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Crimeshare

The Tuesday Slot with Irene

In this weeks Tuesday Slot, Irene Parker takes a look at an old friend of Inside Timeshare, the National Timeshare Owners Association, which is now known as the Association of Vacation Owners. The CEO is still our old friend Greg Crist, who was also interviewed by Irene.

Before we go on with Irene’s article we once again highlight the many calls our readers are receiving regarding “claiming compensation” for their timeshares. As usual these calls require a meeting at an office to go over the claim. These are usually enticed by the words “No win No fee”.

But once there, the owners are then told the only way to claim is only once the contract has been cancelled. This is where they are then told that to do this it will cost thousands of pounds!

In many cases we have seen the “client” is then told to just stop paying the maintenance fees, then as we have seen with RSB Legal clients 18 months down the line they find that they are not out of their timeshare and now have arrears in maintenance fees.

AS we highlighted yesterday, just from the number of enquiries Inside Timeshare has received, the amount lost buy these clients is well over the £100,000 mark. So we can only guess the amounts for around 2 years of trading with hundreds of clients, the figure must be mounting now into several million pounds!

Just recently it has been announce that a Norwegian TV company is about to start filming a new TV series called Crimeshare. It will be centered around the late Norwegian businessman Bjorn Lyng and his Anfi dream in Gran Canaria. The series will also highlight many others in this murky world including the late John “Goldfinger” Palmer and his Tenerife empire. It is proposed to be aired early next year, we certainly look forward to seeing that. Follow the links below for further information, open with google and use translate.

http://www.canariajournalen.no/Nyheter/Historien-om-Anfi-del-Mar-og-Bjoern-Lyng-blir-krimserie-Crimeshare

http://www.abc.es/espana/canarias/abci-lanzan-serie-nordica-sobre-mafia-turismo-canarias-201805011258_noticia.html

Canarian Legal Alliance has also hit the press, Guiade Prensa or Press Guide has published a short article titled “Leaders in Europe in lawsuits of ‘timeshare’”

This can leave no doubt that despite the attempts of others to discredit this law firm, they are legitimate and are doing what they say. Inside Timeshare has published many articles showing their cases, from the lower courts right through to the Supreme Court, even showing the court documents which are easily verified.

http://www.guiadeprensa.com/app/webroot/razon/tribuna_derecho2018/cla.html

At the end of April it was announced that Marriott Vacations have bought out ILG Inc, for a whopping $4.7 billion. What this will mean for ILG members has yet to be seen, but no doubt our readers from across the Great Lake will keep us informed.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ilg-m-a-marriott-vaca/marriott-vacations-buys-ilg-in-47-billion-timeshare-merger-idUSKBN1I10ZX

https://wtop.com/business-finance/2018/04/marriott-timeshare-business-plans-4-7-timeshare-acquisition/

Now we move on with this weeks article from Irene.

Association of Vacation Owners

Mission Statement

We vow to relentlessly advocate for improvements – from protection and preservation to expansion and enrichment – to the vacation ownership experience. Our commitment to these efforts will continuously strengthen and support the relationships between the vacation-owner community and the industry at large, ensuring the viability of vacation ownership for generations to come.

By Irene Parker

May 11, 2018

Inside Timeshare considered the National Timeshare Owners Association a friend and an ally working toward a better relationship between the timeshare developer and the member. At Inside Timeshare it seems we are frequently at odds, except in steering members away from the nets of timeshare listing, transfer and resale predators. No one should pay upfront money to get out of a timeshare, or list a timeshare, without carefully vetting the person offering to help. Contact Inside Timeshare or AVO before paying anyone to get you out of your timeshare.    

National Timeshare Owners Association is now assimilated into the Association of Vacation Owners AVO.

Excerpts from Perspective Magazine, explaining the metamorphosis:  

National Timeshare Owners Association has a new name: The Association of Vacation Owners (AVO). “We are very pleased to expand our alliances to include credible organizations that share our vision to improve education, engagement and support for timeshare and vacation owners” said Gregory Crist, CEO.

The membership based organization is now seeking industry partners who will commit to the AVO Service Pledge and will vow to relentlessly advocate for improvements in communication, protection, and preservation of vacation ownership.

“AVO is also attracting thousands of vacation owners by continuing its twenty-year history of dedication and focus on providing owners with the tools and information they need to strengthen their ownership experience”, continued Crist.

In March 2018, we transitioned from NTOA to the Association of Vacation Owners (AVO). In that transition we find a stronger mission and one that comes with greater collaboration and partnerships in the VO community including working closer with TAG, ,Timeshare Advocacy Group™. TAG is independent and focused on some very disturbing issues. This is important work and we thank all of you for volunteering such time and energy to TAG and to the community.

AVO is a social purpose organization dedicated to educating vacation owners and advocating on behalf of its owner/members. AVO participates in major industry conferences, is involved in the leadership of the Canadian Vacation Ownership Association (CVOA) and is a consumer member of various industry trade associations including: ARDA, AMDETUR, ASUDESTICO, and C.A.R.E. To learn more, visit our website at AVOworldwide.com or email: [email protected] | Toll Free: (833) 2ASK-AVO

http://perspectivemagazine.com/0703201810424/ntoa-to-become-the-association-of-vacation-owners-avo

I asked Greg what specific areas should TAG and AVO focus on to make the timeshare world a better place?   

“AVO is committed to finding solutions to tough industry challenges like the secondary market. The secondary market, or lack of, is the Elephant in the timeshare room. It is at the top of the list when addressing member concerns so heads our list of top five priorities.”

  1. Resale
  2. Rental and Exchange
  3. Trade and Transfer
  4. Divestment
  5. Redevelopment

Inside Timeshare will be devoting upcoming articles to each of these topics separately, topics meaningful to both owners/members and the developer, albeit from different perspectives. Change is good and members are mobilizing to affect reform. Like any social cause, it doesn’t come easy and it requires meaningful discussion from both sides of the vacation fence. We should all want the same outcome – a Great Vacation!

Members are helping members. If you need free help about a timeshare concern, contact a member of one of these self-help sites Inside Timeshare is convinced is not industry influenced. One member’s recent comment, “I can’t believe I can actually talk to someone!?”

https://www.facebook.com/timeshareadvocategroup/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/DiamondResortsOwnersAdvocacy/

https://tug2.com/Home.aspx

https://www.facebook.com/groups/180578055325962/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/465692163568779/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1639958046252175/

Thank you Irene and also Greg, Inside Timeshare wishes you all the best in your work to improve the lot of timeshare owners, we also look forward to reporting on your successes.

Don’t forget if you are contacted by any company regarding resale or claims and you are not sure who or what they are, contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.

Inside Timeshare also thanks those readers who send in the information to share with others, by working together and sharing information it will help others to keep their hard earned cash in their own pockets and not in the pockets of the rogues.

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.