Two rogue timeshare claims companies run by the same person, have been shut down by the courts for failing to deliver advertised services.
Meredith Pritchard Claims Consultants Ltd and First Law Solutions have been wound up in the public interest at the High Court in Manchester. The Official Receiver has been appointed liquidator for both companies.
The two companies, based in Chester, offered timeshare claims management services which helped clients get out of their existing timeshare contracts and pursue compensation claims against resorts.
The court heard that Meredith Pritchard Claims Consultants traded between October 2016 and August 2017, before First Law Solutions continued with the business activities. Investigators for the Insolvency Service conducted a confidential enquiry and found that a total of 113 customers, had paid either £1,950 or £5,950 between the two companies, depending on the services being purchased.
In exchange, customers were told lawyers based abroad would be instructed to relinquish their timeshares on their behalf, and where they could seek a claim for compensation. However, investigators found that although lawyers had been instructed in some cases, neither companies were able to provide evidence to show any contracts had been relinquished or any compensation claims being actioned.
Investigators also found that the two companies had made a profit of £550,000, but were only able to identify payments to lawyers based overseas totalling £13,000, during the period of investigation.
The Insolvency Service presented petitions to the court on the grounds that both companies traded with a lack of commercial probity by failing to provide contracted services in a timely manner or at all. This included accepting payments in respect of non-viable claims, charging excessive fees, and using misleading and aggressive sales techniques.
It was also alleged that both companies did not maintain, preserve or deliver up full accounting records and that they were remiss in complying with statutory obligations to file annual accounts and confirmation statements. In the case of Meredith Pritchard Claims Consultants, it was alleged that the director had failed to fully co-operate with the investigation.
David Hope, Chief Investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “People genuinely sought out these companies for help to get them out of difficult situations concerning their timeshares. However, many customers did not receive the services they were led to expect, despite paying over significant fees. Securing winding-up orders through the courts will protect any more people from being duped by MPCC and FLS and the Insolvency Service will continue to protect customers by closing down rogue companies that operate in this way.”
People who enter into timeshare agreements often find it difficult to keep up with the mounting maintenance fees and cannot afford it any longer. They may also find that the Timeshare no longer suits their needs and simply want to end the contract.
There are too many individuals who are willing to take advantage of timeshare owners and offer fake products, along with timeshare exit schemes. Before agreeing to any timeshare termination or exit procedure with an individual or company, seek independent advice and fully research any company you are thinking of working with.
It is also important to remember that purchasing a timeshare should NEVER be viewed as a financial investment. Timeshare is an investment in lifestyle, in future holidays and family time together. There is almost no resale value to a Timeshare.
The mis-selling of holiday products is, unfortunately, common practice within the holiday industry. These type of crimes often go unreported by the most vulnerable in our society and criminal convictions are few and far between.
If you have purchased a Lifestyle / Concierge Service, a Timeshare or a ‘Holiday Points’ based product from a resort or company and feel unhappy with the service, or simply want to end your agreement, get in touch with us today to see how we can help with a possible timeshare termination.