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17 Mar 2008 00:00 by georgia Star rating in Algorfa (As seen on .... 1835 posts Send private message

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This is a true account of what happened on Friday Evening.

I will not name companies unless i get permission from Justin as i understand the legal implications involved.

We had a client staying in a Hotel near us out to do the usual NIE,bank accounts etc.....

We had a call from her on Friday to say that there was a lady of retirement age in the Hotel in some distress and could we help??!!!!

To cut a very long and disturbing story short,the lady had been out on a subsidised viewing trip with a large agent ( company A).

Because after 2 days they had showed her nothing she was slightly interested in and in essence had not listened to her requirements at all decided to inform her at 11pm(yes at night!!!!!) that she should leave the hotel without breakfast the following morning and make her own arrangements to get back to the UK as they had cancelled her return flight!!!!!!

They had found out that there ex employeee had been in the hotel trying to persuade his original client to swap companies....

Aparently the guy that had encouraged her to come over had left Company A and was now working for company B(another large agent).

As the lady had the Guys mobile number she called him and started to convey her dismay,the guy from company B then came back and said no problem we will sell you something, by this time the lady was fed up with Spain and actually told us that she now hated the place after her experience and just wanted to go home.

We decided to step in and help and took her to see our lawyer who rang the company in question and unleashed a verbal assault on them that made me quite proud to have him as our lawyer.

Anyway after booking new flights in our office we managed to get the lady back to the UK albeit with a lesser view of the place and a dream in tatters.

I could go on with more details as even with some of the things i have seen over the years this absolutely amazed me!!!!

This was a single lady of retirement age ON HER OWN in a foreign country and because the sales rep was useless and they had a conflict of Interest decided to oust this woman into the gutter!!!!!!!!!

these companies do not deserve any custom and i hope she follows through with her complaint.

I will gladly publish the names of these two companies who fought over a woman like lions over a wilderbeast and literally left her in a state of shock.

 

 



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17 Mar 2008 14:31 by jane b Star rating in Bedar, Almeria. 222 posts Send private message

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Oh Georgia, that is a truly awful story.  Even more awful perhaps is that I have no problem believing it.

I have sat in restaurants and watched as 'victims' (there is no other word) of these sharks listened with glazed eyes as they were bludgeoned with information about the area (much of it inaccurate) and hard-sold those developments which all the locals know to be the least desirable (and probably seriously over-priced).  We know more than one person who has trained with such organsations and packed it in after less than a couple of months because they could not live with themselves selling the way they were required to. 

The sooner the concept of the 'free' inspection trip dies a death the better: when will people wake up to the fact that there really is no such thing as a free lunch?  There is a market for someone to set up proper 'familiarisation holidays' where the customer actually pays a proper price, has a holiday which includes a familiarisation trip of an area with a knowledgeable local before being handed over to an objective agent.  If I were ten years younger I would be doing it!



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17 Mar 2008 14:38 by HybridAnglo Star rating in Leeds & Manilva. 73 posts Send private message

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Sounds pretty despicable behaviour to me, but then, I don't know that particular market.

Is this something that happens regularly? Is the return flight subject to purchase of property? Is there no code of conduct governing the industry?

Maybe the lady in question should contact "Watchdog" to alert others to the practices of these companies. After all, if they're advertising in the UK, they must have a British-based representative to face the music...

Mark.

PS: Fair play to you, Georgia. Sounds like at least one person was looking after the lady in question.


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17 Mar 2008 14:49 by georgia Star rating in Algorfa (As seen on .... 1835 posts Send private message

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jane b- without "blowing my own tumpet" this is pretty much what we do,i always find area,school,medical care far more important to people than trawling through house after house untill they buckle.

Hybrid Anglo- All these companies (and they were both English companies) should be subject to Trading standards investigation.

There is nothing to state that the return flight is subject to purchase in the contract,unfortunately some people out here have got too big for their boots and feel they can operate above the law!!

No wonder we get so much flack!!!! 



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17 Mar 2008 15:20 by J&N Star rating in Nottinghamshire. 342 posts Send private message

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Georgia, Well done for helping out when there was nothing in it for yourself other than the basic priniciple of helping a fellow human being who was in trouble. I truly feel for this lady, a shocking situation to find herself in. What a shame that this experience has left her with such a bad impression of Spain.



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17 Mar 2008 15:40 by georgia Star rating in Algorfa (As seen on .... 1835 posts Send private message

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HI j&N,

The most annoying thing was not only how the woman was treated but that 2 English companies gave such a bad potrayal of our beautiful adoptive home.

I fear she is far too scarred now to seek the real Spain.

We have ahad a nice call from her family thanking us for helping out and that doers mean a lot.

I always think of people especially the older generation as if they were my relatives and how i would feel if someone treated my mother like that.

I begrudge these people my air!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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17 Mar 2008 17:01 by Acapulco Star rating in Costa Blanca South.. 342 posts Send private message

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Well done Georgia,a sad tale indeed.I was pleased to hear of your attitude toward the older generation and I am sure my wife will enjoy being treated like your mother when eventually we all meet..

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17 Mar 2008 17:06 by jane b Star rating in Bedar, Almeria. 222 posts Send private message

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Hear Hear!!  Anyway, Georgia, I am sure you will get your reward - I am a firm believer in what goes around comes around and if one of the relatives knows someone thinking of coming to Spain you will no doubt hear from them.

Regarding doing it properly with your customers, I have no doubt, being a member of this forum, that you do indeed do a proper package!  It is so important that people get to know something about the whole area they are interested in before they start making decisions about the specific locations they might want to be in  - that's what you would do if you were moving in England so why do it differently here, where it is all even more of an unknown quantity.

I take it we haven't had the green light from Justin for naming and shaming?  Pity, these people really should be exposed and I would certainly like to know who they are (any chance of a pm?).  There is a lot of naming on the development forums - is it different in the general forum?

 




This message was last edited by jane b on 3/17/2008.

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17 Mar 2008 17:38 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4534 posts Send private message

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Why not send the story to Trevor MacDonald? Maybe just for a change he could use it to make a worthwhile show about buying (or not) in Spain....

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17 Mar 2008 17:40 by FibbyUK Star rating in UK, Surrey & Playa F.... 2349 posts Send private message

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Well done Georgia, a true gentleman.............

The attitudes of these "big boys" stinks.

I hope this lady goes to a newspaper with her story, they deserve to be exposed.

It would warn others about their disgusting antics.

 



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17 Mar 2008 18:00 by Pitby Star rating in Andalucía. 1904 posts Send private message

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Absolutely Roberto!  Send the story where you know they will print it.  Shame it reflects so badly on Spain, but, to those who know better, it reflects only on those atrocious agents!

My stomach physicaly turned when reading your post, Georgia.  Well done to you to coming to this lady's rescue!!!  How great is that.

Agents such as those who did this should be deprived of a licence to operate.




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18 Mar 2008 09:02 by georgia Star rating in Algorfa (As seen on .... 1835 posts Send private message

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Thanks guys,

Unfortunately i cannot name thge companies without Justin's permission as i do understand that he can be sued for postings on this forum.

Although they may not be his opinion he does own and administrate the medium in which the information is offered.

The inspection trip cost the lady £49.00, the return flight cost £130.00 so as it turned out it was false economy.

For that money she could have paid for it all and had a leisurely visit exploring areas under no pressure.

I totally agree with what goes around comes around and you reap what you sow etc..etc.. so maybe they will all get their come uppance in the end.....



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19 Mar 2008 12:44 by goodstich44 Star rating in northampton. 1648 posts Send private message

georgia

well done you!

How many other stories is there like this though? 100's, 1000's? . Low-life, taking advantage of a system that seems to protect them, at the cost of every decent person in Spain, as well as the original victim.

I so much wish Spain would get a grip, and sort out this hopeless situation where lies and dishonesty are allowed to flourish at the expense of truth, trust and honesty. There is no excuse, i just think it to often, just comes down to whose pockets are being lined.





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19 Mar 2008 18:07 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4534 posts Send private message

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I don't mean to stir up any arguments here, as I understand perfectly that this is a very sensitive subject. But I just wonder - is it perhaps unfair to blame "Spain" for this? What would happen, for example, if, let's say, a Pakistani company set up in Britain, but advertised in Pakistan, to sell property exclusively to Pakistanis, with none of the staff or customers speaking English? Would any official authority in Britain give a damn, if some unfortunate Pakistanis got stitched up (by their own), and then went back to Pakistan to bitch and moan about Britain "having to get a grip"?

I'm not saying it's right, and I'm not saying that any company that operates in Spain should not be held accountable and be regulated in their activites. I'm merely trying to offer some perspective, and suggest that, at least in this instance, perhaps we shouldn't be too quick to condemn Spain?



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19 Mar 2008 19:28 by sandra Star rating in . 810 posts Send private message

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Hi Everyone,

I think georgia said they were both UK companies.



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19 Mar 2008 21:12 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4534 posts Send private message

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 Precisely my point! Check the post before mine.  

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19 Mar 2008 21:30 by sandra Star rating in . 810 posts Send private message

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"    Precisely my point!  "

So it was Roberto.

I didn't fully read your post.

Sorry.



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20 Mar 2008 07:35 by goodstich44 Star rating in northampton. 1648 posts Send private message

Roberto

it's not just UK residents being ripped off though, and Spain is damaging itself so badly. The whole system, too often stinks. Our situation for instance, involves a UK agent, a UK lawyer, a Spanish lawyer, a Spanish developer, and obviously a Spanish justice system. Now apart from the justice system, who are yet to prove their worth in our very black and white situation, and the second Spanish lawyer who seems to be working for us (our case is still pending, 6 years in June), the rest were just a bunch of liars and conmen, and in cahoots.

The links between the UK and Spain, i don't  really think compare to that of your analagy of UK and Pakistan, though i see where you are coming from with that, but in any case, there is no excuse for lies lies and more lies, just because you operate in a different country.  I feel it's mainly just a  lack of decent regulation at all levels, letting cheats prosper, and look at the result. I have several friends buying abroad, but they won't touch Spain until it sorts itself out regarding corruption, and the building of thousands of flats that nobody wants and the ruining of the coastline, and the lottery of buying in Spain through some party not involved with bad dealings.

I know there are many decent agents, lawyers, developers in Spain and many people  are happy with their lot. I'm the first to admit also, that much of the corruption and damage has been caused by UK agents in cahoots with dodgy lawyers and developers in Spain. That's my point though, they thrive because they have been allowed to get away with it.

 





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20 Mar 2008 15:41 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4534 posts Send private message

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Goodstich, all good points well made, and despite the fact that we frequently appear to be at loggerheads with each other, I wish to make it very clear that I fully sympathise with you and others in a similar situation, and sicerely hope that there will, eventually, be a happy outcome for all involved.

My UK/Pakistan analogy may not have been the best, it was just off the top off my head (I didn't think people would get what I was trying to say if I said Spaniards buying in Britain etc.) Out of interest though, I wonder which countries your friends are looking at instead of Spain? And are they using UK agents, inspection trips etc etc?

Whilst I agree that the corruption and dodgy practices which have blighted so many people's dreams are inexcusable and must be stamped out, this is only one side of the coin. You mention the "lottery of buying through some party not involved in dodgy dealings", and "UK agents in cahoots with dodgy lawyers and developers". I have just sold a property, to a Spanish couple. No lawyer, no agent, no developer, just a seller, a buyer, a notary - a simple, straightforward and fairly typical property transaction in Spain. The type of which goes on all the time, but for some reason never gets a mention in the headlines.



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20 Mar 2008 16:27 by georgia Star rating in Algorfa (As seen on .... 1835 posts Send private message

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Roberto and Goodstich,

I agree with both of you,unfortunately the system was lax and the vultures circled within it preying on their own kind,with the public awareness at such a high level it should no longer happen,this is really what suprised me the most about this current situation.

I agree with Roberto regarding the nationality of buyers within Spain,if we had to rely solely on the Brits we would have been sunk long ago, in Guardamar especially this week it is predominantly Spanish buyers,mix that with Swedish,Norwegian,Swiss,French and other countries within the Euro zone.These nationalities are still buying quite strongly as they seem more aware of the market and are bargain hunting,i find that the British buyers can often not see the wood for the trees!

I have no doubt that there are Spanish agents that have bad reputations and no doubt their fellow counrymen will vouch for that but it seem that the continual offenders are british based companies.(I am British myself so this is not a witchhunt)

The system is there to be exploited i hear you say,well no excuse,i cannot not imagine what it is to be so thoughtless and single minded to con people out of their life savings but i am only glad that i have never been on the receiving end.

Roberto is dead on when he says that their is a normal market bubbling along beneath the controversy,the Spanish and other nationalities continue to buy and sell within a system that is quite simple if you do not have it complicated by people with alterior motives.

The most annoying thing about this is many of us are trying to live with,work with and within a beautiful country,unfortunately i am ashamed of the fact of many of my fellow countrymen*(and women) are continuing to give this country a bad name.

The lady whom this thread was based on told me she hated Spain and never wanted to come back!! although the first Spaniard she met was my lawyer to complain to a british company,this was after 3 days of being here and i feel that very many people problems have been caused by people mis representing their place of work.

Most of them(con men) are running away to foreign shores now to emerging markets!!!(romania,bulgaria,brazil) the same problems and opinions will evolve from these destinations in years to come and again it will be a perception of a country through the treatment of someone based in Birnmingham etc....

The trouble is based on the fact that the country does not regulate Estate agents and anyone can practice(and i do mean practice) there should be stricter guidelines and operating licences should only be granted on qualification,the town hall should hold a list of agents and 3 strikes and you are out.

In essence the Spanish market goes far beyond "a place in the sun"(starring Georgia) sorry couldn't resist, and has its own indiginous economics.

I guess the Spanish system its a little like a school yard with no teachers,they do not realise that people are misbehaving as unfortunately the bullies hide in the corner away from the children that are content to stick to the rules....

 

 



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