Browse Tag

Palm Oasis

Start the Week: Military Veterans Article Comments Begin & Latest Anfi Appeals Dismissed

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, on Friday we published the article A New Friday Letter From America: Veteran & Active Duty Service Member Outreach the replies and comments have already started. Today we publish a small example of the comments so far received. We also look at the latest from the High Court of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, once again this court is dismissing appeals lodged by Anfi after losing in the Court of First Instance. This does make you wonder what Anfi are playing at.

Although the article has been live for only 2 days, we are already receiving comments from veterans who have very similar stories, we have also received emails from members of Hilton Grand Vacations, (HGV) and Westgate who have had similar experiences as Diamond members.

The article is about Adam’s experience with Diamond, but we welcome and ask all Veterans to submit their stories regardless of which timeshare developer they have dealt with. This is not just a problem about Diamond, but one that needs to be addressed by the timeshare industry as a whole.

Below are just a few of the emails received so far, we have only published the content and not identified them by name:

HGV Veteran

I came across your article in a Diamond Resorts FB group.  My husband served twenty-eight years in the Army and retired in 2011.  Never in all our years would we think we would fall victim to the scam of a Hilton Timeshare salesperson. 

Diamond Veteran

I am three-quarters of the way out the door from just walking away from Diamond Resorts. I am extremely upset that they made no adjustment/refund of maintenance fees since Diamond vacations have been unavailable due to covid for a year now.

Since airlines shut down, the government ordered, and still has ordered us to stay home and stay healthy,  airlines shut down, Diamond shut down resorts, and travel was and is unsafe, I have asked Diamond to refund maintenance fees as the right thing to do.   It is “unjust enrichment” under consumer protection laws (UCC) to price gouge owners for full maintenance fees when Diamond could not provide the contracted vacations.  Other unscrupulous businesses have been fined and forced to repay overpricing during the covid pandemic.

I am a veteran and last year there was the latest bunch of lies from Diamond. I was promised that Diamond would announce during 2020 that they were going to buy back my points. But I had to buy 20,000 more points for $55,000 to provide Diamond money to be able to buy my points!  I guess they think I am stupid. I asked them to put it in writing, but they could not do that and I was also not to say anything about the buyback program in the QC or follow-ups as it “was a secret”.   More lies.

HGV Veteran

This issue isn’t simply with Diamond! HGV sales reps were incredibly aggressive and lied every step of the way to get us to sign. They were incredibly aggressive and deceptive.  Hilton encourages and rewards sales agents who lie, is alarming. It is my understanding that this isn’t exclusive to HGV. I am learning that the entire industry is tarnished and deceptive.

Westgate

This is absolutely appalling and I do not understand how this continues.  Why aren’t the sales reps held accountable for what they are telling people?  It is out of control and Westgate Resorts likes to stand behind “unfortunately it is not possible to validate verbal communications she may have had with the sales agent”.  Almost as if the sales team is not part of the company and they have no power over what sales are telling people. 

If the Timeshare Companies truly cared about their owners and were honest from the beginning the exit companies would not be feeding on countless unhappy owners. Yet the Timeshare companies are trying to look like heroes by taking those exit companies to court.  They are not fooling me, they need to spend that money on keeping the owners happy and informed of the truth.

It also appears that it is not just veterans that have serious issues with their timeshare sales, this next comment is from a Front-line Covid Nurse.

I am not a veteran. I am a front-line Covid nurse, but I think nurses need to do the same as Adam. I have contracted Covid and recovered. I was sick for almost two months. I recently got my taste and smell back. I am fully vaccinated but still have to maintain full protection because there is no guarantee that I cannot still contract Covid and give it to someone else. I still care for Covid patients.   

My mother gave me 10,000 Diamond points in 2019. I have never used the points. I attended an orientation at Hyatt Place Hendersonville near Nashville to learn how to use the points. As a result of attending the orientation, I am financially ruined. I was told that I could get 5000 more points for $4,500. I was shown on a tablet where I signed $4,500. The only paperwork I was given stated $4,500 which was the amount charged to a Barclaycard. I was 24 when I purchased the points. After I finish my graduate nursing program I will have about $75,000 or more in student loans. I asked about a hard copy of the contract. They said the contract was on the tablet but I never received the tablet that was used to sign the contract. The contract came about two weeks later, with no postmark date. Imagine my shock when I saw there was a $40,000 loan. NO WAY would I have bought $40,000 in vacation points. My credit has gone down 200 points. I cannot buy a house or car.

I reached out to Diamond as Flaskey suggests Diamond members do. Diamond records the closing/signing session. I asked if the contract was just for $4,500. They said yes. They said the actual contract would be mailed. Diamond denied my request to cancel the loan. I received a call from a Diamond representative. She suggested I talk to customer service or a Hospitality team. I did and I emailed the complaint below. In September of 2020, I spoke to Kathy in customer service. She suggested I request a mutual release by emailing Financial Services. I did that too. No one has responded.

I am writing to warn others about how something like buying timeshare points for a vacation can be the worst financial mistake of your life.

Just on these few comments alone, we can see there is a very serious problem with how timeshare developers allow their “sales agents” to behave. We all know the Diamond response, “We are not responsible for what sales agents say at presentations”. A very lame excuse if ever I heard one, it is just an excuse to deny any responsibility on behalf of Diamond.

If you have been victims of these practices no matter which timeshare developer, please contact us and Adam Siler at the following email:

[email protected]

We now move to the latest from the High Court of Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.

The High Court of Las Palmas Gran Canaria

News reached us last week of several appeals made by Anfi against rulings from the Court of First Instance, as we know Anfi appeals to the High Court on every ruling made by the lower courts. We also know that in each and every case the High Court dismisses the appeal and confirms the original sentence. The case is then returned to the Court of First Instance for execution of the sentence.

The full stories of these cases will be published in another article, but we do have to ask the question, why does Anfi persist in lodging these frivolous appeals?

As we have seen, on every occasion the High Court dismisses and rejects their appeal, we suspect that Anfi is just attempting to delay the inevitable and to cause as much stress to the clients as possible. 

We also know and it is no secret that the Anfi Group, under the control of the Cazorla Group is in serious financial difficulties, but they cannot avoid paying what the courts have demanded. Delaying these payments just costs them more, not just in paying the legal fees for the appeal and their own lawyers, but also in the increased amounts which the courts are subsequently imposing. This also includes the legal interest which is paid on the amount awarded by the court from the moment the case is accepted. So the longer they delay. The more they have to pay.

This tactic by Anfi is not just depleting their already serious financial difficulties, but it doesn’t do their already damaged reputation any good whatsoever.

When will Anfi see sense and just pay when the courts demand it, taking a leaf out of the book of Palm Oasis and Marriott.

Just from what we have published today, it is very clear the timeshare industry is one of the very worst for the way it is sold and also the way it treats its members. These members have paid huge amounts on the basis of lies made by sales agents, yet the companies involved do everything they can to ensure they do not pay or be held accountable.

In the case of Anfi that is being remedied by the authorities, The Provincial Prosecutors Office of Gran Canaria are currently involved with an investigation into Anfi, it involves the attempts to deny payments by the courts, the movement of funds from accounts to avoid embargoes among other things.

As for our friends in the US, they have a long way to go before they see anything like the protections consumers have in Spain.

If you have any comments on this or any other article or would like to know your own legal position with your timeshare, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you

For our US friends, if you are a Veteran or Serving Military and have had similar experience, please use [email protected].

Mid Week Review: Mindtimeshare Post and Marriott Payout Voluntarily

Well, here we are, halfway through the last week of February and it has been quite a month for news from the courts, with Anfi appeals being systematically dismissed and others such as Palm Oasis and Marriott paying out without all the problems. Yesterday we also highlighted one case against Marriott with the story of one family’s purchase. This story certainly showed how misleading sales presentations can be and it also highlighted the problem of availability and then the ability to be able to book independently online, often cheaper than the annual maintenance fees.

First, we must address a post on the blog site Mindtimeshare.

On 17 February, Inside Timeshare published the article “Anfi and the Tui Connection: Are Tui Liable for Court Claims?”

This looked at a question that is being asked in legal circles, it is still under debate and the possibility is being investigated by various lawyers. The article did not as Mindtimeshare would have you believe say that Tui was liable for paying out on claims while they controlled Anfi.

The article clearly showed that Tui who was in control of the “Board of Directors” were at the time responsible for the decisions of all companies within the Anfi Group and that includes the sales departments. Although they are registered companies in their own right, they are still part of the Anfi Group which was controlled by Tui at the time, the same as the Cazorla Group are now. So the question still stands.

It is obvious that the person writing for Mindtimeshare has absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

Their article is insinuating that the purpose behind the article is to “confuse” owners into making “spurious” legal claims. The purpose of the article is to inform people of legal questions and issues which are being raised, discussed and investigated. The article did not say that Tui was liable, it asked the question “could they be liable”.

Mindtimeshare has taken out of context in their blog this quote “This may also mean they are also liable for the claims against Anfi…”

(Obviously not a native English speaker!)

The full text is:

“Although Tui is no longer a shareholder at Anfi, they are legally responsible for the sale of the contracts which are illegal under Timeshare Law 42/98, sold under their watch as the controlling body of Anfi Group.”

“This may also mean they are also liable for the claims against Anfi which amount to over 48 million euros.”

Again it is posing a question, could they be liable in law?

They also state in their blog a point they have used for many years, that “Cold Calls” are “illegal” and not allowed under current Data Protection Law. Cold calls are not illegal, they are a recognised marketing tool and used by many industries. There are very strict rules which call centres must abide by, there are also rules on the data that is used. It must come from a legitimate and verifiable source, the information that they hold is also limited. Unsolicited emails, text messages etc are not allowed, emails can only be sent with the permission of the person being called. The information gained on these calls also cannot be passed to any other third party without the express permission either in writing or via a recording of the call by the “potential client”.

Once again we see Mindtimeshare confusing people with their half baked blogs, it appears they are also struggling to find anything to write about. Recently their posts have been gleaned from other sources and most are what can be called old news.

Alberto Garcia, is he back at the helm?

So again we have to ask the question, who is behind Mindtimeshare now, is Alberto Garcia back in control?

How are they being funded now?

What are they doing with all the data they have collected from “consumers” over the years?

These are very legitimate questions, after all for years this blog site was in the pay of the industry, with Silverpoint and Anfi being major contributors to the funding body the RDO.

Are they still being influenced by this?

On this point of data, Inside Timeshare does not share any readers details when they make an enquiry to any third party. Inside Timeshare will try to answer the questions and if the reader asks for a recommendation of who to go to, then we will give one. It is then down to the individual to make contact with the recommended firm unless the reader expressly asks for Inside Timeshare to make contact on their behalf and this must be in writing to conform to Data Protection.

Moving now to Marriott, yesterday we published the story of one family’s legal battle with Marriott, they have won their case and are just waiting for the payment to be made to the court and then receive this money into their own account.

Just after publishing the news came in about another case against Marriott at the Court of First Instance Number 4 of Marbella, which has now had a very satisfactory conclusion.

The court declared the contract null and void, also ordering Marriott to repay 34,992€ back to the client.

The case was heard in November 2020, with Marriott “VOLUNTARILY” paying the money into the court. These funds have now been released by the court and are now safely in the personal account of the German client, who no doubt is celebrating.

The companies named in the suit are MVCI Management SL and MVCI Holidays SL.

This has taken just 3 months and is one of the fastest payouts that we have seen for some time, this probably due to the fact that Marriott being responsible to their shareholders did admit to losing in the Spanish Courts and had already set aside over $16 million to cover these expenses.

Anfi, once again take note!

The case was prepared and brought on behalf of the client by the Canarian Legal Alliance Lawyer Oscar Salvador Santana Gonzalez with Claims Consultant Evi Richter assisting the client through the process.

We now wait and see if Marriott does the same with the case we highlighted yesterday, we suspect there will be news on this in the very near future.

If you have any questions or comments on any article published or just want to know if whoever has contacted you is genuine, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

End the Week: News from the Courts and the Latest on the Hellenic Scam

It is the end of another week and today we bring you a roundup of this week’s court news with more results against Anfi in Gran Canaria, a payout for a Palm Oasis (Tasolan) client and the Malaga Courts finding against Club la Costa. We also bring you the latest information on the Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs scam coming out of Greece. Following on from our report on Global Timeshare Legal Experts on Monday, our friends at the TCA also covered this story on Wednesday. As we stated in our article not only has this company used cases from CLA but they have also used cases from M1 Legal based on the Costa del Sol, claiming that they are their cases. They also backed up our findings on the Dubai office and that they are not known in the building. Certainly does not look good.

Back in January 2020, we highlighted a scam that came to our attention originating from Greece and using the name “Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs”. We also brought updates in March 2020 and June 2020, (see links to the original articles below).

Today we bring you an update that is very disturbing and also gives Two new names to add to the growing list being used by these scammers.

Our reader was contacted by the usual “cold call” informing them that a company they had dealt with some years ago which was also a scam and is also known to us as Solutions Group (Tenerife) and is also working with the fake lawyers from the Litigious Abogados Family.

According to the caller who claims to be working for the Greek Supreme and Civil Courts, explained that her case (which they had no idea she had instigated) had found in their favour and she has been awarded £11,920 in compensation.

Great news and an unexpected windfall, but as usual there is a catch.

Our reader then received a letter via email informing them there is a payment that needs to be made to release the money which is being held in trust. This was followed up with an email confirming the details of the account and the name of the Beneficiary. The letter does have a name but it is written in Greek. We converted the PDF document to word to copy the name into translator, but the signature and the name is actually an image file, the email is signed by one Georgios Argiris or in Greek, Γεώργιος Αργύρης which is not the same as the signature.

Now it is the payment details that does show this is an out and out scam.

The payment is to be made to Ivanova Plamena, doesn’t sound very Greek to me, it also gives the following details:

Date of Birth: 16/07/1980

Email address: [email protected]

Postal address:  106 Akti Moutsopoulou Piraeus 18535 Attica

Telephone: +30 698 199 1100

Again there is another indication this is a scam, the Email address, it is a free Gmail account. So along with this along with the fact, the payment is made to a private individual and not any of the official authorities clearly shows this is a “FRAUD”.

Once again this really does show how diligent you must be, don’t be blinded by the sudden “windfall”, no matter how excited you might be to be receiving a large sum of money.

Now we move to the courts and these are genuine cases instigated by clients of Canarian Legal Alliance.

The first case involves our old friends at Anfi and a Swedish client, They have now received into their own bank account the sum of 31,302€.

The original sentence by the Court of First Instance declared the contract null and void and the court ordered the return of the money. As usual, Anfi decided to play the stalling tactic by appealing the decision to the High Court. But as we have seen in all these appeals the High Court rejected it and confirmed the original sentence.

In the meantime, the lawyers from CLA placed the usual “provisional execution order” and received a bank guarantee. This means that the bank itself physically blocks any movement of these funds during the appeals process.

Then on Tuesday, German clients had their contract with Palm Oasis (Tasolan) declared null and void with the return of 12,659€ plus legal interest by the Court of First Instance of San Bartolomè de Tirajana.

Going by their usual practice CLA applied to the court for a “provisional execution order” until the procedure is concluded if the company lodges an appeal with the High Court.

In this case, this was not actually required as Palm Oasis (Tasolan) paid the money VOLUNTARILY into the court. This was then released directly to the client’s own personal account.

Anfi, take note.

Wednesday brought news for a Norwegian client against Anfi, the Court of First Instance of SBT, declared their contract null and void, awarding 53,029€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

In this case, the client took out Anfi’s own finance package, this came with a huge interest rate of 11.5%, which the court ordered Anfi to repay.

The breakdown of the payment is 43,838€ for the purchase, 6,188€ for the interest and 3,003€ for the illegally taken deposit.

No doubt Anfi will not be following the example of Palm Oasis and we expect they will lodge another frivolous appeal with the High Court.

We now move to the Costa del Sol and the Court of First Instance of Malaga and a case against Club la Costa, the companies named in the case are:

Woolwich Investments SAU

Club la Costa Resort Management Ltd

Club la Costa Vacation Club

The court declared their contract null and void with the return of 53,593€ plus legal interest.

The amount was calculated by the court as 24,972€ plus an additional 32,981€ which is double the amount taken illegally as a deposit within the Statutory cooling-off period.

The courts are certainly all following the rulings of the Supreme Court and in the case of Club la Costa, the High Court of Malaga regarding the jurisdictional issue.

Well, that is all for this week, we hope you all have a great weekend and join us again next week for more news and information on the murky world of timeshare.

Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs pats articles

https://insidetimeshare.com/hellenic-republic-ministry-of-foreign-affairs-the-latest-eze-group-scam/

https://insidetimeshare.com/update-eze-group-scam-coming-from-greece/

https://insidetimeshare.com/hellenic-republic-ministry-of-foreign-affairs-monster-clients-targeted/