The website www.selltimesharetoday.co.uk stated "Timeshare Refund UK is a 100% free service. We will assist you in getting rid of your timeshare and relieve you of all maintenance and membership fees. We have helped countless timeshare owners and reclaimed over £3.5m last year".
KwikChex, as part of the Timeshare Task Force initiative, challenged whether the claim "We have … reclaimed over £3.5m last year" was misleading and could be substantiated.
Timeshare Refund UK did not respond to the ASA's enquiries.
The ASA was concerned by Timeshare Refund UK's lack of response and apparent disregard for the Code, which was a breach of CAP Code clause 1.7 (Unreasonable delay). We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
In the absence of documentary evidence, we considered that Timeshare Refund UK had not substantiated their claim that they had reclaimed over £3.5m. We therefore concluded that the ad was misleading and in breach of the Code.
The ad breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 3.1 Marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. (Misleading advertising) and 3.7 3.7 Before distributing or submitting a marketing communication for publication, marketers must hold documentary evidence to prove claims that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation. The ASA may regard claims as misleading in the absence of adequate substantiation. (Substantiation).
The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Timeshare Refund UK not to claim they had reclaimed money if that was not the case. We referred the matter to CAP's compliance team.