In this modern era, we’re faced daily with terms and conditions, terms of service, licence agreements, privacy policies and more. The volume of small print that’s thrown at us is staggering and has had the predictable result that we’ve stopped reading the details.

This was highlighted during a recent study by Jonathan Obar of York University in Toronto and Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch of the University of Connecticut. The two communications professors set up an experiment to see how many college students actually read online terms of service before accepting them. They set up a fake social network that included a commitment by users to give the company their first-born children as part of the terms of service. The result? Nearly every single student clicked to indicate their agreement to abide by the terms of service.

“Research in the US has shown that it would take the average person 250 hours per year to read all of their digital contracts – and that’s not even accounting for anything that they sign offline. This unrealistic time commitment has resulted in us becoming much less careful about what we sign, both online and offline.”

Belinda Rollins,

This lack of attention to detail can have a long-lasting impact. Timeshare contracts are a great example. Many people sign their contracts based on what sales staff have told them. They have received verbal presentations from staff, asked pertinent questions and received reassuring answers. Based on this process, many people sign their contracts without reading the small print thoroughly. Of those who do read the terms and conditions in detail, few take the time and expense to seek legal advice on precisely what they are committing to.

“Discrepancies can exist between the small print of timeshare contracts and the information that has been provided verbally by those selling the timeshare units. As such, it’s essential to take the time to read and understand the detail of the contract. Spending a little on professional advice before the contract is signed can be an incredibly wise investment.”

Jodi Beard, Timeshare Compensation

The experts at Timeshare Compensation work regularly with those whose timeshare contracts aren’t quite what they expected. In some cases, it is the open-ended nature of the maintenance fee commitment that has taken the owners by surprise. In others it is the conditions around being able to exit the contract.

Not all of those who have signed a timeshare agreement and come to regret it are stuck with their commitment. For example, contracts that last for longer than 50 years, that are for floating weeks products or where money was handed over during the cooling off period have in recent years all been determined to be illegal by the Spanish Supreme Court. Not only do those who hold such contracts have the potential to extricate themselves from them, but there is also the potential for the courts to award compensation.

“Many families who thought they were stuck in their timeshare contracts have found that not to be the case. As a result of taking legal action, families are finding that they can finally free themselves of their timeshare commitment and that they may even be entitled to financial recompense as a result of doing so. As such, we would encourage anyone who has been taken by surprise by the small print of their timeshare contract to investigate what options may be open to them.”

Jodi Beard, Timeshare Compensation

For more information, please visit, call 0800 046 5855 or email

Timeshare Compensation and are a trading names of Advanced Business Consultants Legal SL.

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