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Subject: LGM cash-back is nothing but a piece of scrap paper, by Yang Xinyi (Taipei)

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Date Posted: Mon, May 23 2005, 11:52:01

See source for the original article in the Taiwanese press.

Use the English translation below for reference.
Donít get cheated into joining timeshares. Itís but an empty dream. LGMís Cash-back scheme is nothing but a piece of scrap paper.

By Yang Xinyi, reporting from Taipei

Overseas timeshare resorts have a mystical quality irresistible to consumers, but be sure you do not get cheated. 1 such company, Le Gi Mei (or LGM) has today, been fined 3 million Taiwan dollars, for their promise made to customers about the cash-back scheme, which in reality is nothing but an empty piece of paper.

The Fair Trade Commission expressed that Taiwan LGM Pte Ltd, in their attempt to market their overseas timeshare resorts, has relied on their promise of a cash-return. They have also demanded that consumers pay a deposit before they have even surveyed the contract. Furthermore, as the content of the contract does not match what has been promised during the sales pitch, this is clearly a violation of Trade Regulations under Clause No. 24. For this, LGM was fined 3 million Taiwan dollars and to date, this is the highest amount ever paid out by a timeshare marketing company to the Fair Trade Committee.

LGM is a large company which began marketing CVC membership since 2001 and has so far sold more than 10957 memberships. In 2003, after the initiation of the cash-back scheme, they have sold a further 5663 memberships. In 2004, between January to October, they had a turnover of 176 million Taiwan dollars (average 17.6 million dollars per month). In 2004, between October to December, its average was 29 million dollars.

The Fair Trade Commission was alerted to this by the public, regarding the use of cash-back to lure consumers into signing for the overseas timeshare resort memberships. The act of obtaining payment from consumers via credit card before they have surveyed the contract, is already a violation of trade regulations.

The Fair Trade Commission investigations have revealed that LGM is the marketing agent of the overseas timeshare resorts. Although LGM uses the cash-back to market their membership, the membership is actually that of an overseas company known as Concepts Co. Members who enrol in the plan are able to apply to Concepts Co. for a complete cash refund of their investment 5 years later. Many consumers thus fell for the trick. In reality, LGM is unable to guarantee a refund of the entire amount. On the English version of the cash-back agreement signed by the member, it is stated that one of the pre-requisites for cash-back is for LGM to reimburse Concepts Co for its expenses. This is despite the fact that there exist no monetary transactions between LGM and Concepts Co.

The Fair Trade Commission explains that timeshare resorts are based overseas, and are managed as overseas businesses. Consumers thus have to rely on the local marketing agents to provide the sales brochure, verbal explanations and agreement. Consumers are thus in a weak position in terms of knowledge on their rights as members and in their control over the management of the timeshare resort. It is necessary for consumers to look at the content of the contract before signing on it. However, LGMís method of demanding prior payment of the deposit via credit card before having surveyed the contract clearly violates trade regulations and hastens the transaction to be concluded under shady circumstances.

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[> Subject: LGM Taiwan made so much ill-gotten gains!!!

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Date Posted: Tue, May 24 2005, 1:53:20

Goodness gracious, those scammers really made away with so much ill-gotten gains in Taiwan!!! I'm pretty sure that they have made no less here in the tiny red dot but at least the Taiwanese government is clamping down hard on such scams. It's not like it's going to happen anytime soon over here in $ingapore.

"In 2004, between January to October, they had a turnover of 176 million Taiwan dollars or S$9.3 million ...

(average 17.6 million dollars or S$930,000 per month) ...

In 2004, between October to December, its average was 29 million dollars or S$1.53 million!"

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