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End the Week: News for Puerto Calma Members

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 Groupvictims” 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.

Holiday Club, Puerto Calma

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.

Return of Mindtimeshare and the Latest Court News

Yesterday the Mindtimeshare blog became active again, this is after a year of being silent, so what do we make of this comeback and who is behind it now? Questions which we will be exploring and possibly answering here. We also bring you two new results from the courts, these cases involve our old friends at Anfi and from the Costa del Sol Marriott. Both of these cases have resulted in huge payments being awarded and sends a clear message that the courts will penalise the timeshare companies for their breaches of the law.

First, we report on the re-emergence of the Mindtimeshare blog, we know over the past 3 years things did not go well for Mindtimeshare, in February 2017 they lost their funding from the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation). This followed the ignominious parting of Alberto Garcia and Mindtimeshare in March of 2016. (Links to both articles below).

As we know Alberto Garcia was also the head of the RDO’s Enforcement Program, which was designed to protect the RDO and the timeshare industry by casting doubt on the legitimacy of companies not members of the RDO.

The only known photo of Alberto Garcia

His fall from grace was really his own undoing, chasing a personal vendetta he arranged for a raid by the National Police in Las Palmas against the law firm CLA, remember he is a retired National Police Inspector. This ended in a complete farce and the courts dismissed all allegations made by Garcia. His reputation was truly sullied.

When Mindtimeshare lost their funding, obviously things became difficult to keep the operation going and eventually they took the decision to stop in November 2019.

So now they are back, on their opening page they explain the reason for the past year and yes it was financial, so who is now behind it?

On the about page, it gives their company details:

Mindtimeshare SLU

CIF: B35957182

Calle Perojo 6 local 4 35003 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

When checking the CIF number, we find the two administrators:

Daniel Trujillo and Alberto Garcia!

So now the question is, how is Mindtimeshare being funded and by who?

This leaves many things open to speculation, the website also has a “Claims Information” section, this contains a contact form which is familiar to the landing pages on lead generating websites. It should also be pointed out that by filling in any form on a contact page with your information, once you press send you are giving permission for this information to be passed on. So again we have a very important question:

What is going to be done with this information and is it being used to fund the blog?

Only time will tell.

We now move on to the courts.

Marbella Court House

On Monday there was a resounding victory in the Court of First Instance Number 7 of Marbella against Marriott.

This involved a German client being represented by Canarian Legal Alliance whose 3 contracts the court declared null and void. These contracts were for the Marriott Club Son Antem and the Marbella Beach Club.

The court awarded this client the 44,766€ they originally paid, plus they were awarded an additional 64,219€ as compensation for deposits taken within the statutory cooling-off period. This brings the total awarded to a massive 108,985€ around two and a half times more than they paid. The court also awarded legal interest on that amount.

This particular case certainly highlights the court’s displeasure at these breaches in the law, that they will not tolerate the illegal taking of deposits and the fact, in this case, the statutory cooling-off period was extended to 90 days due to severe infractions of the law.

The lawyers who prepared the case and represented the client were the CLA Lawyers Miguel Melian Santana, Oscar Salvador Santana Gonzalez and Christine Ihmann, with Claims Consultant Evi Richter liaising with the client.

We now move to Gran Canaria and another appeal being heard at the High Court Number 5 of Las Palmas.

Once again this was an appeal brought by Anfi after their initial defeat at the Court of First Instance Number 1 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana, where the contract was declared null and void with Anfi being ordered to repay the German clients 159,016€ plus legal interest.

This amount also included the doubling of the deposit illegally taken within the statutory cooling-off period.

As we have come to expect, Anfi lodged an appeal and as we keep on seeing the High Court has once again dismissed their appeal and confirmed the original sentence, also confirming the payment of double the deposits taken illegally.

Palacio de Justicia Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

It does make us wonder why considering the costs of these appeals and the fact that the High Court can increase the awards to the clients plus all the added legal costs, does Anfi continue on this course of financial self-destruction?

Your guess is as good as mine.

The case was prepared by the Lawyers Adrian Diaz-Saavedra Morales and Christine Ihmann with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client.

So it looks like congratulations to these German clients and to the legal team at CLA for an amazing start to the week.

If you have any questions or comments on any of the articles published on Inside Timeshare, please use our comments and contact sections and we will get back to you.

End Of The Week Roundup

Here we are again at the end of another week and there seems to be no let-up in the number of enquiries received by Inside Timeshare, all have one thing in common, they are all about “fake” law firms or claims companies. One of the most disturbing aspects of these calls is the fact they claim to be either employees of the courts, the Bank of Spain or they have been appointed by the courts to contact “victims” of various timeshare scams. These are all warning signs of a scam.

We began this week with news from the courts and also that MacDonalds appears to be stepping up their campaign to take members to court who can no longer afford the maintenance fees or can no longer use their membership. On Tuesday we revived our old “Letter from America” with the experiences of Donald at the hands of Diamond Resorts, next week Inside Timeshare will publish yet another Nightmare on Timeshare Street, this particular article clearly focuses on Elder Abuse. We then published two articles on the History of Timeshare and the History of the Supreme Court Rulings on Timeshare in Spain. 

To end this week we bring you the latest news from the courts with another payout from Anfi along with yet another Bank Guarantee, then for a change, it is the turn of Marriott with yet another defeat for the timeshare industry.

For one English family on Monday, Christmas this year became something to really to celebrate, they have just received their long-awaited payment from Anfi of 16,509€ which is now safe and secure in their own account.

The case first went to trial last year at the Court of First Instance Number 4 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana, where the judge ordered the contract to be declared null and void and the repayment of their full purchase price. The court also included the payment of legal interest.

As you may have guessed, Anfi launched yet another appeal to the High Court of Las Palmas, this case was heard in February 2020 and yes, as usual, the court dismissed the appeal and confirmed the original sentence.

The client’s lawyers at Canarian Legal Alliance also placed an execution of sentence order with the court and three months later in May the Anfi bank accounts had been embargoed and the funds were now 100% secured for the client.

The case was prepared by the CLA Lawyer Eva Gutierrez with Claims Consultant Jake Kaiser assisting the client throughout the proceedings.

On Tuesday at the courts of First Instance Number 2 of SBT declared another Anfi contract null and void and have ordered Anfi to repay a massive 194,760€ plus legal interest.

The case involving German clients took less than 12 months and this was during the severe restrictions and lockdown which virtually closed the country down. Thanks to the Supreme Court rulings and the groundbreaking victory at that court in 2015, we are beginning to see the time it takes to bring these cases is slowly reducing. No doubt we will shortly hear that Anfi will launch yet another appeal against this decision and we all know what the result will be!

The case was prepared and presented by CLA Lawyers Eva Gutierrez and Christine Ihmann with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client.

Staying with Anfi, on Wednesday another English client has had their funds guaranteed by the bank following a provisional execution of sentence order placed by CLA. These funds are now 100% secure and payment is now waiting for the High Court of Las Palmas to confirm the sentence.

These orders are being increasingly used to ensure that clients do receive what they are entitled to, it is also becoming more evident that the courts are applying these orders and is a sign that they are supporting the clients and have lost patience with the incessant delaying tactics employed by Anfi. We are now just waiting for the High Court to confirm the original sentence.

This case was prepared and presented by Eva Gutierrez with Jake Kaiser again supporting the client.

It is now obvious that Anfi is using these appeals to delay the inevitable, it is also obvious the courts are taking a very dim view of these tactics and it will not be long before Anfi is sanctioned even more with the High Court adding more payments just as we have seen them do in the past.

Moving back to Tuesday and it was the turn of Marriott to be in the frame with the Court of First Instance Number 3 of Marbella declaring the Marriott Club Son Antem contract null and void. The court also ordered that Marriott repay the client 13,890€ plus legal interest.

When calculating the payment the court awarded double the amount paid as a deposit with the statutory cooling-off period, payments within this period are forbidden by law even if taken by a third party. This is in accordance with the rulings of the Supreme Court.

The client’s case was prepared and brought by the CLA Lawyers Eva Gutirrez and Christine Ihmann with Evi Richter assisting the German client until the conclusion of the case.

These are just a few of the cases which the courts have been dealing with all over Spain, it is now very clear that the law is being applied and in favour of the consumer and not of the industry. After all, we have said this before and we will say it again, “they only have themselves to blame”.

News has just come in of a full payout to German clients of CLA in their case against Silverpoint, they will be reiving into their personal bank account 27,638€.

The case was originally won in the Court of First Instance, just as was predicted, Silverpoint launched an appeal, CLA immediately filed a “provisional execution of sentence order” to the court to secure the funds for the client until the sentence was confirmed by the High Court.

The moment the High Court dismissed the appeal and confirmed the original sentence, CLA simply asked for the court to release the funds.

Once again the case for the German client was prepared and presented by the Lawyers Eva Gutierrez and Christine Ihmann with Claims consultant Evi Richter assisting the client.

That is all for this week, join us again next week for news from the murky world of timeshare and remember to look out for our next “Letter from America” and the abominable behaviour of sales agents and what can only be described as “Elder Abuse”.

Have a great weekend.