Started by vernon, March 16, 2009, 23:04:32

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A few notes that I took at the above Conference.


This year's conference was eagerly awaited and the members who attended were not disappointed with the quality of presentation by the speakers, I now give an overall general synopsis.

Mr David Eastburn, Chairman of TATOC opened the conference with an update on how TATOC was responding to changes in this present economic climate. He went on to say that TATOC was a recognised Timeshare force in Europe, all working in harmony in putting forward a positive Timeshare Directive in helping to eliminate the many scams that are bringing the Industry into disrepute. He went on to say how pleased they were in working with Ms Arlene McCarthy, Euro MP and Chairperson of the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, who in turn, due to family bereavement, could not attend but did give a video link to the audience on the importance of positive thinking and working together for the benefit of all within the EEC Directive.

Harry Taylor, the CEO of TATOC discussed the current situation within the associated industries belonging to Timeshare. He placed great emphasis on the spiralling maintenance costs, which were being borne by everybody who had points/fixed and floating weeks.
Looking to the future, any company who wished to be affiliated, must fit the stringent criteria laid down by TATOC; this was of paramount importance for the reputation of TATOC.
He went on to say that two resorts had gained TATOC accreditation, namely Club Las Calas, Lanzarote and McDonalds Resorts. The plans for 2009 were simple, good PR at all times, create a sales persons certification, a TATOC code of ethics and honesty, in approaching all of everyday concerns of members, a "help-line was available to all members of TATOC.

Geoff Chapman, a TATOC director gave various slides about the TATOC COMSUMER HELP-LINE, how the customers found their approach for the short and long-term periods, help-line procedures, objectives, total calls, complaint analysis, missed calls to TATOC and how to rectify this. TATOC were looking at ways on how they could help with solving minor problems before they turned into major ones.
With complaints from dubious resale companies rising, Mr Chapman explained that TATOC had saved or helped members to recover some £1-£1.5 million!

Patrick Duffy, Chief Experience Officer from DRI then followed with a presentation on the subject of Goals +The Experience= Loyalty. His talk was based on the fine things in life, the impact of the media, achieving our goals and moving with change. He felt that not enough emphasis was placed on the meaning of change, the aspects of loyalty, do we do our best, are we positive, do we embrace all that is good in change, how we set our goals and the way we tackle negativity.
Mr Duffy then went on to say that he had been with the business of hospitality for many years, he explained how we, in the UK work 48 weeks per year for our 4 week holiday while our counterparts in the USA worked 50 weeks for their 2 week holiday. He emphasised we must care, we must show concern, be reliable, have a sense of dependability, of being loyal, showing respect and doing things because we want to, not because we have to.

Philip Broomhead of the OTE Legislative Council started with a short report from Brussels, he highlighted the Timeshare Industry of today, the impact of tourism, an insight of OTE and going on to say that this year would be very difficult for all in Timeshare. He touched on the new legislation that was due to come into place and thought that this would have an impact to Developers with increased costs.
The new legislation he thought would end long-term Timeshare products, how OTE and TATOC were working in this difficult climate and his final summing-up said that what doesn't kill you now would make you stronger for the future.

David Lilley of Dial an Exchange gave a talk on The Consequence's Of Our Actions. His talk revolved around being positive, of bringing forward action, of honest appraisal and of our instinct to recognise "Trusted Brands", ie.... Virgin, Tesco, Lloyds TSB, Nokia, Hasiamag, TATOC, American Express, MacDonalds and Marriott that are placed before us each day. Mr Lilley, a firm believer that Timeshare Owners were the "Heart and Soul" of the Industry went on to mention on how to make the best use of our Timeshare Investment, why we cannot attract younger members, why do we still have old fashioned marketing ideas and the continuing breaking of the Data Protection Law, his assumption that 20-25% of members wish to exit their Timeshare.
Mention was given to Honesty, Sales Certification, Customer Friendly Products, Effective Management Solutions, Effective Resale Solutions, New Marketing Practises, New Sales Methods and Independent Accreditation for Resorts,.

This was followed by Workshops, where members could chose up to 3 of any of the following in getting an insight on what Dial an Exchange (Radical thinking and decisive action), DRI (Driven sm to Excellence), Merlin (Generating income from technology), RCI (RCI TV-The News Channel), Resort Solutions (What is the real cost of Professional Management?) had to offer the Industry.

Jason Tremblay of Sell-my-timeshare-now, remarked on the huge overhang of supply on the market and commented that his website in the United States had "90,000 views per day".

Phil Watson of Worldwide Timeshare Hypermarket mentioned that the TATOC logo was placed on all their advertisements, bringing to the attention of all readers on how they view and accept the honesty of this organisation.

Sarah Hulme highlighted the problem of people finding themselves in the situation of not being able to pay their management fees. She remarked that some Resorts would find themselves in the position of closure, one will certainly consolidation in the Industry. Ms Hulme then went on to explain, in detail how DRI were tackling the problem of taking back, in various circumstances, member's points. DRI welcomed the forthcoming legislation, remarking on the fact of an Industry that people can trust and emphasising to all that we need to work together.

Dimitris Manakis from RCI said, that together, we could achieve our goals, remarking that he was very optimistic for the future. He placed before the conference, an open invitation saying that DaE, II and RCI should get together in bringing positive ideas that would help all members (my thoughts... what a wonderful opportunity for TATOC to be involved, to represent fairness for all concerned). Mr Manakis went on to say how RCI were looking to give it's members a different experience, new destinations for them like Broome Park coming on-stream and of implementing a loyalty award scheme.

Sandra Wrightson, a very talented lady from the company.... Decotta Mckenna & Santafe gave views on how potential legal disputes and owners disputes get out of hand, all resulting in ruined Timeshare holidays, again re-sales disputes were mentioned. Ms Wrightson gave examples of resolving these disputes, all forms of litigation being looked at. Other ways to resolve a disputed resolution were by arbitration, by mediation etc. A swift resolution to any dispute delivers a better chance for all parties to end their differences.

John Hughes, a senior partner with Needham & James mentioned all aspects for consumer protection, the regulations, which came into force during 2008, a case that was presented in the High Court on July 30th, and how powers of committee should be handled for the betterment of all owners.

Paul Mattimoe of Perspective International, owners of the Timeshare magazines.... Owners Perspective and
Perspective gave views on how they gave true, impartial and "honest approach" to their respective readership. He mentioned all types of Timeshare Ownership, ways in which they were embracing change, ways on how they were engaging the consumer interest, by their magazines going out to various Supermarkets.

A question was asked from the floor on "putting value" back into Re-sales and I got the impression that no collective measures were yet in place to deliver this "value".

Adam Johnson, Chairman of Club Las Calas gave a talk on Setting and Achieving Goals. He demonstrated this as an interaction exercise with members present as a resort namely Palacio Splendido in that we, each table, were to read, digest and present our ideas on how one would revive a 20 year old timeshare resort following the business collapse of the original resort developer in 1999.
This brought from all tables many positive, informative and constructive ideas on how best to tackle the club's finances. Mr Johnson then took the many ideas, showed how we could use these to benefit, promote, enhance and achieve positive publicity for each delegate's own resort.
He was a great believer in placing "news updates" in the welcome pack of a resort, what each resort hoped to achieve within a given timescale reward success at every level so that each employee felt of "being wanted" and was certainly a great believer in KISS.... keep-it-simple-stupid.

The final slot went to Jennie Thompson, a director of TATOC on the subject.... Where are we now-Media Report. She emphasised the fact that TATOC had a solid base, was well structured, knew what goals to aim for, identify and perceive these goals all for the benefit of the membership. She said by the use of the Internet and GOOGLE, people could understand the aims of TATOC and hoped that with this knowledge and understanding the membership would increase. Ms Thompson then went on to say that TATOC was a central organisation, was in a position to obtain and clarify all information relating to the Timeshare Industry. Her remarks included a mention that individuals could be members even if their relevant Resort was not a member, she certainly emphasised that TATOC was for trust, openness, honesty and that we should if possible remain positive. She concluded with a few remarks by Oscar Wilde.... we are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars!

TATOC's chairman Mr David Eastburn then made many remarks to the floor, he was confident for the future, said it had been extremely positive and informative, however, difficulties still exist within the Industry. He thanked everybody for attending and concluded the 2009 TATOC Conference was now closed.

The TATOC AGM followed this Conference....


In the afternoon a discussion took place between DRI (Amanda O'Garrow, Patrick Duffy, Sarah Hulme) and Representatives of each Resort, Mr David Eastburn, as chairman insisted that in fairness to everybody, questions should follow on from each other on the given topic, which was being discussed.
It was evident from the people in attendance that the relinquishing of points/weeks was of major concern, answers were needed and to be fair to the three representatives from DRI they replied with honesty, if any question could not be answered, an assurance was given that answers would be found.
It was evident at times that many questions that had not been thought important, were important. For example Ms Hulme gave a very detailed answer on the question of what happens when a member cannot pay management fees and the line of process taken. Her given answers gave some reassurance to members present, however much work in communications was felt needed from DRI and an assurance was given on this.
A question was asked on how DRI were reducing their office costs; Ms Hulme gave details on staff reductions and how they were being implemented.
Both Ms O'Garrow and Mr Duffy gave comments in their relevant roles and were both sincere with their answers.
On one question concerning a certain Resort, it was quite apparent that more than the allotted time would be needed to give the correct answers.

The Chairman then asked DRI what they had taken from this session,
Ms Sarah Hulme replied saying...
a) The need to listen,
b) To improve all communications between Resort Committees,
c) The need for re-introduction of the Chairman's Meetings (TATOC has offered to Chair these meetings)
At approximately one and half hours the Chairman closed the discussion.

My "gut feeling" about this conference was that it highlighted the need for openness, honesty, transparency and the need to tackle problems that have been "simmering" for many years. So many unanswered questions are out there, so much resentment exists, mistrust is around every corner and I feel that all this has to be tackled "sooner than later."

If a start to the contents of the above paragraph is now, positive results will be forthcoming and I am certain that all who attended this Conference will have confidence for the future of TIMESHARE and TATOC!

In conclusion, I refer to a few remarks that were spoken by Gerald R Ford on Taking the Oath of Office as President on August 9th, 1974.... there is no way we can go forward except together and no way anybody can win except by serving the people's needs.
We cannot stand still or slip backwards. We must go forward now, together.




In my opinion the current issues that TATOC have are as follows:-
TATOC is at present too reliant, for its funding, on a few developers.
This means that it cannot be seen by the consumer as a truly independent organisation and on talking to people it seems to be the view (not necessarily true) that in the event of a dispute between a consumer and a Developer, that the opinion of TATOC would likely come down on the side of the Developer.

TATOC comes with a past history of poor performance from the point of view of the consumer. This perception is very difficult to put right overnight.
What can be done to speed up this process of gaining the faith of the consumer?
Constant, regular proof of performance is one way.
TATOC says it has recovered large amounts of monies for individuals who have been duped by scam companies.
Prove it! Get people with a successful outcome to write a public thank-you on web sites such as this. Get current testimonials placed on the TATOC web site. Get them out to the media.  Report successfully resolved disputes with Developers.
 It could be the job of a designated person to update and report success on at least a monthly basis.
Only by demonstrating their effectiveness can TATOC hope to enrol sufficient individual members to create for themselves an acceptable measure of independence that consumers can have confidence in.

The module of DRI is a classic example. Although DRI have been driving improvements forward for over two years and made many great strides, very few people recognise the work that has gone on.
Why? A failure to effectively demonstrate their successes to the consumer and still, to some degree, a lack of transparency and openness.
What could DRI have done different?
Regular quarterly or bi-monthly updates on the main areas of concern
ie. Future Maintenance fees and Availability.
Thus the members could have been better pre-prepared for the looming problems.
Add the communications issues then the lack of openness and transparency to the mistrust permeating the industry and it can be seen that the problems cannot heal by themselves. Continuing regular informative demonstrations of commitment then become an obvious need.

In conclusion TATOC need to reach more consumers with positives and DRI need to better influence and inform, not just their members but I feel they need to take on more overall responsibilities as a lead player within the Industry of Timeshare.

We all accept that the industry needs ridding of the people who for many years have brought it into disrepute.
As consumers and possible customers we can do nothing to improve the reputation of the industry other than highlight the need for reform and action.

Legislation is not action, that action can only come from within the industry itself and organisations such as TATOC and companies of the stature of DRI have a duty of care to make something positive happen to restore consumer confidence.  



In the words of a well-known pop duo of nearly 40 years ago - Welcome home!

I agree with everything you say.  But, if TATOC are ever going to convince the likes of me that they are truly independant and are looking to ensure justice and "above board" dealings for both sides, they had better start showing us what they have achieved - not just stating it!

Until then, I will never take TATOC seriously!

As for DRI - I remain committed to them.  However, I am becoming increasingly alarmed at some of the stories that are doing the rounds.  If true - and I sincerely hope that they are not - they border on bully-boy tactics.


John Bush and las calas thats how you save  a disaster in the making the sometimes stroppy accountant from wales i met him at a conference side forum and his key comment was that weeks at a distressed resort that were repoed had no value.As i was at the conference looking for stock (weeks) i arranged a meeting asap.lol as soon as we sat down  it became clear i was not to be allowed to take him literally ie i am not getting the weeks for nothing the resorts also had an unusual problem the failed developer had taken fncb and tsb for so much they would not provide normal consumer financing to new purchasers!Neither of us could understand their logic but there it was if the customer wanted the usual 5 or 10 year loans i was going to have to finance it personally.
So the negotiations begin and end about 4 minutes later our beers hadnt even got warm lol the prices and stock mix he wanted me to take were a joke and the volumes i told him we would sell were outrageous even allowing for the normal timeshare bull**** as we glared at each other lol it was time to stop before the mutual insults got out of hand.I said ok stop we met 15 minutes ago i will be at the bar at 6 oclock i suggest you go and have a chat with Declan Kenny md of fntc Norman Crawford head of tsb consumer lending Vic Gower head of fnb consumer lending and Vicky Dubois at rci they are all on their stands and check me out if you dont talk to at least 3 of them forget it if you do maybe we can both control our tempers long enough to understand the other guys problems and needs and be open with each other.lol i spend the afternoon checking him and the resorts out so im selling sound product if we do a deal.6 oclock John arrives  looking a little chagrined and said i suppose the beers are on me i saw all of them you write 1000/1500 weeks a year rci love you and both finance guys say you have the lowest complaint level of any seller they deal with and jf they get a messy one you will unwind even if legally you dont have too.ok superman lets get down to it(snarled) i still have my resorts to protect I said John no probs at these things the bull**** is so deep you need a shovel to get to the bar.In 12 months i put 1100 owners into calas 123 le cumbre and one other whose name i forget that gave John 550000 from me plus1100 man fees?150/160k plus john sold a hell of a lot of second weeks on site.I was selling av 4k john on site av 900 that one of the dealswe did all my owners were told that price was for existing owners only have another averages out at2500
The key point im making is those sales will not happen today GIVE IT AWAY put a warm man fee paying body with that week
The only thing that would tempt me out of retirement is if i can find a way to offer you 2weeks 2bedroom red time 30 year lease price 3/400euros to pay trustee fee rci fee and about100 for admin management fee 500 euro total not per week fixed for 3 years after max increase 9%


Hi Rik
Not sure were you are coming from on this
Best Wishes
Time and tide waits for no man

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