Helping TATOC improve its Code of Conduct

Started by Carolinian, January 10, 2013, 21:35:30

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This thread is intended to seek proactive suggestions for TATOC in completing the final parts of its Code of Conduct, which can be found here:
As experienced timesharers, we can offer our thoughts to TATOC as they complete the remaining components.

The Code itself is brief, general, and vague, and thus, by itself, would be subject to a wide range of interpretations, but it is designed to incorporate more specific Codes of Practice in the key areas which will provide the necessary detail to make the concept functional.  So far, only two of those, for 1) governing committees at resorts, and 2) resale companies, have been published on the TATOC site.  Given the substantial differences in the roles played by developers, management, governing committees, resale companies, exchange companies, and individual members, the format of a very general and brief Code that covers all, connected with more detailed and specific codes designed for the function of each component, does make sense to me.

Other obvious areas that need to be added are:
3) timeshare developers, and their sales practices
4) timeshare management
5) timeshare exchange companies
It appears that TATOC is working on the first two, but unclear about the last one.

Some may have disagreements or personally conflicts with some of those at TATOC, but I believe that the organization has the potential to be a positive force in timeharing if they would make use of the opportunities before them, and we should offer our suggestions to this process.

We may also have some thoughts on strengthening the Codes of Practice in the two areas already published.

Some may prefer to take potshots at the result TATOC comes up with, but I think the more positive course is to put forward our solutions to try to make this the best product possible.  I will be back later to post some of my own suggestions.


Developer Sales

Developer sales is an area that really needs a Code of Practice, sooner rather than later, especially since TATOC is putting its stamp of approval on these companies.

Some areas I think it should address are:
1) Prohibiting use of written statements in which a buyer signs that none of the oral representations made to him have influenced his purchase decision.  The sad fact is that with the less scrupulous developers, salesmen tell all sorts of tales to get a buyer to purchase, and in the great shuffle of paperwork, the buyer ends up signing, perhaps without conscious knowledge, a document that essentially says he cannot rely on anything the salesman told him.  Later when something does not go as he was told, this is thrown in his face and the developer refuses to honor the salesman's promises.  If there is any one thing I have heard about that gives timesharing a bad name, it is this practice.  TATOC's code should flat out prohibit it.
2) Insuring that Recission documents are fully explained and provided to buyers.
3) Prohibiting any suggestion that timeshare is an ''investment''.  It clearly is NOT.
4) Prohibiting insulting of buyers to shame them into buying.
5) Requiring that sales presentations give an honest assessment of exchanging.  With RCI, this would include revealing trading power.  The common suggestion by timeshare salesmen that a buyer can trade for anything in the exchange company directory should also be prohibited.


Timeshare companies

This heading for a future TATOC Code of Practice would seem to be overbroad, as it encompasses a variety of entities with different functions and missions, including timeshare developers, timeshare managment companies, and timeshare exchange companies.  Sometimes, they cross paths, such as a timeshare exchange company, like a couple of them in the US, that also act as independent management companies hired by timeshare committees, or developers that continue in a management function, but it would seem better to seperate out the distinctive functions.

The main focus on the developers Code of Practice should be on sales, which is a controversial enough area.  When developers continue on in a management function (something that is a conflict of interest and should be discouraged) they should be treated in the same fashion as other forms of timeshare management, which are basically the independent management companies that work under contract from the timeshare committees, and self-management, where the timeshare committee hires its own staff to handle management.

I will focus here on the area of timeshare management.  My experiece in that comes from being a board member and president of a timeshare Homeowners Association (HOA) which in TATOC's language would be a ''timeshare committee'' which was a hands-on board that operated through self management, as well as my close relations with other resorts in our area that operated through contracts with independent management companies, and more general knowledge of the one developer in our area which had held on to developer management.  I also take into account the comments on various timeshare boards from those with experience in this area, particularly those who have served on timeshare committees, as well as various conversations I have had with timeshare management in resorts I have traded into (as an HOA president of a hands-on board, I always loved to ''talk shop'' with them).

I would suggest the following key points for this Code of Practice:

1)  Officers and employees of timeshare management should not seek or hold positions on the timeshare committee, which is an obvious conflict of interest, since the timeshare committee hires the management, approves salaries and/or contract amounts, etc.  Similarly they should not seek or hold proxies for the AGM or seek to influnce elections for the timeshare committee for similar reasons.

2)  Timeshare management should allow members to use whatever exchange company the member chooses if that company with accept the resort as a deposit.  They should not in any way try to discourage use of any company preferred by the member or create extra burdens in using such companies, such as extra fees.

3)  Timeshare management should not charge members a transfer fee for transfering a timeshare ownership in an amount over the actual cost it incurs to perform that service.

4)  Timeshare management shall immediately communicate any significant issues outside routine day to day operations that arise in timeshare operations to the timeshare committee.

5)  Timeshare management shall provide the timeshare committee with regular, preferably monthly, updates on the resorts finances.

6)  Timeshare management shall take reasonable steps to assist members with reselling their units.  This might include a resale page on the resort website, a resale board in the resort office or elsewhere on the resort premises where resale notices may be posted by members, providing an information sheet on reputable local, national, or international resllers (who conform to the TATOC Code of Practice for resellers), or similar measures.

7)  Timeshare management shall work with the timeshare committee to promote resales of timeshares which come back into the ownership of the timeshare committee through foreclosure, deedback, or abandonment.

8,  Timeshare management shall not attempt to take title in its own name or that of a nominee to timeshare weeks deeded back to the resort, foreclosed, or abandoned, except through agreement with the timeshare committee, in which it pays an appropriate price to the timeshare committee for aquisition of these timeshare weeks.

9) Timeshare management shall in all aspects, respect its fiduciary duty to the timeshare committee and not violate this duty,

10)  Timeshare management shall constantly seek the best quality and prices for goods and services purchased for the resort and shall diligently seek competitive offers to manimize quality and price.

11)  Timeshare management shall employ competent, honest, and dependable employees to carry out their mission,



Thank you

Your thoughts and suggestions have been noted and are being considered in order to see if any of them will improve current policies or codes of conduct.


Quote from: Mavo on January 14, 2013, 16:12:26

Thank you

Your thoughts and suggestions have been noted and are being considered in order to see if any of them will improve current policies or codes of conduct.

This thread is not closed, it is currently locked while consideration is given to the suggestions places on it.
There have been no suggestions from others so it was decided to lock it to prevent it being used for purposed other than positive suggestions.
Should any responsible people wish to post constructive and positive suggestions for improvements to TATOC if they care let me know I will instruct them how to do so.

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