First we have a look at the timeshare world in Europe and the latest court cases.
Last week we published the news of the 100th Supreme Court ruling then the 102nd and 103rd, after publication we received the news of yet two more rulings from Spain’s highest court, bringing the total now to 105
The first is another ruling against Silverpoint in Tenerife, the main points are the illegal taking of deposits and the contract being over 50 years in duration, the sentence which can be seen in the PDF below runs to 15 pages and shows even more infractions of various laws not just timeshare law 42/98.
The court declared these clients contract null and void, awarding over 34,000€ plus legal interest.
The second Supreme court ruling is yet another against Anfi, at the moment we do not have details on what the infractions were, but the court again declared the contract null and void with the return of over 78,000€ plus legal interest.
These rulings from the Supreme Court are the proof the timeshare companies are losing, despite what they and others may be telling the public.
Now for our Tuesday Slot by Meryl.
Timeshare Companies, Preying on the Young, the Elderly and Military Personnel, are under your Noses Here in Nevada
By Meryl Reyman
A retired attorney and former senior executive of a large marketing/advertising agency located in New York City. I am now a resident of Henderson, NV.
A Nevada Timeshare “Buyer Beware” Media Campaign
April 17, 2018
During a recent stay in Las Vegas my husband and I attended a hard sell timeshare sales presentation. After 5+ hours of promises, and a 15 minute perfunctory signing of extensive opaque written documents, we went home with a contract only to discover that very little of what was said over those five hours was in the written documents. We successfully rescinded the contract. Since timeshare sales agents rely on the vacationer not taking the time to review documents, we were lucky that we lived in the area and had time to catch the concealment.
The FBI defines fraud for profit as “deceit, concealment, violation of trust, and bait and switch.” Oral misrepresentation fits the bill. And so does deceit and concealment if new purchasers cannot access the booking website until after the expiration of the rescission period. Many complainants tell us they can’t determine the value of their purchase until they’ve passed the time period to cancel.
Given the perpetual nature of the timeshare contract, the lack of a viable secondary market, and rising maintenance fees, consumers can find themselves stuck in a hamster wheel of “recycled inventory” with points foreclosed or taken back, only to be sold again to the next unsuspecting vacationer.
Of course there are many who use and enjoy their vacation points. I’m sure there are timeshare sales agents selling the product honestly, but the escalations in timeshare company default rates, lawsuits and the number of Attorneys General investigations (TN, MO, AZ, CO, NY, WI) indicate a serious problem. Are we in timeshare haven Nevada going to allow deceit to continue by dismissing families with, “you have no proof”?
I hope not. If you are in agreement, we need your help.
We are launching this media campaign to alert and educate the timeshare consumer, because the Court of Public Opinion seems to be the only court open if you bought timeshare points in Nevada.
After our experience I started digging. I learned that timeshare deceit has been ongoing since before Social Media. I have decided to use my skills to advocate for timeshare reform. This is not a one company problem. In my opinion, and it is the opinion of 44 timeshare advocates from our Timeshare Advocacy Group™, timeshare, and especially the point-based timeshare system, has evolved to encourage and allow sleight of hand, predatory sales.
Timeshare Advocacy Group TAG has had a hard time keeping up with the flood of complaints. TAG has received 136 timeshare complaints just since January 1, 2018. Most of these complainants have reached out to the Nevada Attorney General and the Nevada Real Estate Division, where the timeshare companies and their agents are licensed to do business, to no avail.
Timeshare sales agents know they are protected by their corporate goliath. One vice president endorsed this by responding to one member, “Our Company is not responsible for what our sales agents say.” In actuality, there is proof, if the Nevada authorities would simply aggregate the complaints. They would then see the weight of allegations of deceitful sales practices that, because of their similarity, appear to be orchestrated from the top down.
Some of these predatory practices include:
- Delaying delivery of important information so that the legal contract rescission period is undermined. Several complainants could not get onto the website until after close of escrow to determine the number of points actually needed to go to their desired destinations.
- Luring customers to “owner updates” and “new customer orientations” that are really hard upsell opportunities,
- Instilling fear by falsely advising that current fees of existing owners will go up astronomically unless they purchase “new program” points,
- Instilling fear by falsely advising that heirs of the elderly will be saddled with astronomic fees unless they purchase “new program” points,
- Holding onto customer ID and credit cards, and their children! One member reported hearing children screaming while customers sat through hours of hard sell,
- Feeling pressured into high interest rate loans (12% to 18%) and higher interest rate credit cards.
- Claiming that timeshare points will increase in value over time!! In fact, a class action lawsuit has been filed to fight this “investment” claim. For many timeshare points, there is little to no resale value.
We have a summary report of more than 50 families who have filed complaints against a Nevada sales center. This report is available upon request. Two of the complainants are:
- Roy and Lillian Simmons, in fear of losing their home, up-sold to $2,700 a month in timeshare loan payments, living on Roy’s letter carrier pension.
- Raymond Mori, recipient of two Purple Hearts, 23 years a Marine, at age 83, in a wheelchair, told to buy an additional $234,000 in additional timeshare points. Teresa is sure her parents would have signed if she had not been with them.
Do not believe anything a timeshare sales agent says in Nevada. If you do intend to do business with a timeshare sales agent, make sure they put promises in writing.
Thank you to Meryl for her advocacy efforts. If you or someone you know needs help with a timeshare concern contact one of these self-help groups that Inside Timeshare feels is not industry influenced.
Thank you Meryl for your contribution and also Irene for the editing, we also once again thank all the volunteers who give their time effortlessly to help other timeshare users in trouble.
In this Friday’s Letter From America we will be highlighting the story of Gad and Noreen Liebmann, who are currently staging a protest outside Diamonds Daytona Beach Resort. We are through Inside Timeshare readers and those on the various facebook pages receiving many messages of encouragement and support for both of you. We will obviously be keeping our readers posted as the story unfolds.
If you have any questions, comments about any article published, or need any help in identifying any company that has contacted you, use our contact page and ask Inside Timeshare. We are here to help and point you in the right direction.
News has just come in from the Bournemouth Daily Echo, the trial against Francis Madden, Claire Garland, Keith Furneval and Jean Furnaval, regarding a timeshare fraud which ran for several years has started.
Their company Central Marketing Ltd, defrauded thousands of pounds in selling bogus holiday clubs and other products. The trial is expected to last at least six weeks, for the full story see link below.