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. Not withstanding this, such activities also damage the reputation of the industry and have a direct negative impact on the business of RDO members.
Given the serious nature of the situation, in 2007 RDO set-up the enforcement programme to combat fraud affecting timeshare owners, other consumers and the industry as a whole. With an annual budget in excess of €200,000, RDO and the organisations it supports through the programme, work with the authorities around Europe to have fraudulent companies investigated by the Police and other enforcement bodies.
Since its beginnings, the Enforcement Project has fulfilled its objectives and has exceeded expectations.
Our in-depth reports not only have been helpful to the Police and other enforcement bodies in closing down fraudulent companies, but also helped RDO’s members to have a better understanding of the companies which are targeting their owners, or to official bodies such as UK ASA to avoid fraudulent groups broadcasting ads in the media.
The main tasks of the Enforcement Programme are:
- Analyse and processing information of alleged fraudulent nature.
- Ensure that any information that identifies unlawful practices is forwarded to the appropriate enforcement agencies and particular senior officers and authorities.
- Identify and maintain a network of contacts within these enforcement agencies and authorities to ensure effective cooperation.
- Educate third party stakeholders to help them to understand the nature of the RDO activities, and the need to continue targeting bogus practices that damage our Industry´s image and organic growth.
- Educate consumers about how to avoid fraudulent practices.