[Resolved] Unlimited Vacation Club International / lies about everything!
My elderly parents love to travel. They are fun, social, friendly, and generous to a fault. They were invited on a recent vacation to attend a presentation for UVC. Newly settled into retirement they felt like they might want to join one of these programs, to potentially make it easier to plan their trips- do paperwork and payment now, and then travel when you want. My Dad had concerns committing to a 30-year program, as he is already 75. The salesman promised him that this was no problem. Many members had similar situations and needed to spend their “points” in less time due to age. He informed my parents that they could transfer their last 15 years of pre-paid points, to the first 15 years and spend them at a faster rate by upgrading their accommodations. The terms they were quoted were a $25, 000 lump sum, and then a $700/year maintenance for each year until your purchased points are used up. My parents clarified- DOES THE MAINTENANCE FEE END WHEN THE POINTS ARE USED UP? The answer was “Absolutely!”
My parents aren’t dumb or gullible. But they are from a time when gentlemen’s agreements are made, you negotiate deals, and your word means something. They don’t have the same consumer skepticism that most of us more digitally savvy folks do. In hindsight, their big mistake was not trudging through the detailed and complex contract to look for all the promises that had been made (by salesman Lance Vaughan email@example.com). If they had, then what they would have realized is that they signed up to pay $25, 000 and $700/year for THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. Obviously my father doesn't expect to be using this program aged 105! Even when my parents asked about that specific aspect, UVC confirmed that transferring the points forward wouldn't cost them, and that it was noted in the contract. In reality, it was nowhere in the contract.
Almost immediately my parents tried to book their first trip and ran into inconsistencies between what the salesmen promised, and what the vacation coordinators were saying. My father has tried to talk to supervisors and management for help (Robert Lieffers – Director of Sales firstname.lastname@example.org), but no one seems to care now that the money has exchanged hands and a contract has been signed. I called on their behalf, with the intention of explaining more clearly the terms to which they’d agreed. The customer service gal was defensive, insulting, flippant, and ended our exchange by shouting “You better get your facts straight, ma’am”. My parents have pleaded with them, stating that they simply won’t be able to use this program later in life and they will be unable to make the payments. UVC’s response was that it would be turned over to collections.
To say that my parents are devastated is an understatement. There have been tears, arguments, incredible stress and fear about factoring this into their future fixed income. We’ve all tried to contact this company to discuss options or work out some sort of agreement, but UVC just tells us to “Review the Contract”. We weren't even looking to escape the contract altogether, we were looking to have it honor what was represented! We could use the prepaid points by upgrading in the first 15 years and then be done with it! But no one at UVC will even consider any remedy to this situation- or speak to us for that matter. I've never heard of a company not attempting to reconcile or agree to talk through a misunderstanding.
My family loves the concept of timeshare and vacation programs. They would’ve been happy customers for life, and been UVC’s (and the industry’s) greatest evangelists. But I find myself now focused on making sure no one else falls for this same misrepresentation of facts and coercion especially the more senior customer segment. Additionally, our community of UVC members should be fully aware of these practices.
Unlimited Vacation Club customer care service did everything in their power to resolve this complaint. All attempts to contact the client have failed. Therefore, this complaint has been annulled and must not be considered where company image and it's services are concerned.
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