From 11 July 2011, new consumer protections will be introduced for some specific holiday products.
The changes will apply to all traders providing or intending to provide any of the following services:
- Timeshare – where one or more nights’ accommodation is reserved more than once over a period of more than one year, previously regulated by the Civil Code.
- Long-term holiday product – where paid membership for more than one year gives consumers access to discounts or other benefits relating to tourism.
- Timeshare exchange – where consumers can swap their timeshares with other timeshare customers.
- Re-sales – charging consumers who wish to sell or buy a timeshare or long-term holiday product.
The changes include:
- requiring traders to provide specific information to consumers (in a standard form for each type of contract) before the contract becomes binding on them.
- prohibiting any marketing activity that presents timeshares or long-term holiday products as an expedient investment.
- requiring all contracts to include a prescribed form setting out in detail the terms and conditions under which the consumer may withdraw from the contract (which also serves as a template for contract withdrawal).
- allowing customers to withdraw from the contract (without giving any reason) within 14 days after receiving the contract or any binding preliminary contract.
- prohibiting consumers from being required, before the end of the withdrawal period, to provide any advance payment, guarantee, money to be held on account, explicit acknowledgement of debt or any other consideration to the trader or to any third party.
- prohibiting traders from claiming payment of costs from consumers who withdraw from the contract for the period until withdrawal.
Law: Act No. 161/2011 Coll. on the protection of customers in provision of certain tourism services; Directive 2008/122/EC on the protection of consumers in respect of certain aspects of timeshare, long-term holiday product, resale and exchange contracts