New helpline launched
In 2014, the new Timeshare Task Force, managed by KwikChex received complaints from consumers about the activities of Frank Madden and his business Glenleigh Consultants. This was reported by consumers via the Timeshare Business Check website www.timesharebusinesscheck.org.
In the months that followed, intelligence was provided to Trading Standards about the activities taking place. which involved a number of businesses and trading names. The complaints centered on what were described as ‘Holiday Clubs’, where consumers had paid upfront fees for promised discounts on future holidays.
Frank Madden and three others – Claire Garland, Keith Furneval, Jean Furneval, have now been charged and appeared at Poole Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 13 July. The case has now been allocated to Bournemouth Crown Court for an initial hearing in August.
Since 2014, KwikChex has worked closely with law enforcement authorities, providing intelligence on several cases and there are now a number of active investigations taking place where KwikChex has been playing a key role. In at least three, evidence is expected to be heard in court from KwikChex. The cost to consumers affected by the businesses involved is estimated at well over £100 million.
Such detection and investigation support would not be achievable without the information that is received from consumers, who are provided with entirely free assistance. The original Timeshare Business Check website, which has proved so effective and popular with consumers seeking free help is now being supplemented with a new telephone helpline, launched today, 17 July.
The funding for the helpline will again be provided by the Resort Development Organisation (RDO), which is the trade association for vacation ownership across Europe. KwikChex again recognises the need for transparency and diligence when a consumer resource is being funded by a trade organisation. The need for impartiality is imperative, even when the service being provided to consumers is entirely free. KwikChex has already been working extensively with law enforcement bodies, including the UK police and Trading Standards and has asked Trading Standards to vet the processes taking place to ensure that all assistance given meets the highest standards.
The live telephone assistance will be provided by members of the KwikChex team that have been helping timeshare consumers since 2013. The results of this free service have been well documented, with consumers receiving substantial refunds and resolutions, including timeshare relinquishment. Many have expressed their thanks and there has been extensive media coverage – see the News section on the Timeshare Task Force website – www.timesharetaskforce.org/NEWS/
The Timeshare Task Force Helpline number is 01202 832012 – 0044 (0) 1202 832012 if calling from outside the UK
Consumers are still able to access free information and advice and report concerns by visiting the other resources provided by KwikChex online.
The Timeshare Task Force www.timesharetaskforce.org
Timeshare Business Check www.timesharebusinesscheck.org