Nov. 7, 2009 – Controversy surrounding the timeshare resale business has existed just about as long as controversy surrounding the timeshare industry itself. Most of the attention has been on holiday club scams related to resales on the Continent and on resales fraudsters in the USA who charge upfront fees to list timeshares with promises that never come true, as has been written about here in recent days.
Now the fraud is apparently spreading, with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) reporting timeshare-related complaints are on the rise there and they expect the number of complaints to reach 2,000 by year-end. According to the association, most of the complaints received so far were related to resale companies.
Since 2004, the timeshare industry has always been at the top of CASE’s yearly complaint statistics. As a result, CASE is now lobbying for timeshare legislation to protect consumers. The executive director, Seah Seng Choon, says it’s important to have timeshare legislation in place, basically to ensure transparency and ethical practices.
There will always be loopholes to squeeze through, cunning ways to get around whatever laws are put in place, as we’ve all seen through the years, and companies who are large enough and rich enough to consider fines and penalties just part of doing business, but the writing is on the wall in Singapore now and it’s just a matter of time before at least some kind of laws are enacted to protect consumers from fraudsters peddling both timeshare and timeshare resales.
So heads up to fraudsters in Asia: your days are numbered.