£16,200 compensation win ends decades long timeshare misery for retired Monmouth professionals John and Roni
Aggressive sales presentation
Retired civil engineer John Richardson, and wife Roni, a retired counselor and management consultant bought two weeks of timeshare at Gran Canaria’s Palm Oasis resort back in 1995.
“It was a beautiful complex,” says Roni. “And the system seemed like a great idea. But we only signed up on the day because they wore us down with their high pressure sales.”
“Yes we were there all day,” adds John. “We didn’t even know it was timeshare when we bought it. They actually assured us it wasn’t. We would never have knowingly bought timeshare because of its reputation.”
The main problem for the Richardsons was, “the increasing burden of the maintenance fees. They just kept going up and up and up,” laments John.
“You had no control over it,” adds Roni. “When they put the cost up, you had to pay it. Whether you went on holiday or not. Another thing was that you couldn’t get out of it. When we bought it we thought it was great that our kids would inherit it. We soon realised that it would be a real burden on our children because of those maintenance fees.”
Timeshare Advice Centre/European Consumer Claims
“We were sceptical about signing up with you,” admits John, “because we had been scammed before, for a total of £8,000.”
“It started off as £4,000,” adds Roni. “But they kept asking for more and more. In the end we tried to track them down at their so-called offices in Malaga. The address was just an apartment block.
“The reason we went with Timeshare Advice Centre (the marketing arm of European Consumer Claims) after that bad experience with the scam company was that you were so different,” reveals John. “
“We saw your advert on the TV,” explains Roni. “This time we went to your actual office in Bristol and met your representative in person. Margaret was her name and we felt good about her. We also did a lot of research on your company before going ahead. It was a case of ‘once bitten twice shy’. Even though we were confident in TAC/ECC, we still made a point of visiting the M1 Legal offices in Fuengirola and spent time with the lawyer handling our case. We came away with total confidence compared to the time we were scammed.”
John was dozing off on the couch when he got the call that their award money was ready to be paid into their bank account.
“We were ecstatic,” he says. “We had had a very difficult week here in the UK. Roni was just out of hospital and we were both exhausted. We still wondered if the call could be a scam. But we are very happy to say that it wasn’t.”
“I had just had a pacemaker fitted,” reveals Roni. “News of this win definitely helped me recover. We are overjoyed.”
New kit, savings, and holidays
Roni explains that the couple decided to split the money down the middle. “My John is a Yorkshireman and will probably sit on his half until he pops his clogs,” she grins, mischievously. “But I’ve already bought a brand new, electric, leather, reclining rocking chair which is being delivered on Friday. And I’ll be spending more on our holidays in Spain next week.”
“We would tell any unhappy timeshare owner to trust you guys at Timeshare Advice Centre,” says John, firmly. “You came through for us, and we got our money. One thing I would add is to be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight, But TAC never gave up and here we are.”
“The personal contact from TAC has been excellent,” adds Roni. “Real offices and real people. That was the difference between you and the scammers.”