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Celebrity ResortsTimeshare Complaint

We have a Celebrity Resort timeshare in Waikiki. We paid our dues for this year ($700.00) and have just been told that due to poor financial planning on the company's part, we cannot use out timeshare unless we pay an additional $695.00 "special assessment". In addition to loosing this year, if we fail to pay them $695.00, it will be reported to a credit agency, etc... This is the SECOND "special assessment" we have had to pay to this company due to POOR FINANCIAL PLANNING on THEIR part since 2000. It has happened twice that we know of with this company. It could happen again. If you choose to buy a resort affiliated with Celebrity Resorts, it could happen to you. If you are planning to buy a timeshare, read all of the online reviews about this company. There is an old saying-"buyers beware"...it applies to this company.

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Responses

  • Ri
    Rick and Jenn Feb 12, 2009

    We just got our notice today and are so angry that we can hardly speak. We have felt this was a rip-off since Celebrity took over Leisure Resorts, when they went into bankruptcy. We lost access to the resort in Vegas, which was the real appeal to the deal. Now we are stuck with this property and have never even seen it. I am currently looking into what our legal options are about the "special assessment" due in March. This was to be our last year tied to this property and I was willing to chalk this up to experience, but now I want justice.

    0 Votes
  • Fa
    fatbobhd Feb 15, 2009

    I too have paid my fee's and just received my "special assessment", we as owners need to look into the legality of this and possible class action against Celebrity Resorts. I don't know how to get this rolling, but I will be contacting people asap regarding this matter.

    0 Votes
  • Sf
    SFO Feb 16, 2009

    I spoked to the corporate office in Florida about the special assessment fee of $695.00 . Apparently, if we don't pay the amount by due date march 15, we will be sent to the collection agency. We are also not allowed to use our week there unless payment is made and mostly we can't bank the week to RCI exchange unless payment is received. We all know that this is the last year we are able to use this timeshare, unless something else comes up.
    In that letter it also says that if owners fail to pay the amount, they will have to force to close the property as early as april 30, 2009. I would rather have the property close rather than pay another $695.00. It will be too bad that I can't use it this year anymore if it closes, but it's still better than paying.

    I am sending this complaint to our ABC news correspondent Michael Finney . He is very good in helping people with valid complaints like this one. We all need to stick this this together. I hope it will all work out for all of us.

    1 Votes
  • Mi
    Mike & Chery Feb 16, 2009

    We too have paid our dues on time and in full and now we're being assessed again. We have until 3/15 to make the payment. I'm contacting the AG in Hawaii regarding this. I don't know why we're having to pay $40, 000 in serverance pay along with a $1, 150.000 in projected 2009 deficits. We also question the "Expiried Memberships" and provision for bad debt. I say close it - the sooner the better.

    0 Votes
  • Dk
    DK09 Mar 05, 2009

    Like everyone else we have also paid our mf in a timely and faithful way. We will not be paying the s.a. The resort will probably be closing earlier than December. One cannot even reserve after May 1. We were there this past jan and they told us they will probably resort to be a nightly hotel rental. They changed their name from Celebrity resort-waikiki to White sands development llc in July of 2008. The company is listed with the Hawaii dept of commerce and consumer affairs as "This business is not in good standing". If you pay your special assessment you will probably not get any use of the resort. They also keep changing the time frame for the expiration-they are now trying to extent it to March 2010. Stick together, don't pay, send in a letter explaining why not and hopefully they will close the resort!!

    0 Votes
  • Mi
    Mike and Cheryl Mar 11, 2009

    We have been attempting to get a detail breakdown of the forecast. In mid Feb we emailed and phoned an Anne Thompson to request the information. When we didn’t get a response we contacted a Mitch Frankle and he said he would have it sent out on Feb 27th. When we hadn’t received anything by Monday the 9th we called again. This time we were told Mitch is no longer there. We were given the name of Jeff Ingram the VP of Operations. We called him and his secretary passed us off to a Dave. He couldn’t provide any more information then what we had. He said Anne has all the numbers. We have left a VM with Jeff requesting the breakdown. We want to know where the $ are going. I suggest if they’re not forthcoming then we don’t pay. You might want to call Jeff directly. His number is [protected] Ext 53062

    0 Votes
  • Bo
    Bobby & Darelyn Mar 23, 2009

    We have always paid our dues as well. Due to a wrong deposit into our RCI account a few years ago, I started insisting that the week be set & deposited with RCI before I would authorize payment of the MF. For our final year of the lease, I wanted to deposit the week early for maximum trading power. I called the about 5-6 times over the past year & a half to do that, and each time I was told to call back in a couple of months because they could not deposit the week at that time.
    When I finally paid the fee last month (just to get it over with & under the threat of "bad credit report") I was told a deposit would be made to RCI within 3-8 business days. Instead after 9 business days I too received the 2nd bill for $695.
    They took my 1st payment on 02/19/2009 knowing full well that a week would not be deposited into RCI. This is obvious because the 1st complaint on this site is posted 02/09/2009. What they are doing is clearly fraudulent.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Kathy Mar 25, 2009

    I just paid my fee as well, then was sent to scheduling to reserve my week. Now, I really don't want to use it, the place is a dump, but I will give it to my son to use. I was told that I couldn't secure a week unless I paid the $695.00. This is wrong, I will join up with anyone wanting to get some justice now. I can be contacted at [protected]@pier99.net.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Kathy Mar 27, 2009

    We too are caught up in this injustice. What a rip off! We need to get a class action suit going against this company. I have contacted the Better Business of Florida to complain.This is where their parent company offices are. Please send a complaint to this agency. If anyone is ready for a class action suit, I am in favor. If so, contact me at [protected]@msn.com

    0 Votes
  • Mx
    mxsenior Apr 02, 2009

    Same thing here. I feel that this special assessment is ridiculous. They said they do not want to let people go or close resort early.
    Don't they know we are in a recession and timeshares are a luxury, not a necessity. My opinion is they should do whatever is required using the yearly maintenance fees they have already collected. If that means laying off people or closing the resort early, so be it. I haven't paid the special assessment either. I am sure if I pay it and the resort closes anyway, I will not be getting a refund.
    Same here on the class action suit. [protected]@nycap.rr.com

    0 Votes
  • De
    Debi Apr 05, 2009

    Class action suit, yes. [protected]@markofdesign.net. We will not pay the assessment. My lawyer told me last time that he didn't see any provision for special assessments. If they touch my credit, I will definitely go after them. Close the nasty scam down! Man will we be glad to get rid of it. I will also be filing a complaint with Tom Martino "the Trouble Shooter" and the BBB. -Debi

    0 Votes
  • Ji
    Jim Apr 06, 2009

    File a complaint the the Florida Attorney General.
    A on-line complaint form can be found here
    http://myfloridalegal.com/contact.nsf/contact?Open&Section=Attorney_General

    AVR sent me a color document headed "IRON CLAD Guarantee NO MORE SPECIAL ASSESSMENT BILLS!".
    When I did not pay last year they suspended my membership.
    This year they sent out the invoice for annual membership and after I paid they sent out the special assessment. If I had known about the special assessment I would not have paid the annual membership.

    0 Votes
  • De
    Debi Peters Apr 07, 2009

    I'm up for a class action suit for sure. We are getting hit with $25.00 late fees every other month and interest every month on our balances. I took out a loan to pay the annual maintenance fee in January to get them off of my back and rid myself of them. I sighed with relief that this was the last payment I ever had to make to them and then I got the special assessment. I told them that with what I could only pay them $35.00 a month and asked them to work with me on the late fees and interest. The answer was no.
    [protected]@hotmail.com

    0 Votes
  • Ri
    Rick and Jenn Apr 08, 2009

    Please include me in the interested parties for a class action suit. Our email is [protected]@hotmail.com. We too were relieved in January when we thought we were done and now, we are livid.

    0 Votes
  • Sy
    Sylvia Parrino Apr 10, 2009

    I also have received a letter regarding the tax increase. I would like to be included in the class action suit. I was so upset to receive the letter from them. I think it is terrible and they should not be able to get away with this. Lets all stick together on this.

    My e-mail address is [protected]@msn.com

    0 Votes
  • Da
    davlin Apr 12, 2009

    Hi All
    We also received special assesment after paying our maintenance in good faith.
    please include us in any updates or action taken.
    We canot let them get away with such disonest buisness practices.
    [protected]@gmail.com

    0 Votes
  • Fr
    Frankerbauer Apr 15, 2009

    Please include us in the class action law suit.
    Also contact FBI agent Harper @ [protected]

    [protected]@comcast.net

    0 Votes
  • Ls
    lsk Apr 15, 2009

    I, too, will go in on a class action suit! I live in the Denver metro area and didn't think about contacting Tom Martino!! Let me hear from you Debi! my email address is [protected]@mywdo.com. I have a question for Frankerbauer. What does the FBI have to do with this? I will contact FBI agent Harper if it will do any good. Let me know!! Now we have to find out who has the best contact for an attorney. Debi, who is your attorney and do you think he is willing to take a class action suit?

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    sands Apr 15, 2009

    We have a Celebrity Resort timeshare in Waikiki as well, so I need to say no more. Include us too if this goes further towards a class-action suit. We're in the same situation, paid our dues on time for years, hoping to end at year-end 2009 - learning our lesson as well.
    Can we ask if anyone has a copy of the "Declarations of Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions"? If anyone does, could you email to us. Of course, when I called Celebrity this morning, I was asked what I needed it for, but they haven't gotten back to us. We're at [protected]@eartlink.net.

    0 Votes
  • Dk
    DK09 Apr 16, 2009

    Finding out that Celebrity is not willing to send out any information requested.
    there is also a nice thread regarding white sands on
    http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/
    resort regions-hawaii-white sands
    keep posting so we can all keep updated

    0 Votes
  • Fr
    Frankerbauer Apr 16, 2009

    The Florida State Attorney's office said that this is a civil case, and since many of us are from out of state this would prove to be a case of extortion/blackmail/ unethical business practice across state lines, grounds for an FBI investigation. I would like everyone out there that is upset about this assessment fee to contact agent Harper asap. [protected]
    I also, would like to be part of a class action suit, however if pushed Celebrity Resorts could go belly up and file bankrupcy??

    Thanks
    [protected]@comcast.net

    0 Votes
  • Bl
    Blackwhat Apr 19, 2009

    Does anyone know what FBI agent Harper would wnat to know in the event I called him? Blackwhat

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    vicki Apr 21, 2009
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am in the same boat as you all regarding this "company" and their exploitations! Please keep me in the loop.

    I called them last week and they told me that they won't even know if they are going to be open after April 30th...they have to wait and see how many of the special assessments they collect! Ha. Good luck.

    [protected]@hotmail.com

    0 Votes
  • Bl
    Blackwhat Apr 21, 2009

    I called Harper and he was Pi-s-d. Wondered how I got his name. He suggested I call back and ask for complaint desk. I am now thinking of calling or writing the HONOLULU OFFICE. Need to get my thoughts together but basically it is about the property tax question and the assessment without clarification amounting to possible interstate fraud.
    Blackwhat

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    vicki Apr 22, 2009
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have also sent a letter to the address on the back of the bill; two of them in fact. One I wrote myself, and then my attorney wrote a letter after the Anne Thompson reply and the hiked up second bill. We haven't heard a reply to my attorney's letter. Shock

    I have been really tempted more than once to pay this thing because I have a really nice credit rating and don't want it messed with. However, this is just such a scam that I guess I'm willing to take the risk.

    0 Votes
  • Sf
    SFO May 04, 2009

    resort closed april30, 2009. what happens to us owners after that?

    0 Votes
  • De
    debilunq May 05, 2009

    I received a voicemail from some 3rd party saying "due to the closure, many owners are looking to sell their points". I have no idea what scam this is, but I will call today to follow up and see if I can ferret out some information about the resort. I haven't heard anything further from Celebrity regarding their little fleecing scam, but it seems to me that since they are closed now, those who paid dues and/or the extra money are just SOL. Has anyone else had any further dealings with them or other information to offer? -Debi

    0 Votes
  • Ji
    jim May 12, 2009

    Also register your complaints with the BBB.
    http://www.centralflorida.bbb.org

    American Vacation Resorts is not a BBB member, but has a rating of A- with only one complaint in the last 12 months.
    Celebrity Resorts is not a BBB member either, but has D rating with 20 complaints in the last 12 months.

    0 Votes
  • Be
    Ben Sturgill May 15, 2009

    Please, if anybody here's of a class-action to count us in. We are in the last year and I can't afford this. I just lost my job last Monday and I had to plan ahead, so I haven't been able to pay anything..let alone this.

    0 Votes
  • Be
    Ben Sturgill May 15, 2009

    Forgot my email..its [protected]@att.net. My phone cell is [protected]. I can't deal with more money out of pocket. I just received my exit package from my old company at a reduced amount from what it should have been and the amount they are saying we owe is more then my house and car together. Anyone who can help I would greatly appreciate.

    0 Votes
  • Tr
    trump12 Jun 06, 2009

    You can include us if there is any class action against Celebrity. If anyone has a copy of the "Declarations of Conditions, Covenants, and Restrictions" can you email me a copy as well. [protected]@yahoo.com
    Thanks. I am so fed up with them lying and all they want is more money to line their pockets with.

    0 Votes
  • Bl
    Blackwhat Jun 06, 2009

    When you bought at White Sands you should have agreed to the stipulations within a retail sales contract. My contract does not provide for me paying for those members who do not pay. It states that the developer has the "sole" right to foreclose. That implies that the developer is financially responsible for those in arrears since THE OTHER MEMBERS HAVE NO ABILITY TO TAKE ACTION against those that do not pay their annual dues and other assessments.
    File a complaint with RICO in Hawaii for Celebrity's failure to provide required financial reports showing the cash balance and annual audit results.

    0 Votes
  • De
    debilunq Jun 07, 2009

    I just found this article from the Honolulu Star Bulletin dated May 19, 2009. This is a link to it, you may have to copy and paste it.

    http://www.starbulletin.com/business/20090519_Queen_Emma_has_tract_ideas.html

    Celebrity Resorts did not pay their lease on Jan. 1. I'm guessing this is why they tried to make us pay the special assessment. I just wonder if they already knew that they were going to default. Anyway, this is pretty informative.

    Has anyone heard anything from Celebrity since they closed? I have not.

    0 Votes
  • St
    steamed in steamboat Jun 10, 2009

    I don't own in Waikiki, but rather in Steamboat Springs Suites, a 2 bdrm Red week. I feel bad for you guys as we went through this a year or two ago. My wife and I have had this timeshare since it was Ramada 8 years ago. We were young and dumb and bought into this thing along with all the promises of wonderful worry free vacations for life. Well, two bankruptcies, (Ramada and Liesure) later, well over $25000 dollars spent by us (in maintenence, "special assessments", and mortgage) and still owe around $6000, we just got another kick in the face from Celebrity last night in the special "meetings" they are holding via phone. Now they tell us to pony up another $4000 to buy into this RCI points thing or basically what we have now is worthless. We are so damn mad at this point we are tempted to just stop paying, let the damn thing foreclose and ruin our credit just to be done with it. It has been nothing but a hassle from day 1, more money, confusion and special assessments, all for a maybe 2 star property. Quite honestly, Im embarrassed to take family and friends there, we ourselves have not been in over 2 years. I would also love to be part of a lawsuit, but for different reasons, mainly what we have now is not what we bought 8 years ago. It is much, much worse, yet much, much more expensive.

    0 Votes
  • Bl
    blwaikiki Jun 24, 2009

    We too have been defrauded by Celebrity Waikiki and would be willing to participate in any type of legal action. We'd also like to be included in any email threads circulating regarding the situation and what the course of action may be.
    email: [protected]@alaska.com
    Marc & Brenda

    0 Votes
  • Su
    Sunshine13 Jul 08, 2009

    In August of 1996 my now fiance' bought ($4995.00) a timeshare under the management of Med Resorts International (MRI) the end date of the Association should be August of 2016. In 2004 a representative from American Vacation Resorts happen to be in our area to show us how we can use our timeshare wisely and convert to points through RCI. We thought at that time it would be wise, so we spent another ($4200) to convert to points, for a moment we had so many places to choose from, then we received a letter that Celebrity would be taking over AVR the places we could choose from was slim pickings. When we was turned over to Celebrity we needed to pay an assesment fee of ($370) this was in 2008 not including the regular association fee of ($393.00). This year 2009 we received a letter from Celebrity Resorts stating that we need to pay the association fee and an additional assessment fee if we did not we would loose our membership permament. We tried to pay our membership in June because I did not and could not get any answers as to why are we paying AVR instead of Celebrity. Also it did not say pay Celebrity it said send your payment to AVR, immediately my antenna went up. Our membership was cancelled permanently. I called the representative, they where very nasty to me (wendy), I asked to speak to a manager, her name was (cookie). When I start asking questions they got very defensive. So me, I started my investigation, This is unreal, so many people have been ripped off by this Husband and Wife company. Yes Husband and Wife.

    I did a little research and guess what, not only did I find this information from the Better Business Bureau you can look at the website put in the name Celebrity Resorts and the address 4700 Millenia Boulevard orlando florida if you put in American Vacation Resorts, Inc you will see that same address with both names if not husband and wife somehow they are related. Celebrity shows up not in business and they had over 130 something complaints in the last 36 months. It gets better, I called back to Celebrity to tell them to look on the BBB and they said this must be a mistake, I have to call my legal department. It has to be something we as the 'Long time' customers can do, hopefully we can have a class action suit. I would have felt better if Celebrity said they were out of business and we could be reinstated with AVR, but don't just take what we have worked so hard for. Oh the BBB also states that if you have any questions pertaining to this company you should seek legal advice. I can be reached at [protected] someting has to be done.

    0 Votes
  • Ti
    TimeSharing Today Sep 05, 2009

    This article in TimeSharing Today Magazine should be of interest.

    It ain't fair

    Since we mentioned our intentions of providing enhanced services to our members, a few owners from various resorts have been in touch with us. We are seeing some worrisome patterns emerging. A developer gains control of the board, bylaws are ignored, notices of meeting are not being sent, special assessments to cover questionable expenses are imposed, maintenance fees are raised and owner objections are ignored.

    Anytime there is a situation where the Developer controls the Association funds by controlling the Board and owning or controlling the management company, the owners will have concerns that some how the Developer may use Association funds to overcome its own financial problems.

    The concerns we hear are not so much that the Developer would flat out steal the Associations funds but that they would use their position to make charges to the Association that are unreasonable or unnecessary either for services provided by the Developer or its management company or that they could pay from the Association funds for goods or services that were more appropriately the Developers.

    There are reports of developers/managers preventing an owner elected board member from reviewing and/or disseminating financial information about expenditures, while allowing non-board members to participate in meetings where finances are discussed. In other cases, developers appear to have used Association funds to pay down developer created debt and legal fees for properties or units unrelated to the units for which assessments and maintenance fees are being collected. There are, reportedly, situations in which family members with questionable qualifications are being employed at exorbitant salaries.

    As one owner said, "It just ain't fair."

    Through its advocacy efforts, TimeSharing Today is looking into these situations. Ultimately, the owners may have no choice but to seek legal counsel to protect their interests.


    Email [protected]@tstoday.com Subject: Advocacy

    0 Votes

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