Mr and Mrs S, Tyneside

We had been persuaded by Club La Costa to enter into a trial membership of their ‘holiday ownership’ product. We thought it would be a good way of getting some quality holidays without having to sign a permanent contract.

But while we were on our holiday in 2010, we were approached by a Club La Costa representative who asked us to attend a presentation.

We agreed, thinking it was something to do with our trial membership. When we got there, though, it was just another sales pitch. We didn’t quite realise that at the time, though.

The Club La Costa sales team convinced us that we should upgrade our trial membership to a full ownership with them. They made it sound like a great idea.

They promised that all issues we had encountered so far – like not being able to access the website to book and having trouble with actually booking our holidays – would be resolved if we upgraded.

Since we were enjoying our holidays, we wanted to be able to continue taking them when we wanted.

They made it sound completely believable. They even recognised the problems that we’d had so far. So it seemed like they wanted to help us by making our holidays better. We fell for it and signed a permanent timeshare contract with Club La Costa.

It was almost immediately that we found we were still having the same problems. We couldn’t get onto the website to book our holidays and whenever we called Club La Costa to ask for help, they just tried to get more money out of us.

We also found out that we were going to have to pay a maintenance fee every year until we died. Then when we died, it would be passed down to our children. We couldn’t believe that this was legal. We couldn’t believe that a company would actually want to do this to people.

So we called Timeshare Help and they asked us to list everything that Club La Costa had done to us since we signed that contract. We put it all down in a statement of facts, where we detailed everything we could remember about the sales pitch and who was there.

Timeshare Help made us realise that Club La Costa had made promises that they had no intention of ever keeping. They had even told us we could get cheaper flights if we signed their contract. We had no reason to think they would be lying about it but they were.

We weren’t told of any complaints process or any way to officially lodge a complaint with the club. We just wanted to get away on holidays at decent resorts. We don’t think that all the issues we went through were worth it.

Timeshare Help took over all communications with Club La Costa and got our maintenance contract terminated. They saved us almost £40,000 by doing so. Our kids won’t have to pay anything to Club La Costa now either.