SINGAPORE - Timeshare companies hope the new rules that kicked in on Tuesday will help them shed their reputation as the bad boys of the property sector.
The regulations aim to give more protection to consumers, who have long complained about the high-pressure sales tactics employed by timeshare agents.
The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) noted this week that it received 315 complaints in the first quarter of this year, down from the quarterly average of 378 last year.
There were 1,512 gripes logged last year, down from 1,870 in 2012, but still enough to make timeshare the seventh most complained about sector.
The new rules could stem the flood. Companies are now not allowed to collect any payments during a mandatory five-day cooling-off period that starts only after the consumer has access to the product information.
Firms also have to provide key product information such as the terms and obligations before a contract is signed.
Case president Lim Biow Chuan told The Straits Times: "The cooling-off period does help people to make independent decisions."
Industry players applauded the new rules but expressed concern that over-regulation could hamper growth.