Apart from the correspondence received from EFTAG –European Fair Trade Advisory Group - about the fact they are not in agreement with our information provided on our blog and pretends to take us to court (http://wp.me/p1kmoi-cn) ITRA, the International Timeshare Refund Action is also threatening with the same legal action.
But what kind of information are we providing to the consumers and Spanish Authorities & Police which are supposed not to be true?
We obtain our information form official public records, public bodies, the media and from the numerous testimonials that we receive from consumers who have been in contact with ITRA.
The emails we receive from ITRA are not signed by anyone in particular; don’t they want us to know who their legal advisors are? This “identity” issue is not only with the correspondence they sent to us, as there is no mention on their web either of whom their legal advisors are. Why would that be? Maybe because the leading Spanish Law Firms in Costa del Sol know and appreciate our work?
Let’s see what information we have; ITRA – http://itra.net/ & http://itra.co.uk/ – currently the International Timeshare Refund Action is basically an outfit created by the Club Class group of companies, and one of its main founders was ETOO, the European Timeshare Owners Organisation. Please check in Mindtimeshare what the UK Authorities and Media have to say about this resale company, one of the two founders of ITRA!
When we look into ITRA, we have found at the Spanish Companies House – Registro Mercantil Español – that the Spanish Branch of the company ITRA (refund) has been registered last May with the following address: C/Inca in Fuengirola, town located in the Costa del Sol,Malaga.
Sole director for the company is a person called Fernando Sansegundo Cebrián.
This on itself does not really give us a lot of information, but if we then have a look at the other positions Mr. Fernando Sansegundo Cebrián occupies in companies related to the Club Class Group, it shows an interesting link:
- Since the 1st of July 2011 he holds the position of Power of Attorney in the company European Fair Trade Advisory Group Sl. Indeed this is EFTAG.
- Since the 18th of August 2010 he shows as the Sole Shareholder of the company called Premier Travel SA. The travel agency of the Club Class Group.
- Since this same date, the 18th of August 2010 he also holds the position of Sole Shareholder in the company Club Class Concierge Sl which is one of the Discount Travel Clubs marketed by this group.
- And one of the positions mentioned, which is the most interesting one of all, between 24/11/2011 and 10/03/201 Mr. Sansegundo Cebrián was the Sole Administrator of the company called Cashback Europe SL. The Cashback product offered by Club Class in their presentations of their Discount Travel Club.
- Mr. Fernando Sansegundo Cebrián actually appears to hold another range of positions as Power or Attorney and Administrator in other companies which might be of interest of the authorities. Who knows?
Club Class Group of companies offers different Discount Travel membership Club, actively at the meetings of ITRA. Although ITRA denies that the sole reason for inviting consumers over to these meetings is actually the sale of the membership to the consumers, it has been questioned not only by us, but by the UK Advertising Standards Authority, and the British Press.
Looking into the invitation letter for the ITRA meetings it has to be pointed out that they have a clause to the invitation that states “The sponsors of ITRA reserves the right to offer you alternative products during your consultation” and that is exactly what they do, offer an alternative product… Because ITRA did not mention this very costly “alternative products” in its TV Ads in the UK, it had them taken off air by the UK Advertising Standards Authority in January of this year.
Consumers who attend ITRA meetings and end up buying into any of their discount travel memberships – i.e. Club Class Concierge, Club Class PLC, Club Class Services sarl, etc. – trading in their original timeshare, often finding themselves with the unpleasant news that their timeshare has not been transferred out of their name, and their resorts continue claiming the payment of the annual maintenance fees.
Which means that some of the consumers attending ITRA meetings, and who end up purchasing a costly Club Class holiday club membership; sadly often find that their original timeshare resort are chasing them for outstanding fees and threatening them with legal action!
It is not Mindtimeshare who says this; in 2011, The Advertising Standard Authority -ruled that ITRA TV Ads were misleading by omission and banned them for not openly indicating that timeshare owners attending a ITA meeting would be offered an “alternative to a timeshare product by Club Class”. You can find full details of the adjudication by following the link below:
This is the second time that the ASA ruled against the Club Class Group of companies. See ETOO case below.
Tony Hetherington of the Sunday Mail recently published an article about this set up: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/experts/article-2052250/TONY-HETHERINGON-Is-timeshare-action-group-just-new-way-push-sales.html
Not to mention that those who joined Club Class and were offered a Cash Back Certificate will only know if they will receive any money at all from this cashback after 36 or 52 months…
Cashback Europe Plc; the direct link with the cash back scheme is not acknowledged by Club Class! But after the above mentioned investigation the links we found cannot be ignored and do indicate the fact that, according with the Spanish Company House, it could be the same people behind these different set ups.
Most probably the reason behind the fact they say there is no link, is because of the problems that arise once consumers have passed the waiting period and want to cash in their Cashback Certificate.
It is then when they realise, in many cases, there is no money waiting for them at all and it was all a “sweetener” at point of sale to push them over the line and join ITRA & Club Class.
Those who have complained to ITRA and Club Class about the Cashback are categorically refused help or provided with sensible answers and told that the cashback has nothing to do with them!
And do not forget ETOO…
The Club Class Group included the timeshare resale firm ETOO (active until at least of the end of 2009)
ETOO’s scheme is well explained in these interesting links:
This is not our information, this is information published in the British Media and the Advertising Watchdog ASA!
After “digesting” all the above, we still wonder what of Mindtimeshare information ITRA claims not to be true providing them with a reason for a court case. Or is the information correct and they simply are not happy with the fact that consumers are informed and warned about them?
In the famous Spanish Novel, Don Quixote de la Mancha, there is this phrase Don Quixote says to his helper Sancho Pancha: “Ladran Sancho, señal de que cabalgamos” – translation: “Can you hear the dogs barking Sancho? This is a sign they can hear us riding on our horses” – This phrase means that if the “dogs are barking”, if our opponents are complaining, this is because we are doing our job, so something we must be doing right!
WE WILL NOT CEASE INFORMING THE TIMESHARE CONSUMERS! Consumers have the right to be informed and especially when it comes to paying lots of money for causes / memberships which are not well defined!