Thursday 17th November
RDO (Resort Development Organisation) condemns the activity of companies that set out to defraud timeshare owners and, having appointed an enforcement officer in 2007, combatting deceptive practices has become a high priority for the organisation.
Headed by a former Spanish police inspector, RDO now has a 3 man Enforcement Team which works directly with organisations such as the OFT (Office of Fair Trading), the European Consumer Centres, Trading Standards and the police both in Spain and the UK to assist them enforce consumer protection legislation. Thanks to the , work of the team, 95 companies have closed down over the last four years.
The vast majority of fraudulent activity whether carried out by bogus resale companies, cash-back operators, holiday clubs or even class action companies is not part of the legitimate timeshare industry and like scam operators in other industries are a scourge on consumers and companies alike. Many of the fraudulent companies operate sophisticated ploys to try to sell membership of a costly holiday club – and more often than not this may well not be included in their initial pitch to the consumer.
Timeshare itself has evolved into a highly respectable industry that includes many well-known hotel groups such as Hilton, De Vere, Marriott, Disney and Starwood. Consumers are extremely well protected through pan European legislation – the latest having been introduced in the UK in February 2011 – and the industry offers high quality accommodation in resorts around the world, many of which have extensive on-site facilities.
This new timeshare legislation, which came into force in most Member States of the EU in February 2011, also covers timeshare resale and holiday clubs, a positive development for the consumer as this means that no monies can be taken upfront (for example resale registration fees) and the provision of a 14-day cooling off period is mandatory. The legislation goes one step further in the case of holiday clubs, which must split the cost of membership into equal annual instalments and provide a cooling off period each year.
RDO is working to encourage countries to ensure that these new laws are properly policed and enforced as without proper enforcement, these fraudulent practices will inevitably continue.
More about RDO
RDO (Resort Development Organisation) is the trade body dedicated to excellence and fair trading in the European vacation ownership industry, whilst promoting and fostering industry growth. Formerly Organisation for Timeshare in Europe AISBL, RDO is an international non profit making association registered in Brussels with company number 0457.984.213. Its registered office is at Rond Point Schuman 6/5, B-1040 Brussels