If you are an owner at a Club la Costa resort (CLC) you may well have received an email that they recently sent out to all their members. A rather verbose document but cutting through verbiage it basically states that come hell or high water you still have to pay your maintenance.
According to the email it states:
“Around 90% of the money raised by the Club each year is used to pay for this holiday accommodation with the balance covering the Membership Call Centres and administration.”
It further goes on to say, in “Bold” text:
“In very simple terms, if the Club does not pay these management charges for the accommodation weeks then the Club could lose these weeks, the Club will shrink accordingly, and variety is reduced for everyone.”
Are they serious? Is this a veiled attempt to tug at owners heart strings basically saying “if you don’t pay you will spoil it for everyone else”. What does it mean when it says “if the club doesn’t pay these management charges” hang on a minute, the club is Club la Costa and Club la Costa owns all the properties, so if the club doesn’t pay the club it will shrink? Confused? We certainly are!
We have no idea of the total number of letting properties Club la Costa own but it would be fun to crunch a few numbers, let’s assume for a moment that your annual maintenance fee is £1000 per week owned. The apartment/villa may be sold for 50 weeks; allowing two weeks for annual refurbishment, then we might see these numbers:
|No of apartments||Annual Maintenance PW||Weeks Sold||Total Annual Income|
From this table we can get an idea of the sort of income levels being generated in annual maintenance income, also we believe this is leaning on the side of conservative, as these charges are likely to be higher. If each CLC apartment is receiving £50,000 per year in maintenance fees, it would be very interesting to see a breakdown of how this money is spent, especially considering similar urbanisations with like for like facilities and a similar sized apartment’s charge less than £8,000 per annum.
It is also highly unlikely that the owners of the apartments would remove their properties from the club due to a momentary lapse in maintenance payments. Given that they would not have any alternative ways in which to raise the same capital whilst the resorts are closed and people are unable to travel, why would they remove their properties from the club?
CLC go on to explain that “while current travel restrictions are in place, all resorts are staffed and being well maintained for the benefit of your future holidays”.Now we know that their on-site restaurants are closed, that their chamber maids are redundant being that the apartments are empty, their swimming pools have been covered-up; CLC/swimming pool/cover-up hmm… now thats another story, they have certainly laid off their sales staff and it is very unlikely that their free bus service is still operating, so all we can say is if you are looking for a career change then it would be a very smart move to apply for a job as a gardener at CLC, as they clearly pay them a kings wage!
Moving on, later in the email it states:
“We appreciate that individual Members could also be facing new challenges due to COVID-19, so we have also temporarily deferred the Club suspension process with the aim to support Members and facilitate easier payment of their Management Fees.”
How nice of them not to suspend you from a club you cannot use! Little solace for those in extreme financial difficulties.
The final plea is:
“Please continue to make your payments to support your holiday Membership and Club.”
To finish, during this crisis most companies contacting their customers are finishing their communication by adding comments about staying safe and messages of reassurance, not so CLC. They neither say anything at the beginning or the end of the communication. What a caring outfit…they are certainly NOT.
Posted on: May 18, 2020
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 0203 519 3808 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk