SINGAPORE: The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) on Tuesday (Jun 9) advised people against making payments to Global ATC Holding, which claims to be acting for Asian Travel Club (ATC).
CASE received 69 complaints between Nov 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020 from customers claiming that Global ATC has been demanding payments for outstanding timeshare membership fees or maintenance fees allegedly owed to ATC.
“In most cases, the consumers received demand for payment despite having formally terminated their memberships,” CASE said in an advisory on Tuesday.
The payment amount on the invoices range from S$320 to S$23,800.
Some customers have also complained that they were not informed by ATC or Global ATC on how to use their timeshare agreements and had failed to receive any services or money under such agreements.
In 2015, CASE also alerted consumers of representations made by various employees or agents of ATC, claiming to be able to recover money paid for previous timeshare agreements from ATC.
A total of 22 complaints were received regarding the recovery of funds paid for timeshare agreements. Customers also complained of misleading claims, false claims and being subjected to undue pressure to enter into an agreement with the company.
When Global ATC was contacted by CASE officers about their legal basis to demand payment on behalf of ATC, Global ATC said they were instructed by ATC to receive the fees.
However, they had failed to provide any supporting information or "legal basis to substantiate their claims", despite being asked to do so since March, CASE said.
“CASE has informed Global ATC that it was to cease contacting consumers to demand for outstanding fees allegedly owed to ATC and make restitution to consumers who had made payments,” the association said.
“As Global ATC has not provided any legal basis to substantiate their claims, consumers are advised to be wary of the risks involved if they were to make payments to Global ATC."
It said it would monitor the situation closely and would not "hesitate to take the necessary action", including referring the matter to the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore.
It also urged customers who have received demands for payment despite formally terminating their memberships to approach CASE for assistance.