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Have you been a victim of misrepresentation?

What is misrepresentation?

The Misrepresentation Act 1967 in effect, states that a misrepresentation is a bogus explanation of reality (it is not but an opinion) which prompts the client to enter into a contract. Where a statement made during the course of negotiations is classed as a representation rather than a term, an action for misrepresentation may be available where the statement turns out to be untrue.

On the off chance that your choice in purchasing a timeshare buy was dependant on the announcements made by the merchant, and the buy ends up being not quite the same as guaranteed, at that point you ought to genuinely think about making a claim for compensation.

Timeshare introductions can be overwhelming encounters, where clients are subjected to hours of immense pressure from sellers. The effectiveness of these presentations stem from the fact that these sellers are very well trained in presenting a product in a way that the client does not perceive the reality of what they are buying. Tragically a large number of the timeshare contracts sold are due to sales staff misrepresenting the nature of the product and even the nature of the business.

Timeshare mis-representation

During sales presentations, potential purchasers can be mis-lead into accepting that a timeshare is a quality item that can prompt an enormous return for the customer. Moreover, merchants frequently guarantee that the market for timeshares is easy to explore and you could undoubtedly exchange or sell your timeshare later on. This is a clear case of deception, as the timeshare market is actually extremely depressed due to consumers becoming more aware of the notorius reputation of the industry.

It is critical to recall that during sales presentations, a decision to buy may be based on verbal presentations, which are more difficult to prove than documented statements such as those in the contract or on any printed correspondence. Verbal proclamations made between two individuals can be viewed as 'one individual's pledge against another. Whereas, if many people were told the same thing by a salesman, this would then be a case of systematic misrepresentation where it’s the seller’s word against that of all the other clients. This then becomes hard to disprove.

As demonstrating sales deception is somewhat difficult, it is a very good idea to document, in detail, all forms of misrepresentation experienced at the timeshare presentation. These statements may constitute fraud and are a great way to build leverage against timeshare companies. Here are some statements some of our clients have experienced from sellers:

  • Clients can be informed that the exceptional arrangement that is on offer is just accessible until the day's end and after that the cost will go up.
  • Clients are told that their timeshare is a financial investment which will go up in value.
  • A common statement made is that they can exchange to stay anywhere in the world for the same price.
  • That the maintenance fees will not increase.
  • That the resort will buy back the property after a certain amount of years.
  • That they will easily be able to resell their timeshare.
  • That it is not timeshare that they are buying, but another product.

Another problem that goes unforeseen is the validity of the points or upgrades that consumers can be tricked into buying. Clients are being convinced into thinking that the benefits to this will include:

  • Making their timeshare property more flexible on dates
  • Give them options to use another timeshare property in another country or resort
  • Give them a more valuable timeshare property

Unfortunately, after the purchase of these points or ‘upgrades’, many clients have realised that their points are still not enough to acquire the holiday that they wanted.

Omissions

Often it's not what's being presented that's the problem. Sometimes it’s what's been left out that's the issue. For example in the case of timeshare, a sales person may omit that maintenance fees may increase more than the rate of inflation.

The Consumer Protection Office offer protection against traders who are economical with the truth, or miss out key information that you might need to make an informed decision.

The sales staff must make sure the information is provided in a timely manner and not so late that it becomes invalid for you.

It is considered misleading if a salesman does any of the following:

  • Omits material information that the average consumer needs, according to the context, to make an informed decision.
  • Hides or provides material information in an unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely manner.
  • Fails to identify the commercial intent of the commercial practice if not already apparent from the context.

Information must also be displayed clearly - obscure presentation is tantamount to an omission.

Types of misrepresentation

Your right to claim will depend upon different types of misrepresentation, including the following:
Fraudulent misrepresentation
A fraudulent misrepresentation can be determined if someone makes a statement that:

  • They know to be untrue
  • They make without believing it is true
  • They make recklessly

If you have entered into a contract as a result of a fraudulent misrepresentation, then you have grounds to cancel the contract, claim damages, or both.

Negligent misrepresentation
This is a misrepresentation under the same Misrepresentation Act 1967 where a statement is made carelessly or without reasonable grounds for believing its truth.

For example, if an estate agent told a buyer that the house would be very quiet, when in fact the next door neighbours were about to start a very noisy restoration, this statement would be classed as negligent, as even though the estate agent did not know about the restoration, she did not do any thorough checks to substantiate her claim, she just assumed it to be correct. Had she known about the noise and lied about it, then this would class as a much more serious case of fraudulent misrepresentation.

Have you been a victim of misrepresentation? Contact one of our consultants today to see if you can make a claim.

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