Well, here I am, visiting relatives in Kent, and what do I find? Yes, you guessed it, touters trying to get 'compensation' for timeshare owners and promises to free them on a no-win-no-fee basis. Heigh Ho. Nothing particularly new in their approach - 'we're getting a group of thousands together' 'I'll explain in words you can understand' (patronising beggars!) - 'the only way you can get out is to hire a lawyer' 'when you die, they'll get their money one way or another' &c &c. My wife found them yesterday rabbitting on about 'helping' some people who were members of Club la Costa and telling them they were getting a group action together against the said organisation. Then today I found them doing the same pitch with some DRI members. So I congratulated the man on his very well executed scam presentation. I don't think he was very pleased with me. He went to get his colleague and they both tried very hard to persuade me that they were legit and working for a solicitor. When I pointed out that I knew there was no action being prepared against DRI, they said they were going against RCI first. Oh, and that they had been working on the action for over 5 years so they could get 'thousands together' for the case.
So, here's a question. If they aren't charging anything for their advice until after the case (which as I said is purported to be on a no-win-no-fee basis). WHO HAS BEEN PAYING THEIR WAGES FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS? I know how NWNF cases are handled, having already been through the process successfully, and though they do take one or two years to prepare, they don't take 5 years as that wouldn't be cost effective. Furthermore, they are initiated by open public meetings and consultations taking up to an hour, not by getting couples together in a private interview that lasts a few hours. Why see people in pairs, which would cost a fortune, rather than in groups, which would be cheaper? Oh yes. Because a single couple is easier to persuade than a group. Of course. If you want to get thousands together, you don't do it 2 by 2.
Next irritating point. Yes, there was a court action against RCI. RCI are an EXCHANGE organisation. They take a week or points from timeshare owners and bank them. They then give the owners a different week at another time or place in exchange. The case against them is based on the fact that they are accused of 'skimming' off the best properties banked with them, and exchanging them for properties of a lower standard. What the heck that has to do with people trying to get out of a timeshare ownership contract, I totally fail to see. The touters I came across quoted the solicitors who handled the RCI case in 2013 as being 'their' solicitors and stated they were getting thousands together. Independent sources say it was about 500, and anyway the case has already been brought and RCI are due to submit their defence this month (August). You can't join an action after it has been submitted, so what would they still be interviewing people for?
The thing I found most interesting, however, was the fact that when I mentioned the word 'scam' rather loudly, some time was spent trying to persuade me that they were no such thing. This included the man involved standing in a supposedly threatening posture right beside me. (The fact that he was only about half an inch taller than I made it less than impressive, and I've been threatened by bigger and very scary people in my time so was more inclined to laugh than cower.) So another big question. IF THEY WERE REALLY LEGAL EXPERTS AND I WAS DEFAMING THEM, WHY DIDN'T THEY COLLECT EVIDENCE AND SUE ME FOR SLANDER? After all, I was in a public place declaring that they were trying to con the public. What more did they need?
So, DRIPs, if you see or hear some poor innocent people being told a load of hogwash, please don't just ignore it. At the least, quietly slip the victims a piece of paper with our website on it so they can make an informed decision. Don't let the bullshitters get away with it!