They resolved my problem and lifted a big weight from my shoulders

The staff at the Timeshare Task Force were very professional and knowledgeable about the timeshare industry. I found them online when I was looking for help to get out of a timeshare contract. It was a huge relief to know they were backed by Trading Standards; there are so many timeshare scams online, it’s difficult to know who to trust.

They were fantastic, they listened to my concerns and took a full history of the contract details. They resolved my problem and lifted a big weight from my shoulders.

The service was completely free which is amazing in view of the time and effort they put in. I would thoroughly recommend the Timeshare Task Force and in particular I would like to thank Gemma and Lucy for their excellent support throughout the whole process.

(Reviewed April 2018)

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Serial offender Frank Madden sentenced to 40 months imprisonment

Francis (Frank) Madden was yesterday (Tuesday 01 May) sentenced to 40 months imprisonment for scamming consumers in a supposed holiday discount scheme.

The sentence was handed down after he changed his plea to guilty on reduced charges.

Madden was previously convicted on two occasions and was actually under a suspended sentence when KwikChex detected him involved in the same activities again. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/news/article-3094117/Investigators-suspect-fraudster-targeting-elderly-scams-incredibly-say-t-afford-prosecute-savage-cuts.

After luring people in to meetings with thousands of cold calls, he pressured his victims, many of whom were elderly, into parting with large sums of money, telling them they would enjoy fantastic holidays in return – but there was no substance at all – holidays were hardly ever available and people had to pay big supplements if they did want to go on trips.

In 2012 he was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for 24 months after admitting eight counts of unfair trading. The offences related to the company Hotweeks. Victims then were conned out of up to £2,000 to get discounts on accommodation, flights and cruises.

We are very pleased that justice hast been done, having reported Madden’s latest activities to Trading Standards and provided evidence, and a witness statement. The persistence of Trading standards Officers, should be recognised in achieving this result.

His co-defendant Claire Garland, admitted two counts of failing to provide cancellation rights, and was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge after it was accepted that Madden had used her as a ‘puppet’ and she had been left in considerable debt by his criminal activities.

Madden’s conviction comes hard on the heels of those of father and daughter Dominic and Stephanie O’Reilly of EZE Group, who pleaded guilty in November to offences relating to the selling of another bogus holiday-based product known as ‘Leisure Credits’. They are currently awaiting sentencing. Again, KwikChex as part of our Trading Standards Approved  Timeshare Task Force activities, provided evidence and a witness statement to Trading Standards.

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

EZE Group Update 1st May

We have been informed that the sentencing hearing for EZE Group and Dominic  & Stephanie O’Reilly did not take place yesterday (30th April) as applications have been made by the EZE defence.
We will issue further updates when more information is available.

Warning – Andore Marketing

It has come to our notice that a new company Andore Marketing (full name Andore Marketing & Management SL) in Tenerife has been selling EZE products as lately as March of this year, we would advise any consumers approached by this business to decline any offers of presentations, products, services etc.

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

I would highly recommend them

I found Kwikchex when making a legal claim against [another business]. They provided excellent information which helped in the court case and lots of moral support. I doubt I would have gone all the way to the court hearing had it not been for the support they provided. I would highly recommend them to anyone seeking redress particularly with [another business] as they have considerable experience. (Reviewed February 2018)

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Walker, Craig

Associated Company Name:TBC
Details of criminal activity:Charged with conspiracy to defraud
Authority Actions:Stafford Crown Court

* Sentenced to three years in prison
Information Sources:
Other Associated People
TBC
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: 21/05/2014
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