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Supreme Court

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.

It’s Friday and the End of Another Week

Welcome to the last article for this week and what a week it has been, the number of emails being received from readers who have had dealing in the past with Eze Group and ABC Legal and ABC Lawyers has been huge. All are coming up with the same story and unfortunately, some have been taken in and have now lost up to several thousands of pounds. We also give a round-up of the legal news from the courts around Spain this week.

We begin with the readers emails regarding Eze Group, ABC Legal and ABC Lawyers, as we have reported on these pages over the last year or so and especially recently, there are a number of companies that have emerged who are targeting the “victims” of the above companies.

All are very similar in that they inform the client that they have a case in court or the money is held by the court waiting to be claimed. The only problem is there is a fee to pay to either have the money released by the courts or for other “legal” fees such as translations.

The most disturbing fact about these companies is the links they have with each other and also with past “fake” law firms. The companies are:

O1C Leisure and Legal Solutions SL

Inconel Administration SL

Platinum Services and Administration SL

Litigation Services SL

The fact is the director of Platinum and O1C is Jose Miguel Muñoz Cañas along with the director of Litigation Services Calle Guden Daniel Ernesto are very much linked with past “scam” companies on the Costa del Sol:

Fastline Legal Services SL, Greenges 2005 SL and are also known to have been involved with the most notorious “fake” law firm Ramirez and Ramirez, along with the ex-director of Platinum Sharifi Dadvar Mahmoud Reza were also involved with other very dubious companies from the past:

Fuengirola Servicios 2002 SL

Key Property Town Advisory (KPTA)

The Justice Group Direct

Other factors are the shared addresses of these companies plus the fact they all come up with a very similar story, “we have been appointed by the courts”, funny thing is that is exactly what Ramirez and Ramirez said years ago!

See links at the bottom of the page for previous articles.

On Monday we published the news from the Supreme Court that they had rejected an appeal by Anfi on a sentence that went against them at the Court of First Instance and the High Court. This news confirmed that the Supreme Court which has issued 130 rulings on the timeshare law was not going to act any differently than before. They have ruled and set the laws which came into effect in January 1999, which needed to be tested, are now set in stone. This was a great blow to Anfi but a great result for the client and their lawyers.

On the 11 March, the news broke that Marriott who had lost a case at the Court of First Instance in Palma de Mallorca had lodged an appeal. This was then swiftly followed by Marriott VOLUNTARILY paying a considerable sum into the court in accordance with the sentence. It is believed that they have also withdrawn the appeal, we are awaiting confirmation of this.

This could also be in line with the announcement back in 2018 that they had set aside $16.3 million to cover litigation costs as they admitted losing in the Spanish courts. This was published in Market Exclusive.

This morning the news arrived of yet another bank transfer as ordered by the courts, this time it involves Anfi.

Due to the work of the Provisional Execution Enforcement Team of Canarian Legal Alliance, one German client is about to receive over 68,000€ plus his contract is now null and void leaving him timeshare free.

No doubt as the day goes on there will be more news coming from the courts which Inside Timeshare will publish next week.

All that remains is to say have a great weekend and remember to do your homework before engaging with any company that promises the world to you.

https://insidetimeshare.com/end-of-the-week-and-another-fake-firm-emerges/

https://insidetimeshare.com/start-the-week-more-consumer-warnings/

https://insidetimeshare.com/more-consumer-warnings/

Start the Week: Latest News From the Supreme Court

Welcome to the start of another week with Inside Timeshare, today we bring you news which came in late on Friday from the courts. The first is a sentence from the High Court of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria against Anfi, one from the Court of First Instance in Arona, Tenerife involving our old friends at Silverpoint and a very important decision from the Supreme Court in Madrid.

This case was heard in the High Court and was an appeal by Anfi against the sentence issued in the Court of First Instance. This has become a very regular occurrence by Anfi who still believe that the law has been interpreted wrongly by the courts and especially the Supreme Court.

In this sentence from the High Court, Anfi Sales SL and Anfi Resorts SL have been ordered to reimburse the Norwegian client over 41,000€ with the contract being declared null and void. As usual, the infringements in the contract were the use of floating weeks, the length of the contract and the taking of payments within the Statutory cooling-off period.

In the Court of First Instance of Arona, Tenerife, Silverpoint was ordered to repay one UK client over 68,000€ with the contract being declared null and void. Immediately after the sentence was issued the enforcement team at Canarian Legal Alliance launched a separate case to embargo the accounts of Silverpoint.

The team managed to secure the funds and this has now been released to CLA’s escrow account and has already been transferred to the client’s own account. So another happy ex-timeshare owner.

We now move to a very important decision by Spain’s Supreme Court in Madrid, as we already know this court has ruled 130 times against timeshare companies and has enforced the Timeshare Law 42/98 which all courts must now follow.

This follows yet another appeal by Anfi Resorts who lost in both the Court of First Instance and the High Court, expressing their discontent at the decisions made by the lower courts and also the precedents set by Spain’s highest court. As we stated above, Anfi still believes that the law is wrong and that the courts especially the Supreme Court have misinterpreted the law.

This time the Supreme Court did not hear the case, it was rejected and sent back to the High Court for the execution of sentence, the court also rejected reviewing the sentence and have made it quite clear that they will reject any further appeals. The court believes that they have made enough rulings on this subject and that the law is very clear. It is also very apparent that the Supreme Court is likely to reject many more appeals from the timeshare industry.

In this case, the client is now set to receive over 124,000€ along with legal interest and legal costs and has also had their contract declared null and void, another very happy ex-timeshare owner.

Once again these cases were brought on behalf of the clients by the lawyers of Canarian Legal Alliance, so congratulations are in order to the whole legal team at CLA.

If you have any questions about this or any other article published or you would like to know if you have a contract which may be illegal, please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.