CONSUMER ALERT – CLASS ACTIONS UNFOUNDED
We must advise consumers to exercise extreme caution when being approached by companies claiming to be part of a class action against timeshare clubs and exchange companies. These entities are aggressively marketing their services to timeshare owners, via emails, newspaper advertisements, etc.
Their modus operandi is to get timeshare owners to attend a meeting in order to assess the size of the potential claim and state that the class action is on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis, however they then offer the timeshare owner the option of joining their travel club making a once-off payment on the promise that they will sell their timeshare portfolio. They also promise to arrange the “transfer” of your club portfolio to a third party, at a cost to you and in addition to that they offer to engage in group litigation against all timeshare operators.
There is no logic in this business practise as they get you to pay to transfer your membership to a ‘potential third party buyer’, (and who will pay the annual levies and membership fee in the meantime?) and then offer to act against the same timeshare company.
Currently no statutory legislation in South Africa exists which would permit ‘class actions’. A court application is required to engage the formation of a group of persons and the criteria is strict. Any timeshare company within the borders of South Africa cannot be included in a class action subject to a foreign court i.e. USA, United Kingdom or Europe, without that court including the South African jurisdiction. There are no such pending class actions.
We again urge timeshare owners to ONLY make use of VOASA registered companies, as in order to be registered with VOASA they have to comply with the relevant law and regulations applicable to their business and they would then also have to hold a current fidelity fund certificate from the Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB), so if in doubt ask to see their VOASA membership certificate and their EAAB fidelity fund certificate, or check the members directory on the VOASA website.
And remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually isn’t a good idea.