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The Incentive Leisure "Plan"!
In the early part of the last decade there was a lot of turbulence in the exchange rates between Sterling and Euros and consequently the pound lost value in relation to the Euro and this became an issue since many timeshare operators maintenance fee demands were priced in Euros.
Faced with rapidly increasing maintenance fee demands many timeshare owners looked to dispose of their timeshares in order to reduce their costs but because of the volume of timeshares that were placed up for sale only a small number of sellers were able to dispose of their timeshare easily.
In order to ensure that the original resorts / timeshare operators cashflow was never impacted on by timeshare owners in many cases a perpetuity clause had been included within the original agreement which implied that the owner would be liable for maintenance fees technically forever. Whilst this perpetuity term had been included within the agreements the reality was that because the agreement was not regulated in most cases by UK law that the timeshare operator would not enforce any maintenance fee arrears through the courts.
One interesting concept was that in many cases if a timeshare owner did not pay their maintenance fees then the operators could terminate the agreement between the two parties, repossess the timeshare, sell it on to new owners which effectively means the operator would have been given free stock . Other interesting scenarios were that a timeshare operator could effectively keep inflating the maintenance fee demands beyond an unsustainable level whereby they could effectively repossess the whole resort through consumers failing to pay the maintenance fees.
Incentive Leisure Group Ltd and its associated companies were quick to realise the potential windfalls they could acquire by designing a product around the concept of relieving consumers of the liability of further maintenance fees and in the process selling them another product. In a lot of instances the early product was based around advertising rentals in timeshare resorts where it had became apparent to the operators that the owners were not going to utilise their accommodation for the weeks that they had bought or where there was unsold weeks . This effectively meant that holidays were being offered at unpopular resorts or off peak.
Incentive Leisure Group then thought about how they could really sell large volumes of their new product in association with Designer Way Vacation Club (DWVC) and that was by offering a Cashback scheme via initially Cashback Sales & Administration SA and more recently Reclaim Ltd. To make the product Incentive Leisure were marketing seem more attractive to consumers Incentive Leisure simply implied to the consumer that such Cashback certificate would not only repay them the cost of their timeshare but it would also repay them their joining fees of the ILG product some 51-59 months later.
Incentive Leisure having worked out how they could market their product then decided they would price the DWVC product dependent on how many years membership they could actually talk a consumer into buying and how much spare cash the consumer actually had! Generally speaking, ILG sold these memberships in time frames of 3,5,10.25 or 50 year periods and it difficult to understand how they would consider selling an 80 year old man a 50 year membership as this could not be considered being fit for purpose!