Another consumer supported by the free services of the Timeshare Task Force has been awarded a full refund, plus costs and interests totalling nearly £10,000
On 27th March at Workington County Court, ITRA were ordered to pay a consumer a total of £9765.90. This included a full refund of £7640.00, plus costs and interest.
The judge ruled that ITRA were guilty of misrepresentation in the sales process, deceiving the consumers by making false statements and promises and breach of contract for not carrying out promised work. She stated that “There was a complete failure by ITRA to comply with the Consumer Rights Act”
This is the third court case in succession that KwikChex, acting in its role of leading the Timeshare Task Force has provided free support to consumers making such claims against ITRA. Other cases where KwikChex has provided assistance have been settled by ITRA prior to the hearings.
Once again, the judge was highly critical of ITRA, stating that there was misrepresentation (or at the very least negligence) at the original sales meeting held at ITRA’s Spanish offices. The judge accepted the statement by the consumer that he had been told that the process would take 6 – 8 weeks (a common complaint by consumers regarding ITRA) and that they would quickly win back compensation that would pay for the ITRA fees. In fact, nothing of substance had been done for the 10 months prior to the consumer bringing the case to court.
The judge questioned why ITRA had not sent a single letter to assist the consumer with relinquishment and a supposed claim within an 8 month period and did not enter into any effective dialogue with the timeshare company during this time. As in other cases, after contacting KwikChex via the Timeshare Business Check website (timesharebusinesscheck.org), the consumer, in addition to receiving help with the claim against ITRA, was also able to relinquish their timeshare directly.
‘Stephen John’ – in reality Patrick O’Connor using an alias again involved and criticised
As in previous cases, a Patrick O’Connor gave evidence as a defence witness for ITRA – and as has happened previously, the judge found that he lacked credibility. O’Connor, with ITRA’s full knowledge uses the name ‘Stephen John’ when working on behalf of ITRA. He has previously stated that he does this because Stephen John is easier for people to remember – but when questioned in court this time, he told the court that he works for 14 different companies and uses different aliases for many. When questioned by the judge how many aliases he has, O’Connor replied he had seven different names.
The judge also found that there was no evidence of what ‘ITRA legal’ had done at all. ITRA Legal is supposed to be the legal expert arm of the ITRA operation – but requests to identify the ‘experts’ and disclose their qualifications have never been replied to with any clarification. O’Connor, when asked to identify who he worked with within ITRA Legal, was only able to give some first names, saying he did not know their last names.
Defeats in court, and previous involvement in banned businesses lead to formation of a new company by ITRA – ECC or European Claims Centre
In recent times, those behind and working for ITRA (which hides ownership details by registering the company in the Seychelles and false claims to have a ‘head office ‘in Gibraltar have started using a new entity – European Claims Centre (usually shortened to ECC). This should not be confused with the European Consumer Centre, which also uses the initials ECC and is an official consumer protection organisation, which in the UK is affiliated with Trading Standards.
ITRA’s ECC has already been found to be practicing their own deceptions. An Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling upheld complaints brought by KwikChex that information on their website was untrue and misleading. And whilst they have tried to distance themselves from ITRA when questioned by consumers, they admitted the close relationship in trying unsuccessfully to defend themselves, stating “that ITRA and ECC had the same shareholders and were therefore legally associated companies.” The full details of the ASA ruling can be found on the following link to the ASA website – https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/european-claims-centre-llc-a16-334571.html
Further cases pending
Other consumers assisted by KwikChex are also taking action against ITRA. Any consumer that has paid fees to ITRA and has concerns about the business or suspects that they have not been provided with the promised services can avail themselves of the free services provided via the Timeshare Task Force. Information is available on the following websites:
I give Kwikchex 100/100 for courtesy, compassion, guidance and success in their efforts to help consumers
“After having been promised compensation and getting my timeshare agreement with Marriotts relinquished for the sum of £5940 by a group called European Claims Centre I was asked to pay a deposit of £480 on the spot to engage their services. I had been trying to get rid of my timeshare for years as it was a big money drain and I wasn’t able to make use of it. I was advised by them that this was the only way to dispose of it as by stopping paying the maintenance fees would cause legal action to be taken against me including having the bailiffs at my door removing my possessions. Also that on my death my children would be responsible for the maintenance payments. I was reluctant to fork out even more money but thought it was cheaper in the long run than continuing paying maintenance fees for the next 65 years, the time left on my contract.
I had never heard of this company before but was assured that they had been dealing successfully for many years. When I returned home, i looked them up in the internet and to my horror I found out that they were connected with other dubious timeshare companies who had had successful legal actions taken against them.
I immediately started panicking and started searching for anyone who could advise me how to end this contract with ECC.
It turns out that everything that the adviser at ECC told me was completely untrue.
I wrote to many organisations on the internet and found several mentions of an organisation named Kwikchex. They had been involved in taking these dubious companies to court so I wrote to them explaining my situation. It was the best decision I’ve made in years.
I immediately started receiving advice from them on how to proceed to get my money back from ECC.
I had paid the deposit of £480 by credit card so was advised to immediately contact the credit card fraud department and explain what had happened, I also sent copies of all documents to the fraud department for them to investigate. They immediately put the payment on hold pending investigation. I was also advised to write to the head office of ECC stating that I wished to end the contract and was not prepared to pay the remaining balance. I never received a reply from them. Eventually I received an email from their office in Fuengirola, Spain asking for my bank details and a few weeks later after several reminders to them that I still hadn’t received my deposit back it was finally paid directly into my bank account.
Throughout all these weeks I was in constant contact with Gemma at Kwikchex who guided and advised me step by step on what to do next. What surprised me was that this amazing service is free to everyone who needs it.
Without being exaggerated I felt like a huge weight had fallen off my shoulders when the matter was finally resolved. There is no doubt in my mind that without their help I would still be struggling unsuccessfully.
I am so grateful that there are organisations out there protecting consumers against the unscrupulous money grabbing scammers who don’t care whether their victims are 18 or 80 years old.
I give Kwikchex 100/100 for courtesy, compassion, guidance and success in their efforts to help consumers who have been misled and tricked by these unscrupulous companies who don’t care who they hurt.
A special huge thank you to Gemma who was my contact throughout.”
Mr T, Jul-17
Note – no fees are charged to consumers seeking help regarding timeshare and related products by Timeshare Task Force (managed by KwikChex).
|European Claims Centre||European Claims Centre (ECC)|
|Product Offered: Timeshare Claims.|
|Transparency evaluation:||Contact details and legal entity provided on website.|
|Actions by authorities:||A complaint was filed with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in March 2016.
The complaint challenged that references made on the Timeshare Advice Centre (trading name for European Claims Centre) website regarding the wealth of experience resolving timeshare problems and a map of regional offices.
The ASA investigations could not find any evidence to indicate otherwise and concluded the ad was misleading and upheld the complaint. The ad must not appear again in its current form.
Click on the following to see the reference on the ASA website - https://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2016/7/European-Claims-Centre-LLC/SHP_ADJ_334571.aspx#.WIYWN_mLTIV
|Verified Information**:||Name & Registered Office:
European Claims Centre Ltd
445 Kenton Road, Harrow, England, HA3 0XY
Company No. 10243428
Timeshare Advice Centre Ltd https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10243428
|Other Sources*:||None Known|
|As supplied by business|
|Business Address:||Churchill House, 1 London Road, Langley, BERKS SL3 7FJ|
|Phone Number:||0800 6101512
0203 670 4616
|We contacted this business by e-mail and on 23/01/2016. We asked for confirmation of company registration and the business trading address. This business has not yet responded.|
|One of several entities connected to operations that the UK authorities have taken action against to protect consumers. They have switched to other jurisdictions and continue to attract numerous complaints & reports to ActionFraud. Part of the ITRA operation which attempts to persuade consumers and timeshare owners that it acts in their interest. If contacted by any of these associated businesses and trading names, please report to Timeshare Business Check and / or seek advice from a trusted and reliable lawyer or a government approved consumer organisation|
|Information & disclaimers:|
|Timeshare Business Check is managed by Kwikchex.com. KwikChex does not endorse any product, service or business. This information is provided to assist you in your decision to use a particular business or website. Some information within this table has been manually checked by our verification team, using reliable and trusted sources, but we cannot guarantee total accuracy. **See How we verify. The information provided on the Timeshare Business Check site should not form the entire basis of any decision to make a purchase or enter into a contract. You should pay particular attention to aspects such as terms and conditions and if unsure, seek further advice. Timeshare Business Check is not responsible for the content of external websites - *See full external links policy. This information is subject to change at any time. Last update: 23/01/2017|
|If you believe any of the information in this profile to be incorrect or have concerns about this company please contact us.|
|Thumbnail Screenshots by Thumbshots|
KwikChex & Timeshare Task Force free consumer resources – an additional level of diligence & transparency
With the permission of the consumers that contact KwikChex and in particular those that do so via the Timeshare Task Force and Timeshare Business Check resources, we are now going to provide access to information on every case we receive to the relevant authorities.
Organisations such as the European Consumer Centre, (The ECC network), UK Trading Standards, National Fraud Investigation Bureau (NFIB) and the equivalent in the relevant European countries such as OMIC in Spain can add this intelligence to their own data – and they will also be able to help ensure that the responses being made by KwikChex are of genuine help to consumers.