The Whistleblowers of European Timeshare

Most timeshare owners have over the years received cold calls, be they for resales, claims and the cheap holidays commonly known as flybuys. In many cases the caller has been met with verbal abuse, well not surprising considering the number of calls owners have had to put up with.

But have you ever thought that the person calling is not actually aware that they may be working for a “scam” outfit. Many of these call centers are based in Spain and the workers tend to be expats especially women just out to earn a living for their family. That is not to say that all callers are unaware of what they are doing, many are well aware that they are calling to “scam” people of their hard earned cash.

Inside Timeshare has recently received several emails from workers, not only from call centers but also from the sales people based in the resorts. The following email is from one such worker, she tells of her experience, we have kept her anonymous for obvious reasons.

Worked with Signallia (Silverpoint) as telemarketer – was told we were just selling a cheap holiday to clients and they could use their Keys Credits given at the airport in Tenerife – turns out the credits aren’t worth anything – clients were never given credits – just a ploy to get them to Beverley Heights or Mirage to sell them more credits – Im told it will cost them tens of thousands of pounds and its not worth anything – beware – just another offshoot from timeshare being run by the same people who should be in jail for commiting what is clearly a fraud!  Telemarketing staff are really not aware of what is going on – staff are treated really bad. They are now employing all other languages in Europe, beware Europe the Silverpoint/Signallia/Keys-Concierge con is coming your way. They are selling a cheap week from €325 now dropping to €299 for 10 days – just go on the net and get the week just as cheap yourself and you don’t have to do a meeting with Keys – Concierge who will just try to get you to buy something for 10s of thousands of pounds which is not worth nothing! Timeshare in another disguise.

This is a very stark warning for a “product” that Inside Timeshare has published about in the past, it is marketed as a “lifestyle” credits based club, which the members are supposedly able to received massive discounts, These are not just for holiday accomodation but “discounts” from many well known high street chains. Having looked at the product, it is nothing but fresh air, it would take years to even recoup the initial outlay from the “supposed” discount promised.

As for the sales representatives that have contacted Inside Timeshare, they also tell a very similar story, taking on the job to be able to live a life in the sun. One sales rep who emailed us explained how he applied for the job from the UK, he was unemployed and thought this would be just the right new start in life he wanted.

He travelled to Tenerife with the promise of three months free accomodation, then began training. At first he believed in the product he was selling, it was pitched very much like it is to the potential purchasers, a dream.

At first he was having trouble selling, he was then taken to one side by a very experienced rep and told how to make the sales and earn his commission, that was the only source of income as there was no basic pay. You don’t sell you don’t eat.

He took on board what he was told and began to embellish his pitch with the usual lies, “you are buying property, it will go up in value”, “it’s an investment”, well you know the rest. Eventually this rep was making lots of money and certainly living the dream.

So what changed his mind?

As he explained, he had an elderly couple on tour, using all his charm and the usual lies, he eventually sold them a pack of several weeks in a one bed apartments, all with the promise that they would receive a rental income for the weeks they didn’t use and a resale with a substantial profit after two years. All this was financed with a loan from Barclays Partner Finance, totaling around £50,000.

The following year he met the couple again while they were on holiday, the story they told him made him feel guilty. This couple had great difficulty in repaying the loan, they ended up having to remortgage their home in order to pay it off. This had brought them great financial difficulty and they asked for the timeshares to be sold.

He had the unenviable task of telling them that there was no call for what they had purchased, that the only way was to upgrade, which they could not afford to do. Again the Barclays Partner Finance loan was offered. The couple were in tears, they could not afford to take on another, they were now lumbered with timeshares they did not want and were also in a considerable amount of debt.

There was absolutely nothing he could do for them, guilt took hold as they reminded him of his own grandparents. He realised he had been used by the timeshare company to make them unlimited amounts of money. Subsequently he handed in his notice, luckily he had not fallen into the usual trap of spending his money on drink and drugs so had a fairly large amount saved up. He eventually found a job managing a bar and continues to do so although not in Tenerife.

The company he worked for was none other than Silverpoint.

Inside Timeshare has heard many stories such as this, it does go to show that there are some people who have worked in the timeshare industry who do have a conscience and some morals.

Have you had an experience such as these, if so contact Inside Timeshare and let us tell your story.

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