Different kinds of holiday products

Updated: 3/16/2016

ECC Sweden's experience is that most Swedes currently owning a timeshare or a holiday club membership mostly buy the product in Spain or Greece. 

Image of holiday resort

The majority of cases derive from contracts signed in Spain or with a Spanish trader. The EU has, since about 20 years, created consumer friendly legislation in order to strengthen the protection of individuals in this market, and the legislation has been reviewed a number of times.

How do I cancel my agreement

  • You need to cancel the agreement within 14 calendar days from the signing date, by writing to the trader. 
  • As long as you have sent your message within the time limit of the cooling off period it is valid. 
  • Save all documentation sent to the trader in case you need to prove it afterwards. 

These types of services are often sold in established vacation places with very aggressive marketing. The most common scenario is that you will be approached by a salesman asking if you would like to participate in a lottery. The participation is free and every ticket is a winner. In order for you to claim your prize, you must however join them at their facilities where you will be provided with food, drinks and information about the service or product. After several hours of aggressive marketing and manipulative argumentation you will be provided with an offer to purchase their services, most likely a timeshare or membership in a vacation club.

Timeshare or a membership in a vacation club cannot be marketed as an investment. Often, the trader will nevertheless use the term “investment” in order to get you to sign a contract.

Which contracts are covered by the legislation?

In the legislation, there’s a difference between two different types of contracts; timeshare and long-term holiday product. Both these types of contracts have the same rules and in basic the same protection for consumers.

ECC Sweden's experience is that traders usually tries to avoid that the contract they’re offering you will be covered by the EU- and national legislation You will most likely be informed, after the contract has been signed, that you have no right of cancellation and that the directive or national legislation doesn’t apply to their type of contracts.

If you are uncertain, you can contact ECC Sweden in order to determine if your contract i covered by the EU directive. Greece, Portugal and Spain, the countries where the majority of Swedes enter into such contracts, have all implemented the directive into national legislation.

Your rights

If your contract is covered by the directive, you as a consumer have certain rights that cannot be excluded from the contract:

Right of cancellation

You, as a consumer, always have a 14 days right of cancellation of the contract. You do not have to specify any further reason to why you wish to cancel the contract. The time limit starts the day you signed the contract.

Advance Payment

It is forbidden for the trader to demand a advance payment during the ”right of cancellation”-period.

Payment Plan (does not apply to all contracts)

If the contract is about “long term holiday product”, payment must be made in accordance with a set up payment plan. Any other means of payment are forbidden. After the first payment, the consumer has a right to withdraw from the contract, without any penalty-fee, by informing the trader about the withdrawal within 14 calendar days from the reception of the next request for payment.

If you haven’t received information and signed a separate part of the contract regarding the right of cancellation and the prohibition of deposit payment, the right of cancellation is prolonged to one year and 14 days from the date of the signing of the contract.

(See also prolonging of right of cancellation under the heading information)

Information

You should, in due time before the contract is signed, receive the following information from the trader:

Timeshare:

  • Information regarding the trader (name, address and the company form)
  • Description of the product the contract is about
  • The duration of the contract (and when you have access to the product)
  • The price of the product (plus a summary of additional costs related to the contract ( for example, annual fees, local taxes or other reoccurring costs etcetera.))
  • A summary of the services (for example, electricity, water, maintenance etcetera), facilities ( for example, sauna etcetera) that the consumer has access to and definition if they are included into the above-mentioned costs.
  • Information on whether it is possible to participate in an “exchange-system” where the consumer may get access to other facilities or apartments. Such information should include for example, costs for the program etcetera.
  • Information on whether the trader has signed one or several code of conducts.

This should be a separate part of the timeshare contract

  • Information on the right of cancellation for 14 days
  • Information on the prohibition on advance payment during the time of right of cancellation
  • The consumer will not be bear any other costs than those specified in the contract.

This should be another separate part of the contract

  • If needed, information on where eventual additional information is available (unless it is available in the contract)
  • Information of rights acquired
  • Information on the properties
  • Additional requirements for accommodation under construction

Long-term holiday product contracts:

  • Information regarding the trader (name, address and the company form)
  • Exact nature and content of the right(s)
  • Exact period within the right which is the subject of the contract may be exercised and, if necessary, its duration. (Also, date on which the consumer may start to exercise the contractual right)
  • Price to be paid by the consumer for acquiring the right(s), including any recurring costs the consumer can expect to incur resulting from the right or obtain access to the accommodation, travel and related products or services as specified.
  • A summary of key services available to the consumer (for example discounted hotel stays and flights) including costs for such services.
  • Staggered payment schedule setting out equal amounts of instalments of this price for each year of the length of the contract including dates of payment.
  • Information on whether the trader has signed one or several code of conducts

This should be a separate part of the holiday club contract

  • Information on the right of cancellation for 14 days
  • Information on the prohibition on advance payment during the time of right of cancellation
  • The consumer will not be bear any other costs than those specified in the contract.

This should be a separate part of the contract

  • If needed, information on where eventual additional information is available (unless it is available in the contract)
  • Information of rights acquired
  • Information termination of the contract
  • Additional information (for example, language restrictions when communicating with the trader, possibilities for ADR etcetera).

If you haven’t received this information, your right of cancellation is prolonged to 3 months and 14 days from the day of signing the contract.