MTI to amend timeshare consumer protection rules

MTI to amend timeshare consumer protection rules

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) is seeking to amend current regulations on consumer protection in timeshare contracts with the help of public feedback.

In a statement, the ministry says that amendments are being made as timeshare businesses have accounted for the most number of consumer complaints, even after amendments were made to regulations in 2009.

MTI and CASE are now proposing various enhancements to the rules and regulations for the cancellation of contracts.

These include closing the current loophole which allows certain timeshare operators to modify their business models to escape having to meet requirements.

Another modification proposed is to disallow the collection of money during cooling-off periods for timeshare, timeshare-related and long-term holiday product contracts.

According to the proposal, cooling-off periods for long-term holiday product contracts should start after consumers receive the technical means to access information on preferential travel rates.

This will ensure that consumers are able to check the travel benefits and discounts offered by holiday clubs during the cooling-off period.

More information can be found in the press release below:

Public consultation on amendments to existing regulations to enhance consumer protection for timeshare and other related contracts

To enhance consumer protection for timeshare and other related contracts, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) is seeking feedback on the proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) (Cancellation of Contracts) Regulations (COC Regs).

In April 2009, MTI amended the COC Regs based on feedback from the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), to give timeshare consumers greater protection by extending the mandatory cooling-off period ('cancellation period' in proposed legislative amendments) from three to five working days, and requiring sellers to refund consumers within 60 days after a contract is cancelled during the cooling-off period.

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