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Recent Complaints of Note
Warnings to Travellers



Travelwatchdog has now been in operation for more than three years and has handled thousands of complaints from holidaymakers and travellers about a variety of companies operating in dozens of countries all over the world. One thing that can be guaranteed is that in every batch of e-mails, there will be some complaining about time-share or holiday club scams in Spain. Very often these companies have been operating for several years, defrauding holiday-makers of thousands of Euros. There is no cooling off period and, on several occasions, attempts to recover deposits of thousands of pounds have been met by threats of violence. These reports are not about France, Germany, Portugal or even Bulgaria; they are all about Spain. Why should this be? The reason is patently clear; despite European law, the Spanish police and justice department take no action to bring these fraudsters to justice and seem quite happy to allow them to operate.

Not many years ago Spain was a well known refuge for crooks escaping justice in other countries. It seems that the Spanish authorities are still content to encourage them to operate in Spain: in our view failure to take action amounts to active encouragement! If you fancy a time-share, go and see a reputable estate agent in your own country. Never buy from these modern day highwaymen on mopeds.


If you get a telephone call from the above name corporation, offering you the holiday of a lifetime, tell them to go away. The whole package is a total scam and their activities over the past 4 years are well documented at  Their method is to cold-call, telling you that you have won a holiday. They will then ask for c$800 per person which, if paid, will be followed up by further supplementary demands for smaller amounts. Don't be sucked in!

These people have got away with their fraud for two reasons. Firstly, insufficient people have made formal complaints to put pressure on the authorities and, secondly, because it is not an issue damaging their own residents, the law enforcement authorities at Coldwater have apparently ignored what has been happening. If you have been ripped off by this company, you should file a complaint with the office of the Attorney General of the State of Michigan.

The nature of crime is that fraudsters such as this seldom change their ways. They may well change their location and their business name, but they generally continue with the same type of fraud. If you are aware of any similar operations, please contact us.

Time Share - Holiday Bonds - Travel Club Memberships

One of the plagues affecting all travellers is the constant pressure from the mosquito on the moped who uses every possible ruse to persuade the vulnerable to part with a deposit to buy a timeshare they don't want, a holiday bond that offers no real benefits, or a travel club membership, the benefits from which they don't even understand. Our mail is regularly punctuated with pleas from travellers who have been duped.

For some people, timeshare may be a benefit, but it is difficult to think who. Perhaps there are travellers who prefer to go to the same destination each holiday, or who are not daunted by the annual round of "lets try to swap". There are also many who discovered too late, that the annual cost of air travel to their timeshare, amounts to more than the cost of an all-inclusive package to the same destination, staying in a quality hotel at a time more suited to their requirements.

By all means, buy these deals if they suit your requirements, but never:

  • Buy or pay while you are on holiday - Wait until you return home and are able to give proper consideration to what is on offer and at what price.
  • Sign a contract for these services without taking advice from someone properly qualified.

The following are real cases and this company may still be operating, but perhaps under another name. If you recognise the pitch, or anything resembling it, report it to us please:

The Guri Dam Venezuela - One of the world's largest Hydro electric power schemes


Case 1: A traveller was on holiday in Tenerife when he was approached by a representative of a company called 'Selective Services'. The deal was that for £10,000 the customer would become a member of Travelsaver.  The saleman's pitch was that after 59 months, the full amount of £10,000 would be repaid to the customer. The customer signed and paid £2,800 deposit. Of course, the money is only eventually refundable providing certain very stringent conditions are met. Moreover, any refund in accordance with the agreement depends upon the performance of the Stock Exchange. In other words, "you are probably not going to get your money back". Surprised?

The 'Selective Services' contract is something to behold. A couple of conditions are worth particular mention:

(c). I/We accept that this Agreement entered into between myself/ourselves and Selective Services S.L. is not a      timeshare transaction. This agreement is not governed by "Royal Decree" 42/1998 of 15th december, therefore no "Cooling off Period" or "Cancellation Clause" is given. I/We further accept that my/our deposit(s) paid to Selective Services, S.L. is/are non-refundable.

(d). I/We agree and understand that Selective Services, S.L. will not be responsible for any verbal warranties or implications that are not included in this agreement or supplied in writing on a separate supplementary document signed by both parties.

The effect of these clauses is that it leaves the salesman free to make any representation, however false, to the potential client, knowing that when the final contract is signed he cannot be held to account. No cooling off period and no cancellation clauses are the final straw. Why would a company wish to include such conditions in their contract? You already know the answer!

The legality of these clauses under European Law is, to say the least, dubious, but the company will reckon that they are fairly safe that once having signed, the customer will find it difficult to pursue a claim. Under European Law, contracts that attempt to remove statutory rights are not enforceable. Moreover, verbal statements made in persuading a person to enter into a contract are almost certainly a part of that contract.

Case 2. In November 2004, Mrs W of Stoke on Trent paid Selective Services S.L. £2,150 in similar circumstances. As with others who have suffered at the hands of this company, there is no way of recovering her money.


Lisa Clements is a name to remmeber in respect of this scam. It has variously operated under the names of PRESTIGE VACATIONS LTD, MEDIA WORLDWIDE MARKETING LIMITED and VACATION SOLUTIONS CONSULTANCY LTD, all of which companies have now been dissolved leaving havoc in their wake. Avoid like the plague any company that emerges with Lisa Clements on the list. It will be anther version of the same scam.

Experience teaches you that a man who looks you straight in the eye, particularly if he adds a firm handshake, is hiding something. Clifton Fadiman