Recently Inside Timeshare published the article “Marriott Contracts Circumvent Spanish Laws”, today we reveal another example of this practice by one of the world’s major timeshare developers. Many operators have tried to get around the very strict timeshare laws which Spain enacted on 5 January 1999, by using various methods such as UK limited companies and the inclusion in the contracts of the clause that the contract is bound by and under the jurisdiction of UK laws and courts. This practice did work for a time as judges in the Courts of First Instance did not accept the case as they believed that UK jurisdiction did take precedence over Spanish Jurisdiction.
Last September Inside Timeshare published the ruling of the High Court of Malaga. This court ruled that although the contract did clearly state UK law and jurisdiction with the sales agents being a UK limited company, they ruled that Spanish Courts did indeed have jurisdiction. The fact the purchase was made in Spain brings the sale directly under Spanish timeshare law.
Inside Timeshare has now received information from yet another reader of Marriott using this practice of selling products from their sales office at Marbella Beach Club but showing the sale as being elsewhere.
Back in 2005, this reader was on holiday around Marbella and was invited to attend a presentation at the Marriott Beach Club Resort, which they duly attended. After a fairly lengthy presentation, which we all know is all too common, our reader signed up for membership.
The presentation was conducted by the sales staff of MVCI Holidays SL, a Spanish entity registered at Marbella Beach Club based in Marbella. The purchase was for membership to Marriott Vacation Club International with the home resort being the Phuket Beach Club in Thailand. Well, this is not really a problem, after all, there are the internal exchanges as well as membership to Interval International which did give them, in theory, plenty of choices worldwide.
It is now that the problems come to light, this readers circumstance have now changed, the timeshare is no longer needed or being used. They were then contacted by several “claims” companies with the promise of using the Spanish legal system to recoup the purchase price and have the contract declared null and void as it was illegal under Spanish timeshare law.
They were told they had a very good case and were asked for a sizable amount for legal fees, they decided to investigate further as the company they were talking to had not even asked to see their documents. The whole process was done over the phone.
It is a good job they did decide to look into this, after contacting Inside Timeshare they emailed copies of their documents. We checked the documents with a leading law firm who informed us that there was not a case which could be brought in Spain using Spanish timeshare laws.
Although the presentation was made in Marbella the documentation is signed by a representative of Mai Kao Development Limited a Thai registered company and not of MVCI SL (Marbella).
The seller and sponsor being:
The seller’s Agent:
Marriott Ownership Resorts Inc Orlando Florida.
The only reference to Spain is the fact the presentation was made by MVCI SL, this according to the lawyers precluded any case from being filed in a Spanish court.
When we consider the last article where the purchaser who thought they had a membership with Marbella Beach Club but in fact with a resort in Virginia, this does now look like Marriott knew exactly what they were doing. We also have to remember that this is only 6 years after the enactment of the new timeshare laws which prohibited the sale of any timeshare in Spain with a contract of more than 50 years or which included points or floating weeks systems.
Was this a very deliberate and premeditated attempt to circumvent the laws of one country by using entities not associated or registered with it?
We leave you the reader to decide, Inside Timeshare believes it was.
Have you purchased your timeshare with Marriott, have you been contacted and told you do have a valid case?
Do you want to know if what you have been told is true?
If so, please use our contact page and get in touch, Inside Timeshare will get back to you and point you in the right direction.
Link to previous Marriott article.