Timeshare on the water, in cannel boats and the selling of boating timeshare has received much bad press of late. Timeshare Companies, selling timeshare in boats generally promote the sale, as a sale of a long term benefit were as that benefit can result in the acquisition of a burden.
Such benefits include entering an exchange system,whereby consumers can exchange the use on the boat of other boating holidays.
This may be misleading with regards to consumer expectation, as only 3 or 4 independent canal boat operators in the UK are:- The most notorious being Shakespeare Classic Line Ltd (“Narrow Boats who did trade from Mercia Marina. Under their direction they also owned “Houseboats at Barton Turns Marina”, “Classic Cruisers”, “Bray”, “Barton Turns Marina” and Dames de la Mar in Turkey). Barton Turns boats moved early 2009.
Each company did use a range of ‘agents’ to sell the timeshare product on their behalf.
Timeshare on/in boats in the UK attracts its own complications and when timeshare companies attempt to sell them. The major obstruction is “low season”, as “low season” weeks are generally hard to exchange.
Timeshare owners rightfully fear the activities of ice breaking or walking along dry canals. To overcome these problematic sales, timeshare salesmen become over enthusiastic and have embroidered the benefits of owning one of these timeshare weeks.
Up until 23 February 2011 the purchase of boat timeshares was probably covered by the UK Timeshare Act 1992. The 10-day voluntary code [Cooling off Period] operated by credit card companies also applied.
This said, from 23 February 2011 the purchase was certainly covered by the Timeshare Regulations 2010.
The owner of Shakespeare Classic Line did make submission to the House of Lords, however those proposals floundered. He was later convicted by the UK Courts as operating a “scam” and according was jailed. The Court explained they were running a “fraud factory”. Accordingly, if you were sold such a product the likelihood is that you can recover compensation in damages.
Purchasers who have been subject to the misrepresentations, may be required to take legal action to get out of the timeshare contracts, however little opposition will be met.
Points to bear in mind when buying into a winter week (RCI ‘blue’ season):
Canal and general cruising [in winter] is reserved for the very hardy and particular consideration ought to be given to the weather and whilst holidaying in a boat on a canal:
Despite the boats have central heating, the cold, wet weather and short days cruising may be limited.
Many unannounced Canals closures occur in some periods in winter, often between October – March (for maintenance). These weeks are called “non-cruising weeks”. See the Canal & River Trust (England & Wales) and Scottish Canals.
In respect to exchanges most exchange companies have a need to find someone to use your week, so to keep their exchange system functioning smoothly.
It has been reported that RCI points valuation of winter weeks is one tenth the valuation of a peak summer week.
Additional Points for Timeshare in Boats/vessels/barges:
Point exchanges in Winter weeks are also problematic. In short, consumers should shy away from spending vacation time on a boat in the winter.
Sales representatives tend to over egg the claims, that large rental incomes will flow from a purchase. In many cases and after consideration, the rentals the salesman claim to be available were actually based upon the rentals of much superior boat specifications.
If you have acquired and you want a return of you money, by preparing your own list of misrepresentations TESS can assist you in the preparation of a claim under the Consumer Credit Act 1974).
In many cases of misrepresentation the seller could have breach the Consumer Protection Regulations. Therefore, consumers ought to report the matter to his or her local Trading Standards Office as a criminal act as well.