The following is from Anfis latest news letter
We write to you in the first instance to thank you for the confidence which you have placed in ANFI. We feel privileged that you have chosen our company and our vast experience in Vacation Membership to place your confidence in, along with all our other satisfied members. Because of this, we feel it is our responsibility to ensure that all of your expectations are met at all times. Furthermore, we feel it is our duty and obligation based on the Vacation product you have purchased, to communicate to you and make you aware of the increasing number of companies outside of ANFI (most of them located in Gran Canaria) that may contact you for one of the following:
To offer a service for the resale of weeks
Our Vacation Membership product can be sold and/or transferred to anyone you wish. This condition has allowed for the expansion of organizations dedicated to offering services for this. These companies offer reduced prices to buy weeks and elevated prices to sell, as well as unrealistic discounts and offers which can make it very attractive for prospective clients. In reality, fraudulent practices and unfulfilled promises have given rise to multiple complaints and cases of fraud, which resulted in the clients' loss of rights. This has made it necessary for many owners to start legal proceedings in order to recuperate their weeks or amounts of monies paid, having no guarantee of a successful outcome.
To offer fraudulent holiday products
During a stay in Gran Canaria or even in your own country, you can be contacted by persons or companies offering you free holidays, aggressive discounts on holiday products or other schemes to replace your ANFI membership. Our investigations have been confirmed by clients who have been mislead or duped by products offered by these companies, without having the support of a tour operator or airline. In many cases these products do not exist. We also know that the sellers in these illegal companies introduce themselves as consultants or holiday advisors, or even claim to be contacting you on behalf of ANFI. In both cases this is false. The representatives of ANFI can be identified clearly by their official identity card. Anfi does not operate from any office other than those within the Anfi resorts. The Spanish authorities have been working together with other official organizations and national offices to eradicate these companies which operate outside of the European law and the corresponding Spanish law.
To offer legal assistance services
Over recent months, we have been advised about a number of cases on behalf of Anfi members related to companies who guarantee legal assistance in cases against ANFI, promising to recover a higher amount than the amount invested for the original purchase. In all cases where there has been a possible fraud by one of these companies, and after a Spanish tribunal has ruled that Anfi has not broken any Spanish law, we will try in any way possible to offer help and assistance to our members. However, in cases where monies have been paid in anticipation of action, it is very difficult to recuperate them in favour of our members. These fraudulent companies like ReclaimGC, Claims Directive, LifeTimexperience, Greatescape Holidays, passport Java and others, before any kind of legal action, will ask for an initial pre-payment to cover legal expenses, which they claim will be discounted from their final bill. Whatever the result, this will never be recovered.
Anfi would like to advise that in relation to the cases which have actually been presented, apart from those that have been resolved in an amicable manner, there are three other cases which have all been settled in favour of Anfi interests. In this way, the international organization RDO that assures the owner's security has confirmed our reality and the satisfaction level of the clients in Europe in a recent formal communication attached to this letter in ANEX 1.
In our maximum interest to protect and guarantee your well being and look after the product's right you have acquired with us; we recommend that you completely ignore any offer made by these companies and refrain from signing any documents or making any down payments to said companies, until the legality of these companies is verified and that the services provided by them comply with current legislation for the said matter and that in itself, these alleged services do not constitute an excuse to obtain funds from you.
At the same time, we would like to express our total disposition for queries and further information that any of our members would request. For such matter, we kindly advise you to contact our personnel at 928 15 29 90 or contact via e-mail at email@example.com
We would like to take one last opportunity to thank you for the trust you have placed in Anfi and offer you our kindest regards,
AN OFFICIAL RESPONSE FROM RDO (RESORT DEVELOPMENT ORGANISATION) TO THE PRESS RELEASE OF JUNE 15: TIMESHARE INDUSTRY IN SPAIN IS SET TO COLLAPSE
Contrary to the statement made by Claims Directive, a company located in Arguinegun Gran Canaria that claims to represent timeshare owners' interests, the timeshare industry both in Spain, the rest of Europe and USA as well as other international territories is extremely robust.
Some of the world's biggest hotel brands operate within the timeshare industry, such as Hilton, Marriott, Wyndham, Disney and Four Seasons. Timeshare owners recently reported high levels of satisfaction with their timeshare 87% overall were satisfied or extremely satisfied according to a report by The Christel DeHaan Tourism and Travel Research Institute at the Nottingham University Business School.
The survey also reveals that there are 1.5 million owners in Europe, 48% of whom own in Spain, where there are 345 resorts. Furthermore, 3.2 billion was generated by the industry in 2007 alone, 957 million of which came from timeshare sales.
The assertions of fact with regards to the number of claims in the market made by Claims Directive are incorrect and misleading. There are categorically not '200 live claims for timeshare miss-selling against Anfi Del Mar'. In fact, only 3 court rulings have been made, one of which was in favour of ANFI Group and in the other 2 cases, it has not been proved that Anfi took deposits directly in connection to the timeshare sales. The company is required to return a small amount as the documentation presented by Anfi was considered not enough in court due to formal interpretations. In this way, both rulings are being appealed by Anfi at the moment. Claims Directive does not clarify that Spanish law only prohibits taking of deposits for timeshare sales when deposits are received between the purchaser and the seller.
We understand that Claims Directive was set up by a former manager at ANFI Group who no longer works with the company. Furthermore, Claims Directive is linked to a number of companies based in Gran Canaria acting as Class Actions and is also linked to a holiday club called Voyager. RDO considers holiday clubs to be one of the biggest threats to the reputation of the timeshare industry as a whole. Many timeshare owners report that they have been enticed to presentations under false pretences, perhaps having been told they can join a class action scheme, but are then persuaded to sign up for a holiday club membership they did not want in the first place.
Consumers should be aware that the Spanish European Consumer Centre in Madrid reported that between 2005 2007 over seven hundred formal complaints were lodged about holiday clubs operating in the Canaries, causing loses to European Consumers of at least four million Euros at the time, and accounting for 60 % of all complaints made about this type of bogus scheme during the same period.
One of RDO's main responsibilities as a watchdog organisation in the timeshare industry is to crack down on fraud. RDO has been working with the authorities in Spain and the Canary Islands to have bogus holiday operators shut down in fact 51 holiday clubs were forced to close in the last 18 months alone.