Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chairman Of “Timeshare Consumers Association” Behind Libellous Websites

November 11, 2008 by Timeshare News

The Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE) welcomes the recent verdict in a libel case against Alexander (Sandy) Grey, Chairman of the self-styled “Timeshare Consumers Association, which has been consistently critical of the reputable timeshare industry.”

The High Court found that it was Sandy Grey himself who was behind the so-called “Crimeshare – Timeshare Frauds and Scams” and related Websites. The Website not only included personal attacks against employees and directors of timeshare companies and OTE, but also produced so-called “black lists” falsely incriminating reputable timeshare companies.

Even though Grey denied his involvement; the Judge – Mr Justice Eady, found that Mr Grey had published the Crimeshare website on all five of the domain names which formed the basis of the High Court claim. Grey was ordered to pay the substantial costs involved in proving his responsibility for publication. Over a number of years Grey had denied that he was behind these sites and had even signed court documents to verify his false denials. Despite this, he continued to portray himself as an independent advisor on timeshare issues to consumers, the media and government. It is believed that up to 1.5 million individuals may have relied on his “advice” over the years.

More than 200 companies were “blacklisted” by Grey including publicly traded companies such as RCI - the timeshare vacation exchange company, the Organisation for Timeshare in Europe (OTE), to which most European developers belong and ARDA - the American Resort Developers Association.

Peter van der Mark, Secretary General of OTE said of the judgement:

“OTE is very concerned about the legitimacy of a number of private organisations set up around Europe to purportedly provide “consumer advice”. These companies have absolutely no link to the industry or to any government authority. We would advise consumers to exercise caution in dealing with any organisation that refers to the so-called Crimeshare blacklist, Mr Grey or the TCA.”

OTE provides guidance and advice on timeshare through its website www.ote-info.com and offers a free of charge arbitration service for timeshare owners who own at OTE member resorts. Consumers may also contact TATOC – The Timeshare Association - on 0845 2302430 for further advice.

Over the past few years OTE has worked successfully with a number of different European consumer organisations, including European Consumer Centres, ConSeur in Brussels and with TATOC, to name just a few. OTE has valued and continues to value constructive comment and criticism of the timeshare industry by consumer organisations as it contributes to the maintenance of a high level of best practice for the timeshare industry. This has for example resulted in all European Consumer Centres having input into OTE’s 2005 Code of Conduct through a meeting organised by the European Commission and OTE.

OTE tried to establish cooperation with the TCA in 1999 but its Chairman Mr. Grey personally refused any cooperation. It now appears, from the judgement of the High Court on 28 October 2008, that for the past five years Mr Grey has been responsible for publishing serious and false allegations about many of the leading brands in the timeshare industry in Europe.

Club La Costa is also involved in High Court proceedings against a company over unfounded and serious allegations. It is believed that the defendant company had worked closely with Sandy Grey. High Court proceedings continue.

More about OTE:
OTE is the pan-European trade association representing the timeshare industry throughout Europe. It promotes best practice in the industry for the benefit of both consumers and the industry. All members are bound by a code of ethics that ensures the protection of consumers’ rights. OTE provides information and advice to consumers and offers a free conciliation service to consumers dealing with its members.

OTE represents the majority of timeshare companies in Europe which are responsible for some 65-70% of all timeshare sales. These include major hospitality groups such as De Vere, Hilton, Sol Melia, and large independent timeshare developers, namely the Petchey Leisure Group, Club La Costa, Hapimag and Seasons Holidays.
Filed Under: 01. Full List Of Timeshare News, Europe, Organization for Timeshare in Europe