What A Timeshare Sales Presentation Is Really Like

For anyone who has not had the pleasure of experiencing a Timeshare Sales Presentation, here’s how one might go !

So you’ve accepted the free dinner, free accommodation, exclusive gift, or tickets to an attraction, and now all you have to do is sit through a “short presentation”. Sounds reasonable ? After all, you wouldn’t expect this freebie for nothing !

The Timeshare rep has done the easy bit, they have got you through the door by luring you in with a free gift, cash, tickets etc. You are, more than likely, already in a pretty good mood. After all, you’re on holiday, the sun is shining, you’re relaxed and you’re about to be handed a free gift, what could possibly spoil this? Well, here is how that can quickly happen…..

At the presentation, you will more than likely encounter an excessively friendly sales rep, who is unusually interested in all aspects of your life and whose incessant questioning seems far more personal than it should be. The relentless enquiries have one purpose only: to get a feel for your lifestyle, your interests and, hopefully, information about your bank balance and annual income.

Timeshares are, ultimately, an impulse purchase. No-one ever goes on holiday with the desire to spend their entire life-savings, or take out loans to fund something they didn’t want and be locked into annual maintenance fee payments. Timeshare agents know this, so don’t be surprised if your salesperson is overly focused on closing the deal and reluctant to let you leave the sales pitch. They know that, after you walk out the door and collect your free gift, you’re not coming back for round two.

On your way to tour the immaculately presented timeshare unit, it will be explained to you that you are under no obligation to buy, that this is simply a tour of the accommodations on offer. You will also be asked several manipulative questions like “Don’t you enjoy taking your family on holiday?”, “If you could purchase all your future holidays at todays price, wouldn’t you be interested?”. These questions are being asked, not to help you better understand your own holiday needs, but are designed to trap buyers into agreeing that you should take more holidays and it’s better for you and your family to do so.

Whilst exploring this gloriously staged timeshare unit, your sales agent will show you how luxurious and exclusive it is and how much you and your family will enjoy every single holiday you take, not to mention all the wonderful benefits at an amazing price ! What they fail to mention are the hidden costs.

At this point in the presentation, you will probably still feel quite relaxed, as the pitch so far has been relatively easy going. Although the accommodation and surroundings look wonderful, you can even picture yourself holidaying there, you are determined you will not purchase anything before you have gone away and had a long hard think about it.

A warning: the next stage of the presentation may leave you feeling a little like a hostage being held captive, and the only way out is to sign on the dotted line!

If you are managing to hold your ground and continue to resist, in comes the manager. They will be armed to the teeth with a hard-sell. They will offer you everything they have in the vault, including extra gifts, VIP passes and huge discounts, to mention just a few.

A lot of what you hear at this stage is possibly untrue and some of the tactics they use from here on in may be fraudulent. An example of this is telling you that your timeshare will yield extraordinary monetary profits, there is a high resale value and buyers are queuing up to buy them. You will be led to believe that you are making a real estate deal, an investment that you can later cash in on or pass on to your children.

If you have made it to the final part of the pitch, this is where it can get a little scary and intimidating. Many of our customers have complained of experiencing very underhanded tactics. One customer explained how she and her husband were held for 4 hours, during which they were subjected to some very poor consumer practices. After not drinking and eating at all during this time, they were offered alcohol! Their experience lasted a total of 8 hours and, by the end, the pair were exhausted, tipsy, feeling unwell and were now, unfortunately, timeshare owners. Incredibly, this is not uncommon.

Your sales rep will undoubtedly lie to you multiple times, they could become aggressive, we have heard of this happening on too many occasions. The sales rep is solely focused on his or her problem of needing to close the sale and they have no genuine interest in you or your financial commitments. They may also have spent several hours trying to coerce you into purchasing. It is important to remember that you are in charge, you can leave when you want to and you do not have to stay longer than already agreed.

The timeshare industry has changed dramatically since its creation. Corporations have turned it into a money pit of ever-increasing maintenance fees and assessments. The points program is a complicated system where they can change the number of points required at their discretion. Customers on the points system often complain that they cannot use their points when and how they want to.

Mis-selling of holiday products is unfortunately common practice within the holiday industry and these types of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between. If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge service, a Timeshare or a Holiday Points based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible Money Back Claim.

Please contact our friendly team on: 0121 516 9600 by email at info@mercantileclaims.com; or by completing our online timeshare compensation calculator


Timeshare Fraudster Sent To Prison

Wesley Scott Aldred, from Kissimmee, Florida has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for violating the conditions of his probation order. He was previously convicted for telemarketing fraud in 2015, for participating in a timeshare resale fraudulent scheme. The company, named Premier Timeshare Solutions, defrauded timeshare owners all over the United States, including South Illinois, where Mr Aldred is currently serving his sentence.

Whilst on probation for that conviction, Aldred was found to be engaging in a similar telemarketing scam which targeted Timeshare owners. Aldred and nine other defendants were indicted in May 2014 for felony charges, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The scheme was a telemarketing scam, which fraudulently obtained $14.5 million form more than 7,000 timeshare owners based in the United States and Canada.

In 2015, Aldred pled guilty to the charge and was sentenced to 1 day in prison and fined £750. He was also placed on a probation order for 2 years.

Aldred and the 9 other defendants were employees of C&G Marketing Associates, a Florida based company which, in 2009, defrauded timeshare owners across America under the name Premier Timeshare Solutions. Telemarketers phoned timeshare owners stating they had buyers ready to purchase their unwanted timeshare burden. Customers would be coerced into paying advance fees which exceeded $1,000. Premier Timeshare Solutions would then promise to complete the sales on behalf of the timeshare owner and forward the proceeds to them on completion of sale.

Unsurprisingly, Premier Timeshare Solutions simply pocketed the money from their victims and the timeshares remained unsold.

The timeshare resale victims who attempted to call Premier Timeshare Solutions were simply fobbed off and lied to. They were given excuse after excuse, often delaying customers so they would not try to reclaim the money they had spent with Premier Timeshare Solutions. The sales staff were directed by the mastermind behind the scam, Mr Jose Goyos. Mr Goyos instructed staff to delay timeshare owners from claiming a chargeback through their banks.

Chargeback is used in the United States if a customer is unhappy with the purchase for any reason. It works in a similar way to the UK’s Section 75 of the consumer credit act. Which guarantees consumers their money back where there has been misrepresentation or a breach of contract. The chargeback time limit is calculated based on either 120 calendar days after the transaction processing date, or 120 calendar days after the last date the cardholder expected to receive the goods or services. The aim was to delay customers until after this period, so they could not claim back their money. The company never had any intention of carrying out any services for any timeshare owners.

In May 2014, Jose Goyos was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Despite this and having been placed on probation, Aldred continued to defraud Timeshare owners unscrupulously, until he was caught and sentenced to 21 months in prison, followed by 39 month’s probation.

The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry and these types of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between.

If you have purchased a lifestyle or concierge service, a timeshare or a holiday points based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible Money Back Claim.

Call us today on: 0800 470 3900

all inclusive timeshare trap

All-inclusive resorts have been a firm favourite of holidaymakers for generations.

The convenience of an all-inclusive resort can offer is very appealing to many, especially families. Having everything readily available to you, under one roof and, for a fixed price, is a big plus for holidaymakers. In addition to this, the facilities are often far better than in a hotel or villa, they also offer games centres, kids clubs, evening live entertainment, shuttle services, beach activities, exercise classes and unlimited food and drink. The real benefit, though, is not having to worry about added expenses piling up, and having to face a giant credit card bill when you return home. There won’t be a bar tab to pay or minibar bill, and there are no hidden extra charges. All-inclusive means everything is included, and this is the case for the majority of resorts.

It is a lesser known fact that some timeshare resorts also offer all-inclusive vacations to add to the ever-growing list of holiday products. Many of the larger resort companies offer this timeshare all-inclusive holiday product and, if this is something you are considering, there are some important things to contemplate before you fall victim to the trap.

When you holiday at resorts that are both a timeshare property and an all-inclusive, you will more than likely be invited to a timeshare presentation during your stay and you may be offered some attractive incentives to do so. For instance, an exciting water sports experience or tickets to an attraction. More than likely, if you do decide to attend a presentation, you will be entering into another sales pitch attempting to upsell you to yet another more exclusive holiday product.

If you do opt for an all-inclusive timeshare vacation you will find that you are limited by the number of properties within a specific resort system and they may in-fact only have one or two properties that are all-inclusive. So if you were sold an all-inclusive holiday product from a specific timeshare company, be aware that you will be very limited in your choice of destination. The majority of all-inclusive timeshare resorts are located in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Mexico, South America and a very limited amount in Europe.

The most important thing to remember if you do purchase an all-inclusive timeshare product, and something a seasoned timeshare sales rep may neglect to tell you about, is the additional fees you will be billed every time you visit an all-inclusive resort. These fees will be in addition to your regular annual maintenance fees.

While at first glance, it may seem you are being offered the deal of a lifetime, once all of the fees are factored in, the financial bottom line is drastically different than what was initially presented to you. A sales rep will give you a great price to lure you in and will do everything else but mention the extra fees involved.

People who enter into Timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and simply cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the Timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract. There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of Timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with Timeshare exit schemes. Before agreeing to any Timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advise and fully research any company you are thinking of working with.

It is also important to remember that purchasing a Timeshare should NEVER be viewed as a financial investment. Timeshare is an investment in lifestyle, in future holidays and family time together. There is almost no resale value to a Timeshare.

The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry and these type of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between.

If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a Timeshare or a ‘Holiday Points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or feel you have been mis-sold this product, please get in touch with us to discuss how we may be able to help you with a possible Money Back Claim or use our timeshare compensation calculator

Timeshare sales presentations are one of the main ways that resorts attract customers in to buying a timeshare and from there it is usually a downward spiral of high maintenance fees and other costly problems until it seems almost impossible to cancel your timeshare contract.

Many timeshare presentations start in the same way, representatives of the resorts meet you at your hotel and whisk you off to a luxurious resort. There you can enjoy a wonderful breakfast accompanied by stunning views.

To hook you into the presentation the company will usually offer you a complimentary activity during the day anything from ATV riding, zip lining or parasailing. This is one of the few benefits that you can enjoy on these presentations, so take full advantage of them. These are great offers to experience some memorable activities.

But then comes the high-pressure sales presentation. This will usually take two-three hours and will be geared around pushing you and other holidaymakers into buying a timeshare . This is usually where many people crumble, they cave into the pressure and feel obliged to taking on a timeshare after the free breakfast and activities.

If you don’t wish to endure this intense sales presentation, have your breakfast, enjoy your free activity and say “thanks but no thanks.”

The sales representative is giving you the hard-sell and he will do anything to get you to sign that contract. They will make the resort sound like the most amazing place on earth, there will be no downsides to buying a timeshare at this resort (but we know there will be).

If you are seriously tempted by buying a timeshare , then do thorough research. Check the resort, read reviews and more importantly check how the laws regarding timeshares work in that country. Only once you have all this information should you make your final decision.

Remember once you’ve signed that contract it can be very difficult to get out of it and the financial implications could be huge.

With the end of another year fast approaching, there are many things to look forward to with the festivities that Christmas and New Year period bring. With all celebrations also comes the expense and extra financial burden that this time of year brings and timeshare , holiday product and vacation club owners feel it more than most.

It is around this time of year when many are hit hard with demands for their annual timeshare maintenance fees.

Although not every client’s fees are the same, as they range from £350 to over £1,000, there is one common trend for everyone – the INCREASE! Clients see a rise year on year, and whilst these fees are shared amongst owners, the financial strain and responsibility remain the same.

With an economy feeling the pressure of Brexit negotiations and inflation, it is a worrying time for all. But by terminating your timeshare , you could free yourself of the burden and distress which go hand in hand with the arrival of the dreaded demand dropping through the letterbox.

Ask yourself what that money could be used for – Home improvements? household bills? or covering the cost of the holiday period instead of paying for something, which for many, is often impossible to use.

Contact our team of timeshare termination specialists today to find out you can rid yourself of maintenance fees and start to enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year” once again!

The number of holidaymakers that were ripped off last year by booking scams saw an increase of 19%, new figures show.

The UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre Action Fraud saw 5,826 cases reported during 2016, up almost a fifth on the previous year.

The most common scams related to airline tickets, online accommodation bookings and the perineal timeshare sales.

A total of £7.2m was lost to these scams last year at an average of £1,200 per victim.

More than a quarter of the victims said that that the scams had a significant impact on not only their financial well-being but also their mental and physical health. A further 259 were left needing medical treatment or at risk of bankruptcy.

A new campaign has launched backed by the City of London Police, Abta and the fraud prevention group Get Safe Online to highlight the dangers posed by holiday bookings and timeshare purchases.

Tony Neate, of Get Safe Online, said holidays are often a “big-ticket item” and present “the perfect opportunity for cyber criminals to swindle unsuspecting victims out of their hard-earned money”.

He went on to stress that you should always do as much research as you can about the organisation you are looking to book with before making a purchase.

“By booking in haste, you could not only risk losing a huge amount of money, but also disappoint family and friends when it comes to that long-awaited escape.”

Sporting events such as the UEFA Champions League Final and religious trips such as the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages are a popular target for these scam artists due to the limited availability of tickets and subsequent higher prices.

Timeshare Scams and Timeshare Release Claims

The unregulated timeshare industry that saw its boom in the 1980’s and 1990’s is still claiming its fair share of victims.

Many customers were promised exotic holidays at affordable costs with an “investment for the future” angle taken in the often oversubscribed timeshare presentations. It was during these presentation that high-pressure sales tactics forced people into quick and uninformed decisions.

These tactics have left many people owning timeshare which they can no longer afford due to the ever-increasing maintenance fees. However, after a Supreme Court ruling in 2015, timeshares that were mis-sold to customers could be eligible to a full refund or cancellation.

This has allowed customers to bring claims against timeshare resorts such as Club La Costa. In a groundbreaking ruling against the resort a customer was refunded the full purchase price of his timeshare along with a proportion of the maintenance fees. The contract was also cancelled as he was granted a timeshare release.

Action Fraud says reports of travellers being swindled have consistently risen over the past five years.

Mike Tanzer, Abta chief executive, said: “Abta is regularly contacted by members of the public who have been caught out by increasingly sophisticated travel-related frauds.

“Follow the tips we have put together in partnership with Get Safe Online and the City of London Police to avoid falling victim yourself and ensure that your hard-earned money goes towards your holiday and not lining the pockets of a fraudster.”

A husband and wife from San Diego, USA, are suing Westgate Towers, an Orlando timeshare resort, claiming fraudulent practice.

Mr and Mrs Grider lodged a complaint on November 6th, claiming that the company breached its responsibilities of fair dealing and good faith.

The complaint states that on January 6th 2016, the couple attended a timeshare sales presentation. The couple were lured into a purchase by misrepresentations made by Westgate Resorts. As a result, they have suffered monetary losses, by way of the initial deposit, instalments and annual maintenance fees.

Two of the allegations made are that Westgate misrepresented the type and scope of the benefits offered, with the intention of inducing the claimants to make the purchase.

The couple also claim that Westgate sold the timeshare as an investment opportunity and they were lead to believe that, in time, this would increase in value. They were also advised that the prospects for resale and rental were substantial and they would make a return on their purchase.

The Griders are suing for damages in excess of $15,000, an injunction and the cost of legal fees.

If you believe you may have been subjected to mis-selling, contact us on 0800 470 3900 to speak to one of our team today.

Timeshare properties are notoriously difficult to get rid of. Many timeshares legally bind customers into long-term contracts, while others make it that hard to sell your timeshare that many simply give up trying. To be rid of your timeshare once and for all you need good legal help and at Mercantile Claims, we are timeshare release specialists with vast experience of timeshare exit

Timeshare law can be very difficult to understand and this has been the main reason timeshare companies and resorts have succeed in keeping customers bound to their contracts, as people simply don’t know how to spot the flaws in the contracts, how they relate to the law and how it can help them be released from their timeshare.

Contracts Can Make It Hard to Exit Timeshare

The laws surrounding timeshares can be just as complicated as the contracts the timeshare companies and resorts issue to customers. Without professional help is nearly impossible to understand all the intricacies of the laws and contracts. Without the specialist knowledge people simply give up – and this is what the companies rely on.

But once a customer takes the time to engage the help of a specialist timeshare exit lawyer, the contracts can be scrutinised carefully.

Not it goes without saying that not all timeshare contracts that are issued breach any of the laws, but even so it still doesn’t mean that you can’t get rid of the contract and the timeshare.

Our professional timeshare legal experts here at Mercantile Claims, will advise you on the best way to legally exit your contract, sometimes without even going to court. Now while this advice won’t be free, when you weigh it up against the costs of things such as the maintenance fees paid on the property, legal advice is a far better alternative.

What Makes An Illegal Timeshare Contract?

It is not uncommon for timeshare contracts to contain some kind of law breach, and cases of legal timeshare cases being won by claimants is continually increasing. Many timeshare contracts will contain a clause(s) that have recently ruled as illegal.

Any timeshare contract that exceeds a fifty year term, is known as ‘in perpetuity’ – these are now illegal. There have been cases where a timeshare contract doesn’t specify any end date – thus they have been ruled as ‘in perpetuity’. These cases have seen claimants win compensation from the timeshare company and also a exit from their contracts.

Other cases are appearing where floating weeks and points-based systems are being ruled as illegal. This aspect of the law is slightly more complicated, but at Mercantile Claims we will be able to advise you if your contract has breached any of these laws.

To summarise there are several ways for you to get rid of your timeshare. Some people try selling on the timeshare, while this is possible it is very difficult. Getting expert professional advice from Mercantile Claims could save you thousands of pounds in maintenance fees and other associated costs – as well as releasing you from the timeshare contract.

Don’t wait any longer, contact Mercantile Claims to find out if you could get rid of your timeshare and rediscover your freedom.

Let Us Help You With Your Timeshare Today!

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It has recently come to our attention that David Cox of TESS, who operates a similar timeshare termination service to Praetorian Legal, has published serious defamatory material upon TESS’ website, about Praetorian Legal and its Directors.

It should be known that David Cox was formerly the owner of Timeshare Consumer Association, a supposedly free consumer resource.  He was the contributor of many very poorly written posts, where he sought to critique many people and companies in timeshare.  These posts were created from Cox’s own opinions. However, no right of reply existed and he has had free reign to publish defamatory material unchallenged. Until now.

To gain some real perspective as to what Cox’s real agenda is, please take a look at the link below, which is a well-written and composed website, exposing him for what he is.  His style of gaining himself business is to attack others and discredit them.  He does little or no marketing of his services, as he considers defamatory blogs is the way to gain people’s trust and, more importantly, their business.  We also believe that Cox charges for his services up-front, unlike ourselves. Praetorian Legal never asks for money upfront. Ever.

This is the link referred to above: http://www.tess-timeshare.com/tess/

Within the site, it lays doubt to TESS and Cox’s claims about their service and suggests that there may be disgruntled clients who have not received the service promised by TESS and Cox.

David Cox (Tess) & Trading Standards Lancashire

If this is the case with yourself, please do let us know and we will assist you in reporting TESS to Lancashire Trading Standards.  We are not interested in taking money from you for claims or offering you our services. We are simply interested in helping you to get your complaint(s) heard.

Finally, we would like to bring the following article to your attention. This was written by Cox, during his time as owner operator of Timeshare Consumer Association.  He came to Praetorian Legal and carried out, what he termed as, due diligence on Praetorian Legal. This is what he wrote about Praetorian Legal within an article named ‘Oh No It’s The RDO’, having satisfied himself that Praetorian Legal were a reputable company.  The following quote can be found in the link below.

‘Praetorian Legal is a small and effective paralegal company who operate in Birmingham and is headed up by a seasoned campaigner and pursuer of consumer disputes and compensation. They are successful, solvent and no stranger to standing up to large industry dons and bullies. They have in the past been effective in helping the underdog against the greedy conglomerates. Indeed they were one of the first ever legal services companies to undertake bank charge reclaims (2005), PPI claims and one of the first companies to be registered by the MOJ to conduct Personal Injury claims management.

They operate within the legal profession and challenging the murky world of timeshare. That said Praetorian Legal has never sold timeshare, are not in the timeshare industry and are nothing to do with the RDO’ – David Cox

Link to Timeshare Consumer Association article: https://www.timeshareconsumerassociation.org.uk/2015/02/05/oh-nooh-no-rdo/

So what has changed Cox’s opinion of us?  Nothing, save for the fact that he now carries out his business (TESS) for gain, we are a competitor and his marketing tactics are to simply discredit his competitors, whether true or not.

It is important that you understand all the aspects of timeshares before you even consider getting involved with one. From the sales presentations, to the maintenance fees, to getting rid of your timeshare – we have listed some things to be wary of.

Timeshares Can Become An Endless Pit Of Money

At each timeshare presentation, the sales representative will tell you that a timeshare is a fantastic investment. Something where the value is only going to increase, a fantastic holiday destination and something that can be left to your family for future generations. The reality is usually much different.

One of the great lies of timeshares is that they can be sold on for more than you paid for it. It is more likely that your timeshare will become an endless pit where you will continue to pour money, with little or nothing to show for it.

In many cases owners are almost willing to give their timeshares away for nothing, just to be rid of the maintenance fees and other issues associated with timeshares.

High Pressure Sales Tactics

Another common theme of timeshare sales is the high-pressure sales tactics and presentations that you will endure. The sales person will say anything and everything to get you to sign the contract for the timeshare where the downward spiral begins.

There have even been cases where customers have been kept in presentations for three-four hours and basically forced into signing timeshare contracts.

Timeshare sales presentations will draw in people from all walks of life – they do not discriminate as long as they get you to sign the contract and start spending money they are happy.

Don’t ever feel pressure into signing a contract. Always read every single line of the contract. Have it checked by a legal professional. And then and only then should you sign anything, but even then do it with great caution.

Mercantile Claims can help you exit your timeshare contract, if it was miss sold to you or if it contained unfair clauses. Please complete the form below and one of experts will be in touch.