What an interesting organisation! Following in the footsteps of ARDA ROC (American Resort Development Association Resort Owners Coalition). EUROC purports to be in support of European timeshare owners, some would say not before time but on studying their corporate website there does not appear to be much supporting evidence that they do indeed either support or indeed intend to support owners.
As a new organisation they will have funding issues until membership subscriptions kick in, well actually they won’t! According to the website they make the following statement:
“In 2019, EUROC was awarded a grant of $150,000 from ARDA-ROC and a donation of €97,000 from Resort Development Organisation (RDO). Going forward, it is expected that the membership fees will cover all costs and EUROC will be self-sufficient.”
This funding is rather perplexing to us, why? Because just a sentence or two below the funding avowal is this:
“The industry trade association RDO (Resort Development Organisation) is unlikely to be seen by the authorities and regulators as truly representing owners. When EUROC talks to regulators, it will speak on behalf of thousands of timeshare owners and home owner clubs across Europe. Where appropriate, EUROC will work alongside the Resort Development Organisation (RDO).”
So if the Resort Development Organisation doesn’t “represent owners” and “is unlikely to be seen by the authorities and regulators as truly representing owners” why on earth would they wish to be involved in an organisation that, if it is true to its word, will no doubt challenge timeshare resorts on issues such as miss-selling, over-priced and ever increasing maintenance fees, the ability to exit for free and the myriad of other problems owners face, the very problems swept aside by the RDO.
Turning to membership, one would have thought that a “consumer” oriented organisation would be wishing to build its membership from owners who are, after all, users of the product, well it appears not. EUROC, according to the “how much does membership cost” section states:
“Home owner clubs and resorts will be charged a fee of £2 per timeshare member, irrespective of whether they own fixed week(s), floating week(s) or points. It will be up to each committee to decide how the fee is collected from members.”
Hang on a tick, are we correct in our understanding that it’s the resort that becomes a member? Then passes the £2 on to owners, sounds about right. So using simple maths, a resort has 100 apartments sold as weeks to owners, given that each apartment will have 50 owners approx. that equals £100 per apartment, multiply by 100 (No of apartments) and the membership fee to EUROC becomes £10,000 not surprising that the statement above says:
“It is expected that the membership fees will cover all costs and EUROC will be self-sufficient.”
Ignoring all of this the website does offer a page on help and advice, there we find reference to the timeshare information fountains of all knowledge, KwikChex, Timeshare Task Force and Timeshare Business Check all purporting to be independent but by their own admission are supported by EUROC and more importantly the RDO, surely this can’t be the same RDO that doesn’t “represent owners”
As an advisory organisation the TCA would firmly back any and all efforts to any collective set up to give a voice to timeshare owners, listen and act upon their major grievances, a stalwart knight that defends the rights of the individual timeshare owner, instead what has been created is an organisation that is firmly in control of the RDO.
At this time of crisis created by Covid 19, when owners can no longer holiday because their resorts are closed, many in danger of losing their jobs or having their salaries reduced there would be an assumption that greater effort would have been placed by EUROC on giving valuable information about payment of maintenance fees, even a representation to the resorts on behalf of owners to provide solutions to those worrying about getting into debt………..But no, just reproductions of the bland Covid 19 statements already on resort websites.
Okay EUROC is a new organisation and maybe still a bit wobbly on its feet but what better time would there be for it to firmly nail its colours to the mast and dedicate time and effort to the little man i.e, timeshare owners instead of kowtowing to its lords and masters the RDO. It was, after all, by its own admission created to represent owners…..and in its own words “speak on behalf of thousands of timeshare owners” well EUROC now is your chance.
Posted on: April 10, 2020
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