You have the choice to either use a timeshare solicitor, timeshare claim company or other individual to submit a claim on your behalf. However, if you choose not to use a solicitor there are several pitfalls you need to be aware of. There can be more uncertainty with your claim, a lack of confidence in the overall process and a lower than usual success rate. These circumstances have arisen due to an increase in non-solicitors and unregulated firms submitting timeshare claims on behalf of customers.
Therefore, when choosing to use an unregulated company or non-solicitor you run the risk of a costly incorrect submission, which is guaranteed to lead to an unsuccessful outcome. Some companies charge up to £15,000 so be aware! And as you can only submit a claim once it is imperative that this is handled with the appropriate level of knowledge, skill and expertise.
Yes, it is possible to submit a complaint to the FOS (Financial Ombudsman Service) independently. The main benefit of this is that the process is free of charge. Once received, the FOS will consider and review the written submission and the legal position, along with any evidence, and will then consider what is a fair and reasonable outcome. However, it is important to remember that no claim is guaranteed to succeed and the timeshare company in question will robustly and skilfully defend themselves.
Recent decisions made by the FOS (which are available to view on the FOS website) have demonstrated that complaints submitted by members of the public can be simply be rejected. It appears that these are often submitted incorrectly or have limited grounds on which to submit a claim. As you cannot make amendments or re-submit a failed claim it is important to get it right first time. Therefore, it is advisable to not handle this process on your own, but to seek the experience and advice of a timeshare claims solicitor.
The benefit of instructing a solicitor is of course their legal knowledge which is imperative in order to give your claim the best possible chance of success. The FOS is unlikely to infer a breach of contract or misrepresentation if the claim is not properly laid out in a skilful professional written submission. It is key that the submission must be clear and accurate, with the correct basis in law.
The practical experience that timeshare solicitors can provide when submitting an effective case is critical. The legal position of the case must be supported by the right type of evidence, including documentary evidence, precedents and witness evidence where applicable. Therefore, by instructing solicitors to act on your behalf you can be confident that you have the correct professional representation to manage your case.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a regulated provider and an unscrupulous provider, especially on the internet. So, what warning signs should you be looking out for?
The company is unregulated – Always check on Companies House (via the Gov.UK website) to check how long the company has been operational and how financially stable they are.