Oyster Pond residents on the island of St Maartan have called upon the minister of security, Anne Laubies, to involve herself with the complaints regarding the OPC’s working on the French side of the street outside the timeshare complexes of Dawn Beach Club, Westin Resort and Oyster Bay. The ‘Off Premises Consultants’, OPCs, that work for these timeshare resorts are said to be goading the residents of the neighbourhood next to the resorts. Major Manzoni has stated that he will be recommending a heftier punishment for the sales persons that are not meant to be selling from the kerb, when he meets with the prosecutor at the end of the week.
The OPC’s have been behaving disgracefully, say the neighbours, to the point where they are fearing for their safety in their own home. The sales persons, apart from selling timeshare products, which is completely illegal on the kerbside, are also making unnecessary noise, abusive comments and overtaking the residential parking in the street. The neighbours have had enough and are protesting that there are not further measures being taken to move the OPC’s on.
However, even though selling on the street is illegal, there are other crimes that come over and above this, which Manzoni has said should obviously receive police attention before the OPC’s. He said that they cannot take police power away from hard crime to There are fines of up to 100,000€ that can be dished out to anyone selling to the public from the kerb. The OPC’s are renowned to sell products such as lotteries, scratch cards, promotional holidays etc, and they are literally stopping people in their cars to make their hard sell. The neighbours have said that they are stealing their private parking spaces, and when they confront the OPC’s, then receive a barrage of abuse as to why they should be able to use the parking space.
There is more noise caused to the neighbours that are closest to the ‘workspace’ of these OPC’s as they cause traffic issues, provoking beeping horns, they have music blaring, and are always on their phones. There have been some interceptions to date from the local police, whom have issued verbal warnings with a fine of €90, and displaced the workers from the street. This only works for a few days, and the OPC’s return. The behaviour becomes worse as they are disgruntled that they have previously been moved on.
We at the TCA have always been aware of the hard selling techniques that the timeshare OPCs use to sell the public, however there are seldom reports that they are actually offending or disrupting the lives of residents close by the complexes. It will be interesting to find out how the law will proceed with these disruptions, whether the fines will be increased, as the 90€ does not seem to be deterring them. The residents have threatened media action if there are no further legal actions taken against them, however, it seems their story has already reached the media, and the timeshare resorts themselves may want to look at how their staff are representing them.
Posted on: December 21, 2016
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