Trade & Regulatory Bodies: Can You Trust Them?

A couple of weeks ago Inside Timeshare published two articles, the first was on Celebrity Endorsements, the second on Sponsorship Deals. Both painted a rather sorry picture, but it doesn’t end there in the battle to get as much money out of you as possible, regardless of what the product is. There is another form of endorsement, “TRADE BODIES” and so-called “REGULATORY BODIES”.

You have all seen them, in fact, there has been a proliferation of them over the past few years, they may be small, and aimed at a specific trade, for instance, self-employed plumbers, gas fitters and a host of other things. Their purpose is to give you the confidence to employ them.

The person wanting to become a member will usually have to prove their quality, customer satisfaction and also abide by a code of conduct and ethics. Usually, the new member will be under a probationary period, then if the trade body is satisfied with how they conduct business, they will allow them to display the logo etc.

Generally, these small trade bodies work very well, rogue traders are normally weeded out fairly quickly, after all, the other traders will definitely not be happy that their livelihood is jeopardized by a rogue.

Unfortunately, it cannot be said for all Trade Bodies, it would seem that the larger and more wealthy the “TRADE”, they will do nothing to protect the consumer.

OK, you’ve guessed it.

We are talking about the RDO (Resort Development Organisation) in Europe and ARDA (American Resort Development Association) in the US. Today we will focus on the RDO.

Trade and Regulatory Bodies as we have said are there to promote good practice and quality, they have their “Codes of Conduct & Ethics”. They say they will sanction any member who breaks these rules. But do they?

Here is where I would like to bring in the subject of Silverpoint, formerly Resort Properties, the CEO was Mark Cushway. We all know the story, it has been published on Inside Timeshare, the Press, TV, and numerous forums.

How many people were duped into forking out huge sums (into the millions of Euros) on the “products” that the company peddled, and we must not forget the “PARENT” company, The Limora Group? It was the “Empire” of the late Robert “Bob” Trotta. I know the spelling for the surname is different, but it does conjure up a favourite “good villain” in a great British comedy show.

Joking aside, you only have to search Inside Timeshare to get the whole sorry tale.

This went on for years but did the RDO do anything even though both companies were “Paid-up Members”, and surely they must have received many complaints from consumers?

The answer my friends is a resounding NO!

According to the RDO “Code of Conduct & Ethics, they will not mediate in any dispute between the consumer and the member!

What a get out!

Now we introduce you to one of the former Directors of the RDO, yep, it’s our old friend Mark Cushway. As the CEO of Silverpoint/Resort Properties and under the control of The Limora Group, he was a director of the RDO until he resigned a few years ago. It should also be pointed out that Silverpoint/Resort Properties were reputedly the largest contributors to the RDO funds.

Say no more.

Mark Cushway, Former CEO Silverpoint and Former Director of The RDO

Several years ago Inside Timeshare published the article “A New Member to EGTBW”, it was a spoof article written to show how much of a joke these trade bodies are. EGTBW stands for the European Guild of Timeshare Blog Writers, it is affiliated to the IATBWG, the International Association of Timeshare Blog Writers Guilds

The “Code of Conduct & Ethics” for this article was actually inspired by the RDOs own codes and their unwillingness to act on behalf of the consumer. Everything they seem to announce and publish appears to those of us who follow these events as nothing but “Smoke & Mirrors”.

Yet they have the ear of the lawmakers, their lobbying machine is very efficient, to the point they influenced the House of Commons and the House of Lords into the very watered down English Timeshare Laws, in other words, the very basics. These laws were initially instigated by the E.U. Timeshare Directives to protect consumers and had to be placed in domestic law. Spain so far is the only European Country whose lawmakers have ignored the lobbying and put into place very strict regulations protecting the consumer of timeshare. Well, in Europe, Spain was the “Hotbed” of timeshare sales.

This is quite clearly shown with all the timeshare companies that operate in Spain who are now losing in the courts on a daily basis. It is costing them Millions of Euros, yet what do we hear from the “Trade Body”? It’s the Judges, they have got it wrong, they are interpreting the law wrongly!

What a joke, attempting to back up their “members” who are on the ropes and losing hand over fist and they blame the judges who ruled on 130 cases at The Supreme Court, Spain’s highest place of justice. If they were a genuine “Trade Body” shouldn’t they be on the side of the consumer and either make the timeshare resorts comply with the laws of the country they operate in or sanction them?

After all, their own “Code” does say that all members must abide by the jurisdiction and laws of the country they are operating in. You can’t get any plainer than that!

Once again, Inside Timeshare leaves it up to you the reader to decide, we welcome your comments so please do use the contact page or comments section. I’m sure that we will receive some good ones.

In the link below is the original article “A New Member to EGTBW”, which was first published on 14 June 2016, wow, that long ago. Have a read it will make you chuckle, but there is a very important message in there.

Inside Timeshare must point out that at the time of writing the resort mentioned had ceased to be a member. This fact was published later, but it still begs the question, if they will not protect the consumer from their own members, why did they not help consumers against the non-member, in other words, the “rogue” trader?

Below is the link to “Exclusive Breaking News: The Truth Behind Silverpoint Exposed.” It is a six-part article that was published between 5 June 2019 and 24 June 2019. The link also covers the Azure liquidations, they are also part of The Limora Group and sister company to Silverpoint.

Enjoy your reading. It certainly is an eye-opener.

If you purchased a timeshare, either fixed week, points, floating weeks or fractional and would like to know if your contract is illegal under Spanish Timeshare Laws, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

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