The Timeshare Association (incorporated)
The Associations of Timeshare Owners Committees Ltd (TATOC)
On the 10th of December 2001 a group of timeshare club chairpersons, created and staged a company and called “The Associations of Timeshare Owners Committees Ltd”, (TATOC). The first director Mr M. J Gordon was appointed that same day and many others joined taking the tally of directors to seven. Further, many other resorts' clubs joined to enhance the knowledge and meeting were regularised. TATOC were consulted by government authorities and when timeshare related issues surfaced.
The initial problem the company faced was a lack of necessary and substantial funding. This funding was required to pay permanent staff and directors to carry out effective resourcing of advice and research into some of the persistence issues which surfaced from time to time. At this point, the clubs had issues with the consumer allegations against the timeshare industry and the issues the timeshare industry had against the consumers. Being stuck in the middle and unable to obtain fiancé for either party, TATOC did exist, but barely.
TATOC Ltd and its shift in focus
Stuck between a “rock and a hard place”, TATOC fortunes were secured by funding from parts of the timeshare industry and in a released statement after funding was secured TATOC stated, “It would not say anything bad about the timeshare Industry”. This left the only position open to them which was either proclaiming neutrality or goodness. Accordingly the deal became more entrenched and complaining consumers were turned away and sent back to the very resorts they had complained about.
Because of these actions the then TCA lead by David Cox became hostile against TATOC and launched a campaign publicising that altered mission. The consequences were the timeshare consumer had depleted independent assistance. With scores of industry recommendations, TATOC became a dominant force, became recommended by the Citizens Advice, Government and Local Authorities, all boosting the timeshare industry's mission to circumvent its consumers from receiving independent advice from an alternative medium.
Due to a lack of independent advice, more and more ex timeshare salespeople left the timeshare resorts and entered the world of delivering timeshare legal advice. Cold calling campaigns began and wave after wave of unsolicited approaches began. As a combatant to this, the proactive 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 was challenged month on month and many independent companies perished due to the adverse publicity and the perceived blight.
With industry assistance and agreed finance in place, many cooperating industry members joined and supported TATOC as it was they who stood to benefit the most from activities of getting the consumers to turn away from everyone.
At the annual get-togethers, the industry spoke at a conference, some in the industry sponsored the events, and more industry attendees booked seats until the entire conference was delivered to industry and industry alone.
Flooding the internet with what can only be described as a major shift in direction, TATOC appeared to be dictating terms to the industry who had supported them. Coupled with that was the inference that TATOC was fast becoming a little too big for its own boots.
Trouble at t'mill
With a wave of independent decedent cracks appearing in the industry relationship, the two parties began to move down different roads. The TATOC event became less popular, less attended and the differentials began to open up for the world to see.
In 2015 TATOC included in its cold calling list TESS (Timeshare Exit and Support Services) Ltd. TESS was entirely innocent of the allegations thus elected to pursue TATOC for defamation and were successful in July 2017 and drove TATOC into bankruptcy after being awarded £270,000 in damages/costs. TATOC were abandoned by the timeshare industry to new preferences in consumer assistance in the form of the Timeshare Task Force.