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Setting Up The Sting
A Three Pronged Approach to Trap Consumers
Realising that there were potentially thousands of people whom had purchased timeshares or points who wanted to dispose of their timeshare or points Incentive Leisure Group looked at the best way of marketing their "product" . The results of their research was that ILG would work on a three pronged approach to attract consumers.
The first means of approach by ILG was the common one used by timeshare operators involving approaching members of the public walking along the seafront etc whilst on holiday in the Canary Islands and mainland Spain and giving them scratchcards whereby they would appear to win the "top prize". To collect this prize would involve attending a presentation by Incentive Leisure Group and having to stay there for possibly 5-6 hours or more whilst the ILG sales team tried to close a sale and very few people ever appeared to receive the prize they expected.
The second means of attracting customers used by Incentive Leisure Group was to use an associated company to place a number of various adverts in main stream newspapers whereby the lead statements include "At last I have got rid of my timeshare", "Do want to dispose of your timeshare or points" . The adverts then ranged from statements such as ""No fees", "They paid me £50 for my time" to "If you are serious about disposing of your timeshare and getting 100% of your money back" to name but a few! These adverts were placed on behalf of Incentive Leisure by The Direct Marketing Partnership Group and were ruled to be misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
The third approach by ILG was to simply obtain list of potential timeshare owners and "cold call" them with a view to visiting the offices of Incentive Leisure Group.
On making contact with a potential customer via either approaches two or three, Incentive Leisure Group would write to the consumer and confirm a date and time for them to visit one of the regional ILG offices in order to attend a presentation. The wording contained within the letter makes no mention of the fact that the customer is likely to be sold a membership of a Holiday Club. Instead it makes reference to the fact that Incentive Leisure has "helped" owners achieve up to 100% of their asking price back and in some case more and "helped" timeshare owners stop paying ever increasing maintenance fees. This letter effectively lays the foundations for the consumer to be exposed to the Incentive Leisure Group Scam!