How it applies to Timeshare Contracts, Selling Timeshare Re Selling Timeshare Products and the Timeshare Exit and Relinquishment Markets.
The Consumer Rights Directive (CRD) was passed by the EU in October 2011.
After it was passed it was then for each separate nation to adopt it The CRD came into force in all EU member states in 2014 including the UK, Spain etc.
The CRD aims to simplify consumer rights in certain important areas, these areas mostly relating to buying and selling of all products including but not limited to timeshare products and their associated spin offs.
Before any timeshare consumer you buy/acquires a timeshare product:
They should get clear comprehensive and unfettered information before they acquire and from the trader: This also applies to ‘distance selling’, selling over the phone on the internet and to acquisitions where a trader visits the consumer at home. So no matter where you buy the product you are now covered and it extends to all sales not just timeshare.
There are no exempt products in respect to these regulations. The following are all included:
Timeshare re Sale
Long Term holiday clubs
Relinquishments of timeshare
Timeshare contract exits
Contracts involving engaging solicitors, exit companies, firms and professionals.
Timeshare renters and leasers
Fractional ownership sales
When engaged in buying any product or service:
Consumers should not have to pay excessive and disproportionate extra fees (such as excessive credit card fees) when paying a seller for a product.
The regulations prohibit traders charging consumers ‘above cost’ payment surcharges under The Consumer Rights (Payment Surcharges) Regulations 2012) which came into force on 6 April 2013
After you have bought a product:
If you’ve bought remotely (say:-on the internet, by phone) or even at home, you should be given the information, including total costs. This total cost has to be given in writing, and if you have cancellation rights (as in all timeshare contracts or applicable timeshare regulated transactions) you should be given a cancellation form.
If you’ve bought away from a trader’s place of business – over the internet, or in your own home (for example) you get the right to an increased ‘cooling off period’ of 14 days after buying.
Where the seller offers a helpline number, you should not be obliged to pay more than the basic rate to contact them about something you have acquired
All additional payments are banned unless the consumer expressly agrees to the payment, which in reality means (in the case of the internet) that boxes authorising additional payments should not already be ticked for you by the trader
As with all EU directives its purpose and intent is to align and simplify rules across all its member states. Member states and individual countries do not have much flexibility on how they should put it into law in their own country as it is binding on all.
The UK government consulted on the areas where we do have flexibility and provided a consultation document which I have linked.
consultation on implementation of the CRD This consultation period ended on
The EU have now published its and as such all business must comply with these regulations and from 13 June 2014.
Consumers can get further timeshare and industry particular assistance by contacting the TCA
Far too long the trader have had their own way and the EU have been making strides in the protection of consumers and giving them the necessary tools which will allow them to take the rogue trader to task.
These regulations are part of a wider, fundamental governmental reform of consumer law, including the draft Consumer Rights Bill, which when implemented will assist consumers with better information and protection when they are buying/acquiring timeshare products.