Holiday club and timeshare scams
Scams that involve selling timeshares and holiday club memberships are typical in sun holiday destinations. You can also become a victim of a timeshare scam in Finland. Watch out if a timeshare or club membership is advertised as an investment that will produce an annual interest, a significant rental income or increase in value, or if you are promised that the timeshare/membership will be easy to sell on.
Checklist for buying timeshares and holiday club memberships
- Who is your contracting partner and what do you know about the seller? Look into the company’s background and other people’s experiences.
- Do not trust verbal promises. Ask to have all agreements in writing. Otherwise it may be difficult to prove the seller´s verbal promises if there is a dispute.
- Read the terms and conditions of the contract carefully. Never sign a contract if you have not had time to read it or you do not understand it. If necessary, bring the documents with you to the hotel so that you can take your time over reading them.
- Work out all the costs related to using a timeshare or holiday club membership (initial investment, maintenance charges, annual membership fee, flights etc.).
- Do not make advance payments! Do not agree to pay anything at the marketing event or before the end of the cancellation period (14 days). Asking for advance payments is against the law.
- Check with the seller that you have a right to cancel and ask to have the contract clause concerning cancellations in writing.
There is no well-functioning secondary market for timeshares or holiday club memberships. Scammers also know this and take advantage of the situation. Be critical of resale offers and never pay in advance.
Taking advance payments for resale contracts is against the law. Also remember that a high risk is involved in offers to sell your existing timeshare if you first buy a new one “with better resale value”, or a timeshare week following your existing week.