The History of TATOC
“The Associations of Timeshare Owners Committees Ltd”, (TATOC)
On the 10th of December 2001, a group of club chairpersons created and staged a company called “The Associations of Timeshare Owners Committees Ltd”, (TATOC for short).
The first director was Mr M Gordon and others joined, taking the tally to seven initial directors. Many timeshare clubs joined TATOC to keep abreast of matters that concerned them and to enhance their knowledge of the products some of their members had bought.
TATOC staged, regularised and became more popular which resulted in more and more members joining. As TATOC’s reputation was building, it was being consulted by Government and other departments which generally assisted the lawmakers in understanding timeshare products from the perspective of a populated club.
TATOC (like most enterprises) faced funding difficulties and accordingly, canvassed for and received financial support from The Resort Development Organisation [RDO].
In short, the support materialised into some resorts financially supporting TATOC, whilst others not and all the time TATOC supported the industry's position by not saying ‘anything bad’ about the industry, despite bad existing.
TATOC lost its independence from 2006 and began to sing the songs of the RDO hymn sheet.
At this point, TATOC was stuck between a rock and hard place as many allegations of bias surfaced and its membership became disgruntled.
TATOC fortunes may have been secured by industry funding, however that funding came with a reputational price.
As time moved on the only positions available to TATOC were neutrality or support, accordingly complaining consumers were turned away, some being sent back to the very resorts they complained of.
Because of the many complaints regarding TATOC’s consumer advice, the TCA lead by Mr Alexander (Sandy) Grey began in 2008 to openly expose TATOC for the alleged ruse.
In 2012 he proposed that TATOC was in bed with the timeshare industry which caused further reputational damage. After his death the mantle was passed to Mr David Cox, who like Mr Grey, poured pressure on TATOC in the hope consumers would not be duped.
Mr Cox became more and more hostile against TATOC and launched a campaign explaining that the original TATOC publicised mission had altered.
With scores of industries’ ingratiation, recommendations and sponsorship TATOC became a dominant force in governmental circles and became recommended by the Citizens Advice, Government and Local Authorities.
Mr Cox’s campaign was relentless, he pursued TATOC because of its connections with Lakeview Resort, its landlord, its accounts, its connection to Diamond Resorts and others, and in retaliation TATOC made allegations regarding TESS, one of the TCA Companies.
Despite the fact TATOC was financed by industry, it collapsed in 2017 after a court ruled that TATOC libelled TESS and were ordered to pay TESS £270,000.
Due to a lack of independent advice, more and more salespeople left timeshare resorts and entered the world of delivering ‘legal advice’. Cold calling campaigns commenced, and waves of unsolicited approaches were commissioned. As a combatant to this, TATOC produced,what many called the infamous ‘cold calling list’ denouncing all (on the list) as ‘more likely than not to scam or defraud consumers’. The list of names was challenged every month and many independent companies perished (due to the adverse publicity and the perceived blight).
In 2015 TATOC made the bold move and placed ‘TESS Timeshare Exit and Support Services Ltd’ on TATOC’s cold calling list. I should state ‘TESS was entirely innocent of the TATOC allegations therefore TESS were right to pursue TATOC for defamation.
TESS were successful in July 2017 which drove TATOC into bankruptcy after being told to pay £270,000 in damages/costs.