Some time ago the following information was published regarding the South African companies Flexi Club, Club Leisure Group and other associated companies regarding their points system. The National Consumer Commission has called the point system a “Scam”, and declared that these companies have engaged in “unconscionable conduct” under the Consumer Protection Act.

The commission has now served papers on Flexi Club and 26 other respondents, which include two businessmen, Anthony Ridl and Stuart Lamont, who are directors of Club leisure Group and other companies who are also respondents in the case.

The National Consumer Tribunal has been asked to hand down various orders against the companies involved in regards to prohibited conduct.

These clubs within Club Leisure Group have over 200,000 members with 77,000 belonging to Flexi Club.

One of the senior investigators of the commission has issued a damning 258 page affidavit which say that these companies have “swindled money out of unsuspecting, gullible, vulnerable, uneducated, young, elderly and unsophisticated consumers”

It all stems from the fact that consumers are misled into believing the points they  have purchased is timeshare. What they have in fact purchased is nothing of the sort, they are issued certificates of purchase which are described by the commission as worthless pieces of paper.

When consumers buy points they must belong to a club, but the contention of the commission is that it is nothing but a sham in order to collect membership fees.

In the papers from the commission they state “the consumer is the actual funder of Club Leisure Group, and not in any way a beneficiary either as the so-called ‘club member’, ‘trust beneficiary’ or company shareholder”

“All the consumer has is a false belief that he/she owns ‘valuable points’.”

Something points owners the world over are now beginning to find, they actually entitle you to nothing but the right to use subject to availability. This is one of the main reasons the Supreme Court in Madrid, Spain has declared that points and floating weeks are illegal as they contain nothing of substance.

So it looks like South Africa is following the same line as Spain, it remains to be seen how long it will be before the discredited points and floating week club systems go the same way elsewhere in the world.

This story was originally published by Independent Media on their website IOL (Independent Online), in South Africa.