Guest Column By:
Harry Taylor, CEO of TATOC
On November 1st 2013 the Timeshare Association (Timeshare owners and Committees) TATOC was proud to issue a joint press release with The National Timeshare Owners Association of North America announcing the implementation of a strategic alliance between both organizations. This global alliance has proved to be a tremendous benefit for owners around the world as we bring together two strong and independent bodies working towards common goals and objectives to ensure a long and successful future for both timeshare consumer/owners and the vacation ownership industry.
But who is TATOC?
TATOC, the Timeshare Association is based in the United Kingdom and was launched 25 years ago by a group of timeshare committee (HOA) members looking to share their knowledge and experience. While the association grew in the following years, it was not until 2007 that TATOC unveiled its first ‘five-year plan’. And its goals were ambitious.
Harry Taylor, CEO explains: “TATOC wanted to develop close working relationships with government regulatory agencies, law enforcement and the media as well as increase the number of resorts in membership, provide an affiliation service for legitimate business, and develop an individual membership programme so that timeshare owners could show their support”.
Many in the industry doubted the goals of the association were achievable and, at times, it looked like that would be the case but by 2014 the TATOC brand was registered in Europe, the USA and is now protected and rigorously enforced. Today we have achieved closer working relationships with ARDA USA, RDO Europe, and VOASA South Africa. We also have a working relationship with UK Government agencies, European Law Enforcement and U.S. law agencies; plus all sections of the UK local, national, and international media.
One of the association’s key successes is, and what is now considered to be the jewel in the association’s crown, is the TATOC Consumer Helpline.
The TATOC Consumer Helpline has rapidly gained a reputation for being professional, realistic, well informed, unbiased, and genuinely beneficial. The Consumer Helpline has direct contact from timeshare owners but also receives referrals from the Office of Fair Trading, Citizens Advice Bureaux, the police, banks, solicitors, all media, and other government agencies. The Helpline has an essential role in assisting individual timeshare owners. But its presence and actions are major contributors to the important task of improving the perception of the timeshare product.
Taylor said: Unfortunately the scammers and rogues who blight this industry have also recognised the power of the TATOC name and are attempting to use the logo without actually being members or affiliated to TATOC. This is happening in The Uk, Europe, and the USA and we have taken action for misrepresentation of the association. The NTOA connects TATOC closely with the USA and Canada and is our collaborative partner in monitoring fraudulent activity.
In part, TATOC is also pleased to provide cross support to the NTOA’s “ASK” program. This help desk is a mutual extension of what TATOC has created in the UK and shares the same best practices, standards and capabilities that help us both assist timeshare owners and regulatory agencies around the world solve significant issues.
TATOC supports NTOA’s Mission of Owner Education, Advocacy as well as Encouraging usage of vacation ownership. We hope you will get involved with our organizations as we work for a better timeshare community.