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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
We now move to the latest from 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.
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].