For many years timeshare companies have used every possible trick and tactic to sell their products. One of the oldest tricks in the book is the scratchcard. Although frowned upon today, there are still reports of this tactic being used to lure unsuspecting holidaymakers to timeshare presentations.
The scratchcard is a very simple way for timeshare companies to sink their hooks into people. Happy holidaymakers are stopped in the street and offered the chance of winning various prizes just by scratching off the silver foil on the card. The prizes can be anything from cigarettes and alcohol to discounted and even free holidays. It’s understandable why so many people go along with it.
Once you have won something, you are then told that you need to attend a short presentation before claiming your prize. This is exactly what happened to a British couple who were taking a stroll while on holiday in Gran Canaria. Unknownt to them at the time, this was going to be the beginning of a nightmare that ultimately resulted in legal action.
When the couple went to claim their prizes, after agreeing to attend the presentation, they were shown around a timeshare resort and were given information about all the joys owning a timeshare week there would bring supposedly bring them.
The next stage was attending a ‘short’ presentation which turned out to be several intense hours of enduring pressurized sales tactics. This eventually resulted in them agreeing to purchase a timeshare. The couple had to take out a second mortgage on their home in order to be able to afford just a week’s timeshare in the resort.
The sales representative sold them the timeshare explaining that it was exclusive and advised them on all the benefits of the exchange system. It was actually a few years before the couple were able to return to the resort, partly due to the fact that the exchange system turned out to be different to what they were sold. Once there, the couple also realised that the resort wasn’t as exclusive as first described. It seemed just about anybody could take their holidays there.
The couple soon came to the conclusion that they had been conned and decided to launch a timeshare scam legal case in 2014 against Aitours, also known as Blue Bay. The preliminary hearing took place in early 2017 and the judge quickly ruled that the contract was null and void. The judge explained that the couples contract contained a perpetuity clause, meaning it was an ongoing agreement with no specified end date, and these contracts are illegal.
Aitours were ordered to pay the couple 15,050 Euros, which was everything they had spent on the timeshare. This case was so cut-and-dry, a court case wasn’t even necessary.
Although this is one of the most straightforward cases, rulings made by the Spanish Supreme Court have made it possible for more cheated timeshare owners to receive the justice that they deserve. Timeshare Advice can give you more information on exit and compensation wins when you call in and speak to one of our Advisors.
See our recent post regarding timeshare presentations.