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Start the Week: News from the Courts, Marriott and Anfi Lose Again

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, we start this week with news from the courts with Marriott and Anfi losing in all cases and a payment to a client from Anfi. Last week we highlighted a new “cold caller” and website which we believe to be another “lead generator” for unnamed “claims and exit” companies. Inside Timeshare received an email from a lady who answered an advert for “telemarketing” staff and gave Inside Timeshare some more valuable information.

As we explained in one of the articles, many of the staff are just ordinary people answering an advert for staff, with the situation regarding employment any offer of a job is welcome. Unfortunately, it is these people who are also being taken in by the less scrupulous of these operators, being told what to say and how to get you the timeshare owner to pay up and sign with their company.

Luckily, this particular reader realised within a few weeks that something was not right with this company and found them to be “dodgy”, terminating their employment immediately. The information supplied regarding Independent Timeshare Assistance is rather interesting.

It would appear that a person by the name of Chris Wilson, a name that does ring a few bells, is the one behind it and is actively recruiting new staff with more adverts, these also seem to be based in Portugal.

According to our information, these “clients” are being sought on behalf of a “law firm” based in Scotland. Well we do have our suspicions on who these are and they are not law firms, but more companies set up by ex-sales staff and sales managers from Diamond and others.

Again this does show how careful you need to be, not just as a timeshare owner but also an employee answering adverts for “call centre” staff, you may believe that it is a legitimate job, but you could also be fooled into working for a scam operation.

In a case that has set new records for the speed for the case to go through the courts, Marriott has lost another case at the Court of First Instance Number 4 of Palma de Mallorca. This case has taken a remarkable 6 months to be processed through the courts, a bit of a miracle to those who know the Spanish legal system.

The German clients of Canarian Legal Alliance had their contract with Marriott Vacation Club declared null and void, with the court ordering the repayment of 21,150€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

This also included the repayment of double the amount taken illegally as a deposit within the statutory cooling-off period, in accordance with the law and the rulings of the Supreme Court.

The case was prepared and conducted by the CLA Lawyers Adrián Diaz Saavedra Morales and Christine Ihmann, with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client throughout the process.

In another case against Anfi at the Court of First Instance Number 2 of San Bartelóme de Tirajana, a Norwegian client of CLA has had their contract with Anfi terminated and declared null and void. They have also been awarded 102,576€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

Again the courts recognised the illegality of the taking of payments within the statutory cooling-off period and awarded double the amount as established by previous rulings and the law.

The case was prepared and conducted on behalf of the client by CLA Lawyer Eva Gutierrez with the client being assisted by Claims Consultant Caroline Castro.

We end today with the good news received by one English client of CLA and their battle against Anfi coming to a successful conclusion. They have now received directly into their own bank account the full award of 17,551€ Anfi were ordered to repay by the courts.

The original case was heard at the Court of First Instance Number 5 of SBT, where the contract was declared null and void and the repayment to the client was ordered, as was expected, Anfi once again filed an appeal with the High Court.

The lawyers are now well aware of these tactics and as soon as the sentence is issued by the Court of First Instance they begin a “provisional execution of sentence”, this then secures the funds on behalf of the client until the sentence is confirmed by the High Court.

We all know that Anfi “plays” the game of appeal in order to delay payment, they are also known to “hide the funds”, in order to claim they have no money to payout. This is subject to an official investigation by the Provincial State Prosecutors Office, this may very well lead to criminal prosecutions.

Thanks to the diligent work and investigations of the legal team at CLA, this client received their payment from monies embargoed by CLA from a tax refund Anfi was supposed to receive. In the end, Anfi will pay, it is just a case of plugging away and “chasing the money-go-round”.

This case was prepared and conducted on behalf of the English Client by Eva Gutierrez with Claims Consultant Jake Kaiser assisting the client during the process.

That is all for today, if you have any questions or comments, or you would like information on a possible legal case or just how to exit, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

The Tuesday Slot: Another Cold Caller and More Losses for Anfi

Welcome back to Inside Timeshare after a long Easter Holiday Weekend, today we catch up on some of the news from the courts, once again involving our old friends Anfi. There is also an update on the Tauro Beach Project which has been published by Canarias 7. We begin with another cold caller to come to our attention, unfortunately, there is very little information which is rather disturbing.

The latest cold caller to come to our attention is Independent Timeshare Assistance, they have the website:

https://independenttimeshareassistance.com/

Which was registered on 25 October 2019 and is due to expire on 25 October 2021, again the registrant of the website is hidden by privacy protection. Never a good sign.

The only details they show on their website are their email address:

[email protected]

And telephone number which is a Hitchin, Hertfordshire code, although that does not actually mean they are based there:

Telephone: 01462381004

There is a very distinct lack of details on the website such as address and most importantly there are no company details such as company registration number.

However, the Home Page does state they are:

“A limited company by guarantee as well as being a “not for profit” enterprise we strive to help consumers make the right choices regarding the timeshare industry.”

Yet we have found no company registered at Company House for the name Independent Timeshare Assistance, so it would seem that their claim of being a “limited company” is false. As for being a “not for profit” company does also seem a little incredible considering the lack of details.

Looking at their website it would appear that this is yet another “lead generator”, but for who is not yet clear. So as usual Inside Timeshare would urge caution if called or you happen to find the website on the net.

We now move to news from the courts in Gran Canaria and yet more legal woes for Anfi.

On the first of the month, the High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas dismissed yet another appeal made by Anfi, upholding the original verdict from the Court of First Instance Number 4 of San Bartelóme de Tirajana.

The contract was declared null and void with the Court of First Instance ordering Anfi to repay the Dutch client 32,056€ plus legal interest.

Not only did the High Court agree and upheld the original sentence but they also demanded that Anfi also repay the clients legal costs. Once again we see Anfi lodge an appeal that has seen them lose and have added costs against them awarded to the client. It has also cost them with appeal costs and their own lawyer’s fees, so a very expensive exercise for Anfi.

The client was represented by The Canarian Legal Alliance Lawyers Eva Gutierrez and Christine Ihmann, with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client throughout the process.

The following day yet another appeal by Anfi to the High Court was dismissed and the original sentence confirmed.

The original verdict from the Court of First Instance Number 1 of SBT, declared the English client’s contract null and void ordering that Anfi repays 24,478€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

The case was prepared and presented by the CLA Lawyer Adrián Diaz Saavedra Morales with Claims Consultant Jake Kaiser assisting the client.

In another case in which Anfi launched an appeal with the High Court following a ruling by the Court of First Instance, the High Court confirmed the original sentence. This declared the contract null and void with the repayment of 20,916€ plus legal interest and also adding legal costs.

As usual, the lawyers at CLA Eva Gutierrez and Christine Ihmann began provisional enforcement of sentence proceedings, this obviously saved a great deal of time while the case was waiting to be heard at the High Court. In this case, the client has now been paid and the money is now safely in their own account.

Keeping with Anfi, we now return to the long-running story of the Tauro Beach Project, this story has been followed closely by Inside Timeshare for several years now and it still does not seem to have been totally resolved.

Canarias 7 reported on 4 April that the Supreme Court has confirmed the nullity of the “Special Territorial Plan” for the regeneration of the beach at Tauro, the building of the marina along with new hotels, a commercial centre and a new promenade linking Amadores Beach with Tauro.

As we reported in previous articles, there have been many discrepancies regarding the permissions for work to be started and carried out by Anfi in this area. The head of the Coastal Authority was dismissed and also convicted of serious charges, it is also a fact the sand for the beach was illegally imported from the Western Sahara, which is part of the sanctions put into place by the United Nations and the European Union.

The full story can be found at the following link.

Original Spanish

https://www.canarias7.es/canarias/gran-canaria/supremo-confirma-nulidad-20210404192042-nt.html?fbclid=IwAR186ZwSA3zKXGr-aRnomOPww8EM8N2hHspiwYGjAmHnVSYvB8hKWw4lW2c

English

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&u=https://www.canarias7.es/canarias/gran-canaria/supremo-confirma-nulidad-20210404192042-nt.html?fbclid%3DIwAR186ZwSA3zKXGr-aRnomOPww8EM8N2hHspiwYGjAmHnVSYvB8hKWw4lW2c

Danish

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=da&u=https://www.canarias7.es/canarias/gran-canaria/supremo-confirma-nulidad-20210404192042-nt.html?fbclid%3DIwAR186ZwSA3zKXGr-aRnomOPww8EM8N2hHspiwYGjAmHnVSYvB8hKWw4lW2c

Dutch

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=nl&u=https://www.canarias7.es/canarias/gran-canaria/supremo-confirma-nulidad-20210404192042-nt.html?fbclid%3DIwAR186ZwSA3zKXGr-aRnomOPww8EM8N2hHspiwYGjAmHnVSYvB8hKWw4lW2c

Finnish

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=fi&u=https://www.canarias7.es/canarias/gran-canaria/supremo-confirma-nulidad-20210404192042-nt.html?fbclid%3DIwAR186ZwSA3zKXGr-aRnomOPww8EM8N2hHspiwYGjAmHnVSYvB8hKWw4lW2c

Norwegian

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=no&u=https://www.canarias7.es/canarias/gran-canaria/supremo-confirma-nulidad-20210404192042-nt.html?fbclid%3DIwAR186ZwSA3zKXGr-aRnomOPww8EM8N2hHspiwYGjAmHnVSYvB8hKWw4lW2c

Swedish

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=sv&u=https://www.canarias7.es/canarias/gran-canaria/supremo-confirma-nulidad-20210404192042-nt.html?fbclid%3DIwAR186ZwSA3zKXGr-aRnomOPww8EM8N2hHspiwYGjAmHnVSYvB8hKWw4lW2c

Signing Contracts for Services and the Latest Anfi Loss in the Courts

Over the past few months, Inside Timeshare has been receiving many inquiries regarding contracts being signed with some rather disreputable companies for “legal services” such as “claims and exits”. According to our readers, once they have signed the contract they are then told that the deposit paid is non-refundable and there is no cooling-off period as they have paid for a “service”. As you will see this is not actually the case. We also report on the latest case involving Anfi in the courts of Gran Canaria and another expensive loss for them.

First, we have a look at the signing of contracts for “services” and the claim that the deposit is non-refundable and that no cooling-off period is required by law.

As many of you are aware there has been a huge proliferation in the number of companies emerging claiming they can get you a full refund or “compensation” for your “mis-sold” timeshare and also have the contract cancelled. These tend to come by way of “cold calls” with some of our readers stating they are receiving around 5 per week.

Some have been taken in by these “companies” and have then received a “Zoom” meeting to discuss their case with their so-called “legal consultant”. These “meetings” have followed the old timeshare sales technique of high pressure and urgency to sign up today.

One of our readers did fall for this and duly paid a deposit by credit card, fine, at least they were then protected under Section 75 or were they. More on this point in a moment. But, when they had second thoughts after the meeting and felt that something was wrong they began to investigate the company involved. They were obviously not happy with what they found out and duly contacted the company to cancel. This is where the problem started.

The company who we will not name at present but are working in association with several others informed them that the contract clearly states the deposit is non-refundable and that no cooling-off period exists as they are providing a “service” not a product.

Well, luckily enough for our reader, Inside Timeshare did a little checking and this claim is not true, there is a cooling-off period in UK law and also in Spanish law.

These regulations actually cover contracts that are signed in your own home or as we have seen due to the pandemic, signed on line. In the UK these laws stem from the old “doorstep” sales and now encompasses “cold calls” by telephone and internet video meetings. In Spain, they are part of the regulations to protect consumers.

These can be found at the following links:

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-to-cancel-a-contract-without-being-penalised-aPQHT0e6QhDS

https://www.coventry.gov.uk/info/30/business_compliance/1410/doorstep_sellerscallers/4

Spanish Regulations From Citizens Advice Spain

https://www.citizensadvice.org.es/faq/is-there-a-legal-cooling-off-period-in-which-a-contract-can-be-cancelled/

The full Spanish Rules from BOE

https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2014/03/28/pdfs/BOE-A-2014-3329.pdf

PDF of the relevant BOE page and a translation.

After receiving this information our reader then contacted their bank who at first declined to intervene, after around 90 minutes, the bank has refunded the amount paid and is now set to retrieve the money from the company, well, good luck with that one.

On the point of paying by credit card, yes, you are covered under Section 75 of the Credit Consumer Act 1974, but, as always there is a but, you may not be covered under the “third party” rule.

This particular section is when you pay one company who then passes on the work to a third party and that party fails to carry out the work. For instance, you pay company A to exit your timeshare contract, they pass this to company B, this company does not do the job. You then make a claim with your credit card provider under Section 75 for goods or services not provided.

Your card provider will dismiss the claim against company A as they will state that they did their job by providing you with a company “experienced” in that work. It is not their fault that company B has not done the work. Claim denied.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/section75-protect-your-purchases/

So what can you do to protect yourself?

First, before signing any contract, which you should not do at the time of the call or zoom meeting, check the clauses, do they provide a cancellation period of 14 days and is the deposit refundable. If not, don’t sign the contract.

Second, check that the company you are dealing with is the company that will carry out the work, if they say they “contract” the work out to their associate and partner companies then don’t sign the contract.

These are the basic signs of a possible scam operation and these companies should be avoided at all costs.


Court of First Instance Number 5 of San Bartelóme de Tirajana

Latest News from the Courts.

In another case brought on behalf of a German client by the law firm Canarian Legal Alliance, the Court of First Instance Number 5 of San Bartelóme de Tirajana, has declared yet another Anfi contract null and void. The court has also ordered that Anfi repay the client 33,911€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

In this case, the Court of First Instance also recognised the Supreme Court ruling that any payment taken within the statutory cooling-off period is illegal and is repaid in double. This is broken down as 16,249€ paid for the contract with an additional 17,662€ which is double the amount taken illegally as a deposit.

The case was prepared and conducted by the CLA Lawyers Eva Gutierrez and Christine Ihmann, with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client throughout the process.

That is all for today, in tomorrow’s edition of Friday’s Letter from America we have an update from Tiffany titled:

Why the Buyer is Blamed if a Sales Agent Lies 

STAY VACATIONED or else

The slogan Stay Vacationed is used by Diamond Resorts and is, to be honest, a bit of a joke, but more on this tomorrow.