Although most timeshare owners will never be exposed to fraud, unfortunately, some owners may encounter a con artist who will fleece them of their cash. When this happens it can be devastating for those involved, and may put them off timeshare altogether. Some owners may even decide, now is the time to sell my timeshare, based on a bad experience.

If you discover that you have been conned, you might be able to claim a refund if you used a credit card to purchase any aspect of your timeshare holiday. This will be valid under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Card Act. What is this exactly and what does it cover?

Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Card Act, the credit card company is jointly liable for any breach of contract or misrepresentation by a trader. Therefore, the credit card company shares equal responsibility with a trader of goods or services, so you can make a claim to them in cases where a trader may have gone bust, or fails to respond to any of your communications.

If you want to make a claim, the goods or services will need to have cost at least £100 and not more than £30,000. You don’t need to have paid for the items in full in order to make a claim, for example, if you have paid a deposit only of at least £100. In this case, you will get a refund based on the value of the goods, not how much you paid on the credit card.

The Act applies to a wide range of transactions, including overseas transactions and items bought online, by phone or by mail order.

For any purchases costing less than £100 you may still be able to make a claim using the chargeback system. This is also the case for those goods or services bought by debit card. Generally speaking, however, a credit card will afford you the highest protection compared to a debit card, cash or cheque payment, should you need to make a claim.

Be aware, however, that if you withdraw money on your credit card to make a purchase, you will not be covered by the Act, as there is no direct link between the trader and the credit card company. In some cases, you might not be able to make a claim if a third party was involved in the exchange.

Ensure also that when you are making large purchases using your credit card that the person who makes it is the main cardholder. If the person who made the purchase is not the same person on the credit card, you won’t be able to make a claim. Additional cardholders can claim, although it is usually advisable for the main cardholder to be the purchaser to ensure maximum protection.

If a credit card company refuses to pay up and you believe you have a good case, you can refer your dispute to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).