Mary Nasmyth, a former member of the Learning and Teaching Scotland Advisory Council and chairman of the Scottish Training Federation, bought into a timeshare in the late 1990s.

She says: "We have been members there for 17 years, Akeld is family-owned and that was one of the things that attracted us to it.

"We liked the concept of timeshare at the time. Some of the horror stories had already started, but we felt if you went abroad you were asking for trouble.

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"We have been trying to exit for most of the 17 years, partly because the resort was never developed as envisaged. We have been to presentations we were invited to from cold-calling, we have been to organisations who offer to take your timeshare off you and sell it on - but then you have to buy into their scheme and we realised it would be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire."

She concludes: "We are now unable to sell or pay for the timeshare we bought when our family was growing up, as an investment we could sell or they would buy back - and now you can't give them away."