Why European Consumer Claims (ECC) is so upset with KwikChex

We are aware that European Consumer Claims / ECC is deceitfully using / ‘hijacking’  the KwikChex name within a domain name / website they have set up. They are also paying for Google Adverts to promote it.

They seek to discourage consumers from using the free services KwikChex provides to consumers – and to promote their own business and that of their associates.

Actions are now being taken, but in the interim, for the sake of clarity and to safeguard consumers, we are providing an explanation as to why the owners of ITRA and ECC are behaving in this dishonest manner.

Aside from the many inaccuracies and further deceits on the rogue resources,  ITRA and ECC sees this as a way to distract consumers from the multiple legal actions that have been taken against the various connected businesses and the news coverage that exposes their dishonest practices. We recently published a summary of these (hence their attacks on KwikChex), which can be found here – https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/advice-regarding-ecc/

But for the avoidance of any doubt as to the character of ITRA and ECC, we are providing below the links to some of the most notable media coverage and information concerning their activities and the actions that have been taken against them so that consumers can verify the information from trusted and significant resources.

 

Mail on Sunday November 2012

Article exposing the rogue dealings of several connected businesses, including ITRA and detailing how seven connected companies (led by Club Lass Concierge and supported by ITRA) were closed down by the UK authorities.

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-2234417/Couples-stress-belief-timeshare.html

Mail Online / Money Mail July 2016

Article describing how KwikChex provided free assistance to a couple deceived by ITRA and how they were awarded over £7000 by a court.

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-3709511/Couple-win-7-000-victory-faulty-timeshare-contract-following-18-month-legal-battle.html

Daily Mail September 2016

More cases of consumers deceived by ITRA are exposed. Identifies the influential ITRA ‘consultant’  and shows connections to ECC.

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-3810740/Can-trust-firm-says-rid-timeshare-price-families-did-lived-regret-it.html

The Straits Times July 2017

Article reports on the Singapore authorities warning about ITRA

“Case noted that since last October, Icon Solutions and ITRA have been on the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) Investor Alert List”

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/firm-flagged-over-claims-that-it-can-recover-timeshare-monies

Daily Mirror October 2018

Article reveals multiple complaints regarding ITRA, connections to the businesses wound up by UK authorities and names individuals and mentions two connected law firms.

“The Insolvency Service stated that the companies “were set up with the aim of duping consumers”(referring to the connected companies wound up).

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/trapped-timeshare-owners-unwanted-weeks-13431301

Daily Mirror February 2019

Article about how ITRA was closed down in the High Court after failing to pay refunds to consumers misled by them as ordered by the courts.

Identifies those behind ITRA and ECC and confirms the connections to businesses previously wound up by the UK authorities to protect consumers.

Clarifies the free assistance given by KwikChex to victims.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/shut-down-company-took-upfront-13994817

Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling against ECC re misleading advertising July 2016

Complaint brought successfully against ECC by KwikChex. Contains admissions by ECC that they were generating leads for ITRA.

https://www.asa.org.uk/rulings/european-claims-centre-llc-a16-334571.html

 

Official filings confirming ownership links between businesses closed down by UK authorities and ECC.

Club Class Concierge – closed by UK authorities

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05932332/officers

Bridge View Consultants – closed by UK authorities

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/06971280/officers

European Consumer Claims  – current business and the one responsible for the attacks

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/10243428/officers

 

We believe the above information from trusted resources clearly demonstrates the reasons why ECC and those behind it are so desperate to deter consumers from contacting KwikChex.

KwikChex has been vetted & approved by UK Trading Standards and works closely with Trading Standards and other law enforcement, government and official consumer protection authorities.

Our accreditation and verified consumer feedback demonstrating the quality of the free assistance we provide to consumers can be viewed on this link – https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/profile/kwikchex-ltd-t-as-timeshare-task-force/24358/

Advice regarding consumers affected by ITRA and ECC matters.

  • If consumers have paid monies to ITRA and have not received the promised services. They can contact the insolvency investigators – see information here – https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/itra-insolvency-update This page also has advice on reporting cases to Action Fraud.
  • We have been contacted by a number of consumers complaining about ECC, who are now filing court claims against them. If you feel you have a reason to complain about ECC, you can use our free assistance services to contact us – https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/free-assistance

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/

What at the beginning looked like a very long & lengthy process was resolved quickly – we are now free from membership

I first read the review on the web site about KwikChex Ltd knowing that they were Vetted and trading standard approved professionals who would give us the best help and advise to exit from our timeshare membership.

After completing the initial inquiry page, Chris Emmins was allocated our case for his assistance.
We must say that everyone at Kwikchek was very professional, and in particular Chris who dealt with our case.

He was fantastic throughout, as he listened to our concerns and requested for the full history of our contract details to help us from relinquished from our fractional % membership.
What at the beginning looked like a very long & lengthy process was resolved quickly – we are now free from membership with cash settlement A free service which we would highly recommend

(Reviewed March 2019)

Chris and his team at Kwikchex offered my Parents a lifeline in assisting them to get their money back from a timeshare scam.

Chris and his team at Kwikchex offered my Parents a lifeline in assisting them to get their money back from a timeshare scam. I live in Australia, my parents in the UK had pretty much given up all hope of getting anything back from Eze Group after two failed attempts.
I needed to do something to help them from Australia so online research led me to some great reviews that had benefited from Kwikchex support.
I reached out to them and both Chris and Mickey were so quick to respond and threw me a lifeline. I responded immediately to their support instructions and after just over 4 months my parents were over the moon to receive the news they’d been chasing for years, Chris and his team assisted us in getting all of their money back! Amazing free service, can’t thank you guys enough!

(Reviewed March 2019)

With Kwikchex help I successfully managed to offload my timeshare back to the developer at no other cost except a £10 stamp

Approached Kwikchex for advise on my timeshare being mis sold to me after recent press articles concerning a Spanish Supreme court ruling and through there advise went back to my timeshare company as wanted to rid myself of this burden. With Kwikchex help I successfully managed to offload my timeshare back to the developer at no other cost except a £10 stamp which was used to track my deeds back to my developer who was Richvale resorts..
This was done very quickly as was my RCI cancellation of membership but I would suspect that this was carried out this way as kwikchex said I had a potential claim for compensation and I think they knew it.I had every bit of documentation and evidence to do this but felt offloading it was a result. I successfully did this with Kwikchex help

(Reviewed March 2019)

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.

EZE Group boss Dominic O’Reilly jailed for bullying elderly into useless holiday packages worth £200k

‘O’Reilly headed up Eze Europe Ltd and fleeced elderly into handing over cash.

An intimidating company owner who “bullied and frightened” victims into shelling out more than £200,000 in a timeshare scam has been jailed.

At Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday, company boss O’Reilly, 55 was sentenced to a total of 28 months imprisonment and his step-daughter, Stephanie, was sentenced to a total of 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, for their part in a timeshare ‘leisure credit’ scam.’

Credits: Birmingham Live, By Ross McCarthy & Ashley Preece, 21/03/19

Above excerpts and read the full article: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/timeshare-boss-dominic-oreilly-jailed-16010172

 

If you have been affected by EZE Group, then you can contact KwikChex via the Task Force website – https://timesharebusinesscheck.org/free-assistance/Assistance is entirely free and the service is Trading Standards vetted and approved.

Solicitor Seth Lovis has suddenly ceased trading

Law firm Seth Lovis, which offered services concerning timeshare relinquishment and claims has announced that they have ceased trading.

Consumers that have instructed the firm should have received letters providing advice on what they should now do. Some information has been provided on the website – see link https://www.sethlovis.co.uk/

We are aware that some consumers were introduced to Seth Lovis after paying other businesses for advice – and that there have been complaints regarding unsatisfactory service. If you have been affected and are not satisfied with the situation, then you may contact KwikChex via the Task Force website – 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/

Warning – ‘Travel & Leisure Mexico’

A company in Mexico is using the branding and logo design of RDO member Travel & Leisure. They are using the name ‘Travel & Leisure Mexico‘.

Although their website (www.travelleisure.com.mx) is no longer active, they are still making contact with consumers.

They are nothing to do with the Travel & Leisure Group and are also NOT members of the RDO and ARDA, and therefore should not be displaying their logos.

We advise extreme caution regarding this company – if you have been affected or are contacted by this business please let us know by using our free assistance form.

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