RDO is in the first instance a trade association representing the timeshare industry in Europe. RDO therefore represents member companies and as such does look after their interests. However, RDO’s consumer policy allows for consumers to address complaints or make general enquiries about members of RDO. RDO provides this consumer service free-of-charge and aims to resolve valid complaints against member companies.
RDO’s members do believe that it is important that RDO undertakes this service for the consumer and count on RDO being fair and equitable. RDO has full authority to rule on consumer complaints logged against members. It has to be emphasised however that RDO will mediate between its members and consumers filing complaints but will not enter into any legal sanctions against its members.
However, if RDO establishes that a member continuously breaches its Code of Conduct or acts with intent outside the law, RDO will investigate the case, following set administrative procedures.
RDO has established the following procedures for handling consumer complaints: –
- Before RDO will investigate any complaint against a member, the complainant must first demonstrate that they have first attempted to resolve the complaint directly with the RDO member.
- RDO will send to the complainant a letter acknowledging the complaint and asking them to complete a Complaint Registration Form.
- Once all relevant information has been received, the consumer will be sent a communication indicating that the member company to which the complaint relates has been contacted. The complainant is advised that the company in question will respond directly to the customer within the next 21 working days.
- NB If it is clear from the documentation received from the client that the complaint is not valid, the client will be contacted to advise that RDO will not take up the case on their behalf, and will be sent the RDO lawyers list
- At the same time as contacting the complainant, RDO will contact the member company indicating what course of action; based on the information received from the consumer it expects the company to take.
- The company is given 14 working days to respond directly to the complainant and is expected to provide a copy of its response to RDO.
- If, however, the company disagrees with the preliminary decision made by the Secretariat or wishes to propose an alternative solution, the company must provide, again within the 14-day deadline, evidence to back-up their viewpoint. If the requested is not provided, RDO will judge the case on the evidence received from the consumer.
- If, however, an alternative course of action is proposed which is approved by RDO, the company should make contact with the complainant within the 14-day period, forwarding a copy of the correspondence to RDO. A short extension to this deadline may be agreed.
- If a company fails to respond to RDO, the Secretariat will write to the company again and request that the complaint is resolved within 7 days. A letter is sent to the consumer asking them to wait a further 14 days.
- If the company fails to respond at this point or fails to rectify an unsatisfactory response in line with the RDO Code of Conduct, then a letter will be prepared by the Secretariat and sent recorded delivery to the company concerned. This letter will outline to the company that their failure to respond is a breach of the RDO Code of Conduct and if the breach is not immediately rectified, then the company will be referred to the RDO Board of Directors, who will investigate and take appropriate action in accordance with the RDO Code of Conduct.
- If upon receipt of the response from the RDO member, the complainant remains dissatisfied, RDO will inform the consumer that it cannot assist further in the resolution of the complaint, and details of the RDO Arbitration Scheme, which is independently administered by CEDR Solve International Dispute Resolution Centre, will be sent to the complainant.
RDO Arbitration Scheme
The RDO Arbitration Scheme has been developed to resolve disputes between an RDO Member and a Claimant in relation to claims for compensation arising from a breach of a Timeshare Agreement or from a breach of the RDO Code of Conduct taking place in the making or performance of a Timeshare Agreement.
The Scheme broadly covers disputes arising under an agreement to purchase a timeshare, where the agreement was entered into after 1st January 2009.
The Scheme has two elements, firstly Telephone Mediation and then Arbitration, both of which are independently administered by The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR). There are costs for both the consumer and developer for both procedures, although costs can be awarded in the settlement process or award.
Telephone mediation is a simple solution, which assists early settlement in a safe, controlled and confidential environment under the guidance of an experienced CEDR Accredited mediator.
Arbitration is a private process by which an independent arbitrator resolves a dispute by making a legally binding decision (the award). Arbitration is a long established and effective method of resolving disputes and is a legal alternative to resolving disputes through the courts. There is no formal hearing and the procedure is based on documents only.
Download the RDO Complaint Registration Form
Please note that the RDO complaint registration form should only be used for complaints about RDO members, if you are unsure if the company you wish to register a complaint or enquiry about is an RDO member, you can search our members list or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org