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Independent Timeshare Assistance

Another New Cold Caller Identified with Rather Dubious Links

Starting the day in our usual way checking on articles and posts on other timeshare related websites over coffee, we came across the Mindtimeshare blog and their warning on Timeshare Helper. Looking at their website something caught our eye as being very familiar, checking our own recent posts we were not disappointed. It certainly seems they are linked to other entities that we have published information about over the past couple of weeks.

Timeshare Helper using the website:

https://timeshare-helper.com/

Which was only registered on 26 November 2020 and expires on 26 November 2022, again the registrant of the website is hidden by privacy protection, so there is no indication of who is behind it.

The website itself is very basic, being one page with a menu that scrolls to the relevant section. These sections are headed:

  • Who We Are
  • Why Choose Us
  • How Can We Help
  • Client Appreciation
  • Current Legislation
  • Contact Us

The Who We Are section contains no real company information whatsoever, in fact, there is nothing about them anywhere on the website, no company registration, no address or telephone number.

But it does say:

“We are leading experts in the area of timeshare purchases and contracts having assisted hundreds of clients. What’s more, the advice we offer is completely impartial, designed to give you a clear picture of your entire situation.”

Now for a website that has only been registered for 5 months, they certainly must be very good to have helped “hundreds of clients”:

The start of that statement is also rather telling, that they are “leading experts” in timeshare purchases and contracts. That is probably because they are the ones that sold it to you in the first place.

What caught our eye was in the Client Appreciation section and the three testimonials they publish, there was something very familiar about them, we were sure we had seen them before and yes we were correct.

All three appear on the website for Timeshare Support Centre, another new cold caller we published a warning about on 7 April 2021, (see link below).

https://insidetimeshare.com/one-reader-deals-with-a-cold-caller/

The “testimonials” published on both websites are exactly the same, word for word, the only differences are the names of the so-called “clients”!

Client Appreciation Page: Timeshare Help
Right-click and open in new tab to enlarge.
Testimonials: Timeshare Support Centre
Right-click and open in new tab to enlarge.

Now if that doesn’t get the alarm bells ringing, we are not sure what will!

As we stated there is no address or telephone number, just a very simple contact form, so the website itself is just a lead generator for those searching for help with their timeshare problems.

Now as for the “cold calls”, these are being made from a number with a Birmingham code, 01216302276, but again this does not mean they are actually located in Birmingham.

The number, however, does come up with links to various other scams, not just timeshare, according to the website who called me, (see link below), page 2 also mentions that it has been linked to a “National Insurance Scam”.

https://who-called.co.uk/Number/01216302276

So far, everything about these cold callers looks extremely dodgy, the lack of company information, the obviously fake “testimonials” and then the comments on who called me.

It also appears they may be linked to companies we have had reason to warn readers about this month:

According to information from our own readers, these are all calling on behalf of Aegis Direct who are based in Tenerife. Just on this alone, we can safely assume they are also calling on behalf of Aegis Direct. (see link below).

https://insidetimeshare.com/latest-cold-callers-update/

Once again, this reinforces the care you must take when receiving cold calls or searching the internet for a company to help you with your timeshare problem. Not all are genuine, in fact, most are more than likely to be scam operations and it can be virtually impossible for you to tell the genuine from the fake.

If you have received a call from any of the companies mentioned above even ones that have not appeared on our pages, or you have found one on the internet and you would like to know if they are genuine or more than likely scammers, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

REMEMBER, DO YOUR HOMEWORK FIRST!

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!

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