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Absolute Vacation Club Complaints & Reviews - False Information

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Absolute Vacation Club

Posted: 2011-03-02 by    geraldusa

False Information

Complaint Rating:  79 % with 42 votes
My wife and I were in Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui, Thailand in January 2011. We were invited to lesson to the Absolute Vacation Club offer and took their tour. We were told the price of a three year membership in the vacation club would be $3, 128 and that would be the exact charge on our Visa credit card with no other fees. We stupidly signed the contract. The next day I was notified by my Visa credit card company that I had been charged $3, 309.75 with the transaction fee. I immediately went to the internet and found this website and others. I then realized that the Absolute Vacation Club was a scam. Two days later I emailed Justin Haith, contract officer for Absolute, and told him to terminate the purchase agreement and to credit back our credit card. Mr Haith emailed us the same day to state that the purchase agreement is "legal and binding and is non cancellable." We also contacted our credit card company to dispute the charge.

When we returned home we contacted our credit card company and were told by the first two customer service representatives that since we sign the contract that it was binding. After talking to the third level, and after this customer service representative did some research, we were told that Visa International allows a 14 day period during which a signed contract can be cancel without question. Our Visa account was credited the full amount.

If you have paid in cash I have learned that the Direct Sales and Direct Marketing Act (2002) Thailand allows a 7 days compulsory cooling off eriod on contracts signed in Thailand.

Don't let the Absolute Vacation Club intimmidate you. Exercise your rights.
Comments Thailand Timeshares / Vacation Rentals
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Absolute Vacation Club - Timeshare Scam


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 21st of Mar, 2011 by   skbou1983 +1 Votes
Hi Geraldusa,
My partner and I just returned from Koh Samui and exactly the same thing happened to us. We also paid on Visa so contacted Absolute asking them to cancel our membership and send a refund, citing the 14 day cooling off period as per Visa International. We just received an email back from Justin saying that there is no cooling off period with their deals and that we cannot obtain a refund, and we will have to continue the payments. We assume you received the same letter. What was your next step?
Thanks!
 21st of Mar, 2011 by   geraldusa +2 Votes
Yes, we received the same letter. Then I contacted Visa and eventually they reversed the charge because I was informed that Visa International has the 14 day cooling off period. At first I was told by Visa that they could not help me but after talking to individuals 2 level up from my initial contact I was informed that there was a cooling off period and then the charge was reversed. The person at Chase Visa Cardmember Service who reversed the charge was Diane Brown. I don't have her direct telephone number but her FAX number is 614-776-7700. If I can be of further assistance just let me know.
 28th of Mar, 2011 by   dunks 0 Votes
Hello,
We also got sucked into Absolute, apparently there is a law in Thailand for a compulsory 7 day cooling off period on any document signed in thailand, i can't remember the act but i think it's the Sales and Marketing (2002) act thailand. As far as the visa cooling off period goes, does anyone know if Mastercard has the same thing?
 29th of Mar, 2011 by   skbou1983 0 Votes
HI Dunks,
Not sure about Mastercard - sorry. We had a lot of trouble finding out about Visa's cooling off period, we had to keep going higher and higher up the chain, but eventually we found out. Maybe contact the insurance company for Mastercard - it should be on their website. Visa is with Zurich and we were told by them that as we are Australian citizens, the contract doesn't apply to us. For it to be applicable to us, it would have to be translated into Australian law which would never allow that sort of scam. We are still fighting it though. Thanks for letting us know about the 7 day cooling off period in Thailand - I'm sure we'll be needing to use that!! I think you just need to call their bluff - there is no way that they would want to go to court over any of it so will (hopefully!!) eventually back down. Good luck.
 10th of Apr, 2011 by   Sponge17 +1 Votes
Hi. I got email from Absolute that 7 day cooling off period doesn't cornern them? I have inform Finland's (where I am from) Visa about my case in Thailand few weeks ago (I paid 500 euros from three years membership and I still have to pay 2800 more) and they are now investigating if there is any way to have my money back and call off this deal. I am very worried about this and afraid of I have to pay rest too or atleast I lose those 500 euros. I really like to hear how you others are doing and have got your money back and most important, how you got your money back, if you have had.
 10th of Apr, 2011 by   geraldusa +1 Votes
Hi Sponge17. See by comments above. I have been informed by Visa USA that Visa International has a 14 day cooling off period. My charge was reversed by Visa. This policy should also apply to you.
 10th of Apr, 2011 by   Sponge17 +1 Votes
The employee of Finnish Visa told me that they can cancel the charge only if my contract with Abslute allows it. Now they try to find out is it possible. Visa Finland is under Visa Europe. Is it possible that they have different policy then International?
 10th of Apr, 2011 by   geraldusa +1 Votes
Sponge17 - When I contacted Visa in the USA I was told both by the first person I talked with and then that person's supervisor that since the contract stated it was legal and binding and that all monies paid are non-refundable, they could not reverse the charge. I then asked to speak with some else with higher authority. This person was Diane Brown (her fax number is 614-776-7700 - I do not have her telephone number). She researched this matter futher and then found out that Visa International has a 14 day cooling off period. The charge for $3, 309.75 was then reversed. You need to speak with someone with more knowledge and authority. I cannot believe that Visa Europe's policy is different than Visa International. Keep on flighting - don't let Absolute win. I have also told Visa that they should determinate their business agreement with Absolute because this firm is giving everyone blatantly false information in order to get people to sign their contracts.
 21st of Apr, 2011 by   dupes +1 Votes
we are just going through the same here in England - our bank has all the emails back and forth from Absolute and we are waiting to hear if we can have a refund. I am relieved to hear that we aren't the only idiots out there!! It is good to hear that some people get their money back, we paid £2071 to absolute as a deposit and can't believe that they aren't obliged to give it back as we have nothing to show for our money.
 13th of May, 2011 by   lexy79 -1 Votes
Thai Law's 14 day cooling off period does not concern Vacation Memberships. How are you all so positive it is a scam? This Company actually do exist and are connected other Vacation Companies, one of them I have a membership with and offer exchange holidays with Absolute Vacation Club and I have stayed at one of their resorts using my membership. This is how companies like this offer worldwide holidays, they exchange weeks with other companies who have locations outside of their resort locations. I can’t say things have always been perfect with my vacation membership, but I have booked accommdation with it and I can’t say I have much to complain about.

The problem is, past reputation of things like old timeshare companies seems to now make most people believe everything like this must be a scam and when people regret spending money on something no matter what that product is, they will try to find a reason for it to be a scam or a problem or a dodgy deal, or as most people now do, claim that wasn’t the information received to get a signed contract. Yes it happens, these days everything gets tarred with the same brush. With anything in life, where people find blame threes a claim as they say (no matter how small or how true) .
Can I also say, you decided it was a scam because there was a credit card charge applied on top of the fee? That’s normal with everything you buy. Internationally especially as there is currency conversion involved. Doesn’t really make it a scam does it. That’s when you started looking for a problem and were willing to believe it because you were already annoyed at the extra cost.
A company that is not reputable or is seen as a scam, usually doesn't exist, as in the ones out there that sell a product that does not exist and then cannot be located or found again or cannot be found on the internet anywhere at all other than blog sites.
 27th of May, 2011 by   absolute member -1 Votes
absolute is a genuine company that has a product that requires paying for it ...there is no such thing as free lunch ...just like everything you buy so get over it i have been a member for 9 years no problem
 21st of Jun, 2011 by   Sponge17 +1 Votes
Well, I got my money back from Visa and I'm pleased. I don't know what got into me when I singed that contract because I don't have much money and we don't even travel so often that this is worth it.
 12th of Nov, 2011 by   Ozgothic +1 Votes
I don't understand how a credit card can have a cooling off period at all...what would stop people obtaining products or services and then reversing the payment but still having got the product or service? I too was scammed and used a Mastercard for my deposit.I have been informed by my cc company that there is cooling off period and the best they can do if lodge a dispute after 9 business days, although because I did actually sign the cc receipt I doubt a dispute will return in my favour :(

To anyone who works for Absolute or is sticking upfor them, if this is NOT a scam then why do they make it so hard to cancel. I have written to Absolute and explained my financial situation would be seriously compromised by continuing the installment payments, and have even been willing to forfeit the deposit and not try to get a refund, and all I ask is that they cancel the membership and STILL they say they will not. In my mind that makes it nothing BUT a scam. They have nothing to actually lose at this point by cancelling my membership, and they even get my deposit, but instead they makes threats of legal actual if I don't continue the installment payments, knowing that it will put me in dire financial stress. How is that NOT a scam?

Granted, I was stupid for signing up in the first place, however I feel I was manipulated and coerced into it. Yes it's all well and good to tell people to just say No in hindsight, but at the time, when you have two salesmen breathing down your next, offering you this and that and not giving you a moment to step back and actually work out the full financial impact against your current cost of living then, then it's easier said than done to simply say No.

I will not be paying any more installments.From the research I've done I'm confident that Absolute don't have a legal leg to stand on in Australia as far as obtaining collection and I would rather file for bankruptcy than give these vultures another cent. On account of their attitude I will also be contacting MasterCard Fraud Department directly to try and obtain a refund on my deposit.
 12th of Nov, 2011 by   Drongo 0 Votes
I got had in Phuket for $10, 000 in October 2011, us fools are still out there, I should have checked the web first and I would not have committed. I have seen quite a few comments saying its not quite up to scratch but the benifits are there if you use them. Too late to cancell so I guess I will hope for the best?
Drongo
 19th of Nov, 2011 by   Questions out there 0 Votes
Just a question but has anyone out there actually paid for the whole thing & used it? Like actually booked & holiday through them & stayed in a nice hotel etc?
 5th of Jan, 2012 by   Mandylee 0 Votes
Sucked in by the Absolute crew on our first day in Samui in December and contacted Visa immediately and they passed our complaint along from dispute to fraud investigation in less than 24 hours... Every aspect of their sales presentation is a con and they tailor the lies to suit each individuals needs and/or desires. With us it was the false claim of being affiliated with the Hilton and Marriott chains of hotels back home in Ontario, Canada, as the savings on domestic travel alone would have afforded us the ability to afford more frequent foreign travel. It took less than 10 minutes on the internet to discover that not a single one of the dozens of Marriott and Hilton locations in Toronto has any familiarity of, or affiliation with, Club Absolute! Such deliberately fraudulent misrepresentation is not the practice of a legitimate company with a real product or service to offer. The two properties on Samui that Absolute represents (Q Signature and KC Over Water Villas) are billed as 4-star resorts, when in fact they scarcely rate 2-stars due to lack of maintenance and poor management. Hope to prevent others from wasting their time and/or money by sharing our personal misfortune. Remain confident that we will receive a refund of our deposit from Visa at the current time...
 9th of Jan, 2012 by   Mandylee 0 Votes
It couldn't be more obvious that members of the Absolute staff monitor this complaint board, as we very unexpectedly received an offer from them to cancel our membership and give us a refund of our deposit, in spite of their supposed "no-cancellation" policy, immediately after I posted my comment! The proviso is that we sign a form agreeing to not publicly share any information concerning their company and our personal experience with them in exchange for the refund. After weeks of back and forth emails offering us "downgraded" products for the deposit we paid and repeated denials of our claim of fraudulent misrepresentation, they now seek to coerce us into a form of silent complicity? We did not set out to defame this company out of petty grievance and blatantly deny the implication that our entirely factual account constitutes such. We are entitled to our opinion and will continue to exercise our legally protected right to express it, as the quick response from Absolute is proof positive that the only voices they pay any heed to are those who air their grievances publicly. If they feel a single comment we have made is untrue, we encourage them to feel free to sue us...
 9th of Jan, 2012 by   Mandylee +1 Votes
We refers to my spouse and myself Chowderhed and we will be very content to "settle" for a non-provisional full refund. Based on your comments on various threads on this site I assume you are a bored troll who's sole purpose is to seek negative attention in order to distract from the real issues and complaints being discussed.
 9th of Jan, 2012 by   Mandylee 0 Votes
Nope...just u

If you have something against people exposing cons, why are you here?
 9th of Jan, 2012 by   Mandylee -1 Votes
Your self-loathing must be intense in that case...

Nice try at being an agent of chaos now go pollute another thread unless you care to actually add to this conversation.

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