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.
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)”.
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!
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.