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data-theft1

Owners Data: Update.

Inside Timeshare has received an email from Greg Crist, CEO of the NTOA in response to Edwards article yesterday on Owners Data. In his email Greg addresses the fact the developers community has been battling the issue of the the breach of owners records for decades. In his opening he states:

“I think the developer community has been dealing with “owner records data breach issue” for decades. Those lists of owners have been stolen…sold and resold many times over and it continues to happen at present day. (***Get a quote from the Orlando Florida PD – timeshare resale task force…and they will tell you that people are making more money selling lists of owner records than actually selling timeshare or resale***)”.

When you consider the last part, that people can make more money from selling these lists than selling timeshare or resale, it goes to show how valuable this information is. It is not just timeshare that has suffered, in the UK there was a proliferation of calls regarding PPI (Payment Protection Insurance), again where did this information come from? Was it stolen by ex-employees or sold by the companies themselves?

landing-pages

 

There is also another form of compiling these lists which does not involve theft, that is the landing page on the web. When searching the internet for say a resale company, you will quite often find a website which offers the service, on many there are no company details, they direct you to a form which you then fill in. It will ask for your contact information, what timeshare you own, the maintenance fees etc. This information is then sold to resale companies for quite substantial amounts per lead. There is nothing wrong in this, you have initiated the search and voluntarily given the information.

Another area which has resulted in personal information being sold is one that many have fallen foul of. When taking out a loan or even applying for a store rewards card, such as Tesco Club Card, how many people did not tick the box, this box was the opt out for your information being passed on to third parties, which may have or provide goods and services which may be of interest to you. Whether it has been changed we don’t know, but many declared that it should be an “opt in” not an “opt out”, quite simply the box was so small most never even noticed it.

The two examples above are not illegal, what is illegal is for employees or ex-employees to steal and then sell this information. In the world of timeshare, especially in Europe, many sales staff in the past were on commission only, in many cases some of the sales companies did all they could to withhold commissions. It was not uncommon for a client to “cancel” then the salesperson did not get paid, when in reality the client completed. This practise was instrumental in staff “stealing” the data, many even kept their own records for future use, a kind of unemployment insurance policy.

data-theft

Wyndham according to Greg has gone after former employees:

Wyndham has actually pursued former employees who either acquired the data illegally or purchased it from an insider to use for the thief’s own ill-gotten gains”.

As mentioned in yesterday’s article, Diamond has also informed their members of a claims company set up by ex-employees, who they say are using “stolen” client lists. They then contact the owners with a view to claiming compensation for misselling.

This is a problem and one can understand the industry in their view that legislation preventing owners groups such as HOA or Owners Committees from accessing this information, will protect them. But the question is who stole the information, was it the owners or the employees?

Will this legislation stop the theft of these lists by employees? Somehow we think not.

As highlighted in Edwards article, the Spanish Data Protection Agency even stated the information belonged to the owners, the resorts or management company were just “Custodians”. The Community of Owners are the true owner and controller. Yet we see them being denied access using data protection and protecting them from abuse as an excuse.

Is this just another example of a huge divide between the industry and owners?

In the end the developers need to work with owners if the industry is to survive, they need to listen and take note of the concerns of the people who in effect pay their wages and keep them in business. Without some level of cooperation there is no hope, both sides will be at loggerheads and who in the end will be the losers?

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TCA: From Great Beginnings to Infamy!

The TCA or Timeshare Consumers Association, was originally set up by Mr Sandy Grey around 1997, it is believed that he was himself a very disgruntled owner and wanted to spread the word on the dubious practices of the timeshare industry.

 

He created the association as a non profit company, offering advice on timeshare to owners who had nowhere else to turn. He was basically hated within the industry for the information he highlighted.

 

He was the subject of a High Court (London) libel case brought by the OTE (now the RDO) and the industry. He represented himself against the big guns which the industry could afford, unfortunately he lost and was ordered to pay substantial costs. Although this did not stop him from continuing with his work.

 

In 2008 he attended the court in Coin, Malaga, in defence of an expat couple being sued for libel by Bob Trotta of Resort Properties / Silverpoint fame or is that infamy. The basis of the case was that the couple had published libelous remarks about him on the Crimeshare website. Sandy admitted to the court that he was the one behind it and not this couple. Sandy told Coin Court: “I originally ran Crimeshare and continued to publish it under various domain names until February 2008.

 

“The website was dedicated to exposing deceit and fraud in the timeshare industry in Europe.”

 

“The content mainly exposed fraudsters and cheats including Mr Trotta.”

 

“A very large number of complaints from consumers, around 1,000, alleged fraud and mis-selling.”

 

Throughout his time running the TCA from home he helped hundreds if not thousands of timeshare owners, and was known as a great champion of the rights of consumers. He also came in for a lot of abuse from the industry, but his tenacity always won through.

 

When Sandy died of Motor Nuerone Disease in April 2013, it was thought that this was the end of the TCA.

 

The association was reborn after consultation with close advisers and family in January 2014. It was in May 2014 that the new TCA company was instituted by Stephen Boyd a lawyer from Athena Law. It was then directed by David Cox (now a Director of Timeshare Exit and Solutions Service, which no longer has any link to the TCA since the takeover of Mark Rowe). The website was then taken over by Tolmex Ltd and the new director was William Aspinall.

 

In April 2016 the company name was changed to Bridgewell Investments Ltd, William Aspinall resigned as director on 8 July 2016, that same day the new director was appointed.

 

This new director is one Mark Rowe, an old hand in the timeshare industry, having previously worked for Bob Trotta as a sales manager / director of Resort Properties / Silverpoint. He is also the owner and director of several companies in the UK and Tenerife. The main being Hollywood Marketing Sl, which has been renamed Monster Group Travel.

 

This company uses sellmytimeshare.tv, Another Rowe company, to arrange meetings for owners wishing to sell, they then purchase Monster Leisure Credits in order to be rid of the timeshare.

 

As Mark Rowe is now the director of the TCA and the sister website timesharetalk, owned and run by TCA, a forum for owners to ask and answer questions, these previously independent websites are under the control of Monster.

 

It has already been noted on several other forums including comments from readers of Inside Timeshare, that all posts made on timesharetalk about Monster have been removed. That the TCA website no longer highlights any comments about any Monster associated company on its website. Below are just four comments received:

 

“Wasn’t it TOLMEX that took over the Timeshare talk site in March 2016. See the TESS news blog for 21st March 2016. The original posts and members comments regarding this subject seem to have been removed from the Timeshare Talk blog. Have you got any information on this or have I missed something?”

 

“NOW YOU SEE IT! NOW YOU DON’T! TESS posted another scathing attack on Monster /Sell my Timeshare etc yesterday, 14th September, in their news section. It was then copied along with a couple of additional comments on TIMESHARE TALK by one of the members (again yesterday 14th September). Just had another look now (a.m. 15th September) and it has disappeared!!! Gone! Spirited away in the night!

All other posts relating to Monster & Co have also been deleted. I was surprised that this one got through, even for a short time.”

 

“We bought our floating week timeshare before 1999. We decided to contact the TCA to see if they could explain how the new Spanish laws affect or don’t affect our week. Had read somewhere about a Deed of Adaptation and were just curious to see if they could shed any light. A very nice young lady answered. Said she would find out and call us back at 11a.m. the next day, which she did. She explained what we could do told us that the TCA recommend Sell my Timeshare. We explained why we would not be happy to do that and she replied that the TCA found them to be a very reputable company. As Kevin said in an earlier post, It is a sad state of affairs.

And just because I could, I wrote about this on Timeshare Talk in response to another post relating to SellmyTimeshare.TV. (Only last night 22nd Sept)

Yep, you guessed it. The fairies have been busy in the night again and both posts gone this morning. You have to laugh!”

 

“What a sad state of affairs! Sandy Grey was a great fighter for owners’ rights and, as you so rightly put, must be turning in his grave. Let us hope that you can carry on where the great man left off!”

 

It must also be noted that TESS, who worked very closely with the TCA are now vociferously attacking the Monster Group. They have been subject to a “letter before action” citing deformation, TESS refuse to remove any of their “allegations” believing that they are in the public interest. So far no legal action has been taken.

 

It must also be noted that Sandy also published The Rise and Fall of Timeshare in Europe, he also gave evidence to the House of Lords and the EU Parliament on timeshare laws.

PDF Files  rise-fall-of-timeshare    sandy-grey-house-of-lords

For those of us who have collaborated with Sandy in the past or had any contact with him, now believe that his work has been highjacked by the very people he fought against. The TCA is no longer the independent voice for the timeshare owner. Sandy will be turning in his grave.

 

http://tesslimited.co.uk/2016/09/13/the-monster-in-monster-credits/

 

http://tesslimited.co.uk/2016/03/03/sandy-grey-timeshare/

 

http://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2009/12/27/crimeshare-doesnt-pay/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/monster-credits-associated-companies-summary/

sandy-grey
Sandy Grey R.I.P. Gone but not forgotten.

 

update

Litigious Abogados: Update.

Further to the article on Litigious Abogados published 27 September, The so called lawyers named on the websites for Litigious Abogados and Litigar Abogados, do not appear on the register of lawyers.

 

There is also no trace of either company when the CIF Numbers are checked on Spanish companies register. It certainly looks like these companies are not what they appear to be.

 

The named lawyers are as follows:

 

Emilio Leyes Catillianos.

Manuel Amas Conde.

Simone Manuel Olivaz.simone-manuel-olivaz-111

Ramon Quilnar Canal.ramon-quilnar-canal

 

Websites and CIF Numbers:

litigious-abogados

litigiousabogados.com

http://emiliocatillianos.com/

CIF Number: A36428761

 
litigar-abogados-4

litigarabogados.com

http://manuelamasconde.com/

CIF Number: A34812673

Address Given on all websites for these “Lawyers” is:

Calle Duque de la Torre 29, 114, Santa Cruz, Tenerife

Actual address:

Calle Duque de la Torre, 29 Arona Casco 38640 Arona Tenerife

Along with the fact the address is for the Oficina del Servicio de Atención Ciudadana, which is the equivalent to the Citizens Advice Bureaux and is part of the town hall in Arona, it is advised that extreme caution should be exercised if contacted by either of them.

cab-arona
Oficina del Servicio de Atención Ciudadana, Arona, Tenerife.

If you have been contacted by either of these, Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you. Any help required to trace any company you can contact us and we will help you to check if they are genuine.

 

tribunal-supremo

More News from the Supreme Court.

The latest news from those intrepid lawyers at Canarian Legal Alliance is again hitting the papers. El Diario has published the news of two Supreme Court sentences, these are against Puerto Calma Holiday Club Finland and Tasolan SL at Palm Oasis.

 

The ruling against Puerto Calma was made for breaches in the selling of fractional ownership, the court ruled that this was not property as indicated by the sales division, but was indeed timeshare. It also upheld previous rulings that contracts over 50 years are illegal. In this case the client received a tremendous award, £235,542 plus legal fees and interest.

 

As for the Palm Oasis ruling, again it was the over 50 years contract, as yet no indication of amounts awarded have been published. These ruling are becoming a regular almost weekly event, going to show that the laws will be enforced, and the decisions made by the Supreme Court will stand.

 

http://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/tribunales/sentencias-Supremo-timesharing-Gran-Canaria_0_562744176.html

 

In another article on their website, CLA have told the story of Mr & Mrs Grant. Their case went to the Supreme Court in July, their Anfi contract was declared null & void as per the over 50 years ruling. Mr & Mrs Grant took time out from their holiday to visit the CLA offices and personally thanked the team for all their hard work and efforts. This must have been appreciated by the members of the CLA team, who must have also had great big smiles like the Grants in the photograph.

 

News was also published on 22 September that another Supreme Court ruling had been made, once more this was against Anfi. The court again upheld previous rulings that contracts over 50 years are illegal. So another UK family have had their contract declared null & void, with an award of £31,548 including legal fees and interest being made.

 

Once again congratulations to the legal team and to all the families who have been victorious, to those waiting for their cases, be patient, the law and the courts are on your side.

 

If you have any questions about this or any other article, contact Inside Timeshare and we will be pleased to help.

 

http://www.canarianlegalalliance.com/cla-supreme-court-success-against-puerto-calma/

 

http://www.canarianlegalalliance.com/anfi-supreme-court-21/

 

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US Real Estate Regulations Update.

Further to the article highlighting The Property Man Bob Massi, Irene Parker informed Inside Timeshare that all States except one define VOI (Vacation Ownership Interests, points) as real estate. However Diamond‘s own contracts state (although buried within) insist that the membership is not real estate. The Diamond annual report also states they are not subject to real estate laws.

 

All this is very confusing to say the least, even Irene is confused and she lives in the US! So she kindly put me in touch with one of her contacts who was once a sales agent ILX and the after the acquisition and Diamond agent. Mark is a licenced broker, for 4 years he has been challenging the ADRE (Arizona Department of Real Estate) regarding “fraud” in the sales process of Diamond products. He has kindly sent the following information, which I have produced below, the reason is he explains it better than I could, after all I did say it was confusing. The following is his story:

 

Key to abbreviations:: ADRE Arizona Department of Real Estate. VOI Vacation Ownership Interest: AZ AG Arizona Attorney General.

 

In Arizona any sale of a property interest within the state requires licensing of ALL sales agents. All transactions are to be reviewed by the designated broker or their licensed assistant. The designated broker is liable for all transactions, and conduct of agents. The conduct of all agents is regulated by statute, Diamond has a designated broker in Sedona for all their properties.  


ARTICLE 11. PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
R4-28-1101.
Duties to Client
A.
A licensee owes a fiduciary duty to the client and shall protect and promote the client’s interests. The licensee shall also deal fairly with all other parties to a transaction.
B.
A licensee participating in a real estate transaction shall disclose in writing to all other parties any information the licensee possesses that materially or adversely affects the consideration to be paid by any party to the transaction

While Diamond trains (requires) its sales agents to commit fraud, there is a clause in the brokers manual (which is not disclosed by broker) which states that the agent shall indemnify Diamond in the event of ANY action is taken against the company for misrepresentation, to the extent that the agent will even cover Diamond’s legal fees. I brought up the fact that the broker did not disclose this at the time he required me to sign a receipt for his manual, agreeing I understood and would abide by the terms however ADRE was not interested.

Most RE development within the state requires that all buyers receive what is called a public report It is  viewed by ADRE as a disclosure document that carries sufficient importance to the buyer, that pre- approval of its content by ADRE is required before sales can commence. Diamond and other companies selling VOI’s in the state are required to give buyers a public report.

It is important to note that it is a somewhat generic document and does not include material information regarding how a timeshare interest is structured, no explanation of the difference between a deeded interest and a VOI, or mention of relevant statue regarding sales and administration of these systems. This has left the door open for pirates like Diamond to circumvent disclosure requirements mandated by licensing, while openly committing fraud in the sales process. By alerting buyers to the existence of their RE license Diamond agents falsely present to buyers that they are being protected by RE statute.

In general real estate ALL sales must include a sellers disclosure document that requires all known material facts affecting the value of real estate being sold be disclosed by the seller. It is known as a SPUDS and intentional withholding of material information is grounds for civil litigation and other administrative penalties.. As I have been arguing repeatedly with the AZ AG and ADRE, since no SPUDS is given in connection with a timeshare, the sales presentation constitutes an oral SPUDS with appurtenant disclosure obligations.

During my 6 month tenure with Diamond I filed multiple administrative complaints against Diamond’s designated broker for lack of mandatory supervision. ADRE investigated those complaints and would not have done so if Diamond’s product was not considered real estate and subject to applicable statute. I was required to maintain an active license to sell Diamond’s poisoned pill. I have found in public records that Diamond’s broker entered into a consent order, and paid a fine for allowing an agent to continue selling VOI product after his license expired. ADRE could not have taken these administrative enforcement actions without Diamond’s VOI being legally defined as a real estate product in AZ.

This was the basis of my argument to AZ AG and ADRE that institutionalized fraud was being committed on the public by lack of enforcement pertaining to regulation and the insistence of continuing to classify VOI’s as a real estate holding when in fact Diamond’s own contracts states to the contrary and insists in clear terms (buried in an obscure place) that the membership is not a real estate interest. Clear as mud, that’s how they like here in sunny AZ.

 

As you can see, things are not as clear cut as we thought, Europe is not as big a minefield as the US. But this could be a very big problem for those in Europe who did purchase in the US, especially as they would not be aware of the regulations there.

 

As more information comes in, Inside Timeshare will publish it here, thanks to Mark and Irene for their input into these articles, it has helped to clarify some important points.

 

If you have any questions or information regarding this or any other article, Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you.

letter from america

News From Across the Great Lake.

On many occasions Inside Timeshare publishes news as it comes in from the United States, much of this comes from my colleague Irene Parker. Irene is a long standing Diamond member, although she and her husband are happy with the holidays and membership over the years, she has highlighted the main problems in many articles. Irene also publishes articles in The Street, an online financial journal, in these articles she mainly highlights the stocks and shares side of the many timeshare companies. Whether they are a good investment or not and the reasons behind some of the falls in these share prices. (see link to her latest article in The Street at foot of the page).

 

In many of her articles she also highlights what they call in America as the secondary market, or to us in Europe the resale market. The fact that no secondary market exists for owners of Diamond Resorts International, is one of the biggest complaints owners have. Another that we are very familiar with in Europe is the difficulty in being able to exit your membership. In the US, the perpetuity contract is not illegal, unlike in Europe where the EU Directives on Timeshare have stated contracts should be for no longer than 50 years. As we have seen from the Supreme Court rulings in Spain, this is actually helping people to get out of their contracts and in many cases being paid back the full purchase price for being sold an illegal contract.

 

Many people in America are watching the events here in Europe, especially in Spain, taking stock of the way timeshare laws are being implemented. Some are even wondering if these laws can be brought into place for them in the USA.

dri logo

Following is the email she sent with a letter from Stephen J Cloobeck of Diamond, she also points out two complaints on Tripadvisor, then her own letter to Mr Cloobeck.

 

An Open Letter to Mr. Cloobeck from Irene Parker

 

A Message from Stephen J. Cloobeck

 

Dear Members and Owners, 

I am thrilled with the completion of the acquisition of Diamond Resorts by an affiliate of funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC (“Apollo”), and am confident that this transaction will only enhance your vacation experience at Diamond resorts worldwide. 

Diamond Resorts was founded on the platform of The Meaning of Yes®, a customer-centric ideology that elevates the hospitality experience above all else. The company goes above and beyond to deliver exceptional vacations to its members, owners and guests so that you can enjoy a lifetime of memories and experiences that can be passed down from generation to generation. Over the years this platform has transformed into a core belief and our philosophy of We Love to Say Yes®. 

 

Recent complaint posted on Trip Advisor:

 

  1. Re: Diamond Resorts International (Trip Advisor)

Sep 01, 2016, 10:10 PM

To Glenvine32 – my husband and I got caught in this scam to our incredible embarrassment. We thought we were smarter and I should have read reviews before we went to their presentation in May in Sedona, AZ. It was a 4 hour ordeal and we bought a worthless 2500 points which we have not used nor plan to. We have since heard from their own reps that we should have never been offered so few points, that those were add on points to be purchased by owners – not prospective buyers. We are retired and will never get value out of these points even if we buy more which we absolutely have no plans to do.

Having read so many negative reviews now I am concerned we will have little recourse. It’s bad enough losing the 13k but to be held to annual fees for at the rest of our lives? Have contacted them by phone and have drafted a letter to send by registered mail. Probably won’t get a reply. I don’t want to resign myself to the loss of the money but what’s worse is how it will affect my credit. Any thoughts? How did you do?

Complaint #2

I am at the Cancun resort in Las Vegas and went to a breakfast where they said they would simply update me about the changeover to Diamond. I was told that I should have been invited to a dinner where I would have been given options, decided by a judge in a legal ruling against Monarch due to their bankruptcy. They proceeded to show me a print out that said when my current term expires in August. I would have to pay $573 per quarter to Monarch. They said that due to the bankruptcy, I would have no equity. That was option one. Pay more, have nothing. The other option they said was to transfer into Diamond at a cost of $12,000 plus and pay a yearly maintenance fee of $1,700. Less than the $2,292 I would soon be giving Monarch. They also told me that I would then have equity of $41,000 that I could sell. I was in tears. I do not have any extra money. In fact I have been looking for ways to get out of Monarch for over a year now. They said that was not an option and that as an owner, I was now proportionally responsible for their debt. I felt trapped and signed all the papers to transfer, with no idea how I can pay. After reading the comments above I am even more scared. I am trying to start my own business and am already in severe debt. They claimed when they ran my credit though that it looked better than most and assured me I qualified for financing. I would have to pay off, basically transfer to credit cards, which I can barely make my payments on now before I could look to sell. One of the reps assured me that she would put me in touch with someone who could help me sell my points. She even gave me her cell phone number to call after the sale/transfer is finalized. I am really scared though. Please help! We have to do something. It seems as though they have no qualms about lying to and robbing people for their own benefit.

September 5, 2016

Dear Mr. Cloobeck,

If I were you, I would be thrilled with the millions you and other insiders made on the Apollo leveraged buyout; along with the millions paid out in executive compensation.  For Diamond owners who are widowed, elderly, ill, unemployed or victims of high pressure sales, slogans like “Stay Vacationed!” and “The Meaning of Yes” feel like a cruel taunt.

According to a Kroll Bond report, Diamond employs 90 full time collectors making over 100,000 calls per week via a dealer. These calls originate because of being told no. All firms have a few bad apples and complaints on the internet, but complaint sites are flooded with Diamond Resort and Westgate complaints.

Please explain to me how the contract I signed is different from a junk bond in that it became worthless the moment I signed it if I could no longer travel and needed to sell. In the subprime mortgage debacle, even properties foreclosed could be sold.

My husband and I have used and enjoyed timeshare for over 25 years without a question or complaint until Diamond purchased ILX. We signed a contract that said we could sell points. We also asked several times if we would be able to sell points if we could no longer travel and were told we could.

The first person who told me Diamond points cannot be sold was attorney Bob Massi of the FOX show Property Man. After Property Man aired a segment explaining how to unload a timeshare, I contacted David Cortese of Magical Realty. Mr. Cortese was featured on a Property Man segment stressing the importance of using a licensed resale broker to sell a timeshare, rather than listing or transfer agents that come with a minefield of scams.

I wrote to Mr. Massi after enduring a pathetically aggressive sales presentation at Grand Beach in Orlando last July. We were promised three times we would not be paired with a commissioned agent. We were greeted and tortured by three commissioned sales agents.  

In a timeshare presentation, an agent gleefully explains how Diamond has many affiliated resorts. Our daughter lives in New York City. In searching for a Diamond location, I found a Diamond affiliated resort. It required 63,000 points. It was the least expensive offered. This equates to over $10,000 in our maintenance fee dollars. Booked through the hotel, the cost including taxes is $2,693.  I will be sending a copy of this letter to NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, one of the few AGs actually on the side of the consumer. I doubt there is a sales agent in the Diamond organization that would explain affiliated properties are not discounted. A Diamond representative explained that these Diamond offers are for platinum owners who have so many points they don’t know what to do with them. They are probably short on math skills.

Never imagining I would earn a response from Mr. Massi, I was contacted and learned the show received a multitude of timeshare complaints after airing “The Queen of Versailles”. The producer told me I was the only person selected for an interview because I was the only person that said I would like to talk about timeshares positives in addition to the negatives.

It is my understanding that not one member of the 64 member Licensed Timeshare Resale Broker Association will buy or sell Diamond’s non-deeded points or Westgate weeks due to restrictions placed on the use of points purchased on the secondary market and other tactics designed to restrict the secondary market.  I also leaned members of the LTRBA will buy and sell all Diamond’s competitor programs except Westgate. I sent a survey to all the members and received 16 responses. These I compiled and forwarded to the Attorney General of Arizona and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  

The Trip Advisor complaint I included with this letter has convinced me that Diamond has become so brazen; the company is confident it can get away with anything indefinitely and unchallenged. Unless an owner is fortunate to live in a state like New York or Tennessee, Attorney Generals do not seem to consider timeshare abuse a cause worth pursuing.

Many of the complaints are about availability and maintenance fees. The 15% pure profit Mr. Palmer bragged about to shareholders, added on to maintenance fees, is excessive. In a Latticework article written in cooperation with ADW Capital, the lack of a secondary market is mentioned as a reason to buy Diamond stock. From my research, I have determined Diamond and Westgate are the only two timeshare companies that have restricted the secondary market to the extent it does not exist.

I have written an article entitled Sometimes a Diamond Resort Dream Vacation Turns into a Nightmare. Diamond’s in-house council, Ben La Luzerne, said he hoped he could help the Saldana family devastated by Diamond’s rising maintenance fees and victim of high pressure sales. They were told to get a home equity loan to reduce Diamond’s high interest rate.  I am still waiting to hear back from the family before publishing the article, hoping for a positive outcome.

What I am asking, is for Diamond to reach out to a few members of the LTRBA to see what would be needed to create a secondary market. Unlike most internet complainers, I can live with the maintenance fees and the problems with availability. I would like to enjoy my retirement instead of researching, on a daily basis, how Diamond is ruining the financial lives of so many, especially the elderly.

I look forward to hearing how we can work together to stop the harm Diamond is placing on the ill, the widowed, the elderly, the unemployed and the victims of the oral representation clause protecting Diamond and be able to say YES! to the people .

Sincerely,

Irene Parker

The Peasant of Venice (Florida)    

As you can see, our cousins across the pond are not very happy with how Diamond Resorts International operate. They too are locked into contracts which are almost impossible to extricate yourself from. The fact that their so-called investments in Vacation ownership Interests (US term for holiday ownership) are virtually worthless. Lets hope that they take stock of what is happening in Europe and use it to help the many owners in the US to get some protection.

Inside Timeshare thanks Irene and the many others who have contributed to the information we share with you, we also thank the many readers in the US for their support of this publication.

If you have any questions about this article or any other matter, Inside Timeshare will be pleased to answer them. If you are looking for advice on who to go to for cancellation of contracts or possible claims, Inside Timeshare will help point you in the right direction.

Link to The Street article by Irene Parker

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13653117/1/the-timeshare-industry-has-improved-its-reputation-but-still-faces-scrutiny.html

 

fast payout

CLA Client Receives Payment from Anfi.

Yesterday 30 August 2016, Canarian Legal Alliance announced that one of their clients has received the money awarded by the courts.

 

CLA Logo

Earlier this year the client had a favourable decision by the High Court Number 3 of Las Palmas, this was once more against Anfi. This court again used the Supreme Court Rulings in reaching their verdict. The Client will receive over 33,000€ plus interest and legal fees, CLA reports that the client is still yet to receive this interest and legal fee payment as it is dealt with separately.

 

It appears that these cases are not only getting to court quicker, but the payments are being received by the client in a much speedier manner. This is proof that the rulings made by the Supreme Court are having a profound effect on the lower courts.

miguel1
Miguel Rodriguez Cabellos Senior CLA lawyer representing the clients

This is obviously another blow for the Anfi empire, with more cases still in the pipeline including over 100 still to be heard at the Supreme Court. What with all the legal wrangles over the Tauro Beach Project, in which work has been suspended pending the investigation by the Guardia Civil’s Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA). Also there is the matter of the complaints made to the Guardia Civil by the residents of Tauro for damage caused by the floods on 4 August. There is no doubt another court case will be in the offing for compensation.

seprona

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along with the news which was published by La Provincia about the Anfi boss Santana Cazorla, who is reportedly taking “refuge” in Morocco, things are not looking that good for Anfi. So this again begs the question of where is all this going to leave Anfi and above all you the members?

 

The past is certainly starting to catch up with this company, who are no strangers to controversy, Inside Timeshare has highlighted some of these in past articles. (see links at the foot of the page).

 

If you would like more information on these judgements and how they may affect your contract, Inside Timeshare will try to answer any questions. These Supreme Court rulings also apply to other timeshare companies, and we will be happy to give you the information as to how they may also affect you.

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/great-anfi-battle-partners/

http://insidetimeshare.com/anfi-tauro-beach-project-people-flooded/

http://insidetimeshare.com/tauro-beach-project-latest-news/

Anfi Boss Cazorla Going to Morocco: Is it Retirement or Escape?

 

 

update 2

Tauro Beach Project Information Update.

Since the last article on the Tauro Beach Project, the high tides that were expected did not cause any problems for the residents. This is probably due to the building of sandbag defences and the fact the weather has been very calm. But it is getting to the time of year when storms out at sea begin to become commonplace, it is these storms that will be the real test for the local community and any defences put into place.

 

Inside Timeshare has been looking around the internet at the story of this project, it has been reported widely for some time in the English language by Gran Canaria info. Another local paper in English The Canary News have also followed the story over the past year or so. Not to forget all the Spanish newspapers who have brought much information into the public arena.

 

For those who are interested we have provided some links into this story, mainly from Gran Canaria Info. There is also a link to a video made by Anfi, this includes an interview with the Anfi Ambassador David Silva.

david silva
David Silva, Anfi Ambassador laying the first sand.

David is a famous son of the area, hailing from nearby Arguineguin and has become a world renowned football star. His support for his local community is exemplary, having made significant investments in the area which has benefited his local community. In the video he states that he believes the project to be a worthy one, with benefits for the area in tourism and the subsequent jobs this will bring.

 

Although, we do have to agree with him in this respect, the problem is not with the idea, but how it has been implemented, this is not his fault, all he wants is the best for his local community. For this he gets our total respect. The apparent lack of environmental research into the impact of changing the beach from a rock and pebble beach to one of sand, is at its heart. The current investigations into the licences and permissions granted, all being conducted by the Guardia Civil, raises other disturbing questions. This is a problem of big business and politics overriding what is right. (see previous articles)

new tauro beach

This is a story which is going to run for some time, not just because of the investigations, but for the local community when the winter storms do start out at sea.

 

http://www.gran-canaria-info.com/news/tauro-beach-development-march-2016

 

http://www.gran-canaria-info.com/latest-articles/all-change-at-tauro-beach

 

http://www.gran-canaria-info.com/news/new-tauro-beach-to-be-finished-in-2015

 

http://thecanarynews.com/tauro-beach-project-is-moving-at-last/

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iny_Bgj3Dno

 

http://timeshare-talk.info/2016/08/05/challenge-of-legality-tauro-beach/

If you have any questions about any company you are not sure about, contact Inside Timeshare and we will find the answers for you. Inside Timeshare is here to give you the news on what is going on in the world of timeshare, keeping you informed and where to look for yourself.

 

flood

Nightmare for Anfi!

Following on from the previous articles about Anfi, it seems the controversy just keeps coming, Inside Timeshare has just been sent another facebook link to a video about Tauro Beach. Again it has been posted by one of the locals, showing the devastation the people who live there have had to put up with since the project began.

 

In the sound track you can clearly hear the machinery at work as the person taking the video walks along the perimeter fence. It then shows how the sea is flooding the area, the sea itself is not what could be called rough, in fact it looks a normal day, but as can clearly be seen there are no defences. Just meters away are the homes of the local people, with the sea constantly running along the beach flooding the area.

It does beg the question how did this project ever get approval and why is it continuing?

Are the local people and their problems just being ignored in the interest of business?

tauro2.jpg

The Master Plan!

Is the project trying to clear the area of local people to make way for the proposed development of a shopping centre and other tourist facilities? It would not be the first time business has ridden roughshod over locals, it has happened elsewhere, the Westgate project in Orange County USA has courted similar controversy over treatment of local people.

 

Once the investigation by SEPRONA (Guardia Civil Nature Protection Unit) is completed, we may then have the answers we are looking for. I would not be surprised if we see charges brought against people involved in the licensing of the project, at the very least it would appear to be one of negligence.

 

On another note, social media such as facebook is a powerful tool in bringing information to others. Again a post from facebook has been sent in about Anfi, this time it is from a disgruntled member. This is the post:

Anfi review

From this we can clearly see these so-called “Holidays of a lifetime” are not that at all. The question is why were they not allowed to use the pool facilities, we have seen this complaint posted on other forums before, also why had they been moved to Tauro when they bought Anfi Del Mar?

 

Could it be no availability again, due to overselling or just a problem of “Floating Weeks”? This particular client even states for what he is paying in maintenance and the original purchase cost, he could stay in any other 5 star hotel or resort, booking only 2-3 months in advance and not the 12 months that Anfi customer services have told him. I wonder if he would have been allowed to use the pool had he booked elsewhere, somehow I don’t think that would have been an issue.

 

Again Anfi are in the firing line from their own clients, non existent customer service, not getting what they have paid for, unable to use the facilities and a contract the client feels is worthless. This does not sound like value for money or the “Holidays of a lifetime”, rather more like holidays in nightmare street. How do they get away with charging thousands for membership then treating the members this way, is it a case of so what, we’ve got your money, you’re locked into a contract, just pay your maintenance and shut up!

Inside Timeshare would like to thank all the local people who have shared their images and videos from Tauro, it has helped to highlight your plight to a wider audience.

Remember there is a solution, this has been highlighted in previous articles. If you have had similar experiences to this either with Anfi or any other company and wish to know where you stand, contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.

Nayaskaya Rguez Llavata just posted this link to Canarias7 with more pictures of Tauro.

http://www.canarias7.es/multimedia/galeria.cfm?id=18562

Also see Canary News

25 years later, a new beach emerges

 

 

 

financial news

Diamond 2nd Quarter Financial Results Announced.

Last week on the 2 August 2016, Inside Timeshare published an article on Diamond Resorts postponing the announcement of their 2nd quarter results.

 

They were finally published yesterday 8 August 2016, it looks like they haven’t done as well as the 2nd quarter of 2015. Irene Parker emailed some of the report as follows:

 

  • Total revenue for the second quarter increased $14.2 million, or 6.1%, to $245.7 million.
  • Net income for the second quarter decreased $10.1 million, or 28.5%, to $25.5 million.
  • Pre-tax income for the second quarter of 2016 was $43.8 million compared to $62.4 million in the second quarter of 2015 and included non-cash charges of $4.1 million and $4.4 million, respectively, related to stock-based compensation. Excluding these amounts, pre-tax income in the second quarter of 2016 would have been $47.9 million, a decrease of $18.9 million from $66.8 million in second quarter of 2015.

 

This is despite the number of reported “Tours” increasing by 11,791 in the 3 months to the end of June, with the number of sales transactions also increasing by 7.3%. They also announced that the average transaction price also increased by around 3.1%, yet they reported that there was a lower closing average for these three months.

 

This is not an area that I am familiar with, so for more detailed information follow the link to the full report at The Street.

 

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13667717/1/diamond-resorts-international-inc-reports-second-quarter-2016-financial-results.html

 

For those of you who are interested in this side of the industry Inside Timeshare will publish as and when the news comes in.