The timeshare cooling off period

Here at Timeshare Help, we have previously explained that you are entitled, as a timeshare owner, to a cooling off period of 14 days after agreeing a contract.

In 1992, the Timeshare Act was passed in the UK, which explicitly stated that a 14-day cooling off period would be required. In 2011, the EU imposed that 14-day limit throughout the union.

These laws are obviously intended to protect the consumer but a huge amount of timeshare companies simply disregard them. They do not give you that time to change your mind.

Timeshare Help knows that they get around this by not sending any information to you until after the period has expired. The representatives at the point of sale will have convinced you that there was no need to take any important documents with you because they would be posted out.

This doesn’t arrive until well after the cooling off period is up so you’re not even fully aware of what you’ve signed up for until it’s too late. Often, maintenance contract fees are hidden away in these documents and it happens that it’s the first time you’ve heard of this aspect of timeshare agreements.

Even if you do receive your documents and you decide that buying a timeshare was, in fact, the wrong choice, you often won’t be able to reach the timeshare companies to cancel. They would give you a number of reasons why you can’t speak to the relevant people to cancel your contract until the cooling off period expires. When you then try to cancel it, you’re told that it’s too late. You’re stuck with it.

If you attempt to cancel it in writing, timeshare companies have a way of dealing with that too. At the point of sale, some sales reps will provide you with a pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelope in order to make it seem easy to cancel your contract. This may seem like a good thing but they have bad intentions.

When you send that pre-stamped envelope, you won’t go to the post office to request that it’s sent via recorded delivery. The timeshare company in question can then say they never received your cancellation notice. After 14 days, you are unable to go ahead with cancelling the purchase because the timeshare companies make it impossible. They’ll even threaten legal action if you persist in trying to cancel your contract.

The EU Directive on timeshares also prohibited the taking of deposits during the cooling off period. However, Timeshare Help has dealt with hundreds of cases where this rule was deliberately flouted.

We have also heard of people who have managed to cancel their timeshare contracts within the cooling off period but have no received their deposit back. They often say the payment was made for accommodation which was provided for signing the contract.

If a company has taken a deposit from you during the cooling off period, that is illegal and you could be entitled to make a no win no fee claim against them for your money back. Get in touch with us today to see how Timeshare Help could do this for you.