Westgate Resorts - Vacation Package / Westgate Resorts is duplicitous
The State of Florida protects the interests of business' over those of consumers.
Caveat Emptor when dealing with Westgate Resorts, and the State of Florida.
My fiance and I were solicited, and accepted (mistake) a great deal from Westgate Resorts regarding discounted hotel rooms and shows in Las Vegas, Nevada. If we gave Westgate Resorts $159 we would receive, among other benefits, a vacation package that included the aforementioned discounts. That sounded great as I am sure it could have been.
We were solicited the deal months in advance of the actual dates and times we were to go, and at that time our lives permitted the trip. However as the time neared for us to go, our circumstances changed and we were unable to take advantage of the vacation package offered by Westgate Resorts.
We called Westgate to get a refund, and to our surprise we were told sorry. Westgate Resorts have cancellation policies/rules that read as follows:
"Any travel date cancellation/change within 7 days, will result in a $25 service fee
Any travel date cancellations/changes made within 72 hours of arrival are subject to a service fee of $25 plus the first night's room rate at the non-promotional rate. No refunds will be made for No Shows or early check-outs."
Westgate Resorts terms and conditions mention the latter, but do not mention what to do if you cannot make the trip at all. If we had cancelled within the 7 days and paid the $25 service fee and received a refund of $134, we would have understood that. However, we called to cancel outside of that 7 day period and were told we had no way to recover any portion of the original $159 paid. We were given the chance to postpone the vacation package (time slots) for an additional 3 months or 6 months for $19 and $50 respectively. That would be great, but the reason we could not go still existed, so going later in the year did not negate the fact I could not go and wanted a refund.
It was explained to me by a well rehearsed manager of Westgate, that it is the State of Florida which says that once a solicitation has been made and accepted any money paid is non-refundable after 14 days. (Nowhere was that mentioned in the paperwork given to us by Westgate Resorts). The manager then told me that people who sign up for these vacation packages do not intend on canceling them, and I should have asked about cancellation policies if that was a concern of mine. Well I am not a fortune teller and did not know I would lose my job 2 months after agreeing to the $159 for the vacation package. Let me tell you how bad I wanted to reach through the phone line, and ...! However I am Christian.
All in all Westgate Resorts would not refund our monies paid, and basically said their hands were tied because of Florida Law, and I should talk the state if I had issues. I think that is very convenient that this non-refund law is not mentioned by Westgate. It is unfortunate that you have to get taken advantage of once before to know these sorts of things. My advice to everyone is make sure you are going to be able to go to these silly time share events, and know what state laws are applicable regarding refunds before you sign up for what sounds like a to good to be true opportunity. Otherwise you will get suckered into buying some guy from Nebraska who signed up for the same deal and was able to go, a round of drinks.
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