The Timeshare Timebomb – Stephen Boyd talks to BBC Scotland
Last week BBC Scotland Investigates looked at the “timeshare timebomb”. With 600,000 people in the UK having bought a timeshare, the programme examined the pitfalls faced by those who have since become too old or unwell to use them. And, Athena Law Partner Stephen Boyd was interviewed in his capacity as a leading timeshare solicitor.
Of course, as is now well documented, rather than a “holiday without the hassle”, for many Brits, the burden of trying to escape an unwanted timeshare is a stressful and costly reality. Particularly as for every one person that wants to buy a timeshare, there are 400 people looking to get out of a contract.
Even more worryingly, many timeshare resorts and pseudo-legal firms are still employing shoddy practices – even when professing to help owners sell their timeshare properties.
The reality is that, while promising to free timeshare owners, and stop liabilities being passed to their children, these companies are now charging hefty upfront fees – often to the tune of many thousands of pounds – and no such sales ever materialise. Other tactics include aggressive cold-calling, with the assurance of being able to sell timeshare properties and recover lost money, and providing holiday credits rather than payment. While appearing entirely legitimate, incredibly these companies are often run by the same people who sold the contracts in the first place!
On the programme, Stephen Boyd talked about how people who are desperate to find a way out of their timeshare agreements are becoming vulnerable to such scammers. He revealed that, despite the promises made by these companies, many people end up still tied to their original contract, and find that they are also bound to a second contract with the firm that promised to help.
With a focus on a fast turnaround rather than the needs of the victim, many of these companies are un-regulated, un-insured, and sadly lacking in expertise. Even worse, this lack of care and legal qualifications doesn’t just leave people open to sub-par representation, but also further out of pocket as a result.
Examining one of these companies – SellMyTimeshare.tv – BBC Scotland Investigates showed just how they are capitalising on the misery of others.
Talking about his client’s experiences with SellMyTimeshare.tv, Stephen Boyd discussed how he has recently written to its parent company – Monster Travel – after being approached by in excess of 250 clients. The clients allege that while the company promised to help them sell their timeshares, the reality was that they had to buy another product, did not receive the financial return promised, and in some cases, were still liable for the maintenance fees connected with their original timeshare.
Unfortunately, the ability to over promise and under-deliver is all too evident. And, at Athena Law, we predict that over the next five years more money will have been lost due to such scams than to the original timeshares.
With so much at stake, both financially and emotionally, if you believe you have a timeshare claim it is vital to appoint a specialist timeshare lawyer. This way, not only can you be sure that your case will be dealt with correctly, but you’ll also benefit from an in-depth understanding of the timeshare market. Ultimately, this ensures the best result for you at the best possible cost.
Having been at the forefront of timeshare dispute resolution for several years, Stephen Boyd has helped hundreds of timeshare owners to escape from defective, unenforceable, and inherently unfair timeshare contracts and long term holiday products.
If you are trapped into a timeshare you no longer want or can afford, he can offer a free, initial consultation to go over the details of your particular circumstances and advise you on whether you have a viable claim.
If you’d like a free, no-obligation chat to find out more about how Athena Law can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact Stephen directly for more information on 0161 839 8847, by using the ‘Become a Client’ button on the homepage, or by email at [email protected]
A link to the BBC Scotland site is below. The full programme is no longer available.