South Africa timeshares are much sought after by many in the US. You can buy them relatively cheap and they exchange well. Some consider them the ultimate timeshare deal.
In response to complaints from timeshare owners, the National Consumer Commission (NCC) conducted an inquiry with results released last week. The NCC is the South African equivalent of the Federal Trade Commission in the US. A panel of real estate attorneys and other subject matter experts reported ten areas that need improvement in the South Africa timeshare industry. It was interesting to note who was not represented in the inquiry: Timeshare resort developers.
The sales and marketing of timeshares came under fire for the
the “enticing or seducing of consumers through freebies such as holiday vouchers, motor vehicles and free flights.” Using pressure during a sales presentation like “offer good only today”, “bonus points if you buy today”, and other enticements were flagged to be eliminated.
Credit and credit card practices also attracted scrutiny. The National Credit Regulator will investigate the practices of denying credit contract cancellations, and other reckless credit usage.
They recommended the development of a Code of Conduct, and Code of Ethics. Each of these would require certification and continuing education for the sales, management, and support staff involved with the selling or financing of timeshares.
The NCC panel discovered a systematic program of collusion where prices, financing, and marketing practices had virtually eliminated competition and was causing harm to the consumers. Further regulation and oversight was recommended with new legislation controlling the timeshare industry.
They also singled out the use of “points”: their value, their expiration, and the losses consumers experience. They recommended timeshare points owners should be notified prior to their points expiration, a refund of fees or at least a portion of the fees they paid if they should not be able to use their allotted points, and a platform to assist owners to sell their timeshare points.
According to the report, The Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa (VOASA) agreed to work with both owners and resorts to help resolve disputes and complaints. They used the word “balance” to describe how they would approach the problem with the South Africa timeshare industry and how they treat timeshare buyers and owners.
For details on the full report follow this link to fin24.com.
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