Spice/Aroma Points

Started by Clark1941, June 06, 2012, 16:57:55

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Hi, I have read a number of comments about Spice and Club Leisure/Flexi-Club Uk and although I do not usually comment on such sites I feel so moved to do so!

My wife and I owned several Timeshare weeks and in 2003 we were asked if interested to trade in for Flexi-Club UK points, to give us more flexibility. We did so and we have enjoyed many great holidays, mostly in the UK but also in Malta, Portugal and Ireland. We attended one of the FlexiClub AGMs in the UK and we personally met and spoke to Shaun Lamont. We subsequently opted to convert to SPICE, having attended a meeting in London and again met Shaun Lamont.

Throughout our membership we have been treated courteously and have enjoyed holidays we would never otherwise have afforded. We were not easy to please as we always wanted two weeks in August in the UK and always we had our holidays in very high quality accommodation. This year, 10 of us, 3 families, will be staying in two resorts in the UK., a week in each and the cost works out at £200 per week per family - we still have points over for another holiday later if we wish. Two years ago I carried out my own survey on holiday accommodation in the UK in August, from basic caravans to quality cottages and resorts and the costs are horrendous! Without Flexi/Spice it would not have been possible. We are not stuck with our points - we can reduce or increase or discontinue if we wish, not facing never-ending charges. So if you have been approached by SPICE/AROMA, I can recommend this organisation. And I have not been paid to say this!

Just wanted to give a positive view because there are rogues out there!


If you think the Lamont's and their operation is so great, perhaps you should talk with some of the timeshare owners who have been scammed out of their timeshares at a whole series of resorts in South Africa, where the Lamont's empire, based around the Club Leisure Group, is based, starting with The Seapointer just outside Capetown, but also including resorts in Durban and the low veldt.  Or perhaps you should look at some of the financial dealings between Lamont's operations and some of the resorts they get control of through their points clubs control of weeks.  It is not a pretty picture.

Members at the resort I own at in South Africa worked hard to succesfully fight this scroundrel off when he tried to get control of our resort a couple of years ago.  We will work hard to do so again if he sticks his head up.  We know his history and do not want anything to do with him or any component of the Club Leisure Group.

Here is a thread that has a lot of material on Stuart ''The Bullfrog'' Lamont, Club Leisure Group, and its various tenacles.  I haven't seen a nickname for Shaun.  Maybe he is The Tadpole.



is this forum for the protection of the owners or the resorts , and im sure free speech is allowed and should be commented on in a constructive manner in the interests of the owners , taking into account each comment as an individual perspective .


Quote from: peachie on June 07, 2012, 10:17:03
is this forum for the protection of the owners or the resorts , and im sure free speech is allowed and should be commented on in a constructive manner in the interests of the owners , taking into account each comment as an individual perspective .

I don't think this forum is primarily for the protection of the owners or the resorts but for people to air their views on any aspect of the timeshare industry. Clark1941 has posted his opinion of Spice/Aroma and Carolinian has responded. Surely that is an example of "free speech".


I agree .... but the lady does seem to fight for the one side in most of the comments made ? and Carolinian certainly has a bee in her bonnet about Lamont !! I dont seem to hear many owners complaining about Spice, or Lamont , just enjoying the product he offers. which one of Carolinian´s resorts will let owners out if they want to with no strings attached ? 


Quote from: peachie on June 07, 2012, 13:18:52
I agree .... but the lady does seem to fight for the one side in most of the comments made ? and Carolinian certainly has a bee in her bonnet about Lamont !! I dont seem to hear many owners complaining about Spice, or Lamont , just enjoying the product he offers. which one of Carolinian´s resorts will let owners out if they want to with no strings attached ?

Being from North Carolina does not mean we are female.  Around half of us are, in fact, male.

This site has few owners with South Africa weeks, and that is where Lamont has mainly operated, and where his scams are best known.  A major timeshare consumer site that was hounded out of existance by shady developers, which is a banned word/phrase so we will just call it C-share, had a lengthy page, and also lengthy archives on South Africa, and the Lamonts were the star of their South Africa boards, and not in a positive sense.  If you want to see negative posts on the Lamonts and their operations, go to boards with more South African timeshare owners, either in SA itself or some of the US boards.

You will particularly find owners at the following resorts quite unhappy with Lamont and his shananigans:
The Seapointer, Capetown
Tenbury, Durban
Lowveld Lodge, the lowveld
The Oceanic, Durban
Port Alfred Sands, eastern Cape
Each of these resorts, Lamont has shut down, run the members off, and largely appropriated the resort property for himself. Those are the ones that had overseas owners who posted on US boards about Lamont's scams.  there may be others that have not gotten that attention because they had fewer foreign owners.

Read the Johannesburg Star newspaper article on Lamont and his points clubs that is posted on the Lamont / Club Leisure thread on Shark Alley on this site

You might also want to read through the numerous complaints on Flexi-Club at the South Africa consumer site HelloPeter:



July 8 2006


Travel clubs rocked by claims of deceit

Clients accuse timeshare giants of swindling millions from them, writes Sheena Adams

Sheena Adams

Lies and misinformation are among the scandalous claims levelled against timeshare giants Flexi-Club and the Club Leisure Group, accused of swindling tens of millions of rands from clients.
The matter has been investigated by the Department of Trade and Industry, and CLG is currently the subject of a second investigation by the South African Revenue Service.
Unhappy clients from Flexi-Club and Club Resorts International (CRI), both of which are managed by a CLG subsidiary, have also amassed scores of written complaints and signed affidavits placing serious allegations at the feet of Flexi-Club managing director and CLG chairperson Stuart Lamont. Lamont has distanced himself and his companies from the allegations.
At the heart of the matter is the claim that Lamont helped to engineer a deal in 2000 whereby a management company, Club Leisure Management (CLM), was formed together with the Southern African arm of global timeshare leader RCI (Resorts Condominium International).
In the same year, RCI also purchased CRI Operations, the company with the management contract to administer CRI Club, a popular, points-based timeshare concept.
S'bu Mngadi, managing director of RCI's Global Vacation Network for Africa, told the Saturday Star this week that RCI soon afterwards sold CRI Operations to CLM. RCI and Flexi-Club continued to own CLM, with RCI as a minority shareholder, according to Mngadi. CLM then took over the management of the CRI club.
According to information received from several clients, former CRI consultants and a former director of the CRI Management Association (CRIMA), Lamont embarked on an aggressive marketing drive in 2002 aimed at converting CRI clients to Flexi-Club.
Clients allege, many of them in signed affidavits, that "arrogant and aggressive" Flexi-Club consultants began contacting them, spinning a yarn that CRI was in financial difficulty, that it had been bought over by Flexi Club and that clients had no option but to buy into Flexi-Club. In order to do this, clients had to purchase Flexi Club points, at an average cost of about R5 000.
Johannesburg businessman Bruce Phillips said he forfeited R30 000 in levies and many thousands more in legal fees after he was forced to hire an attorney to extricate himself from his timeshare contract.
A CRI client for many years, Phillips said he became disillusioned with constant problems trying to secure availability at his preferred resorts. The last straw came a few years ago when he was phoned "non-stop" by a Flexi-Club consultant, trying to convince him to convert his points.
"They never stopped phoning - at night, during the day and over weekends. They wanted me to convert my points to another scam and made all sorts of overtures about CRI going under and being taken over by Flexi-Club," an angry Phillips said.
According to figures announced at a CRIMA meeting last year, CRI had fewer than 10 000 members, a loss of more than 25 000 members. Members were told that 13 300 CRI members were converted to Flexi-Club during the past three years.
A former CRIMA director, who asked not to be named, said the CRIMA board of directors, along with the directors of CRI Operations, should be held accountable for "this in-house type of incestuous breeding".
"They are supposed to protect and promote the CRI points system and yet they have allowed consultants to actively convert people over to Flexi-Club. They knowingly permitted the conversions �
"You can't have different brand names under the same roof if you've got the one screwing the other," he said.
"It makes commercial sense if you can get R5 000 out of a whole list of people. If you convert 10 000 people, you've got R50-million," he added.
Responding to the allegations, Lamont denied that Flexi-Club consultants were behind the strong-arm tactics and instead blamed independent marketing firms. He said he would be very interested in investigating the claims. He said Flexi-Club was "very, very fussy" about conversions and that they were not entered into unless the person was made "fully aware of all the details".
He also claimed that several CRI members had complained about deteriorating rooms and resorts and had requested changing over to Flexi-Club.
"CRI is still strong and it's still operating. It is not insolvent and there is nothing wrong with it," Lamont said - but CRI clients canvassed by the Saturday Star slammed Lamont's comments.
Dorothy Higgins, of Johannesburg, was offered to convert at the "special price" of R3 300 and was contacted by consultants claiming to represent CRI.
"They tell you they are phoning from CRI, and then when you meet them, they say they are actually from Club Leisure Management and they are representing Flexi-Club.
"They'd say that CRI was definitely going under," Higgins said.
The comments coincide with a warning issued this week by credit information ombudsman Manie van Schalkwyk about "aggressive timeshare salespeople".
Van Schalkwyk said his office had seen an upswing in the number of consumers being blacklisted for timeshare purchases and warned people to "read the fine print" and not be bullied by aggressive sales tactics and "partial truths".
He added that although there was currently no legislative power over the timeshare industry, the Timeshare Institute of SA (TISA) was mandated to deal with complaints.
The acting executive director of TISA, Alex Bosch, who is also a director at CLM, said TISA was aware of the allegations and had referred the complaints to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in 2002. As far as TISA was concerned, there was "no merit in certain of the allegations".
Ebrahim Mohamed, chief director of the office of consumer protection at the department, said the department's investigation had revealed that the manner in which certain Flexi-Club agents were approaching CRI members was "indeed problematic".
"It was then agreed between the DTI and Flexi-Club that changes had to be effected with immediate effect.
"Flexi-Club agents had to explain to converting members that CRI was not in liquidation," Ebrahim said.
Sources have confirmed that an investigation into the Club Leisure Group has also been launched by the SA Revenue Service. The Competition Commission is also keen to look into the matter, according to its enforcement and exemptions manager, Thulani Kunene.
The operations manager at CLM, Peter Snyman, also responding on behalf of Lamont, said permission to market Flexi-Club to CRI members was obtained from the former CRI board because members were struggling to "receive holidays as a result of the exceedingly poor mixture and availability of timeshare properties in their property portfolio".
He said the conversion fees were necessary in order to enable CRI members to become Flexi-Club members.
"We do not condone any bullying behaviour with potential clients. Staff are trained to show potential members the benefits of joining Flexi-Club, and members are � required to make up their own minds."



Quote from: peachie on June 07, 2012, 13:18:52
. which one of Carolinian´s resorts will let owners out if they want to with no strings attached ?

Actually, not only will any of the three resorts I currently own at, in the UK, in South Africa, and in North Carolina allow members to convey their timeshare weeks back, but so would the one other South African resort, and three other North Carolina resorts I have previously owned at.  Unlike Spice / Aroma, you did not have to shell out big money to ''convert'' to do so.  All of these resorts are member-controlled, and that is the big difference.

I am aware that people have had lots of trouble trying to get out of Bullfrog Lamont's South African points clubs unless they put the spotlight on him in a major consumer venue, and then they would finally be let out.


My Apologies , I assumed your name was a variation of Caroline . And i accept your comments .

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