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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46156
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I recently signed up services of a timeshare release company

Customer Question

I recently signed up for the services of a timeshare release company called ITRA at their offices after a lengthy interview where they convinced me that they could guarantee a release from my current timeshare. After further research, I find that their track record is very suspect and I wish to withdraw from the agreement before I pay any money up front. Can I invoke the cooling-off period?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

How long ago did you sign up for this?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
26th MAY 2016
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

OK, not that long ago then. Please can you also confirm whether the company that you have signed up with are based in the UK. I will then review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message after you have provided the information as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The office I attended was Unit 6, The Stable Block, Staveley Hall, Staveley, Chesterfield, S43 3TN.
Their business address is PO Box 561, G7 Cornwall's Centre, Gibraltar.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

A consumer’s rights in this situation are mainly determined by the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. These Regulations apply to contracts for sales conducted on the trader’s business premises, off the trader’s premises (e.g. at the consumer’s home) and at a distance (e.g. online).

All types of transactions are subject to the requirement by the trader to issue the consumer with specific pre-contractual information, as long as it is not a contract entered off the trader’s premises for a value of less than £42. If this information is not provided then the consumer would not be bound by the contract and it can also be a fineable offence for the trader. Details of the required information can be found here:

· Contracts entered on the trader’s premises - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/schedule/1/made

In terms of cancellation rights, these only apply to off-premises and distance contracts, so if this was a contract signed off at the traders premises it would not apply. You can therefore only rely on any contractual cooling off period provided for in the contract.

The above cancellation periods may be extended by up to 12 months if the trader has failed to issue the consumer with notice of their right to cancel. Once that information has been provided within the initial 12 month period, the cancellation rights of 14 days start to run from the date after the consumer receives that information.

So your rights very much depend on the following:

· Were you issued with the required pre-contractual information as mentioned above

· If they had satisfied the above conditions, did the contract allow for a cooling off period

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the ways you can take this forward in the event you have the right to cancel on either of the grounds I mentioned, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46156
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Not sure what constitutes pre-contractual information, but all I received was confirmation of a consultation.
I cannot see any reference to a cooling-off period in the contract.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Thank you. I am not sure if you checked the link above but here it is again:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/schedule/1/made

This is what they must have supplied you with, and until they do so you can cancel the contract

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
As with most timeshare related contracts, you can expect the narrative to be air-tight and I can't find any significant issues with the document you supplied. What has happened since I signed, is that there is a real doubt in my mind that they can deliver the services they offered, and the internet and media reports suggest that this companies offer is just a scam. I have not paid yet and do not want to contribute to this to the tune of £4180. Please help me get out of this hole.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

The good thing here is that you have not paid anything. Whilst you may not have the right to cancel this, there is nothing stopping you from doing so anyway and advising them you are not proceeding with the contract. Whilst that may place you in breach of contract, the only way you may be forced to pay is if they go to court and win. In my experience it is unlikely they will do so, especially s they have not spent any time or resources on you. A company is much more likely to sue if they are owed for time and resources already spent, rather than for a potential client and for ‘what could have been’ had they proceeded. So it is a small risk but one that may be worth taking instead of having to go ahead with this now

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
With your comments in mind, I have responded to ITRA as follows:-
"I expressed reservations about paying money up-front during the consultation. I am happy to pay the fee as agreed, but only subject to results.
Since Ricky guaranteed my release from the timeshare, this should not be a problem for you and I will pay the agreed sum in full as soon as this is achieved. If this is not acceptable to you, please return my documents and consider the arrangement closed."
In other words, I have not refused to pay, but will only do so if the promised results are achieved. If the service is legitimate, they should be OK with this. If not, I think they will struggle to prove that I have broken either the letter or the spirit of the contract.
Thanks for your help.
Gordon.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Great, thanks for that. Some more information for you - due to widespread fraud in the timeshare industry, European lawmakers introduced certain regulations which apply across all European countries. The main piece of legislation is the European Timeshare Directive (implemented in the UK under the Timeshare, Holiday Products, Resale and Exchange Contracts Regulations 2010).

The law provides for an automatic 14-day cooling off period from the date the contract is signed and makes it illegal for businesses acting as timeshare or holiday club sellers or resellers to ask for any payment from the consumer within that period. There is also the right to cancel the contract for any reason within that period without incurring any penalties.

Therefore, if you have been offered the chance to dispose of your timeshare and have been asked to pay any money in advance of or during this cooling off period, then that is an unlawful request. The request is often disguised as a requirement to pay certain fees, such as legal fees, taxes, insurance, deposit, etc. However, none of these would be valid reasons and you should not be required to pay anything within this initial 14 day cooling off period.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thankyou. That gives me something to quote back at them should they get shirty with his.
Regards. Gordon.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

You are welcome

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