Browse Tag

Court of First Instance

Mid Week Rundown: Anfi and MacDonalds in the Frame

Inside Timeshare hopes that all our readers are well and coping with the restrictions being placed on us. Due to the working restrictions, there is very little news coming from the courts but it doesn’t appear to be stopping the cold calls from the scam companies or even timeshare companies such as MacDonald Hotels and Resorts from operating. But first, we begin with the latest news from the courts and a case against Anfi.

Yesterday, 31 March, Canarian Legal Alliance announced the news of one Dutch family who won their case against Anfi Resorts SL in the Court of First Instance and then after yet another frivolous appeal by Anfi, in the High Court as well.

The courts ordered that the contract be declared null and void plus the return of over 31,000€. This has now been paid back to the family and is now safely in their own account leaving them to enjoy being timeshare free.

Staying with Anfi, there are more comments from Anfi members regarding the cancellations of booking due to the current situation and lockdown. As we already know, before the lockdown in Spain came into force and the closure of all hotels and resorts, many flights were being cancelled and consequently, people were cancelling their holidays. Yet Anfi is playing a very nasty game.

Members are having to pay a cancellation fee and in order to bank that week and save it they must get an “accommodation voucher” from Anfi, no problem I hear you say and I would agree. Unfortunately, this is not as clear cut as it first appears.

In order to receive this “voucher” and “save” the week, which they have already paid for with the initial purchase price and the annual maintenance fees, members are being told they “MUST” sign the new contract first, not to forget that they will also have to pay a re-booking fee!

Anfi has been trying to get members to sign this new contract since their Special General Meeting in June 2017, (see links below), the basics are that the new contract is replacing the original “illegal” contracts and bring them into line with the timeshare laws. This move as we know is to avoid any further contracts being taken to court. Once a member signs this new contract they lose their rights to seek legal redress for the sale of the original illegal contract.

This is in our view is nothing short of “BLACKMAIL”, a tactic which we would associate with the Mafia, not a supposed “customer focused” business, especially as Anfi continually states that they regard all their “members” as “family”. Well with “family” like this who needs enemies?

We now move on to another sorry tale of the excessive and abusive tactics of another timeshare company, MacDonald Hotels and Resorts which we have been highlighting recently. 

As we have reported this is the “EXTORTION” tactics they use when their members especially the elderly need to terminate their membership. This involves the demand of the payment of arrears plus the payment of over 4 years worth of maintenance fees to “hand the timeshare back”, although they do not even guarantee that they will “accept the application” to terminate. One reader has been told this must be paid in full by the end of April and they “may consider the termination” in September. No promise, just a “possibility”.

We have now just been informed that the husband of this reader who is seriously ill has now taken a turn for the worst and this is also taking its toll on his wife. In this case, MacDonald’s require the payment of over £10,000, which they can ill afford due to the costs of daily home care and the possibility of him having to be placed in a care home.

Inside Timeshare has also been in contact with our old friend Mrs B, as many of you will know, Inside Timeshare has been following her story for around 4 years with no sign of it being resolved.

To recap, Mrs B paid a company to help her get out of two timeshares, one with MacDonald’s the other Oasis Lanz in Lanzarote. This was duly done, with the timeshare being transferred to a new owner, with all documents being notarised and conforming to Spanish law.

There was no problem with Oasis Lanz, the problem was with the MacDonalds timeshare.

MacDonalds refuse to acknowledge or recognise the change of ownership, they are still chasing for “arrears of maintenance” which now comes to around 5 years worth. Mrs B is in her 90’s and is also housebound.

She has now received the first of this year’s demands for maintenance and more threats of legal action to recover “the debt” through the courts. Last year they employed a law firm to make the threats on their behalf, even including documents of cases where they have won the case in the County Courts. If that is not an attempt at “EXTORTION”, I personally don’t know what is.

That is all for today,  if you have any questions or concerns on any of these examples, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you. We would also welcome your own experiences with Anfi and especially MacDonald Hotels & Resorts please let us know and we will highlight them on our pages. It is your information which helps others.

Take care and stay safe.

Past Anfi articles on the new contracts.

News on Thursday: Day 12 of Lockdown

Welcome to you all from our “house arrest” in Spain, we are now on day 12 (I think?), with the distinct possibility of another 15 days “lockdown” being implemented. Here in Gran Canaria the vast majority of citizens are observing the rules and staying at home unless it is shopping for essentials. Now that all the hotels and resorts have closed with all the tourists returning home the streets and beaches are now empty.

The normally bustling Puerto Mogan

Staying on this particular subject, last week a video was shared around Facebook and other social media of a UK tourist on holiday in Tenerife. She was seen swimming in the pool at the Paradise Park Hotel and it can clearly be seen that the pool is cordoned off.

She was informed by hotel staff that she should get out as use of the pool is not allowed. She refused and the police were called, she ignored them. In the video, one of the police officers strips down and then drags her to the poolside where another officer pulls her out. She is then handcuffed and taken away to the cells while using the usual profanities against the police.

She was held for 24 hours and the hotel refused her back in, they then left the island, she is on bail pending court appearances.

There is only one problem here, she is Joanne Rust, 53, from King’s Lynn, Norfolk and was the Labour candidate at the last election also being photographed with Jeremy Corbyn.

Not what you would call a very good example from a person who would be a representative of your local area. Unfortunately, her escapade has not really made a very good impression to the citizens of Tenerife of her fellow countryman. (see the link below for the full story and video).

Although there is a nationwide lockdown, some court staff are still working albeit with smaller teams, so although trials may have been suspended, the courts and the judges are issuing sentences from cases previously heard. Hopefully, this will clear the backlog of judgement waiting to be issued.

The latest were issued in the past few days, the first was a High Court win for a Swedish client against Holiday Club Canaries Sales and Marketing SL and Holiday Club Finland. The client’s contract was declared null and void and the court has ordered the return of over 17,000€.

In another case, a Norwegian client who won their case at the Court of First Instance has now received their payment, even though Anfi as always appealed the judgement.

In this case, the client’s lawyers Canarian Legal Alliance did not wait and launched immediate “Provisional Enforcement and Execution of Sentence”, resulting in the freezing and embargo of Anfi accounts. The client has now received over 31,000€ back into their own account.

So we now have another two happy and timeshare free ex-owners.

As we have reported over the past week or so, all hotels and resorts including Anfi have been ordered to close, this officially came into force today. But, there are still many comments appearing on various social media sites and forums by Anfi members about the attitude of Anfi.

In one post, the member stated that by mistake they have paid double the yearly maintenance fees for 2020. They have been trying to get the overpayment back since January, but, to no avail.

Anfi’s answer, that’s you paid for next year.

Considering the news of the Cazorla’s being taken to court for compulsory liquidation by one of their creditors, this should not be of any surprise to any of the members. In this post, the member has asked the question “who to contact and what to do?” Simple answer: sue them, after all, you mean nothing to them, you are just a source of income.

Another question being asked on these forums is one we have highlighted previously, this regarding cancellation of bookings.

The poster asks why Anfi has not made any direct contact with members regarding this, once again the answer is simple.

As we have reported Anfi is not interested in you, the members, they want to charge you to cancel, then charge you yet again to re-book the week if banked. Then don’t forget that to use this week you will need a “voucher”, but you can only get this voucher if you sign the new contracts Anfi have been trying to introduce over the past couple of years.

For all those who still believe that Anfi is the greatest, this should be a wakeup call that you mean nothing to them apart from your bank accounts. So far Inside Timeshare has not received or found any similar complaints or comments from any other timeshare company, as usual Anfi still believes they can do whatever they like and screw the members.

For further information on your legal rights and options, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

That is all for today, remember, observe the lockdown, maintain social distancing and stay safe.

Some News on Day 5 of Lockdown

Welcome to day 5 of the Spanish lockdown or “house arrest” as we prefer to call it, with plenty of videos being posted on social media of the main tourist areas with not a soul about. At least now the tourists who were ignoring the lockdown have finally realised that the police are not messing about and are staying in their hotels. In one video a woman who defied the rules and used the hotel pool (which was cordoned off) was arrested by National Police, she even had the audacity to ignore their orders to vacate the pool. But enough of that, today we report on a couple of news items that have filtered down from the courts, more comments and complaints from Anfi members.

Even with the courts suspending trials there still is some news filtering through, the latest was against Anfi. The case involving British clients was held at the Court of First Instance of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, where their contract was declared null and void. They were also awarded over £8,000 further details to be released.

Moving on to the Court of First Instance of Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol, this court has just rejected a “declinatoria” by Diamond Resorts.

The Declinatoria is a legal writ in which the resort petitions the court to reject the case on the basis that the court does not have jurisdiction to try the case as the contract does not fall within the jurisdiction of Spanish law.

In this case, the court in Fuengirola ruled that the Diamond contracts did, in fact, fall under Spanish jurisdiction and therefore are subject to the terms of Spanish Timeshare Law 42/98.

This particular move by Diamond and many other resorts is a common one with the sole intention of avoiding litigation under Spanish law. This ruling sends the message that the courts are now taking this matter seriously.

Both of these cases were brought on behalf of the clients by Canarian Legal Alliance.

Yesterday we published a report regarding Anfi and the policy of charging extortionate amounts per night for those members whose holidays are over, yet are stranded in Gran Canaria due to the “State of Alarm” which is in place. The latest are regarding the cancellation of bookings.

Today we publish some more comments and complaints from members on this subject.

The first is not so much a full-blown complaint but shows the concern this situation is causing to members. This reader has seen information that Anfi is to close yet there is no information or help from them forthcoming.

They are that concerned as they do not know what this means for them, they do not know what to do, even to the point of asking if they will end up “on the street”!

The next two complaints are very similar in nature, they are regarding the cancellation of bookings during the current crisis.

One reader asks “why do they have to pay 80€ to cancel their booking”, considering the situation and the fact that they may not even be able to get a flight, Inside Timeshare has to agree with them.

The second is what one reader has been told by Anfi regarding the cancellation of their booking, they will have to pay a cancellation fee, which is not given, plus they would be able to deposit their week for future use. This must be done by email before September 2020.

They are told that there is no charge to deposit the week, but, there is always a but, they will have to pay a fee of 91€ to re-book that deposited week. Although it will be valid until the end of 2021.

So even with the current situation of lockdown and the termination of many flights, Anfi seems determined to screw their members for every cent they can, this is not what people who have spent thousands to purchase this “exclusive” club membership deserve. At least in the current situation, these charges should be wavered and the costs per night should be reduced dramatically or even no charge at all.

As for the views of Inside Timeshare, this is what we have come to expect from Anfi so it is no surprise to us, customer and members service and care is obviously non-existent at Anfi.

In the end, they have screwed the members with the selling of illegal contracts over the years, they go out of their way to avoid paying what the courts have ordered and done all they can to prolong the legal process. So the question Inside Timeshare asks is do you really want to be members of this club knowing that they have no respect or regard for their members?

For further information on your legal rights and options please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.