(31 Dec) Timeshare Consumers Associationpublish their timeshare forecast for 1999.

(29 Dec) Las Mimosas starts its own web site.

(28 Dec) The Kenmore Club, Scotland join the ranks of Clubs on the Web.

(16 Dec) New Spanish Timeshare Law to be introduced on 7th January 1999.

(9 Dec) Advertising Standards Authority finds Primeshare International Ltd guilty of making unsubstantiated claims in its promotional material

(6 Dec) Independant on Sunday reports the story of Andrew Reynolds and Hans Pelgrom who are accused of falsely selling Hazel Green Village timeshare weeks to Mongolians!

Hans Pelgram is being held in Siberia on a charge of illegal border crossing.

(3 Dec) Organisation for Timeshare in Europe – ‘OTE’ – loses Neil Cooper to Primeshare International Ltd where he is to take over as General Manager.

Neil Cooper was for a number of years Chief Executive to Timeshare Council before becoming Secretary General to OTE. He is credited with the recent OTE membership drive.

(24 Nov) Leisure Marketing (UK) Ltd a Bolton based timeshare reseller, was fined £1,600 by Magistrates for selling a timeshare for a misleading price.

(23 Nov) RCI Consulting publish their 20th anniversary report “Timeshare Purchasers: who they are, why they buy” covering the US market.

This comprehensive report, including trends over the years since 1978, makes interesting reading for members of owners club committees as well as all timeshare traders.

(18 Nov) A landmark ruling by the Law Lords [Prince Jefri vs KPMG] on conflict of interests by accountants looks to have far reaching benefits for consumers – especially timeshare owners.

(10 Nov) Barratt Owners Group (‘BOG’) becomes a fully fledged organisation, affiliated to the Timeshare Consumers Association.

(9 Nov) Timesharing Today – a US published magazine – voices worries over the RCI “ResorTrip Getaway” program.

Timesharing Today are concerned that the rental of owners weeks by RCI – some for as little as $9 – reduces exchanging opportunities.

(5 Nov) Cendant, the troubled US owner of RCI publish a halved profit as a result of the probe into their financial affairs.

(4 Nov) Trinity Auctions hold another of their auctions of timeshare weeks – out of the 87 lots offered, over half are from Barratt Resorts

(29 Oct) James Hutchinson, variously trading as JHHR & JHHH and owner of Timeshare Council SL has been required to demonstrate his fitness to hold a Consumer Credit Licence

Hutchinson has 21 days to show that he is a fit person to hold a licence or the Office of Fair Trading will withdraw his licence.

(29 Oct) After a number of years of declining complaints to Office of Fair Trading following the introduction of the Timeshare Act 1992, timeshare complaints are again on the increase with a rise of 11% from first quarter 1997 to first quarter 1998.

(28 Oct) Chinese resale scam hits the headlines. Cuno Trading International (operating from a non-existant address in China) are fleecing timeshare owners of £300 on a promise that Cuno have already sold the owners week.

(22 Oct) Timeshare Consumers Association hold their AGM at Bicester.

An uneventful meeting with all resolutions being passed “nem con”.

(19 Oct) Timeshare Resales (Harrogate) sell out to TLAS after over ten years as one of the industry’s most reputable resellers.

(9 Oct) Four companies offering “Free Holidays” for attending a timeshare presentation are to be wound up by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Travel Time (UK) Ltd; Embassy Enterprises UK Ltd; Harmony Holidays Ltd and Marlborough Promotions Ltd all based at the same address in Devon were said by the DTI to failed to provide many of the promised holidays.

(29 Sept) Rumours abound in the US of a takeover of Interval International by Signature Group (owners of Grand Vacation Club; LSI and Sunterra)

We will keep you informed.

(25 Sept) WHICH? are critical of the Primeshare International Ltd resale contract and have reported Primeshare International Ltd to the Office of Fair Trading.

(21 Sept) Danish Televison broadcast a programme about scams in Spanish timeshare.

(11 Sept) Geoff Cocker, founder of Clowance has died.

Clowance was the realisation of Geoff’s dream of a top quality, low cost, resort run by the owners. He sold out in 1989.

(10 Sept) European Deed Service Ltd becomes the third reseller to become an Affiliate Member of the Timeshare Consumers Association.

(7 Sept) Villa Investment Plan directors Roger and Michael Steed were sent to prison today for four and three years respectively for their part in a timeshare fraud.

The brothers, one a respected JP living in Stamford, Lincs, were convicted of frauds totalling more than £7M.

(2 Sept) Holiday Which? warns consumers not to touch Tenerife Toursism Ltd with a bargepole. Tenerife Tourism, owned by John Palmer (on bail on charges of timeshare fraud), is selling three year holidays which are timeshare in everything but name, but are designed to circumvent the requirements of the Timeshare Directive.

(31 Aug) Russian Financial Crisis brings burgeoning timeshare sales to a halt. Touts who left Spain and the Canary Islands to make their fortune in roubles are now drifting back to their old haunts.

(27 Aug) Canary Islands Holiday Club, Tenerife is “temporarily” suspended by Interval International leaving owners unable to exchange.

Canary Islands Holiday Club is managed by Vacation Management Services.

(24 Aug) Department of Trade and Industry issue a discussion document containing proposals for a further tightening of the Timeshare Act 1992 resulting from the European Directive on Timeshare.

(23 Aug) Sutton Hall Owners Club joins the ranks of owners clubs with a web site.

(17 Aug) Hever Worldwide Properties gave undertakings – on 27 July – to the High Court not to contravene the Financial Services Act 1986.

The undertakings relate to misleading statements; unsolicited calls and issuing unapproved investment advertisements.

(10 August) Dr Kim Howells, new Minister for Consumer Affairs announces regulations which will stop travel companies forcing travellers to buy travel insurance only from them.

Travellers, including timesharers, can now shop around for the best deals in travel insurance.

(7 Aug) Infringement proceedings against Spain (and four other countries) by the European Parliament for their failure to implement the Timeshare Directive have been dropped following promises by the countries to adopt implementing measures.

(2 Aug) Timeshare buyers in Spain can now cancel a credit card deposit within 10 days.

Visa and Mastercard announced that they would repay timeshare purchasers who cancelled (in writing) a timeshare purchase in those EU 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 write cancelling the purchase agreement within 10 days, you can reclaim the amount of the deposit from the bank or credit card company.

(30 July) Walter Forbes, Chairman of Cendant Corp (owners of RCI) resigns together with eight other Board Members.

More disclosures are expected – see 13 July.

(28 July) Nigel Griffiths Consumer Affairs Minister loses his job in the Government reshuffle.

Nigel Griffiths was an outspoken supporter of consumer interests in general and timeshare interests in particular.
Kim Howells now takes over as Consumer Affairs Minister – we have to wait to see how he views the timeshare industry and its consumers.

(23 July) :Timeshare Crooks sent to prison. Directors and employees of Gladstone Marketing were sent to prison for terms totalling over ten years – but the ringleader, Elikem Markam from Ghana, failed to turn up for sentencing and a warrant for his arrest has been issued.

Gladstone Marketing (and other linked companies) had defrauded timeshare owners out of more than £900,000.

(17 July) UK Leisure Timeshare – marketer and reseller – joins the Timeshare Consumers Association as an Affiliate Member.

(16 July) K W Auctions announce their next auction of timeshare weeks – 26th July at Cheltenham Racecourse. 108 lots with a some having a “NIL” reserve.

Information on 0181 339 0010

(13 July) RCI parent company, Cendant Corp. continues – see 16 April – to suffer setbacks as further “accounting irregularities” are exposed.

New reports suggest that problems with reported profits are deeper and, according to the auditors “made with an intent to deceive”.

(8 July) Timeshare Consumers Association issue a warning to holiday makers in Spain about buying timeshare whilst on Spanish soil.

(4 July) Walton Hall near Stratford-upon-Avon, is offering to take timeshare weeks in part exchange for a week purchased at Walton Hall.

(1 July) R C I launch links into two new products – caravan timeshare and timeshare rental.

Resort Parks International is to make caravan timeshare available through RCI and Onsale Inc, (an Internet based sales company) will be adding rental of RCI timeshare inventory.

(30 June) Timesharer Magazine publishes the first part of the UK Resellers Survey. There are big variations in performance with Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket achieving high levels of sales in comparison to requests and Timeshare Options very low levels.

The second part of the survey will be published on 5th September.

(18 June) Financial Times paints a bullish picture of the future of world timeshare – recognising the past problems but seeing the increasing involvement of leading companies as a sign of better things to come.

(10 June) European Resort Exchange launched as a new, Europe wide, exchange organisation – an extension of, but seperate from, U K R E.

(7 June) Nigel Griffiths, Minister for Consumer Affairs, again repeated his intention of “ridding the travel industry of timeshare touts who prey on the unwary” in a speech in Cape Town.

He emphasised the need for EU countries, Spain in particular, to come into line with most of the rest of Europe and implement the Timeshare Directive.

(5 June) Timeshare Crook, Roger Farr sentenced to seven years in prison for defrauding 467 timeshare owners out of £1.5M

(5 June) Inter-Ad feature in a further example of scam resale practices in “You & Yours” [Radio 4].

Whilst they have “left” Colchester, Inter-Ad are still sending letters from Portugal asking for £295.

(25 May) Timeshare Options Ltd. feature in an expose of unnaceptable resale practices by “You & Yours” [Radio 4].

(21 May) Thomas Cook announces that it is to start selling timeshares – in Europe as well as further afield.

Thomas Cook will be complying with the Timeshare Act 1992.

(18 May) Advertising Standards Authority raps knuckles of Timeshare Options Ltd, of Blackpool for a misleading advertisement.

The advertisement suggested that the owner did not have to pay any money until their week had been sold – but an owner had been asked for £168 before a sale took place.

(1 May) Six European countries have still not implemented the Timeshare Directive.

(28 April) Marriott Hotels announcement of the sale of part of their inventory sends ripples through the US timeshare industry.

Is this the beginning of stratification in timeshare ?

(20 April) Timesharer Magazine runs an article on resellers and up-front charges to sellers. A full review of this subject is promised in the next edition.

(19 April) Sunday Times “Britain’s Richest 1000” includes two timeshare names:-
John Palmer at 67th richest with £300M. Still on bail on fraud charges.
Donald Macdonald at 100th richest in Scotland with £12M. Mr Macdonald heads up Barratt International Resorts Ltd as well as Macdonald Hotels plc

(16 April) Cendant Corp. (owners of R C I ) share price collapses following “irregularities” report. Finance Director is sacked.

(4 April) Norwegian Court find David Stirling responsible for the loss of approx. £250,000 and ordered that his re-instates the amount, plus costs. The court was satisfied that David Stirling effectively controlled Royal Financial Services and Lanzarote Beach Club as well as a number of other, linked, companies

(1 April) Timeshare Consumers Association announce their new Escrow Service for Members. Contact Us for details

(6 Mar) Timesharer Magazine argues good case for the Internet being a key tool in the future of the timeshare industry.

(5 Mar) Name of the new timeshare trade body is now finalised as the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe – “OTE”

Chairman is named as Dr Francisco Oliveira, a lawyer from Portugal and Kurt Stiendl from Austria will be the Secretary-General. Neil Cooper, currently Chief Executive of the Timeshare Council will be responsible for running the Secretariat based in London.

(2 Mar) Fraud Squad are still gathering evidence for their case against John Palmer . The case is not now expected to come to trial for about 10 to 12 months

(28 Feb) Flexi Holiday Club Ltd Annual General Meeting approved all resolutions for re-structuring

(22 Feb) Sunday Express alerts owners to the activities of Inter-Ad a London based timeshare reseller taking up-front payments.

(14 Feb) K W Resorts announce their next Timeshare Auction for March 8th at Sandown Racecourse. Over 1,000 repossessed weeks at Canary Islands Holiday Club, Tenerife.

And on 29th March, at Newmarket, a mixed selection of weeks in all parts of Europe. Information and Catalogue from 0181 339 0010

(13 Feb) James Vance, Managing Director of Barratt International Resorts Ltd suddenly resigns. We will bring you more details, and the name of his replacement, when they are available.

(4 Feb) Timeshare crook, Graham Maynard, sentenced to two years imprisonment for fraud. Maynard, who ran Walton Hall in Warwickshire until his abrupt deaptrture to Spain in 1991, was convicted in Birmingham Crown Court of a number of specimen charges of defrauding timeshare buyers.

(1 Feb) FNTC announce a new Insurance Package for Timeshare Owners which provides cover for both temporary and permanent loss of use of a timeshare week – plus other benefits. Contact TraviQuote on 01243 787806 for details.

(31 Jan) Anfi Beach Club UK Members Group formally constituted with a Committee of ten owners. TCA members Bruce Bailey as Secretary – now planning to expand membership to all Anfi Beach Club owners living in the UK.

(25 Jan) Canary Islands introduce a new law to safeguard timeshare buyers – including a statutary 10 day cooling-off period – but deposits are still allowed.

(24 Jan) Financial Times reports very favourably on the Edinburgh Residence – a top quality city centre “resort” in Edinburgh.

(Jan) Timesharer Magazine run an interesting article on the newest trend in timeshare – narrow boats.

Posted on: December 31, 1998

For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 0203 519 3808 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk

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