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Festiva Resorts / lack of availability - fraud

1 Asheville, NC, United States Review updated:

I purchased timeshare points in November 2007 at the Peppertree Ocean Club and unsuccessfully tried to reserve a week at any of the Peppertree beach facilities. there were rooms available to rent but not available to the timeshare owners.

When I called to move my unused points from 2008 to 2009 the owner's representative confirmed that they are room reserved to sell and not available to timeshare owners.

The maintenance fee went up for 2009 and for what reason? the owners can't get a room so they have to pay maintenance so Festiva can rent the rooms?

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Mi
  27th of Jan, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

My husband and I purchased a timeshare membership last spring at Ellington at Wachesaw. This spring would be our first time to use it. We called to inquire as to why we were sent a bill for our maintenance fee due in January (in fact due the day before it arrived in the mail), when we had been told that once we reserved our time, we would be billed for the maintenance fee a couple months ahead of the scheduled time. This was one of the attractive points to us since the timeshare we already own on the Strand bills the last week of the year for maintenance fees, and that was always a squeeze with the holidays. We were informed that all maintenance fees were due in January, regardless of the time you plan to visit, and to schedule time, we should wait for a week and a half or two after our payment was processed before we called to schedule. We waited, and when we called back to schedule, they are telling us that we don't have enough points except for maybe a weekend in the off season! When we bought, the purchase was predicated on being able to spend our customary week in the spring. I would be interested to see if other new owners have been scammed by being told that they could 'borrow' points from the end of their contract to purchase time now and use the units for a longer period than the amount of points one purchased up front. We were told at the time that this is how everyone does it. The sales manager who dealt with us the day we purchased had told us to call him personally to set up our first visit, and when we called him, he informed us he is no longer with Festiva. So, we find ourselves a few thousand dollars poorer, and nothing to show for it. Our family vacation is in danger of being cancelled since we are being asked by Wachesaw to pay about $1500 additional for a two-bedroom this spring, and we had counted on getting the two-bedroom on the contract and paying an additional $59 a night for an adjoining 1-bedroom(!). We are still exploring other avenues, including legal advice, and are on a time constraint. We are not being asked to 'convert' to Festiva like some posters, but are feeling lied to and betrayed at the moment...

Ka
  22nd of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

We just signed a contract this weekend everything they showed us and told us sounded legit. However, as soon as I started reading the owners materials that were handed to us as we walked out the door, things were not what they told us. During the presentation we were told the points we purchased would guarantee us up to two weeks every other year - or one week every year - rolling unused points over to the next year. Nowhere can I find anything that they told us - or showed us on their documents. We have 5 days to cancel the contract. I will be sending out my intent to do this first thing tomorrow. I'm also considering getting an attorney involved to ensure my right to cancel this contract is not ignored.

Ka
  22nd of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

A couple of other points to add - We were told that we could book reservations (1, 2 or 3 bed) unit with our points. The truth is it takes differing amounts of points to book depending on the size of the unit and time of year. According to their chart there are not many places or times we can vacation using the points we purchased. We were also told it would take less points if we booked less than 60 days out. I can't find that documented in the owner materials anywhere (maybe I can't find it???) Based on the amount of complaints I found on the Asheville, NC BBB, it's difficult to book a year out - much less 60 days out. We were also promised a 4 day 3 night cruise as a bonus for signing - how to retrieve that "gift" is not in our owner materials either. Think I've decided to ask our attorney to send out our intent to cancel notice for us just to be sure we are not ignored.

Jd
  28th of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Quite disturbing to read such horror stories in the Festiva timeshare family...Can all those of us who are dissatisfied with these various unscrupulous practices band together to help rectify this ethics problem? Unitedly, we should have some power to make this more fair to the unwitting consumer. There should at least be an Owners Support Group!

If you have any answers, or helpful suggestions please email: fancyjanci@hotmail.com

Ar
  30th of Mar, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I have filed a complaint with the BBB in N.C. and also filed a complaint with the General Attorney's office in N.C. I am currently working with The Owners Advocate to cancel the contract and get a refund. The Advocate costs $999, but they guarantee to cancel the contract or your money back. I really don't care about the contract, I just want my $10, 490.00 back. I will never use this fraudulent company to book anything, nor will I ever pay a maintenance fee.

http://www.theownersadvocate.com/

We all need to work together!

Fe
  11th of May, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Mrs. Merkel;

It is our understanding that you have been contacted by our office with a resolution to your problem, which turned out to be due to a delay in the post office stamping your cancellation papers. If you feel this issue has not been resolved, please contact us directly.

Karen;

You can in fact book 'late break' reservations at 30 days or less prior to check-in. This information, along with all of the points charts and instructions for making reservations can be found in your members' book and in the owners' section of the website. If you need assistance with any of this, please contact the Festiva Resorts Owner Services department at ownerservices@festivaresorts.com or visit http://festivaresorts.wordpress.com and post your question on the Q&A page.

Ge
  7th of Jun, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

My husband and I have just purchased with Festiva and now after researching and reading these posts, I am in a panic. I am thinking that I need to call and cancel our contract in the morning since it seems that not all things are as promised. We were told that our points would be available beginning Jan1 (the same time as the maintenance fee for 2010), and we could book our vacation weeks at that time. We also got the Platinum Vacation package and the Corp. Elite Package which included the ability to book rooms for $59-69 per night at the Festiva Resorts if we needed more than our points allow - has anyone had any experience with using this system?
I would appreciate any information.

Fe
  8th of Jun, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Gemgirl;

Please send your name and contact information to comments@festivaresorts.com and we will have someone contact you to answer any questions you may have.

Ar
  23rd of Jun, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I am happy to report Festiva has refunded our money.
Arlene Merkel

Ai
  16th of Oct, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I have a buddy who's just started working for this company this past year and I was quite shocked to learn they were told that if something did not please the acting manager on their late shift, they would have something "thrown" at them!
It was indicated it was "only" a magic marker, but still, to be told this on your 1st day of hire is shocking! Isn't that assault? Throwing something at one of your employees?

Also, they had been told that they could earn between $750-$1000 a week, but there was one employee who not given permission to make sales calls, while everyone else in their training class has been allowed to do so for at least a day! They did not miss any time off from work, and some people missed a whole day, but those who had missed a whole day were still given the chance to make sales calls, not merely be on the "training" program, while the person who missed no time was prohibiting from making any sales calls at all, even though they had done telemarketing before.

If you make calls that are sales calls, you can get up to $20 a booking, but I listened to my buddy speak of some of the calls they overheard and they were quite shocked at the off-hand & rather rude manner the verification officer used towards many of the clients, especially the older ones. The verification officer, the one who often takes your credit card, was unbelievable rude to one gentlemen who had already had a bad experience with this time share company.
One would think you wouldn't want to create further ill will, but it seems that it's "COOL" to do so. There was a lot of sexual jokes and inappropriate comments too, during the training sessions, even by the general manager.

They were told that they needed to bring in their social security cards and picture IDs. and the gen. manager picked up everyone's cards and had them copied. Then, they brought all the social security cards back into the office, and dumped them in a pile and asked one of the brand new employees if they could "pass" them out to everyone!

Wow, my friend was horrified, because identity theft is so on the rise and they did no background checks whatsoever in order to hire these people. Keep that in mind, when you give out your credit card number to this company! They did not even ask the employees to fill out any application whatsover before they were hired!

My mind is doing backflips as to what sort of management would not insist in these times about not wanting to know at least some of the background of its employees, especially when they have people's home addresses, phone numbers, etc.

So.. in reading all these complaints, I see that it is not only a bad idea to be a client of this company but also an employee!

They also said they had read some of the review of some of the resorts and there was a ton of complaints, most of which seemed really legitimate. I feel bad for anyone who becomes an employee of this company!

Fraud, hostile business atmosphere, threats of violence...rude behavior towards clients & new hires...

No wonder timeshares have a bad reputation! This one needs to clean up its act! After reading all these complaints I would never even contemplate buying into a timeshare.

Fe
  20th of Oct, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

aintitashame;

Please feel free to contact me directly at comments@festivaresorts.com and provide the location of the sales office where your friend worked. We take these matters extremely seriously, and if the account you provided is accurate, then we would like to research it and take the appropriate action on those involved.

Thanks.

Th
  12th of Apr, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Dont get scammed again!!

Taking On Timeshare = The Owners Advocate

The company called Taking On Timeshare is the same as The Owners Advocate who filed bankruptcy and have an F at the BBB.

BEWARE..

This company closed doors and changed name because of the numerous complaints The Owners Advocate has. The people behind Taking On Timeshare (David Humphreys ) is the same as The Owners Advocate.


Visit this link:

http://www.bbb.org/nashville/business-reviews/timeshare-contract-advocates/the-owners-advocate-in-nashville-tn-37046716

Fe
  29th of Apr, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Yes, please be aware of any company that contacts you regarding resales or anything else about your timeshare. Unfortunately, there are some disreputable organizations that give the entire industry a bad name. If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a person or company that contacts you by phone or e-mail, please call us at 866-933-7848 or contact us at ownerservices@festiva.travel.

Please note that Festiva is not affiliated with any resale company.

Another good place to look for reputable companies is the American Resort Development Association's website at www.arda.org.

Le
  14th of Feb, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Cara, your post is right on the mark...they have misrepresented themselves just as you have discribed and have done it as recently as this past October, 10-2010. We are now considering our options to move forward with complaints to the appropriate authorities.

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