Browse Tag

RDO

MacDonalds Instigate Court Action against Mrs B and her Sister

Today Inside Timeshare once again highlights the plight of Mrs B and her sister in their battle against MacDonald Hotels and Resorts. As many of our regular readers will remember our story begins in 2015, when Mrs B employed the services of ITRA to extricate them from two timeshares, Oasis Lanz in Lanzarote and Dona Lola Club owned by MacDonalds on the Costa del Sol. These timeshares were duly transferred to a named person, with notarised documents showing this to be the case. As far as Oasis Lanz is concerned there has been no problem, they accepted the transfer, this cannot be said of MacDonalds.

Now MacDonalds has engaged the services of a law firm who has instigated legal proceedings in the County Court to claim “arrears” for a timeshare that Mrs B and her sister no longer legally own.

The claim is for £6328.18, court fees of £410, legal representatives costs £80, a total of £6818.18 before any interest is added.

The law firm engaged by MacDonalds is:

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP

Condor House 10 St Pauls Churchyard London EC4M 8AL

Shepherd & Wedderburn have offices in Edinburgh, London, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Singapore and Dublin.

The timeshare was purchased in 2000, while they were on holiday in Spain, after over 4 hours on the presentation they purchased two weeks in a 3 bedroom apartment at a cost of around £7000. At the time they were both in their 70’s and 60’s, now they are in their 90’s.

At this point, we must remind you our readers that the new Spanish Timeshare Law 42/98 had come into force, this made any contract over 50 years (perpetuity) illegal which is what their contract was. They were also as usual told that they were purchasing “property” and that it was an “investment”. As we all know this is totally false.

It should also be noted that MacDonald Hotels and Resorts did transfer all fixed week owners to their own points system, including Mrs B without their permission, which as we know Harry Taylor of the now-defunct TATOC wholeheartedly endorsed. The points system is also illegal under Spanish law.

They did use the timeshare for the first few years, then due to illness they were no longer able to travel, but they continued to pay the maintenance even though they were unable to use the timeshare. They paid this for over 10 years without fail.

After several attempts to sell the timeshare through the resort which came to nothing, they employed the services of ITRA at a cost of over £5000 in 2015.

Eventually, they received from ITRA documents to show the two timeshares had been transferred to a third party, his name address and passport details were also on the documents. After checking the electoral register it was found that this person did indeed exist at the address given.

Oasis Lanz accepted this and they have never received any demands for any maintenance fees. The same cannot be said for MacDonalds.

According to MacDonalds, they do not recognise the “sale or transfer” to the person named, that no member can “sell or transfer” their timeshare without going through MacDonalds. In other words, they hold the “monopoly” on the timeshares with no method of getting out.

Inside Timeshare has copies of all the documents showing the transaction and they are duly notarised by a registered notary in Spain and conform to Spanish law.

Since 2015, MacDonalds have been “threatening” legal action against two old and frail ladies who are also housebound, with Mrs B’s sister who is now very ill, are now making good their threats and issued court documents prior to court action.

The law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP are now the instrument of the MacDonalds bullying tactics and in the opinion of Inside Timeshare are not worthy of being called lawyers. Obviously they are only interested in receiving the substantial payments from this despicable and unethical firm headed by none other than Donald MacDonald himself.

The Highest Court in Spain, Tribunal Supremo

MacDonald Hotels maintain that their contracts are subject to Scottish law and the jurisdiction of Scottish courts, unfortunately, the Spanish courts do not agree as can be seen in a previous article (see link below). This is a case which went to the Spanish courts in 2016, where the Spanish judge dismissed the MacDonalds claim of jurisdiction. The point being the timeshare resort is in Spain and the purchase was made in Spain, therefore Spanish law does have jurisdiction.

This point has also recently been followed in the Spanish courts in cases against Club la Costa and Diamond Resorts. Both of these timeshare companies claimed that as the companies are UK limited companies then UK law and jurisdiction applies, the courts have ruled that Spanish law takes precedence and has jurisdiction.

This particular case is one of the worst that Inside Timeshare has ever seen, out of all the timeshare companies MacDonald Hotels and Resorts are the worst, even the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation) the industry trade body has removed their membership. Now for the RDO to do this, things must be bad, after all, they did allow Silverpoint to peddle their “investments” without saying a word.

Inside Timeshare will keep you informed of this case and we are sure that the County Court will see the “evil” that MacDonalds is perpetrating and throw the case out.

If you have had a similar experience or have problems with MacDonalds, please use our contact page and let us know, Inside Timeshare knows that this is not an isolated case, that MacDonalds use these bullying tactics as a matter of course. It is time this company was brought to task.

https://insidetimeshare.com/start-the-week-macdonald-resorts/

Friday Roundup

It’s the end of another week of our “house arrest” yet it has not stopped the “Scammers & Fraudsters” from attempting to deprive you of even more of your hard-earned cash. The sad thing is that many of those being targeted are elderly and especially vulnerable. It is also a fact that many others being targeted have probably lost their income due to the current situation, a fact borne out by members of my own family. Today we give you a roundup of the week’s articles with an update on the Banco de España article and a statement from the RDO (Resorts Development Organisation) and Anfi.

We begin with a notice in the news section of the RDO website and the statement by Anfi that the timeshare industry is crucial to the “economic recovery of Spain”. That they have been working to ensure the safety of their “members” during the current crisis.

Well, this is a bit of a joke considering that Inside Timeshare reported on members having to pay a cancellation fee for bookings during this situation, plus having to pay just to re-book their week. But there is also a little clause in their demands, in order to save the week and receive an “accommodation voucher” the member must first sign a “new contract” which they have been trying to implement for around 2 years. This new contract will end any members legal right to take Anfi to court for the illegal contracts they have already sold. Doesn’t sound very fair to us.

The only real truthful part of the statement published is the fact that timeshare resorts do in fact help the local economies, unlike the all-inclusive hotels. As timeshare resorts are predominantly self-catering, local restaurants, bars and shops do benefit, unlike those located around all-inclusive hotels and resorts.

https://rdo.org/news/timeshare-to-be-essential-to-the-economic-recovery-says-the-anfi-group/

At the start of the week with a short article on MacDonald Hotels and Resorts, this highlighted a little known about a court case against them in Spain in 2016.

The case centred on the illegal contracts of MacDonald Resorts in Spain, which are over the 50 years duration allowed by law and the fact that they are using the points system which is also illegal under Spanish Timeshare law. A system which was championed by the now-discredited Harry Taylor and TATOC.

MacDonalds argued that the Spanish courts did not have jurisdiction over their contracts, maintaining that as MacDonalds is a Scottish company Scottish law and courts only had jurisdiction. The Spanish judge totally disagrees with this and the trial went ahead. Needless to say, MacDonalds lost.

Hopefully, this may open the gates for further cases against MacDonalds who have a terrible reputation especially with regards to the elderly who no longer require their timeshare and now find it a financial burden.

https://insidetimeshare.com/start-the-week-macdonald-resorts/

On Tuesday we reported on yet another “new” company which has just started to contact timeshare owners, called Canarian Consumer Alliance or CCA, not to be confused with Canarian Legal Alliance (CLA). It is obvious that CCA has been set up with this in mind as they include articles taken directly from the CLA news section on their website.

As we reported, the CCA website gives two addresses, one in Tenerife and one in London, yet no company record can be found in either country. As for the website, it was only registered on 2 April this year and will expire on 2 April 2021, yet they claim to have been established since 2009!

As usual, the actual owners are hidden and use an IT service provider called J Murray Solutions based in Tenerife. Again there is no record of any company registration in Spain or the UK.

https://insidetimeshare.com/another-suspicious-company-emerges/

On Wednesday, we reported on the news that Lopesan and Apollo Global Management were teaming up with the acquisition of two hotels on Gran Canaria.

Lopesan along with their German partners IFA are 50% shareholders in the Anfi Group and Apollo Global Management are the owners of Diamond Resorts International, so this posed the question of how might this affect Anfi?

Watch this space.

https://insidetimeshare.com/lopesan-and-apollo-team-up-breaking-news-on-a-new-scam/

Yesterday, Inside Timeshare reported on a very serious fraud which has just come to our attention, it involves the use of the name of Spain’s National Bank, the Banco de España.

The “scam” is that the “fake” Banco de España is arranging for court awarded payouts to victims of long-standing timeshare fraud, with substantial amounts just waiting to be claimed. But as we have seen with these types of scams there is a “TAX” which needs to be paid first.

Even though the signs of a “SCAM” are very evident we just wonder how many people will have been or will be taken in by it. The first sign is the email address [email protected] which is just a standard free email address provided by Google. The second obvious sign is the contact telephone number 0034602576406 a Spanish mobile number, which would not be used by an institution such as Banco de España.

Inside Timeshare has informed Banco de España of this “fraud” and we have already received a reply that they are grateful for the information and that it has been passed to their legal department. Hopefully, they may just catch the perpetrators of this despicable fraud.

https://insidetimeshare.com/fake-banco-de-espana-emails-claiming-money-is-held/

If you have any questions regarding any article and the “scams” highlighted or have been contacted by any company with the great news that money is being held for you by the courts and would like to check if they are genuine (usually they are not), then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you. It is your information which will help others from being ripped off.

That is all for this week, have a great weekend and stay safe.

A new Member to EGTBW (Re-published)

Due to the lockdown in Spain there is no news from the courts at present so we have re-published a previous article to add a little bit of humour to the current situation. Back in June 2016 Inside Timeshare published the following article, it started with a “Spoof” Trade Body which Inside Timeshare had just become a member of. Due to some of the articles we have published recently it was decided to republish this article as a warning that even “Trade Bodies” cannot be relied upon to give consumers the best advice or even tell the truth. (The article has also been amended from the original).

Although the article starts with some humour the message is very real, we hope that you enjoy reading it.

Inside Timeshare is proud to announce that it has been invited to become a member of the prestigious trade body EGTBW. This is the European Guild of Timeshare Blog Writers, it is affiliated to the IATBWG, the International Association of Timeshare Blog Writers Guilds.

Becoming a member means that Inside Timeshare must adhere to the Code of Conduct and Ethics of this Organisation.

  1. Members must not attack, make detrimental comments or otherwise demean any organisation that is a member or affiliated to EGTBW or IATBWG.
  2. Members must adhere to the laws of the EU, or the country of registration. Unless we can get away with it.
  3. The EGTBW and IATBWG will not mediate in any dispute between a member and non-members.
  4. If any organisation or entity has a complaint about a member of this organisation it must be taken directly to the member concerned.
  5. Any member may lie or spread false information about any non-member, citing freedom of speech and expression.
  6. If any action is taken against a member, both organisations will fully support that member, no matter what it has done wrong.
  7. Members may display both the EGTBW and IATBWG logos on all promotional material, correspondence and websites.

This Logo is a sign of quality and is a kitemark of excellence.

So there we have it Inside Timeshare has paid its £20,000 a year membership fee for the full protection and backup of these prestigious organisations. It now means we can do what the hell we like, so there!

If this was not a joke it would be farcical but unfortunately, this is all too real in timeshare. On a daily basis we see owners and members being treated in the most disrespectful manner, we have also seen numerous court cases against the timeshare industry for breaking legislation.

There is an organisation that is supposed to be the trade body of this industry The RDO, (In the US it is ARDA), but it is its own members that are breaking the rules. What do they do about it? Not a sausage.

rdo-logo

This organisations own code of conduct states that members should adhere to any legislation and laws regarding the sale of timeshare. Yet we see illegal contracts still being sold, deposits being taken on the day, all in breach of EU Directives which are supposed to be in each member state’s laws.

The industry funds this organisation and it does its bidding, it will not even investigate its members when a complaint is made by an owner or member. They say that you must deal with your own resort/company.

They also believe that the press does not research the stories they publish, creating even more of a slur on the industry. Following is a direct quote from their own website under why join the RDO:

“Vacation ownership has been the victim of poorly researched press attention. These articles and broadcasts can cause serious and lasting damage to the reputation of the industry. RDO works on behalf of vacation ownership companies to clear up any misinformation, accusations of sharp business practices and to actively encourage the education of journalists and travel bloggers.”

“We believe that this work directly benefits all businesses in the industry by maintaining buyer confidence in holiday ownership. Additionally, RDO members have the added marketing advantage of being able to display the RDO logo on their marketing material. The RDO logo is a Kite Mark of quality for the holiday ownership industry and enables RDO Members to offer additional peace of mind to their customers.”

So a prestigious journalist such as Tony Hetherington has poorly researched his articles. (It must be pointed out that MacDonald Resorts have not been RDO members since 2005, but these articles highlight a problem that is rampant throughout the industry).

tony hetherington
thisismoney

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-2346500/TONY-HETHERINGTON-I-escape-nightmare-sun.html

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-2698355/TONY-HETHERGINGTON-Even-death-not-rid-timeshare.html

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-2527546/TONY-HETHERINGTON-Timeshare-boss-relents-spite-fighting-talk.html

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/article-1323162/TONY-HETHERINGTON-Death-doesnt-bring-end-timeshare-fee.html

So these are poorly research are they?

On another point, there have been numerous rulings made by the Spanish Supreme Court regarding the timeshare laws, Anfi (an RDO member) have been on the receiving end of these rulings, having contracts declared null and void and huge amounts having to be repaid to consumers. Anfi believe the court has got it wrong, the RDO it seems agrees with them!

For many, timeshare has become a burden, the membership base is aging, new younger members are not being attracted to the concept, hence many sales offices are closing and staff being laid off. Yet those that want to get out of their membership are being held to “ransom”, they can’t sell (no resale market) and can’t get out without paying huge amounts for the privilege.

What does the RDO do about this problem of getting out of the timeshare?

It enhances its “Code of Conduct” for so-called “legacy” cases, or those sold in perpetuity. The rules are not really very helpful and are as follows:

  • In the event of the death of a joint owner, the surviving owner can surrender their timeshare if they wish and additionally, the beneficiaries of a will are not obliged to take on the timeshare if they do not wish to do so.
  • A timeshare owner who has been declared bankrupt may hand back the timeshare without charge.
  • If a sole owner or either of the joint owners is suffering from a long-term illness that prevents them from travelling to their resort for the foreseeable future, the timeshare interest may be surrendered.
  • In all other cases, an owner may surrender their timeshare interest at any time, subject to the agreement of the RDO member. In such cases any surrender fee shall not exceed a sum equivalent to 3 years current maintenance fees.

(Notice it states “Subject to the agreement”)

As the industry trade body, should not the RDO back up these owners and make sure their members act in an ethical manner.

What of TATOC in all this?

tatoc logo

No surprise here, they back the RDO plans to the hilt, after all they are funded by RDO members who pay them to be members of TATOC, all so they can display this organisation’s logo. Oh sorry, it is another sign of prestige, you can trust us we are members of The RDO and TATOC; just look at our logos!

Since this article was first published TATOC has now been totally discredited and forced into bankruptcy. (Search TATOC in the search bar for previous articles). For years this organisation run by the infamous “Harry or is it Henry” Taylor, duped timeshare owners into believing that it was a credible organisation out to protect timeshare owners. It has now been proven that this was not in fact the case, in fact TATOC’s backing of MacDonald Resorts move to transfer their fixed week owners to the infamous points system and become members of a vacation club rather than owners, is a prime example.

We started this article with a spoof, the only thing is this spoof is real when it comes to timeshare. The industry is in decline, its reputation has been sullied, it only has itself to blame, the past greed and belief that they could get away with anything has finally caught up with it. Consumers no longer believe the “sales pitch”, they can see it is not value for money, members see their resorts being rented out to non members on the internet, usually for less than their maintenance fees. Yet the industry and the Trade Bodies cannot see the writing on the wall because they still believe they are right!

Inside Timeshare will continue to highlight any bad practice and report any news within the world of timeshare. If you have any questions regarding your ownership/membership, or need to know which company to deal with, contact Inside Timeshare and we will get back to you.