Category Archives: Europe

The ‘New’ European Timeshare Directive

The Plaza Mayor in Barcelona.

The Resort Development Organization (RDO) is an association that consists of and regulates fractional-ownership resorts across the nations of the European Commission. They enact and enforce laws on behalf of resort and timeshare users and work with different national governments to ensure all timeshare owners in Europe are treated fairly by their resorts. They work in conjunction with the English timeshare association, TATOC, as well as many other European timeshare groups.

On March 16th the Spanish government signed the new European Timeshare Directive (ETD) into law. It carries several tenets that strengthen the rights of the consumer and make clear definitions whereas before there were many grey areas that timeshare-shelling companies took advantage of.

The European market has created the same type of monsters that are dogging American consumers. Worthless contracts that are written in perpetuity (forever), unavailable/worthless weeks “owned,” and fraudulent “companies” that promise to get people out of their timeshare contracts, but in reality offer nothing.

With this in mind comes the passing of the ETD. Member nations that use the ETD ensure these rules on behalf of their people:

• A 14 day period where the consumer can still get out of the timeshare without penalty

• The contract’s language will be in the language of the purchaser, as long as it is a language of the EU

• Detailed information on the purchase in the language of the purchaser, as long as it is a language of the EU

• A total ban on deposits

• Contracts as short as one year long are covered by ETD laws (previously it was three years or more)

The inclusion of such provisions makes a statement on how lawless the European timeshare sales industry is. Even in the United States and Mexico, where timeshares are already considered a big scam or at least a poor investment, buyers were able to get contracts in English. Not so in Spain and Portugal, where English and Irish timeshare buyers were buying perpetual contracts in languages they didn’t understand. The ban on deposits and the 14 day grace period encourages the potential contract holder to think over their purchase away from the high-pressure sales pitches used by timeshare salesmen, also similar to tactics used by timeshare salesmen in the United States. Just like in the United States, this new law was enacted by sheer force of the public making complaints about timeshare ownership and sales to their local governments.

Any purchaser of a European timeshare who would like to get out of their contract should transfer their title with Transfer Smart. Transfer Smart does NOT sell timeshares, but is the United States’ leader in timeshare contract transfer and cancellation. We can get you out of that ‘perpetual’ contract. Contact us today.