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Alberto Garcia

Start the Week

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, it has been a rather quiet weekend with not many emails with the usual horror stories of scams and more scams with new names being added to the ever-growing list. At the end of Friday, the following news came in with the latest court cases for that week.

Once again Canarian Legal Alliance had a very successful week in the courts, they received 18 rulings in favour of their clients with 4 of these being firm sentences from the High Court.

To explain, a firm sentence from the High Court is where one party usually the timeshare resort has not accepted the ruling of the Court of First Instance and lodged an appeal with the High Court. The High Court can either reject the appeal and send it straight back for execution of sentence or it may hear the case and either confirm the sentence or overrule it. Due to the Supreme Court rulings, it is very unlikely that they will change the original sentence.

CLA Legal Team

Once again it was Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL who had the highest tally of cases found against them with 13 in total. The cases placed before the courts were all the usual infringements, contracts with over 50 years in duration, floating weeks and points systems and not to forget the illegal taking of any payments within the statutory cooling-off period. Contracts were all declared null and void with a total of 689,117.15€ being returned to the happy clients.

Silverpoint came in second place with 3 victories for the clients, again the contracts were declared null and void with the usual variety of infringements, points, floating weeks, length of contracts and the taking of payments during the cooling-off period. In total, the courts awarded 240,687.12€ back to the clients.

Holiday Club Gran Canaria received yet another ruling declaring the contract null and void and the client being awarded 16,310.10€.

The last company is Regency Resorts and Tenelosa SL, with the court’s ruling that the contract is illegal and declaring it null and void, the lucky clients, in this case, will now receive 29,877.15€.

These cases do show that the courts are consistently ruling in favour of the clients and following the rulings laid down by the Supreme Court in the 130 cases which they have heard over the past few years. This should leave clients and timeshare operators that the courts will uphold the law and protect consumers from the type of illegal contracts which have been sold for many years.

Moving on from the courts, it has been noticed that mindtimeshare has not been very active recently, the last post they published is dated 14 November 2019. Now considering that they tended to post on an almost daily basis this lack of articles is very noticeable and we find it to be very unusual.

Could it be that they are now so low on funding that the staff have been laid off?

It was a very rough ride for that particular blog site especially when Alberto Garcia was disgraced, having to resign his role as director and then they lost all their funding from the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation).

So could this be the last of mindtimeshare, only time will tell?

It has also been noticed that the TCA (Timeshare Consumer Association) has improved the articles they are publishing, obviously, this is due to the fact that ECC has now taken control from Mark Rowe.

Under Rowe’s control, the TCA lost all credibility and it became just a wagon to promote his own companies, that is not what the TCA was intended to do when the late Sandy Grey began operating many years ago. It does look as though under the ECC we will see this publication going back to its roots and providing consumers with genuine facts and information. Inside Timeshare welcomes this change and hopes to collaborate with them in identifying the growing number of scam companies.

That’s all for today if you would like further information on your timeshare, whether you have a valid claim, just want to know how to get out or would like to know if a company is genuine then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Start the Week

The RDO (Resorts Development Organisation) is supposedly the trade body for the timeshare industry in Europe, yet it is their very own members who are being taken through the courts for the mis-selling of timeshare. Yet it fails to act against them or even sanction them for their misdeeds. In fact, if you look at their own membership list, it probably only represents about 10% of the industry in Europe, with many of their own members on the receiving end of hundreds of court cases.

Instead, it funds several entities to discredit companies that do genuinely try to help beleaguered timeshare owners, Kwikchex, Timeshare Taskforce and Timeshare business Check, all run by Chris Emmins. This gentleman does not have a very successful track record when it comes to his directorships, with 17 appointments with all companies being dissolved under his directorship.

Kwikchex and Chris Emmins replaced the now discredited Alberto Garcia who with his blog site Mindtimeshare did the RDO’s bidding, using the “Enforcement” program, now renamed Timeshare Taskforce. Granted, timeshare owners do need to know the good from the bad, but as we have seen over the years the good have been lumped together with the bad, all because they do not wish to subscribe to RDO membership or are using legal means against the timeshare industry.

Chris Emmins

So who do the consumers have to turn to?

At one time many believe that it was TATOC, The Association of Timeshare Owners Committees, but as we know that organisation has fallen by the wayside. It was also funded by the industry and the then CEO Harry Taylor instead of protecting timeshare consumers was very much on the side of the industry.

Recently the RDO announced a new organisation for owners, EUROC, or European Resort Owners Coalition. Yes, you have guessed it, the European equivalent of ARDA ROC from the US.

We do know that the RDO and ARDA, (American Resorts Development Association) are very close, in fact, the RDO is very much modelling itself on their US cousin. Lobbying on behalf of the industry to the detriment of the consumer.

UEROC, is being funded by both of these organisations, according to the RDO for at least one year, then it should become self-sufficient. But does that mean it will be funded by timeshare owners, or like we had with TATOC funded by industry membership and associates?

Is this new organisation actually going to represent consumers’ interests against the industry or is it going to be just another sham to make consumers believe they have a voice?

Only time will tell if what we are seeing with the industry in the US, with ARDA supporting bills which destroy consumers rights in Florida and Nevada, it does not bode well for consumers in Europe.

At least in Spain, the law is on the side of the consumer, making perpetuity contracts illegal, banning the sale of floating weeks and points systems, enforcing the cooling off period and forbidding the taking of any payments within that period. These are the basics of many of the court cases consumers are winning, resulting in contracts being declared null and void and the return of all payments.

If you purchased a timeshare in Spain after January 1999 and want to know where you stand legally, then use our contact page and we will point you in the right direction.

Start the Week: Information Received

Inside Timeshare has received information about another Cold Calling company Sim Legal Services, this in itself is not a problem provided that Data Protection laws are adhered to, the problem is the nature of the calls.

 

The company is owned by Jeroen Martijn Brussel, there does not seem to be a website attached and any searches bring up warnings to Dutch speaking owners on two different websites:

https://timesharealarm.com/sim-legal-services/

https://www.timesharestop.nl/sim-legal-services/

Unfortunately so far we have not had a chance to have these translated, but there do seem to be some very serious concerns about Sim Legal Services, with the mention of several other companies they appear to be linked with. JB Legal and Timeshare Reclaim Consulting.

As for JB Legal, again a search of the internet finds no website, although there are several companies with a similar name including a genuine law firm in the United States. This makes it very difficult for any potential client to do the necessary due diligence checks.

Timeshare Reclaim Consulting do have a website and are known to Inside Timeshare, although we have never had any concern or reason to mention them in any article.

The problem is with Sim Legal and what they are telling potential clients, one of our readers spoke with them and was very disturbed by what they were told. In the phone call they tell clients that they used to work for CLA, (Inside Timeshare has no knowledge of this), but since CLA are not doing what they promise, they are now working with a better company called TRC, all to give themselves a semblance of credibility.

The question is, are the management of TRC aware of the tactics of Sim Legal Services, the fact that they are making accusations against a competitor who is in the same vicinity and happens to be the leading law firm in timeshare litigation, in order to talk clients into signing up with them and then passing them to TRC?

If not, they will be now, as far as we are concerned, for any caller to make assertions about another company in order to “sign up” a client is to say the least a sign that they themselves cannot be trusted.

Also are they aware of how much Sim Legal are charging clients before sending passing them to TRC, according to the two Dutch websites Sim Legal are charging extortionate amounts.

All we can say is TRC need to be aware that firms such as Sim Legal Services will not do their business any favours, it will in the end come back to haunt them, they will be tarred with the same brush.

In another strange enquiry, we have been asked what is mindtimeshare doing now?

It appears that they have moved on from being a consumer association to something else. Our enquirer has told us that mindtimeshare is actively emailing those who have contacted them and recommending a firm for taking out litigation against clients timeshare companies. Apparently it appears that this company is TRC, mentioned above.

Just to recap, at one time, mindtimeshare was funded by the industry, the Resorts Development Organisation, this was under the tenure of the now discredited Alberto Garcia. Under his direction, mindtimeshare attacked any company which threatened the industry. He eventually got his comeuppance, and the RDO withdrew funding.

Since then Mindtimeshare has had to find its own way and began to change how it wrote their blogs, to be honest, they became more factual and evidence based, giving a more balance view. But obviously funds must have been a problem.

There is no problem with making a recommendation, but if what our reader has told us is true, making a deal to use your own client database to secure clients for one firm, does not appear to be conducive to the ideals of an independent consumer association. This subject was also a question that we posed in the article below.

http://insidetimeshare.com/alberto-garcia-steps-down-as-director-of-mindtimeshare/