heavy handed

Los Claveles: Is This a Return to the Bad Days of Timeshare in Tenerife?

Inside Timeshare has received this very disturbing email from two owners of Los Claveles in Tenerife:

From: XXXXXXXXX  XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Subject: Pensioners physically abused at Los Claveles Tenerife

Message Body:

Please see the press release http://tesslimited.co.uk/2017/05/12/war-break-out-at-club-los-claveles/

What was feared in this release has come true and much worse.

Armed thugs have physically and verbally abused at least two people trying to peacefully and lawfully obtain access to their timeshare apartments last Friday. More are arriving today and getting similar treatment.

This e-mail was sent from a contact form on Inside Timeshare (http://insidetimeshare.com)

Los Claveles, is a resort which was originally built by Wimpey Leisure some 30 years ago, most of the owners have been there since that time and are now either pensioners or soon to be so. When it was first sold, the timeshare was split as follows:

The first 15% were sold as Escritura with the remaining 85% as standard timeshare club system, all are fixed week owners with an allocated week and apartment number. This means they have certain rights, which in effect makes them the owners of the resort with the right to employ or dismiss the management company. The right to vote for any increase in maintenance and the right to say how that would be used.

In 2000, with the new timeshare laws coming into effect, the club which is run by the owners committee had the deed of adaptation signed  to comply with the new laws.

June 1998, saw the management buyout from Wimpey Home Holdings, led by Ivan Pengelly. Over the years it grew from strength to strength and was one of the very few which had no issues or complaints, with all owners and members having nothing but good to say about them. Indeed it is one of the few whose membership base has stayed constant.

It would appear that it is what timeshare was all about, having a share in a holiday home with great facilities and a wonderful resort staff. Many of which have been at the resort for many years, creating a very family atmosphere.

Unfortunately that has all change since January 2015, when Wimpen sold the management right to the Ona Group, a Barcelona based timeshare marketing company. This resulted in confrontation with the long standing owners, many being owners for the past 30 years, due to the heavy handedness of Ona Group. They totally ignored the wishes of owners.

The owners through the committee served notice on the ONA Group, as is their right, to terminate the management contract in July 2015. This was taken to arbitration. Ona Group failed to accept it.

The contract to manage the resort on behalf of the owners came to a natural end in May 2017, Ona Group refuses to hand back the clubs assets. It is also known that FNTC (First National Trust Company) were removed by the owners with Hutchinson & Trust Co Ltd, employed in their place. FNTC according to the Chairman of the committee have failed to transfer all title deeds to the new company.

The committee are also being denied access to the members database, so are unable to contact a large number of members to inform them what is going on.

Now we have a very disturbing escalation to the conflict, as shown in the opening paragraph, owners are being removed from apartments and the resort which they have a right to occupy. This is being done in a very heavy handed manner, with Ona’s own security company who are wielding batons forcibly removing owners and denying them access. Many of these are elderly.

The President of the committee has been verbally abused and has also been told she will be sexually assaulted. This has been reported to the police, yet they have done nothing. Apparently Ona Group have made accusations to the police about the Chairman and the President.

Following is a personal message from the President Carol Parkinson, who calls for continued support of the owners and explains who maintenance fees should be paid to:

A Personal Message from Carol Parkinson

I implore all owners to believe in, and support, the committee at this critical point in our fight to ensure the resort stays ours.  On a personal level I cannot bear the thought that all we have fought for, day in day out for two and a half years, could be lost because we lacked the courage to withstand the intimidation from Onagrup and hang on in there for a little longer whilst the strong committee and team of lawyers work in the background to bring this matter to a successful conclusion.

Despite having had four pretty upsetting days dealing with horrendous individuals, who frankly can only be described as the lowest of the low, I am still here in Tenerife and feeling strong (after a good sleep!) and positive.  Please do not let me, the team or the resort down and ‘hang in there’.  After four hours of questioning by a senior police officer on Monday on ‘trumped up’ charges of extortion and fraud the police are now listening and making investigations.  Our legal team here are working hard and we are gaining ground.  But we cannot do it if you do not assist with your financial support.  Please be brave and pay your maintenance to the Club as this is the only legal and rational way forward.  For those of you going to the resort in the next couple of weeks we will ring each of you to speak to you confidentially.  It has to be this way because unfortunately we have those amongst us who continually try to derail our plans by reporting back to WimPen and Onagrup.  If you pay your fees in advance to Onagrup you will have lost your money when that company is removed.  Pay to the Club that is being led by your elected committee members and supporters who are all owners you can trust as they love Los Claveles as much as you and have no interest other than justice.

There are owners who have continued to support WimPen, and who may have betrayed fellow owners with reports back to Mr Pengelly, and are responsible for the spreading of misinformation.   They have refused to see that a hostile takeover of this nature could ever happen – the evidence is now before you and surely even they cannot condone the aggressive and intimidating behaviour owners have experienced this week!

This has happened on other resorts where Onagrup took over and, as our lawyers have told us, the committees concerned with those resorts quickly rolled over giving Onagrup control.  We told you that we believed that Mr Pengelly had ‘sold’ your resort to Onagrup – a resort he did not own.  I have been told repeatedly in the last few days ‘We own this resort – you will do as we say’, ‘You are nothing’,  ‘You are no-one’,  ‘We will set the rules’, ‘You abide by our rules now’.

Onagrup is not solely responsible for what is happening at the resort.  All the appalling actions, verbal abuse assaults etc, over the past few days took place in full view of a senior member of Mr Pengelly’s management team. He stood and smirked as he saw Mr Weller and I assaulted. When asked how he could sleep at night when he saw this happening to owners who had provided him with a good living for years he replied that he had no trouble sleeping because we were in ‘his’ country and we were criminals.  

Even worse Mr Pengelly and other WimPen staff held the meeting that decided to remove Salvador from his livelihood and his home – leaving him homeless.  They also made the decision to remove Sue and Annie from reception. On Saturday Jarra (another member of reception) was sacked at a minute’s notice for ‘apparently’ handing out a key to an owner. They have sacked our maintenance team. There is only one left ‘because we are overstaffed’ and in their words ‘These are our rules now!’  All our loyal staff, who have served us well and with such good grace now are without an income and unable to support their families.

All of the above actions that I have described are shameful and appalling. It is not just our holidays that are being affected, but the people who have helped to make those holidays so enjoyable. Your Los Claveles may look the same, for the moment, but is not the place it was.  It can be again if we can regain control but we need the support of owners like yourselves.

More thoughts to contemplate:

If Onagrup was only taking what belonged to it why didn’t it do it via the law? The reason is it has no legal case!

Why did Onagrup remove all of our lovely staff?  Because they are trying to break us and to take the heart out of our lovely resort!  

Mr Pengelly tried to assure us that he was only doing what was best for our owners and there was nothing to worry about because nothing would change. We did not believe him and how right we were!  

Please owners think longer term and have faith in a committee that has got further than any other committee opposing Onagrup.  The resort is ours – stay with us, pay your maintenance to the Club ahead and do not pay Onagrup or you will lose your money.

This is a very heartfelt plea, Carol is in Tenerife to give help and support to those who are arriving and being refused their right to their apartments. She is ensuring that they do have other resorts to go to.

Following are two statements from owners showing their experiences, it is disturbing reading, their names have been removed in order to protect them..

Statement from Club Member G H, 14th May 2017

This is going to be hard to put into words and I cannot over stress what a disgusting and lying set of people we now have trying to take over our resort .
This is the first week after close down and because the committee expected some kind of confrontation Carol went out to help all owners in any way she could. Over the last few days she has worked tirelessly making sure owners that have been turned away have had some accommodation at other resorts, even going in the taxi with them.
Back at the resort she has been treated with contempt by the new manager who said that Carol was ‘nothing’ and he would be there for the next 25 years telling her to go away (using the F word). She has been continually hounded by the security and sworn at with extremely vile language on many occasions, also outside the resort jabbed in the side by a man in a suit, saying she was low life and pointing to her mouth, threatening to put his manhood somewhere that it should not go this was followed by some other vile threats.
Having reported this to the Police, Carol, at the police station was confronted by a senior policeman asking why she should be believed when she had been reported for crimes in his country. It transpires that the resort management, ONA had sent a many paged document to the police reporting that Carol along with Albert had been stealing money from the resort. (This must be the maintenance which goes into OUR bank account ‘Club Los Claveles Ltd’). Carol is back with the police and lawyers tomorrow (Monday). There is far more but this will do for now.
I must say that Carol is out there, on her own, trying to do a fantastic job for the rest of us owners and I have never heard her on the phone sound so frightened and intimidated by the bullies, tired by the continuous battle and near breaking point maybe by not eating and having a break. This is one lady that really deserves our support in the same way as she is supporting us. There is no financial gain or bathing in glory, just the love of our resort and keeping it under our control for the years to come.

Statement from Club Member R O  

Friday 19th May 2017

I left Los Claveles last night, after a very disturbing week, so I feel I need to be brutally honest with everyone.

Yes I paid my fees for week 20 to Ona because it was before the option to pay the Club was set up.

Yes. I was a ‘fence sitter’.  I didn’t want to get involved with the politics of it all.  I just wanted my holiday.

No I had never been to an AGM or even an owners’ meeting.  (For your information I own 7 weeks spread through the year).

THAT IS ALL GOING TO CHANGE AFTER THE BLATENT INTIMIDATION AND DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR I WITNESSED FROM ONAGRUP ON THE RESORT LAST WEEK.

I could write pages, and will do so if it will help.  And yes it was me that stood and asked the leading questions at this week’s owners’ meeting.

The outcome of all of this is that I have just paid my maintenance fees for weeks 29 and 30 to the Club.

If I am refused admission to the resort then so be it, I will be camping outside.

This Ona Bulldozer has to be stopped before it is too late. I have pledged my support to Carol in person.

And any committee members reading this, I will do anything I can to help you out.

R O

Here we publish two press releases from the Club Committee at Los Claveles:

los claveles logoCLUB LOS CLAVELES

PRESS RELEASE 10 MAY 2017

For Publication

Elderly British holiday makers threatened with being refused access to their own timeshare apartments in Tenerife

Long term, loyal timeshare owners, many of whom are now elderly pensioners, who are due to arrive on Friday for the start of their annual holiday at Club Los Claveles in the Tenerife resort of Los Cristianos, are being threatened with being refused access to their holiday apartments by Spanish company Onagrup despite having paid for their accommodation. The company took over the management contract for Los Claveles  without any consultation with the owners or their representatives when it bought over WimPen Leisure Management SA in January 2015. It quickly came into conflict with owners due to its heavy-handed, controlling approach, ignoring the wishes of the owners, most of whom have been members of Club Los Claveles for nearly 30 years.  The owners served notice on Onagrup to terminate the management contract in July 2015, subsequently taking the case to arbitration when Onagrup failed to accept this. Controversially, Onagrup has defied interim orders from arbitration and refuses to accept that it no longer has a management role for Club Los Claveles. It continues to use bullying tactics against the owners, and their Club committee members, who have been paying their own legal expenses over the past 2 years to fight to regain control over what is legally theirs.

Onagrup refuses to acknowledge that WimPen’s contract to manage Club Los Claveles came to a natural end at the beginning of May 2017 no matter what the outcome of arbitration , and refuses to hand back the Club’s assets. Unless there is an eleventh hour change of course by Onagrup, the police will be called by the Club President to protect owners from this obstructive intimidation and criminal activity on Friday morning when the first owners arrive to take occupancy of their apartments.

Background Information

The Los Claveles timeshare resort was one of several constructed in the Canary Islands and managed by well-known British company Wimpey Leisure. After a management buy-out in the nineties, the running of these resorts was taken over by WimPen Leisure Management, with former Wimpey Director Ivan Pengelly at the helm.

All seemed to be well for the next 25 years until WimPen was sold to Barcelona-based timeshare marketing company Onagrup in January 2015, and then the trouble began. A major dispute over Onagrup’s handling of the changeover resulted in the owners taking their case for the early termination of WimPen’s contract to arbitration in March 2016. In the meantime, WimPen’s contract expired at the beginning of May 2017, but it has continued to control what goes on at the resort. Snr German Castro, Onagrup’s General Manager has been writing to British owners who are due to arrive on Friday for the start of their annual holiday at Los Claveles to tell them that they will be refused access to their villas unless they pay their maintenance fee to WimPen. Elderly owners are alarmed at the prospect of a private security firm reportedly being hired to escort them from the resort without anywhere to stay despite them having paid their maintenance fees to their new, legally appointed Club Administrator. WimPen is also legally obliged to pay maintenance to Club Los Claveles under its new Administrator but it has refused. So, a major confrontation is set to take place on Friday morning when the Club’s President and long term owner at Los Claveles, Mrs Carol Parkinson, will be defending the owners’ right of access to their timeshare property, supported by the Administrator’s legal representative.

This Press Release has been issued by the Club Los Claveles Owners Committee. For further information please contact:

In the UK: Club Committee Member Roger Lindsay  rogerlindsay123@btinternet.com                                     tel +44 1874 731124 / +44 7399 280302

In Tenerife: Club President Carol Parkinson  carol.parkinson@ntlworld.com                                                                   tel +44 7931 778886

los claveles logoCLUB LOS CLAVELES

PRESS RELEASE 12 MAY 2017

For Publication

Shock Dismissal of Much Admired and Popular Manager and Reception Staff from Los Claveles Timeshare Resort, Tenerife

In an alarming escalation of events at the Los Claveles timeshare resort in Tenerife, long standing Resort Manger Salvador Garcia , and his reception staff Sue and Ann, have been summarily dismissed  from their positions by Onagrup. This follows earlier threats by Onagrup to refuse access to timeshare owners who are due to arrive today for the start of their annual holiday at Club Los Claveles, despite having paid for their accommodation.  The group claims that it no longer has confidence in these long term members of staff, in stark contrast to owners who for years have consistently rated them very highly indeed.  It is reported that Onagrup has replaced them with its own staff, and sent in their own lawyers and a private security firm to manage the resort,  in defiance of Club Los Claveles’ appointment of a new Administrator following the expiry of Onagrup’s management contract at the beginning of this month.

The President of the Club and its legal team are in attendance to make representation to Onagrup and protect owners’ right of access to their property.  

This Press Release has been issued by the Club Los Claveles Owners Committee. For further information please contact:

In the UK: Club Committee Member Roger Lindsay  rogerlindsay123@btinternet.com                                     tel +44 1874 731124 / +44 7399 280302

In Tenerife: Club President Carol Parkinson  carol.parkinson@ntlworld.com                                                                   tel +44 7931 778886

Los Claveles Community of Owners, Asomada de Los Ceres, 38650

Los Cristianos, Tenerife.

 

This is one of the most disgusting stories that we have ever heard in the world of timeshare, it really does look like a return to the bad old days when timeshare in Tenerife was ruled by the likes of John “Goldfinger” Palmer. Everyone thought that those days were over, it would seem not.

Ona Group, who are still using Pengelly to sign everything are no better than those in the past. Not just manhandling owners off the resort but also sacking long serving and loyal staff such as the manager and the reception staff. The manager who also had a home on the resort as part of his job was only given 2 hours to clear out!

Owners are also being told not to even bother trying to contact the Club Chairman Albert Fletcher, as he is in jail for embezzling funds. Inside Timeshare spoke with him today and this UK Magistrate is free and ready to fight this injustice.

Inside Timeshare will publish any information it receives on this subject, including testimonies from those who have suffered the ordeal of this heavy handed  removal or denial of access.

This is a cause which all timeshare owners need to get behind, if any of you know how to start a crowd funding campaign to help fund the legal battle ahead, please contact Inside Timeshare or one of the committee members.

Your support is paramount in this before it escalates and involves other clubs, or even other management companies see it as a license to do what they like.
support


2 Comments

  • Edward

    May 22, 2017

    You mention John Palmer, the following are extracts from a 1993 story about him in the Independent newspaper which so accurately mirrors Onagrup’s actions http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/victims-of-a-sunshine-fraudster-britons-are-being-bullied-and-deceived-by-a-timeshare-firm-in-1475696.html :-

    “…a spokeswoman for the firm, said the problems were caused by a small minority of owners. ‘It is a few who want things done differently and their tactics stink.”
    ‘John Palmer has no legal rights to manage the village. But he does so de facto. He is physically there and refuses to leave,’
    “….revealed a further layer to the operation. Although all were related to ‘management’ or other fees, demanded from new arrivals before they were allowed their keys.”
    “Armed and uniformed security guards, as well as several armed and burly associates of Mr Palmer, ensure that warnings to owners are taken seriously”
    “The couple, who returned to England last week after their annual four-week ownership, did not want their names published for fear of reprisals from the armed men who guard the Village complex on behalf of Mr Palmer’s Island Village Management company. ‘The heavies watch your every move’,”

    Given the fact that Onagrup’s actions so far have mirrored those of crook John Palmer; that they pressured the Spanish lawyer from representing the Committee; that they consistently bombard us with so-called facts that are so easily disproven and they constantly allege the Committee are lying, without even substantiating their claims, it is difficult to see how and why anyone trusts them. They are certainly a company of very low integrity.

    Reply
    • Timeshare Insider

      May 22, 2017

      Thank you for the links, I knew there were similarities which is why Palmer was mentioned. Your links will help others.

      Reply

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