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Inside Timeshare

Diamond Resorts International Hits the Headlines in the USA.

Diamond Resorts International is hitting the news again in the USA, yesterday, 1 August 2016 they announced that they were postponing the release of the second quarter 2016 earnings results. This also led to the halting of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, which also resulted in the price of stocks falling. Apparently the postponement is due to the independent accountants having expressed the view that the figures are not correct and need to be re-evaluated.

dri logo

News has also come from the States that Diamond is being investigated by several law firms representing shareholders, for possible breaches of fiduciary duty. It seems to focus on the deal between Diamond Resorts International and Apollo Global Management.

 

One report suggests that the Diamond Board of Directors did not market the company fairly, resulting in it being undervalued. Obviously the result of this is the shareholders have lost out, Apollo Global have paid around $30 a share, one analyst believes that this is undervalued by around $3 a share. This could be quite a substantial amount lost by many shareholders.

apollo global logo

So could this be the start of lawsuits being initiated by the shareholders, if so what would the impact on the company be? Further reduction in share price, higher management fees for its members? Well, we shall have to wait and see. For a more in depth look into this follow the link to The Street, this will take you to all the stories and latest news.

 

https://www.thestreet.com/quote/DRII.html

 

Inside Timeshare will be following this story along with Irene Parker, who also writes many articles for The Street, as she gets the information we will pass it on to you.

 

Update: Anfi Tauro Beach Project

Since publishing the last article on the Anfi Tauro Beach Project, 28 July 2016, the newspaper MaspalomasAhora (Maspalomas Today), has published a new article.

http://maspalomasahora.com/not/38229/ben-magec-solicita-formalmente-la-inmediata-paralizacion-y-el-precintado-de-las-obras-de-la-playa-de-tauro/

It seems that Ben Magec of Ecologists in Action has made a formal request to the Chief of the Coastal Canary Islands Ministry of Environment, “the immediate shutdown and sealing” of the project. They point out that these works are having a detrimental effect on the nearby Special Area of Conservation (ZEC) Franja Marina de Mogan.

 

They also point out there is evidence of severe irregularities in certain paperwork, lacking the corresponding minutes regarding ownership. They highlight that there had also been a failure to conduct a hearing from those affected and have called it a very serious oversight in procedure.

Digital image
How the marina might look.

The organisation consider there are also deficiencies in the municipal licences and administrative records are inconsistent with sectoral reports and contains gaps in the reports required. Ben Magec also emphasises that these abnormalities are very serious as in his words involve “a clear benefit to a private company to the public interest”.

 

Apart from the serious impact of the works on the coastline, environmentalists estimate that the marine environment has been affected by these works. They blame the amount of excavations and extractions and the discharge of aggregates into the sea, impacting negatively on the ZEC Gaza marina de Mogan. This area of special protection is only 300 meters from the works in progress.

 

They have already reported on changes in the habitats and some of the species contained in this zone. These also include species that are listed as vulnerable and are listed in the List of Wild Species under Special Protection and Endangered Species Catalog.

 

The organisation has urged the prosecutor to act on its own initiative as there are serious suspicions and disproportionate actions by the administration in favour of private interests against those of the public interest.

Playa-Anfi-Tauro-Canarias-Ahora_EDIIMA20160716_0223_18

So far over 70,000 tonnes of Saharan sand has been used in creating the beach, which is now 300 meters long and 50 meters wide. It has cost around 6million euros, with a marina of 300 berths still to be built, there are also plans for new hotels with around 7,500 bed capacity to be built. What impact this will have on the marine environment is still not known.

 

So this now begs the question, how have these licences and permissions been allowed to go through? We already know the Lyng´s are not that environmentally friendly, this is borne out by the regular hunting safaris they take part in. (see link at foot of the page). Could we be seeing another round of investigations surrounding malpractice in the Anfi Empire?

 

What effect is this also going to have on the Anfi Group, bearing in mind the numerous claims in court and the Supreme Court rulings against them? It is reported that already the law firm CLA has secured around 18.4million euro in judgements for their clients against Anfi. If this project is found to be illegal then it is another huge sum that you the owners will be having to cover with your maintenance fees. This is a story we will be watching very closely, and we will bring you the latest as it comes to light.

The Great ANFI Battle of the Partners.

If you have any questions about this subject or require any information about any timeshare matter or company, Inside Timeshare will find you the answer.

 

My Thought Today: End of July

Another month gone by and even more judgements from the Supreme Court, four within a week of each other, this means CLA have now achieved 15 judgements. CLA also announced a win at the courts in Barcelona, this was against Club Estela Dorada. Again it follows the Supreme Court rulings and the client was awarded over 29,000€ including legal fees and interest.  According to my sources there are around 100 waiting to be heard at the Supreme Court, so watch this space.

legal clipart

One of my American colleagues Irene Parker sent me a link to a comment on TrustPilot, a review website. It was from a customer who had a great Customer Service Experience (although it does not state if he is a Diamond owner or just a non owner booking):

 

I must be the luckiest person in the world if you are to believe the other reviews on this site as my experience has been the complete opposite.

The agent I have been dealing with Lisa Whincap is probably the nicest and most helpful person I have ever had the pleasure to deal with.

I booked a Holiday then later found there was going to be some building work going on during part of our stay so I called and asked if I could change or cancel my holiday and Lisa could not have been more helpful and went well above and beyond to make sure I was entirely happy. Therefore, as far as I am concerned the customer service in their Spanish office is second to none and I would not hesitate hand on heart to recommend them to anyone I know as I got exemplary service.

Thank You (Shane)”.

 

https://www.trustpilot.com/reviews/577158160000ff00096a4000

 

Irene has been writing for quite sometime on the difficulties of getting out of Diamond contracts she sent me this rebuttal:

 

People don’t get it. That’s great that Shane had a positive customer service experience, but if he spent $25,000 dollars or euros and had a heart attack or stroke tomorrow and could no longer travel, in all likelihood his only option would be to voluntary surrender his points (if accepted), despite many other timeshare resorts providing a secondary market. Who in their right mind would spend so much money on something with increasing annual fees and no exit.  Diamond then takes surrendered points and resells them for full value as part of their industry recapture program. When I called today on behalf of an 83 year old owner, the first thing I was told was a voluntary surrender is not guaranteed.

 

She points out that the problem is not one of customer service while on holiday at the resorts, it is a case of needing to be rid of the timeshare/membership when no longer needed. It is not only owners in Europe that have this problem, our cousins across the great lake have the same dilema. The only consolation as Irene put it to me in one conversation, is the way Spain is on the side of the consumer. Those in the US are now looking to see if they can bring in the same legislation on a Federal level. I suppose this does depend on who wins the presidential election!

floating house

On another matter of how the law works, it has been pointed out that some resorts / companies think they have found a new way around the floating week’s ruling. It appears they are now assigning a fixed week number (from the weeks that can´t sell) and calling them “Flexi weeks”. Although there is a week number assigned the owner is not tied to it, and uses it in the same way as the floating. So it looks like the legal eagles are going to be busy with this one in the future.

 

On the point of Mrs B and the Debt Collectors, the Financial Ombudsman has now taken on the case, so hopefully it will be resolved once and for all, without the need to go to court. Once again thank you for the support received by various legal eagles in the UK.

 

For those of you about to embark on your summer holidays, have a safe journey and enjoy yourselves, but do remember to watch out for the latest innovative idea from your resorts.

 

If you have any questions about any articles published or just want to know how to make the relevant checks on any company, Inside Timeshare is here to help. If you have any information about any article or company you have spoken to and want others to be warned, please let us know and we will publish it. Happy Holidays.

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