Looking closely at the Eze Group Scam

eze group in birmingham

 

Very recently, the directors of the EZE Group plead guilty to the charges against them of unfair trading standards (Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008). They have admitted committing offences under section 3(4) and 15 of the Regulations (summarised below).

 
  • Section 3(4) of the Regulations prohibits misleading and aggressive trading practices.
  • Section 15 of the Regulations makes a breach of the Regulations an offence.

The sentence available to the court is up to 2 years imprisonment per offence and other sentences which is clearly a severe punishment. This is not the first time that EZE Group has been in the spotlight – they were previously successful in a libel action brought against a Spanish based consumer alert organisation ‘Mindtimeshare’ who had published allegations of wrongdoing by EZE. They were able to successfully get out of a conviction on a default basis as the defendants did not file a defence in time. However, those past allegations reflect the same types of offences which they have now, finally, pleaded guilty to.

Authorities are taking timeshare scamming practices very seriously, and we wanted to look in more depth at the situation with the Eze Group Scam to make you aware of how these fraudulent companies can operate.  

How Did Eze Group Operate?

Unfortunately, EZE has a history of issuing threats and commencing defamation actions with their law firm Pinder Reaux. They take action against those that have published information suggesting they have breached Consumer Protection Regulations. Eze Group again came under scrutiny this time because of their aggressive and misleading sales practices. Their operation was a form of timeshare that deals in EZE Credits rather than selling units. These credits work as a form of currency and could be used by the owners to purchase holidays and other products or services.

Right back in May 2013, the Telegraph reported a significant rise in complaints connected with the sale of Leisure Credits and there were rising concerns about the fair use of the sale of this product. The article claimed that credits were often “pushed as a way of trading in a timeshare […] if people then changed their mind they may be unable to cancel the contract”.

When consumers purchase credits The ‘EU Timeshare Directive’ that can help and protect them would not be able to.

What was Eze Group doing wrong?

Under UK law and Trading Standards, there are many trading practices which can potentially be identified as aggressive and misleading trading practices including (but not limited to) the following:

  • False endorsements
  • Misleading availability
  • Bait and switch
  • Exploitation by the trader of any specific misfortune or circumstance that impairs the consumer’s judgement to influence his decision concerning the product.
  • Aggressive Sales
  • Misleading actions and omissions
  • General duty not to trade unfairly

EZE group admitted committing offences under section 3(4) and 15 of the Regulations (summarised below).

  • Section 3(4) of the Regulations prohibits misleading and aggressive trading practices.
  • Section 15 of the Regulations makes a breach of the Regulations an offence.

The CPRs prohibit ‘misleading actions’ and ‘misleading omissions’ that cause, or are likely to cause, the average consumer to take a different transactional decision than they might have otherwise. This essentially means they prohibit any company who are misleading any decision made by the consumer concerning the purchasing of the product or whether to exercise a contractual right concerning the product, including decisions not to act.

What can be done?

We would advise that clients of EZE exercise caution and diligence moving forwards. There are steps that can be taken such as:

  • If payment was made to EZE by credit card, then there is the possibility of filing a claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This act protects consumers who may have been victims of misrepresentation or where there may be a breach of contract.
  • If payment was made by debit card or bank transfer, we recommend consultation and risk assessment before paying any fees. This is due to the fact there the possibility of EZE Europe Ltd not being able to carry on as a viable business. This company has recently filed accounts which show it has a substantial trading loss.
  • Talk to us for no obligation, free timeshare advice.

In the situation against EZE group, the size and number of claims that might be filed and what assets might be available to claim against are not known. Proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act are also very likely and this, almost certainly, would result in the freezing of all assets.

At the Timeshare Advice Bureau, we make it our business to ensure you are provided with the best options based upon your individual circumstances. Our team has years of experience and can offer guidance and help for every aspect of holiday ownership issues.

In an ever-changing world of products and presentations, we often find that the consumer is left confused by their ownership and contracts.

Get Free, Expert Timeshare Advice On 0800 195 8361

Contact us today.

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