Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club / Fraudulent Contract
I was vacationing in Casa Marina Reef Hotel in Sosua, Dominican Republic on August 4, 2015 when I was approached by a representative of the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club. The representative offered me an opportunity to visit an affiliated resort that offered better services during my stay at Casa Marina Reef Hotel. The next day, on August 5, 2015, I agreed to go and I arrived at the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club. I was then escorted to a different employee named Felix who gave me a tour of the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club on a golf cart. Felix offered me a membership with Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club, which he estimated to be about $15, 000, that would include the ability to reserve different types of units for a week in their resorts for the following prices for 37 years: Junior Suite - $199, 1 Bedroom - $259, 2 Bedroom - $299, Penthouse - $499, and Villa - $999. The unit costs would include access to their two international buffets, transportation to and from the airport to the resort, and a golf cart and/or smart car for transportation inside the resort complex. He noted that they also offer a premium buffet option if I wanted to upgrade to gourmet meals like lobster and steak at their a la carte restaurants for an additional $60 per person. Otherwise, he specified that the unit cost would only include access to the two international buffets on the resort.
Felix and another employee ultimately offered the membership to me for $13, 000. I was very interested in the deal that he offered and believed the upfront cost of $13, 000 would be worth the membership. However, when I informed Felix and the other employee that I did not have enough funds in my credit card to purchase the membership, they asked me to open a line of credit with Barclayscard. I informed them that I currently work part-time and my annual income of $15, 000 may not qualify me for such a credit card. Felix and the other employee said they would "take care of it." I filled out an application and to my surprise, they returned with an authorized credit card for the amount of $4, 500. After I returned to the U.S., I realized that they had added a "1" in front of my $15, 000 in the "Total Annual Income" field of my credit card application to change my $15, 000 total annual income to $115, 000 in order to authorize this line of credit.
In addition, the contract that I carefully read, initialed, and signed is different from the copy I have. Felix and the other representative presented me with two contracts and stated one was their copy and the other one was mine. I thoroughly read one contract prior to signing it and it did not include the requirement to pay for an “all-inclusive” package per person to have access to food and drinks. When I was asked to sign and initial my copy of the contract, he rushed me and stated it was exactly the same contract as the one I had just signed and that I did not have to initial all of the components in my own copy. I believed that my contract copy would be the same as the merchant’s and signed my contract without initialing and reading all the components.
After returning home to the U.S., I realized that my copy of the contract has a component that specifies the need to purchase an “all-inclusive” package to have access to all food and drinks on the property. You will notice that only the first few components of my copy are initialed because I was rushed into signing the contract. The merchant and I have separate contracts. I do not trust the contract that they possess will have my authentic signature. When I called the customer service representative, Naomi Bogle, on August 7, 2015 to verify this discrepancy, Naomi informed me the unit costs does not include buffet access and that every traveling person would be required to purchase an all-inclusive package for $60 per day. There is no such thing as a premium buffet option. This cost also changes to $95 per person if I were to reserve a bigger unit or a unit in Cancun, Mexico which was not discussed either in the sales pitch or the contract. I asked Naomi about other privileges that were promised to me during the sales pitch, and concluded that my package also does not include access to golf cars and smart cars with unit rentals.
I emailed Naomi Bogle on August 9 and 11, 2015 and called on August 10, 2015 regarding the fraudulent contract and have yet to hear back from her.
Both the membership and the line of credit opened in my name were finalized in a fraudulent manner. The merchant rushed me into signing a contract that was different from what they made me sign. I would not have signed this membership contract if this contract was proposed to me in an honest, clear manner. If I had to pay $60 per person to rent a unit in their resort, the cost to pay per week in Puerto Plata would be the same if I were to book my vacation through a travel agency, minus the membership fee of $13, 000. The line of credit, opened with Barclayscard, should not have been authorized. Felix and another employee changed my application to say that I made $115, 000 a year when in fact I only make $15, 000.
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