Timeshare Consumer Association NOT linked to ECC, Advertising Standards Authority review shows

No connection: Advertising Standards Authority findings

A ‘nuisance’ allegation was made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK by timeshare industry special interest groups. The complaint accused the independent Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA) of being connected to a claims company called European Consumer Claims (ECC).

After an extensive 4 month investigation, the ASA confirmed: No way

TCA’s independence threatens crooks and timeshare lobbyists

The TCA was formed in 1997, and has remained a prolific source of free, independent timeshare advice ever since.

TCA’s expert guidance for victims of timeshare or crooked claims firms has helped countless people to either escape crushing timeshare contracts, gain back money from scammers, or avoid losing money in the first place.

By protecting ordinary people from being conned, or helping them avoid negative consequences of pressure sales, TCA infuriates not just crooks who prey on members but also shadowy timeshare special interest groups like the Resort Development Organisation (RDO) and the sites they fund, like KwikChex, and their sub-sites Timeshare Taskforce or Timeshare Business Check.

These organisations clap back with baseless accusations and articles attacking independent advice organisations like TCA, honest claims firms and anyone else who threatens the “golden goose” of timeshare sales.

Some of these attacks are childish, most are reprehensible, but occasionally they represent a genuine danger to consumer safety.

4 month Advertising Standards Authority investigation

The ‘nuisance’ ASA complaint accused TCA of misleading practice when describing itself as independent. TCA explains on its website, and in many of its articles that it has no ties or connections to any timeshare company, claims company, or any other entity that might affect its integrity.

The complaint specifically accused TCA of being owned by ECC, and therefore that the claims of being independent were untrue and a breach of the UK advertising Cap Code.

“The complainant cited dubious evidence and paper thin supposition,” Keating points out, “and the ASA is duty bound to investigate even clearly malicious complaints like this.”

While it could be considered a waste of time for the ASA to deal with a complaint made solely for political reasons, the TCA did welcome the chance for an in depth investigation by an agency whose credibility was beyond question.

“The ASA findings mean that the matter can be finally put to rest,” says Keating. “Advertising Standards Authority has significantly more credibility than some grubby timeshare lobbying websites.”

“We complied immediately to help the ASA deal with this swiftly and enable them to get back to dealing with their caseload of genuine infractions.

The ‘false advertising’ complaint which stated in part that TCA was being operated by ECC has been completely refuted by the thorough (4 month long) ASA investigation, which firmly satisfied the authority executive that there was no such breach of the CAP Code.

“We will therefore close our file on the complaint,” the ASA confirmed to TCA.

Although investigated for 4 months, the complaint did not even make it to the stage of a formal ASA ruling. The evidence was strong enough that the complaint could be resolved informally by the ASA’s executive, and the file closed without further action.

The ASA spokesman even went as far as to say, “if we had had the information you provided before we contacted you, we likely wouldn’t have looked into the complaint in the first instance.”

The ASA simply contacted ‘the complainant’ to let them know that they were satisfied the CAP Code had not been breached.

Two birds, one stone

RDO, and their paid propagandists KwikChex have been publishing articles that falsely claim TCA has links with (or even is controlled by) ECC. This simultaneously attacks a credible timeshare advice/resource centre in TCA, and arguably the most successful claims firm, ECC.

“ECC are currently on our White List,” says Daniel Keating, Information Officer for TCA. “This means that in certain situations, for certain clients we will recommend them.

“In other situations, with clients that have different histories and needs, we would recommend other firms.”

“All of our reviews and recommendations are based on both in depth investigations, and the huge volume of client feedback we receive by phone and email. We know who the good guys and the bad guys are in the timeshare claims space.

“The amount of genuine timeshare claims firms is tiny,” Keating explains. You can count them on one hand, so as a current, white-listed firm ECC are recommended relatively often. Because of this, the RDO/KwikChex have jumped to the tenuous conclusion that there is a connection between the two separate organisations.

“Baseless assertions like this are unprofessional and potentially damaging, not just to the TCA and ECC, but also to consumers who might once have trusted the RDO (or by extension KwikChex)’s advice.

“One hopes that their allegations are just a mistake based on unresearched assumptions. We have to give them the benefit of the doubt. It would be unforgivable if the RDO and KwikChex were outright lying to protect the financial interests of timeshare at the expense of consumers.”

Responsible behaviour called for

“It’s high time the timeshare industry and their lobbyists cleaned up their act,” says Daniel Keating. “There are real people whose lives can be affected forever by misinformation, high pressure sales and scams. Attacking the credibility of the few, proven independent voices is not fair on consumers.

“Instead of trying to malign the TCA (and by extension ECC) the industry would be better off striving to improve their own behaviour and business practices so that consumers no longer need to escape their memberships or claim compensation.

“RDO and KwikChex would do well to start by removing their articles attacking TCA with what the ASA investigation has now shown to be false information.

“If the timeshare industry wants our help to improve their reputation (by honest hard work, rather than infantile propaganda) then they only need to call us for advice.

“For timeshare owners, we are here Monday to Friday during business hours and happy to give expert, independent, free advice by phone or email. Just get in touch.”

Timeshare Consumer Association. Contact us on: T: +44 2036704588 or +44 2035193808 (ask for Daniel), E: enquiries@timeshareadvice.org (Address to Daniel).

WhatsApp (message only) +447586871055

TCA provides a central resource of consumer information on timeshare matters for the media and other organisations — We work towards encouraging responsible, honest, timeshare operators. We also publicly expose negative consumer practices and organisations which operate in a manner detrimental to timeshare buyers and owners.

An important part of our mission is to lobby UK and European Governments and regulatory bodies for improved consumer protection in the timeshare environment and collect information on frauds and mis-selling, for action by enforcement authorities.

We are staffed by former and current timeshare owners, as well as former timeshare industry staff. We know our way around the timeshare business

Timeshare Consumer Association Newsdesk here

Timeshare Consumer Association on YouTube here

Timeshare Consumer Association on Facebook here

Timeshare Consumer Association on Medium here

Timeshare Consumer Association on LinkedIn here

Timeshare Consumer Association on Quora here

Timeshare Consumer Association website here

We are a proud member of the UK Small Charities Coalition

First published on MyNewsDesk August 2021

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Friendly, impartial advice from timeshare experts: owners, ex timeshare owners, even ex timeshare industry insiders

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Timeshare Consumer Association

Timeshare Consumer Association

Friendly, impartial advice from timeshare experts: owners, ex timeshare owners, even ex timeshare industry insiders

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