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“Nightmare on Timeshare Street”

End the Week: The Friday Review

The end of another week and halfway through the first month of the year, unfortunately, we have not started as we would have hoped with many more restrictions being put into place on travel. This is having a profound effect on the holiday and tourism industry, hotels are closing again and timeshare resorts are also announcing reduced capacity or remaining closed. The question is, how are the timeshare resorts going to deal with the problem of maintenance fees, the members’ loss of last year’s weeks and the potential loss of many weeks this year? This is a story we will be watching as it unfolds over the next month or so.

Although Inside Timeshare began a day late this week, we started on Tuesday with an article about Anfi and Airtours. The Anfi section is actually pertinent to the question posed above.

This story revolves around the Anfi attempt to force or as we prefer to call it “blackmail” members into signing their new contracts. For those members who lost last year’s weeks due to various lockdowns and travel bans, in order to save those weeks and receive an “accommodation voucher”, they have to sign the new contracts first.

This is already a question many members are asking on the various members’ forums and Fb groups.

Could this be an indication of how they will behave this year?

The rest of the article was about a recent case in the Courts of Las Palmas involving Airtours, they lost at the Court of First Instance and unlike our friends at Anfi, immediately accepted the court’s ruling.

They did not lodge an appeal but complied with the court and voluntarily paid out the ordered sums. So there was no need for counter appeals, lodging enforcement action or placing embargoes.

Well done Airtours.

On Wednesday, we published Timeshare Sales, Barclay Partner Finance & The FCA

This story is following one that began in 2017/18 and follows the validation order granted by the Financial Conduct Authority to Barclays Partner Finance to “legalise and make enforceable” loan agreements brokered by Azure Service Ltd. This timeshare sales company was not authorised to broker the agreements.

This is an ongoing story which has had a very severe impact on many many people, after all, the number affected by this decision alone is well over 1,400!

We will keep you updated on events as they unfold.

Happy Clients Get Their Cash

Yesterday’s article once again focused on payouts, these also involved Anfi and Airtours.

In the two Anfi cases, the clients received their payments, but only after lengthy court hearings and appeals. Eventually, due to some very clever detective work from the lawyers, they found out Anfi was due to be paid a “tax rebate” and petitioned the court to embargo the accounts.

This was done and several clients have received their money back quicker than expected.

The last case was against Airtours, and as with the previous case, they voluntarily paid what was ordered. Once again saving the courts time, the clients a lot of stress and most importantly, it has saved Airtours a lot of money in legal fees and sanctions.

Again we have to ask Anfi why are you continuing with these constant appeals, knowing that you are going to lose in every case, the courts are now wise to your tactics!

That is all for this week, on Monday we will be publishing another story in our Nightmare on Timeshare Street series.

It is written by one of our readers, who is acting as executor of her late Brothers estate, this includes the Azure purchased Golden Sands financed by a Barclays Partner Finance loan agreement.

Everything in the article is fact and they have all supporting documents, correspondence and other material to back it up. The only thing that has been changed are their names, this has been done at their request.

For those who have followed the various “Nightmare on Timeshare Street” stories over the past few years and are familiar with the horrendous behaviour of sales reps and timeshare companies, this story ranks as one of the worst we have published. Although there is a moment where some justice and compassion was given.

Join us on Monday and have a great weekend despite all the restrictions we all have to live with.

Start the Week & Roundup of Last Weeks Court News

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, Last week we started with another warning of a fake law firm to rear its ugly head, today we also issue yet another warning of a dubious “cold calling claims company”. We have also received many emails on our Nightmare on Timeshare Street story and “Elder Abuse” by sales agents. All the emails have the same recurring theme, elderly consumers being “pressured” into making purchases that are not suitable and full of untruths, we hope to bring you their full stories at a later date. We also begin this week with a round-up of last week’s court news.

We begin with a warning on yet another new company that has begun a cold calling campaign, according to our readers who have sent in what information they have they are calling themselves Timeshare Registry Office.

It certainly sounds like a very official title, but as we all know there is no such thing as a registry of timeshare owners.

According to the caller, who is certainly well prepared with information, some of which is genuine the rest is just fantasy, they claim that any case against Club Paradiso cannot be heard in Spain, it must go through the UK courts. Well, that does not sound right at all considering that cases have been and are being heard in the Spanish courts.

According to the caller, as the “Club Paradiso” company is registered as a British Virgin Islands Limited company the UK courts have jurisdiction. Well, that is not what our legal information has told us, the case against this particular company would need to be held in the BVI!

What we have to say is that the cases are not against Club Paradiso, they are being brought against the sales company Silverpoint and Excel, the management company.

When searching the internet for Timeshare Registry Office, absolutely nothing comes up, no indication of any company, no website or anything, so who are they?

We suspect that they are using the name in order to hide which company they are actually calling for, probably because there may be so many negative reports on the internet, this is nothing unusual. It is also not unusual for these scammers to use any title that sounds official and is likely to give credibility to their calls.

Just remember there is no timeshare register, there is no official Timeshare Registry Office and the fact they give negative information on genuine law firms is also another sign they are a scam. As and when we receive further information it will be published here.

Last week was quite a week for Anfi, with more money to come out of their coffers and returned to clients, there were two payouts and another bank guarantee. All good news for clients, especially at this time of year.

The first was a payout on Wednesday, was to an English client of Canarian Legal Alliance, they have now received into their own bank account 12,988€ awarded by the Court of First Instance Number 2 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana.

The court also declared their contract null and void.

This was yet another case where Anfi launched an appeal after the initial verdict, as we have come to expect this appeal was dismissed and the original sentence confirmed by the High Court.

On Thursday another “Bank Guarantee” was received from Anfi which secures the client’s funds 100% until the High Court confirms the original sentence as Anfi launched another appeal.

The original sentence was issued by the Court of First Instance Number 3 of SBT where the contract was declared null and void and the court ordered Anfi to repay 22,619€ plus a further 7,691€ in accruing legal interest.

As soon as the High Court rejects the appeal and confirms the sentence the Norwegian client will then receive this money into their own bank account.

On Friday, another UK client, this time from Scotland, has now received their money into their own accounts, just in time for Christmas. The contract was initially declared null and void with the repayment of 12,150€ including legal interest by the Court of First Instance of SBT.

As we have mentioned all too often, Anfi is causing these delays in repaying clients what the courts have ordered by their constant appeals against the original sentence. It is very clear from all the cases going in front of the appeal courts that the judges are seeing these as frivolous and time-wasting exercises and confirming the original sentences.

So we do have to ask again, why is Anfi continuing with this course of action which is nothing more than being self-destructive financially?

Well, your guess is as good as mine!

If you have received any calls or had contact with any company and you want to know if they are genuine or that they are telling the truth, then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you. Remember it is your information that will help others in not getting scammed.

Would you like to know if you have a valid and viable case for any timeshare you have purchased, then again please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

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.