I like to think that I have always been a firm defender of the BBC and its independence and objectivity. But I must say I’m having second thoughts after my experience when I was asked to go on its “BBC5 Live Investigates” on the morning of Sunday 13th March.
Admittedly the previous item overran its time slot and our scheduled 30 minute piece on the “- problems of timeshare perpetuity (sic) contracts and owners’ inability to exit” was reduced to about 20 minutes. But I still don’t believe this entitled the producer and presenter to devote some 17 of those 20 minutes to covering the negative side of the issue, leaving just 3 minutes for RDO to reply with our point of view.
I have no problem with the programme warning about the activities of fraudsters and using testimony from victims of these frauds. I however must object to timeshare owners being provided inaccurate information on air that can only lead to more of them falling into the hands of unscrupulous organisations. The fact that I briefed the producer of the show a day beforehand on these dangers, is even more irritating.
What I would have added, had I been given the opportunity, was that contrary to the statement of the previous speaker, the contracts of “at least 200,000 UK timeshare owners” (or a similar phrase), are not affected by the recent Supreme Court rulings in Spain, nor are the children of timeshare owners locked into so-called “perpetuity contracts.” I fear that potentially more damage will be done by this so–called “serious investigation” than if it had not been aired at all.
Whilst we have come to expect bias and negativity from the print media, we are or rather were entitled to hope the BBC would do better – we do pay for them after all!