a regulated contract.
See the FULL legislation here:
Posted on: June 8, 2016
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 01253 804 318 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk