Loans no good for holiday club scams

11 May 2005
When you've worked hard all year and taken out a loan to pay for your dream holiday, the last thing you want to be is ripped off.

So consumers' organisation Which? is warning holidaymakers not to be tempted to part with their borrowed money to pay for trips booked through holiday clubs.

A holiday club tout who had worked on the Spanish Costa del Sol for several years told Which? about the tricks of trade, which include using scratchcards to lure unwary potential holidaymakers to sales presentations.

Tourists can spend as much as £15,000 through the holiday clubs, which make use of empty timeshare accommodation.

Those travellers have no legal protection if the club goes bankrupt or disappears, and sometimes the promised accommodation doesn't even exist, Which? warns.

"Most holiday clubs are a waste of money. Even if you are lucky enough to get some of the holidays promised, you could probably have booked them more cheaply from traditional brochures," the ex-tout said.

"If you are offered a scratchcard on your next holiday, buy a lottery ticket instead - you've got more chance of hitting the jackpot."

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is currently investigating 40 holiday clubs, having received 341 complaints or enquiries about them last year.

Click here to find the best loan for your holiday - and choose it wisely.

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