Welcome to this week’s Letter from America, it is yet another “Nightmare on Timeshare Street” by Irene Parker involving yet another Veteran, this story is on that will make your blood boil! But first for some news from the Spanish Courts and more disasters for the timeshare industry.
Anfi were yet again on the receiving end on the 18 September, They had to deposit into the court the sums of 48,735.82€ and 16,222.68€ in respect of sentences issued in the favour of clients. In two days that brings the sum Anfi have had to payout to a massive 184,650.14€.
On the same day, the Courts of First Instance in Masàlomas issued another sentence against Anfi, at the same time in Tenerife, Silverpoint had two sentences issued against them. In all the total awarded is a massive 215,000€. All contracts were declared null and void and all clients received back double the deposit paid which was in breach of the law forbidding the taking of payments within the cooling off period. One of the sentences against Silverpoint was issued by the High Court in Tenerife.
In another case which was held last week, the Judge at the Court of First Instance number 5 in Arona, decided that the case would not be sent for a full trial, he decided that as the case was in flagrant breach of the timeshare laws, he would issued the sentence in due course. On 19 September that sentence was issued, the contract with Silverpoint was declared null and void, with the client being awarded more than 23,000€.
Good news also came from the Courts of First Instance in Maspalomas, The judge presiding over Court Number 3 had several pre-trials this month, he then decided that these cases need not go to a full trial and he would issue sentences in due course. That now make Courts numbers 1, 3 and 4 no longer sending cases for a full trial, this is obviously good news for the clients bringing the cases as it now speeds up the judicial process.
All these cases were brought on behalf of clients from none other than those determined lawyers at Canarian Legal Alliance, so congratulations the lawyers and their clients.
One of our readers contacted Inside Timeshare to inform us that an ex sales Rep from Silverpoint had cold called them regarding getting them out of their Silverpoint contract with a view to gaining compensation. How did our reader know he was an ex-sales rep, simple, he was one of those that sold them the Silverpoint in the first place! The Caller stated he was from Harlow Consultants SL, so another new company has appeared.
Now for our Letter from America.
A Fourth Vietnam Veteran, Agent Orange Disabled, Fights a Timeshare Battle
By Irene Parker
First Draft September 16, 2018 for Friday September 21
Inside Timeshare has heard from 587 U.S. timeshare members, all but a handful alleging unfair and deceptive trade practices. Of the 587, 78 are veterans, active duty military and law enforcement. Many of the vets are disabled. Four, like Mr. Gomez, are disabled from Agent Orange. The volume of timeshare complaints submitted by readers has established the following facts and opinions:
- Fact – Many of the 584 families are financially devastated by their decision to buy a timeshare. I have listened to many tears.
- Fact – All but a few complaints have been dismissed with, “You signed a contract” or “Verbal representations are hard to prove.”
- Fact – All the complaints sent to the Nevada Real Estate Division and the Florida Timeshare Division, DBPR, have been met with the above defenses. Other states have taken complaints seriously, based on the volume of complaints and the similar nature of the complaints.
- Fact – There are several repeat offending sales agents, with three to six identical or similar complaints.
- Fact – Not one of the 584 families knew their timeshare had virtually no secondary market.
- Fact – A significant number have been ripped off by a timeshare exit company.
- Opinion – Lawyers with no timeshare experience have no business taking a timeshare case.
- Fact – The dollar amounts of many complaints lost to timeshare exit scams pales in comparison to the dollar amounts lost believing timeshare sales agents, according to member reports.
One resort has accused me of creating complaints. In other words, if the member had not talked to me, they would not have had a complaint. In the case of Mr. and Mrs. Gomez, this is true. I’ll explain. We will not name the timeshare company, hoping they will help the family, but the Gomez family said they would like their story told. Mr. Gomez is 71, Mrs. Gomez 63. They are Arizona residents.
Like George Yamada, from last week’s article, Mr. Gomez is a Vietnam Veteran, disabled from the effects of Agent Orange.
Mr. Gomez is 100% disabled. Mr. Gomez earned two Purple Hearts. He has been informed his pancreatic cancer is terminal.
Mr. Gomez called a week ago and said he was struggling with a $28,000 timeshare mortgage. After listening to his comments, I concluded there had been no deception. A timeshare mortgage is just like a home mortgage in that you can’t go to your home mortgage lender and say, “I can’t afford this.” Mr. Gomez said he had switched some old points into a newer category of points. At the end of our conversation Mr. Gomez mentioned his Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I advised him to request a release based on medical hardship.
That night I woke up with one of those lightning bolt 2 A.M. moments. I called Mr. Gomez first thing the next morning and asked WHY had he switched from the old points to the new? He said it was because his resort had gone bankrupt.
I know for a fact that it is not mandatory to switch from his old points to the new. Mr. Gomez went on to tell me the sales agent in Las Vegas knew he had pancreatic cancer because he had explained to the agent why the four hour presentation was so tiring. He was suffering the aftereffects of his treatment. “They said our maintenance fees were $2,200 for 2018 and would go up to $3,000 January 1, 2019 if I did not convert, but if I upgraded to the next loyalty level I could turn in 10,000 points to pay $2,000 of the $2,500 maintenance fee,” he added. This is nonsense of course. Mr. Gomez’s maintenance fees will go up more than $2,500 because of the additional points he purchased. Maintenance fee invoices have not been sent, but I seriously doubt the increase in his prior points will increase this dramatically. I own the same points.
So yes, you could say I created this complaint. Without my informing Mr. Gomez it was not necessary to switch from one set of points to the new, he would not have been aware of the deception. Only at the highest loyalty level can maintenance fees be paid with points (at pennies on the dollar).
Whether this complaint is resolved or not resolved, it doesn’t change the turmoil this timeshare has caused the Gomez family by believing they had to transfer from one program to another. Mr. Gomez has been accepted for Hospice.
Mrs. Gomez called me. I had already surmised Mr. Gomez is an easy going person. His reaction seemed more disappointment than anger when I told him he could have kept his prior timeshare with the $6,000 loan balance, as opposed to the $33,000 purchase with $28,000 financed and $4,500 charged to a credit card. Mrs. Gomez reaffirmed my suspicion of Mr. Gomez’s easygoing nature saying,
“Leo is a very easygoing person. But I’m a teacher!” A common complaint we hear, “I don’t like being made a fool of.”
We encourage member accounts of their timeshare experiences, good or bad. We hope consumers and the industry will listen to the voices of those who wish to be heard.
So there we have it, another “Nightmare on Timeshare Street”, this is probably one of the worst that we have yet come across, it makes you wonder if these sales agents and company directors have any moral bone in their bodies.
Inside Timeshare received the following email from Wayne C Robinson, Author of Everything About Timeshares, Before, During and After the Sale. We asked him if we could publish and he was more than happy for us to do so, please share this on you facebook pages and other social media.
Timeshare Author Challenges Diamond Resorts CEO Flaskey to “Do The Right Thing.”
But, whatever his reason, I would like to share a few words with him, now that I have his executive attention.
My purpose in writing the book is not to attack companies such as Diamond to gain something in my own corner. I am merely pointing out areas that I feel require your attention to improve on customer relations.
These areas have certainly been highlighted with the multi billion dollar lawsuits against Diamond Resorts, and the level of customer dissatisfaction from the people who befriended and trusted your OPCs, sales reps, and VLOs. Remember, your members are the people who provided you the privilege of representing a company that has so much potential.
Rather than spend millions of dollars hiring fancy lawyers to help improve on customer service, you hire them in an attempt to destroy a woman in her 70s who is spending the remainder of her life helping families get their lives back on track for the damage your company has allegedly caused.
Were you aware of 83 year old retired Marine Raymond Mori, a two time Purple Heart recipient who has been battling with Diamond Resorts with a serious heart condition?
Were you aware of Roy and Angele Simmons, a U.S. Navy veteran whose mortgage to your company is $2,700 monthly with Maintenance fees of $4,780, and their social security check goes to pay Diamond? Just in case you didn’t see it, here is their story. https://youtu.be/j_nca6lMA4U
I am asking you to “man up,” and be the leader that your company and the general public can respect and appreciate by “doing the right thing.”
Spend your money and time trying to improve your customer relations and presenting your company as something Americans can be proud of, or find somebody else who can do the job.
As far as viewing my profile, I appreciate your interest in me and my book project. I also viewed yours. Congratulations on getting the position. Now that the world is watching, what are you going to do with it?
Well that’s it for this week, remember if you have any questions or comments about any article, company or just need some sound advice, then use our contact page and we will get back to you.
Have a great weekend.