Recently, we have had an influx of clients contacting us, explaining that third party companies have contacted them with the promise of getting them out of their timeshare. Whether by e-mail, telephone or even in the Sunday newspaper, various different companies have been enticing clients with the promise of compensation and relinquishment. However, the reality is that these promises are far from fulfilled.
Clients have detailed how these companies have offices far from where they live, so they had to travel a distance to reach them and when they arrived, they were met with rented furniture and office space, persuasive representatives and very little option but to sign paperwork then and there – sound familiar? It should! A large majority of these “relinquishment specialists” are former Timeshare salesmen. In fact, we have seen cases where clients have visited one firms offices, only to be greeted by the man who sold them their timeshare in the first place!
During this initial consultation, the clients were offered “loans” to help them with the cost of “legal fees” which could range anywhere between £5,000 – £10,000 and, after that, the clients were left with no means of direct contact and tonnes of glossy brochures and paperwork – sometimes, not even that. In some cases, clients were even asked to hand over original copies of documentation from their timeshare company which was never returned.
In one recent case we have become aware of, Sarah Waddington Solicitors were contacted by two existing clients, incidentally both of whom were featured on the Timeshare episode of the Victoria Derbyshire Show that Sarah Waddington Solicitors appeared in. If you would like to view this click here.
These clients were approached by a company, whose name we will not disclose online (however if you are worried give us a call on 01924 675039 and we will be able to disclose further information about them). This company explained that they had seen the clients on the show and wanted to “help” them with their cases. The clients were sent glossy brochures, folders of official-looking paperwork and, in one case, even a hard-back book, showing “customer testimonials” and explaining the convoluted process by which they could relinquish them from their Timeshare.
In this instance, one client was almost persuaded to part with £9,800 due to the promise of receiving £90,000 in compensation through this firm, calling themselves ‘Lawyers’ even though they have absolutely no legal training whatsoever! Had it not been the recent update e-mail sent by Sarah Waddington Solicitors, warning clients of scam companies, the client may have been enticed to take up the contrived offer. The client was aware of this firm, but their compelling representatives were able to convince him that regaining this amount of compensation was plausible. This is how skilful their representatives truly are.
Due to strict SRA regulations, Solicitors firms are unable to cold call potential clients. Anyone calling you claiming to be a solicitor or a lawyer are not affiliated with the law in the UK in any way. Timeshare litigation is an incredibly complicated area of law which requires extensive knowledge and research as well as great skill to handle proficiently. If the company in question is offering relinquishment without legal expertise, it is a scam.
So, how do you prevent yourself from becoming a victim? Here are a few steps on what to do if you believe you have been contacted by a scam company: