SINGAPORE (April 18, 2012) — The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) has issued a warning on the Asian Fair Trade Advisory Group, the Singapore office of an organisation called International Timeshare Refund Action.
The group has been referring existing timeshare members to one or more companies to assist in obtaining financial restitution in respect of the timeshare members’ existing timeshare contracts. This includes commencing class action overseas against timeshare companies which may or may not be located at the place the overseas action is being taken.
To date, CASE has received 6 such feedback from consumers. The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) has also suspended AFTAG’s advertisement.
According to CASE, for a period of 6 years from 2004 to 2009, the timeshare and timeshare related industry was the top industry being complained against. Over the years, CASE has strived to work towards reducing the number of cases pertaining to this industry. Their efforts can be seen through their education initiatives as well as their advocacy to strengthen the regulations through the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.
Over the years, CASE has also seen the emergence of timeshare-related companies which claim to assist consumers in the selling, off-loading, renting or disposal of their timeshare contracts.
Previously, CASE has taken 4 companies to court, with 3 of them being timeshare or timeshare related companies. All these companies were taken to court due to breach of the CPFTA.
It is advisable for timeshare members to approach the company from which they acquired the timeshare rights if they wish to terminate the contract. Alternatively, should consumers require further assistance, they can approach CASE and speak to one of its Consumer Relations Officers. They can do so by either (1) calling the hotline at 6100 0315 between 9 am and 5 pm from Mondays to Fridays and between 9 am and 12 pm on Saturdays, excluding Public Holidays, or (2) visiting them at our Ghim Moh office between 9 am and 4 pm from Mondays to Saturdays, excluding Public Holidays.
Consumers should also take time to verify any companies’ claims of being able to dispose their timeshare memberships at good rates before jumping on the offer, as they may be required to pay an upfront fee to the company first, Besides, successful disposal of their memberships is not a guaranteed outcome. Consumers should ask for and verify the company’s track record before parting with their money and engaging any third party companies to deal with their timeshare contract.
Consumers should also take time to verify companies’ claims that they can dispose of timeshare memberships at good rates.