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Festiva Resorts / awful experience

1 United States Review updated:
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Like Lisa, we purchased a Festiva property based on the actions of a sales rep who made calls and assured us another property could readily be sold if we bought Stormy Point in Branson, MO. You could substitute names and places in Lisa's report and it would be identical--ours goes back several years; hers is recent.

We have had other problems with Festiva. The latest beginning in the fall of 2008 related to an offer to visit Church Street Inn in Charleston and to purchase the Adventure Club.

In both cases, I sent numerous emails, a letter, and had conversations with customer service and supervisors, followed by a confirmation email requesting to get out of the contract. Have heard nothing in response.

Festiva is a company to AVOID or at least be sure you do thorough research and record/document everything they say and do. And do not be as gullible as we apparently have been.

Ta
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  • Ma
      28th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    Like Lisa, we purchased a Festiva property based on the actions of a sales rep who made calls and assured us another property could readily be sold if we bought Stormy Point in Branson, MO. You could substitute names and places in Lisa's report and it would be identical--ours goes back several years; hers is recent.

    We have had other problems with Festiva. The latest beginning in the fall of 2008 related to an offer to visit Church Street Inn in Charleston and to purchase the Adventure Club.

    In both cases, I sent numerous emails, a letter, and had conversations with customer service and supervisors, followed by a confirmation email requesting to get out of the contract. Have heard nothing in response.

    Festiva is a company to AVOID or at least be sure you do thorough research and record/document everything they say and do. And do not be as gullible as we apparently have been.

  • Jw
      13th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I've just recently found out that Festiva at Stormy Point now only owns 80 units with Summer Winds owning the other 27 and the remainder of the property, not to mention the ammenities including the dock, boats and clubhouse. Festiva members are able to use the facilities but are charged more than Summer Wind owners for boat and slip rentals. My understanding is that Festiva in prior years has paid the additional fees to Summer Winds to keep their members happy but this year have decided not to do that anymore. They apparently don't care if their customers are happy. We stayed there last week and found the cottage to be dirty. We wiped the floor in the kitchen area with a rag and it came up filthy! We told the front desk that the coffee pot needed cleaned as it took over 1 hr to brew a pot of coffee. No one showed and we cleaned it ourselves the next day. Too bad, the resort is very nice.

    Festiva tried twice to get us to convert to a point system for an additional $3ooo. In doing so you're required to sign over your deed as you not longer are an actual property owner. I don't know about you but 1/52 of something is better than 100, 000 points if the company goes belly up. I intend to try and get the Missouri Attorney General to pursue a class action suit against Festiva as they are not doing what they represented in the sales presentation. We were given a Premier Member paper which states pontoon rentals would be $75. Now you'll have to pay $159. We are very disappointed with Festiva.

  • Rf
      17th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    If you decide to pursue a suit thourgh the Missouri Attorney General office you can count my wife and I in . Our email address is jfraser@amaonline.com We own two weeks a year at Stormy Point, a two bedroom and a three bedroom. We purchase one week everyother year to start with and then added to that to make it one week each year in a two bedroom. We also purchased one week a year in a three bedroom on the resale market, which was drastically cheaper. When we purchased our first time it was prior to the club house and pool construction. There were only about a dozen units, and it was not made public that Summer Winds was operating the facility and conducting sales in Festiva's place. Many different stories were told and most were just hot air. We last stayed at Stormy Point just a few weeks ago and like you we found it filthy and beginning to show signs of disrepair. We also have the "special" membership that allows you to rent pontoons for $75, however we get a different story each time we inquire. A manager at the Cabins at Green Mountain told me last year that he would honor the rate there. I have not tried that yet. On our last stay they rented a unit out to a construction crew that was working on the new airport. The crew parked a 30 foot flatbed trailer in front of our unit because one of the workers was too drunk to park it elsewhere. Like I said earlier, let us know if you decide to sue.

  • Jg
      18th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    Is there currently a class action against Festiva? We purchased at Stormy Point in October of 2006 and have not used it yet! We are even year so 2008 was our first year to be able to use it, but in the sales presentation they told us it would roll over if we did not use it. Well about 3 months ago I called in to reserve a spot for this very week of October 18th, only to find out that I was supposed to call in to get my year to roll over!! Nobody there is able to point me to where in my contract it states this, and have been unable to find it myself. I have a list of numerous lies from the sales preso that could hopefully fly. A couple of the main selling points that convinced us to go ahead and buy that ended up being flat out lies is that you can refinance as a regular home mortgage (since the rate they offer you at purchase was 16% at the time). The other was that if I ever decided to sell, they could assist in finding a buyer or someone to rent. That was some "insurance" for us I guess. In short this whole thing has been a "stupid tax" (as Dave Ramsey would say) on our part, and any resort in the timeshare business should be shut down because the more I do research on it they are taking advantage of consumers. Sure I had 5 days to cancel but we were vacationing there without Internet access to do a simple search and discover the horrors of timeshare ownership.

    In all we've paid over $13K in ownership fees, $530 maintenance fees in 2008 that has gone down the drain, and just yesterday we got our 2010 invoice for $530. BTW, when we purchased the maint. fees were $419. From what I read these just keep going up. You can purchase a decent vacation or cruise for 2 adults for around $1000 and not be left with the stress of timeshare ownership. We're in on any class action lawsuits. I'll take an email as well from anyone who knows of one, jgmefford[at]yahoo.com. Otherwise I may try to donate to a charity and take the tax writeoff instead of paying these maintenance fees every other year and go vacation in different places instead of in Branson every year. Yes, bad mistake on our part for purchasing in the first place, we take blame for that. But at least it will never happen again.

  • Jg
      18th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    One other note on the donating to charity I mentioned, I wonder is that even legit? Is that a scam as well just as timeshares, or "vacation ownership"?

  • Fe
      20th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    jgmefford;

    I'm sorry that you've had difficulty using your ownership to this point. I have forwarded your complaint and your e-mail address to the Supervisor of our Owner Services department so that someone can contact you to try to resolve your issues. There is also a lot of information on our website to help owners understand how to use their membership. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me directly at comments@festivaresorts.com.

  • La
      31st of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    I, too, had numerous problems with Festiva. We were told when we purchased at Stormy Point in 4/2007, that maintenance fees would not increase unless over half of the owners agreed. I've not received my 2010 statement yet, but reading these comments, it appears to have increased. I know I didn't receive anything giving me a vote. We were told there was no such thing as red vs yellow time, until we tried to use our time, and found we had given them a valuable RED week in Florida, for a yellow week in Branson. That started the letter writing on my end, to the Attorney Generals in both MO and NC. The result was a Festiva Rep, Randy Parker, calling and talking me into going to the point system. He promised to explain the entire program when I came to Stormy Point. I told him when I wanted to come and he called me back after supposedly getting the time at the resort approved for me. He even gave me his cell phone number and told me until I completely understood the point program, he would be "my personal reservatation contact." Two days before leaving Ohio to drive to Branson, I called to comfirm everything, Randy informed me he was no longer with Festiva. There were no reservations made. Several months and letters later, I now have my fully-paid RED week deed and no longer the point system. However, someone is coming to the house next week to talk to us about Festiva. Unfortunately, my husband took the call and made the arrangements. There is no way I will give up my deed. My husband and I deposit our week every two years, with Interval International. We then have hundreds of resorts within the US and abroad, in which to stay. We have not, and never will, stay at a Festiva resort. Especially now, after reading all of these comments. If a class action is filed, please include me! NittanyPSU@aol.com

  • La
      31st of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    IMMEDIATELY after posting the previous comment, the marketing company that was scheduled to come out next week to discuss converting to point, called and cancelled the appointment! Do you think this site is monitored?

  • Fe
      8th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    Laurie Jo;

    I'm sorry that you had an unpleasant experience with one of our former salespeople. Our Owner Services department in our corporate office is more than happy to answer any questions and resolve any issues that you may have. Please send a detailed e-mail with your name and contact information to comments@festivaresorts.com and I will ensure that it gets to the appropriate department.

  • Ja
      28th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    The complaints listed above could have been written by me. One of our resorts (Rangeley Lake Resorts) has been aquired by Festiva - without any input from us owners. Our most recent purchase (Stormy Point) was either already owned or aquired after our purchase without our knowledge or input. We too were handed as part of our sales pitch that they would sell our other two resorts (Rangeley Lake & Williamsburg Plantation) and that they would sell within six months of our purchase at Stormy Point. My husband said that they probably 'called' someone in the next room who supposedly placed a value on our other resorts! I have inquired about renting our Stormy Point unit but Trading Places informs me that their take is 40% - if they can rent it and if they don't then we are still responsible for an administrative fee. Last year we thought it had been put up for rent but when I called to see if it had been rented they said it was not put up - we then had to 'late' deposit it with II. Our sales rep regaled us with stories of how we could exchange for all these exotic private cruises and resorts (at no extra cost), he even showed us pictures of his trips - sadly we bought not only the BS but the timeshare as well. Our extended families thought we were crazy to buy one... we haven't owned up to the fact that in trying to divest ourselves of the first one, we now own three. The money we paid in purchase, plus the ongoing maintenance fees could have bought us a nice little condo someplace warm! I have thought seriously about just walking away - I feel like we are just throwing good money after bad. Also, we may have deeded property but they fail to suggest that you put your children on the deed at purchase - if they want to use it without you present there is an extra fee. To put them on the deeds now will cost approx $400 for each resort!
    About II... Plenty to rent, plenty for getaways, but not many for exchange. We tried to exchange in Europe - they don't tell you how unavailable units actually are.
    About selling... These timeshare resale companies are willing to list it for a fee (up front of course) but none of them are selling.
    I'm open to suggestions!

  • Do
      31st of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I agree. We were also promised a lifetime membership with Interval International. Well, that turned out to be only a year. That was the total reason we purchased with this company. I felt scammed and taken advantaged of. The selling staff said and did anything to make the sale . They were crooks. I wish I had never bought into this. Now the resort at Stormy Point is split up and NOT like what was promised at all. We are VERY disappointed. Do we have any grounds to sue? Donna

  • Ga
      12th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    Like the rest of you- just change the names. We have owned at the Cabins in Branson for about 5 years and really enjoyed it. March 4th, 2009 we signed up for a presentation for upgrade. We do not even remember 'Adventure Club' being mentioned. Told the rep about ourselves, likes and dislikes, and that we have 3 deeded weeks and use them every year. Like dummies we fell for his 'LIES'. He took 2 deeded weeks as a trade in (our papers call them trade-ins), Festiva said they do not take trade ins for discounts. He did not tell us that our Cabins was the equity trade in. One deeded week was sent back to us late Nov. 2009. I figured they could not sell it and dues was due Jan. 2010. It was sent back because they (Quality Recreational Services, LLC., adress is in Asheville N.C., and by Nov. phone # was a non working #. Festiva now has another company that will sell your timeshare-- but you do not get any money from that sell.) had not received the deed within their 30 day limit. They got that deed in June, the other deed they got in May--not their 30 day rule. When I found out on Jan. 4, 2010 when I talked to a Festiva rep and said we just wanted out deeded timeshares back and the money we spent to go to the point system, which was not mentioned until started going over papers. Rep said that would never happen. She said our Marriott had been sold. If Festiva does not take trade ins, how come she knew it was sold? We told our salesman we would not live for 40 more years and our children do not want any of our timeshares, so if we get to where we can not travel what do we do about the 40 years? His reply was do not pay dues for 2 or 3 years and by the 3rd year they will realize you do not want the program, Festiva will just sell our points. If at any time our kids or us want to use the program just pay back dues and enjoy. Festiva said in a trying to be intimidating voice 'that they would turn our account over to a collection agency and it would ruin our credit rating'. This is only a small sample of what we were told by the salesman. We bought into the scam because of the don't pay dues and that with the difference in what we would pay for dues with his program we could save enough with the difference in the amount of dues we paid for the deeded weeks to recoup what we would spend for his program in about 9 years. With what I have been reading about Festiva and an earlier class action suit and fines that Festiva paid they are still up to their old tricks of selling. Would a new class action suit be any different? We would like to see a class action suit filed so other people can't be ripped off. Have talked to some Festiva people, but all they want are their dues. They have a answer for every question you ask and if they can't answer they just say Festiva does't take tradeins. We now can sign a release form and just walk away and they keep everything.

  • Mw
      29th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have read alot of the comments about Festiva and like them we have been scammed... by being talked into a down payment and they not only took my check but took it out of my credit card as well.. have been at it 3 weeks and no calls back and no money paid back. I wouldn't recommend Festiva to anyone. I am going to have to get an attorney and probably send a complaint to the district attorney's office as well...

  • Tw
      13th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    m.w. williams - please file a complaint with the better business bureau. It is very easy.

  • Fe
      26th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    M.W. Williams;

    If you contact us directly at comments@festiva.travel we can certainly assist you and try to resolve any issues you may have.

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