It has been announced that the timeshare industry and many of its disgruntled, unhappy, out of pocket customers will very soon hear the outcome of the National Consumer Commission’s report.
The report has been in the works for a very long period of time and the industry and timeshare owners alike have been waiting in anticipation for the outcome of the report. It has been well over a year now since the National Consumer Commission confirmed that they would hold a public consultation about the timeshare industry. Unfortunately, at this point, no-one has seen the fruits of the labour and consumers are still no better off.
ABC Lawyers have spoken to timeshare owners who have been left holding contracts that don’t seem to be worth the paper they are written on are currently questioning whether anything will actually come of the National Consumer Commissions report. The timeshare owners are still in a position where they cannot use their timeshare or sell it! Losing money after more money. Speaking to clients in similar positions, ABC lawyers have managed to successfully exit many timeshare owners who are going through this exact problem.
The industry and the timeshare consumers are hoping that the results of the report will be published shortly, however, still no firm date has yet been confirmed. Therefore they are all still waiting with baited breath!
According to Trevor Hattingh, who is the National Consumer Commissions spokesperson, “The report has been completed and is waiting to be published, however, it seems that more consultations and conversations need to be had before the release date can be confirmed”. He has advised that the National Consumer Commission have developed a strategy which clearly sets out how the people who are affected by the recommendations will be engaged with. He went on to say that
“We had decided, before we release any information, that we need to speak to the industry to inform them about our findings and recommendations. Only once that process has been concluded and the commissioner has presented the report to the affected and implicated industries and ministries will it be released. We’ve engaged with the industry, including the Vacation Ownership Association of Southern Africa and its representatives – but they still need to respond”
It has been confirmed that the National Consumer Commission is meeting with the timeshare industry today, 4th October. After that meeting has taken place it will be up to the commissioner to brief the Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies.
There are a lot of positive feelings from the National Consumer Commission about the process and they are very hopeful that the future meetings and discussions with the industry have the same positivity moving forward. The Commission has asked that there is patience from the timeshare consumers, and that they wait until the commission are ready to go public with their findings. Again, a date is yet to be committed to, consumers are hoping it’s before the end of the year, most would like a resolve or closure and it not to be dragged into yet another year.
However, it’s important to note that timeshare owners may be frustrated by the waiting, they may be struggling with their timeshare company and they could be in a position where they need help now! The advice is that most of the timeshare companies belong to the Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman and customers should direct any complaints to that office.
The Ombudsman deals with a fair amount of complaints and have reported that they have received 5593 complaints for the year 2017/2018. 189 of those complaints are timeshare complaints and out of the 189 reported, only 60 of them were fully upheld by the Ombudsman.
Sixty-two timeshare complaints were still open, and the story of these is the same that you will have heard before. They mostly relate to cancellations, facilities not being of expected quality and/or not being as per contract terms.
Hopefully the report from the National Consumer Commission will be shared soon so the industry knows where they stand and what they can and can’t do. And more importantly customers who deserve re-course from their timeshare company will receive it. There is still hope, we will keep you updated.
See our recent post regarding timeshares in Dubai.