In the letter they have been sending to clients they state that evidence has been provided by TESS Ltd, Financial Institutions and Hotels, they are also following up on reports that have been made to the Action Fraud website.
We know this is going to be a long drawn out investigation as it will be covering many clients and many years, so we do not expect a conclusion soon.
But another strange fact has just emerged, this revolves around the TESS website, Inside Timeshare was checking the site for some information and tried to find the postings related to all the Mark Rowe companies. Nothing came up, yet they had many postings about their involvement in providing information to the authorities and the fact they were encouraging clients to contact them to be included.
There were also many posts condemning the practices of these companies, which have been going online for months.
So why have these posts suddenly been removed?
Inside Timeshare has also been asked this question by some of our regular readers, one stated they are “totally “Gobsmacked” as they were particularly vicious in their attacks on Mark Rowe and his companies and Involved the police”.
Even all the posts regarding the Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA) have also disappeared, yet not too long ago there were some rather bitter remarks posted on the TESS website about them.
It is also interesting that the TCA website also has no mention of TESS, again we wonder why?
Now we do know that at one time TESS was working with Mark Rowe, taking on his clients to relinquish their contracts, then they had that severe falling out, which resulted in the war of words and TESS announcing they were filing complaints on behalf of clients.
So again what is the reason that now no one can find anything on either website?
Unfortunately we can only speculate, is this investigation going deeper than we first thought?
We leave it to you the reader to decide what you think the answer to this little conundrum is.
When we do get some answers they will be published on these pages.
If you have had any dealings with the companies under investigation and would like to know where you stand, then contact the Regional Organised Crime Unit at the following:
South West Police ROCU. DC 4624 Katie Andrews. PO Box 37, Valley Rd, Portishead,Bristol. BS20 8QJ
We are sure they will want to hear from you.
Inside Timeshare would also like to hear from you if you have had any dealings with any company which you have paid and have not delivered on their promises or even just disappeared. Use the contact page on the website and we will get back to you.
Welcome to the first Tuesday Slot with Irene of December, this week Irene gives an update on an article from October, but first some important news from Europe.
Last week Inside Timeshare had some unconfirmed news on a raid in Tenerife, which we did not publish, this was against the offices of Mark Rowe’s enterprise there. This week news came out of raids at his businesses in the UK By Trading Standards, so this could just verify the Tenerife news.
This raid follows an investigation by the “Scambuster Team” of Trading Standards, offices of around 22 Mark Rowe companies were searched, employees questioned and documents removed for further investigation and as evidence if any criminal charges are brought.
It looks like we will have to wait until the new year before we know the outcome, this follows the news last month of another enterprise EZE Group, where the directors and owners Dominic O’Reilly and his daughter Stephanie O’Reilly pleaded guilty at Birmingham Magistrates of “Aggressive” sales tactics and “Coercion” with their product “EZE Credits”. They are to appear at Crown Court on 15 December, whether they will be sentenced then or just remanded on bail until the New Year remains to be seen.
In October Inside Timeshare featured the launch of TARSTIMESHARE ADVISORY AND RESOLUTION SERVICES LLC new “limited term deeded” program. “Consumers enjoy all the “pros” of traditional timeshare and none of the “cons”, plus even more benefits,” announced TARS President and General Counsel, Martin M. Kandel.
The limited deed/limited fun program is geared toward fixed week resorts, but the same strategy could be implemented by major timeshare point sellers, solving the problem a timeshare owner faces when life changes and now they own a vacation product they don’t want, they can’t afford, and can’t sell. TARS could eventually neutralize resale and listing scams. Scam revenue would turn into new buyer revenue which would be a win-win for everyone except the scammers.
Inside Timeshare has received timeshare complaints from 223 readers (176 when the October 26 article was published). Members sometimes describe catastrophic financial distress when denied a release.
I asked Dennis F. DiTinno, CEO and President of the Liberté Management Group of Companies and Chairman of TARS to provide an example of how the limited deed works. “The TARs program offers the member an option to purchase a limited term deed for five or ten years. The term will be the decision of the Associations, but we would not recommend any term less than three years. We feel the five year plan best suits the Association and the owners. The design is to utilize the units’ maintenance fee costs with an increase annually to make the tax repercussions better for the Association – a major savings, but each unit in each resort would be different,” Dennis explained.
The example Dennis provided was for a Voyager unit with an annual Maintenance fee of $510. A five year limited deed could be purchased for $6,000. The now former perpetual deed owner becomes a limited deed owner. At the end of five years the term is up and the unit reverts back to the HOA.
At this point skeptics raise their eyebrows. Wait! A $510 annual maintenance fee turns into $1,200 a year or $171 a night for a seven night stay? The Liberté website offers a one bedroom gulf view for $1,053 a week. So the limited deed would cost the member $735 ($1,200 – $1,053 = $147 x 5 years).
One timeshare insider suspects it’s a crafty upfront scam. I know Dennis and Martin Kandel so I have no concerns there. Another insider I contacted voiced a concern about what would happen if TARS went out of business. Liberté has been in business 35 years managing seven fixed week resorts and brokers resales and rentals as well. Liberté is a member of the Licensed Timeshare Resale Broker Association.
Dennis received a great congratulation from one timeshare advocacy organization, told this can be a huge positive change for the industry. Dennis also spoke with Robert Follisat the Florida Attorney General’s office who also saw the program as a solution to many problems.
When I called Voyager, I spoke with M J Hassall, also with Liberté, who expressed great enthusiasm. “Every owner is unique so we provide a one on one presentation. One obstacle is convincing owners this is not just another ruse to get them to buy more weeks. This really is important information they need to know about. We have presented the plan to about 15 members with about 50 percent in favor of the program,” explained M J.
“In conjunction with select strategic partners, TARS will provide an a la carte menu of products and enhanced services designed exclusively for the legacy market segment. One of the partners is Let’s Go N Travel,”M J added.
This led me to Let’s Go N Travel which will be the subject of January’s monthly TARS update. I spoke with Chip Langdon at Let’s Go N Travel. Chip described Let’s Go as a Vacation Club boasting 450,000 members. More on how this fits in with TARS later.
TARS provides a new way to address old problems (www.tarserv.com) in an effort to provide legacy resorts with a means to maintain their resorts for a decade or more in order to plan for robust continuation or an orderly repurposing of the resort and its timeshare program. This would seem a concept owners need to wrap their heads around, as they may not have yet thought about an exit or even if they need one.
Thank you to all at TARS for their help as we learn more about this evolving program. As a former deeded fixed week owner, I can see spending the extra money on something I enjoyed for 30 years, paying an extra $735 spread out over five years to be done with it without the hassle of dodging scams or waiting for an over supplied product to sell. As with any product, if it meets the needs of the consumer, it will sell itself. Timeshare does not sell itself. It is product that has to be “sold” and often requires six to eight hours of brow beating, “pitching heat” and deceit, according to 220 of our readers. We hope, working with developers, such tactics will diminish. We know there are good timeshare sales agents out there selling the product the way it should be sold. Inside Timeshare endorses Disney for their scarce complaint record.
Inside Timeshare will publish a monthly resale recycle report to follow along as TARS progresses. I still need to call my favorite fixed week timeshare people at Port Elsewhere in the Missouri Ozarks and Maui Hill at Maui Lea to hear what they think.
At least this provides a positive topic members and developers can agree on – the need for an honest timeshare exit to shut off the scam valve.
Irene will be keeping us updated on a monthly basis on TARS Limited Term Deed Program, could it be that there is some honesty in this industry called timeshare? Only time will tell.
Other news coming in from the US is the link up between ARDA (American Resorts Development Association) and Europe’s RDO (Resorts Development Association). It has been rumoured for sometime that the RDO is what you might call “strapped for cash”, well they have this year lost one of their major members, Silverpoint. Could this link up be the saviour of them?
Kwikchex has also laid out the scope of its new mission, running the “Timeshare Helpline”, on behalf of the RDO, which replaces the disgraced and bankrupt TATOC. As we know TATOC was supposed to be an independent body representing timeshare owners through their committees, but under the leadership of Harry Taylor, they did the bidding of their benefactors. These benefactors were the industry and RDO members.
So the question is if the new helpline is run by Kwikchex and the Timeshare Task Force, paid for by the RDO, how can it be independent and on the side of the consumer?
Have Trading Standards and other Authorities been taken in by them, the same way as Citizens Advice Bureau were taken in by TATOC?
Inside Timeshare leaves you the reader to draw your own conclusions.
It’s time for another Friday’s Letter from America, with the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean and Florida, many owners and members have been asking how the damage affects them. Mike Finn of Finn Law Group explains this, with an introduction by Inside Timeshares very own Irene Parker.
But as usual we start with some news from Europe, it has been a little quiet on the court front this week, with only three announcements made public.
All three involve the Tenerife based company Silverpoint, the first was at the High Court where the judge declared a contract null & void. He also ordered the return of over £40,000 plus legal interest. As usual the contract was over 50 years, deposits paid within the cooling off period and the contract did not contain the correct information required by law.
The second case against Silverpoint was from the Supreme Court in Madrid, once again this court upheld its previous judgements. The client in this case receives over 104,000€ plus legal fees and legal interest. They are also timeshare free.
The third case was another Supreme Court judgement against Silverpoint, this officially confirms the number of rulings by this court at 66. Again the contract was declared null and void, with the client awarded over £89,000 plus legal fees and legal interest.
The comments from these readers have not been what you might call promising. Remember these companies are all owned by one person, who himself is an ex timeshare sales manager (Silverpoint / Resort Properties), turned gamekeeper. As with any company you may contemplate any business with, it pays to check, check and check again before you commit.
On the subject of this “FAKE” law firm, last week we reported that one reader managed to get their money back which they paid via bank transfer. It turns out that their banks fraud department managed to get this back from Deutsche Bank, where it was paid into the account of the “Procurador” Graham Ingum Gorrin.
We have also been informed that Sutton Hall have placed the information supplied to our reader on their members website, at least now the word is getting out.
Given the severity of recent hurricanes, fires and earthquakes, Timeshare Advocacy Group™ has been receiving questions from concerned timeshare owners and members.
Of note are the relevant differences that come into play for right to use point programs compared to fixed week timeshares. Fixed week timeshares are defined as real estate, so the fixed week owner has the same problem as the owner of a primary residence. If a primary residence is demolished you may not be able to occupy the premise. Alternative lodging must be arranged and rarely does insurance make the owner whole again.
Do right to use point programs offer more protection?
In some ways, I think yes. The advantage of a fixed week timeshare is that you know what you own. You can see, feel and touch the week purchased. In a disaster however, that same benefit can work against the owner.
I contacted a team member at one resort. The company has property on St. Martin. The company’s right to use point owners are being refunded points for forfeited stays, but the company’s fixed week owners must book in other locations through an exchange service, and are unable to book St. Martin until 2020. Still, fixed week owners are fortunate to have this option because the owner on the other side of the exchange would not be able to stay at the owner’s demolished resort. Overall, industry insiders I contacted feel point members may have a layer of protection over fixed week owners when a disaster affects a single resort.
Does this mean right to use programs are better or safer overall?
Depending on vacation goals and lifestyles, right to use points may be the right choice. The Federal Trade Commission offers good advice. Of the points presented, the most important pieces of advice are:
Research the track record of the seller, developer, and management company before you buy. You also can search online for complaints,
Is everything the salesperson promised written into the contract? If not, walk away from the sale. (A standard resort rebuttal is, “You should have asked for anything of importance to you to be added to the contract.),
Don’t act on impulse or under pressure. (This is easier said than done, but better to forfeit a few perks than be saddled with a vacation plan you don’t want, can’t use or afford, with no exit and rising maintenance fees.)
This next FTC point is the least helpful as, according to complaints received by Inside Timeshare, sales agents often offer to be your vacation advisor or counselor until death you part, but many members tell us the person they were told to contact never returned phone calls, emails or text messages.
Get the name and phone number of someone at the company who can answer your questions — before, during, and after the sales presentation, and after your purchase.
Mike Finn of the Finn Law Group answers the question,
What if a Timeshare Resort Suffers Damage?
Many, many timeshare resorts are located in areas where terrible storms and other “acts of God” happen with some frequency, such as Florida or the Caribbean – both of which have suffered extensively this hurricane season.
As business owners and locals rebuild and recover in the face of a cataclysmic storm or other disastrous event, timeshare owners looking on from spots across the country have their own unique worry: Namely, how they will be affected if their “home” timeshare resort suffers major damage.
There is a lot to unpack here! In our experience, though, timeshare consumers who are worried about their resort are predominantly concerned with two things –
How their ability to make reservations will be affected, and
Whether they can expect to pay more in assessments and fees.
To the first point, it is quite likely that your ability to use a timeshare resort may be affected by damage. Facing a loss of property or a labor shortage (as employees stay home for their own safety), many resorts may well be forced to close or suspend service temporarily, affecting the plans of those who already had reservations or who were planning on making them.
The second major issue that concerns many consumers: Whether or not they’ll feel the effects of a storm or other natural disaster in their pocketbook. Assessments and fees for repair costs will vary from resort to resort, based on the unique circumstances at play.
“In some cases, owners could be asked to pay fees to offset repair costs if some damages don’t meet insurance thresholds or there are large deductibles that need to be met first.”
Let’s expand upon that. Should a resort be damaged, the bulk of the costs of repairs should be covered by insurance; Property Owners Associations (POAs) also have reserve funds designated for special situations (both of these are paid for, at least in part, by owners’ annual maintenance fees).
With that said, it’s important to remember that insurance rarely covers everything, and that the POA reserve is often insufficient to take care of the difference. As a result, timeshare owners will often end up paying something more out of pocket in the event of resort damage, be it for debris removal, landscaping services, or other costs that arise in the wake of a weather event.
Resorts and owners will be affected on a case-by-case basis. Following the massive fires earlier this year in Tennessee, for instance, many interval owners were relieved to hear that they likely wouldn’t be on the hook for fees after several resorts in the area suffered damage. Other owners will tell you a different story, such as those who “found themselves on the hook for nearly $5,800 in special assessment maintenance fees” after their Hawaiian resort suffered “water intrusion.”
It’s important to consider that information on matters such as these will be included in the documents you receive at the time of closing. While it may be difficult to parse through the language, taking the time to research your contract and POS documents can only benefit you in the long run.
Have any more questions or concerns? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Led by Attorney Michael D. Finn with 45 years of experience, the Finn Law Group is a consumer protection firm specializing in timeshare law. Our lawyers understand vacation ownership as well as the many pitfalls of the secondary market of timeshare resales. If you feel you have been victimized by a timeshare company, contact our offices for a free consultation. Know your rights as a consumer and don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions or concerns.
Thank you to Mike Finn for this very interesting article, also a big welcome to Tammy Arkley, who is a book editor and court reporting editor, who will be helping Irene with edits of the US articles.
That is it for this week, remember one thing, always check any company that contacts you or you may be thinking of doing business with, spending time to do your homework with save you thousands in the long term. If you need any help in doing this “homework” contact Inside Timeshare and we will point you in the right direction.
It has not gone unnoticed that the so-called “Independent Voice” of the timeshare consumer, the TCA (Timeshare Consumer Association) is using other people’s work, writings and court victories, then making it look as if it is their own.
Inside Timeshare for some time has been researching and reporting on one particular enterprise, Litigious Abogados. Although we applaud the fact this story is being published to inform consumers of this “Fraud”, we do however find that by not citing their source or even acknowledging where it came from downright reprehensible.
It has always been the practice to give credit to the origin of any information, either by naming who and where it came from and providing a link to the original article. In the past Inside Timeshare has done this when using information from the “old” TCA, pre Mark Rowe ownership days. TESS has recently done the same for Inside Timeshare when they published further information from one of our articles.
The latest from the TCA is the story published on their website on 16 January 2017, titled Network of Cunning ‘Lawyers’ in Tenerife. In this article they mention their has been “correspondence” from a third party, who they say were involved. In this they imply that it is they who have received this correspondence. The fact of the matter is, the gentleman in question contacted Inside Timeshare about Litigious Abogados, after seeing one of our original articles. He sent us copies of all paperwork and emails, including a statement of events.
In this statement he explained how he was contacted, the dates of the case, how much he paid and how much he had to pay in “Tax”. This information has not been published in any other place, it is exclusive to Inside Timeshare who has documents and statements from several readers.
This is not the first time this has happened, it has also been noticed by our readers in the USA, who have seen very close similarities to the articles written by our American writer Irene Parker. Again much of the information included in these articles is exclusive to the writer and has not been published elsewhere.
Link to the original Inside Timeshare article published 3 January 2017
From Irene: Timeshare has enough warring factions. It does not help timeshare when those who are supposed to be on the same side are at odds. We hope TCA readers read IT and IT reads TCA. Like Charles, we are grateful for any dissemination of information. I am a Diamond owner and a member of the 7000 plus member Diamond Facebook page. Whenever I am asked about a TCA article posted, I note that two of my articles have been plagiarized. Following the conduct of responsible journalism raises both publications to a higher level of standard and accountability. I will pay closer attention to your articles and write on a similar theme crediting your work. As we say in America, United we Stand, Divided we Fall, but that is not working very well at the moment over here.
Another matter on this theme are two articles published on 20 December and 8 December 2016. These refer to rulings made by the Supreme Court in Spain, against various timeshare companies and resorts. At no point do they in any article refer to the law firm who brought these cases to a successful conclusion.
When Inside Timeshare publishes any article on this subject we will say who the law firm is, we have on many occasions congratulated Canarian Legal Alliance on these results and reported the court’s findings. This is true for any firm who has success and wishes it to be published. Obviously upon verification of the facts.
The TCA articles urge anyone to contact them if they have a claim, again implying they are responsible for these victories. Fine they do not actually say it is them, but the way it is written with no credits or links to original articles, the implication is there.
We wonder what their motives are and who they are passing enquirers on to, after all the TCA is now part of the Mark Rowe group of companies?
Inside Timeshare also emailed the TCA with the following on 16 January 2017:
Although I am pleased that you are using my articles on a regular basis to fill your pages, I do take a dim view that you are trying to take credit for the information.
It is a common courtesy and a fact in the world of journalism to acknowledge and give credit to where it came from. In this article you have used information supplied by one of my readers. This has not been published anywhere other than my site.
This is not the first time, many of the articles have been basically copied, with my writer in the US not very pleased that no credit was given to her or our site.
As for this company, I do agree that this information needs to get out.
But you do not do yourselves any good by this sort of action.
Research Journalist Inside Timeshare
All we received was an automated reply wishing us “Happy Holidays” and that their office will be closed until 3 January 2017.
This speaks volumes, to our mind they are not the association originally set up by the late Sandy Grey, or the new TCA set up after his passing.
Inside Timeshare leaves it to you the readers and consumers to decide who you can trust.
We ended last week with the ongoing story of Mrs B, now known as Mrs Price and her continuing battle against MacDonald Resorts. The article explained the events leading up to the present dispute over a “So-called” debt for past maintenance and MacDonald Resorts refusal to accept she no longer owns.
In the article “The Story of Mrs B: Open Letter to MacDonald Resorts” Inside Timeshare called for MacDonald Resorts to do the right thing and let two elderly and not well ladies out of their contract. It also called for them to call off the debt collecting agency Network Credit Services, from issuing threats of legal action. So far there has been no response, even though they did receive the article via email along with many others including several newspapers. The story continues.
On Monday we published an article by Irene Parker, entitled “Another US Attorney General Exposes Deceptive Tactics”. This was originally published the previous week but was withdrawn for re-writing.
Irene in her article also spoke about how sales agent are made to commit these practices, and were prevented from saying anything due to confidential non-disclosure agreements. She is preparing part II of this article which Inside Timeshare will publish in due course.
Irene Parker was surprised to read such similarities from her Highland Resorts article on Timeshare Consumer Association as it so closely paralleled the article she wrote this week. The same thing happened the day after she wrote the Saldana family story. As the TCA article was published so soon after the Inside Timeshare article was published, she wondered why credit was not given to the author of the original article. This is how professional journalists do things in the US. She wondered if things were different in Europe. She is glad to see the information disseminated to a wider audience. Since she is planning on writing a second part, she wondered if TCA would like her to just send them her article so they could publish it under her name?
On Tuesday news came in about the saga that is Tauro Beach Project, La Provincia (Spanish daily paper) and Canary News (local English language paper), published the story about how much of the beach has been washed away by the sea.
Inside Timeshare has been following this story since August, when the sea flowed up the beach and flooded local homes. There is currently a huge investigation underway, which also includes the Mayor of Mogan. It is also investigating alleged corruption and impropriety at the highest levels of the Canarian Coastal Authority, the former head has already been formally charged with wrongdoing in public office and forgery of official documents. The case is already at the court of San Bartolomé de Tirajana in Maspalomas.
Yesterday, we published the story of a company that was highlighted in September, Litigious Abogados. Since the first publication, more information has come to light, with one reader supplying vital information about how they are operating. This reader also provided documentary evidence with court papers and bank details, these court papers are almost certainly fake. Below is a “stamp” we have made in around 2 minutes just from a google image download and basic windows paint, with a little more work it could be made to look better. It is also a “stamp” not used by the courts.
The week has also been a good one for clients of Canarian Legal Alliance, with several more victories in various courts.
Yesterday 15 November, saw 2 more announcements, the first was for Swedish clients of CLA being awarded over 114,000€ including legal interest against Anfi. Again the High Court No 5 of Las Palmas found in accordance with the Supreme Court that floating weeks and perpetuity contracts were illegal. The contract was again declared null and void.
In the second announcement, again Swedish clients, have been paid out 72,885.78€ in compensation, following a recent judgement. This was against Holiday Club Finland / Puerto Calma. Again the ruling made was for the length of the contract, over 50 years (perpetuity) with the contract being declared null and void.
So an early Christmas present for some.
This again goes to show, through the hard work of the legal team at CLA, their clients are finally getting justice and the Supreme Court rulings are having a profound effect on the lower courts.
If you would like any further information on articles published, contact Inside Timeshare and we will be pleased to help. Also if you have any questions about any company that you are not sure about, send us a message, we will then contact you by personal email and if we don´t know them we will help you find the answers.
In this ruling, which followed all the judgements of previous Supreme Court decisions, the contracts were declared null & void, due to the contract being over 50 years and the taking of deposits within the 14 day cooling off period.
The clients in this case have been awarded 448,000 Norwegian Crowns or 49,334€, this also includes legal interest and the return of all legal fees.
Then to start the month of December, it was announced that a British family have just received an early Christmas present, 49,888€. This money is now in their bank account, and was awarded against Anfi several weeks ago, they have still yet to be paid the legal interest and the return of legal fees.
This once again shows that the Supreme Court is having a profound effect on these cases, with payouts coming a lot faster. So it is congratulations to all at CLA and especially their clients.
Yesterday 1 December, Andrew Penman of the Daily Mirror published an article on The Timeshare Consumer Association. Inside Timeshare has been following this story for some time and has published articles on this subject.
His article titled “The Timeshares Consumer Association claims to be an independent consumer champion, but is it”? Tried to find an answer to this question, unfortunately he did not.
Mark Rowe denied owning or running the TCA, yet all company records show that he is the director and was appointed in place of William Aspinall on 8 July 2016. It must also be noted that since that date all posts on the TCA website and its sister site timesharetalk, about Monster Traveland Sellmytimeshare.tv have been removed. Readers of this site have also commented that they have placed posts about them and they have been removed within hours.
It was also reported by one of our readers back in September that they had contacted TCA for advice, this is her message to Inside Timeshare:
“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!”
So the question is what is the truth?
It seems that even the intrepid Andrew Penman is having difficulty in answering this one, see the link below for the above comment and others.
It was with great hilarity this morning that while searching the net as usual, for the latest news and blogs, Inside Timeshare came across the latest posting from the Timeshare Consumer Association. We say with hilarity for one simple reason, their opening line:
“Timeshare Consumer Association is pleased to announce another cutting-edge decision of the Supreme Court in elucidating and acknowledging the illegal practice operandi of Palm Oasis and many other resorts using much the same shameful tactics”.
To those unfamiliar with the goings on in the timeshare world, it would appear that they are trying to take credit for the Supreme Court rulings. This as we know is not true, there is only one law firm so far that has successfully brought these cases to the Supreme Court, Canarian Legal Alliance.
It all began around 6 years ago, with the Norwegian lady Mrs Grimsbo, who started action against Anfi, after the death of her husband. She found she could not get out of her contract and took advice from a lawyer in Arguineguin. Eventually the case went to the Supreme Court, they ruled in March 2015, that her contract was indeed illegal and flouted the timeshare law Ley 42/98.
Since then Canarian Legal Alliance has received a further 27 rulings from the highest court in Spain, this brings the total to a staggering 28. Inside Timeshare has also been informed they also have at least another 100 cases waiting to be heard by this court.
Surely, to avoid any misrepresentation of the facts, the article should have started with something like this:
Timeshare Consumer Association is pleased to announce another Supreme Court Victory brought by Canarian Legal Alliance.
To give credit to the people that actually did the job is the first priority in any piece of reporting.
Further down the article is also the following, which again gives the impression they are also responsible for bringing these cases and the cases at the lower courts.:
“We at TCA can confidently confirm that we have given advice that has lead to consumers successfully executing claims across a varied range of contrasting timeshare resorts”.
It is not clear how the TCA have helped consumers to successfully execute claims, there are only a handful of law firms doing this type of work in Spain, with one firm Inside Timeshare knows of, having had their first case in September, the result of that has not yet been published. Having spoken to a contact at CLA, the TCA have not to their knowledge introduced any clients to CLA.
As published in previous articles the TCA is now under the effective control of Mark Rowe of Monster Travel Group. This company was even the subject of a BBC Scotland investigation, which deemed their practices to say the least suspect. Is this now the proof that a once credible independent association is itself suspect?
Can any consumer have any faith in the “advice” this organisation gives?
Sandy Grey will definitely be turning in his grave and anyone who knew him or had ever worked with him will be horrified.
Inside Timeshare leaves these questions to be answered by you the reader. We know what our opinion is.
On 5 January 2016 the company name was changed to: Monster Rewards Limited using the same company number and registered at the same address. There is also a Monster Rewards SL in Tenerife. the Ltd company is the UK arm.
This was originally set up by Sandy Grey, (1999), when he died it was taken over by a group of people wanting to continue his work. May 2014 Stephen Boyd (lawyer) instituted the new Company The Timeshare Consumer Association Ltd, he resigned in December 2014, Now a partner in Athena Law. For some time (December 2014 Director) it was controlled by Mr David Cox (now a TESS Director). The Website was taken over by Tolmex Ltd 08143115 and was directed by William Aspinall.
On 11 April 2016 the company changed name to Bridgewell Investments Ltd using the same company number and address:
Fernhills Business Center, Foerster Cham, Todd Street. Manchester BL9 5BJ
William Aspinal resigned as director on 8 July 2016
He was replaced on that date by Mark Rowe.
This now means that the TCA a previously independent information resource website is now under the effective control of Monster Group Travel and Mark Rowe.
According to some new information taken from Timeshare Business Check (an arm of KwikchexRDO funded), When they published their findings on the TCA (23 June 2014), they listed as “Other associated businesses and trading names” the following:
Athena Law (again known to be associated with TCA)