Mrs M, Yorkshire

While we were on holiday in Lanzarote in 2005, my husband and I were sold a timeshare from Club Las Calas. It remains one of the things we most regret.

We were convinced by the sales reps about how lovely it would be to have a holiday in such a beautiful resort every year and how we could exchange our trips there for stays at other resorts around the world.

We still don’t know how they managed to convince us. We are otherwise intelligent people and we know that if we were in that situation again, we would never agree to sign a timeshare contract.

Of course we had heard all the negative things about timeshare but the way the Club Las Calas sales reps sold it to us made it sound completely different.

We realised why timeshare has such a bad name when we weren’t able to even use the thing. The booking process was a nightmare. We couldn’t arrange anything online and it took up to a dozen emails and phone calls to try to sort out. And that was just one holiday.

We were tired of the whole situation and after a few years of miserable ownership, we decided that we just wanted rid of the thing. But Club Las Calas didn’t want to take it back. They told us that it was explicitly stated in our contract that we couldn’t give it back to them.

I searched online for some advice and came across Timeshare Help. Their website featured their TV and radio adverts so that reassured us.

They told me they could get our maintenance contract terminated. This was all we wanted because it would get us released from the whole mistake.

They started negotiating with our club but Club Las Calas was very reluctant to let us go. Timeshare Help suggested we make a token payment to release us from our maintenance contract but Club Las Calas didn’t want to accept it.

They wanted to play it nasty so Timeshare Help got their solicitor to inform them that our contract could not be enforced in the UK anymore. We wouldn’t have to pay another maintenance fee and we would be protected by the Timeshare Help legal team.

Timeshare Help showed us the letter that their solicitor would send Club Las Calas for us to approve. When we did, it was then sent to the club.

Timeshare Help explained that Club Las Calas wouldn’t actually acknowledge that we had been released from our contract because it might be seen as them admitting liability for any future claim that may have taken place.

We would have wanted them to confirm that we were released from our contract but having Timeshare Help’s legal team confirm it for us was good enough. We know that we won’t ever have to pay another maintenance contract fee again.