Welcome to the end of another week with Inside Timeshare, we started this week with a warning of yet another “FAKE” law firm to rear its ugly head, Marbella Solicitors Service, who are making contact with Eze Group “victims” with stories of money being held by the courts. They also claim they are working for the High Court of Madrid and this is where they have the got “victims” information. On Tuesday we published the horrific story of an elderly couple and their long dealings with Diamond Resorts. It really is a “Nightmare on Timeshare Street”. This article has prompted many emails and another nightmare story, we hope to publish this story in the future. Our Wednesday article bright the news of Mindtimeshare restarting their blogs. This article actually left more questions to be answered than before. The same article also brought news from the courts in Marbella and Gran Canaria, with great results against Marriott and Anfi. Yesterday we broke the news about the Menie Dunes, the location of Trump’s Golf Course and Resort. It was not good news, the dunes have now lost their “protected” status and this has angered many in Scotland.
Over the past few weeks, there has been some friction between members of Puerto Calma and management, this has stemmed from the inability of members to use their weeks this year due to all the restrictions and closures of resorts.
There were calls for refunds of the 2020 maintenance fees which are due at the start of each year, plus there was some concern as to when the lost weeks could be taken. Many argued that the offer of using this year’s unused weeks next year with a deadline of 31 December 2021 was unacceptable to many. The main argument came in two forms, first, the number of those who could use them, this would obviously create problems with availability, the other concern was for those who could not double up their holidays next year as they do not have the available time for extra holidays, this means they would lose out.
What has not helped the situation is the lack of information and response from management, what also did not help was that the members found out that the resort was being turned over to the authorities and the Red Cross for the refugee problem.
The news is now in that the results of the meeting of members and owners associations have been released by newsletter. (See PDF below)
The newsletter itself mainly focuses on the points of the refund and the use of this year’s unused weeks. From this initial report, it does look as though it is a relatively fair compromise.
There has been agreement on members who between March and December this year could not use their weeks may apply for a partial refund. Going by the average maintenance fee, this equates to around 30% to 33% of the total annual charge, if they do not wish to or are unable to carry their week forward.
For those who are able to “bank” their week and use it later, the deadline for the use of this week has been extended to 31 December 2023. That should help with the problem of availability as now everyone will not be trying to get in the extra week next year.
There are obviously Terms & Conditions to this, these are the terms supplied in the newsletter:
- Maintenance fee for 2021 must be paid in full, before the 14th February 2021.
- Members must confirm that they will not be using their week from 2020 in order to be eligible for the partial refund.
- Members have until the 31st March 2021 to inform Holiday Club of their intention to use the week from 2020 at a later date or to request the partial refund. Members who do not inform us of their choice of the partial refund or the use of the week will not be eligible for the refund and will have their week to be used by the 31st December 2023.
- Members who have deposited with RCI, either weeks or points members, already have their week from 2020 available to exchange with RCI and will not be eligible for the partial refund.
- Members who choose to use their week, instead of the refund, should contact the Reservations Department to rebook. All reservations are subject to availability.
- To request the partial refund or to inform us that you will be using the week, please send an email to [email protected]. If you request a partial refund, please send your bank details (Account holder, IBAN number and BIC code) as well as your full name and contract number so we are able to make the transfer to you.
Although this may not please everyone, at least it is an offer and they have given until 31 March 2021 for members to decide and register their choice. It does appear to be a fair offer considering that only down the road is the Anfi Resort, members are not getting any refund and are being “blackmailed” to save their weeks. They can only save and use their weeks lost this year if and only if they sign the new contracts. No new contract, lose the week!
The only problem now is for those members in the UK who were hoping to travel to their resorts when they reopen in the near future, Many will not be able to travel now due to the latest “quarantine” regulations which come into force at 4 am on Saturday 12 December.
The Canary Islands have now been removed from the safe travel list by the British Government, this now means that anyone returning to the UK will have to go into a 14-day quarantine. For many who are working, this makes it impossible for them to travel.
The question is now, how long will this last and are we going to see a repeat of the same arguments regarding next year’s maintenance fees?
Another question is which other EU countries will follow suit and ban travel to the islands?
This situation is not only affecting timeshare owners and resorts but also the entire “tourist” economy of the Islands. With nearly all the hotels still closed, the severe restriction on numbers of customers in hotels, bars and restaurants, the unemployment rate is soaring, the economy is taking a severe downturn and many bar and restaurant owners are now closing down for good.
It is not only the bars and restaurants owned by ex-pats of all nationalities, we are also seeing some of the older locally-owned bars and restaurants closing their doors for good.
For all the people living and trying to make a living on these Islands, it is a difficult time, and the longer this goes on the worse things will get, but I’m sure that their resilience will win out, have a great weekend.