You’ve seen an advertisement or had a call out of the blue – something in itself to be wary of as your details have probably been obtained through a stolen database – and are now considering whether to join a class action against your resort developer or even exchange company.
So what’s the reality behind these schemes; is this just another scam, a way of obtaining money from timeshare owners under false pretences?
From evidence collected by RDO’s enforcement team, headed up by a former Spanish police inspector, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the majority of these schemes are bogus, their primary goal being to have people sign up to expensive Holiday Clubs, something that is never made clear in their initial contact with timeshare owners. This is a classic ‘ bait and switch ‘ tactic, something that is illegal under laws adopted in the UK in 2008.
Far from being straightforward process, the reality is that in Europe class actions can take many years to come to a conclusion and there is no guarantee that these will ever be successful and that money will ever be paid out. Furthermore, the resort developers and exchange companies that have been named in these so-called class actions have told us that they have not been notified that court proceedings have, in fact, been instigated, leading RDO to believe that anyone who claims otherwise is not telling the truth.
At this stage, we are not in a position to name and shame any of the companies involved in these schemes as it could jeopardise not only our own investigations but also those of the authorities in Spain and the UK. We would however advise timeshare owners of the following:
- Never respond to cold calls
- If you’re not sure of the company’s credentials, check it out with RDO on email@example.com or TATOC, the timeshare owners’ association, on 0845 230 2430
- Never pay any money up front
- If you’re looking to sell your timeshare, contact resale member of RDO and never use a company that hasn’t signed up to its code of conduct
- Above all don’t sign up to a class-action
If you think you may have been caught out by a bogus class-action scheme or have signed up to a Holiday Club membership you never wanted in the first place, you should contact RDO’s enforcement team on firstname.lastname@example.org