TV PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS ETOO
A prime time consumer programme, aired by BBC Television recently, has focused on complaints by consumers who alleged they had been misled by claims by the European Timeshare Owners Organisation (ETOO) to sell their timeshares.
Two couples, who featured in the programme Watchdog, said ETOO told them corporate buyers had been found for their timeshare. However, they were required to pay upfront marketing fees of £980 and £895.
Subsequently they learned they were obliged to travel to Spain at their own expense to close the deals. Once there, they were introduced to a man who showed no interest in buying their timeshare.
The man described as a corporate buyer was, in fact, a salesman for a holiday club called Club Class Concierge. They later learned that ETOO and Club Class Concierge were part of the same corporation.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has consistently warned consumers about re-sale companies like ETOO. Mike Haley, director of consumer protection, said: “If you are invited to go to Spain, if you are asked for any fee up-front, then it’s likely to be a scam.”
Any consumer with a genuine buyer for their timeshare would not have to pay up-front and you can conclude the contract while you’re at home at your leisure.
According to a statement by ETOO, clients were never told that they could receive a cash offer for their timeshares and that the company constantly monitors calls to make sure this is adhered to.
In August the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that ETOO’s TV advertisements were misleading and that only eight per cent of ETOO customers ever sold their property in any capacity.
In a separate development, one of the consumers featured in the TV programme, Barry Flint, is pursuing legal action against ETOO for mis-representation.