23 January 2012
The European Consumer Centre (ECC) warns people visiting the Canary Islands about holiday club and other holiday products that are sold under the guise of raffle prizes. Apart from timeshares, contracts cannot usually be cancelled.
In holiday destinations, Finnish tourists may come across a young, Finnish speaking person conducting a survey on holiday habits and offering a scratch ticket. The ticket offered often wins a free trip. However, in order to collect the prize, tourists have to participate in a presentation of a timeshare or some other holiday product that may last hours.
“During the past few weeks, we have received several complaints about aggressive and misleading holiday club marketing. These marketing activities have taken place especially in Gran Canaria and Tenerife”, says ECC Director Leena Lindström.
Consumers usually have the right to withdraw from contracts regarding timeshares, holiday clubs and other holiday products within 14 days of signing the contract. However, Spain has not yet implemented the new Timeshare Directive. Therefore, deals on Spanish holiday products, apart from timeshare contracts, cannot be cancelled unless otherwise stated in the contract.
“A holiday club deal made without careful consideration may lead to a lot grief and the loss of thousands of euros”, Lindström says. Before signing a contract, keep in mind the following things:
- Never sign a contract that you do not understand or have time to read.
- Do not make a down payment at the presentation.
- Do not trust the seller’s verbal promises.
- Make sure that the contract includes a clause that allows you to terminate the contract.
- Make sure that the contract includes the right to withdraw from the contract. If no such clause is included, thank the seller and leave the presentation.