Browse Tag

Club la Costa

Latest Cold Callers Update

This week Inside Timeshare has published a warning on two cold calling companies, Independent Timeshare Assistance and Timeshare Support Centre, today we add another cold caller named Marketing Solutions Group. There now appears to be a link between these companies and who they are “marketing” for. We also have a look at some information supplied by our colleagues at the TCA (Timeshare Consumer Association).

Marketing Solutions Group, well, there is not a lot of information on them apart from the telephone number 01513 080341 which is a Liverpool STD code. But as we have said before this means nothing as these numbers are readily available via third party suppliers and are known as VOIP numbers. More on this in a moment.

Marketing Solutions Group is yet another name that when doing a search for companies, this name comes up many times, but nothing to do with timeshare. So who are they?

No one seems to know the answer to that question but what we do know from information supplied by our readers is they appear to be calling on behalf of Aegis Direct SL based in Tenerife. They are also known to be working with several other companies, by contracting their clients “exits” out to them and not doing it themselves.

It also appears from further information received, that the two companies Independent Timeshare Assistance and Timeshare Support Centre are also calling on behalf of Aegis Direct and their associates. So we have a rather tangled web building up here.

One other thing they all have in common is their telephone numbers, all show UK locations, but we do know that many of the callers are stating they are based in Tenerife. This is because they are using what is known as VOIP, which is short for Voice over Internet Protocol. In other words an internet telephone system.

There are many companies that provide these numbers which can then be used from anywhere in the world. Two we believe have supplied these “companies” with numbers, Simwood which is based in the UK and has the website:

https://simwood.com/uk

The other is Numbergroup Network Ltd, which on researching has some very interesting information attached to them. It seems that a former “director” Jody Rhodes of Dublin, was convicted of a telephone scam back in 2018. For the full story see the link below.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/how-phone-gang-made-fortune-12150847

There is nothing wrong with using these numbers, they are very convenient with today’s technology, the problem comes with the more unscrupulous operations. Those who wish to deceive “potential victims” into believing that they are based in the UK and not calling from call centres in the scammer’s hotspots such as Tenerife.

Moving on to some information supplied by our friends at the TCA who have been looking very closely at the Timeshare Support Centre website, they have found some rather “erroneous facts”.

“Brexit has now impacted the time you have to legally terminate your contract please contact us urgently if you have any timeshare contract termination needs”

This is a complete lie, Brexit as we have stated previously has had no impact whatsoever on timeshare termination in Europe or anywhere else for that matter.

They also found a reference to Club la Costa and the liquidations of their sales companies, which have already been shown to be false information:

“We must also bring to your attention some more recent concerning news of several large Timeshare companies that have now gone into administration 3rd January 2021 the Euro Weekly news confirmed that Club La Costa in Tenerife has filed for voluntary bankruptcy please do urgently contact us if you have purchased any products from Club La Costa (UK).”

As we already know Club la Costa has not filed for voluntary bankruptcy in Tenerife, the Spanish arms have all filed for bankruptcy in Malaga. Club la Costa is liquidating four sales companies within the group, they have already ceased trading. This only means that the sale of timeshare has ceased, there will be no new sales of timeshare. The timeshare resorts side of the company is not affected, ownership has not changed at all and all rights of use are unaffected.

The Euro Weekly article specifically states “Mijas Costa” as the Club la Costa office that has filed for voluntary bankruptcy, not Tenerife. This further confirms our belief that this outfit is operating from Tenerife, no wonder they couldn’t quote a UK office address with ease.

Then we have some information which is really no use to European timeshare members:

“Forbes.com have only recently written an article covering How do I get rid of my Timeshare in a pandemic. This article stresses the need to instruct a solicitor to legally terminate a Timeshare contract.”

This advice relates to American ownership with appropriate comment from the American Resort Development Association. If, as the comment states, there is a need to contact a solicitor, given that Timeshare Support Centre are not even close to being solicitors, why would you deal with them?

Then to cap this off they state:

“We will make sure that the advice you receive is accurate and adheres to new legislation and law changes.”

There is no new legislation. The current EU Directive was presented in 2008. Spanish law 42/98 was enacted on 5th Jan 1999, with an update to this law which is known as Ley 4/12 we believe neither of these laws constitutes “new”.

So once again, we see statements published on a “company” website giving out false and inaccurate information. Not only are they attempting to confuse you the timeshare owners about their company, but also using some very dubious tactics such as scaremongering to convince you to use their services.

Inside Timeshare would like to thank the TCA for providing their findings above, it saved us a lot of time.

Once again, these points are published to show you the reader how careful you have to be when dealing with cold calls or any company you find on the internet regarding your timeshare. Cold Calling is not illegal, it is a recognised marketing tool, but there are certain regulations governing the industry, so it is important to do your due diligence and research the company before even contemplating engaging their services.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST!

Start the Week: MacDonald Resorts Makes an Offer and News from the Courts

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, the original article which was published this morning on the “Bankruptcy” of the Cazorla Group, has had to be removed temporarily, the reason is we have received some information that needs to be added along with some points which need to be clarified. This article will be published in full in due course.

Last Friday, the BBC Radio 4 program You and Yours were supposed to broadcast the story of our reader and their problems with MacDonald Resorts. At the last minute, our reader was contacted by MacDonalds who made an offer. So the BBC decided not to broadcast the item.

Our reader has since been in contact with Inside Timeshare and we are pleased to report that the offer made was satisfactory, he is very pleased with the outcome and has now come to an agreement. The case is now concluded and closed.

We do hope that MacDonald Resorts take a very long hard look at their policies and how they treat their members, it would save MacDonalds a great deal of adverse publicity and improve their credibility. Times have changed, members are no longer going to put up with how timeshare companies treat them, they need to change and change quickly.

Last week was a rather difficult week in the courts for the timeshare industry, with yet another Club la Costa case being found in favour of the client. Again CLC tried to appeal the decision of the court to accept the case, citing the contract was subject to UK law and UK jurisdiction.

This move was rejected and the Court of First Instance of Fuengirola found against CLC, declaring the contract null and void with the return of over 45,000€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

In the High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas, Anfi had yet another appeal dismissed with the original sentence of the Court of First Instance being confirmed.

The High Court also confirmed the counter appeal by lawyers representing the client that the Court of First Instance did not take into account the illegal taking of deposits within the statutory cooling-off period. The High Court duly applied the double payment of these deposits increasing the original award by over 20,000€ bringing the total to around 48,000€ Plus legal interest and legal costs. The contract was also declared null and void.

Then on Friday afternoon, another case against Anfi was announced by the Court of First Instance of San Bartelóme de Tirajana. The client’s contract was declared null and void with the court awarding a massive 185,241€ plus legal Interest and legal costs. No doubt Anfi will launch yet another appeal to the High Court, just to be awkward and cause the client as much stress as possible.

Again the clients were represented by the lawyers of Canarian Legal Alliance, who will continue to represent them throughout all stages of the case including any appeals they make.

That is all for today, if you have any questions or comments, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Tuesday Slot: Diamond Resorts Constantly Losing in the Spanish Courts

As we have seen from our recent articles highlighting timeshare problems in the US which heavily feature Diamond Resorts, today Inside Timeshare has a look at the latest case and one important case to be heard in the past months against the various Diamond Resorts Sales Companies. One of the main points which they all have in common is the Diamond insistence that the Spanish Courts and Spanish Law does not have jurisdiction, that UK Law and Courts govern the contract. As you will see this is certainly not the case.

The latest case to be heard is yet another in a long line of cases where Diamond Resorts have appealed that Spain has no Legal Jurisdiction over their contracts. This has been a ploy used by other timeshare resorts and sales most notably Club la Costa.

These contracts which have the clause stating that the contract is bound by UK Law and the Jurisdiction of UK Courts is nothing less than attempting to circumvent the strict laws governing the sale of timeshare in Spain.

Illegal Contracts are Declared Null & Void

The basics which make these contracts illegal are:

  1. Duration of the contract is more than the 50 years allowed;
  2. Floating weeks and points systems which also includes fractional;
  3. The taking of any payment even by a third party within the statutory cooling-off period.

Points 1 and 3 are self-explanatory, point 2 needs a little explanation.

Timeshare was originally sold with fixed weeks and apartment numbers, this guaranteed the same week in the same apartment each year unless the “owner” decided to exchange for a different resort or week. It was something tangible, the “owner” also had certain rights under Spanish rules of “Comunidad” or community. In effect, this gave the “owners” the power to reject maintenance increases and even to “sack” the management company.

As the weeks available, remember they could only sell 51 weeks of each apartment, timeshare sales inevitably slowed down, which meant a loss of income for the sales departments.

Enter the idea of the points systems and floating weeks, these were marketed as “beneficial” to the “owners” as it gave them the ability to “book” whenever they wanted. In reality, you lost all your rights and the guarantee of the vacation you have paid for.

You owned nothing apart from the right to use subject to availability, you became a “member” of a Vacation Club, with nothing of substance. Liken it to a membership to a golf club, you pay your dues but you are not guaranteed to be able to “tee off” when you necessarily want to. Booking times are subject to availability.

Hence Spanish Law deemed that these “products” were illegal as they provided the consumer with nothing.

Yet the timeshare companies such as Diamond continued to sell these “points” with the clause in the contract of UK Law and Jurisdiction governing them when in reality the sale was made in Spain and the consumer should be protected by Spanish Law. After all, we have mentioned in the past the RDO code of conduct which states:

Part I, Chapter 3, Paragraph 3.5:

“To comply with all laws, which apply to Member’s, business in the jurisdiction in which the Member operates.”

Obviously, the clause of jurisdiction flies in the face of this particular rule.

The latest case involves an English client who purchased in Spain with the company Diamond Resorts (Europe) Ltd on the contract. When the case was submitted to the court Diamond immediately appealed the decision to accept the case. Again citing jurisdictional issues, that the contract was governed by UK Law.

This appeal was dismissed.

The Court of First Instance Number 4 of Fuengirola continued with the case and eventually declared the contract null and void. They also ordered the repayment of 42,912€ plus legal interest and legal costs to the client.

The award was made up of the purchase price of 15,181€ plus a further 27,731€ for the illegally taken payments within the statutory cooling-off period.

Spanish Law or UK Law?

This is not the first case in which the Diamond appeal on jurisdiction has been roundly dismissed.

In one of the highest awards made by a Spanish Court against Diamond, in July 2020, the Court of First Instance and the High Court of Tenerife found against Diamond Resorts Tenerife Sales SL.

Although the company is a registered Spanish entity, Diamond claimed the jurisdictional issue on the contracts. Their argument was that they were selling an “English Product”, therefore UK (English law) and courts had jurisdiction.

This argument was soundly rejected by the courts and the contract was duly declared null and void, with the return of over 123,000€. The full story can be found in the case study on the following link.

There are plenty more of these cases, which are too numerous to publish here, you can find all these cases at the following link:

https://canarianlegalalliance.com/category/diamond-resorts/

All these cases involve clients of Canarian Legal Alliance, with the lawyers preparing and representing them in the courts. Proving once again that Spanish Law will not be flouted by these timeshare companies, the message is very clear, abide by the laws of Spain, after all, your membership of the RDO demands that you abide by the laws of the country in which you are operating in.

If you would like further information on your contract and if you have a valid and viable case, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.



News has just come in that the Spanish Supreme Court has resoundingly rejected an appeal By Diamond.

The case was originally heard for appeal by the High Court of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in September 2018 after Diamond Resorts Tenerife Sales SL lost in the Court of First Instance.

The Supreme Court clearly stated that they “had no need to expand or clarify previous rulings”. They also stated that the High Court rulings were “consistent and in harmony” with all previous Supreme Court Judgements.