While doing a little research for another article, it became apparent that timeshare owners in the UK and Europe lack reliable sources of information. Apart from the many websites operated by the plethora of companies in this field, many of which are “dubious” to say the least, there are now only three and one is funded by the industry.
The three are obviously AIT, the Timeshare Consumer Association (TCA) and the industry-funded RDO which employ the services of Timeshare Business Check, Kwikchex and the Timeshare Task Force. The last three replaced the discredited Alberto Garcia and his website Mindtimeshare.
Recently AIT published two articles, Anfi Bankruptcy: Latest News and Surprising Links: Malaga Recruitment Fair & US Judge Trims Lawsuit
The first provided the latest goings-on in the lengthy process of liquidating Anfi Sales SL & Anfi Resorts SL. Although much of the information on the actual nuts and bolts of what is going on is behind closed doors, it is evident that the whole thing is more complicated than first thought.
The TCA also followed this story with Anfi Gran Canaria – Does anything surprise us?
This article seems to come to the same conclusions, with both publications citing some of the same sources.
Their other article Timeshare USA – Are we missing something? This asks the same question as other recent AIT articles, about what is timeshare, following this paragraph by Nate Beck published by Law360:
“U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews waived claims based on the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act, finding that timeshares don’t count as goods or services under the law. He found, however, that it was not too late for a plaintiff to bring claims of fraudulent inducement by omission and violations of the Tennessee Timeshare Act in the case.”
It would seem from their article the TCA are as confused as everyone else by this revelation. So far, AIT the TCA nor anyone else has been able to answer the question, if it is not “goods or services”, what is it?
Now you would have thought the RDO would have had something to say regarding Anfi, especially as Anfi Sales SL is an RDO member. As for Timeshare Business Check and the others they primarily “investigate” companies operating in timeshare that are not RDO members, in other words, “protecting” the industry.
The US story is unlikely to be covered by them, but you would have thought the RDOs sister organisation in the US, ARDA would have done, hailing it as a victory. Nothing, not a peep.
Both organisations are supposedly the “trade bodies” or “voices” of the timeshare industry, but when you look at the RDO Membership, they represent no one considering the size of the industry.
Out of all the timeshare companies and resorts in Europe, they only number FOURTEEN members, with management companies who operate and run resorts on contract numbering only THREE.
- Anfi Sales S.L.
- CLC World Resorts & Hotels
- Club El Beril
- Club Meliá
- Diamond Resorts®
- Dom Pedro Hotels
- Hilton Grand Vacations
- Karma Royal Group
- MVCI Europe Ltd
- Paradise Resorts (Cyprus) Ltd
- Pearly Grey Ocean Club
- Regency Resorts
- Seasons Holidays plc
- Worldwide Group of Companies Ltd
If you remove the US-owned developers who probably join because they are also members of ARDA, that doesn’t leave many.
At the top of the list is Anfi Sales SL, the company that AIT and the TCA have reported on regarding the sales of illegal contracts and their liquidation. The list has diminished in size over the years, with the largest contributor Silverpoint now absent. Remember also that Mark Cushway the Silverpoint CEO was also at the head of the RDO, this was at a time when Silverpoint was actively “defrauding” consumers.
At the time, the RDO did nothing, they did not address the concerns of any consumer who contacted them regarding Silverpoint, in fact, the opposite was the case. With the use of the Mindtimeshare blog, they attempted to discredit genuine firms who were pursuing claims against Silverpoint in the courts, claiming the cases were false and the companies were “scams”. As time has moved on those “untruths” have been revealed.
The same can be said for the RDO’s backing of Anfi in the past, claiming that the “Courts” especially the “Supreme Court”, have misinterpreted the law, they got it wrong. Have they retracted that, or do they still stand by that statement?
There is a big difference between AIT, the TCA and the industry-funded entities, and it is very simple, AIT and TCA provide you with the information the industry doesn’t want you to know. It is that lack of “openness” from the industry which leaves all their owners at risk of being scammed.
Tomorrow, we publish another in the Whistle-blower series with “Timeshare Sales Agent and Whistle-blower #4”. So join us for more revelations on the murky world of timeshare.