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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.

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.