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Club Intrawest / deceptive business practices

1 Mont Tremblant, Québec, Canada Review updated:
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I got bamboozled bya smooth-talking salesperson 5 years ago at Mt Tremblant. Believed her story, took a witness and notes (they tried to get me to submit my notes to them when I agreed to buy the membership--should have run for the hills right then, but I was an idiot), paid $20, 000 in "equity" and have been paying $1000/yr in dues ever since. This gets me about 3 or 4 weekend days per year at Mt Tremblant. You do the math. It does not work out to $100/nt as the sales rep told me. Their exit plan whenever I complain to them is that I need to make the most of my membership by going at off-peak times, like during the week (where I get docked $300/day from my employer) or during the spring/fall (tell me, how can a person go downhill skiing on rocks and mud?). I might as well turn my thermostat up to 100, close the curtains, and pretend I'm in the Caribbean. I could list a dozen lies that I was told and my notes mean nothing. They dismiss what I've been told, and even though my witness has a good memory, they say it's my word against theirs.
I would like nothing more than to hand in my membership, write off my points in the bank and get my $20, 000 of "equity" back and forget this very bad dream, but again, even though the sales rep told me I could sell back my membership for what I paid for at any time, I find out after I've given them my cash (and it is in the fine print that they give you AFTER you become a member and give them your cash) that this is not the case, they will make me wait 5 years then pay me half of what I gave them.
They deserve a class action lawsuit, and I'm not talking about the black eye in Whistler either, but one launched by its members, to make Club Intrawest accountable for what they do and stop stealing from the very people who pay their wages. I was recently at a Club location, and overheard another sales rep spinning the same lies to another would-be customer.

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Comments

  • Ka
      9th of Mar, 2010
    +1 Votes

    you know you can sell them yourself right? there are Real Estate agents (in Whistler at least, and maybe Tremblant) that will sell your memberships for you. They sell them below today's market value, but usually near what they cost originally - depending on what you paid (how long you've had membership). In think current rates go at around $100 CDN/point. Because it is a multi-location club, you don't have to sell in Tremblant. Try a guy named Don Carmichael at Whistler real estate. He has sold many memberships on the private market. Good luck.

  • Ni
      18th of May, 2010
    +2 Votes

    Sign me up for the class action. They outright lied to us. They can sell more inventory than they own since the "equity" is not linked or based on "room nights" available. This means you can pay a lot and get nothing in return except more invoices from Intrawest. Time to take them down.

    Duane Nickull
    (604 647 1099)

  • Gr
      23rd of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have decided to fight them in court. Just got served by BC court. Need a BC lawyer now since I live in Ontario. Any recommendations? Almost impossible to sell the membership due to our failing economy.

  • Bi
      27th of Jun, 2011
    +3 Votes

    Just went to one today in whistler, took 3 hrs after we were told it would be 90 min. Promised us the world. When it FINALLY came down to the numbers I found it odd that they wanted an answer NOW and the offer they gave us would be gone if we came back. They offered us a "free" trip if we paid the up front fee of over $2000, most ppl can't do that so they let us do it in 6 payments but took away the trip an offered $200 in visa cards (WTF). I saw the final price was around $20, 000 but if you do the monthly payment plus the yearly fees it works out to around $40, 000. HOW THE HELL CAN THEY GET AWAY WITJ CHARGING %50 interest on this ###? On top of the fees, u still need to eat and fly to these places. You can get an all inclusive with flight to Cuba for 2 weeks for $2000 at 4-5 stars. WHY NOT JUST DO THAT ###? When we said no finally, the salesperson kept saying I don't believe in pressure but that's all we felt. Then we went to close out our NO and got a final offer which actually sounded great and told us that the perks and prices from the previous salesperson would be frozen. We were offered 160 points good for 1 year for $2, 299 with $500. That's a way better deal than signing my life away, we still declined then she dropped the price to $1799 for 160 points and $500 with 6 months payment, so sound $340 a month. We still said no and got our "free" gifts and left. If you wanna sign up, keep saying no until you get to the final "trial" offer, at $11.25 a point it's a good deal, but I don't doubt there's still some fine print on that as well. BE CAREFUL

  • En
      8th of Apr, 2012
    +2 Votes

    Very dodgy company. We are from the UK and really got the hard sell in Whistler. It goes like this.
    They invite you, YOU pay $20 which you get back, and some sales rep gives you the pitch. They tell you about every place you could visit using your 'points' exchanged as dollars. Its not an investment, they tell you about the losses you can make but then pile on the smoke and mirrors scam with dubious math calculations. Points buys you 'real estate' is the scam. They insist on showing you a made up room. This could be his hotel room for all we know. What difference does it make to show us a room if we are going to use the points in 100's of locations around the globe? Then the sales pitch...
    $30, 000 for 125 points. Right...we look not interested. The the offer of a free 1 week holiday and cash back...$20, 000. Then he leaves the room talks to his boss and they can offer more points for the same money.
    "we'll think about it"
    Then the boss. Thanks for coming. We'd really like you to buy today. This file is closed when you leave and is not open for the same offers at any other time. WELL IF ITS SO BLOODY GOOD I'LL BE BACK WHEN I'VE HAD A CHANCE TO THINK ABOUT IT. But no... then they offer a free 1 week holiday in THIS resort if you sign up today, and if you do we don't take a 10% deposit, NO, not even a $1000 deposit, NO... for you only today $200 if you sign your life away at this very moment in time.
    Really uncomfortable hard sell tactics. We saw sense and walk away with the promised $175 voucher.

    What really concerns me is their business model. 125 point bought by us today a week anywhere. We can hand these points to our children, our grandchildren, their grandchildren for generations... this will effectively be a free 1 week holiday anywhere in the world FOREVER. I don't care who you are but that pack of cards will eventually crumble and everyone is going to loose the investment they are promised...real estate. This is truly a scam that Canada is going to never live down... its growing and the media frenzy when it falls will be huge.

  • We
      31st of Mar, 2013
    +3 Votes

    The hard sell is an understatement. These ar*%holes should be locked up. This may not be fraud by the law, but certainly lies and deception. They promise the world and deliver nothing.

  • St
      9th of Jun, 2013
    +1 Votes

    Just came from the same "show and tell"
    Property? When you own property you can leverage it as collateral. Something tells me my banker isn't going to give a hoot about the points I would own!
    The math is ludicrous as well. Buy into this for $30, 000 and still have annual dues of $1000. Not to mention that if you want to sign up with Interval International its anothrer $12, 000. This gives you $125 points annually at a value of $7.31...What a Joke!

  • St
      1st of Aug, 2013
    +2 Votes

    We also got sucked into an Intrawest 'presentation' at Whistler- AND WHAT A CON!! We got a free Peak-to-Peak pass out of it, thanks god, , but at the cost of 2 and a half hours of blather and eventual extreme rudeness and pressure. They were rats! Tried to sell us 220 points for some $44, 000!! (This can be had for a third the price on a resale site, but don't do it- seems people can never book when they want!!??) Intrawest is a BLOT ON THE WHISTLER FACE!! Do not have anything to do with them, , , unless you know you will say NO! and just want a free ticket to something.

  • Am
      25th of Nov, 2013
    +1 Votes

    Any news on this? Did anyone manage to sell the points? How?

  • Up
      19th of Dec, 2013
    +1 Votes

    Too funny. My wife and I recently purchased a discounted 2 nights / 3 day stay...on the promise that we would attend their 90 minute presentation. We attended the presentation and insisted that we only had 90 minutes...so glad that we started the conversation with this communicated to them up front. The presentation was full of BS, dog and pony show, etc...and the sales person even implied that my marriage would be at risk if I was stupid enough to not take the package they offered. Luckily we said NO... 5 times, before they let us go.. We managed to escape after only being there for 100 minutes. People should run from this scam as fast as possible.

  • St
      1st of Apr, 2014
    +1 Votes

    We Were lied to also in same way. Avoid at all costs!!!

  • Li
      7th of May, 2014
    +2 Votes

    Club Intrawest has first right of refusal on your points that you try to sell. That keeps the price up because they can botch your sale if you try to sell for less than the current pricing at the presentation. You don't have the "free" tickets, weeks, etc. to sweeten the bargain and no one is going to pay you the current pricing with no bonuses when they can get it all at a presentation. So, good luck!

  • Bu
      7th of Aug, 2014
    +1 Votes

    Okay, reading the comments really scare me. I just bought a discounted 2 nights / 3 days stay in Whistler with the condition that we attend a 90 minute presentation much to the chagrin of hubby. Now I don't know if I should even book the stay.

  • No
      18th of Aug, 2014
    0 Votes

    Got roped into attending a presentation in Whistler. Very slick, VERY high pressure sales pitch...when we repeatedly said "sounds good, but not today" the salesman told us if he got enough "no's", he would get fired . He also told us that since we said no that we must have lied about our income . Yes, call people liars, great way to sell something . Sales pitch continued with the same amazing today only offers as others have commented above. At the end, they tried to "accidentally" forget our promised gift. Thanks for the Peak- to-peak ...liars!

  • De
      22nd of Oct, 2014
    +2 Votes

    I don't mind the hard sell; that's their job. But I do resent the LIES!!! They flat out lied to us too. I was suspicious of the whole deal, but they were pretty smooth, had an answer for everything. I was a fool to trust them. I had a lapse of judgement and took the bait. It didn't cost us a ton, but it still ISN"T WORTH IT!!! We can never get reservations when we need to, even though they swore to us we wouldn't have a problem with last-minute reservations because with an additional ExtraOrdinaryEscapes membership there would be a ton of options and availability. That was [censored]!!! We've had the membership four years and have only managed to secure one vacation! We can basically make our own reservations elsewhere for a similar place for about the same price of our rising yearly maintenance fees. You don't save any money with this membership. My biggest gripe, and the only reason I went ahead with the membership, is I was told they would buy back our membership after 5or7(?) years for the price we paid for it; less if we sold it back sooner. That too turned out to be a lie!!! Turns out there is a very long waiting list to do this! Apparently, there is a very long list of unsatisfied members!!! THERE SHOULD BE A CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST THEM.

  • Ra
      30th of Oct, 2014
    +1 Votes

    We have been club members for 13 years. Were somewhat satisfied in the beginning but I can tell you it has consistently gotten worse with every passing year. Costs have doubled, and it has become impossible to book a resort. Grossly oversold, grossly over booked. We have decided it is time to exit, but as many of the other posters have noted, it is also nearly impossible to get out and recover any of your investment. Seems like things took a major turn for the worst when the new US owners took over. IT is all about a money grab now, and they do not care or listen to the members anymore.

  • Sa
      1st of Dec, 2014
    +2 Votes

    In 2014, we got a discounted 3 day 2 night stay through Club Intrawest at Legends in Whistler. Went for the presentation where all the salespeople were extremely friendly. Our Sales rep painted a very rosy picture of Club Intrawest and all the options for travel. The costs for membership were high so we asked her to leave us so we could discuss it. She sent her manager in who dangled a few carrots such as price discount. Then he left and she came back with more carrots-1 week free holiday and later a second week. Of course it all sounded wonderful but was a big commitment so we asked for some privacy to discuss. Then she got really pushy, even a little rude. She sold the whole package as a way to prepay for luxury vacations. As far as she was concerned, after going through our vacation spending over the past few years, if we spend a certain amount on vacations a year anyway, then this worked out to be a great deal!
    For the deal to go ahead, she told us that they needed a $5000 deposit then and there. I told her it was a big commitment so we needed to think about this. She didn't seem to understand my hesitation even after I asked her if the deposit was refundable if I changed my mind tomorrow. She said no.
    In the end, we decided to go ahead with the deal. There were lots of smiles and congratulations from the sales team and they even brought out the champagne! That night I felt very uneasy about the whole thing and can't believe we had committed to $35, 000 plus maintenance fees of $1200+ for the rest of our lives! At that stage I was willing to forfeit the $5000 to get out of the deal. I scoured the internet for a way out and then read through the fine print of my contract. The sales rep had lied to us. In fact the $5000 was held in trust for a short period (can't remember how many days on the contract) during which time we could cancel the contract with no penalty. Also found this online at Consumer Protection BC- BC does have legislation in place to protect consumers entering into property timeshares only as it relates to specific aspects of the contracts. Under the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (BPCPA), which is administered by Consumer Protection BC, consumers have a 10 day cooling off period to cancel a timeshare contract and under those limited circumstances are entitled to a full refund. Contracts must also contain the required contents (see here for that list) or consumers may cancel within one year. http://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/other-business-news/1150-timesharestips

    I was extremely relieved and then found information online about drawing up a contract to exercise the rescission clause in our contract. Gosh I felt like we really dodged the bullet on this one!
    Now when we first arrived my husband and I had no intention of buying into this thing. We are both generally level headed and well educated with knowledge of the many scams out there. Yet embarrassingly enough, we caved in. The pressure tactics and sales pitch is so intense and it is easy to carried away by the whole thing. After this awful and very stressful experience we wouldn't want anyone else to go through this. Timeshare is expensive when you consider you still have to pay for airfare to get there. We usually go to Mexico all inclusive but with Club Intrawest, the airfare alone is about $4000. Plus we have to pay for food! It is also sold as something you can pass on to your kids. But consider the fact that maintenance fees are about $1200/yr currently. Who knows what they will be 10-15 years from now so this could be a burden you are passing onto your kids. If you haven't bought into the timeshare yet, please beware. If you are taking advantage of their special rates on the condition of attending a presentation, do just that. Take advantage, go in for the presentation, listen and then say thanks but no thanks and RUN!

  • Sa
      4th of Mar, 2015
    +1 Votes

    The salesman tells a lie to convince you. Me and my wife were told that we can cancel anytime our membership as long as we have not yet paid the monthly amortization which will take effect after almost 90days. We missed to consider carefully what we signed in the contract and after 14days, due to unavoidable financial circumstances, we requested them to cancel the contract and refund our 10% downpayment, because we can't pay anymore, but just like falling on their trap, we can't get out and they said we were bind with the contract we signed that we have only 7 days to cancel and as per BC Real Estate Law. After doing some research, I found this site and seems like a nightmare to be a member of Club Intrawest.
    Anyone who could help us how to get out from this membership. We have not yet received the points as this will take effect after April 1st.

  • Sa
      12th of Mar, 2015
    +1 Votes

    I will file a lawsuit on a small claims court in Vancouver in the next few days. Anyone who wants to join, please contact me.

  • Co
      18th of Mar, 2015
    +2 Votes

    Set a timer on your phone for 90 minutes but don't tell the salesperson. At 90 minutes stand up and say the following: "thanks for covering the cost for my 90 minutes, but you have not persuaded me that this makes sense." At this point, you have met your obligation as was the deal. Take your $150 Visa card and leave. When the next sales person says something about a survey tell them to fit the survey into their 90 minutes. Then go have a really nice dinner on them.

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