What is RDO?
RDO (Resort Development Organisation) is the trade association for vacation ownership across Europe, encompassing a number of usage types including timeshare, fractional interests, private residence clubs, condo hotels, destination clubs etc, all aimed at providing holidaymakers with quality holiday accommodation through various concepts of use. RDO members are made up of resort developers, exchange companies, trustees, management companies, resale companies and finance providers.
RDO members represent the best in European vacation ownership and are committed to high service standards and integrity. They are bound by a code of conduct and an independent arbitration scheme, providing levels of protection beyond those required by law.
What does RDO do?
As well as promoting vacation ownership to the media and other opinion formers, RDO works with governments and consumer associations around Europe to ensure that the interests of the industry and those of timeshare owners are safeguarded when new laws are introduced.
One of its key priorities is to help protect owners targeted by fraudsters operating on the fringes of the industry – usually bogus resale companies, holiday clubs or even self styled ‘class action’ schemes. These companies are becoming more and more prevalent and are causing owners to lose considerable sums of money.
Given the serious nature of the situation, in 2005 RDO appointed a former Spanish police inspector who works with the police around Europe, the European Consumer Centres and enforcement bodies such as Trading Standards with the ultimate goal of having fraudulent companies closed down.
As a result of RDO’s work with the authorities, over 97 fraudulent operators have ceased trading since 2005.
The Importance of the Logo
The RDO logo is the sign of the best in vacation ownership and we recommend to the public that they check on the RDO website www.rdo.org or with the consumer services department firstname.lastname@example.org that a company is affiliated to RDO before they make a purchase.
Working with timeshare owners
RDO has always worked closely with UK based TATOC www.tatoc.co.uk, (The Timeshare Association), the consumer association representing the interests of over a quarter of a million timeshare owners.
RDO and TATOC are currently collaborating on finding solutions to issues affecting owners, such as resale. Mindful of the pressure that the recession has placed on some owners, a working group is looking at ways in which to help those whose need to sell their ownership is pressing, for example the elderly, the infirm or those who have lost their jobs.
RDO’s work with the media
Despite high owner satisfaction levels, press coverage of the industry can still be negative, particularly in the UK. Although some articles reflect legitimate owner concerns, the vast majority of ‘scare’ stories are not about vacation ownership, despite the headlines. It’s all down to journalists wrongly reporting new holiday products, eg holiday clubs, as timeshare.
RDO has been working tirelessly to turn the media’s views around and this educational programme is a high priority for the organisation leading into 2012.
Why is RDO important to consumers?
- We investigate fraudulent activity and work with the authorities to have companies closed down
- Our members are committed to high service standards and sign up to a code of conduct
- We offer a free complaint handling service to customers of our members
- We work with governments to bring in legislation that’s fair to both the industry and consumers
- We inform the media about the difference between vacation ownership and holiday clubs
- With TATOC, we are spreading the good news about vacation ownership
- Our website offers comprehensive advice about buying and selling vacation ownership