A New Member to EGTBW

Inside Timeshare is proud to announce that it has been invited to become a member of the prestigious trade body EGTBW. This is the European Guild of Timeshare Blog Writers, it is affiliated to the IATBWG, the International Association of Timeshare Blog Writers Guilds.

 

Becoming a member means that Inside Timeshare must adhere to the Code of Conduct and Ethics of this Organisation.

 

  1. Members must not attack, make detrimental comments or otherwise demean any organisation that is a member or affiliated to EGTBW or IATBWG.
  2. Members must adhere to the laws of the EU, or the country of registration. Unless they can get away with it.
  3. The EGTBW and IATBWG will not mediate in any dispute between a member and non-members.
  4. If any organisation or entity has a complaint about a member of this organisation it must be taken directly to the member concerned.
  5. Any member may lie or spread false information about any non-member, citing freedom of speech and expression.
  6. If any action is taken against a member, both organisations will fully support that member, no matter what it has done wrong.
  7. Members may display both the EGTBW and IATBWG logos on all promotional material, correspondence and websites.

This Logo is a sign of quality and is a kite mark of excellence.

 

So there we have it Inside Timeshare has paid its £20,000 a year membership fee for the full protection and backup of these prestigious organisations. It now means we can do what the hell we like, so there!

 

If this was not a joke it would be farcical but unfortunately this is all too real in timeshare. On a daily basis we see owners and members being treated in the most disrespectful manner, we have also seen numerous court cases against the timeshare industry for breaking legislation.

 

There is an organisation that is supposed to be the trade body of this industry The RDO, but it is its own members that are breaking the rules. What do they do about it? Not a sausage.

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This organisations own code of conduct states that members should adhere to any legislation and laws regarding the sale of timeshare. Yet we see illegal contracts still being sold, deposits being taken on the day, all in breach of EU Directives which are supposed to be in each member state’s laws.

Keep Reading

Maintenance Arrears and Debt Collectors.

Further to Fridays Article 10 June 2016, Inside Timeshare has been doing a little digging. The TCA published a list in August 2015 of timeshare companies that have threatened legal action to force payment of the maintenance fees. The first part of the list are those that have threatened legal action using either debt collectors or solicitors, in some cases even bogus lawyers.

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The above companies have made the threats, but as far as can be ascertained have never actually taken any case to court.

The following companies have taken legal action but what the success rate has been is at present unknown.

So where do you the owners actually stand?

Keep Reading

TCA Highlight Silverpoint Preying on the Vulnerable.

The TCA yesterday 8 June 2016, published an article regarding how Silverpoint (Resort Properties) may be taking advantage of existing members who they know are in a vulnerable position.

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The TCA have received a letter from a couple who outlined their dealings with Silverpoint. The couple are retired and care for a daughter who is severely disabled, what follows is in my mind just disgusting.

 

The sales rep on finding this out called in his manager, he offered them a “FAVOUR”. They were offered an Investment, which is illegal in the selling of timeshare. This favour was to spend another sum around £10,000 on a one week unit of timeshare, this unit would then be rented out in 2015 by Silverpoint on their behalf in 2015 for £800.

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After this Silverpoint promised to refund the £10,000 as they would then sell it on. When they returned in 2014 they were told this was not then possible and were convinced to trade it in for another resort The Club Paradiso They have now “invested” around £30,000 for timeshare units they can not afford.

 

This particular practice has been going on for many years and there have been many cases upheld in the courts. This particular practice was highlighted in a blog called mindtimeshare the truth by a Mrs Wilson, who had also been taken in by the sales pitch.

 

Please be aware that timeshare does not increase in value and any promise that you will either get your “investment” back or even make a profit is false, it is also against the EU Timeshare Directives. The courts in Spain are very aware of this practice and are now ruling very much in the client’s favour.

 

It is also disappointing that as Silverpoint are also TATOC and RDO members that this has not been stopped. Is it because this company is one of the main contributors of funds to these organisations. After all TATOC should be looking after the interests of the owners and the RDO should be ensuring that its members play according to the rules and the law.

 

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For the full story follow the link to the TCA and also Mrs Wilson’s blog.

 

http://www.timeshareconsumerassociation.org.uk/2016/06/08/is-silverpoint-preying-on-the-vulnerable/

 

http://www.mindtimesharetruth.com/

 

If you have had any dealings such as this Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you, if you require any information as to how you stand legally we will point you in the right direction.

Holiday Packs: What Are They?

A question that has been asked is what is a Holiday Pack and is it subject to timeshare laws? There is no simple answer to this, it appears that these are not subject to the regulations set down for timeshare and discount holiday clubs. It would seem that this depends on which company you are dealing with.

 

Many timeshare companies have used packs as a last resort, usually when the client does not want to purchase a timeshare or cannot afford it at that time. These were known as exit packs, many sales staff called them the try before you buy option.

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Basically the pack consists of around 5 weeks of holidays which must be used in 36 months. Usually the first two weeks are taken at the resort of purchase, it gives the purchaser a taste of the standards in timeshare resorts. The other weeks can be taken from the inventory available.

The charge for these holiday packs are around the £4000 mark, but again this varies from company to company. This is paid for either on the day, or a deposit is taken and the balance paid on the customer’s return home. As we know, for timeshare or holiday clubs a deposit within the 14 day cooling off period is illegal, so how do these companies get away with it?

Most of the ones I have come across have the duration below 36 months usually 35, this it would seem circumvents the timeshare laws. Also these are holidays paid for in advance and can be booked at anytime within the period specified. So in effect, the company can claim they are acting as a travel agent thereby they do not come within the scope of the timeshare directives.

 

It must also be noted that in many instances these holidays come with the provision of attending a sales presentation. In other words the opportunity to sell you another product.

 

As far as cost is concerned, you must also take into account that the price is for accommodation only, you still have to add the cost of flights and then what it will cost in meals and drinks. So they may not actually be cost effective for everyone. Granted, most timeshare resorts are of a higher standard than many offered by high street travel agents. But today with the internet, you may find the same resorts offered by online booking companies at a cheaper price, some tour operators such as Thomson/Tui also have deals with many of these resorts.

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So it pays to do your homework, unfortunately this may not be possible while on holiday. Many of these offers of holiday packs follow the old timeshare system of only available on the day. The only advice is if you don´t feel right don’t buy.

 

If you have purchased one of these holiday packs Inside Timeshare would like to share your experiences with other readers, whether it be good or bad. In This way others will get the information they need to make decisions to buy or not to buy.

 

Breaking News: Its A Strike!

Well, well, well, they just seem to keep on coming, it was announced yesterday, 7 June 2016 by CLA of yet another judgement by the Spanish Supreme Court.

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This now brings the number made to an incredible TEN, with apparently many more waiting to be heard. The latest ruling is again against Anfi, this time the client is English. In this ruling the court once again reaffirmed that Floating Weeks are illegal, also reaffirming their previous rulings that contracts in Perpetuity are also illegal.

 

The court has awarded them over 20,000€ plus all legal expenses.

 

Yet another blow to the timeshare industry, and they still believe that these ruling are wrong. How many more will it take for them to realise that the game is up, that they should now put their house in order and start playing by the rules. It is only a matter of time before other States in the EU implement the same rulings. Once this happens we will see cases being brought for timeshares not sold in Spain.

 

Once again congratulations to this particular client and well done the Legal team at CLA.

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If you require any information, or have any comments Inside Timeshare would like to hear from you, if we don’t know the answer we will find it.

 

The Villacana Story: A Repeat of Past Deeds.

The world of timeshare is full of controversy, from perpetuity contracts to owners being forced to continue paying maintenance fees even when unable to do so due to age etc. One of these is the ongoing argument between MacDonald Resorts and various owners groups, the most recent being Villacana.

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There is an ongoing argument between these two parties that has been running for several years, this has resulted in the MacDonalds Resorts Legal Action Group, MRLAG. This has been set up to fight the proposals by MacDonald Resorts to transfer all fixed week fixed apartment owners to floating weeks. Now this does seem surprising as floating weeks have been declared illegal in Spain.

 

So why are the owners against this, apart from floating being illegal?

 

It would seem it is about control. They have seen this from other resorts where this was pushed through. As fixed week fixed apartment owners they have a say in the running of the resort, after all they are technically the owners. When a company like MacDonalds changes to floating weeks they basically become the owners of the fixed weeks and apartments, which then gives them control.

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With many of the other resorts where this has happened, the main argument was that the owners did not want to go ahead with the proposal. But the votes have not gone their way, many owners complaining that MacDonalds received the necessary vote because they controlled any vote not cast by a member, either in person or by proxy. Not to forget that the resort developers control any votes for weeks not sold. (see previous article)

Manipulation of votes by resorts and resort owners

The other point in this argument is that the floating weeks do not guarantee a holiday as they are subject to availability. Also MacDonalds as the controlling owners have the right to sell or rent these weeks as they see fit, even to non members, and at the member’s expense, plus while still enjoying your maintenance fees.

 

Then we have the problem of getting out of your timeshare, we all know that there is no resale market. But MacDonalds offer what can be described as a derisory solution. Every two years offering a limited number to hand back their timeshare, but at the cost of 4 years maintenance.

 

The TCA have been highlighting this for some time with regular updates.

 

So what of TATOC in all of this?tatoc logo

 

Well as we know TATOC is supposed to represent the timeshare owners committees, in other words you. But as we have seen they are throwing their full weight behind the MacDonalds Proposal. For those of you who are not in the know, TATOC receive the bulk of their funding from the timeshare industry, such as MacDonalds Resorts who pay annual fees to be “ACREDITED” by TATOC.

 

Somehow I don’t think this is actually in the interests of you the owners / members. I agree that the owners committees should have good relations with the resort developer, but this should be on an equal partnership. After all it is your money that is paying for it and keeping the resorts open and maintained.

 

It certainly seems that it is time for new organisations and associations to be set up to serve your interests, as well as a new and non industry related body to oversee the developers and resorts. So get rid of TATOC and The RDO, then you may at last have some say as well as justice.

 

If you have any questions or thoughts on this subject Inside Timeshare would be pleased to hear from you. If you want any information regarding any timeshare matter we will try to answer it, if we don´t know we will find it out.

 

Here We Go Again! Another Supreme Court Ruling for CLA against Anfi.

Canarian Legal Alliance once again announces another Supreme Court victory against Anfi, this was published on their website on 31 May 2016.

 

The Supreme Court again has awarded one of their clients double the deposit back, due to the fact of taking payments within the 14 day cooling off period. The court has also reinforced the fact that floating weeks and contracts in perpetuity are illegal. This client will be receiving over 30,000€ and have their contract canceled.

 

This now brings the number of rulings by the Supreme Court on behalf of CLA clients to nine. This will obviously have a profound effect on all timeshares sold within Spanish jurisdiction, the floodgates have been opened and there is now no turning back.

 

Consumers now have the full protection of the law despite what the timeshare companies and the trade body the RDO may say. In the end it is only themselves to blame for their present predicament.

 

It has also come to the attention of Inside Timeshare that another case brought in Tenerife against Silverpoint has resulted in a victory. The only information so far is the case was conducted on behalf of a British Silverpoint client, the case was heard by Judge José Pablo Carrera Fernadez. At present we do not know which firm started these proceedings. It would seem that the court in Tenerife has also used the Supreme Court rulings in its judgement. More will be published on this when the information becomes available.

 

Once again congratulations to the respective clients and both the legal teams that fought your cases.

slicksaleman

THE SUPREME COURT STRIKES AGAIN

Inside Timeshare is here to bring you the latest news and information about the world of timeshare. If you need any advise or information about your own timeshare or any company that you may be thinking of dealing with, contact Inside Timeshare for free and impartial advice.

Supreme Court Rulings: Simply Explained.

We have seen many articles about the recent Supreme Court Rulings on timeshare, but what are they?

 

Firstly the taking of deposits within the 14 day cooling off period has been declared illegal, it has also been clarified that this includes those taken by a third party. Many companies used this method to get round the EU Directives which stated that no deposit was to be taken, many had the deposit paid to a trust company, thereby being able to state that they did not take deposits.

 

Why were deposits taken within this period outlawed?

 

Many of us are familiar with paying deposits, there are many instances where this is done. For instance, when booking a table in a restaurant for a large party a deposit is usually required. This tends to be non-refundable if you don´t turn up or cancel with reasonable notice. Most of us would accept this as we have initiated the contract with the restaurant.

 

Another example is booking a holiday with the local high street travel agent, we pay them a deposit as a sign that we will fulfil our commitment to complete the booking. If we cancel then the deposit is again non-refundable.

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So why is the taking of a deposit for timeshare or related products illegal?

Keep Reading

Fast and Furious: Result Within 24 Hours!

On 27 May Canarian Legal Alliance posted another victory against Anfi Resorts, this case was heard on 25 May 2016.

 

From the initial hearing to the judgement being delivered was within a staggering 24 hours, now this is amazing for any court no matter what country. This particular family must be very happy indeed, their contract has been cancelled and the court has ordered that they be repaid 20,000€.

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It would seem that the Supreme Court rulings are having a profound effect on the way the lower courts are now dealing with these cases. In the past it was taking so long for cases to be heard and could even take longer to be resolved, mainly due to the lengthy appeals process. This can be seen with the now famous Grimsbo v Anfi case, six years in the making, but resulting in historical Supreme Court rulings.

 

Again this contract was declared null and void due to the taking of deposits within the cooling off period, along with the illegality of floating / points systems. We now wait to see how quickly other cases similar to this will be heard and adjudicated.

 

So it is congratulations to this particular family and well done the legal team at CLA.

 

Inside Timeshare is here to give you the latest news and information on what is happening around the timeshare world. Much of it will be kept from you the members, could it be they are afraid of a mass exodus or even more litigation. Truthful information is what you the members require, yes, you may be happy with what you have, Kim & Andy are proof of that. But even they are interested in what is going on, after all it may just affect you in the future.

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My Thoughts Today (End of May)

We are now at the end of May, it has proven to be quite an interesting month. It began with the start of the RCI class action brought by Edwin Coe LLP, as yet no news from the case is available. It went into a second week, and as we all know the legal system takes time, so we do not expect any judgement from the High Court anytime soon. But we will keep you informed as and when the news comes in.

 

It has also been a very expensive month for some of the resorts with huge awards being issued by the courts in Spain. One firm has secured a massive payout in the past week for one of its clients, with many other cases in the pipeline. This has shown that the authorities in Spain are taking the matter of companies selling against the rules very seriously indeed.

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The case of Mrs B now seems to be at an end, as stated in a previous article, the paperwork she has, does state her timeshare has been sold. This was on a document signed and sealed by a Public Notary. It now only leaves the matter of the resort to accept this fact, but due to her age and health somehow I don’t think they will bother to cause any more problems. After all it isn’t really in their best interest to pursue this and end up with a very bad public image.

 

Earlier in the month we ran an article on happy owners, once again thanks to Kim and Andy for taking the time to talk about and write down some of their experiences. This piece did show that for some timeshare does work well. It also showed that like anything else you have to learn how to use it. Timeshare is a good concept, it is just a shame that in the past it has been sold with flaws. The current situation with the law being clarified in Spain bears this out.

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We have also issued warnings about bogus law firms, these have been claiming that courts have awarded payments to owners who have lost money to resale companies. These have been followed by calls from bodies claiming to be either inland revenue or other officials. Then comes the crunch, you have to send them by bank transfer a tax payment. It was also highlighted that many of these entities are using names or very similar names to genuine companies.

 

It was also announce this month that The Privileged Club had filed for liquidation, apparently this is because the owner is seriously ill and cannot continue to run the club. Unfortunately we don’t yet know what will happen to the members, hopefully another club will take them on. We hope that Gary Woodward does indeed get well.

 

Articles on the history of timeshare were also published, showing how it has developed over the years. We ended with an article about one of the most infamous resale crooks on the Costa del Sol, whose business was the model for all subsequent scam companies. The question on this last piece is will he be making a return when released from prison? Lets hope not.

It now only leaves Inside Timeshare to say have great bank holiday weekend, we hope that the weather is fine for you to begin the BBQ´s. Remember do your research before entering into and contract, check and check again. If in doubt or don’t know where to look contact us and we will give you the advise.

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