Over the past few years members of various resorts have become aware votes on decisions which affect their memberships are being manipulated. We have recently seen this with one company based in Tenerife, Resort Properties, where fixed weeks have been changed to floating weeks. Many of those affected have owned fixed weeks for many years, they chose their week numbers for a reason. For many it coincided with school holidays, others chose them so their holidays would be relatively kid free.
Another aspect is the length of time members need in order to book their weeks. This particular company is requiring 25 months notice, but there is no guarantee that members will get the weeks requested. For those who do not use any exchange program it could mean no holiday for 2 years, yet maintenance is still to be paid.
It has also been reported on the TCA website, that another company Macdonalds Villacana has recently manipulated the vote to force a change to floating weeks and points against the wishes of the members.
The surprising aspect of this change to floating and points, especially in Spain, is the fact the Supreme Court Rulings have declared floating weeks and points illegal. (Law 42/1998)
So how do the resorts and owners manipulate the vote?
One method is the vote allocation, each member gets 1 vote regardless of how many weeks are owned. The resorts however use 1 vote for every week they have of unsold stock. Couple this with holding meetings where the majority of members are unable to attend, and it is easy to obtain the majority required.
Another method to obtain extra votes is the manipulation of members. It is well known that some owners committees have very close ties with the resorts coupled with various incentives. In many cases the chairperson and committee members have been voted in year after year. They may also be on the committees of more than one resort. Is this ethical? I believe not. The problem is, many members may not actually have the time to take part in these committees, or may even believe they are a waste of time.
To conclude, you as the member have paid substantial amounts over the years and should not be forced to change, especially if the change then makes your contract illegal. If you are in this situation and want clarification of your rights post a comment and I will get the answers for you.