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Timeshare owners have lost millions to scams, and now an award-winning safeguarding resource has had to be withdrawn

For 10 years, KwikChex provided comprehensive and free services to timeshare owners under the Timeshare Task Force initiative, which enabled owners to avoid scams and to recover substantial sums when they had suffered misrepresentations. It was an award-winning service, praised by UK Trading Standards, and recommended by Action Fraud and many others. Lawyers, police forces, government authorities and consumer protection agencies in several counties also consulted with KwikChex, and multiple enforcement actions took place as a result. A freely available database on timeshare-related scams, and information on timeshare consumer rights, exits and claims was one of the biggest and most significant available online. Hundreds of thousands of owners found vital information on the sites, and nearly 12,000 owners received direct help in recovering monies and finding resolutions.

Regrettably, the funding for this exceptional free service ceased at the end of last year, after the Resort Development Organisation (RDO), which represents the interests of timeshare businesses in Europe, decided they would no longer support it. This followed notable disagreements between the RDO and KwikChex over owner safeguarding, including KwikChex’s cooperation with a solicitors practice, which agreed to pursue no win, no fee claims related to misrepresentations on behalf of owners.

KwikChex has always insisted on operating autonomously, regardless of funding sources, and on providing accurate information on timeshare owner rights and all the options related to claims, relinquishment, and disputes, so the decision by RDO was unexpected.  

Timeshare owners need protection now more than ever 

A recent Freedom of Information request to the UK’s Action Fraud resource resulted in a response which contained a reference to ‘Timeshare & Holiday Club fraud. This revealed that reports to Action Fraud on this subject had been consistently showing losses due to fraud of around half a million pounds – but this nearly doubled in 2023 – and the true figures are far higher. In fact, based on reports to KwikChex by owners, the likely losses are at least 10 -15 times higher than those published by Action Fraud and they are increasing. 

In addition, a series of complex legal situations have added to the confusing situation for owners. These include rulings from the European Court of Justice and a UK High Court Tribunal, decisions by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), plus timeshare company insolvencies, and the lobbying of Spanish MPs by timeshare companies to amend a law that has resulted in thousands of timeshare owners making claims in Spain. 

Timeshare Assistance 

Although it is no longer financially viable for KwikChex to continue with the full services provided within the Timeshare Task Force initiative, KwikChex and its CEO Chris Emmins have launched new information services that will be providing vital information on the whole spectrum of timeshare ownership, including this new Timeshare Assistance site. 

KwikChex CEO, Chris Emmins a timeshare owner himself, has also launched ITOA – the International Timeshare Owners Association, with the intention of bringing as many owners together as possible from all over the world, to provide a strong voice on behalf of owners, to increase safeguarding, and to seek effective resolutions to problems.  

More information will be published shortly.