Desperate times for Club La Costa?
Club La Costa, once a giant of the timeshare industry has been sending out "worrying signals" recently, causing alarm among observers.
Following the tragic death of three members of the Diya family drowning in the Costa Del Sol resort swimming pool on Christmas Eve 2019, a Guardia Civil report was slammed by Allen Wilson, one of the world´s leading experts on swimming pool deaths who conducted his own investigation on the tragedy.
Victims of Club La Costa´s dangerous pool design? The Diya family before the horrific drowning deaths last Christmas Eve
Wilson, former president of the Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers, concluded that Club La Costa (CLC) was most likely to blame for the shock deaths because of the pool´s design.
Olubunmi Diya, who traumatically lost her husband and both children in the event, seemed to confirm this analysis by revealing that all three victims were strong swimmers, refuting the police report that the three family members died because of their inability to swim.
Allen Wilson went as far as to declare the police report to be a cover-up to protect the resort, the Spanish tourist industry and even the tour operators. "It stinks," Allen Wilson stated to media sources later.
CLC continues to be the subject of speculation and negative publicity regarding their alleged culpability in the three deaths.
More recently rumours were circulating, although subsequently denied, that Club La Costa was going into liquidation.
Inside Timeshare website covered the story on the 14th October and experts advise that even the suggestion of a major timeshare operator like CLC facing receivership should be taken very seriously.
"So many people would be affected that these kind of reports need to be addressed swiftly," says Daniel Keating of the Timeshare Consumer Association. "There are conservatively 25,000 members of CLC and we estimate that those members spent at least £375 million between them just in joining the club.
"On top of that the majority of these people pay over £1000 each per year in maintenance. If Club La Costa were to file for bankruptcy that would be an enormous amount of lost money. Even a hint of financial difficulties has to be treated with the utmost gravity."
Rumours aside, Club La Costa have more directly set alarm bells ringing with a letter sent out to their entire database of members announcing their intention to "pause" all timeshare sales operations "until further notice."
Timeshare industry expert Jayne Niven, a compensation specialist with European Consumer Claims (ECC), tells us that this is significant news and that Club La Costa members would be well advised to keep a close eye on the financial health of the company.
"Closing their sales operations would put a huge hole in Club La Costa´s finances," explains Jayne Niven. "CLC membership sales total an estimated £86 million annually. It´s difficult to see how they could absorb a financial blow of that magnitude and continue to operate."
Club La Costa´s "all members" email also advised owners against making compensation claims against CLC for mis-selling the memberships. The concerned sounding missive included attacks on the credibility of law firms who specialise in helping clients to claim money they might be owed from the timeshare giant.
"Again this is troubling," says Jayne. "Club La Costa are correct in that there are rogue operators trying to defraud people regarding timeshare compensation claims, but the tone of this email could be interpreted as fearmongering."
The email, which was sent as message from Roy Peires (the founder and chairman of CLC World) goes as far as to recommend members to check with Club La Costa regarding whether a law firm is trustworthy to use in claims against CLC.
"To ask the intended defendant in a civil claims case, for recommendations on which law firm can be trusted to represent them, is clearly not in the best interest of the plaintiff," Jayne points out. "A sceptic could infer that CLC would be motivated to act in their own interests instead of the people suing them.
"CLC have been in trouble for this before. They are currently fighting serious defamation claims from a Spanish law firm called M1 Legal. The circumstances were similar. They identified a client who was claiming compensation against them and attacked the credibility of M1 legal, in the hope that the client would get cold feet and discontinue the claim.
"The fact that they are again questioning the reputation of law firms in the hope of preventing compensation claims seems like a risky strategy given their existing legal embattlements. You have to wonder what kind of pressure they are under if they deem this further risk worth taking
"If anyone is considering making a claim against Club La Costa or any other timeshare operator, they are better advised to seek independent advice from an impartial source like the Timeshare Consumer Association."
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