Timeshare bully tactics
Timeshare intimidation tactics are rife within the industry.
Timeshare ‘bully’ and intimidation tactics have been problematic throughout the industry for years. Many people have fallen victim to being manipulated into purchasing a timeshare, attending long timeshare presentations or even signing up for a new deal at the promise it would help relinquish their unwanted timeshare.
Many timeshare sales pitches target more vulnerable customers – and those who are perceived to be easier targets – unfortunately, many elderly people fall into this bracket. They may have been coerced into attending a presentation on timeshare that actually turned out to be intimidating and forceful leaving them feeling they had no choice but to sign up and leaving with contracts they don’t really want, don’t fully understand and can’t really afford.
Eze Europe intimidation tactics
One such case of timeshare intimidation tactics has been firmly under the spotlight in recent weeks. Dominic O’Reilly, director of Eze Europe, was due to be sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court for using aggressive and misleading sales practices that were not in line with Trading Standards. To read our full report on the Eze Group Scam, please read our article here.
O’Reilly was due to attend court to be held accountable for what he had done but failed to turn up, apparently due to medical conditions which meant he couldn’t fly. He had made false promises to make the 2,300-mile journey back from Tenerife – where he now lives – by car to attend court but failed to show. Judge Murray Creed adjourned the case until March 21 and gave O’Reilly strict bail conditions to drive back to Birmingham by March 16 2019, so we will have to watch this space for what happens next.
What is the owner of Eze Europe, O’Reilly, accused of?
53-year-old O’Reilly is due to be sentenced for scamming timeshare property holders out of over £200,000 over a two-and-a-half-year period. He mainly targeted elderly customers of Eze Europe and intimidated and frightened them into signing up for packages they couldn’t afford and were really of no use to them. Many of these elderly victims had timeshare property they were desperately looking to be freed from. His company, using this information as bait, cold called them on the promise of helping them relinquish their unwanted timeshare contract in exchange for a short presentation of timeshare advice on a weekend break. After being taken to the Eze centres in Henley-in-Arden or Stirling in Scotland, they were then made to stay for up to eight hours and instead of friendly advice, received hours of intimidation tactics which made them feel they had no choice but to agree.
Mr Ben Mills of the prosecution, said “oppressive, aggressive and highly manipulative” sales practices were used in order to get customers to sign up for the expensive services. There were 25 complainants in all, who were told to pay £422,429 all together for the services of Eze Europe. The scammers managed to extract almost half from their victims (a huge £203, 898 in total from this requested amount). Incredibly, one couple were told they must pay a “staggering” £42,000 for the Eze services. One woman recalled being “frog-marched” to a bank to pay a large deposit of £2,525, and one poor victim described the presentation as feeling as though they had been “pressured and brainwashed” into signing up.
How to avoid timeshare bully tactics
As we mentioned above, timeshare bully tactics and scams are rife within the industry. Read our blog here about the different types of fraud to be alert to and this blog here about how to avoid a timeshare scam for more advice.
To avoid timeshare bully tactics, it is of utmost importance you use a regulated solicitor. We have looked at the reasons why it is so important to use a regulated Timeshare Solicitor in this article here, but always make sure you check your solicitor is regulated by the SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) before you hand over any money at all.
Get in touch
If you have found this article interesting and would like to learn more about how Athena Law can help you, please feel free to contact the writer, Stephen Boyd, at [email protected]
Call 0161 839 8847 today to get in touch with Athena Law today for professional, friendly advice that you can trust.