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Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club / Fraud and cheating!

1 Garrison, NY, United States Review updated:

My husband and I bought into the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club while vacationing in the Dominican Republic. The sales rep Kelvin and the manager promised all kinds of exchange opportunities, Captain's suite on all cruise lines, hundreds of sister resorts all over the globe. But when we try to book a villa at the home resort, we are always told they have none available, even 10 months in advance. After relooking at our contract, we noticed a clause that says they can't be sued for sales misrepresentations. In other words, they can tell you anything and none of it needs to be true. We've tried contacting the sales manager but we can't get past customer service. We are now stuck with 52 weeks of junior suites, not the villas we were promised we could always get at a cost of $699/week.

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Ge
  9th of Apr, 2008
Agree Disagree +3 Votes

My husband and I also bought into this. We made sure to listen very carefully and ask lots of questions so we knew exactly what we were getting into. We thought it was too good to be true, but the sales reps were very convincing, assuring us everything was legit. From the very first time we tried it, we've had nothing but problems! We were promised VIP treatment and accomodations anywhere we went, at least 50% savings on flights, and that we could book in as little as 3 days in advance(except red times of course). Well, IF you are able to get a room at your chosen location, it is a FAR cry from 5 star VIP service!! And, I found cheaper flights than the customer service reps could. When I asked about the cheap flights we were supposed to get (first class!!!) she told me that basically all they do is search the internet for the best deals, the same thing I can do myself, and everything was economy class. So, we don't get cheaper flights than anyone else that can search the internet, we don't get 5 star VIP treatment and accomodations, and it's almost impossible to get a reservation anywhere!!! These are just a few of the promises that were made to us and turned out to not be true. This is definately not something I would reccomend investing in!!

Ja
  13th of Apr, 2008
Agree Disagree +4 Votes

My wife and I got suckered in as well. We were told that they were going to buy our existing timeshare, and that availability was great. They even showed us all these websites we would have access to to plan our vacations. Well, they lied about taking over our existing timeshares, so we are stuck paying for two membershiips. They lied about availability (we haven't gotten one requested vacation we asked for). They don't seem to even search all their "sister resorts". Either that, or availibility in them is so limited that members would never get a chance to use them anyway. They are a fraudulent company, and swindle people out of money.

If anyone has any clue how to get your money back, please let me know. I only bought the membership in February 2008, and already I know how much of a scam it is.

Lo
  5th of Jan, 2018
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

@James Maltese We got in too, do you have any info on how to get your money back? There is strength in numbers!!!
Lana

Cl
  12th of Feb, 2018
Agree Disagree +2 Votes

@lovesrein @James Maltese, We are a law firm specialized in protecting consumers and have been recently receiving complaints about fraud by LHVC (Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club) in the US and the Dominican Republic.
As we have seen on the forum, that you could also be a victim, we wanted to inform you that we will be preparing a class-action lawsuit and are getting in touch with people willing to share information and participate in the lawsuit.
We have filed criminal charges with the relevant court in Austria already (as the owner of LHVC is an Austrian citizen), and will now be starting legal action in the US and the Dominican Republic.
Should you be interested in supporting and joining us in the pursuit, please let us know as soon as possible. We will be acting quickly, in order to make sure this business model is stopped and the money returned to the people.
Please note, that there are no financial implications for you. We will be sharing all information about progress with you. We just need to know if you want to join this cause and would appreciate your earliest response.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us to classaction.lhvc@weyerlegal.com

Ro
  20th of Feb, 2018
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

@Classaction.lhvc I would be happy to join your cause. My name is Rob and my email is robportee@yahoo.com

Se
  7th of Mar, 2018
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

@Classaction.lhvc I ll be happy to help diegos102@msn.com

Ro
  20th of Mar, 2018
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

@Classaction.lhvc Me too. My email is meetmerohitsonu@gmail.com. They swindled us into buying Junior suite membership for a whopping 15, 000$ with false promises and are not taking our requests to cancel it.

Ka
  26th of Mar, 2018
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

@Classaction.lhvc My friend and I, too, were scammed in 2016 by Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club and would love to join the cause. My name is Kathleen and my email is kcallihan98@yahoo.com.

Je
  16th of Apr, 2018
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

@Classaction.lhvc I got screwed tooby those money sucking SOB's and I would probably be interested in joining you in your lawsuit agains them. The problem that I foresee is that I am canadian and I wonder if I still can join you in this suit???
I would also like to warn people about another scam quite similar with Royal vacation club in Punta Cana. They promise a lot but when you start talking topple that are members they go quite thru the same treatment as we did with Lifestyle.

Va
  17th of Apr, 2018
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

@Classaction.lhvc Is this still going to happen? If so we would love to be apart of this. LHVC got us too and it's not right that they keep doing this to people and getting away with it. My name is Val and my email is vulmer10@gmail.com

Ma
  6th of May, 2008
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

I don't know what level of membership you have, I am a platinum member with unlimited use of villas when available. I have yet to have a problem booking for a villa with some notice, I mean 3 months. Of course Christmas time is booked 1 year out but that is understandable. As far as the promises, I know you can promise me the world but unless it is in black and white and signed by all parties it is nothing but a sales pitch. As far a 5 star treatment, I can't say enough about how we were treated both times that we have returned. We have also booked for December and March for villas. As far as villas not available 10 months out, right now there are villas available starting in September going to December 15th or so and again from January 5th onward. As far as them honoring what was promised the only issue I had was that when I asked for a 5 bedroom villa I was told that they can;t guarantee me that. I advised them that it was in my contract and showed my rep and she agreed and stated that worse case scenario they would give me two villas if they could not give me a 5 br. villa. AS far as the sister resorts, I have to say RCI is useless. I tried to Arizona reservations for 1.5 yrs out and could not. Anyway the bottom line is you have to read before you sign and not listen to promises of salesmen.

Je
  16th of Apr, 2018
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

@mark Well I also got a membership and you are talking about whats written black on white and I can tell you that even what is written they don't respect. They cut our access to many of the restaurants, they cut your access to a VIP beach ... As for plane reservation we found real good prices to fly to Puerto Plata but a reservation takes anything from 1 month up to get an answer so when you finally get your reservation booked the plane deal is gone. They always told us not book our flight before they have confirm our reservation but they never confirm in time.
We are 6 friends that have a membership and we all have the same treatment ([censor] treatment) It is marked on our contrat that we can invite as much as 8 persons and they would get the same VIP treatment as we get but not even a year after we got our membership, we brought some friend along but they had to pay extra for VIP treatment or they would have to be as normal travelers. The daily price for the all inclusive wich is stated (in black on white) on our contract went up to almost double in just one year but in your famous black on white contract it is said that my rate was frozen and would never go up... I could go on and on like that but I will make it short, all that is on the contract they don't give a damn and when I tried to see the manager he would not accept to meet me so I waited and caught him as he was walking out (the back door of the tower) and I asked him why he would not meet with me so he could explain why all those changes and instead of accepting to talk to me I was told that if I did not leave him alone I would be kicked out of the site. Me and all 6 members that are my friends. It is a big bunch of SH...T

Ri
  13th of May, 2008
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

Strike up another one!!!
I have a couple of timeshares with both RCI and Interval. Bookings I'm able to get are in something slighly better than a junk yard at best. I'm starting to get the impression that any timeshare is sold to 10 owners at a time for every week of the year. How is it possible that nothing is available EVER in any part of the geography on this earth??!!
The disclosures on the documents are there, but they are so broad th ey don't hold water in court.
Timeshares through RCI or Interval are really a total rip off and would never recommend one to a friend, or an enemy for that matter. Save your money, take a vacation in a place that can meet your expectations.

Ry
  14th of Jul, 2008
Agree Disagree +2 Votes

I also am finding out the extent of the lies and misconceptions told to us when we bought our weeks as well with Lifestyle Holiday Resorts. It looks like they promise the same things to everyone. Me and my wife actually did this 2 years ago on our honeymoon, it was a our first big purchase together, and boy am I regretting it. Customer service is terrible to deal with and do not answer any questions directly. I have been sticking to our contract as a source of information trying to use that to work with them. In the mean time by reading over it again and again realized that some things are just not going to happen. It is a problem too because they are located in the Dominican so to call them will cost you just to wait on hold for 5 minutes or more. We are at the end of our payment plan as of June, that should have been our last payment. Recently looking at our card activity, I see that I was charged recently this month, so now they are taking money from me. If I do not make any progress I am going to be forced to cancel my card so they cannot take anymore money out, but I worry about making to rash of decision and it effecting the results. We have yet to use their services, and looks like never will, because of varying reasons, but we were hoping to plan a trip for next year, that was when we started to realize what we truly had gotten into. At this point I would just like to return everything, since we havent used any of our weeks and just get our money back. I have a feeling that if I get any money back it will not be anywhere close to what we paid. If any one has any suggestions on how to get from under this company I know I would appreciate it and I'm sure others would as well. The best thing we can do is warn others and try and get the word out to help others not make the same mistake. Hopefully it will eventually catch up to the company and force them to make changes.

Fa
  25th of Jul, 2008
Best Best Advice Agree Disagree +6 Votes

I have had the same problem, and we should do something about it if we can't get our money back, at least do something to stop thier fraud, that way we may have a chance to presure them into paying us back
call Mary lou
at 202-371-6700
Ethics Administrator
at ARDA
and report your case

Ma
  1st of Aug, 2008
Agree Disagree +2 Votes

My husband and I purchased 3o weeks deal 2 years ago. We haven't had a need to use it until now and when contacting customer service found out that the compay we signed up for was recently purchased by Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club.
I found it very interesting as we have not received any notice and there is certainly nothing in our contract about that. Now the Lifestyle holidays are trying to talk us into signing their contract. I am glad I came across these posts so I know not to.
A few months ago I was watching 20/20 and there was an episode about a group of people suing a company similar to Lifstyle but located in Mexico...and the company did give them their money back.

Ba
  17th of Sep, 2008
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

I agree that Lifestyles Holidays are full of misleading and not so honest tactics. Does any one now who and how to sue this compnay to get my money back??? I live in Canada PLease email info on doing this,
Thanks!

Jd
  30th of Sep, 2008
Agree Disagree +2 Votes

I agree and we have the same complaint. We were told we were not able to cancel the contract because they are in a foreign country. The company is now trying to bill for "services rendered" which were essentially free at the time - their way of selling us this vacation package. Does anyone know other avenues to get our money back?

Ro
  3rd of Oct, 2008
Agree Disagree +2 Votes

I too am a victim. I traded in my time share that I purchased from Radisson Palm Beach Florida and mailed them the deed, when I got back to the United States. Now Raddison Palm Beach Shores has turned me into collections for not paying the taxes and maintenance fees. I faxed them the paperwork showing I traded it in, but they said the deed is still in my name. My mother passed away in April of 2007, then my daughter had her first born early and he had to have surgery at 5 days old. Then December of 2007 my oldest daughter passed away, so I have not really tried to resolve this, because I have had trouble putting one foot in front of the other. But I know I paid a lot of money for this and never received the two big catalogs I was shown that I could choose my vacation destination out of. Now I am told there are no catalogs!!! I can't believe nothing can be done about fraud!! If anybody has any ideas, please email me. Thanks Robin Stogsdill

Ho
  29th of Jan, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

My Husband and I were approach by lifestyle Hoilday Vacation in the Dominican Rub, the sales rep´s were very nice at first and became extreme pushy and wanted us to sign a contract right away he told us we would have to make a decision now and pay half up front today. ( and the same to good to be true things mention above) We told him we could not decide now and would have to think about it. This is a big scam and I feel terrible for people who were taken advantage of.

Say No Thanks!

Kk
  1st of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree +2 Votes

We are planning to return to the resort to use 5 of our 60 weeks. We tried to book a villa but were told we can't, even though in our contract it says we can at $699. Anyway, we were "allotted" 2 x 1 bedroom apts. and 3 jr. suites for our group. I've requested a ground floor accomodation for my 90 year old mother in law and was told they'd "request" it. They don't give out rooms until you arrive. I am hoping for the best but am very concerned about her getting around this huge resort complex. We were also told when we signed the contract we'd get a golf cart to use. Of course, now that we are returning and requested at least one for our 10 person group, they said they are only for villas, which they wouldn't rent to me. I hope the food has improved. Not sure what passes as beef at this resort...

Jo
  4th of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree -2 Votes

I do not know why many people are complaining. I purchased at Lifestyle 3 years ago. I purchased a Platinum package, and I am very much satisfied.

Ps
  6th of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree +2 Votes

Folks ... VIP Lifestyle is a scam job. They are not honest with you right from the beginning. We sat through their presentation, and they quickly requested a 56% up front payment and the remaining to be charged monthly on our credit cards. In addition, if we didn't sign immediately, we were told that the prices would increase the following weeks. What legitimate business runs a scheme like this? They also refused to give us a contract copy to review for at least 3 days before committing to sign. Again, what were they afraid of? They showed a beautiful 2-bedroom apt in Cabarete, Dom. Rep. and claimed they owned the whole complex (from studios to penthouse) and promising to rent any of the rooms for as long as you wanted. The truth is they only owned one apartment in the whole complex and used it as bait to tempt unaware people to push their vacation packages. This is almost like a ponzi scheme. Some legitimate original owners in this complex are worried about VIP Lifestyles offices existing in their premises which might negatively affect their condo value. Look before you leap into this deal!

Da
  11th of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

Hi All,

We are 6 people involved in the same fraud! We are from Spain and while spending holidays in the Dominican Republic got hooked by these Lifestyle representatives, promising first class vacation services, etc. After having signed w have tried several times to use our services, butalways the same answer: Nothing available! and with months in advance...We've tried to get in touch with them, asking for refund since the contract was not respected, etc, ...impossible. Finally I have found you facing the same problem. I refuse to accept this. This are basic consumer's rights being totally ripped-off. Please we are requiring some advice or hints from Spain. If you can tell us what to do, ...did someone get his money back? We feel upset with this issue and we are sure that there must be something to do!!!

Thanks in advance

Vi
  15th of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

oh my gosh the same happened to me when on Holiday in Dominican Republic it all seemed to good to be true as they show you round the resorts which i must say are amazing but lucky for me my card was declined!!! I hope you all get something sorted i have to find other ways of making money maybe just buy a villa in the republic and rent it out

Ch
  19th of Feb, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes

We too have been scammed and I have been fighting it for almost a year now. We bought villa and the platinum package. We were told we had unlimited weeks and could come anytime, with the exception that Christmas was difficult to book. We were also told that our two timeshares were being bought by them. After several emails and heated conversations with customer service, I was told well we gave you a "credit" for your other timeshares. I know owe two years of back maintenance on the other timeshares. On top of all of this we put $11, 000 down and are paying $110/month mortgage payment. One important thing to note...when they were telling me no villas were available, I thought I would check with RCI. RCI had 4 villas available. I called back to customer service and was told if I booked it through RCI I would have to pay the $5, 000 plus all inclusive fee and not the $210/week fee. Again, very heated conversations and emails. 14 months later after the initial purchase I received a 40 page contract versus the one pager that was given to me at the time of the purchase. I have just spoken with an attorney who advised me that since the payments were coming out of FL...the estate of Jesus Garcia in Miami, to call the attorney generals office for florida. If anybody has had luck with getting their money back...please let me know!!

Lo
  1st of Mar, 2009
Agree Disagree +4 Votes

we too have bought into lifestyle in the Dom rep and haven't had to many problems. I think the big problem comes when you buy at the lower levels which we did at first and try to book a villa as they tell you, you can and pay the extra service charge. This wouldn't ever happen I don't think but we managed to get a 2 bed appt which should have been two but they messed up and we ended up with 2 hotel rooms as well. they did however refund our service charges and gave us free entry to Ocean world. we upgraded to a small villa package last year and we booked and stayed in one Feb just gone. they did however try to get us to take hotel rooms before we left the UK as they had obviously over booked but I said NO! I think there are issues with the place and I would always book at least a year in advance, but we have even exchanged a week for a week in Spain in one of their sister resorts which I know is good!

Ca
  6th of Mar, 2009
Agree Disagree -1 Votes

I have been going to lifestyle for 5 years now and never have I had any problems. I absolutely love this place and all that work there. Everyone is so gracious and accomadating. It definitely pays to have things in black and white. I would definitely recommend lifestyles it is fabulous!

No
  6th of Mar, 2009
Agree Disagree +2 Votes

I cannot understand how anyone could recommend VIP as fabulous nor accommdating based on people's own wretched experience with this company. We were almost convinced until we scrutinized the contract (even though it was 'black and white') as the previous writer noted. Not everything that you need to know is on that contract. I also understand that it's very difficult to get reimbursed or even prosecute due to a questionable political connection to the Dom Rep government. You won't receive what you want booked for the time you desire despite paying way over 50% right from the start. Friends of ours to this day sadly regret their novice decision when they signed VIP's contract. Stay away, stay far away from this so-called dream vacation program.

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