macdonald hotels & resorts

Started by suds, May 02, 2009, 10:16:29

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In 1986 I bought a weeks timeshare from Barrat International at Villicana in Spain, I was verbally assured that if I did not use the week and Barrat could not rent it I would not be liable for maintance fee's, however I recieved yearly requests for maintance fee's and paid on time every time irrespective of whether or not the unit was rented out.

In 2003 we visited Villicana and were approached by the sales team who we informed that we wished to sell our week or were we able to trade our week for another. The part exchange idea was washed over very quickly and the sales rep proceeded to sell us another week with the verbal assurance that our unwanted week would sell no problem within the year, we continued to pay the maintance fee (on 2 units now) for the last five years.

Last year I withheld 2008/2009 fee's on the unwanted unit but paid for the new unit, I wrote to Macdonalds and requested to know how many viewings they had had on our for sale unit and what price they were asking as we had reduced the asking price in 2005, they wrote back saying they could not provide the requested information and informed us that we should pay the outstanding fee's immediatley.

I wrote back with a fairly polite but robust reply informing them that they had not satisfied my request for an explanation, (they got Network Credit Services to reply to that one). Anyway after 8 months now and waiting for a reply to my last letter they eventually replied with what they had told me back in October 2008.

My thoughts are that having read some of the postings on the web regarding how Macdonalds deal with their owners they simply do not bother selling customer weeks until they have recovered them through the debt collection agency therefore maximising their profits and blacking the name of the little person.

I am visiting my solicitor soon with a view to legal action against macdonalds, as I cannot believe that I am the only owner who finds themselves in this dilema, if anyone has a similar experince with this company I would be eager to find out how you got on or are getting on with your complaint.



My own experience of Barratts sales techniques in the mid '80s was very similar to your own, and I was buying in the UK.  All manner of statements made at the presentation including one to the effect that M/Fs would only increase every 2 years and then only by the rate of inflation.  That's another claim that didn't stand the test of time!
The big problem is that most of those claims were made during the individual sales pitches to potential customers rather than in open presentations and are therefore extremely difficult to prove.  The number of people with very similar stories would however tend to suggest that the practice was widespread.
When these statements were raised at the AGM, the senior manager from Barratts just sneered and asked for proof in writing of this.  He was nearly lynched!!
At my home resort the relationship between the members and the management team has greatly improved but obviously I can't speak for that at other resorts.  The internal resale programme doesn't seem to be very effective, to be polite, as similar concerns to yours were also raised at the last AGM I attended, a couple of years ago.  I suspect the only units that are likely to sell will be those for prime holiday weeks and anything outside that period will be highly problematic.
As an owner I certainly don't want Macdonald simply to take back weeks if an owner no longer wants them as that adds to the burden on the remaining owners.  After all the owners have signed up to a legally binding contract.  On the other hand I don't want Macdonald to throw good money after bad in chasing debts that can't be recovered.
The fact that they won't provide information on either how many viewings they have had, or the sales price does tell its own story.  They must have that information although the 'viewing' question is difficult as access to view the specific unit is not practical if it is occupied at the time of enquiry.  
Good luck in getting a successful resolution to your situation, and keep us posted.



Thanks for yor reply, I fully understand what you mean in respect of the other owners and management fee's and I have never failed to pay my fee's but I felt that I had to make a stand in relation to how long this unit has been for sale and it would appear that macdonalds have no loyalty to their owners, they just want to make money and they do not care how they go about it, this is a short term view and not a long term buisness strategy for a company who wants to stay in this type of buisness. I will endeavour to keep you updated but I am one unhappy macdonalds owner.


I am not an owner at any MacDonalds resorts, however I have recently returned from Dalfaber Golf & Country Club, Aviemore.  During the week we received a flyer through the door advising that the lodge we were staying in was for sale for the following week which was week 13.  There was no price listed and the flyer advised that we would be contacted by a member of the sales staff - we weren't although we were out most of the time during the day.  There was a phone number to call (01479 811244 - ext. 504 if we wished to discuss this further.

We really loved this resort, but would not buy as we already have timeshare in Tenerife and are members of CLC.  If it wasn't for the maintenance fees we would definitely buy more timeshare.


Glad to here you enjoyed you stay at Dalfaber, the resorts that I have visted are all to a good standard and to that end I have no issue.
When you have been an owner for as long as I have you would consider that Macdonalds and the sales team would want to trade in an honest manner and fullfill their obligation to you as an owner by selling unwanted units quickly, you would not leave a second hand car outside your house for 6yrs unsold so why avoid selling a weeks timeshare for so long. The answer to that is easy, Management fee's they are a regular source of income and year on year you can put them up send out an invoice and bank the money (its that easy).

I have in my communications with macdonalds hinted at them providing a resolve to this situation, waiting for them to make a suggestion is like waiting for the Med to freeze over, should they have come back to me and said, look we cant offer you market value or even the reduced price that you are asking but we will take the unit of your hands for £???, I think we could have moved on by now, some things in life are to simple for the corporate minds to get round, their actions thus far are nothing short of legalised theft.
My case is not a case of can't pay won't pay, its a case of wait a minute its now coming upto 6years since you said you would sell this unit and you have had regular management fee's out of me for a unit I know longer use. Perhaps its time Macdonalds owners got together and made a stance.


Originally posted by suds

When you have been an owner for as long as I have you would consider that Macdonalds and the sales team would want to trade in an honest manner and fullfill their obligation to you as an owner by selling unwanted units quickly, you would not leave a second hand car outside your house for 6yrs unsold so why avoid selling a weeks timeshare for so long. The answer to that is easy, Management fee's they are a regular source of income and year on year you can put them up send out an invoice and bank the money (its that easy).

You certainly have a point when suggesting that regular management fee income doesn't encourage any resale effort on the part of the resort.  I don't however think your analogy with used car sales is a good one.  For any sale to succeed there must be a buyer and regrettably there simply are no buyers, at any price, for many weeks.  You only have to look on Ebay to see the number of units on offer for next to nothing, and still not selling, for evidence of that.


Does Macdonald own your timeshare or are they just the management agents running the resort on the behalf of the owners? I own at Loch Rannoch where the accounts under Macdonald showed in the balance sheet amounts owed as management fees going back into the early 1990s. Clearly these amounts should have been written off under accounting rules but were not. Is this the same at your resorts because if it is then this is a serious breech of accounting rules? Equally if the accounts you are given have been audited by an accounting company such as KPMG then in my opinion they should have qualified the accounts if such debts going back years appear on the balance and have not been written off because of the risk to current and future owners.

Under the constitution at Loch Rannoch, Macdonald should have attempted to reduce the debt caused by non payment by renting or selling the units in default but no information was ever provided of the amounts gained from such sales or rentals nor of how much Macdonald kept as administration fees out of the sums they have received from rentals or sales. In my opinion, a failure to disclose this information in the accounts is a breech of the fiduciary duty Macdonald have with the timeshare owners. This information should be disclosed in the accounts to show how Macdonald are managing non payment of management fees. Does the constitution at your resort have similar requirements regarding the sale or rentals of timeshares in arrears? If it does then you need to ask Macdonald how much they have earned to reduce non payments and how much they have kept.

You need to find out the arrangements at your timeshare and check what Macdonald have been doing. Macdonald do not have a loyalty to the owners but they do have a responsibility to manage the resort properly. If they fail to do so you will have to remove them just like at Loch Rannoch.



Thanks for your reply and apoligies for not responding sooner. In short I am not sure what the answer is.

I have considered our current position and relented at this time to settle the management fees whilst seeking a way out of this situation, it is difficult to understand why so many people can get sucked into these deals.

If the clock could be turnrd back I would have recorded all the information discussed at the original meeting about how this was an investment etc, I feel that we have been led up the garden path with false representation from the outset. How foolish we were to even consider that during our second purchase in 2003 that the statement provided by the sales team to our first week being sold within a year would be no problem (false).

I was contacted by SELL MY TIMESHARE the other day, any info would be most welcome.


J Macfarlane: Interested to read your post. I own at Lochanhully and was under the impression that the owners at Loch Rannoch had given Macdonalds the boot and were running the resort themselves.
I've just been asked by a Market Research Company they have employed to collate results whether I would like to GIVE my timeshare to Macdonalds!


macdonald hotels & resorts have sent me a market reserch survey asking various questions one being surrender back. Macdonalds will not accept perpetuity deeds back, why would they? seems to me macdonald hotels & resorts are targeting us owners for an upsell in the near future. Time will tell.

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