(28 December) Gleneagles says that it has sold over 400 weeks of timeshare in its Glenmor resort in the first year at an average price of £21,500.
(18 December) John Palmer applies to the Court of Appeal for the compensation order made against him for £2.3M should be reduced by up to £800,000. A full hearing is expected on 14 January 2004.
(5 December ) Satish Singh, who controlled liquidated company Oyster Leisure Limited, was refused a credit licence by the Office of Fair Trading applied for by another companny controlled by Satish Singh, Worldscape.com Limited.
(23 November) Eric Vickers, who ran Time2Share Ltd in Aberfoyle in 1998 and 1999 is charged with timeshare fraud. He denies the charges.
(12 November) Macdonald Resorts launch their own brand of points, “Options”, in conjunction with Interval International. Existing owners of weeks will be able to continue to use RCI.
(5 November) Citizens Advice launch a campaign to persuade the British and European Governments to tighten up the timeshare laws to remove loopholes such as holiday clubs, narrow boats and timeshare resale scams . More details
(31 October) The Timeshare Act 1992 is amended to require a statement about the right to a cooling off period to be included on the purchase agreement close to the place where the purchaser signs.
(19 October) Members of Airtours Beach Club form an Owners Group to seek to resolve problems at the resort.
(8 October) Dial an Exchange, based in Yorkshire, has absorbed Donitas Exchange, based in California, to form the “third force in the timeshare exchange market”.
(6 October) The very first timeshare company, Hapimag (which launched in 1967 in Switzerland) re-opens its San Augustin resort in Gran Canaria after a £2.45M refurbishment.
(1 October) Office of Fair Trading issue their warning leaflet about buying a timeshare or holiday club membership. Details on www.oft.gov.uk
(23 September) Manchester born timeshare salesman, Robert Terence Graham, working in Spain, is arrested by police investigating the murder of two young women in Spain
(22 September) Lisa de-Ville Bradshaw and Timothy John Roberts, both officers in failed company Travel Quest Group Ltd, have given undertakings to the Office of Fair Trading not to publish misleading advertisements or breach consumer contracts in relation to offers of free flights or accommodation to consumers attending timeshare promotions – at any time in the future.
(15 September) Marriott International announces plans for a new timeshare development in Alicante, Spain.
(4 September) Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) succeed in having 5 companies, involved in selling “holiday club” memberships in the UK, wound up. The companies include The Travellers Guild, Travel Concepts LLC, Riverside Travel Services Ltd and Buckingham Leisure Ltd.
(3 September) Grand Vacation Company Ltd is to change its name to Sunterra Europe Ltd to create a common image throughout the world for the “Sunterra” brand name. Grand Vacation Club Ltd (the members club) will be asked in October to change their name to Club Sunterra.
(31 August) TCA Forum reaches 1,000 registered users.
(18 August) Samordningsforeningen for Timeshareagre i Norden (Organisation for Timeshare Owners in Nordic Countries) joins the Alliance of Timeshare Consumers in Europe (ATCE).
(14 August) An English company claiming to be managing Vistamar Apartments, Portugal has failed in its legal attempts to extort money from owners.
(13 August) Marriott Vacation Club International open their third timeshare resort in Spain at Playa Andaluza, close to their Marbella Beach resort.
(4 August) Diamond Vacation Club Ltd (of Bolton, Lancs) is placed into voluntary liquidation.
(25 July) Lanzarote Beach Club (LBC) is critiscised in France (le Monde) and in Britain (BBC) for forcing many owners out of the resort by charging excessive annual fees. Full report in www.lbcma.org
(17 July) Mohamed Derbah, one time associate of jailed timeshare fraudster John Palmer, is arrested in connection with the financing of al_Qaeda.
( 16 July) Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) petition to wind up 5 companies involved in selling “holiday club” memberships in the UK. The companies include The Travellers Guild, Buckingham Leisure and Travel Concepts LLC (a US company).
(12 July) Swiss police target Spanish resale fraudsters using Swiss banks to collect their payments.
(9 July) Malta plans to tighten controls on timeshare street touts to stop them annoying visitors to the island.
(7 July) Gleneagles launches a £25M timeshare development in the grounds of the 850 acre Perthshire estate.
(26 June) Two mistresses of John Palmer, Saskia Mundinger and Christina Ketley, are planning to apply to the Courts for substantial financial settlements for themselves and their children by Palmer.
(25 June) Marriott Vacation Club International open their first resort in France, Marriott’s Village d’ile-de-France, near Paris.
(21 June) The European Commission publish a proposal for a Directive to outlaw “Unfair commercial practices” which would include misleading consumers and the use of aggressive practices.
(20 June)The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) takes two credit card issuers – Lloyds TSB and Tesco Personal Finance – to court claiming that Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act applies to purchases made whilst abroad. The outcome of this case could have a major impact on timeshare and holiday club purchasers.
(18 June) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publish guidlines for closer co-operation of European enforcement agencies to combat cross-border fraud – including timeshare and holiday clubs.
(10 June) An independent management company, Timeshare Management Services Ltd (TMSL), are to take over the management contract of Loch Rannoch Highland Club as from 1 July 2003 from Barratt International Resorts Ltd (BIRL). TMSL are urging all owners to only pay their management fees to TMSL and not to BIRL.”
(6 June) Interpol establish a pan-Europe operation to combat timeshare fraud. Victims are asked to report any suspicion of a timeshare fraud to their local police.
(3 June) Park Street, Mayfair, London is the address of the latest fractional ownership scheme in the UK operated by Marriott Grand vacation Residence Club.
(23 May) Lord Woolf, Lord Chief Justice, rules that it was wrong for John Palmer to be allowed to keep the £33M which was originally confiscated from him but returned to him on appeal. But Lord Woolf’s decsion will not reqire Palmer to pay the money as the appeal ruling cannot be overturned. Lord Woolf’s decision will have far ranging impact on future appeals against confiscation orders.
(10 May) Owners at Lanzarote Beach Club receive a second levy this year, having already paid the management fees.
(2 May) At a specially convened Annual General Meeting of the Loch Rannoch Highland Club the three Committee members earlier interdicted (see 6 March) were re-elected by a large majority.
(23 April) Ragatz Associates (RCI) report that timeshare sales in the US increased by 14% in 2002.
(17 April) New Zealand timeshare company fined NZ$30,000 (£10,500) for misleading consumers when offering a free holiday to attend a timeshare presentation.
(7 April) One of the longest established UK timeshare websites – TimeshareUK – gets a big makeover.
(28 March) Legal action started by OTE against seven holiday companies based in Spain fails. OTE say that they will appeal.
(28 March) Office of Fair Trading launch a major campaign – spearheaded by Esther Rantzen – to warn consumers of the problems of Holiday Club membership.
(20 March) Office of Fair Trading approve the ABTA Code of Conduct under their “Kitemark” scheme.
(6 March) Scottish Judge rescinds the interdict obtained by Barratt International Resorts Ltd on the three elected Committee Members at Loch Rannoch Highland Club. Full details.
(30 January) Macdonald Hotels planning application for a hotel and timeshare complex in Grassmere (Lake District) meets with local objections to having a timeshare develoment on their doorstep.
(23 January) Cendant Corp increase the number of employees in the Cork (Eire) call centre to 735. They now have staff from 30 diferent countries speaking 18 different languages.
(9 January) Cendant Corp. (parent company of RCI) plan to raise $2billion in loan notes to repay existing loans which, according to their Finance Director will help provide Cendant with ample liquidity for future plans.
(4 January) UK Resort Exchange (UKRE) moves from Cornwall to the Isle of Arran as part of its plan to expand the business.
Posted on: December 28, 2003
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 01253 804 318 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk