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Independent Timeshare Assistance

Start the Week: News from the Courts, Marriott and Anfi Lose Again

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, we start this week with news from the courts with Marriott and Anfi losing in all cases and a payment to a client from Anfi. Last week we highlighted a new “cold caller” and website which we believe to be another “lead generator” for unnamed “claims and exit” companies. Inside Timeshare received an email from a lady who answered an advert for “telemarketing” staff and gave Inside Timeshare some more valuable information.

As we explained in one of the articles, many of the staff are just ordinary people answering an advert for staff, with the situation regarding employment any offer of a job is welcome. Unfortunately, it is these people who are also being taken in by the less scrupulous of these operators, being told what to say and how to get you the timeshare owner to pay up and sign with their company.

Luckily, this particular reader realised within a few weeks that something was not right with this company and found them to be “dodgy”, terminating their employment immediately. The information supplied regarding Independent Timeshare Assistance is rather interesting.

It would appear that a person by the name of Chris Wilson, a name that does ring a few bells, is the one behind it and is actively recruiting new staff with more adverts, these also seem to be based in Portugal.

According to our information, these “clients” are being sought on behalf of a “law firm” based in Scotland. Well we do have our suspicions on who these are and they are not law firms, but more companies set up by ex-sales staff and sales managers from Diamond and others.

Again this does show how careful you need to be, not just as a timeshare owner but also an employee answering adverts for “call centre” staff, you may believe that it is a legitimate job, but you could also be fooled into working for a scam operation.

In a case that has set new records for the speed for the case to go through the courts, Marriott has lost another case at the Court of First Instance Number 4 of Palma de Mallorca. This case has taken a remarkable 6 months to be processed through the courts, a bit of a miracle to those who know the Spanish legal system.

The German clients of Canarian Legal Alliance had their contract with Marriott Vacation Club declared null and void, with the court ordering the repayment of 21,150€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

This also included the repayment of double the amount taken illegally as a deposit within the statutory cooling-off period, in accordance with the law and the rulings of the Supreme Court.

The case was prepared and conducted by the CLA Lawyers Adrián Diaz Saavedra Morales and Christine Ihmann, with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client throughout the process.

In another case against Anfi at the Court of First Instance Number 2 of San Bartelóme de Tirajana, a Norwegian client of CLA has had their contract with Anfi terminated and declared null and void. They have also been awarded 102,576€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

Again the courts recognised the illegality of the taking of payments within the statutory cooling-off period and awarded double the amount as established by previous rulings and the law.

The case was prepared and conducted on behalf of the client by CLA Lawyer Eva Gutierrez with the client being assisted by Claims Consultant Caroline Castro.

We end today with the good news received by one English client of CLA and their battle against Anfi coming to a successful conclusion. They have now received directly into their own bank account the full award of 17,551€ Anfi were ordered to repay by the courts.

The original case was heard at the Court of First Instance Number 5 of SBT, where the contract was declared null and void and the repayment to the client was ordered, as was expected, Anfi once again filed an appeal with the High Court.

The lawyers are now well aware of these tactics and as soon as the sentence is issued by the Court of First Instance they begin a “provisional execution of sentence”, this then secures the funds on behalf of the client until the sentence is confirmed by the High Court.

We all know that Anfi “plays” the game of appeal in order to delay payment, they are also known to “hide the funds”, in order to claim they have no money to payout. This is subject to an official investigation by the Provincial State Prosecutors Office, this may very well lead to criminal prosecutions.

Thanks to the diligent work and investigations of the legal team at CLA, this client received their payment from monies embargoed by CLA from a tax refund Anfi was supposed to receive. In the end, Anfi will pay, it is just a case of plugging away and “chasing the money-go-round”.

This case was prepared and conducted on behalf of the English Client by Eva Gutierrez with Claims Consultant Jake Kaiser assisting the client during the process.

That is all for today, if you have any questions or comments, or you would like information on a possible legal case or just how to exit, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

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!

One Reader Deals with a Cold Caller

Yesterday Inside Timeshare published information on Independent Timeshare Assistance, a “company” that does not appear to actually exist, well, officially that is, as no record can be found through Company House. This has prompted further inquiries from readers who have also been contacted by other “companies” which also sound rather dubious.

This particular reader has been in contact with Inside Timeshare for quite some time and was contacted by a young lady calling on behalf of Timeshare Support Centre, using the telephone number 01244 722295. Which is a Chester code. As we have said before, this means nothing as these numbers can be purchased for use from anywhere in the world.

The thing is this young lady was calling from Los Cristianos (yet a Chester code) in Tenerife but did not even know the address of the office she was working from. She also claimed that their website is “under construction” so could not give that out. Very strange because we accessed it this morning, we also checked the registration details.

https://timesharesupportcentre.org/

It was registered on 26 November 2020 and is due to expire on 26 November 2022, as usual, the registrant is hidden by privacy protection. The website also shows no company details or registrations, these facts are never a good sign. The only contact is through the telephone number, which is slightly different from the one used above, 01244 722296, a contact form or this rather strange looking email address given on the website.

Email: support at timesharesupportcentre.org

This does make it look like it is yet another lead generator, but the question is who for?

When questioned by our reader where she had got the number her response was “they had got it from the AGM (Annual General Meeting) database”. Apparently, she had no idea what this was, and to be honest neither do we, but it does look like someone may have sold the information from the club members list.

It would seem that the young lady making the call was completely out of her depth, being unable to answer the simplest of questions, she just kept saying that she just “wanted to advise me (our reader) about the danger of signing contracts”. She couldn’t even explain what contracts.

Eventually, after further questioning she stated that she thought their head office was in Sheffield, so being unable to answer the questions our reader was passed to the callers “supervisor” Natalie, who was in (?) “Manchester”.

On being passed to Natalie, our reader then managed to get an address, although Natalie seemed to struggle to give it, the address is one that we have come across before and has been used by various “timeshare advice companies” in the past:

25 King Street 5th Floor Manchester City Centre M21 9QD

Now, when questioned, Natalie could not even explain where they got our readers details as a timeshare owner. She also stated that she could not even tell our reader where her timeshare was because of “Data Protection”. A very lame excuse considering they can’t explain where they got the information in the first place.

Obviously, there is a “Data Protection” breach here as the contact details cannot be verified as coming from any legitimate source.

Eventually, after much more questioning from our reader, who incidentally no longer owns any timeshare, Natalie seemed to get very upset and kept on saying she was “only trying to help me (our reader)”. She was asked again to explain and the penny finally dropped, she hung up, much to the annoyance of our reader who was rather enjoying the encounter.

This particular reader has been through the proverbial mill regarding timeshare over the years so is now rather adept at handling the calls, even though no longer an owner. This story is a fine example of how careful you must be and question every call you receive, question every “fact” that you are told by these callers, you will catch them out. After all, many of those making the calls are just doing a job, they have no experience in timeshare or if the company is legitimate or not. They have probably just answered an advert looking for staff and got the job, then just follow the “script”. This is especially true at this time when many people are out of work in places like Tenerife and an income is needed. In a way, many of the staff making the calls are also being used without their knowledge, they believe the “pitch” given by their employer.

We have also received information on another number being used, which we believe is again for Independent Timeshare Assistance, 01392 243151, this code is for Exeter, it also has some very negative reports on who called me.

If you receive a call or have found a company on the internet, check them out first, do your due diligence and find out as much as you can. If you are unsure of how to proceed then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

REMEMBER, DO YOUR HOMEWORK!

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