An analysis from Mindtimeshare about the real interest behind the “Action groups” set up and promoted by people connected with dubious companies.
Since a couple of years now we receive on a daily basis inquiries from concerned timeshare consumers about the cold calls received from companies who offer them to join an “Action Group” against the Timeshare Industry.
On the telephone the timeshare owner is offered the ideal opportunity to join in on a No Win No fee claim with a high probability of winning. A claim, which is taken to court by prestigious lawyers in the UK and all this on a short-term basis, within the year.
On the same call the agent speaks very negative about the timeshare company the owner belongs to, explain they have heard about their mis selling tactics, the agreements being in perpetuity, increasing maintenance fees…etc.
In exchange of joining this court action they need the following 2 things from the timeshare owner:
- A percentage from the awarded money through the claim. Which sounds logical.
- The owner to travel to Spain to Fuengirola or Marbella for a 3-day stay with the hotel paid for (alternatively a meeting in the UK) in order to get the paperwork ready to join.
There is nothing to lose for the timeshare owner!!! If the case is lost, no fees are requested and if the case is won, the owner will receive a 60% of the awarded money which will be an amount similar to what they paid for the timeshare initially, including interest.
And on top of this, a 3-day break in a hotel with only the flights top ay for. A minibreak. Perfect! And that just for attending a meeting and listen to what they have to say.
RCI Action Group
In November 2012 it was the first time we heard about the RCI Action Group which seemed to be at that stage still in development, a website talking about an Action group and also the mention of the solicitors company Edwin Coe Llp.
The ideal scenario, a court action against RCI on a NO WIN NO FEE basis with a 40/60% charge.
Two and a half years down the line since the Action group was launched, we still haven’t seen any prosecution as yet.
During all this time RCI Action Group has been delaying the hypothetical lawsuit against the timeshare industry. Even worse, in the past weeks they have announced another delay again and this time they claim the Court case won’t be until May 2016. So that is another year of waiting.
Three and a half year to prepare a Group Action does seem an awful lot of time to me? Don’t you think so as well?
What is the timeshare owner who joined in November 2012 thinking of this?
The only thing these timeshare owners are receiving is a fancy newsletter from RCI Action Group explaining over and over again that the case has been delayed.
So much time for a Group action? It really sounds strange to us!
But, what is there actually behind this RCI Action Group and other similar actions and who are the people promoting these?
Could there be a hidden interest in keeping delaying the dates?
Mindtimeshare has come to the conclusion and considers at this stage that the RCI Action Group is not an “end” in itself but more a means a tool to achieve other goals.
Let’s have a closer look to why we have come to this conclusion:
First of all, and we know we have been saying this many times before, the timeshare owner needs to know that the initiative of the RCI Action Group has been promoted from the start by ITRA. This company belongs to the Club Class Group of Companies and this group has thousands of consumer complaints regarding the products the have been selling over the years.
Therefore, and knowing very well the set up of Club Class and the responsible behind this all, from the start we knew that this Court Action was not as idyllic for the timeshare owner as they said it was.
Mindtimeshare considers that ITRA is using the RCI Action Group as the hook to get the timeshare owner through the door and then get them to pay around £5000 for a service related to their timeshare but nothing to do with the actual “Action Group”. A payment with a deposit on the day and a balance payment prior to the service being delivered.
It all starts with a cold call from a telemarketer.
Sherlock Marketing introduces the timeshare owner to the “Action Group” although they are very careful in not using the name of RCI Action Group in their telephone conversations or follow up emails.
Sherlock Marketing has no legal identification as a company.
Sherlock Marketing promotes the court action against the “timeshare industry” and is the one inviting the consumers for the meeting with a two or three day stay in order to get the paperwork done to join this action group. They request the timeshare owner to bring all the paperwork with him related to their membership.
Once the timeshare owner is at the meeting, he will be introduced to the RCI Action Group and the basics of this claim, but soon the conversation will be turned into a total different subject. And this subject is how to exit their timeshare, the so-called disposal or relinquishment, which will cost the owner around £5000
This is where the timeshare owner realizes that the main interest of the sales person at this meeting is the disposal service and the action group is only a secondary subject.
The sales representative will do anything in his power to convince the timeshare owner of the need to exit their timeshare, using statements such as “you have been missold”, “your timeshare is in perpetuity and your children will be liable after your death”, etc.
So the timeshare owner who attends this meeting through an invite of Sherlock Marketing, thinking they will be joining an Action Group on a No Win No Fee basis, ends up completely “brainwashed” and ready to pay the £5000 for a disposal service.
The Action Group on a No Win No Fee basis is the perfect hook to get the attention from the timeshare owner and their willingness to attend the meeting as there is “nothing to lose”, but where the mayor part of the timeshare owners end up taking their credit card out of their wallet and pay £5000 for a service they didn’t ask for or expect in the first place.
That is why, we from Mindtimeshare think that it is in the interest of ITRA to delay as far as possible the actual court case of the RCI Action Group because once this takes place it will leave ITRA without the “hook” to get the timeshare owner through the door!