Royal Holiday Club / false representation
While we were on vacation in December 2008 (November 28th to December 5th) in Cozumel my wife and I were approached to visit a resort and get a free lunch in exchange to visit the resort with the pretense that the resort was just rebuilt after the huricane and they wanted tourists to rediscover it. So we went.
What we got there was a sale pitch for a "holiday membership" with which we could travel the world for the next 30 years with our travel cost fixed (not getting higher year after year). After three hours of talks where the offers seemed always better and better, we signed... The worst mistake ever.
We signed a contract for 30 years, for 30 000 points per year, for 25 0000$US of which we a downpayment using our credit card for 8 750$US, having to pay 450$US per month for the balance for the next 3 years.
Almost immediatly that same night we started to have second thoughts but we decided to sleep on it. Before leaving Cozumel, the day after, we call their help-desk from the airport and told them we wanted to cancel. But they told us they could not do it yet because the contract had not been processed yet and was not in the system. They told us to call back when we were back home.
So the next Monday I call back, and still the contract was not in the system. I tried calling again during that week and finally I did receive an e-mail on December 20th sending us our password to access the site, stating that we had requested it! I call the helpdesk and they told us that they can't cancel our membership because we were passed the 5 days cool-off period!!!
During the Christmas holidays we were not able to contact anyone and then in January someone in Finance (Nancy d'Argence) contacted us to welcome us to the club. I told her I wanted to cancel my membership but she told me she could not do anything for us except refinance. So she gave us a refinance offer which would have cost us thousands of dollars more in the end (for lower monthly payments). We refused.
She then said that the only thing we could do was to resell our membership. And when we bought the membership I specifically asked if it was resalable and they told us that they sold easily, quickly and for a profit. So she gave our names to their sales department which in turn gave them to a broker in the States (Global Resort Services), which contacted us. I talked to the broker and they told us that we could get 29 000$US for our membership! Wow, we're even making a profit. We had to pay 600$US for the account and the publicity they would put out.
I called the broker about once a month but nothing was happening. So in April I started to do more researchs on the Internet and realized that there were a lot of people in the same situation as I was and moreover the only information I got on people that had been able to resell their membership was for about 10% of the price!
So I'm now in communication with a law-firm in Mexico that specialize in this kind of rip-off (I can't tell their name yet because I still not on a retainer with them).
So this is was they promised us: fixed vacation cost (about 2 weeks) for the next 30 years.
This is the reality: you have to pay an annual fee (465$US now) that can and will go up with the years; you still have to pay for your food, which will go up; and finally you reserve based on a point-basis, so today with 30 000 points I can get 2 weeks, but in 2 years it could cost me 40 000$.
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