Resort Villa / Scam and cheating
I got a call one day after filling out a contest ballot, that I had won a 'free vacation', all I had to do was attend a 'small' presentation, where dinner would be provided. They made it sound like it was a banquet for the Vacation winners where they would present us with our free vacations.
Turns out the Free Chinese 'Buffet was a few takeout tins of fried rice and chicken balls. It was gross- but also turned out this was a TimeShare presentation, so I new I would be there for a while and so I ate it with relish.
Every time I tried to elave, a new person would intercept me at the door- and each guy was more intimidating than the next. I swear this thing is run by the Mob- they all had these pinky rinks and spoke like a Soprano.
They'd try to give us another reason why we should get the time share. And when I said no, they'd keep asking why as if I must be stupid or crazy to say no to this 'Wonderful Opportunity'. So you're not only being bullied into buying this thing, but your being shamed into it! There are laws against strong arm sales tactics, but these guys slip under the wire of culpability so beware.
No kidding, it was 6 hours later before we were able to leave. and guess what folks... I bought a time share!
To make matters worse- there were all sorts of undisclosed details like 'maintenance fees', and 'user fee's . Turns out that not only are you paying for 'vacation weeks', in advance at a "low low rate", but when you try to use them, you are charged a user fee of $300.00 so it comes out to the same thing as if you bought a regular vacation- EXCEPT- the whole fee doesn't include airfare- only hotel. So in fact you are paying double because it's cheaper to buy a package than to pay separate airfair and hotel.
Insult to injury, at the end of the year, you have to pay $100 to renew your membership- so if you bought 5 weeks and only used 1 or 2 per year, you have no choice to renew or you won't be able to use those weeks you already paid for.
So in actuality you're paying only for hotel- a luxury hotel mind you, but who stays at the Ritz?! Regular people go to Hilton, Holiday Inn, Sheraton ect. I tried to exercise the 14 day refund policy- guess what they do? They don't answer your calls or emails for 14 days, and by the time you do finally get in touch with someone- ohh too bad, the trial period is over. I went to court- lost- the contract is impermeable.
Bottom line, do not attend the presentation- do not buy 'Vacation Weeks', that you will not ever use. This is not a scam- but it is a cleverly disguised 'pay for your vacation in advance' program that is not a good deal unless you are the type of person who normally would stay at the Ritz when you travel.
But for average Joes? This is not for you.