Friday, June 27, 2008

Hard Sell Tactics - Global Euro

Hard Sell Tactics - Global Europ

Global Europ is the second Timeshare resale firm (the first being Orion's Belt Network) have had a court injunction taken against them for unfair sales practices by CASE (the Consumer Association of Singapore).

This largely stems from the lack of legislation for the Timeshare industry in Singapore unlike some developed countries leaving Singaporeans unprotected against unfair business practices unless they take legal proceedings.

CASE's successful court injunction is the result of numerous complaints of hard-sell tactics being used on naive Singapore customers on the pretext of helping them sell off their unwanted timeshare investment products - according to Today on 10 June 2008.

A third firm, involved in beauty and makeover (Naughty by Nature), will also be running advertisements on that week to announce its consent judgment and injunction. Global Europ ran its advertisements as part of an order by the High Court in May 2008. In the ads, the firm conceded that it had "falsely represented" to consumers that they would lose their money if they did not let Global Europ help them terminate their timeshare contracts, find a buyer to take over the contracts, or upgrade their investments to other timeshare products.

Case acted against Global Europ after it failed to cease its unfair practices even though 96 consumers filed complaints with their consumer watchdog and instructed it to act on their behalf. The company has settled all claims, a spokesman said, adding that refunds of about $170,000 have been made.

If consumers lodge fresh complaints, the company would have breached the injunction and could be held in contempt of court, said CASE lawyer, Harish Kumar.

Case have also issued a press release on 17 September 2008 which was covered on the same day by Channel News Asia website about the lack of transparency of a company - Asialinx Pte Ltd. Asialinx wants to collect annual subscription fees of Asialinx products previously sold by Global Europ. Case advises members of the public to exercise caution when they are approached to make payments to Asialinx relating to Vacation Membership sold by Global Europ. Google 'asialinx" for Case and CNA the information.

Case media release is reproduced below:


17 September 2007


CASE wants to highlight for the public’s attention the business practices and lack of transparency of a company called Asialinx Pte Ltd.

CASE became interested in Asialinx after Asialinx sent letters to Global Europ’s customers saying that Global Europ was not authorised to sell products called “Asialinx Privilege Lifestyle” and “Asialinx Classic Lifestyle”, which Global Europ had been selling since 2005, and that Asialinx owned these products. Customers who received such letters were told that they had to pay annual subscription fees to Asialinx.

A search with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore revealed that Global Europ and Asialinx share the same company secretary. Further, it was discovered that Asialinx was only incorporated in 2007 although, as we have pointed out, Global Europ has been selling the “Asialinx” products since 2005.

Asialinx had also applied to court for a winding up order against Global Europ. When CASE asked Asialinx for the basis of its application, its lawyers replied that they would be withdrawing the application at the hearing scheduled on 10 August 2007, which they duly did.

Despite CASE’s request of 17 August 2007 to disclose details of its management team, operations, source of client base and its standard contracts, Asialinx has yet to give an answer. A reminder sent by CASE on 28 August 2007 has also been ignored.

CASE wishes to alert members of the public that they should exercise caution at all times, especially when they are approached to make payments. They should consult their family or trusted friends before signing any contract or agreement or making payment. If consumers are required to make a decision on the spot, they should refuse and leave the premises immediately. - hard sell tactics - global europ

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