The reputation of “Timeshare” is not very good, a fact which is evident with the discussions on various “members” forums, ranging from the lack of availability due to “non-members” being able to book, to the rise in maintenance fees with a distinct lack of maintenance being carried out. But the most common are the problems of being able to exit, some are better than others some are just downright despicable.
One such “Developer” is MacDonald Resorts based in Scotland, a company that has a history of adverse publicity going back years, appearing in the mainstream press as well as many articles in the old publication Inside Timeshare.
It is well documented Macdonald’s refers all arrears in maintenance payments to their legal bloodhounds with threats of legal action. Some do call their bluff and end up losing along with the dreaded CCJ, most will pay up. Most are elderly and want to be rid of their “timeshare” but exiting from MacDonald’s is virtually impossible.
The story of Mrs B, which Timeshare Insider helped for over five years, was a tale worthy of the title “Nightmare on Timeshare Street”. Her battle with MacDonalds almost ended up in court, only being averted by MacDonald’s caving in at the last minute thanks to the imminent broadcast of the BBC Radio Four program You and Yours.
Mrs B v MacDonald Resorts: The Battle is Won But the War Continues.
This is a timeshare company that even the industry trade body the Resorts Development Organisation (RDO) does not even recognise. Admittedly they were once members, but that association was terminated years ago, in 2012 we believe.
Their only “official industry” friend was the now defunct and discredited TATOC (The Association of Timeshare Owners Committees), under Harry Taylor. Who, we should remember wholeheartedly “endorsed and approved” Macdonald’s plan to “forcibly” convert “owners” to the new points-based “club membership” system. This did not go down well with owners.
But now they have taken their “extortion” methods one stage further, according to our friends at the TCA, a letter has been sent to members outlining a rise in maintenance fees. According to MacDonalds, these increases are “unavoidable”, with many “excuses as to the “hike”, and we do mean “HIKE”.
In another paragraph of the letter the cost is revealed:
“Taking all the above into account it is likely that your combined fees will increase in excess of 30% and by £200 on an average total fee payable inclusive of VAT and we felt it important to bring this to your attention now to allow you to include in your own personal financial planning. I should also make members aware that a similar level of increases is projected across all our Managed clubs, both UK and Spain, not just Forest Hills.”
The only thing is clear, the lowest rise is going to be £200, as in percentage terms it will be in excess of 30%, leaving them open to rising even further. A clear warning to members not just at one resort but throughout the company.
MacDonald Resorts is supposedly in a terrible state financially and you the timeshare owners are the ones who are going to pay. You have no choice, they hold you hostage with their policies on exiting and the legal threat regarding arrears, and they know you will pay. Just do a search on the internet and see the stories published in the press and their reputation is revealed.
As far as the worst of the timeshare developers are concerned, MacDonalds are up at the top of the table worldwide, in Europe, they are unmistakably Number One. We also have to question the Scottish Authorities as to how they allow a company to operate the way MacDonalds has done over the years, one we doubt will ever be answered.
The full TCA article is titled: MacDonald Hotels & Resorts – The first of many?
Join us on Friday for further news from our friends across the Great Lake, at the moment it will be “ARDA Promotes Resale Companies that Charge Upfront Fees”, by Larry Lobbyist. As always articles are subject to change if we have important breaking news.