Browse Tag

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Start the Week: More on MacDonalds plus News from the Courts

Welcome to the Start of yet another week in the murky world of timeshare, today in Spain we are moving into the next phase of easing the lockdown restrictions, giving us a lot more freedom and with more businesses being allowed to open, yet we are still seeing many being bullied by there timeshare companies. We have reported on the antics of Anfi in Gran Canaria, charging members “cancellation” fees for weeks they cannot take due to no flights and the closure of all hotels. They are also charging hefty fees to “rebook” these weeks and the most disgusting behaviour is the “blackmail” of only being able to save the week and receive a “voucher” if they sign a new contract. This is only the tip of the iceberg, we have also been highlighting the despicable conduct of MacDonald Hotels and Resorts, here is the latest from yet another reader and the “bullying” they are receiving.

Over the past few years Inside Timeshare has been following and reporting on the case of Mrs B and her ongoing fight against MacDonalds. This has now culminated with a move by Shepherd and Wedderburn, the “legal bloodhounds” employed by MacDonalds to take Mrs B (in her 90’s) to court for supposed “maintenance arrears”.

We have received the following from yet another reader who is also being threatened with legal action for arrears of maintenance for a timeshare which is impossible to get out of. MacDonalds will only “consider” allowing a relinquishment on the payment of four years, yes, four years, maintenance fees. Plus any arrears must also be paid, but unfortunately, the time has now passed to be “included in this year’s lottery”. That date was the end of April which we highlighted in several other articles.

Our reader has now received a letter dated 24 April 2020 from Shepherd and Wedderburn headed “Macdonald Resorts Ltd Arrears of Management Charges”, it also states that this a “LETTER BEFORE ACTION”. In other words, they are going to pursue this through the courts. 

One paragraph states “In the absence of payment, or an acceptable agreement to pay we will be instructed to raise court proceedings against you. If that is required, MRL shall also seek interest and legal costs in addition (which, if payment is made now, they will waive.)”.

In the letter Shepherd and Wedderburn add to the threat with the following: they are in the process of issuing court claims in England, Wales and Scotland, having issued “over 400 against members”. They also claim so far they have won 22 of the cases that have gone to court.

A point that many of our regular followers will recall from Mrs B, they also sent her “court documents” showing the judgements of the “County Court”, just to frighten her even more.

We Just wonder how many of these people will just pay up because of these threats, feeling they don’t stand a chance against a company the size of MacDonalds!

As we have said before on our pages even the MAFIA would be disgusted with this type of “EXTORTION”!

Last Friday was a very important day in Europe, it was the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. A celebration not just of victory but also the liberation of the whole of Europe including Germany from the tyranny of the Nazi’s. But even with these celebrations going on the courts in Gran Canaria were still working and issuing sentences.

Once again Canarian Legal Alliance has come up trumps (not the US president) for their clients, they began last week with sentences against Marriott and Anfi, then the news broke on the freezing of various Anfi accounts valued at over 600.000€ by Canarian Legal Alliance with the help of the Tax Authorities.

On Friday the Courts of First Instance Number 4 & 5 of San Bartolomé de Tirajana issued two more judgements against Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL.

The clients in each case have been awarded 27,946.52€ and 30,413.39€ respectively, on top of this they have also been awarded legal interest and their legal fees. Both client contracts were declared null and void in accordance with Spanish law.

Not a bad end to last week, no doubt there will be many more coming our way this week.

To end today’s article, it would appear that our friends in Greece are still operating, as another reader has emailed with enquiries regarding a claim being made or rather already been dealt with in the Greek Courts. Once again there is a fee to be paid before the money can be released.

Although our reader did not give many details, the name he provided did ring the old alarm bells, Stavros Mpotsari. This name came up with the Hellenic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs which we highlighted back in January, the full article can be seen on the link below.

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

If you have any comments on this or any other article, Inside Timeshare welcomes them, if you have been contacted by any company with a story that sounds too good to be true and you would like to know if they are genuine, then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

Remember, doing your homework will stop you from being “scammed”.

MacDonald Hotels & Resorts: Members Complaints

Yesterday, Inside Timeshare published the ongoing story of Mrs B and her continued battle with MacDonald Hotels and Resorts, within hours of publishing, Inside Timeshare began receiving emails from many more disgruntled members. Today we give you a selection of those we have received, some have already been in touch with Inside Timeshare in the past and given updates. Once again it is the same old “horror” stories.

The first is one email received was received in March, just like Mrs B they are elderly, have health and finance issues, yet what does MacDonalds do about it, attempts to “extort” even more money from them.

Dear inside timeshare

I wonder if you could help us

We have a timeshare (now points) at Villa Cana  Spain managed by MRH

My husband is 82 this year and neither of us is working

We can no longer afford to pay the management fees of over £500 per year

All we have as income is pension credit

When the fees came up in January I contacted MacDonald’s and explained the situation to them and asked if we could hand back the certificate

They said no

They told us that if we paid the maintenance fees this year we could buy ourselves out In September 2020 for £2128 I explained that even if we paid the fees we still couldn’t afford to use the points as airfares and insurance are now beyond us

They weren’t interested

So we have struggled and managed to pay the fees monthly and budgeted witch has been very difficult to have the £2128 by September

This morning we got a letter to say that if we wanted to relinquish the week we will have to do it, and pay all the money before the end of April they have changed the dates

But even then they may not accept the request

Surely they can’t do this

We have always no matter how difficult it has been over the years paid the fees.

I even sent them a letter from pension credit so they could see exactly how much we have coming in each month

The worries of getting the money together by September was making my husband ill I dread to think what this will do to him

I would be grateful for any advice or suggestions you could give us

Regards

Mr & Mrs X

Then a couple of weeks later Mrs X emailed the following, as you will see they have decided to let MacDonalds instigate court proceedings as they will not be paying the “exit” fee.

Hi Charles, I’m still out here

Looking forward to seeing what you have coming up re MRL

After a great deal of thought my husband and I have decided we are going to finish paying the maintenance fees for this year then send the certificate back to them with a letter explaining the situation yet again

At that point we won’t be in any arrears, but won’t be paying the exit fee

They can then only take us to court or refer to debt collection for the exit fee

Even then they can’t get blood from a stone. If we haven’t got anything (money) they can’t get any we don’t even own our own home

Also something that has crossed my mind is that the amount of owners that are struggling financially at the moment won’t be paying

The maintenance fees according to there contract takes into consideration the lost fees not paid (Insider comment: this means they will increase next years fees).

So I dread to think what next years fees will be

Take care have the best Easter you can under the circumstances

And stay safe 

Regards

Mrs X

Then yesterday Mrs X emailed with an update after a call from MacDonald’s informing them their week for June has been cancelled.

If you don’t remember me I contacted you a while ago the out MacDonald timeshare in Villa Cana Spain

Firstly I do hope you are keeping well and not got cabin fever yet

If you remember I had issues with the cost and the changing times of the exit fee

As a follow up I had a call from them yesterday to tell me our week would be cancelled in June due to the covid pandemic (as expected) the women wanted to know if I  would like to transfer our week to next year. I said no because we wouldn’t be using it because of husbands ill health and inability to travel (transfer fee £78) anyway long story short she pushed and pushed coming up with I could use the points in their resorts in England.  Again no because my husband can’t travel.

Well she said maybe you might like to go with a friend or other family member

I explained I couldn’t go away and leave my husband on his own, to which she replied

You might need a respite break at some point

I’m sorry but this is now going too far

We got into the conversation of exiting she pushed for the end of April saying if I left it-until  September I wouldn’t be accepted for exit.

Surly it’s got to be illegal to continue to make you pay for something you no longer want or use

Regards Mrs X

Link to a previous article where MacDonalds required £10,000 to exit.

https://insidetimeshare.com/more-disgusting-behaviour-from-macdonald-resorts/

In another email from a regular reader thanks Inside Timeshare for continuing to expose MacDonald Hotels for what they are, he also includes an update on his own situation and threats from the MacDonalds bloodhounds the law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn.

Hi again Charles, I hope you are well. Congratulations on your continuing exposés on this scurrilous organisation and its toadying legal reps. My wife and I have also just received the anticipated ‘Letter Before Action’ from Shepherd+Wedderburn! Coincidentally almost 6 (prosecution?) years after the dubious TATOC/MRL SGM that enabled MRL to seize ‘owners’ fixed weeks! But, more about MY woes at a later date – if you can abide listening to anymore injustices perpetrated by that shower of sh.te (Sc. abr.)

There were then two comments posted by Jimmy Justice, which is a pseudonym for another regular reader. His first post gives some very interesting information about the CEO Michael Stott.

Michael Stott is the relatively newly appointed CEO of MacDonald Resorts, “As a business we aim to get it right first time every time for our customers but if something is not right we put it right immediately” he needs to review what he quoted on his LinkedIn page and the case involving Mrs B that has been going on for 4+ years! and put that right. If not he needs to remove this statement from his profile as it is blatantly incorrect. Mr Stott do the right thing and call the dogs off.

Jimmy Justice

https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-stott-107a8318/?originalSubdomain=uk

Jimmy Justice then posted the following comment.

He is the writer of all of the Relinquishment letters in an attempt to bully the clients to take up the opt-out (escape clause) which requires a payment of 4 times maintenance to be free of them. This was I believe sent out late March with an acceptance date of 30th April right in the middle of a national crisis when people are out of work and struggling. He is already building up a dubious reputation.

Jimmy Justice

Even they would be ashamed

If anyone is in any doubt as to the despicable practices of this company, these few emails along with the ongoing saga of Mrs B should leave everyone with no illusions that this is one company that should be closed down and never allowed to operate any timeshare business.

Inside Timeshare will continue to publish everything about MacDonald Hotels and Resorts and their treatment of the members who have made Donald MacDonald a fortune over the years. All we can say is shame on you Donald and an even bigger shame on you Michael Stott for following these outrageous practices of your predecessors!

This is not business this is “MAFIA EXTORTION”!

If you are a MacDonalds “member” and have had experiences such as these please use our contact page and tell us your story.

The Tale of Mrs B and MacDonald Resorts Continues

For those readers who have been following Inside Timeshare over the past few years, you will remember the story of Mrs B and her battle with MacDonald Hotels and Resorts. Mrs B made contact in 2016 after receiving threatening letters from MacDonald Resorts regarding her timeshare membership at the Dona Lola Club on the Costa del Sol and the maintenance arrears. Despite all efforts to resolve the situation MacDonald Resorts refuses to budge and the story is now getting worse.

The story begins many years ago when Mrs B and her sister both in their 60’s and 70’s ended up on a presentation at the Dona Lola Club. After a rather long presentation, they decided to purchase, even though they already owned at Oasis Lanz in Lanzarote.

For several years they used the timeshare and were very happy with the resort, but circumstances changed. Due to severe medical issues, they were unable to travel and no longer used the timeshare. They continued to pay the annual maintenance fees as soon as the bills arrived even though they were not using it.

Then in May 2014, they were contacted by a company who told them they could relinquish their contract. Everything was explained to them and Mrs B paid £5695 to this company to do the work for them. This included relinquishing both Dona Lola and Oasis Lanz.

In May of 2015, they received notification that both timeshares had now been transferred to the name of another person. (Inside Timeshare has his name, address and passport number, he even shows on the electoral register).

The notification included copies of the document duly signed by a registered notary in Spain that the timeshares had been transferred.

It was not until the maintenance bills kept arriving with demands for payment of arrears that they found out that unlike Oasis Lanz, MacDonald Resorts did not recognise the transfer. According to MacDonald’s Mrs B and her sister were still liable for the maintenance fee each and every year.

Oasis Lanz

Eventually, they began receiving demands from a debt collecting agency called Network Credit Services threatening court action if the arrears were not paid. Inside Timeshare contacted this company on behalf of Mrs B and they refused to acknowledge that the debt was in dispute and they had no legal basis to continue the recovery.

Now the story moves on to this year, Mrs B has now received even worse threatening letters from another debt collecting agency, Shepherd and Wedderburn.

In this letter, they once again threatened legal action to recover the debt and have also included copies of County Court Judgements made in favour of MacDonald Hotels and Resorts. To say the least, this is intimidation at its worse.

Now what you must remember is that both are now very elderly with Mrs B aged 93. Both are virtually housebound and have alarm systems in place in case of an emergency. They both live off their pensions and cannot afford to pay the arrears which no amount to over £5,000 which includes interest court fees and legal fees.

MacDonald Resorts want them to pay the arrears before they will even contemplate allowing them to surrender their membership and then they will want 4 years worth of maintenance fees upfront. This will amount to over £10,000.

MacDonald Resorts are no strangers to the press, Tony Hetherington amongst others has published numerous articles on how they behave. One article highlights one story titled “The timeshare contract that even death will not save you from.”

Inside Timeshare is working with Mrs B and one of her neighbours to once again try to resolve this dispute. We will keep you informed.

Follow the links below for more on this subject.

Have you had a similar experience either with MacDonald Hotels and Resorts or any other timeshare then we would love to hear from you?

Do you want to know how to relinquish your timeshare or even if you have a legal claim?

Then please use our contact page and we will get back to you.

https://insidetimeshare.com/never-ending-ownership-another-nightmare-timeshare-street/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/investing/article-5073153/TONY-HETHERINGTON-s-time-leave-Cameron-House-Hotel.html

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

http://insidetimeshare.com/illness-not-reason-surrender-timeshare/

http://insidetimeshare.com/bbc-scotland-investigates-problems-timeshare-contracts/