October has been an extremely busy month after the breaking news of the wound up of 7 Club Class companies. Visits to the blog have been higher than ever and we closed the month with a total of 47.554 visitors and the busiest day was the 10th of October with 2915 visitors.
We are certainly extremely pleased to see that we are reaching such a large audience, and we have no doubt that a lot of “damage” could be avoided thanks to people researching the web and finding our blog and website.
Although Club Class has been the subject of discussion this month, we would like to take the opportunity of this Newsletter to remind all that there are so many other dubious Discount Clubs around and consumers are still falling into these traps.
DTMC’s or Discount Travel Membership Clubs are most of the time sold under different purposes.
Due to the changes in the Timeshare Directive and the stricter rules on cooling off and deposit taking, we have noticed that a lot of marketers who are selling these memberships have become very “creative” in order to avoid the Timeshare Law.
An example of this is Leisure Alliance, currently sold in Fuengirola and Tenerife, a new name for a Club Class Membership, but where people are sold on a basis of a lifetime travel-club but when it comes to signing the paperwork it states clearly it is only for 12 months! Keeping in mind that there is no obligation for cooling off and deposit can be taken for those clubs with duration of 12 months or less, you realize the paperwork is actually made up to match this.
The “Travel agency software” sold by HSWUK, ORA Vacation or now Via Gulliver in Tenerife is again a very tricky one. You don’t really buy into a club, and it will be difficult to proof to the bank/credit card company when requesting a refund that you were told other things than what you ended up with. Because this software, once the consumer receives the activation code, and manages to get it working turns out to be reservation websites where anybody can access and the discounts are open to everybody. So paying around £6000 to get to that conclusion is a hard lesson!
Voyager Travel / Lifestyle is another one that people sign up for when in reality they went over to Gran Canaria. Consumers are invited by Reclaimgc to come over and discuss a claim against their timeshare company but end up in a presentation for Voyager and actually get a “discount” on the costs of the court-case if they join Voyager. No cooling off, deposit taking on the day, we have heard it all. Once the consumer realizes there is hardly any availability and all they can do is go back to Gran Canaria, it could be too late to claim a refund.
And last but not least we have the DTMC’s consumers sign up for without actually knowing it. These are the ones offered to consumers after a dodgy resale offer has fallen through (with upfront payment) and they get the famous “second offer”. All off the sudden their own membership is no longer attractive for the resale market, in spite of being told there were buyers lining up in the first place.. And the best thing to do is change to a different club which will be sold on straight away. These clubs are for example Kudos5, Continent Connections, Breakaway Destinations and Essential Travel. Amounts of around €2000 are quoted for this change; money that “of course” will be recuperated after the sale and worse of all has to be paid by bank transfer. Needless to say the sale neither happens afterwards, refund claims are almost impossible and after 12 months the consumer receives a bill for membership fees and threatening letters if he doesn’t pay!
We are almost sure that we must have missed out some names above, but the “modus operandi” of these clubs are all very similar and if you find yourself in the situation of signing the paperwork, please be aware of the fact you might end up with something you never wanted!
If you have been dealing with any of the above mentioned companies or similar, please do not hesitate to ask us for advice by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Articles we published in October on the blog:
Canillo Lopez http://wp.me/p1kmoi-Az
Consulting Inmobiliaria Gilmar http://wp.me/p1kmoi-AL
Consumer Advisory Services http://wp.me/p1kmoi-p5
Destinos Turisticos http://wp.me/p1kmoi-AB
Eclipse Vacation http://wp.me/p1kmoi-Au
Lake Harvest International http://wp.me/p1kmoi-Aj
Palm Travel Solutions http://wp.me/p1kmoi-B2
Silver Lining Security http://wp.me/p1kmoi-Ae
Verde y Navarro http://wp.me/p1kmoi-Az
Please note that on our website and blog you can find an updated Cold Caller list with all the names of companies we have received inquiries about. There is also a PDF document with all companies that have been calling for the past year and links to the articles on the blog.
Always worth checking in case of doubt! And if you have been called by a company that does not appear on the list, please let us know as soon as possible so we can alert other consumers!
Many thanks for being with us!