It would look like the long drawn out battle between the New York State Attorney General, Eric T Schneiderman and The Manhattan Club is finally over. It was back in July 2014, that AG Schneiderman announced he had obtained a court order halting the sale of timeshares at The Manhattan Club.
As AG Schneiderman put it in July 2014 “Purchasers Duped Into Paying Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars To Become Owners; Later Denied Benefits Of Ownership In Alleged Bait-And-Switch Scam”.
They were also subjected to ever rising maintenance fees and unable to book as there was according to the hotel “no rooms available”. It transpires that rooms were being rented out over the internet to non-owners, even though they were told it was for the exclusive use of timeshare owners. This is not an uncommon problem that timeshare owners face, we see the same practice at resorts in Europe.
As part of the settlement, the Manhattan Club owners are not only being forced to sell, they must also give up management control and will be barred from the timeshare industry. This must go out as a warning to other timeshare developers, times are changing, if the industry itself cannot improve itself, then we can see more AG’s taking up the fight on the behalf of owners.
It must also be said that Eric Schneiderman is only one of a hand full of Attorney General’s who actually sides with the consumer, there are many more who are in bed with the industry. This is a list of those who are on the side of the consumer:
Other Attorneys General have come down on the side of timeshare owners, including:
http://Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman, as reported by Business Den reporter Amy DiPierro, concerning Highlands Resorts in Colorado and Sedona Pines in Arizona:
One AG that is conspicuous by her absence is the http://Florida AG Pam Bondi.
Others that need to be congratulated are the following coalition that worked with the Manhattan Club Independent Owners Group and the NYAG, they are: NTOA, RedWeek, Sharket and Attorney Douglas Wasser. This goes to prove that by working together nothing is impossible.
Images from meetings of the Manhattan Club Independent Owners Group
In Europe we are seeing Spain leading the way for timeshare consumers, the Spanish Supreme Court has now made 65 rulings against the industry, this is unprecedented. This has been largely due to the efforts of one law firm, Canarian Legal Alliance who continue to make Spanish legal history and help consumers to gain justice.
If the timeshare industry is to continue and prosper, it must take note and change the way it sells the product. The owner / member should be the priority, not huge profits for the sake of profit, (could they be the Ferengi from Star Trek)?
We have said this before, timeshare is a great concept, it does provide quality resorts, it does suit some, but it also becomes a burden to others.