Page last updated at 10:05 GMT, Thursday, 14 August 2008 11:05 UK

Holiday club company closed down

Holiday scene
Benefits on the club were insignificant compared with travel agents

A holiday club whose directors allowed potential members to be offered "seriously misleading" information has been wound up.

A High Court judge said the "free holiday" promoted by TAG World Services Limited, based in Sudbury in Suffolk, was not free.

A number and wide variety of complaints were received, leading to an inquiry by a branch of the Insolvency Service.

Consumer groups have warned about the potential pitfalls of bogus clubs.

Probe

Membership of the club, which was promoted at presentations in hotels, cost customers 2,000 plus annual renewal fees.

An inquiry by the Companies Investigation Branch of the Insolvency Service found that there were no benefits to membership, or that they were insignificant when compared with High Street travel agencies or internet deals.

It added that a number of "dubious marketing associates" had been used to offer membership.

A cooling-off period for people signing up had only been offered very late in the process, and people who tried to take the holiday were let down.

Warning

The government's advice service Consumer Direct said that not all holiday clubs were bogus.

Coastal scene
Holiday clubs have been the subject of warnings from experts

Legitimate clubs would give people written confirmation of what was said during a presentation, allow them to take a contract away for consideration, and offer full cancellation rights.

Scratchcard "prizes" and unsolicited telephone calls often promote the presentations held in plush hotels by bogus clubs.

"Free" holiday offers often include extra costs, such as flights, and sometimes no dates or destinations are guaranteed.




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