Browse Month

August 2020

Start the Week: Wyndham Facing Class Action

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, to all our UK readers we hope you have a wonderful August Bank Holiday and the weather stays good for you. Today we take a little trip across the Atlantic and report on the latest Class Action Lawsuit against one of the major timeshare developers. This action against Wyndham Hotels and Resorts is just one in a string of actions against the timeshare industry over the years, but unlike the lawsuits in the Spanish Courts this is not about the contracts falling foul of the law, it is more about the tactics employed by the sales staff.

In this latest action which is being brought in Delaware by Mr and Mrs Dubose was originally filed in Illinois, but this case was dismissed as the court ruled the couple jurisdiction in Illinois.

The couple are represented by Herbert Mondros of Margoolis Edelstein, Howard B Brossnitz and Adam Szulczewski

The Wyndham Timeshare Marketing Tactics Class Action Lawsuit is David DuBose, et al. v. Wyndham Vacation Resorts Inc., Case No. 1:20-cv-01118-UNA, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

The whole case centres around the “aggressive” marketing tactics employed by the sales representatives in order to sell the Wyndham points system. We all know that timeshare presentations are “high pressure” and that sales staff do embellish what they are selling, but it would seem now that the consumer is beginning to fight back.

The Wyndham Group brands

The story of Mr & Mrs Dubose from Georgia goes back to June 2016, when they made their purchase in Florida. It was while they were on vacation in Panama City, Florida, a Wyndham representative offered them a “gift card” and encouraged them to attend a “sales” presentation. Well, we all know what this actually means!

The couple explained that they were told the presentation would only last 90 minutes, but as we have heard from so many it turns into hours. According to the Duboses, their presentation lasted all day.

As usual, the pitch was they would “never have to pay for another vacation for the rest of their lives”, this would save them thousands of dollars. They would also have access to resorts worldwide, including a new resort called Rio Mar, situated in Puerto Rico.

Rio Mar Resort, Puerto Rico

Part of the pitch also included the fact they would be able to leave their timeshare to their children, plus they would be able to “sell” their points or even make money out of them by “renting” them out.

As usual, the offers being made by the sales staff were “only being made for one day” and as we have heard before the price would not be repeated.

The couple also states that the points expire annually if not used, they are charged an annual maintenance fee that increases on a regular basis. According to the couple, using their Wyndham points proved more expensive than booking a vacation via other methods.

We do know that sales staff regularly use tactics such as the purchase is an “investment”, it “will go up in value” amongst other things. But as we all know most of the claims by the sales staff do not appear in the contracts and we also know that most companies will claim “they are not responsible” for what the sales representatives say in the presentation!

Inside Timeshare has often said this, the concept of timeshare is a good one, it is the practices of the sales representatives with the connivance of the developers along with their greed which has turned a good product into one that is now despised.

We wish Mr & Mrs Dubose all the best in their quest for justice, but somehow as we have seen in the past, especially in the US, it is the developers who will triumph in the end.

Link to the original article.

https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/travel/wyndham-timeshare-class-action-lawsuit-alleges-high-pressure-sales-tactics/?fbclid=IwAR0qRQlTZP2OnfQioC1tTFfiEyJsnui6nrwdMeVT1b1Gqk6yHcaccgSueM8

End the Week

Welcome to the end of another week and also another month with Inside Timeshare, with September just around the corner the Spanish courts will be back to work after their annual August closedown. This means there will be a lot more cases hitting the news and many more timeshare owners will have their contracts declared null and void with the return of their purchase price. This week has been quiet on this front with no new sentences being delivered, but it has not been a quiet one with more reports of some dodgy cold callers.

We began the week with some very strange news being given to owners regarding their timeshare resorts, the first was a cold call from a “company” called Timeshare Support Group. This name has come up before but as yet we have found no reference in the UK or Spain of any company with this name. In the call, our reader was told that the “owner” of Beverly Hills Club, who we know was the late Bob Trotta, has been arrested, tried and convicted!

We just wonder how this is possible, it must have been a “celestial court” that dealt with it!

There were also many emails from owners with Anfi who told Inside Timeshare of strange calls from another company, which unfortunately was not made too clear in the “conversation”, so we actually do not have a name to work on.

The story behind the calls was that Anfi was in liquidation and they needed to act now to secure their money or lose everything.

As we stated in the article on Monday, Anfi is not in liquidation, the Cazorla Group may be in difficulty but remember they only own 50%, the other 50% is owned by IFA Lopesan. So even if the Cazorla Group unfolds and is liquidated this is not really going to affect Anfi, after all, IFA Lopesan would probably jump at the chance to seize full control.

On Tuesday we reported news from the courts, the first being Silverpoint losing their appeal at the High Court of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The judges upheld the decision of the Court of First Instance which ruled against Silverpoint in accordance with the Supreme Court rulings. This case is now being filed with the Mercantile Court to ensure the client receives the money awarded by the judge.

On the same day, we also published the news of two High Court (Las Palmas GC) appeals by Anfi being dismissed and the original sentences of the Courts of First Instance being confirmed. Once again the courts are sending a clear signal to Anfi that their ploy in causing delays and disruption for the clients and the courts will not be tolerated. Their contracts are clearly illegal and they should accept the judgements of the original hearings.

Another name from the past reemerged T&M Mediation Group, once again they are offering a “termination” service and then a claim for compensation. According to their website which actually shows no company registration, it looks like they will use (if they bother) Section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act. As we have said in the past, it is not very likely that any claim using Section 75 is going to succeed. We also know that no timeshare company is going to pay “compensation” voluntarily or even admit to mis-selling. (link to the original article)

https://insidetimeshare.com/tm-mediation-group-sl-resurface/

Yesterday we published the story of Simon Wells who claimed he was working for Canarian Legal Alliance and also used the name of one employee on his emails. He has certainly been caught out this time, with the victim managing to get his photograph and also he admitted that he kept all the money. The case is now with the police and he will soon be facing justice.

We just wonder if there are more of his victims out there who fell for his father and paid him!

So, that is all for this week, have a good weekend and also enjoy your bank holiday in the UK.

Fraudster Captured

Today we highlight a story that has been unfolding during this past week, it certainly reinforces the Inside Timeshare warnings on doing your homework before engaging with any company or individual that contacts you. In this case, the person perpetrating the fraud has been caught out, but we have to ask how many others have been duped and lost money to this individual?

The story begins at the start of this year when our “reader” made the acquaintance of Simon Wells, she explained to him that she had been Scammed by another company and he explained that he too had been the victim of a scam.

Simon Wells then explained that he had a friend who worked at a law firm which specialised in timeshare law and he also worked now worked with them as a consultant. After contact details were exchanged she began to receive telephone calls and emails regarding her case against Anfi. These explained the legal situation and how to make a claim through the Spanish courts.

Simon Wells, Fraudster.

Everything sounded good, she received emails from “‪[email protected]‬” which is supposedly the email for Canarian Legal Alliance, the law firm he worked for. The problem is this is not a genuine CLA email address, it is, in fact, an email address that can be purchased through a website called Shark Hosting.

This is now where Simon Wells begins his “scam” he now uses the name of a genuine CLA employee, a claims consultant called Kerry Doyle without her knowledge. All emails were sent from the fake address and signed by Kerry, this obviously added credibility to his story, after all, Kerry Doyle’s name appears regularly on the CLA website.

Wonder who paid for this car?

Everything appeared to be all good and above board, Wells had the credentials, the emails from Kerry Doyle with a credible-looking email address, what could go wrong?

The “new” client then paid Wells several thousand pounds to begin the work of making a claim against Anfi through the Spanish courts. He informed her that she would receive a receipt for the payment in due course. This was in February 2020.

Moving forward a few months, the lady emailed “Kerry” for an update and to enquire about the receipt.

Subject: Re: XXXXXXX  AB EZ13958

From: [email protected]

To: “‪[email protected]‬”

CC:

Dear Kerry,

It is a month since you wrote a reply to my email of the 10 July, in which you said you would ‘forward a receipt to me shortly’ (for monies paid to CLA last February)..

I have yet to receive receipts for all monies paid.

I would also welcome any word on the progress of my case … Periodically I am informed that yet another case has been won against Anfi so I am expecting there to be some movement and progress re those waiting for their cases to go to court ..

I would be grateful for a response from you re both these points..

Kind regards

XXXXX XXXXXXXXX

So since making the payments she had been receiving news of cases being won, these were obviously from the CLA news section or may have even been those published by Inside Timeshare. So once again it looked as though it was all above board.

Then she received the following email, this explained the delays which were due to the lockdowns being enforced around the world. As you can see the email does show some credibility in the answers, but again it is not from the Genuine Kerry Doyle of CLA, but is actually Simon Wells himself! 

Subject: XXXXXXXXXX  AB EZ13958

From: “‪[email protected]‬”

To: [email protected]

CC: Simon Wells

Dear Miss XXXXXXXXXX

Apologies for the delay in replying to your email, dated 16/7/2020, we are working as fast as we can to catch up on all correspondence from clients after our forced office break.

We will take note of the questions / answers you have kindly supplied in the email and place this on your file, should we have any questions or queries, we will contact you within the next 7 days.

We will ensure that the payments made are credited to your account reference and forward a receipt confirmation to you shortly.

As for current timelines, the best I can tell you is we are at least 3 months away from initial court hearings on any cases as from today, with the total time in some cases exceeding 9 months with present High Court Hearings. I know this is something you may not want to hear, but sadly these cases are not taking priority due to the last 3 months.

We will keep you informed as and when the cases move forward, but please be assured your account is with us and in capable hands.

We will contact you in due course.

Sincerely

Kerry Doyle

Now comes the crunch, the lady in question began to have doubts, she then contacted CLA directly and spoke with the genuine Kerry Doyle. It took some convincing from the real Kerry to explain that this lady had been duped and that she (the real Kerry) had never emailed her or spoken with her.

Now that the lady has realised that she had been taken in by Simon Wells, the real Kerry and CLA explained what she should do and that they will help her in any way possible. Her first port of call was the police to make a full report and also to inform the bank and try to get the money back on her credit card.

Once all this had been done the lady made an arrangement to meet Simon Wells along with one of her friends. On confronting him he admitted he had used the name Kerry Doyle and had kept the money for himself.

The question now, is how many others has this Simon Wells duped?

He uses the email address 

[email protected]

And the mobile telephone number

07711120938

If you have had any contact with this man or any emails from [email protected] please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Once again this emphasises how careful you need to be, doing your due diligence before paying out any sum of money is the best way to avoid being scammed.