It is a popular misconception that the motto of the Mounties (or to be more precise The Royal Canadian Mounted Police) is “we always get our man”. I think this came about through 1950’s /60’s TV shows, in fact their motto (according to Wikipedia at least) is “Maintian le droit” or in English – “Uphold the right or Uphold the law” however you like to translate the French.
You would be forgiven for wondering where this is going, but in fact I was reminded of the incorrect motto when we heard on Thursday of this week that the High Court in London had finally granted the petition presented last year by the Insolvency Service of the UK, Part of The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) – to wind up the 7 companies in the UK being operated by Club Class based in Spain, the Seychelles and Gibraltar. There have been a number of false dawns in this case, and our hopes were high when we first heard that BIS had filed the petition in 2011, but disappointment had set in when a lengthy adjournment was granted to Club Class, who were disputing the petition.
At this stage we have no details of what happened in Court on Wednesday/Thursday but yesterday afternoon the Insolvency Service issued a press release confirming the decision of the Court and giving details of the closures. The release also mentions the role of ITRA as a means of ensnaring timeshare owners to the Club Class sales meetings.
To say that the news of the successful outcome of the case was greeted with a degree of jubilation in RDO itself and amongst its members would be an understatement, RDO and its Enforcement Team have a long history of monitoring and harassing Club Class and its sister operation ITRA, in its activities over a number of years, as it has preyed on innocent timeshare owners and consumers. Those activities have ranged from putting in private enquiry agents posing as timeshare owners to monitor their sales pitches, to presenting a dossier to the ASA in the UK, complaining at the misleading content of their TV ads – this was done in conjunction with TATOC and the ads were subsequently taken off following a ruling in our favor by the ASA. We also lobbied the low cost airlines not to take ITRA/CC ads in their flight magazines and every time we met with the relevant Government Bodies, we took the opportunity to bring to their attention the activities of this group. I can reveal that in the case before the High Court, RDO, working with its Enforcement Team and TATOC were able to provide the BIS’s lawyers with files on complaints from consumers about the activities of some of these UK companies, which we believe helped in having the petition granted.
A couple of years ago we saw action being taken in the UK against the ILG Group of Companies and today I think it’s fair to say that this group no longer gives our Enforcement Team cause for concern. This week we have seen the opening salvoes by the authorities against Club Class and its associated companies and we don’t expect this to be the last. We have others on our list and our Enforcement operation will not stop, until we have all these operations closed down and consumers and timeshare owners alike are free from the threat posed by these people.
Like the Mounties, we always get our man – sooner or later.
The Insolvency Service release can be found here: http://rnn.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/Press-Releases/Seven-Club-Class-holiday-companies-wound-up-by-Insolvency-Service-68160.aspx