Coral Resorts / RCI / Dishonest, Lies, Misrepresenting and did I say Dishonest!
In July my wife, Shelly and I, took a tour of Island Links in Hilton Head, SC. The resort is beautiful and we were interested in discussing terms of a time share purchase. We returned to the office of Coral Resorts with the sales rep that gave us the tour and began the sales negotiation process. We were there for hours. As a matter of fact, the sales rep missed his afternoon appointment because of our discussions. We asked a lot of questions and the salesman repeated himself over and over again to assure our understanding and when we finally agreed on a purchase price, I completely understood what he had told us. The problem is, what he told us was completely false and what looked like a great opportunity to own a time share at a quality resort at terms we could afford became a horrible deal with ridiculously different terms and dollar amounts that will prevent us from utilizing our home resort. In fact, we could be forced to allow Coral Resorts to foreclose, ruining our otherwise perfect credit.
We were given a starting price of just under 12000 dollars plus a maintenance fee of 900 dollars every three years, for a week (7 days) in a three bedroom suite at Island Links. Included, was a round of golf for four people each day, cart not included. With this week we get 21333 points with RCI that will give us the ability to trade our week to RCI for a weeks’ vacation anywhere in the world, as long as it is an RCI resort. Since Island Links is a gold resort and has the golf included, even RCI’s best resorts would only require a transfer fee of up to $175.00, but there would be no upgrade fees due to the value of our home resort. I asked if that included all inclusive and the salesman replied that it does. (Don’t know if that is true, I read that there are meal plans that have to be purchased). Also included in the price is an additional, untradeable week at our home resort called a “Developers Week”, along with several other perks such as, a Travel Club giving discounted travel to its members. The travel club is for one year and we would have to pay to renew it each year. I will get into more detail as I review the misrepresentations/lies of the salesman, all listed below.
The first issue began during the negotiations. When we bulked at purchasing at the opening offer, the salesman went to his manager “to see what he could do” with the asking price. When he came back to the table, he gave us a new offer. The manager would lower the price by buying back our Developer week. As an owner of a coral Resorts (for us Island Links) time share, we are entitled to an extra week per year at Island Links Resort. As stated above, this week is known as a “Developer Week”. The salesman explained that each year in January, we can decide if we will use the Developer Week that year for an additional maintenance fee or let it go back to Coral Resorts. I asked if the maintenance fee is the same amount each year, which is $300 and his response was “yes, it is 300 dollars”. He also explained that if we made a decision in the first couple of weeks in January, we would be able to sell the developer week back to Coral Resorts, but we would need to act fast because they only buy what they know they need and the rest that get returned, they don’t pay for. Next, we were asked if we planned on another vacation to Hilton Head in the 2010 calendar year. Our answer was” no, we won’t be back in 2010. So, the great news is that we can return our 2010 developer week right then and there, and the money for that week would reduce the selling price of the time share.
Now, here is the misrepresentation. While speaking with a Coral Resorts “owner services” representative named David, I am told that the developer week starts at $800 to $1100 and up depending on the week and room. So who knows what it actually is? This is huge. The developer week was one of the main reasons we purchased. It seemed reasonable that we would pay 1 year’s maintenance fee ($300) for the use of the week. It does not seem reasonable to pay $800 or more for that week. This lie was a big influence to our buying decision. To make it worse, when I asked David about selling the developer week back to Coral Resorts, I was informed that Coral Resorts does not buy developer weeks. He then gave me a phone number for a clearing house type service that I can offer the week to. After a little research, I discover what he didn’t tell me. I would have to pay the maintenance fee first, than offer the week to the clearing house. The clearing house would than charge me to offer my week to others and there is no guarantee that it sells. Again, a lie that influenced our purchase decission.
The second issue has to do with the maintenance fee. We were told upfront that the maintenance fee will be $900 every 3 years. During our negotiations, I told the salesman that we do not want to pay a large, $900 fee. It always seems to come due at a time when you just don’t have it. Instead, we would prefer to pay the $300 fee yearly. We didn’t think this should be a problem because the salesman broke the three year amount (900) into a one year amount (300) often during his presentation. There was no hesitation on the salesman’s part. No thinking about it, nothing. He just agreed, as if it is done all the time. Later, during negotiations, the salesman was trying to get a commitment from us. I told him that I don’t want to pay all this money to purchase a time share and then turn around and have to pay the maintenance fee right away. His response, No problem, you will not have a maintenance fee for your first year of ownership. This sounds as though the problems are solved!
The first week of December, just 4months after paying for the time share and 1 month after getting our RCI membership and points, we receive a bill for more than $900. I make several calls to owner services, getting a different persons voice mail each time, but no one to talk to. I then find a number for the business office and call that number. I leave a message again. Finally, a woman from the business office returns my call. She informs me that the salesman has no right or ability to change the term of the maintenance fee. I told her about the one year wait before the fee was to be charged and she quickly replied that this bill is for Jan. 2011, I purchased in 2010, so it is a different year. I informed her that I was not told “no fee for the calendar year in which I purchased”, I was told “no fee for the first year” and as everyone knows, a year is 12 months, not 2. Her reply, I understand how you feel, but it can’t be changed. The next day I received a call from David, in the owner services office and he also admitted that we cannot have what was promised. Again, the salesman had overcome our objection with lies!
Another misrepresentation has to do with RCI. We were told that we get RCI points each year with the payment of the maintenance fee. The sales rep completely tied the 2 together. It was sold as one package deal. We now find out that RCI also has a renewal fee that must be paid on top of the Coral Resorts maintenance fee. Never mentioned, not once! And this keeps going higher and higher in price.
I can honestly say that there is no way we would have purchased at Coral Resorts if given a truthful, honest presentation of the facts as they actually are.
More Coral Resorts / RCI Complaints & Reviews
- Coral Resorts / Island Links Resort - Verbal Misrepresentation and Fraud 
- Reba Management / Coral Resorts - Bait and Switch 
- [Resolved] Coral Resorts, aka: Palmera Vacation Club - timeshare fraud 
- Reba Management / Coral Resorts - &F& rating with the Better Business Bureau 
- Coral Resorts - Time Share 
- The Coral Resorts - quest vacation club
- Coral Resorts - Misrepresentation
- Coral Resorts - Tomeshare takeovers in exchange for "vacation club priveledges"
- Coral Resorts - scammed and misled
- Coral Resorts - Timeshare