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MRI Overseas Property / rental service

1 United Kingdom Review updated:

As with other complainants I paid 1760 Euros for the MRI after sales rental package and received nothing in return. I bought an apartment in Cyprus in November 2008 but MRI no longer have offices there. I have tried contacting them without success and a Spanish Abrogado has informed me that there Spanish HQ offices are now empty. I would love to hear from others who have attempted to get their money back. I hear that any complaints about the company are rapidly removed from the internet via their team of solicitors. Beware!

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  • Br
      11th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I've recently (August 2008) returned from a viewing trip to Bulgaria with MRI Overseas Property and I feel like I've been hustled. I was referred to MRI by a friend so I was expecting that it would be a reasonably comfortable experience.

    I called MRI and had a professional and pleasant discussion with them to organise a trip to Bansko to look at some skiing property. The lady who helped organise the trip was very friendly and helpful, she organised flights and arranged for me to be met at the airport in Sofia. Notes of my budget and expectations were recorded and passed on specifically the requested I made about a cooling off period after the visit.

    I arrived in Sofia and while there was nobody there initially to meet me I was not to worried I'm used to travelling on my own and so I'd made sure my mobile would work in Bulgaria and took contact details and telephone numbers fo the person I was supposed to be meeting. I called the lady back explaining that nobody was here to meet me, she made some enquiries and 30 minutes later a friendly Bulgarian man turned up with an MRI folder. We waited for two other people on a later flight and then set off for Bansko. So far so good.

    After the trip I was delighted to be checked into the Kempinski Hotel. We were greeted by our MRI host (the salesman) for the weekend and taken to a nearby traditional restaurant for a meal. The meal was fantastic and soon we returned to the hotel having agreed to meet up after breakfast.

    On Saturday morning the the salesman (Alan) went through the notes with me and explained that he had a bit of an issue with the fact that I had requested a cooling off period and that MRI was not into the business of subsidising peoples weekend trips away. I explained that I was serious about buying a place and that I'd rather be with my family. We discussed some figures and what I was looking for and I felt comfortable that we'd both been upfront and honest with each other so I was looking forward to a productive day.

    Around lunch time we set off to view some properties and we (the other guys joined us) saw a number of properties near the kempinski to illustrate the poor quality of construction and the general chaos of this area. We were also shown the new Pirun appartments, the show home was closed and there was nobody to greet us or explain which appartments were available. We drove a bit more and headed out to 'the valley'. Now in the morning we were told about the valley being a winderful investment opportunity because of the golf courses being built in that area. This we were told meant a double income of rental (summer for golf, and winter for skiing). It was during this time I started to lose interest and confidence. I thought I'd been clear that I was after a ski property but here I was being shown golf appartments. In fact MRI built property projects. I was told that these sales guys had convinced many investors to buy in this area as it was bound to be a real solid investment. It was slightly intimidating, if these other people had bought multiple properties why would I doubt them!

    After a stop for lunch I was pleased to be seperated from Alan and the other guys, I new my dispondent attitude by this time was becoming a risk for Alan to get his sale (later I was told by the Alan that I'd been rude). So another sales rep (Dave) met me and we had another frank talk. Now I'm normally quite patient but by this time I explained that I wasn't really here for golf. Anyway I was shown another few golf places (yet more MRI builds) and given a hard sell that this one appartment block would be a sure winner because it was on the main road before you arrive into Bansko. Great! Not near the slopes, the pretty town of Bansko, in the valley. The best I could compare it to was a travel lodge. We headed into another small village 'Razlog'. Now at this point I'd not been in Bansko village. In fact it seemed that we'd been encouraged away from the centre. The Kempinski is a good 20 minutes walk from the Bansko village centre so it wasn't until Sunday I got to see how wonderfully pretty it is. So as you can understand by mid afternoon Saturday after seeing a few golf places Razlog had some character, not much but some. Dave left me to myself to ponder and walk around. I met up a little while later and explained that I was having a problem accepting the golf based Valley appartments becuase it was not what I was expecting from the trip and needed a change of mindset. I asked to go up the valley to the area where there was more construction, to explore that area (I later was told that this area, actually within the golf park, was being developed by a developer that owed MRI a lot of money) so that's why we drove back to Bansko. We drove around some more properties in the chaotic area and I was disuaded from this area as a bad investment. I asked if there were more executive areas, nice areas, since I didn't mind paying a bit more than the going rate for something nice. By this time I was begining to think I'd wasted a weekend away from my family. These guys were clearly trying to push the MRI properties, they even explained that they had quotas to limit the number of properties they could sell to any individual becuase of the queue of other visitors due to arrive in Bansko. It was Dave's last day in Bansko and he left me at the hotel around 4 or 5pm.

    Disillusioned I surfed the web. Not believing that my friend would have bought something that I'd been shown. I made a few calls and spoke to a local lady (Vanya) who agreed to meet me in 30 minutes or so and show me round some properties. Now by this time I felt intimidated by MRI and actually felt the need to ask Vanya to meet me somewhere other than the kempinski. You see MRI had several salesmen floating around on the 1st floor, the sales director was there and other customers, it was all very exclusive, but I felt the need to hide contacting another agency. So I met Vanya and she took me to see a fantastic set of appartments in the St Ivan area, a short drive from the gondola, up the Pirin Mountain with wonderful views of the village and surrounding area. This set of appartments was amazing. All I could say after the previous hours with MRI was WOW. I could believe that this appartment block would be something credible, something I could actually buy. We headed back to Vanya's office and had some discussions abuot prices and schedules. She was the opposite of pushy, let me know what schedule you would like, I'll make a discount for you (which worked out at around 1250 euro / m2). I walked into the village and had some thoughts about how to handle MRI the next day. I mentionned to the two guys I'd previous spemt some time with and they'd agreed to buy something for a quick turn-around, I'd mentioned I'd been to see something else and was now convinced that MRI were taking us for suckers.

    I was apprehensive about meeting Alan in the morning, but sure enough I met him around 10am. We exchanged some feedback about Saturday and I was clear that I felt like I'd been taken for a run and that I was not here to look at golf places and that I understood that MRI had their own properties to sell but that I was not here for that. I was confronted with the "we've put you up in the Kempinski and taken you to lunch" and that I was not playing fair. They also found out that I'd met with Vanya which annoyed them, "did I not trust them", "why did I go behind their backs", "they did not pay for my trip for me to meet other agents". I exchanged a few harsh truths with Alan at which point he brought Sales Director (Malcolm) into speak to me to difuse the situation. I explained that I was not here to fight, that I was here to buy a place and that I'd felt like I'd been messed around. We agreed to put the past behind us and have a look at some places in Bansko. Now it felt like the tables had turned, that these guys were now trying to help me find a place I wanted. They found a place near the gondolas that looked interesting, they arranged to meet with the developer so I could get inside the building. Brilliant, some progress at last.

    Alan and I walked round to this building to meet the developer. He turned up to meet us and tried to take us inside one of the three blocks. Now the developer guy did not speak english and Alan did not speak Bulgarian. I had been told that the appartment was in Block 1 and the developer guy was showing us Block 3. Alan called him a useless #@&$% and walked off (now who's rude!) towards Block 1. To be fair Alan was really trying to show me the right appartment but didn;t have the support from his team to work out which appartment was the correct one. I was told that the appartment should be 88.25 m2 facing up the mountain. We found an appartment that was at most 68m2 including balconies. So the interesting 1450 euro / m2 became a less interesting 1750 euro / m2. I was shown first floor up the mountain. Great! Despite the 68m2 I could see this as an investment worth making. I asked if Alan was sure it was 88m2 and if he was sure it was 1st floor. The numbering didn't seem logical for it to be on the first floor.

    We returned to the Kempinski and I asked to see the floor plans so I could get confirmation of the floor area and that the appartment was indeed the one I'd physically seen. An hour or so later Malcolm and Alan had produced these plans but it did not include the one I was supposedly buying. The plans I was seeing were for 1st and second floors and did not include my appartment. So here we are Sunday evening and I've seen something that could work but I've got reservations about it being the right appartment. MRI were eager to take money off me and started offering me some extensions to the 10 day limit, offered me a 72 hours refundable deposit. The solictor was in the building (convieniently) and I was genuinely interested so I agreed that I'd put down the 3000 euro refundable deposit subject to 72 hours cooling off, and the confirmation of appartment location, and a draft copy of the Private Purchase Contract. I decided not to use the legal team provided by MRI, it all seemed too easy.

    I returned to the UK all excited and 3000 euro lighter. I awaited for the plans and PPC. The plans were sent through on the Tuesday and not the Monday as promised. The floor area was about 64 m2 according to the plans and I exchanged a few emails with MRI trying to understand where the 14.25 m2 of communal area was located. The appartment faced a different way to the one I had been shown and was now on the 3rd floor. I looked closer at the plans and the shape of teh building corresponded better with Block 3 than Block 1. On the Wednesday I asked for further confirmation that the appartment was in Block 1 or 3. I had no reply but was still interested. I'd not yet receievd the PPC and I was still unconvinced of the location of the appartment. The email went cold. I copied Malcolm and the regional sales manager, but no reply! By Friday I phoned the contact centre and spoke to a lady who was in a priveledged position to help me becuase her team had 'special access' to Darragh MacAnthony and the Sales Director Malcolm. I explained that I'd lost interest and confidence that MRI knew which appartment it was selling me and that I wanted my refund based on our agreement. That was last week now and I've not yet heard anything. I contacted the legal guys 'legal-independent' as well and again I've heard nothing. So I feel like I've been hustled and wanted to write this hoping that it will help someone else avoid making the same mistake of using MRI Overseas Property.

  • Ki
      16th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    MRI are such rip off artists. I can't believe they are still getting away with ripping off the public. I fully intent reporting them for fraud when I am in Portugal soon checking up on my'apartment'.

  • To
      19th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hi everyone

    we have started to combine groups now and are collecting people's stories and statements of their experience with this company, CFP and the solicitors legal Independence. We are all people who are going through the same ordeal. There is a member who has worked very hard to recognition from their MP and MEP. These in turn are contacting the OFT and others.

    Anyone else who feels lost in this, please get in touch and add your story to help prove there are many people who have been misled by these companies.

    It is called the MRI Support group.

    [protected]@hotmail.co.uk

  • Ma
      19th of Feb, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Come on - everyone who has been scammed by MRI - lets join forces and beat these rip off artists.

    madminer

  • Ld
      2nd of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    I parted with 1700+ euros for MRI's rental package a year ago (early 2008). I have had nothing in return - no update on progress, no-one with the courtesy to return my emails/attempts at contact, and absolutely no rentals.

    I bought through MRI in Cyprus about 4 years ago. They have 'managed' the property ever since, with maybe a couple of weeks of rentals in all that time.

    I bought in Cyprus on the promise that, even without any rentals, the proprty market was strong and that capital appreciation was running in excess of 20% per year.

    I mention this in case you go an an inspection trip (I had a similar experience as the prvious post - a whole other story!) - perhaps you can avoid the same mistakes (ie trusting MRI).

    LDM

  • Vi
      15th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hi, , , , , , I feel I have been riped off.And miss lead, I would like join up support group.

    Vikh

  • Vi
      15th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hi All, , , , , , , , , BEWARE, , , , now MRI is called DCC, , Put the word out..Guys. thanks
    Vikh

  • Zo
      27th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    We have bought two properties in Portugal off plan. They are both due for completion this year. We paid for the full package, but apparently MRI are not doing rental/management services any more. The builders sound genuine, so we hope the apartments should be OK, but we feel like we have been completely mislead from start to finish, and we've paid for an aftersales package which has been a complete rip off and non-existent. Staff at MRI aren't responding, but then again, apparently the Portugal office has gone, and they have down-sized. Some of the MRI staff have gone to a company called DCC, but apparently they are not connected. Make of that what you will.

    We've started to think about using another rental company, but obviously we now lack trust. I spoke to one woman who sounded lovely, but then we got a group client email from MRI yesterday saying that there were a lot of companies out to fraud people and were targetting their clients - no surprise when we are all in the dark. So here is the list of other companies to avoid:

    FURNITURE DIRECT WORLDWIDE
    GODIVA MARKETING
    RESALE STRATEGY
    KEY LOUNGES
    RENTAL READY
    EARLSTREAM CONSULTANTS
    EUROPEAN MEDIATION
    TEKRAM GOLDBERG

  • Ch
      27th of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hi,

    I cant believe this, I have been worried about these companies for some time and have been doing some digging around.

    I have paid these crooks money for furniture and a rental package. I hear that the people behind this scam are named as Michael Salter, Olivia Mullen, Michael Costello and Mark Chadwick. These are all in this scam together.

    Olivia Mullen I have been informed is behind Keylounges and have offices in Malaga airport, they run a sales operation from their office as well. They state they work with a travel operator called The On Holiday Group, I wonder if these are also involved in the scam????

    There is also a recruitment consultancy called Earlstream Consultants. These recruit boiler room style telemarketers to call and con clients into buying their crap. There is a link to their site - http://www.clickajob.co.uk/vacancies/head_of_claims_5902.html

    They are apparently setting up a call centre in the south of the UK in Southend On Sea where they will call property owners like me to extort money.

    It is possible that some of you have not used them, but i advise we all spread the word to protect others who might be thinking of using them.

    Chaz

  • Ch
      27th of Mar, 2009
    +1 Votes

    It also transpires that Mullan set up the mri rental operation that so many people are unhappy about, word is she got sacked from mri because it was not working.

    she then pops up with salter and costello and start contacting customers of mri so they must have stolen the mri database and are now exploiting people, like me!!!

    This all fits with ready rental, furniture direct and key lounges being done for data theft!!!

    Spread the word please!!

  • Li
      1st of Apr, 2009
    +1 Votes

    hi we have also been sukked in by the wonders of MRI...
    we have bought in cyprus and completed on monday.. MRI have contacted us for payments for furniture, aftersales and management and rental ... stresing the importance of prompt payment... but since november we have had no contact, they arnt returning email or phonecalls and have not arranged any tranfers of funds for cleaning and snagging... we are in contact with the developers and they have been really great but we are out of pocket for the short term management and the rentals programme ... fingers crossed for the instalation of furniture pack? we have been contacted by solutions overseas but have no faith in them either they are asking for money to complete all the things weve paid mri to do!! looks like im doing all this myself..if you are a armonia owner lets talk...
    lisa j
    swansea

  • He
      2nd of Apr, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Hi - we have bought an appartment in Bucharest, Romania which was completed January 2009. We paid MRI for the furniture package in September (although they had been hassling us for "early payment" since the previus April) and now they are telling us the furniture company they bought off has "liquidity problems". They say not to worry, MRI will sort it out, but nobody replies to the e-mails at MRI and my opinion of this company overall is zero. We have had all the usual problems with paying a fee for "aftersales service" which doesn't exist, sales pressure on inspection trips, and the most incompetent handling of the whole process from start to finish. Anybody out there having problems in Romania?

  • Jo
      5th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have just been ripeed of for 5000euros having already lost £100, 000 through MRI. They did the hard sell on me to buy one of their of plan apatrments in the Siver Coast area of Portugal informing me I would recoup all my loses. They took my deposit without showing me proper paperwork, securities or guarantees if the development failed to materialise as happened with their previous property they sold me. They reassured me that the land had been bought and the money put aside for the build and that I would have no problem getting a Portuguese mortgage. All this without asking me any questions about my financial equity. It seems to me they are desperate to of load apartments they are having problems to sell. They make out they are doing you a favour when they are blatantly ripping you off! Be warned that Anthony MacDarragh is a unscrupulous man of no mral fibre and his directors are a chip of the old block. They seem to have no concern for their clients as long as they have taken your money. I believe that many hundreds of hard working British people are being targetted and denied of thier dream retirement plans by this irish thief. I plan to spread the word with watch dog and high profile media sources. Please do likewise. This man and his company must carry a government heath warning and the Europen courts must take action against them. They bring the overseas propert market business into disrepute which affects other honest companies in this industry.

  • Jo
      27th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hi and ditto, I bought off plan in cyprus at end of 07 just before the bank and economy crash. Not heard a thing from MRI since, i paid a total of 20k in deposit to cyprus law firm who at least so far have answered the few mails i've sent. MRI may prove to be the biggest financial mistake i will make in my life. Don't know who to contact next, is there a case for misreprisentation against MRI? any interested lawers out there may like to comment John Worksop Nottinghamshire

  • La
      6th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hi
    Wow! I have just come accross this site and wish I had some time ago... I too have just been ripped off by the MRI shisters to a tune of appros 48, 000 euros. I bought on the island of Sal in Cape Verde.
    I have just been told by MRI that CV is not happening after all, and I will lose my money, as the developer is going bankrupt, the island looks like a war zone and the flights are too expensive to go there. But like some of you I too was offered a lifeline on Monday ... making out that they were going to help poor investors like me, I could buy in Bulgaria or Portugal as this was the only 2 places on the globe that has not been hit by the world credit crisis! I had to make my mind up NOW and pay the money NOW! Can you believe that? Wow I thought, how convenient, that they have property all ready to be sold with a 2yr rental guarantee. The meeting finished very abruptly after 40 mins as they said they had so many other people to see, and if I did not make up my mind NOW then the opportunity to buy another apartment would be gone. I immediately saw through it, and said NO THANKS.
    I do want to join the mrisg... its the very idea I have been thinking about! IM IN!!!

  • An
      7th of May, 2009
    -1 Votes

    Hi
    I've been trying to get a refund of 1.200 euros from MRI since December for their rental management service that now no longer exisits and I havn't used as our property has not yet received it's habitation liecence.
    They have now stopped replying to calls and emails. However, be warned, they did at one point offer to transfer 500 euros to Solutions if I went with them, I guess it's the same company?
    I'm going to try and claim from my credit card company, has anyone succeeded with this?

  • 5s
      13th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am getting more worried the more I read - there are running meeting in Ireland over the next week and want to help people with any 'problems they have had dealing with MRI' What do you think will be their solution???

  • Da
      14th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Any times/dates and venues for these meeting?

  • 5s
      14th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I had a phone call from one of the 'directors' and he said 'this is a private meeting and if I bring or notify other people to it then my invitation will be withdrawn' based on that to date I have not received an email telling me the venue - Sounds like its a little underhand? If they want to 'help' people with their problems then they sould be prepared to meet all especially if they feel they have always acted in out best interest. Maybe it is all for the best that I have been saved from what must be a shady activity?

  • He
      21st of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hi - we are encountering even more problems in Romania - anyone else got a problem out there? We paid MRI almost 8000 euros for a furniture pack, which they say they paid to the surplier, and despite the fact the appartment was completed back in January, the furniture pack has still not been installed. MRI (when you can get hold of anybody) state the delay is not their fault, and there is a clause in the agreement which doesn't hold them responsible for any delays nor entitle us to a refund. Thing is, the package was booked by telephone with their salesman, and this clause appeared on the confirmation sheet after the payment was made - nothing on their e-mail literature mentioned this clause BEFORE PAYMENT, therefore I wonder what the legal position is. Anyone out there got a similar problem?

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