Just had an e-mail from CLC advising us that our 2011 management fees were late and adding a €319 Late Payment Fee for good measure. We have not received an invoice so were a bit surprised and angry. Our 2010 invoice had come out on 23rd February 2010 so we expected 2011 to be a similar date.
It seems that CLC have now adopted an e-billing system and do not send paper invoices anymore.
When I called them to ask what was going on the lady advised me that it had all been on their website for months and everyone should know. My reply was that I do not spend all my time looking at their website and would have expected a reminder ( written or e-mail ) at least before they start charging additional fees.
I paid the outstanding management fees immediately but am disputing the Late Payment Fee.
Anyone else had any similar problem?
One year we did not receive an invoice in the post as we normally did. luckily, I remembered that our fees were due by 1 November and contacted Member Services to find out why we had not received an invoice. It was sometime during October so our fees were not overdue and so no late fees were due. They do say they will charge them, but not sure whether they enforce this.
Stick to your guns and refuse to pay, especially if they have messed things up. Everyone seems to be changing over to email communication to cut down on costs. There are also options to continue to receive postal communication though. Make sure they know if you prefer to have paper copies sent in the post. Get in touch with your Member Directors to complain to them about this. If your club secretary is Phil Bickmore, let him know as well.
What happens when you don't have email?
My parents gave CLC my email address so I could get confirmation of a specific holiday a couple of years ago.
So they never receved a management fees reminder last year. They also never received anything telling them that all further correspondence with them would take place electronically and be sent to someone else!
We have just received a late payment bill for 620 Euros! Like you, we missed the bill because it is the first time that CLC has asked for it by e-mail. We also had no reminder, apart from the e-mail that charged us this extra fine, which was called 'Friendly Reminder'. I think it is quite scarey that they have the power to do this, and I want to fight it because it seems so unjust.I wish I had some legal knowledge. Is there a particular person that we should get in touch with? How do we get in touch with 'member directors'? I asked to speak to someone high up but the lady I spoke to wouldn't give me anyone else. Perhaps if enough people felt strongly about this there could be a deputation, because I think to change the way you ask for payment, and then give no reminders before adding on a huge fine must be against some law somewhere!
I just discovered this statement in the Annual Club Secretary's Letter 2011 (via email):
"Those Members without a registered email address or access to a computer will have received their billing in the normal manner, and any Member so wishing can elect to receive a hard copy as well as an electronic version of their request for payment by contacting Member Services."
I guess my parents are defined as having a "registered email address" (mine) but they don't have access to a computer, don't know how to use one, and certainly wouldn't have been checking any website. And as they never received this email, they couldn't elect to receive a hard copy. I'm not a member so wouldn't expect to be sent the only copy of their bill. I mean, the lady at CLC can't even talk to me about their account!
I wonder how much CLC is making in late fees this time round.
This all seems a little extortionate. I would go back to CLC and say "Prove it ! Prove I received the email"
Emails are far too unreliable these days and getting hit with a huge fine is just not on.
I am a diamond club member of CLC. The names of the two member directors are: Peter Chadwick and Ron Lawson. You can get their contact details via the official CLC website under the sub section AGM.
You need to have a password to get into the members section. Call member services at CLC if you have difficulty.
I received a response from the office saying basically that they had done everything correctly and offered me instalments to pay the late fees!!!!
Seems the invoices went out by e-mail on 28th October and because it did not get returned undelivered to their server we are deemed to have received it. They then add that the club constitution requires them to impose the Late Fees in pursuit of efficient management.
Apparently if we had contacted them earlier to request an invoice the charges could have been avoided but this completely misses the point that WE DID NOT KNOW that an invoice was outstanding.
Anyway, we have sent a politely smelly letter to the office for the attention of John Greengrass with copied to Peter Chadwick and Ron Lawson so we will see what response we get.
You need to mark your correspondence to Member Services "For the attention of Phil Bickmore". Staff are supposed to forward them to him - he is the Club Secretary. John Greengrass does not actually work for CLC - he has some kind of consultancy agreement and is not involved with the day to day running of CLC. I will also pass information on to Phil Bickmore about this problem and see if he is aware of it.
contact details for the Vacation Club Member Directors may be on the CLCmembers website (set up and run by members not CLC) - I will check and can post them here.
I know that all clubs in CLC will have had constitutions amended to allow for email correspondence as an option. It was also made clear that those who want to continue with postal communication can do so. There would have been information relating to this in AGM documentation over the last year or so. There probably is provision for charging late fees within the constitutions/Articles of Association but this doesn't mean that it should be enforced especially as there will be teething problems with email correspondence which has only been introduced in the last year!!
I have contacted Phil Bickmore myself to let him know about the concerns of CLC members that they have not received emails informing them that their management fees are due. Also the fact that there is no reminder being sent out before the 'final' demand with the late fee payment slapped on.
It is always advisable to make a note of when fees are due, especially those who have been members for a long time, and double check with CLC if nothing has come through when you expect it. Perhaps they should put read receipts on all their emails and then tally them with those that have been sent out - give them something to do!!!!
Update from us on our late payment penalty situation - we got a result !!
My letter of complaint/explanation seems to have done the trick as I had a call from the admin office and they have cancelled the late payment charge on our account. The lady I spoke to ( Alida ) was keen to make it clear this was an exception and explained how the Vacation Club may even have to borrow money to pay their own bills if they do not get our management dues in at the right time.
I made the point again that we agree with the move to e-billing but that CLC needs to get a better process in place so they at least issue reminders before they impose penalties.
Keep battling folks, it may be worth it. :)
Not sure if this advice is helpful, but it is a way to ensure you don't end up with any late payment charges.
We decided last year to pay by 3 monthly installments done by DD. There is no extra cost involved, however you are at the hands of the currency exchange rate. Some you win by delaying, others not, but all minimal anyway.
When paying by this method you receive an email setting out the payments due, in case you wish to alter payment method.
I agree that today we are all assumed to be online for everything! However this is not a problem for us as we use the PC almost daily. Also it is worth checking your points statement each year. We had a problem when we 'took back' the week we had ceded to CLC and bought more points instead. Their system could not 'compute' and we were missing points until they manually altered the details. Their end it was showing as they see a different screen - not much help to us!
Hope you enjoy CLC, we have been members for 8 years and enjoy it very much.