In our experience, timeshare harassment can take several forms. The first is prior to a person signing a contract, where they are hounded on holiday until they submit to attending a presentation or aggressively until they buy a timeshare contract. The second comes when an existing timeshare owner wants to leave and the timeshare company comes on strong with threats and intimidation to convince them to stay – or tells them that they have no other option. If you have accrued a debt towards your timeshare company, you may find yourself harassed by debt collectors. There are also cases where timeshare owners are aggressively targeted to upgrade their existing timeshare or to buy other added extras.
Timeshare Harassment Of Non-Owners
One of the most common stories of timeshare harassment we come across is from people who were targeted by timeshare salespeople on holiday. These people had no intention of buying a timeshare and simply went away to enjoy a break.
Unfortunately, right from the moment they arrive at their resort, they are repeatedly coerced into attending a “brief” timeshare presentation. When they decline, the representative refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer. Some people have reported countless calls to their hotel room, being approached by the pool or whilst enjoying their evening meal, or any time they go near reception.
Understandably, some give in and agree to attend the presentation, hoping that will mean they’ll finally be left alone. Of course, the “brief” presentation takes several hours and results in a high-intensity sales pitch in which they are bullied into purchasing a timeshare contract.
This is entirely unacceptable, and can be grounds for a case against the timeshare company or the resort itself. Whether you were forced to sign up or it simply ruined your holiday, you should not suffer in silence. Get in touch with our team to find out more about asserting your rights. Nobody should suffer timeshare harassment when on holiday.
Timeshare Harassment Over Upgrades & Additional Products
Timeshare owners fork out large sums of money for the privilege of their timeshares. Many of these people are perfectly happy with their timeshare, content with their holidays and what they get from them.
After paying so much, it goes without saying that most people would rather not pay out even more, but unfortunately there are many cases where timeshare companies simply fail to understand this – or worse, don’t care.
Having paid several thousands of pounds for their timeshares, the moment they step foot in the resort, some find themselves subject to all kinds of timeshare harassment from salespeople trying to upsell them a bigger unit, a better resort, or some extra product like an exchange programme (often at a vastly inflated price). This is a lot like the kind of harassment experienced by non-owners, which we explored above.
Sometimes, this upselling becomes a problem even when the timeshare owners get home. Unsolicited telephone calls, or endless letters and emails, can be considered a form of timeshare harassment when the level becomes unreasonable. Phone calls can be a real nuisance, but it is hard to prove that they actually constitute harassment unless the frequency of the calls is unreasonably high. If you are being targeted by these kind of phone calls, you can try to block the number – but sometimes they simply try from a different line. In any case, keep a detailed log of the date and time of every call. If a case becomes necessary, this record counts as evidence.
If you are being constantly harassed about new timeshare products, it may make you wish you’d never signed up in the first place. If all this makes you want to get out of your timeshare, contact our team of timeshare contract experts. We’ll be able to help you put your case together and may well be able to get you compensation for the timeshare harassment as well as getting you out of your timeshare.
Timeshare Harassment Over A Debt
When in dispute with a timeshare company, harassment can, unfortunately, be common practice. Action from the resort creditor is generally taken when there is a request for payment that has not been paid. If they have not been able to engage with you or you are in dispute, they might choose to use debt collectors who then take action to get the money back. There have been several reports of customers experiencing timeshare harassment by companies over such payment issues.
What is reasonable?
If a debt is owed, then the resort creditor is permitted to contact you and take reasonable steps in order to receive the payment. These include:
- Sending reminders and demands for payment
- Telephoning to ask for payment
- Calling at your home, as long as this is at a reasonable time of the day
- Taking court action
If you have explained to the creditor that you have paid the debt, or that you have concerns that are not being listened to, the demand for payment should not be continued.
If you have told a creditor to stop and they continue, or if the creditor attempts to carry out any of the following actions with a view of retrieving money from you, this could be considered harassment.
- Contacting you several times a day or at unreasonable hours
- Putting pressure on you to sell your home or to take out more credit
- Using more than one debt collector at a time to chase you for payment
- Not telling you that the debt has been passed on to a debt collection agency
- Putting pressure on you to pay all the money off, or in larger instalments than you can afford
- Threatening you physically or verbally
- Not letting the case go if you say you don’t owe the money
- Telling someone else about your debts or using another person to pass on messages
- Giving the impression that court or legal action has been taken against you when it hasn’t or that not paying the debt is a criminal offence.
If you are the subject of timeshare harassment by a creditor it is important to know who is asking for payment. They may not be the people you originally owed money to. If your creditor decides to pass the debt on, they must tell you in writing before they do it. Your debt may be collected by:
- Your original creditor
- A debt collection agency acting on behalf of your creditor
- A third party who has acquired the debt from your creditor
Your first step is to find out who is actually collecting the debt. When established, you then need to take the following steps.
- Collect evidence of the harassment by the creditor, recording the number of visits or calls with dates and times. Write down what was said and who you spoke to. Save all letters or documents you have received, regardless of content.
- Complain to the creditor in writing, explaining that you are becoming distressed by the harassment and tell them to immediately stop. You should explain that harassment is a criminal offence and you will take further action if it persists. Explain to them how you want to be contacted in future and ask them to confirm this in writing. Remember to keep a copy for proof.
- You should always complain directly to the pursuing creditor first but if this does not solve the problem, complain to the professional body that they belong to or who regulates them. Your debt collector may belong to a trade association or professional body who has adopted “a code of practice” which sets out how they are supposed to behave towards you.
Timeshare Harassment When Trying To Leave Timeshare
We all hope that disputes and debt be handled in a legal and appropriate way, but sometimes timeshare harassment does occur. This can often also be the case when you inform a timeshare company of your intentions to pursue legal action in respect of your contract, if you believe it to be in breach of law. Whatever happens, make sure you keep a thorough record, and where you feel a harassment offence is being committed, make sure you get legal advice.
Where timeshare harassment has been a problem in the past, people have been found to be entitled to compensation for the harassment, and sometimes also because of illegal contract terms as well. If any of this sounds familiar, get in touch with the team at Timeshare.lawyer, who will be able to advise and guide you through what your next step should be.
If you think you could be entitled to compensation for timeshare, get in touch with us. We’ll be able to help you proceed in the right direction, and offer you all the facts and advice you’ll need to get the result you are looking for. Find out more about claiming with a chat with one of our friendly advisors. Just fill in the form below: