In a report dated 16 December 2015, the European Commission reported its concerns regarding the increasing sale of short term holiday products and Leisure Credits, which are problematic as they may not be covered by the Timeshare Directive and as such, there may not be cooling off rights.
Caveat emptor (buyer beware) cannot be expressed strongly enough in regard to any holiday product that does not come with a 14-day cooling off period. Parts of the industry are presently developing alternative products such as Leisure Credits.
As such, many consumer associations are reporting on this subject with increasing frequency. The problem is not necessarily Leisure Credits but how some companies are selling these products.
Please be extremely vigilant if you are contacted by a company offering to help you sell your timeshare, particularly if there is any reference to ‘upselling’, or purchase of Leisure Credits. Be aware that if they appear to have specific details regarding your timeshare, and/or other personal details, this is no evidence of reputability. In some cases, you may be promised an alleged “legal termination” of your timeshare - as an ancillary benefit. If you have, you should enquire who will be acting for you.
There are companies in existence purporting to be staffed by fully qualified lawyers, when they are simply salesmen - at best underinsured and at worst not insured at all. Furthermore, most are little more than administrative staff churning out standard letters. If you are contacted by a company, undertake careful research; websites can be set up easily and cheaply. It is always prudent to check out a company’s authenticity with Companies House, although this is no guarantee as an off the shelf company can be purchased relatively cheaply.
As stated in a previous article, if you do decide to purchase Leisure Credits, wherever possible pay by credit card, even if it is just the deposit, so you can claim under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 if things go wrong.
Please note that lenders may attempt to avoid responsibility by putting you to proof, hence the importance of requesting that any promises and / or guarantees are confirmed in writing with clear intent. In addition, please be aware that payments made by PayPal are not covered under section 75 of the Act.