Browse Month

August 2021

Sponsorship Deals: Made to Fool You?

Following on from Tuesday’s article about “Celebrity Endorsements”, we take a look at “Sponsorship Deals”. We are all used to seeing these especially in sport, it may be individual sponsorship of say a boxer, or it could be a whole team such as in football. Today we highlight one Sponsorship deal that as “Baldrick” would say, “I have a cunning plan my Lord.” As you will see from the article and the links, this one was certainly a “Cunning Plan my Lord.”

By now most of you already know the story of Eze Group, the court case at Birmingham Crown Court, resulting in the conviction of the O’Reilly’s. This was following a huge investigation into the scams operated by this company. But how did they fool so many people?

The chances are you were on holiday at the time, probably just left your hotel to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings, the euphoria of being on holiday and out in the sun is overwhelming.

Your guard is down, and you encounter a “ticket tout” with scratch cards, these are the OPCs, their job is to get you in on a presentation. Suddenly you have won the “STAR PRIZE!”

Great, but to collect it you have to go to their office first, no problem they pay for a taxi, so off you toddle. The next thing you know you are on a sales presentation, usually a largish room, possibly a terrace, along with dozens of others.

You now endure several hours of hard sell and you succumb.

It may be that you are a timeshare owner and receive a “Cold Call” offering you a free holiday in Tenerife, the purpose is to get your timeshare off you and sell you their product. So off you go and have a free holiday, get bombarded with sales patter, and yes, before you know it you have signed the contract.

OK, we all know how they paint the product, they make it sound so fabulous that you cannot resist. The wonderful holidays you are going to have, all at a fraction of the cost of timeshare or travel agents. The “5 Star” luxury apartments and hotels. For timeshare owners, they are also “free” of their high annual maintenance fees.

Then they will have also told you about how they sponsor Birmingham City Football Club.

WOW!

You think to yourself, they sponsor a professional football club, this must be legit.

Low and behold, they are not, even the football club has been duped by them.

This is only the tip of the proverbial “ICEBERG!”

The launch of the new Men’s and Ladies kit.

How many other, to put it mildly, “dubious” companies are using the same tactic, not just in timeshare, but right across the board. Just look at the number of sponsors in sport. Imagine the coverage they get with these sports being shown all over the television, and internationally!

Sponsorship makes sense, after all, the coverage and credibility the sponsor gets is phenomenal, and it comes at a fraction of the cost of standard advertising.

This is where O’Reilly’s “cunning plan” paid them dividends, they even had the main stand named after the company, “The Eze Group Stand”, below is a link to the BCFC website publishing the launch of the stand.

What great publicity, great credibility and plenty of TV coverage to promote their name and business, plenty of punters out there to fleece.

https://www.bcfc.com/news/articles/2016/eze-group-stand-launch/

Stephanie O’Reilly MD of EZE Group opening the EZE Group Stand. She was later convicted at Birmingham Crown Court.

The next links are the original sponsorship deal and the renewal of the deal.

https://www.business-live.co.uk/economic-development/birmingham-city-signs-sponsorship-deal-3911026

https://www.sportspromedia.com/news/birmingham_city_reunite_with_eze_group

So how do you view “Sponsorship” now, as an act of philanthropy or a “Cunning Plan”?

As usual, your views and comments are welcomed by using our contact page or the comments section.

For our readers across the Great Lake, Baldrick is the manservant of Lord Black Adder, another classic British comedy. Have a look at the “Cunning” moments on the YouTube link below

Marriott Court Updates

While Inside Timeshare has been out of circulation the Spanish Courts have been keeping busy, today we begin with some updates on these cases. We start with the courts in the Malaga region of Spain and in Mallorca who have been hearing and passing judgments against Marriott. The majority of these cases are being heard at the Court of First Instance of Marbella, which is the registered address of MVCI Holidays SL and MVCI Management SL, although there have been a small number of cases heard at the Court of First Instance of La Palma de Mallorca.

Marriott Marbella

As with all timeshare claims through the Spanish legal system, they all center around the breach of the Spanish Timeshare Laws 42/98 and 4/12, which is an update on the previous legislation which came into force on 5 January 1999.

The main breaches of these laws are the duration of the contracts, which in most cases do not have any end date, if they do they are in excess of the maximum 50 years duration allowed by law.

Then we have the points and floating week systems, which have been deemed illegal as they contain “nothing of substance”, in other words, you own nothing apart from the right of use subject to availability. You do not own a timeshare week and apartment but are a member of a “vacation club”.

There is also the point of illegal payments during the statutory 14 days cooling-off period, this covers the taking of a deposit and in some cases the full amount. It has also been ruled in some cases that any finance agreement brokered by the salespeople on the day may be deemed as full payment, the reason is the courts have ruled that this is an acknowledgment of a “debt”. On this point, it is taken on a case-by-case basis and is dependent on the presiding judge.

It is not only these points that make a contract illegal, these are just the basic points, there may also be other infringements of the Timeshare Laws as well as laws covering Consumer Rights and Mercantile Law.

We start with the latest news of a case that was heard in the Court of First Instance of Marbella, and a very speedy response from Marriott.

Just 2 months after the trial and then the issuing of the sentence which also declared the German members contract null and void, Marriott has deposited “VOLUNTARILY” the funds ordered by the judge to the court. This is very good news for the clients as it means they will soon receive this into their own personal account very shortly.

The case was heard and finalised in just eight months of it being filed, a very quick result.

The court also ordered the clients to receive back 49,084€ for the amount paid on the contracts, the judge also ruled that in respect of deposits illegally taken within the cooling-off period, a further 32,124€ was awarded, which is double the amount taken. The total amount awarded for the timeshare contract is a staggering 81,208€, the client was also awarded legal interest and the return of their legal fees to be paid by Marriott.

Marriott Resort Son Antem, Mallorca

We now travel to the Court of First Instance of La Palma de Mallorca for a case that was finalised back in May.

The court ordered the contract null and void and awarded the clients 43,319€ plus legal interest, one month after the ruling, Marriott deposited the full amount to the court, which is now being processed to be transferred to the client’s own account.

Once again we see Marriott voluntarily depositing money with the courts in double quick time, something we do not see with Anfi, Diamond, and Club la Costa, who attempt to drag out proceedings right from the first filing with the courts. This is obviously good news for Marriott members with cases, but unfortunately, for those with the other timeshare developers, their cases are taking an awfully long time.

Both these cases were prepared and presented on behalf of the clients by Canarian Legal Alliance, below are links to their news page with cases for Marbella and Mallorca.

If you would like further information on making a claim in the Spanish courts for any timeshare purchased in Spain, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

https://canarianlegalalliance.com/?s=marriott+marbella

https://canarianlegalalliance.com/?s=Marriott+mallorca

Are You Swayed by Celebrity Endorsements?

We regularly see advertisements for various products being endorsed by celebrities, it is a marketing tool that can pay great dividends for the product. In most cases, the product itself would sell on its own, but the celebrity endorsement just makes it look better. So are you influenced by these endorsements?

We are all very familiar with the Nespresso adverts featuring George Clooney, and who remembers the hilarious adverts featuring Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter for Cinzano? (Revive your memory on the link below).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkjidE0WnAI

Those adverts were very popular, with Leonard constantly throwing his drink over Joan, but there is a very dark side to many of these endorsements. Not all products are what they seem, timeshare is one of those, along with endorsements for “exit companies”.

One timeshare resort, Club la Costa, based on the Costa del Sol is one of these. Their ambassador is none other than Jennie Bond, (is she paid for this?) the former BBC Royal Correspondent and also a regular presenter on the BBC program Rip Off Britain.

Jennie Bond has for some years promoted Club la Costa, visiting many of their resorts and these videos have been posted on YouTube. (See link below of one visit to Tenerife). In the videos, Ms. Bond shows the resorts, which we have to admit do look stunning, they also show all the amenities for adults and children and everything else on offer to their members.

The one thing they do not show is how the timeshare is initially sold, the long high-pressure sales presentation, the misleading “benefits” of membership, such as “it is property and an investment and will go up in value”. They also do not explain that CLC was selling their “product” breaching the strict Spanish Timeshare Laws.

It is also very interesting that back in 2014, the late Sandy Grey founder of the TCA was interviewed by Rip Off Britain on the very subject of the techniques and misrepresentations made during the sales presentations. This was also highlighted during an investigation by Andrew Penman of the Daily Mirror, who had received many complaints about CLC.

But for some reason, the BBC pulled the item from the schedule and it was never broadcast. We do have to ask the question, was this down to the fact that Jennie Bond being CLCs ambassador was also a main presenter on the program?

https://timeshareconsumerassociation.org.uk/2014/10/04/bbc-axe-probe-jennie-bonds-club-la-costa/

We leave you the reader to decide on that.

Then we have Anfi, a resort which these pages have published many articles, not just the court cases for the selling of illegal timeshares, but more importantly the Tauro Beach Project. This was for the development of a new man-made beach, shopping center, and hotels located near Anfi Tauro Golf and Resort. There was also a plan to build a marina.

The Anfi Ambassador is none other than the local Arguineguin lad and former Manchester City and world-renowned football player David Silva. He is a player who is very well respected the world over and is very much proud of his hometown of Arguineguin, having helped provide many facilities such as the local sports center and also financed the development of apartments, creating much-needed employment.

David Sliva and Mogan Mayor Onalia Bueno laying the first “illegal” sand

David Silva interview

But, unfortunately, it appears that he was used by Anfi to promote the now-discredited Tauro Beach development. This story has been published not only by Inside Timeshare but also by mainstream Spanish press and other outlets across Europe.

As we have published in the past, this project has had a turbulent history, with the head of the Coastal Authority, Jose Maria Hernandez, was dismissed from his post and prosecuted, also an investigation is underway into the Mayor of Mogan, Onalia Bueno, over her involvement.

This whole project to create a manmade beach does appear to have been beset with what might be called irregular procedures, the granting of licenses and permissions months after the work had started, and falsifying documents after the fact. It was the Guardia Civil Nature Protection Unit (SEPRONA), who originally instigated the investigation and made this public. Along with this was the illegal importation of sand from the Western Sahara, which is banned by the U.N. and the E.U.

It is obvious that David Silva was totally unaware of what was going on, and promoted Anfi and this project for the good of his hometown as it would provide much-needed employment. We just wonder how he feels about this now that it has been made public?

Spanish Press links

La Provincia PDFs, right click and Open Link

costas-abre-expediente-al-grupo-anfi-para-revocarle-la-concesion-de-tauro-la-provincia-diario-de-las-palmas

Costas-open-file-to-the-anfi-group-to-revoke-the-granting-of-taurus-the-province-diario-de-las-palmas

El Diario

https://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/tribunales/fiscalia-exjefe-costas-canarias-tauro_1_3511842.html

English Translation

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&u=https://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/tribunales/fiscalia-exjefe-costas-canarias-tauro_1_3511842.html

Follow these links for more information, the links to Inside Timeshare are only a fraction of what has been published. To see all articles published search Tauro Beach Project on Inside Timeshare.

https://m.facebook.com/notes/gran-canaria/surprise-tauro-beach-so-dodgy-the-government-is-taking-it-away/1664104110273792

https://insidetimeshare.com/first-prosecution-tauro-beach-project-filed/

https://insidetimeshare.com/mayor-mogan-investigation-anfi-tauro-beach-project/

https://insidetimeshare.com/tauro-beach-project-latest-news/

https://insidetimeshare.com/anfi-tauro-beach-project-people-flooded/

https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/1165247/relax-with-silva-gran-canaria-native-david-becomes-ambassador-for-anfi-resort/

Back in 2017, Irene Parker and Lisa Ann Schreier, both highlight two US celebrities in their articles, Irene on Inside Timeshare and Lisa in her Timeshare Crusader blogspot.

https://insidetimeshare.com/attorneys-general-timeshare-trump/

https://thetimesharecrusader.blogspot.com/2016/11/an-open-letter-to-dave-ramsey-and-laura.html

So we ask you again, are you swayed by celebrity endorsements especially in the world of timeshare?

Inside Timeshare would like to hear your views on this subject so please use our contact page or leave a comment.

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