Advice regarding ECC (European Consumer Claims)

Incorporating information concerning ITRA (International Timeshare Refund Action), M1 Legal and Pinder Reaux. 

ECC association with closed down business ITRA 

The business describing itself as ‘ECC’ and offering relinquishment and claims services to timeshare owners is an offshoot of the business known most commonly as ‘ITRA’. 

It has been firmly established that 

  • ECC is under the same core ownership and control as was ITRA. 
  • Several of those working for ECC previously worked for ITRA. 
  • ECC previously shared offices with ITRA. 

With regard to ITRA, this business has been shut down following a winding up order made in the High Court in England after failing to refund consumers as ordered by the County Court. ITRA was the subject of several court actions by consumers who successfully took action over misrepresentations and breaches of contracts and the failure to provide the promised contract terminations and claims services. 

Prior to being closed down, ITRA was previously named by the UK authorities as playing a key part in a complex, multi-company, international network that deceived many consumers, resulting in losses of thousands of pounds in each case. ITRA’s role was to lure in consumers with promises of timeshare contract assistance – and then ‘switch-sell’ them into fraudulent holiday / lifestyle memberships. The UK authorities acted on these deceptions and closed down seven connected businesses in an attempt to protect consumers. 

ECC has already been the subject of consumer complaints and ongoing actions by consumers claiming misrepresentations have taken place. 

Misleading advertising  

The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), ruled that ECC was guilty of misleading advertising and the report clearly demonstrated the close association ECC has had with ITRA – details of the ruling can be found on this link on the ASA website – https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/european-claims-centre-llc-a16-334571.html  

Different entities and name changes 

‘ECC’ is used as a generic trading name. A UK company based primarily in Slough, UK is the primary trading entity and is named as European Consumer Claims Ltd. This company was previously named European Claims Centre Ltd. 

Another ECC entity – one that is used on contracts issued to consumers is registered in Washington State USA. This is currently named European Consumer Claims LLC and was previously also known as European Claims Centre (LLC).  

Further ECC entities are registered in Spain as European Claims Centre – SP Branch  SL and also European Consumers Claims SL 

Concerns over ECC contracts 

Contracts issued by ECC that consumers are asked to sign have stated that the agreement is with a US registered entity – originally named as European Claims Centre LLC and now as European Consumer Claims LLC. Enquiries with the US authorities have shown that  

  • Ownership of the company in terms of individuals / shareholders is intentionally not disclosed. 
  • It is stated that the business trades from Gibraltar – but an investigation by the Gibraltar authorities could find no tracer of the business there. (ITRA previously also falsely claimed to have a ‘head office in Gibraltar). 
  • The company named as ‘proxy director’ in US filings appears to have been previously registered in the Bahamas but has since been struck off. 

Despite enquiries being made of ECC, no evidence has been produced that this US registered ECC has actually itself been trading or actively providing the services promised to consumers. 

It is of concern that consumers are being asked to sign a contract with such a company. 

Ongoing legal disputes between consumers and ECC have been complicated by the use of the US registered ECC company. Despite the UK entity being the business that takes money from consumers and controls the day to day functions of ECC, including the offices, personnel and website, when disputes have arisen over misrepresentations, ECC has claimed that it is ECC in the US that is the provider of services and ECC UK is denying liability. 

Legal firms acting in partnership with ITRA and ECC 

Both ITRA and ECC have been acting in partnership with two law firms. 

M1 Legal – registered in Spain as Maxima 1 Legal SL. 

This business also previously used the ECC brand, being originally named European Claims Chambers. 

A director of the business is also named as being a director of several companies that were the Spanish offshoots of ITRA and those closed down by the UK authorities. 

Pinder Reaux solicitors – a regulated and registered UK solicitor firm. 

Pinder Reaux initially engaged with ITRA as their legal representative – attempting to defend them with regard to claims brought be consumers. The defences that we are aware of all failed, with judgements being awarded in favour of the consumers. 

Pinder Reaux are now said to be acting in a commercial partnership with ECC, pursuing timeshare claims.  

It should be noted that where M1 Legal and Pinder Reaux are engaged in legal services on behalf of consumers that contracts have actually been signed and monies paid by consumers to ITRA (now closed) and ECC. 

 

Consumers with concerns over ITRA and ECC 

Understandably, consumers have been concerned over the fact that ECC can be regarded as an offshoot of ITRA.  

A number of those entering into contracts with ECC have been attempting to cancel and seek refunds after discovering the history and connections. The cancellations have been contested by ECC and in some cases are now the subject of court claims by the consumers – which are also being contested by ECC and are ongoing. 

Some consumers that previously paid monies to ITRA have been approached by ECC and told that ECC is taking over ITRA cases. We would advise that any consumer being approached in this manner makes urgent contact with the liquidators of ITRA, Richard Long & Co., who will be pleased to receive proof of debt against ITRA – and also any information regarding the activities of ITRA and potentially associated matter such as the ECC approachesDocuments relating to this can be found here.

For consumers that have contracted with ECC directly and have concerns, it is essential that a proper evaluation of the circumstances of each case takes place.  This could for example, examine the following. 

  • What services have been promised by ECC? 
  • Given the information provided by the US authorities regarding the US registered ECC entity and the information provided by the Gibraltar authorities, can the validity of the contracts be challenged? 
  • What cancellation rights might apply in terms of the ECC contracts? 
  • What work has been undertaken by ECC since contracts were signed / payments made? 
  • What is the precise basis in law that will be used by ECC in any contract termination or claims made on behalf of their clients? 

 

For the sake of clarity and transparency 

The information above is provided by KwikChex Ltd., as a part of free services to consumers under the Timeshare Task Force initiative.  

  • This service has been vetted and approved by UK Trading Standards – the accreditation and verified consumer feedback can be viewed on the following link  – https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/profile/kwikchex-ltd-t-as-timeshare-task-force/24358/  
  • KwikChex has helped resolve hundreds of cases and assist in recovering hundreds of thousands of pounds for consumers and the termination of contracts. This has all been achieved free of charge. 
  • KwikChex and KwikChex personnel have provided evidence used in civil and criminal cases and have acted as key witnesses in several cases. 
  • The Timeshare Task Force is funded by the Resort Development Organisation (RDO), the trade association for vacation ownership across Europe. 

We are always very pleased to answer any questions put to us – simply use the following link for all enquiries and free help with any concerns – https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/free-assistance/

ITRA Insolvency Update

It has been confirmed that Richard Long & Co are to act as liquidators in the matter of the insolvency of International Timeshare Refund Action Ltd (ITRA) and will also investigate matters regarding the business.

Please click here for documents in this regard.

If you have not done so already you can use the included proof of debt form.

We are also aware that in a number of cases that the ITRA sister company, ECC or European Consumer Claims has been approaching consumers that have paid sums to ITRA, stating they will take over cases. Should your receive such an approach, please let us know via our online form so we can provide further advice.

If you have not done so already – affected consumers are also advised to file a report with Action Fraud online https://www.actionfraud. police.uk/report_fraud or by calling 0300 123 2040.

If you require further assistance regarding ITRA, then you may contact us using our online form – https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/free-assistance. Assistance is entirely free and the service is Trading Standards vetted and approved.

Timeshare Claims Warning March 2019

Important advice re increasing risks related to timeshare claims businesses 

On 22 February 2019, purported ‘timeshare claims specialist’ businesses Meredith Pritchard Consultants Ltd.  and First Law Solutions Ltd. were wound up in the UK High Court following action by UK authorities. 

The Insolvency Service presented petitions to the court on the grounds that both companies traded with a lack of commercial probity by failing to provide contracted services in a timely manner or at all. This included accepting payments in respect of non-viable claims, charging excessive fees, and using misleading and aggressive sales techniques. Losses to consumers deceived by the businesses are believed to be in excess of half a million pounds. 

The news follows the winding up of another timeshare claims operation just weeks before, when International Timeshare Refund Action (ITRA), were also wound up in the High Court after failing to refund monies to consumers as per court orders established, they too had not provided the promised services. 

In the past 18 months, several businesses offering timeshare and relinquishment services have shut down without making good on their promises. Other notable examples include RSB Legal and Standon Mortimer. 

In addition, there have been multiple arrests made by the police and convictions through prosecutions, including the prolific EZE Group that are connected with the targeting of timeshare owners, In August last year, the problem was highlighted by Action Fraud, who reported that victims seeking their assistance had reported losing £7,893,028 in just the first half of the year. KwikChex has estimated that well in excess of £150 million has been lost by consumers to such activities over the last 5 years. 

Over 100 businesses have been identified as operating in deceptive and fraudulent ways or simply failing to deliver the promised services. Regrettably, this has even included regulated businesses including at least one firm of solicitors. Fake lawyers have also been springing up and making unlawful, unsolicited contact with timeshare owners. 

The problem has turned into a large-scale epidemic and KwikChex is currently in discussions with several authorities on how to tackle it. 

 

Free help with checking and due diligence 

KwikChex, via the Timeshare Task Force provides a free service to consumers wanting to check on businesses operating within the timeshare sector. It is the only resource of its kind officially vetted and approved by UK Trading Standards. 

Given the vast scale and nature of the problem, KwikChex is urging consumers to: 

  • Use the Timeshare Task Force resources to check all businesses offering timeshare relinquishment and claims 
  • If they simply want to relinquish their timeshare, to make enquiries of the timeshare developer/ resort at which they own in the first instance to see what exit options may be available  
  • If they believe they have a claim, to check what options are available with the Timeshare Task Force resources 
  • Report all unsolicited contacts – as almost all have been shown to be rogue in nature 
  • Use free resources provided by KwikChex to ensure that all due diligence is carried out and that all information regarding proposed services is put in writing 
  • Avoid any business that states it cannot accept credit card payments 

 

Important information for clarity 

The free services provided to consumers by KwikChex are funded through the Resort Development Organisation (RDO), which represent timeshare businesses in Europe. In order to ensure that the services provided by KwikChex maintain the highest levels of integrity, they have been vetted and approved by UK Trading Standards and continue to be monitored on an ongoing basis. 

KwikChex has an outstanding track record of resolving problems and gaining refunds for consumers free of charge. This has included several well-publicised cases where assistance has been provided that enabled consumers to make successful regulatory-based and court claims. Where KwikChex is unable to help directly and the consumer wishes to take formal legal action, KwikChex will advise that an expert legal professional is used and advise on the selection process. 

The official KwikChex accreditation, approval and verified consumer feedback can be viewed on the following link. 

https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/profile/kwikchex/24358/

Shut down: the company that took upfront fees…

Credits: The Mirror, By Andrew Penman, 14/02/19

Shut down: the company that took upfront fees from people desperate escape timeshare traps

‘International Timeshare Refund Action liquidated after ignoring court judgment’

‘When ITRA ignored the judgment they took the case to the High Court to have it shut down, assisted by Kwikchex, an online business verification scheme that runs the timeshare industry-funded Timeshare Task Force .

“ITRA has a long record of making empty promises and charging huge fees, when in reality there were free or much lower cost options to exit timeshares,” said founder Chris Emmins.

“That’s why we have provided free help, assisting consumers to take successful legal action. We are continuing to assist consumers that have been affected by ITRA and other similar businesses.”

Above excerpts and read the full article: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/shut-down-company-took-upfront-13994817

 

———–

Assistance for consumers affected by ITRA
KwikChex, which manages the Timeshare Task Force has assisted consumers with several successful claims against ITRA and has helped coordinate the Winding Up process.  We are aware that many consumers have been affected and are providing free assistance. There is an ongoing investigation into ITRA activities and consumers that have paid monies to ITRA can make contact via our reporting page –  The service is free and is approved by Trading Standards. See the following link to our accreditation and consumer feedback https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/profile/kwikchex/24358/
All consumers will be provided with advice and their cases can be passed to a specialist insolvency practitioner.

ITRA – International Timeshare Refund Action wound up in the High Court

On 30th January 2019, International Timeshare Refund Action – more commonly known as ITRA, was wound up in the High Court of Justice England & Wales. This followed a petition made by a couple that had taken ITRA to court on grounds of unlawful conduct involving misrepresentations and failure to provide promised services concerning timeshare relinquishment and compensation. ITRA failed to refund monies as ordered by the court.
 
The original claim case against ITRA was one of several brought successfully against the business by consumers, with a number of courts repeatedly finding that ITRA had used deceptive methods and not provided services as agreed.  ITRA has a long track record of being involved in such deceptions and was previously named by UK authorities as playing a pivotal part in a serious and long running scam – a ‘bait & switch’ operation where consumers were lured by supposed legal assistance and then sold fraudulent ‘concierge services’ – a form of what has also been described as ‘Leisure Credits’, about which the authorities have issued strong warnings.
 
Assistance for consumers affected by ITRA
 
KwikChex, which manages the Timeshare Task Force has assisted  consumers with several successful claims against ITRA and has helped coordinate the Winding Up process.  We are aware that many consumers have been affected and are providing free assistance. There is an ongoing investigation into ITRA activities and consumers that have paid monies to ITRA can make contact via our reporting page –  The service is free and is approved by Trading Standards. See the following link to our accreditation and consumer feedback https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/profile/kwikchex/24358/ 
All consumers will be provided with advice and their cases can be passed to a specialist insolvency practitioner.
 
Connections to ECC – European Consumer Claims.
 
The owners of ITRA are also trading through a business known as ECC – European Consumer Claims. In several cases, ECC are attempting to take over cases from ITRA and in some instances are demanding fees.
 
ECC is also the subject of consumer complaints and has worked alongside ITRA, with common ownership and the same employees and premises.  ECC has been in breach of a number of laws, with failures to disclose ownership on websites and other business communications and failure to register under data protection regulations.   Any consumers concerned regarding these aspects of ECC’s trading can also make contact via our reporting page

Trapped timeshare owners who paid thousands to get out of their contracts are being ‘palmed off’

Credits: The Mirror, By Andrew Penman, 17/10/18

Trapped timeshare owners who paid thousands to get out of their contracts are being ‘palmed off’

‘Couple were desperate to sell their timeshare when the annual fees reached £1,500 so paid International Timeshare Refund Action Limited, or ITRA, to help them’

So far ITRA have done very little, getting me to do most of their work,” Laura says.

“After four years I am now informed that I still own the week in Scotland and am therefore liable for maintenance arrears of £742,” said Anthony.

“We paid ITRA over £5,000, this was over two years ago,” says Julie.

Above excerpts and read the full article: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/trapped-timeshare-owners-unwanted-weeks-13431301

If you believe you have been affected by a scam you can report it to KwikChex: https://kwikchex.com/consumers/

Another judgement issued against ITRA in court – and this time they don’t even show up

International Timeshare Refund Action (ITRA) have once again had a judgement made against them in a court action brought by a consumer and supported by KwikChex.

On 4th June at Stoke-On-Trent County Court, ITRA were ordered to refund a consumer all the monies he paid to them plus costs – a total of over £5700. On this occasion, although fully aware of the proceedings, ITRA did not appear to defend the claim.

ITRA have lost several cases at courts across the UK in recent times after consumers took actions, citing misrepresentation and breach of contract. KwikChex has assisted many consumers that have complained that they have been pressured into paying thousands of pounds for supposed timeshare relinquishment and claims services which were never delivered.

The consumer in the latest case thanked KwikChex for the help provided and said that the judge had commended KwikChex for the work being done and for providing free assistance.

Update on ITRA & ECC

In recent times, after a run of defeats in court and adverse publicity,  those behind ITRA appear to be abandoning the ITRA brand and switching to their newer ECC brand, (European Claims Centre or European Consumer Claims). ECC is being operated by the same people from the same locations as ITRA. Complaints and concerns are already emerging about ECC and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have already upheld a complaint against the business  for misleading advertising, with the ruling clearly identifying their close association with ITRA – see link to ruling – https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/european-claims-centre-llc-a16-334571.html

ITRA Lose again in court

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:

timesharebusinesscheck.org

timesharetaskforce.org

Another Court Judgement Against ITRA

Consumer awarded over £4800 as judge declares that breaches of contract by International Refund Action Ltd. (ITRA) were “completely unacceptable”

KwikChex can report that on Friday 19 January 2018,  at Weston-Super-Mare County Court, another consumer it has supported has won a judgement against International Timeshare Refund Action – ITRA.

The judge ordered ITRA to repay the consumer £4802.60, having decided that ITRA had not provided the services promised.  The judge also commented that the “Breaches were as fundamental as they could possibly get” and that there had been “so little done for so much money”

The consumer asked for the assistance of KwikChex via the Timeshare Task Force resources that KwikChex manages, which are funded by the Resort Development Organisation (RDO) after ITRA’s multiple failures to clearly respond for over a year to requests to detail what ITRA had carried out on her behalf. KwikChex provided free  advice and support for 18 months during the dispute, which culminated in the court hearing, with ITRA vainly trying to defend the lack of work carried out and poor communication. Attempts to carry out some work at the eleventh hour, well after legal proceedings were started were rejected as ‘too little, too late’.

KwikChex Director Chris Emmins provided a witness statement and attended court in support of the consumer, which detailed ITRA’s involvement in the notorious Club Class Concierge scams which resulted in the winding-up of seven connected companies by the UK authorities. Also included in the statement were details of complaints made by consumers to Action Fraud about ITRA and the misrepresentations that ITRA had a ‘Head Office’ in Gibraltar – something the Gibraltar authorities had confirmed was untrue.

ITRA attempted to defend the claim by using their favoured law firm, Pinder Reaux and a barrister, whilst the consumer represented herself. Two witnesses appeared for ITRA – the first was a Patrick O’Connor, who from the outset admitted that he used an alias when working for ITRA, calling himself ‘Steven John’ a name that has been quoted by many consumers making complaints against ITRA. He stated that the alias was easier for consumers to remember. The second witness was identified as Andrew Cooper, who in his witness statement said that he was a ‘consultant ’for ITRA. However, a solicitor from Pinder Reaux described him as ITRA’s CEO – and when questioned whether he was a director of ITRA he replied that he was. Andrew Cooper was also a director of two of the companies closed down by the UK authorities in 2012 – Bridge View Consultants Ltd. and Club Class Concierge Ltd. He is also a current director of European Claims Centre Ltd., a business that claims to have helped thousands of people to exit timeshares, though it was only formed in June 2016 and uses the serviced  / virtual offices to conduct its business as ITRA.

The latest case echoed the well-publicisied win by Mr & Mrs Walker against ITRA in court in 2016, who were refunded over £7000 – see the report by the Daily Mail – http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-3709511/Couple-win-7-000-victory-faulty-timeshare-contract-following-18-month-legal-battle.html

KwikChex and a number of consumer protection and advice agencies continue to receive complaints concerning ITRA.

Free advice and assistance is available for consumers on the Timeshare Business Check and Timeshare Task Force websites and via the Timeshare Helpline – 0044 (0) 1202 832012 timesharehelpline.net

KwikChex and the Timeshare Task Force services have been vetted and approved by Trading Standards and are the only business operating within the timeshare sector to have received official accreditation under the Trading Standards Buy With Confidence scheme – see the accreditation and verified consumer feedback on the following link  – www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/profile/kwikchex/24358

Timeshare Task Force 2016 year in review


Successes for consumers right across the spectrum

The Timeshare Task Force, which is managed by KwikChex, has produced an unparalleled series of results for consumers during 2016.

The free service has become increasingly vital and more used  by consumers in the last 12 months, with the Timeshare Business Check website playing the leading role in consumer protection and assistance. The site has been a very effective resource for consumers seeking advice on businesses across the timeshare spectrum – from advising caution through to winning back monies for consumers and helping timeshare owners understand and exercise their legal and contractual rights.

Consumers contacting KwikChex via the Timeshare Task Force resources have benefited from:

  • Refunds from mis-sold holiday and rogue timeshare reclaim businesses.
  • Advice and direct assistance leading to contractually and ethically correct, no cost and low cost timeshare relinquishment.
  • Help with civil actions, including legal assistance from qualified lawyers and the provision of evidence to support claims.
  • Advice that prevented consumers from falling prey to scams.

Every single case has been assisted by KwikChex entirely free of charge.

The court case won against ITRA

The highlight of the year must be the support KwikChex provided to Harold and Brenda Walker, who came to KwikChex with concerns about monies they had paid to ITRA –  International Timeshare Refund Action. It was obvious from the outset that ITRA had made false promises and misleading statements in order to persuade the Walkers to pay over £7000.  Requests to ITRA for a refund were either ignored or rejected, so the only option was to take ITRA to court. Even though the Walkers were using the Small Claims Court, ITRA used the services of a specialist law firm and a barrister in trying to defend their actions – so KwikChex appealed for help from the RDO – the Resort Development Organisation, who responded with funding for similar representation for the Walkers. KwikChex went on to provide evidence and acted as a witness in court in support of the Walker’s claim. The judge subsequently ruled for the Walkers, declaring the ITRA actions illegal and the contract null & void. The Walkers were awarded a full refund and costs.

The Walkers
Harold & Brenda Walker 
[Image by Damien Mcfadden]
It would be difficult to imagine a nicer couple than Harold and Brenda Walker – both in their 70s, they epitomise human decency and civility. Brenda was at the time undergoing treatment for cancer, which added to the stress caused by ITRA’s deceptions.  Sadly, Brenda passed away not long after the case against ITRA was won, but Harold was so kind to say how much she had appreciated what KwikChex had done.  And in reality, as was quickly demonstrated by KwikChex, the couple had no need of the alleged services that ITRA said they would provide regarding relinquishment – because their timeshare was with an RDO member and they were entitled to a free relinquishment, which was subsequently arranged. ITRA lied about many things, including telling the Walkers that their children would be liable for their timeshares as their heirs and then tried to use ‘legal muscle’ to defend what should have been the indefensible. They failed – and now the publicity from the case has resulted in more consumers coming forward keen to take legal action against ITRA.

Read the full story in the Daily Mail – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/bills/article-3709511/Couple-win-7-000-victory-faulty-timeshare-contract-following-18-month-legal-battle.html

and the follow up exposure of ITRA – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/article-3810740/Can-trust-firm-says-rid-timeshare-price-families-did-lived-regret-it.html

KwikChex support for law enforcement and regulatory bodies

During 2016, KwikChex has continued to work closely with the police, Trading Standards and various regulatory authorities, providing vital evidence and intelligence on rogue operations.

Responses by KwikChex to police requests have resulted in the opening of a formal criminal investigation.

Responses by KwikChex to Trading Standards have resulted in the opening of investigations – and the resolving of complaints made to Trading Standards by consumers.

Four complaints about misleading advertising in the timeshare sector made to the Advertising Standards Authority were upheld in 2016 – against Easy Consulting SL t/a directresortsinternational.co.uk ; Timeshare Relief UK  and European Claims Centre LLC t/a Timeshare Advice Centre (a part of the ITRA operations).

In addition, an initiative in cooperation with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to stop Data Protection offences, including unsolicited contact and data theft is now well on the way to producing evidence that is likely to lead to prosecutions.

ctsiKwikChex also exhibited at and presented a session at the Consumer Affairs & Trading Standards Conference and Exhibition in 2016 – providing new ways and means of detecting scams and helping to bring the perpetrators to justice.

< Left – KwikChex talking with Trading Standards Officers at the Consumer Affairs & Trading Standards Conference and Exhibition.

 

 

 

 

The work will continue in 2017 and will include the continuance of free assistance to consumers, responses to requests by Citizens Advice for the provision of update advice, participation in the 2017 Consumer Affairs & Trading Standards Conference and active support in both civil legal cases and criminal prosecutions.

 

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