It’s that dreaded time of year again; when you know that a little envelope is going to land on your mat, containing a very large bill.  This is your lovely timeshare resort wishing you a Happy Christmas by sending you their best wishes in the form of a massive maintenance bill.

Unsurprisingly this is also when we receive the greatest amount of calls for help and advice as to how poor timeshare owners can escape this onerous burden.

Unfortunately, as the interest in buying or owning a timeshare dwindles the sales people that once lurked around your resort trying to spoil your holiday, have now migrated into the Timeshare Exit business, and many of these have now sprung up in the UK.  These ex timeshare sales people are now offering you an Exit and we are sure you remember how their silver-tongued promises persuaded you to buy in the first place, and then the second and third time and in some cases even more purchases. 

Worryingly their services can involve them coming to your house to explain how their Exit works, you might be thinking “what can be the harm in that?” The problem is that although there is a fee to Exit your timeshare which all Exit companies will charge, these travelling reps will base their fee on your house, your furnishings, the car in your drive, so whereas a genuine company will have a standard fee, a visit from one of these ex timeshare reps and you may find yourselves paying double or even triple the amount a genuine company would charge.  In addition to this none of these people that you are letting into your homes have been ‘vetted’, and in some cases these ex timeshare people may have criminal records.

Another type of Exit company we have been hearing about is the type that is set up by the big timeshare groups, you’re probably thinking that doesn’t make sense; Oh but it does – as the timeshare companies find themselves facing more and more court claims for mis-sold timeshares, it is in their best interests to let you Exit, in doing so they will attempt to have you sign away your rights to any compensation claim or from pursuing them in any way.  

Many of these ‘satellite’ Exit companies are springing up, so if you are receiving calls where the caller appears to know a lot about your timeshare history then beware because it is probably the same company, under another name, that sold it to you in the first place.  This also causes concern, in this era of Data Protection none of these new companies should have your information, unless of course they already had it, perhaps they’ve slipped away with the secret laptop containing all your historical data and purchase history.

Some timeshare resorts having been inundated with requests to relinquish and have also begun offering this service, however their relinquishment will also involve a large fee and again you will have to sign away your compensation rights.  More often than not once they know you have involved an Exit company, they will try to offer you relinquishment (at a fee) as they still feel they are entitled to that money from you and will usually send out defamatory emails, in an attempt to scare you into staying with them.  These people know every trick in the book, which is why they have been successful in the past and around for so long.

The other aspect of successfully exiting your timeshare is compensation, a swear word for the timeshare resorts, but a must for the 1000’s of owners who have been mis-sold or misrepresented by the sales people.  Compensation is not a given, you will need a genuine Claims Management Company (CMC), regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) to pursue the claim on your behalf, you can try to pursue it yourselves of course, but it can be quite a minefield with many people giving up, unlike a CMC who will doggedly continue the battle on your behalf, at a fee of course, which should always be on a “no upfront fee” basis, this will ensure that they do work hard for you, as those taking payment straight away have no incentive to try.  You should expect to pay a fee because if they are successful, this is money you never expected to see again. 

Always ask the CMC for their Firm Reference Number (FRN), this is the number issued to them by the FCA to prove they are a legitimate company and you can check this number on the FCA website at www.fca.org.uk/register.  All CMC’s were required to register with the FCA by the 31st March 2019, many companies did not bother as they knew they would not pass their stringent requirements but may still be operating thinking that the public are unaware of this.  Those that did register and pass, were all given Temporary Permission (TP), this is not a cause for concern, the only companies to get automatic permission were solicitors.  This TP is sufficient for you to put your trust in them.

A bona fide CMC will never guarantee that you will receive compensation, give a timeframe within which you might be successful or any compensation amount, so if you are being given a written guarantee that you will receive compensation then be cautious, there are two areas of concern here, firstly it may be that if you only receive £1.00 back this could be sufficient to absolve them from their written guarantee or it may be that the same company will charge you an exorbitant Exit fee and then refund you a part of it (your own money in effect) under the guise of being compensation.

Don’t be disheartened readers there are genuine companies out there that can assist you with an Exit and with Compensation, so before you pay that maintenance bill or any questions about points in this article, please do not hesitate to call or email us.


Posted on: November 12, 2019

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


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