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Quoted from the Mail newspaper and pointed out by Pepys:

Tony Hetherington is Financial Mail on Sunday's ace investigator, fighting readers corners, revealing the truth that lies behind closed doors and winning victories for those who have been left out-of-pocket. Find out how to contact him below.

Mrs S.F. writes: In 1986 my husband and I purchased two timeshare weeks at La Quinta Club in Spain. We were told that if we wished we could hand back our weeks by simply not paying the annual charges, and the contract confirmed this, as did every annual meeting until 2010. 

In 2011 we advised the Club that we wished to hand back our weeks, but this was rejected and we were told we must pay until 2064. The Club is now suing us for £4,400. Club chairman Philip Duncan has also told us he has placed the matter in the hands of a debt collection agency owned by Club member Alison Riley. 

My husband and I are retired and simply cannot afford the annual fees. As long ago as 1999 we paid the Club to resell our timeshare but have heard nothing.

Timeshare always was a trap waiting to be sprung. It was sold in the 1980s as a glamorous holiday option that would appreciate in value, but as annual fees have rocketed and owners have aged, the glamour has gone and what was marketed as a profitable asset has become a massive millstone around the neck of every owner with a reduced income.


The purchase agreement you signed is not complex. It says plainly that if a buyer fails to pay the purchase price or annual fees, then the agreement is cancelled, with neither side having any further liability to the other. However, the Club and its solicitors argue that the agreement also says buyers are bound by the Club’s constitution, even if they have not seen it. 

And the constitution contradicts the purchase agreement. It is the constitution, for example, that forces you to pay fees for the next 50 years, while the purchase agreement makes no mention of this.

I may be wrong, but when I contacted the chairman, Philip Duncan, I sensed something close to desperation. The Club operates for the benefit of its members, he told me, and ‘members who do not pay their annual dues increase the burden of the costs of maintaining the Club on those members who wish to remain as members.’ 

And this is perfectly true. But I doubt if any buyer in the 1980s foresaw that they could be pensioners on a falling income, yet forced to pay for the upkeep of a resort that those with enough cash could carry on enjoying. 

You are being asked to subsidise the holidays of folk with more money than you. 

The Club’s badly mishandled attempt to collect its fees just underlines this. Duncan told you he was calling in ‘a UK debt collection agency’. He added: ‘This agency is owned and operated by Alison Riley who is herself an owner at La Quinta Club.’ 

You then received a letter from Riley on official looking notepaper. She told you she was acting on behalf of the Club and was ‘engaged in the collection of their outstanding and overdue debt’. 
Fail to pay up and you would face legal proceedings, she threatened.

But Riley is an impostor. The Office of Fair Trading confirmed she is not a licensed debt collector. Duncan and Riley have now backtracked totally. Duncan admitted there was no UK debt collection agency, while Riley insisted: ‘I am not and never have been involved as a debt collector for La Quinta Club.’ 

She even told me she ‘merely tried to converse’ with you to offer help. As for the £50 fee that you paid the Club to resell your timeshare, Duncan brushed this aside, telling me: ‘The Club does not have an obligation to actively market these weeks’.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/experts/article-2608446/TONY-HETHERINGTON-Debt-collector-exposed-fake-timeshare-row.html#ixzz3043wLD8Z 
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If any of this sounds familiar to you, you might want to register and complete an application for to join DRIP for the support and help of others who have 'been there, done that, bought the t-shirt, read the book.....' and, most importantly escaped from DRI.

Please note there are no charges whatsoever for joining or remaining a member of DRIP. The site is run by a small group of vounteers for the benefit of the membership and we have no affiliation with any company whatsoever. 
Welcome to the DRIP website. This is a store of information on dealing with Diamond Resorts International, ways of coping with their aggressive tactics and details of the experiences of people who have freed themselves from demands for exponentially increasing 'Maintenance Fees'.

JOINING THE SITE
In order to read this information, you need to register and complete an application form. ALL application forms, without exception, are processed manually before acceptance, so it can take some time before forum access is granted.

THIS IS A SELF- HELP SITE! 
There are literally thousands of comments on the site and it is not possible for the small admin team to search through on your behalf. No-one receives any money for running this site, so please don't ask others to do your research for you. As far as possible, we have tried to group information together in the forums so please spend a bit of time reading them to find out what you need.

WE DO NOT GIVE ADVICE!
Unlike other sites which might make empty promises to buy back timeshare or solve your problems for you, we don't. We just provide a place where people can find out the real experiences of those who have owned timeshare with DRI so that they know the truth and can make an informed decision on how to cope with their own situation.  It IS possible to free yourself. It is NOT a quick or easy fix. Anyone who says anything else is either misleading or deliberately lying to you.

COST OF MEMBERSHIP
There is NO CHARGE for joining this site. It is, however, a private group of individuals and just because you register and complete an application form that is no guarantee of acceptance. We reserve the right to refuse membership without giving a reason. In practice, very few applications are denied and usually these are because the applicant is unwilling to supply information that enables us to prove their bona-fides.

OUR AIMS
All we want is fairness. We have no desire to harm DRI, its members or associates. All we ask for is that members of DRI who no longer wish to continue their membership should have the right to resign and have no further charges to pay from the date of their resignation. In an ideal world, with a reasonable company, one could also expect a proportion of the original investment to be returned, but we don't ask for that. All we ask for is that once a member has resigned they should be left alone and not harassed for fees for something they don't want and are not using. You wouldn't pay someone not to clean your windows. Why should you pay for someone not to provide you with holiday accommodation?
If you are thinking of a timeshare resale agency to solve all your problems, please watch this first:

russwilliam Russwilliam; I was contacted by "sell your timeshare.co.uk" (diamond resorts international points) and I was i ...
Dwaelf the Wanderer a Sorry, these BBC iplayer things are only available for a few days then the BBC take them off. Usually they have them ava ...
julfer Interesting, I just tried to watch this and it is no longer available!
For those who purchased timeshare in Spain, have a look at this page on the TCA website:

http://www.timeshare.org.uk/spain.html
Marjorie51 There is a report on the Mindtimeshare site that ITRA as part of the Club Class Group, probably one of the worst timesha ...
Marjorie51 The ITRA site suggests that any RCI members joining their Class Action could be compensated up to £20,000 each. As this ...
ettyathome Do you have any advice on ITRA? they contacted me, regarding an upcoming court case suppose to be in May this year in G ...
Please note that we have received the message in quotes below from Claire Box of the Lancashire Trading Standards.

I should like to point out that no-one on this site has ever claimed that Lancashire Trading Standards would automatically be able to release anyone from their membership. We have, however, suggested people contacted Claire Box as she had been successful in the past at helping some members to be released. 

Since this no longer seems to be the case, for whatever reason, would members please read the forums for suggestions on the options they have. Thank you.

Message from Claire Box as below:

"Lancashire County Council Trading Standards is receiving a large number of enquiries from Diamond Resorts members who state that they were advised by messages on your website to contact our Service (in particular Claire Box) if they wish to relinquish their Diamond Resorts membership. We have not had sight of the full text of any such message on your website so cannot fully comment on the accuracy of the content. However we must make it clear that we are not in the position to free any members from their contracts with Diamond Resorts or to demand that Diamond Resorts free members from their contracts, nor can we provide advice on the individual circumstances of each member's case. Our current advice is for consumers to contact the Citizen's Advice Helpline in relation to their issue. We would be grateful if you could post a message clarifying this on your website. We would also appreciate that any further message posted by members of your site relating to Lancashire Trading Standards is checked for accuracy with our Service first. You can send any such query through to claire.box@lancashire.gov.uk."
Shoutbox
A warm welcome to our new batch of DRIPs this morning. Hope the site is useful to you all and welcome aboard the lifeboat DRIP :)
jlincoln Please can you pm me and let me know exactly which page it is you can't access so I can investigate. Thanks.
Dwaelf, when I try to access this area I get the message"You do not have sufficient access to view this page", can you help please?
letter templates are in the Useful documents of the forums.
Does anybody have a DRI resignation letter Template please
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