For those who have received a call from First Options in Mallorca we place this alert.
The company First Options with website www.firstoptions.eu has started a cold calling campaign to timeshare owners and offers them a guaranteed resale.
The addresses used by this company are supposedly in Mallorca:
- Carretera D’Arta 10, 07400 Alcudia, Mallorca, Balearics.
- Apartado de Correos 9 – Santa Ponsa – Calvia, Mallorca.
- C/Huguet des Far 34, L40, Santa Ponsa – Calvia, Mallorca.
Their email address are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Their telephone numbers 0845 8620224, 0845 8620791 and 0845 5272971.
Investigation on this company has shown us that the website was registered on the 15th of November 2011 and they seem to be connected with another company already mentioned on this blog called Net Time Brokers: http://wp.me/p1kmoi-bz and of which we received numerous emails from consumers who have been duped for substantial amounts of money and no resale’s have taken place.
First Options is using actually the same pitch, guaranteed sale and we need a security bond to make sure you will be sending us the deeds when the sale is processed… Would one not send the deeds when money is showing on the bank account??…yeah right!
For this security they ask for around 1,500€ and this money needs to be transferred to a bank account which is as they state secured by IBAN. For your information IBAN is an international bank account code and yes, you can trace the account but still the payment cannot be claimed back or be refunded as if it was a credit card payment. So be very careful with this one!
After receiving numerous testimonials from consumers who have been contacted by First Options and paid the upfront fee, we need to add that there is a “second part” to this sale.
As it seems once the sale falls through and the agent calls the consumer to notify them about this bad news, they are re-assured another offer will be made for the timeshare. This offer is most of the times a so called “corporate buyer” who is buying in bulk memberships for his company. Unfortunately the timeshare owner “owns” the wrong club, but First Options has the solution and comes up with a quick membership change and the sale will go through.
Yes again the timeshare owner has to pay another amount of money, but all will be “refunded” when the final sale has been completed. Needless to say that this sale neither happens and timeshare consumers have found themselves stuck with a dubious membership in Avant Guard Travel or Principle Travel, no sale and certainly no refunded money!
Have you been called by First Options in Mallorca? Did you receive a call from telephone number 08458620224, 08458620791 or 08455272971 ?
Please let us know: email@example.com
Hello fellow victims!!! From reading the accounts of other unfortunates, they seem to have a tried and tested way of ripping off hard working people. The comments that I have read are a carbon copy of what I have been through with all of the characters names the same. I (in hindsight) foolishly paid the deposit on my credit card after speaking to MBNA to confirm if they had heard of this process before and more importantly, could I claim the money back if it all went wrong. I was told YES on both counts, but now that I have put a claim in I am being told that a link has to be proven between first Options and Avant, (the 3rd party fund holders) and without this link, MBNA will not refund me and I am out of pocket. I really hope that the whole bunch of them have a very unhappy and miserable life as they are the scum of the earth and deserve nothing but pain in their lives. I am in the fortunate position that I can eventualy make a regain from the loss, but it is the people that will now be stuggling that my heart goes out to.
I Google searched First Options in January to check its authenticity, but somehow did not get this site. The rest is history! Annabel Charles and Bradley Harrison were so plausible. , and in fact, I am speaking to her today . Briefly, my firm buyer dropped out after I paid by Mastercard in what I wes told was an Escrow account, but no harm because a corporate purchaser, Avant Travel was now happy to match the previous offer. They, however asked for a further £5000, which would be credited on completion. I declined the “offer” and contacted Annabel Charles who is “looking into the matter ” and will speak to me today. She was horrified when I suggested that Avant Travel might be a scam company. Worth three Oscars! I am contacting my credit card provider, though it might be too late.Anyone with good news on the cc front? Meanwhile will be in touch with Action Fraud, which is the Met Police unit, http://www.actionfraud.police.uk and will consider legal action in Spain. We could have a class action suit against First Options.
I can’t believe I am reading all this we have had the very same experience first Danni Hughes, Bradley Harrison then Annabelke Charles. Was told it was a Norwegian couple then they pulled out, put us onto Avant Gard travel in Andorra who wanted another £2,000.00 which we did not pay this time. We paid the other deposit through RBS MasterCard so will be contacting them.
Wish we had seen your website earlier would never had paid £1335 if we had known..they always answer the phone but after 2 months of asking for money back they always say they have given the finance dept my emails and verbal messages.I paid with a visa credit card so now I have the visa investigating.will let you know what happens when visa get in touch with me.
Unfortunately for me, I have found this website too late. We have also been contacted by First Options, initially by Amy Lloyd, then Bradley Harrison and finally Annabel Charles. Their address on the paperwork is Calle Huguet des Far 34, Local 40, 07183 Santa Ponsa, Calvia, Mallorca. http://Www.firstoptions.eu
Its the same story that others have posted, they tell us they have a buyer, a German couple. It’s a very good offer, and we want to sell. We paid the £1295 holding fee by credit card. The contract that I signed, said they had to complete the transaction within 12 weeks, but low and behold, just as the deadline approached…the buyers had a family emergency and dropped out. First Options found an alternative buyer, through a broker, Avant Guard Travel based in Andorra. They have a corporate entity waiting to buy! But they want £2635.52 paid to them to cover notary fees, legal & admin fees, verification and transfer fees. They assure me I will have the fees returned at completion.
After reading all the posts above, I wont be paying them any more money, but I would appreciate any advice as to how to get my holding fee back. I will be contacting The retail Fraud Dept at Mastercard, and hopefully they will be able to help, but where do I stand as a contract was signed, and it’s gone over the cooling off period.
I wish I’d found this website months ago, as I believed the sales patter. They were very plausible but I now believe it’s all a scam.
hi john in rochdale here just had bradley harrison trying his scam with same old story i contacted mastercard about security of my£1295 they couldnt guarantee it only after deposit if it was a scam i would have to try and reclaim it so PLEASE dont touch it with the proverbial barge pole NOBODY in their right mind would purchase timeshare nowadays especially from diamond resorts international
MY WIFE TOOK THE CALL LAST WEEK AND WISELY TOLD THEM TO RING WHEN I WAS AT HOME.GOT THE CALL LAST NIGHT OFF SOME POSH TALKING WOMAN WHO STATED THAT THEY HAD AN £8,500 OFFER FOR MY PRESIDENTIAL SUITE IN THE HOLLYWOOD MIRAGE IN TENERIFE. I ASKED ,AS MY WIFE HAD, ABOUT ANY UPFRONT FEES TO WHICH SHE WAS QUITE CONDESCENDING. AS I WAS SPEAKING TO HER I WAS ” GOOGLING” THEM AND I SAID I WAS NOT INTERESTED DUE TO THE NEGAATIVE COMMENTS ON THE WEB ABOUT THEM. SHE THEN TRIED TO “PUT DOWN2 THIS SITE AND SAID THAT THE OWNER WAS TRYING TO CORNER THE MARKET TO HIMSELF BY DECRYING ALL OTHER RE-SALE COMPANIES , SHE ALSO SAID THAT AS EUROPE WAS BROKE THE OFFERS WERE COMING FROM OUTSIDE EUROPE, DIFFERENT TACTIC TO GERMAN BUYERS EH?
THEN SHE SAID THAT ONCE THE DEAL WAS DONE THEY WOULD SEND A COURIER TO COLLECT THE DEEDS, ONCE THE MONEY WAS IN MY ACCOUNT, AT WHICH POINT SHE SAID THAT IF SHE WERE ME SHE WOULD INVITE THE COURIER IN UNTIL MY “SECURITY BOND” WAS REFUNDED ONTO MY CARD! I REPLIED THAT IT WOULD NOT BE REFUNDED AS IT WAS NOT GOING TO LEAVE MY CARD IN THE FIRST PLACE! THESE PEOPLE REALLY ARE THE SCUM OF THE EARTH
I have been contacted by Christine from First Options, she sounds very friendly and does tend to do all the talking and doesnt let you get a word in. She phoned back the following day with “great news an offer from a very interested buyer, just what they wanted”. She then phoned a day after that to see what my husband thought and offered me more money as the expiry of my timeshare had a further 4 years. On Friday and today she is being very persistent and amazaingly between Friday and today the buyer has paid his guarantee of £2400, which he will get back! and has signed and agreed finance for the cost of my timeshare. She says we are now ready to go but you need to be told all this legal info and then the sting!!!!…. we will need you to pay by Visa or Mastercard a guarantee of £1295 today if possible so we can start the legal work. She says it could take between 8-12 weeks, understands as I have been made redundant that this is a great time for me to sell and obviously I need the money so its meant to be. When I query why am I paying up front, she sounds all consoling and tells me she undertands she would worry too but when the buyer is paying me much more than £1295, surely I can understand the reason for the guarantee holding account. I really thought I had a genuine buyer but reading all the info on this blog I am very disappointed as it appears this is also a scam and thankfully I have not paid the money, I told her I would think about it and she insisted on ringing me tomorrow. Does anyone know of a proper Reputable company I can approach to sell my timeshare please??????
HI,THEY TRYED THE SAME SCAM ON ME,BUT LIKE YOU I DIDDENT BITE,IM THINKING OF GIVEING MY TIME SHARE BACK TO THE COMPANY,TIMES ARE HARD AND I DONT THINK PEOPLE CAN AFORD THE MATANCE FEES, MY MUM HAS ALREADY RETURNED A WEEK,I WOULD LOVE TO SELL IT BUT YOU JUST HAVE TO LOOK ON EBAY.ISABEL
Many thanks for your comment Isabel, much appreciated, hadn’t thought of Ebay will look at that. Kind regards Teresa
dont do it teresa once i questioned them about the upfront fees never heard from them again its a scam remember if its too good to be true it is
Many thanks Ian, you’re right too good to be true, just gutted as she knew I had been made redundant and said this was the answer to my prayers and it must be fate. Cannot believe First Options staff can live and sleep with the knowledge they are conning decent people. She is due to call at 1pm today so I will just tell her what I think about her and her so called company and that I know it is all a scam.
Much appreciated Ian. Kind regards Teresa
Thanks for all replies re First Options.
I didn’t log on yesterday but the point that D Lawrence made is exactly what I said to them — why do they want any money from me –credit card or not when they are sending me more money in return which to me is not logical
I have worked in Spain with my own company at the time which was passported correctly under the FSA and regulated from the GB and accountable under the English Courts
There are 2 normal types of limted company depending on the capitalisation of the shares and turnover
Public limited company (S.A.)
Private limited company (S.L.)
Other business formats,:
sole trader – one owner with unlimited liability
joint ownership – two or more proprietors with unlimited liability
branch or representative office which is what we were
either way they are accountable but as I mentioned previously that all firms who operate in Spain have to pay corporation tax between –30-35% otherwise they are breaking the law there
The Timshere directive states
purchasers have the right to information in a prospectus before signing a contract and requirements for the content of the contract.
Once the contract is signed, the consumer has a cooling-off period of at least 10 days, during which he can withdraw from the contract without giving any reason;
A ban on advance payments throughout the cooling-off period
It seems to me that with all the feedback that none of the above items are fully completed before they ask for money ???
also they are not trading through the UK — on Companies House Webcheck
UK European Consumer Centre formed in Feb 11 normally it seems deals with complaints of this nature and this practice has to stop
So as Mindtimeshare says there are no desperate buyers — imagine me being told I have a desperate buyer from Germany — has anybody ever seen a desperate German unless it is going for sunbeds — with all due respect ?? I have never ever seen any Germans that have bought a timeshare in our location –to date
hope this helps
has anyone checked with visa or mastercard if this holding account is genuine and if so are you covered by their insurance and has anyone had a successful sale
I rang Tesco Mastercard and they hadnt a clue, they were useless. I`d like a successful sale Ian, but I`d like to speak to someone who has had a sale and can recomend them. I feel upset and worried as Bradley is ringing tomorrow. He insists its genuine. We need the money, would love to sell, and £3,900 seems like a dream come true. I think we should tell Bradley no, its too risky for us to send the money.
tell bradley you have been in contact with alberto ,he will then tell you alberto has an ulterior motive and he is involved with another timeshare resale company. tell him you will check it out,he will say its the right thing to do and will contact you in a couple of days he wont its his final throw of the dice.he trades on peoples desperation to rid themselves of their timeshare PLEASE DONT TRADE WITH HIM HE IS A VERY WELL SPOKEN MAN OFFERING ALL SAFEGUARDS in reality he is stealing money from you
dont do it,it is to good to be true as they are trying to rip you off,they seem so nice,but you tell them it has to be handled by your scolicitor and they wont phone you again,please dont pay them a deposite , remainber you are selling ,not buying ,dont give them your money,isabel
All interesting stuff, but is there a reputable resale company out there?
For resale you can try the ones affiliated to RDO, there is a list on the RDO website http://www.rdo.org
If you use any other company, as long as you don’t pay an upfront fee you are ok.
There are websites where you can advertise your timeshare for free, or EBAY or there are companies that would be interested for rental. Depends what you own.
We can assure you that we have never had any consumer telling us their timeshare was sold after paying a company an upfront fee for a guaranteed sale.
They always ended up with the sale “fallen through” and the upfront fee in the air and not refundable as the contract states you are signing for the marketing of your timeshare for 6 months or a year..
Don’t pay money upfront.
How do you check whether this company is genuine?
Address on paperwork is Santa Ponsa, Mallorca but no phone number.
Company based in Alcudia but using an 0845 8620791 number?
Why do they need a £1,000 guarantee when they are sending much more in payment to you?
first opiton phone me for the 3rd time on monday,i had one thing to say ,”so you are not going to ask me for any money, as you said no money will ever be payed by me to you,she sounded angry and said she would phone me on tuesday to do a phone contract, and would not reply to my question! that was a week ago and she has never phoned back, its a scam and she is a nastie evil woman, she should get a honist job,and i think she has been reading your blogs,as she new i was on to her, im sure.
phone no i have been given is 08458620791 and sales agent a mr bradley harrison anybody heard of him
no it was a miss hues, that phoned me, there will be an office of them,like rats in a pit,remember dont ever give them any money,never
I was contacted yesterday 26/03/2012 by Bradley Harrison, saying he has a buyer who is prepared to pay 4 times what I paid for my 2 weeks, this being in only 3 weeks of me advertising it. He wants £1100 placed in a Visa Holding Account, no way, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Dont respond or promise anything.
I have just located your website but unlike some people — I actually contacted them thinking they were legitimate but even prior to this contact with you — it did seem just to good to be true — so I looked at this again
First Options have apprently sold my timeshare to a German couple who would you beleive it is just what they were waiting for can you believe — and as previous ethical people have mentioned on your site — they have informed me that there is no charge for thisat all ?? right up until I questioned a few things that was ? also they want to complete a telephone contract discussion with a Supervisor for ‘training purposes’ but as a person who likes to do a little due diligence first I have put them off.
Also I did ask them that the problem is that when they say they will ‘lift a payment for guarantee’ purposes only from my credit card does not actually consitute a payment as I would get that back even with their company closing (do you think they know something) — well it certainly does if this is then non reclaimable. They seem to think that we are protected by the credit card insurance facility trying to obviously say that any payment by a seller makes no difference. I did ask them about where they were registered as they are not registered in Spain or GB and the girl didn’t know a lot about companies.
So I think that the only holding account my money will go into is my own — but I sorry if others have lost some money but as an IFA — it does seem a simple problem to fix as some credit card companies can withhold transactions and where we have criminal activities proven then bank accounts can be frozen. Any firm dealing from Spain or GB will be eligible to pay tax and I wonder if any is being paid which is an offence if not paid, or even potential money laundering
The problem here is that they are training other people or staff to be associated potential fraudsters — if this is indeed a scam ???
hi ian here i also contacted them after seeing a web ad as i logged on to diamond resorts this has now disappeared and i keep being contacted off Bradley Harrison from first options who keeps asking for £1295 bond even before i have received any legal documentation and i also have a buyer desperate for my points and must pay bond within 72 hours time limit for legal reasons or deal will fall through have you had same speel
Thanks for your messages on the blog.
Please believe me there is no such thing as a desperate buyer for your points.
These people should not ask for an upfront fee as this goes against the Timeshare Directive.
Credit Card payments are protected, but no bank will refund without a struggle and there are people who simply will not get their money back as the bank feels they were not mis represented at all, and the companies involved will also say they did all they agreed so why refund.. so be carefull with that one!
All we can say, don’t pay the money
first option have sold my time share,but thought it was too good to be true,they are phoneing me on monday to do a over the phone contract,i have no intention of giving over any money,are you sure this is the same company ,the phone numbers last 3 digets are diffrent,they say they will deposite the money in my bank and then i send the deeds! so will the sting in the tail come on monday when they ask for 1400 euro.
We have also been contacted by First options- guaranteed sale of DRI points to an owner in Germany. They require a credit card deposit (approx £1000) to be refunded when they have our deeds and the sale goes through. No charge to us. I am just very wary & keep managing to hang on without commitment!
I have recently been contacted by first options in Majorca they sounded so sincere on the phone so I let them take on selling my Timeshare, they said that the money was to be placed in a Holding Account of which they wouldn’t touch until after the sale. After reading your blog I now realise I have been duped by them, they are supposed to be phoning me today because I told them Friday last that I wished to pull out of the deal, be grateful for your advice, hav’nt signed any form as yet, they did ask me to return the forms to them in a registered envelope. Many Thanks