Timeshare News in 1999
20th of December. Bordering in the Uttley bazaar “The Final Curtain Plan” is a new promotion is being marketed by a USA cemetery operator and as a Timeshare package. This programme permits a deceased customer to spend a season in another cemetery. So, if you like the idea of moving around between Paris, London, Sydney, California etc. after you are dead, you know who to buy from!
17th of December. Barratt International Resorts Limited (BIRL) issue writ for defamation against five owners and past owners, claiming £50,000 in damages. The Five state that they will be robustly defending the allegations.
3rd of December. A Petition to wind up “Hever Vacation Club” (and six companies) now has been postponed to January 2000 as theTimeshare Club Members rally to resist the petition.
19th of November. The Spanish newspaper SUR has exposed a new scheme for selling Timeshares which might circumvent the newly introduced timeshare Law in Spain. “Share Time” explains that the product suggests that it purchases shares in the company that owns timeshare apartments. SUR claim that over 1,000 complaints about this scheme had been made to the “Consumer Offices” located on the Costa del Sol.
17th of November. The European Parliament provide a report on the application of the new Timeshare Directive introduced by Member States. The report includes the following statement: “The problems experienced by consumers in their relations with timeshare developers and vendors have not disappeared with the adoption of the Directive. In this regard the Commission departments responsible for consumer policy have received a large number of individual complaints (24% of all the complaints received by the Commission in 1998) as well as many letters from MEPs.”
14th of November. The High Court in London rejects the DTI application for the winding up of four marketing companies based in Exeter.
11th of November. UK timeshare resales are double the level of US resale levels. In the UK resales are now accounting for one quarter of all Timeshare sales, while in the USA resales are only 12% of all sales which takes place. According to Mr. Richard Ragatz, (RCI Consulting). The sale and re sale price is the driving force behind the growth in the US resale market.
28th of October. The consumer complaint issues surrounding timeshare hit the Office of Fair Trading again. During the first quarter of 1999 they explained that complaints showed a continuing increase and that timeshare complaints are now representing 8% of all leisure complaints. Considering matter and proportionally the OFT state that Timeshare attracts five times as many complaints than standard package holidays.
16th of October. The Office of Fair Trading issues warning and reminds consumers that when purchasing a timeshare you should use a Credit Card. That transaction ensures that the Credit Card company are; “jointly liable with suppliers if there becomes a problem with goods or services acquired”. Mr. John Bridgeman, Director General, explained “the law enables shoppers [consumers] to make a claim from a Credit Card issuer, if a supplier goes out of business or otherwise fails to give full satisfaction”,
5th of October. “Hever Worldwide Properties plc” (and six other related companies) controlled by brothers Ron & John Popely, are now in the hands of the Official Receiver (OR) and following an application by the DTI to have the companies wound up. Other resorts in the UK and abroad are also involved.
29th of September. Barratt International Resorts Ltd (BIRL) is heavily criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for a misleading statements in advertisement literature relating to their Forest Hills Timeshare resort.
21st of September. The largest criminal trial in Timeshare history has begun today in London’s Old Bailey. Mr. John Palmer (and six others) have been charged with fraud. The whole trial is expected to last at least six months. Mr. Palmer controls a number of resorts in Tenerife, is shrouded in many complaints and is presently on bail of a staggering £1M bail since 1997.
20th of September. “Worldwide Vacation Club Ltd” is shut down by the DTI and on the grounds of “public interest”. A spokesman for the Official Receiver office explained that it was far too early to say how the liquidation would affect members of “Worldwide Vacation Club”.
20 September. The cash-back scheme promoted by “Reclaim Limited” is not what it claims to be. Consumer alert.
5th of September. The Belgium consumer magazine, “Test-Achats”, has just won the first round in its large legal battle to recover the many lost Timeshare deposits in Spain. “Test-Achats” seek to establish that the Spanish State is wholly liable and responsible for the repaying of the deposits of the many purchasers who did cancel a timeshare purchase between 30th April 1997 (the date when Spain ought to have introduced the EU Timeshare Directive) and 5th January 1999 (the date when it eventually did). The case continues and may not be concluded until early 2000.
4th of September. Mr. Michael Rycroft a resort director of the “Hunstman Club” in Waterville, Country Kerry said that Ireland is the most requested timeshare location in the world Other have denounced that statement as over egging the pudding.
20th of August. Members of the Worldwide Vacation Club view the pledges made by the Club as totally unacceptable. The solicitor representing a group of 35 members explained “The terms of the offer lack certainty, so we could not advise anyone to rely on that offer”.
18th of August Troubled holiday club Worldwide Vacation Club attempts to shore up its much criticised image with pledges to customers to repay fees to dissatisfied members.
16th of August. The OTE (Organisation for Timeshare in Europe) warns all consumers against getting involved in “holiday packs”
4th of August. The US Timeshare expert, Mr. Richard Ragatz and vice president of RCI Consulting, explained with regards to the US timeshare market: – “The resale market has been driving down median income of timeshare owners by offering top-value properties at up to 70% savings over retail [developer] costs. The biggest complaint in the timeshare market, the high-pressure timeshare presentation, is by-passed by the resale market. Potential buyers can browse listings and make informed decisions.”
3rd of August. Timeshare scams are again exposed and perpetrators have again been named. The scammers are provided by the construction of a new website “Crimeshare Europe” and was covert operation by Mr. Alexander Sandy Grey TCA !
1st of August. The many Forest Hills Timeshare owners apply for a legal injunction against Barratt International Resorts Ltd.
29th of July, Mr. Simon Clarke and Mr. Laurence Werner are two timeshare crooks who were sentenced to five and four years’ jail respectively. The prosecution proved that they had been involved in racketeering and pulled multi-million pound frauds which could have involved over 20,000 innocent Timeshare owners.
29th of July. Mr. Kim Howells the UK Consumer Minister, pledged that his department would do everything possible to protect the public from firms like Worldwide Vacation Club. WVC have been the centre of a flood of complaints from purchasers who was not given a 14-day cooling-off period when they bought from WVC
28th of July. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) report covering December 1998 shows that not only are Timeshare complaints increasing faster than other leisure industries (including package holidays) but timeshare complaints are now proportionally three times greater than any other type of holiday product.
23rd of July. Cendant Corp (the US parent of RCI) reports a 13% increase from “timeshare subscription and exchange revenues” for the second quarter of 1999.
22nd of July. The Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) announces new measures and to streamline measures which should result in taking more Timeshare rogue traders to court. This will include the notorious timeshare resellers who habitually cheat Timeshare owners. They also plan for the Office of Fair (OFT) to issue “Hallmarks” for acceptable Codes of Conduct by industry bodies.
21st of July. 6 Britons have now been charged with attempted murder in Tenerife. The murders took place in a feud between the many infamous island Timeshare Gangs. The Britons when arrested were aged between 26 and 40 and are claimed to have attacked two others in Playa de Las Americas in early June.
18th of July. The UK Sunday Express issues warning to consumers about buying timeshare in Spain. Their advice is that you wait until you have returned home. Then deal with a reputable reseller.
8th of July. The Scotsman newspaper warns that Timeshare buyers could be paying up to four times more for their week by purchasing IT from a developer rather than an existing owner.
4th of July. The Home & Life magazine now provides valuable and needy advice to Timeshare buyers. “Chose with care as timeshare can realise the dream of owning your own place in the sun”
3rd of July. Officers of the Lanzarote Beach Club Members Association are suspended from LBC. As a result of the ban they cannot now make use of their ownership. All as a result of their activities on behalf of the owners at LBC.
29th of June. ARDA (American Resort Development Association) reports that “Europe has more than 1,300 resorts and 742,000 owners” making Europe second in size to the USA regarding Timeshare ownership. The two regions combined now boasts 60% of the worldwide timeshare ownership.
19th of June. At a ceremony in Wiesbaden, Germany, the first 7 recipients of a “European Timeshare Consumer Award” were honoured.
This annual award goes to any timeshare trader who acts in the interest of fair play and good consumer conduct. In this first year of the award only German, Austrian and Spanish companies received awards, the organisers, the German Timeshare Consumers organisation, expect a strong response from other European countries, including the UK, next year.
18th of June. Grand Vacation Club Members vote at their AGM to lose the right to sell their points on the open market. The vote, by apparently less than 10% of the total membership, came as a surprise to those at the AGM who thought that the feeling of the meeting was firmly against the Resolution.
11th of June. Macdonald Hotels plc does well out of Timeshare with a recorded profit of £970,000 from its half share in Barratt International Resorts Ltd.
30th of May. Elmer’s Court Timeshare owners win a reprieve from a threatened increase in Leisure Club charges following their sustained campaign.
25th of May. Interval International (‘II’) and Grand Vacation Club (‘GVC’) controlled by Sunterra Corp forge closer links. Now GVC members will have automatic membership of “II” and can deposit their points directly into the II “spacebank” without first having to book a week through GVC.
21st of May Members of Grand Vacation Club (‘GVC’) resist proposals which could restrict their choice of how to sell their points.
20th of May. International Resale Marketing Ltd a reselling specialist in registration fees goes bust and in less than nine months after first starting up in Stockport
13t of May. A liquidator has now been appointed in respect to Timeshare Options Ltd located in Blackpool. Anyone who believes they are owed money by the company should Contact the Receiver.
11th of May. TimeSharing Today the US based printed and web magazine for timeshare owners has begun a promotion to expand into Europe.
8th of May. SFX, the San Francisco exchange company linked with UKRE is now developing its own points type system for valuing conventional Timeshare weeks for exchange. Owners who bank their weeks will then know exactly what week is available to them and in the exchange market.
4th of May. The new regulations come into force today. The new regs allow UK consumers to stop unwanted and direct marketing telephone calls.
Now, if you want to stop being pestered by Timeshare sharks call 0845 070 0707 and register your name free of charge.
26th of April. RCI have had a major purge of UK resorts from their Gold Crown and Resort of International Distinction grades with eleven resorts losing a grade and only four moving up. Losers include “Barnsdale”, “Barratt Elmer’s Court”, “Barratt Dalfaber”, “Barratt Forest Hills”, “Barratt Plas Talgarth”, “Stratford Court” and “Whitbarrow Village”. The winners include “Canal-time” at Peartree Bridge, and “Tresco”.
13th of April. Mr Roger Farr now appears in the Old Bailey on fraud charges and failure to provide information to the liquidators of his company “Advanced Leisure”. The Timeshare Fraud trial continues.
11th of April. Only two major timeshare leaders got into the “Sunday Times Rich List this year″, Jack Petchey (Club Praia da Oura) with £87M and Mr. John Palmer (with a number of resorts on Tenerife) with £300M.
3rd of April. Melfort Village is controlled and run by the timeshare owners, and is the first timeshare in the UK to be granted the coveted “Investors in People” award.
1st of April. Changes at the top of the Timeshare Trade.
Nelson Hitchcock takes over as group MD of RCI Europe (from Ron Haylock, who has retired) and Peter van der Mark takes over as Director of the Timeshare Council in London (from Mr. Neil Cooper who moves to “Primeshare International Ltd” as MD).
27th of March. The Dutch Travel Magazine publishes in English an interviews Dr. Eric Schuitt on timeshare.
22nd March Timeshare Options/Options 2000 located in Blackpool are not being answering their telephone and implies problems. Does this mean that they have closed down?
3rd March The Dutch time sharer Mr. Eric Schuit publishes a new website in English & Dutch and should be of great interest to all European owners.
1st of March. Which magazine publish a story about a consumer having difficulties getting a promised “Free Holiday”. The free holiday promotion.
26th of February. Barratt International Resorts Ltd. launches an advertising campaign to sell delinquent timeshares with prices starting at under £2,000.
25th of February. The Kenmore Timeshare Club proposes to start a legal action against LSI, who manage their resort.
20th of February. Grand Vacations Club Members Mailing List, joins the growing number of owners groups with their own website.
19th of February. The German Timeshare Consumers Organisation announce the “European Timeshare Consumer Award”
The award are to be given annually, is for the resort or timeshare company doing the most to promote consumer interests and the good reputation of Timeshare throughout Europe.
14th of February. Telephone lines to timeshare reseller International Resale Marketing Ltd. of Stockport no longer work. The event sparks trouble for the company.
12th of February. An interim interdict (equivalent to an injunction in England and Wales) has been served on a representative of Barratt International Resorts Limited and by a solicitor acting for an owner at a Barratt resort.
2nd of February. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) clarify the circumstances in which a reseller must comply with the new Timeshare Act.
15th of January. With a surge in many consumer complaints, Timeshare Options Ltd (of Blackpool) have now change their name to “Options 2000 Ltd”.
14th of January. Resort Parks International Ltd looks like being the name of the new RCI venture into Timeshare caravanning exchange. They will be using a points system.
12th of January. The “In Touch”, a magazine for owners at the notorious Palm Beach Resorts voices concern that some owners (weeks 16 to 26 in 1999) will have great difficulty in exchange markets this year because the resort is undergoing a major “refurbishment”.
5th of January Dr Kim Howells (Consumer Minister) has welcomed in the introduction of the new Spanish Laws which will safeguard consumers buying timeshare on Spanish soil. Saying:
“Over half of all timeshares owned by British people are in Spain, mostly in the Canary Islands and the Balearics, where this law will apply. The new law will give consumers protections against pressure selling”.
“Nonetheless, I urge people to to take care, if you are not sure, it is far better not to commit yourself, than sign and then cancel”. The law is reflected in Law 42/98.
1st of January. The Sunterra (US parent of LSI) introduce a new points system in the USA.
Timeshare News in 1998.
29th of December. The Las Mimosas has started it owns website.
28th of December. The Kenmore Club located in Scotland has join the ranks of Clubs now appearing on the internet.
16th of December. The New Spanish Timeshare Law will now be introduced on 7th January 1999.
9th of December. The Advertising Standards Authority finds that “Primeshare International Ltd” is guilty of making unsubstantiated claims in its promotional material.
6th of December. The UK Independent on Sunday, has reported the story of Mr. Andrew Reynolds and Mr. Hans Pelgrom who stand accused of falsely selling the “Hazel Green Village” timeshare weeks to Mongolians!
Mr. Hans Pelgram is now being held in Siberia and on a charge of illegal border crossing.
3rd of December. The Organisation for Timeshare in Europe ‘OTE’ loses Mr. Neil Cooper to “Primeshare International Ltd” where he will be taking over as their General Manager.
Mr. Neil Cooper was and for a number of years the Chief Executive to Timeshare Council, before becoming Secretary General of the OTE. He is credited with the recent OTE membership drive.
24th of November. Leisure Marketing (UK) Ltd a Bolton based Timeshare reseller, has been fined £1,600 by Magistrates for selling a Timeshare for misleading prices.
23rd of November. RCI Consulting, have publish their 20th anniversary report titled Timeshare Purchasers, “who they are” “why they buy”. The Report confines itself to the US Timeshare market.
This comprehensive report, including trends over the years and since 1978. The Report makes interesting reading for members of owner’s club committees as well as all Timeshare traders.
18th of November. A landmark ruling by the UK Law Lords in the case of Prince Jefri vs KPMG on the conflict of interests by accountants. It looks to have far some far reaching benefits for all timeshare consumers especially the timeshare owners.
9th of November. The Time sharing Today a US published magazine – voices concerns over the RCI “Resort trip Getaway” program.
Timesharing Today are very concerned that the rental of owner’s weeks by RCI as some trade for as little as $9 and does reduces exchanging opportunities.
5th of November. Cendant is the troubled US owner of RCI. It has published halved profits and as a direct result of the official probe into its financial affairs.
4th of November. Trinity Auctions are to hold another of their auctions of Timeshare weeks. On sale are over 80 lots. Over half of the lots are from Barratt Resorts
29th of October. Mr James Hutchinson, vicariously trades as J.H.H.R & J.H.H.H and is the owner of Timeshare Council SL (Spanish Limited Company). He has been required to fully demonstrate his fitness to hold a Consumer Credit Licence.
Mr. Hutchinson has 21 days to show that he is a fit person and to hold a licence. If he fails to substantiate that the Office of Fair Trading will withdraw and revoke his licence.
29th of October. After a number of years of declining complaints to the Office of Fair Trading and following the introduction of the Timeshare Act 1992, Timeshare complaints are again on the on the mover north with an increase of 11% from first quarter 1997 to first quarter 1998.
28th of October. The Chinese resale scam hits the headlines. “Cuno Trading International” have been operating from a non-existent address in China. The company have also been reported as fleecing many Timeshare owners of £300 on a promise that they would sell their timeshare. The represented promise stated that they have already sold the Timeshare owners holiday weeks when in truth they had not.
19th of October. Timeshare Resales (Harrogate) have sold out to T.L.A.S after over ten years as one of the industry’s most reputable resellers.
9th of October. Four companies have been found offering “Free Holidays” if a consumer attends a Timeshare presentation. Each will be wound up by the Department of Trade and Industry.
The four crooks are Travel Time (UK) Ltd; Embassy Enterprises UK Ltd; Harmony Holidays Ltd and Marlborough Promotions Ltd and are all based at the same address in Devon. It was said by the DTI that they all failed to fulfil many of the promised holidays.
29th of September. Rumours abound in the US of a takeover of Interval International by Signature Group (owners of Grand Vacation Club; LSI and notorious Sunterra)
25th of September. The new consumer group “WHICH” are highly critical of “Primeshare International Ltd” resale contracts and they have reported “Primeshare International Ltd” to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
21st of September. A Danish Television broadcaster showed a programme about scams operating in Spain and in the selling of Timeshare.
11th of September. Mr. Geoff Cocker, founder of “Clowance” passed away.
“Clowance” was the realisation of Geoff’s dream of a top quality, low cost, resort run by the owners for timeshare owners. He sold out in 1989.
7th September. Villa Investment Plan Directors Mr. Roger and Michael Steed were convicted and sent to prison today for four and three years respectively for their part in another Timeshare fraud.
The brothers, one of which was a respected JP living in Stamford, Lincolnshire, were confined to prison for carrying out many frauds totalling in excess of £7M.
2nd of September. Holiday “Which” warns consumers not to deal with “Tenerife Tourism Ltd” with a bargepole. Tenerife Tourism is owned by John Palmer who is presently on bail and faces charges of Timeshare fraud. He is accused of selling 3 year holidays, which are timeshare in everything but name. His products are entirely designed to circumvent the requirements of the Timeshare Directive.
31st of August. The Russian Financial Crisis brings flourishing Timeshare sales to a standstill. The many Timeshare Touts who left Spain and the Canary Islands to make their fortune in Russian roubles are now drifting back to their old haunts and to peddle Timeshare.
27th of August. The Canary Islands Holiday Club, Tenerife is “temporarily” adjourned by Interval International leaving owners totally unable to exchange.
“Canary Islands Holiday Club” is managed and operated by “Vacation Management Services”.
24th of August. The Department of Trade and Industry have issue a discussion document containing proposals for a further tightening of the Timeshare Act 1992. This proposal was needed to curb the many complaints surrounding Timeshare and some of the ineffective clauses flowing from the new European Directive on Timeshare.
23rd of August. The Sutton Hall Owners Club joins the ranks of other owner’s clubs and introduce a new web site.
17th of August. After many complaints 2Hever Worldwide Properties” were forced to give undertakings on 27 July and to the High Court. They have assured the court that they will not (in the future) contravene the Financial Services Act 1986.
The undertakings relate to the discovery of many misleading statements; unsolicited calls and the issuing unapproved investment advertisements.
10th of August. Dr Kim Howells, the new Minister for Consumer Affairs in the UK, announces new and improved regulations which she hopes will stop travel companies forcing holiday travellers to buy travel insurance only from them.
The many vacation Travellers, including Timeshares owners can now “shop around” for the best deals in Travel Insurance.
7th August. The E.U are to issue “Infringement Proceedings” against Spain (and four other countries). Their complaint is that they have entirely failed to implement the new Timeshare Directive. The failure to adopt follows many promises made to the E. U. and by each and every country indicted. Many Timeshare consumers have been effected by the avoidance of the Spanish authorities to implement was are reasonable legislation.
2nd of August. Timeshare owners who buy in Spain are permitted to fully cancel a credit card deposit within 10 days of purchase of the timeshare interest.
Both “Visa” and “Mastercard” have announced that they will repay Timeshare purchasers who cancelled (in writing) a Timeshare purchase in those E.U. countries which have so far failed to implement the EU Timeshare Directive.
Now, if you agree to purchase a Timeshare in Spain (see 8 July) and pay a deposit with a Credit Card and have written, cancelling the purchase agreement (within 10 days), you can fully reclaim the amount of the deposit from the Bank or Credit Card company you issued payment from.
30th of July. In shock news “Mr. Walter Forbes the Chairman of Cendant Corp (owners of RCI) resigned together with at least eight other Board Members.
28th of July. Mr Nigel Griffiths Consumer Affairs Minister loses his job in the new Government reshuffle.
Mr Nigel Griffiths was an honourable, outspoken and tenacious supporter of consumer interests in general and had his watchful eye over the shenanigans surrounding timeshare.
Ms. Kim Howells now takes over his role as “Consumer Affairs Minister”. We have to wait to see how She views the Timeshare industry, its consumers and the many problems surrounding Timeshare.
23rd of July. More Timeshare Crooks sent to prison as the Directors and employees of “Gladstone Marketing” were indicted, convicted and sent to prison for terms totalling over ten years. The ringleader Mr. Elikem Markam from Ghana, failed to turn up for sentencing and a warrant for his arrest has been issued by the court.
“Gladstone Marketing” as well as other linked companies had been proved to have defrauded many Timeshare owners out of more than £900,000.
16th of July “K W Auctions” have announced that their next auction of Timeshare weeks will take place on the 26th July at Cheltenham Racecourse. They are offering 108 lots with some Timeshare contracts having a “NIL” or low reserves.
Information can be gleaned by calling 0181 339 0010
13th of July. The RCI parent company “Cendant Corp” continues to suffer huge setbacks as further “accounting irregularities” are exposed.
The new reports suggest that there are problems with reported profits. It is claimed that a deeper study of the financial accounting records provided by the auditors may show “an intent to deceive”.
8th of July. A leading Consumers Association issues warnings to all holiday makers in Spain and about buying Timeshare whilst on Spanish soil.
4th of July. “Walton Hall Timeshare Resort” near Stratford-upon-Avon, is now offering to take back timeshare weeks in part exchange for a week purchased at Walton Hall.
1st of July R C I have today launch links into two new products including “caravan Timeshare” and Timeshare rental programs.
“Resort Parks International” is to make caravan Timeshare available throughout RCI and on sale. The mover Includes but is not limited to Internet based sales companies who will be adding rental of RCI Timeshare inventory.
30th June. A Time-sharer Magazine publishes the first part of the UK Resellers Survey. There are large variations in performance with “Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket” achieving the high levels of sales and in comparison to requests however Timeshare Options still at very low levels.
The second part of the survey it is stated will be published on 5th September.
18th of June. The Financial Times paints a bullish picture of the future of “world Timeshare” It purports to recognise that the past problems, however believes that the increasing involvement of leading companies in timeshare as signs that there are better things to come.
10th of June. The European Resort Exchange is launched. It claims to be a new, Europe wide, exchange organisation and an extension of, but separate from UKRE.
7th of June. Mr. Nigel Griffiths, “Minister for Consumer Affairs” again repeated his dominant intention of “ridding the travel industry of the many Timeshare touts who (he explained) prey on the unwary/ un-savvy consumers” in a speech delivered in Cape Town.
He completely emphasised the need for all EU countries (Spain in particular) to come into line with other in Europe and implement the New Timeshare Directive.
5th of June. The Timeshare Crook, Roger Farr was sentenced today to seven years in jail for defrauding 467 Timeshare owners out of over £1.5M
5th of June. Inter-Ad are feature as another example of the scam surrounding Timeshare resale practices on the “You & Yours” program [Radio 4].
Whilst they have evacuated Colchester, Inter-Ad are still sending letters from and office in Portugal asking for £295 in fees.
25th of May. Timeshare Options Ltd are being feature in an exposé of utterly immoral and unacceptable resale practices by “You & Yours” [Radio 4].
21st of May. The might of Thomas Cook has entered the world of Timeshare and have announced that they are to start selling timeshares in Europe as well as other intercontinental jurisdictions. It has been stated by Thomas Cook that they will be complying with the Timeshare Act 1992.
18th of May. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)have today rapped the knuckles of Timeshare Options Ltd, in Blackpool for a misleading and false advertisements.
The advertisements implied that the selling timeshare owner did not have to pay any money until their week had been sold. That said all selling timeshare owners had been asked for £168 before any sale took place.
1st of May. It remains a fact that Six European countries have still not implemented the New Timeshare Directive.
28th of April. Marriott Hotels (a timeshare operator) issues an announcement saying they intend to sell off part of their inventory. This is sending huge ripples through the US Timeshare industry. Marriott are one of the leading timeshare operators and are a credit to the industry.
20th of April. The Time sharer Magazine runs an article on the resellers and the up-front charges they impose on sellers. A full review of this subject is promised in the next edition.
19th of April. The Sunday Times “Britain’s Richest 1000 people″ now includes two timeshare names:-Mr. John Palmer at 67th place with estimated riches of over £300M. Note he is still on bail on fraud charges.
Mr. Donald Macdonald enters the list at 100th richest in Scotland with estimated wealth of £12M. Mr Macdonald heads up Barratt International Resorts Ltd as well as Macdonald Hotels plc
16th of April. The Cendant Corporation. (owners of R C I) share price collapses following an irregularities report. As a result of the implied double dealing the Finance Director is sacked.
4th of April. A Norwegian Court finds Mr. David Stirling responsible for the loss of approx. £250,000. The court orders him to make restitution in damages plus the payment of legal costs. The court explained it was satisfied that Mr. David Stirling effectively controlled “Royal Financial Services” and “The Lanzarote Beach Club” as well as a number of other, linked Timeshare companies
6th of March. The Time sharer Magazine argues a good case for the Internet. It explains that the internet will become a key tool in the future of the Timeshare industry.
5th of March. The Timeshare council has announced that its name will change to The Organisation for Timeshare in Europe “OTE”. This is view by many as a way of shrugging off the bad publicity surround many in the Timeshare industry. “Least we forget”
Chairman of the OTE has been named as Dr. Francisco Oliveira. He is a lawyer from Portugal and Mr. Kurt Stiendl from Austria has been appointed to the position of Secretary-General. Mr. Neil Cooper who is the currently Chief Executive Officer of the Timeshare Council will now be responsible for running “The Secretariat” [officials or office entrusted with administrative duties] based in London.
2nd of March. With widespread fraud in Timeshare, The Fraud Squad are gathering evidence and in respect to the case they intend to launch against John Palmer (now being referred to as Gold Finger). The case is not now expected to hit the courts in about 10 to 12 months’ time.
28th of February. Flexi Holiday Club Ltd Annual General Meeting approved all resolutions for re-structuring plan presented.
22nd of February. The Sunday Express alerts Timeshare owners to the activities of “Inter-Ad” a London based Timeshare reseller taking large up-front payments.
14th of February. “K W Resorts” announce their next Timeshare Auction for the 8th of March at Sandown Racecourse. On sale are over 1,000 repossessed timeshare weeks in the Canary Islands Holiday Club in Tenerife.
And on 29th March, at Newmarket, a further mixture of timeshare weeks is for sale in all parts of Europe. For information on the sale and an advanced Catalogue call 0181 339 0010
13th of February. Mr James Vance, Managing Director of Barratt International Resorts Ltd suddenly resigns
4th of February. The Mighty Timeshare crook, Mr Graham Maynard was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for fraud. Maynard, who ran “Walton Hall” in Warwickshire until his abrupt and speedy departure to Spain in 1991, was convicted in the Birmingham Crown Court of a number of specimen charges of defrauding many Timeshare buyers.
1st of February. The trust company FNTC announces to the world of Timeshare a new Insurance Package for Timeshare Owners. The offering provides cover for both temporary and permanent loss of use of a timeshare week plus other benefits. Contact Travi Quote on 01243 787806 for details.
31st of January. The Anfi Beach Club UK Members Group formally constituted with a Committee of ten owners. Mr Bruce Bailey was appointed as the Secretary and is now planning to expand membership to all “Anfi Beach Club owners” living in the UK.
25th of January. The Canary Islands have introduced a new law to safeguard the many Timeshare buyers. The legislation including a statutory 10-day cooling-off period however the taking of deposits is still permitted.
24th of January. The Financial Times in the (UK) report very favourably on the Edinburgh Residence, a top quality city centre “resort” located in Edinburgh.
In January. The Time sharer Magazine has run an interesting article on the newest trend in timeshare, i.e. narrow boats.
Timeshare News in 1997
3rd of December. Global Group was Acquired by Signature Resorts for the sum of $18M. Having recently bought LSI, Signature have become a world leader in points clubs with nearly175,000 timeshare owners located in 46 resorts of which nearly 60,000 members are owner in Europe.
30th of November. Anfi Beach Club Owners becomes the first UK based timeshare owners club with its own web site.
15th of November. The Daily Telegraph (UK) prints a substantial “consumer report” on timeshares ownership and warns of the dangers that are present and by way of examples explains some of the benefits of owning a Timeshare.
13th of November. The new Spanish Timeshare Law is further delayed and is now expected to come in force in or about February/March next year.
10th of November. The pan European Timeshare Association will be launched on the 1st of January 1998″. This organisation is a new organisation for direct membership and open for businesses in timeshare. This is effectively a merger of all the National organisations including the Timeshare Council (London). The enterprise will be based in Brussels and will have offices in London and Madrid.
2nd of November UKRE announce a trade partnership with a San Francisco Exchange Company in the USA. This enables UKRE to offer intercontinental exchanges for its many members including the US, Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico.
1st of November RCI UK Trade Conference takes place on Wednesday 10 December in Warwickshire – contact 01920 444249 for information.
30th of October Interval International (II). The company announce they are to be acquired by its their own management team led by President, Mr. Craig Nash. This is a demerger and from the same parent as RCI. The two exchange companies will remain fully independent of each other. The reported price paid was $200M.
25th of October K. W. Resorts announce that they will be holding their next Timeshare Auction on Saturday 22nd of November at Sandown Park, Esher. The auction Catalogues are being sold for £2 and are available from: K W Resorts, The White House, Portsmouth Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey. KT7 0SY or Tel: 0181 339 0010.
13th of October. Trinity Factors intend having another auction of Timeshares on 4th November.
(28th of September. The Sunday Mirror repeats warnings about buying a timeshare ownership in Spain until the Government in Spain implement the new European Directive on Timeshare. Mr. Nigel Griffiths the Minister for Consumer Affairs will visit Spain in an attempt to try to stop the fleecing of Timeshare buyers.
15th of September. LSI has been acquired by Signature Resorts located in the United States. Signature have claimed the purchase will make them one of the largest owner and operator of timeshare resorts in the world with 33 active Resorts.
2nd of September. Controversially LSI have provided another reason for not buying into a Points Clubs. (at least not into their Grand Vacation Club). They announced that as from 11th August, owners will not be able to split the points on a single certificate when they sell. They have explained that timeshare owners either find a single buyer or you are stuck with Grand Vacation Club points liability forever. Perhaps LSI will relent when their owners find problems selling.
6th of August. The Timeshare resort “Laugharne Park Wales”, was found guilty by the Advertising Standards Authority of misleading prospective purchasers. See also below.
It is rumoured that Global Vacation Club (Another Points Club) will be charging £800 to transfer ownership into a new name if the timeshare is sold.
Macdonald Hotels have acquired a 50% stake in Barratt International Resorts. This joint venture will tighten the link between MacDonalds who also manage the entire resorts for Barratt, through its subsidiary LRM and Barratt Resorts.
Mr. Nigel Griffiths (Minister for Consumer Affairs at the DTI) was concerned over the practises in the industry and has published a “Timeshare Guide” with some needy advice for holidaymakers going to Spain and the Canaries. You can get a free copy of the guide by telephoning 0171-510 0174 and quoting URN/97/643.
The Daily Mirror (UK) recently ran another article, warning against timeshare touts using in infamous “scratch cards” to lour and enticement people to attend a Timeshare presentation. They concluded the article with the view that Timeshare is a perfectly good way to buy holidays.
The new Holding Company for the merged RCI and II holding companies is to be called Cendant Corp. UPDATE is recorded in 24th September 1997. The US financial press is to report that II is likely to be sold before the merger of their parent companies is ratified.
John “Goldfinger” Palmer was recently charged with a £ 20M fraud. The fraud possibly involves over 10,000 Timeshare owners/buyers.
The judiciary is expecting it to take some months before the court hears the case. Mr Palmer is understood to be involved in a number of resorts on Tenerife including: –
Tenerife Royal Gardens
Club la Paz
New and tighter legislation/rules is to be enacted throughout Europe on 29th April 1997. This might assist the many timeshare buyers and may provide assistance in avoiding the many scams perpetrated by the industry.
The UK legislation is tougher than that of some of the popular holiday resort countries in southern Europe.
The full text of the Timeshare Directive 1997 (the implementation of the European Directive on Timeshare in the UK) is on pagewww.hmso.gov.uk/si/si1997/97108101.htm .
For those not of a legal minded there are good explanations at the bottom of that page. Or the consolidated version of the Timeshare Act 1992 is available from HMSO bookshops – (ISBN 0115154353)
Some owners in UK resorts do not pay VAT on the local rates and some insurance portions of their Management Fees making a worthwhile saving.
Air tours (A leading UK operator) has joined other big names like Disney and Marriott by buying into a US Timeshare resort.
Michael Wood-Power, who runs “Laugharne Park” gives formal assurances to the Director General of Fair Trading in respect of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
Last modified: 7th March 2016