Wyndham Vacation Resorts / Fraud/scam/misrepresentation
On July 9, 2010, while vacationing in Las Vegas we were stopped by a person in Imperial Palace Casino and asked if we wanted to go to a free show. He asked if we were married and made over $75, 000 a year. If so, all we would need to do was sit through a 90 minute presentation were they would provide a lunch. After the presentation we would receive tickets for a free show and $75 dollars in food vouchers. We stated that we were not interested in a timeshare presentation and he told us, “No, it’s definitely not a timeshare.” We accepted this offer, and relying upon those representations we were taken to the Wyndham Grand Desert on Harmon Avenue to the sales center.
During the presentation Russ Delaney, the Wyndham presenter, asked the question, “What is holding you back from vacationing now?” He said that money is holding us back and with this you would not have to worry about that because you are locked in at today’s prices. He referred to “locked in at today’s prices” multiple times. Also, this can be passed down to your kids who will enjoy it because the price won’t go up. These resorts are better than what you are currently staying in because they have a kitchen and all the comforts of home. Images of “example” rooms were shown in a Power Point presentation. He also stated that with this you would not have to spend hours in front of your computer looking for good vacation deals. With one simple phone call you could go anywhere in the world. This is why he personally owned it.
After the presentation we talked to Nicole Gunckel who said as an owner she loves inviting family on vacations so they can spend quality time together. She said we would be saving money if we would purchase this deal because we spend $5, 000 on travel now, so this package at $23, 800 would be paid for in 5 years. Then, we would be getting the rest of the vacations of our lifetime for free and we can pass these free vacations down to our children. She said that this is not a timeshare it is a deeded property and that is why she has a real estate license to sell it. If we are ever tired of it or can’t travel we can sell it back to Wyndham for a profit since it is a real estate investment and the vacation costs will still go up even in this economy. She used Athens, Greece as an example of how the points work because that is a place we want to visit. She quoted us that a trip will be 77, 000 points and since we would have 154, 000 that would be two great vacations a year which is better than our current situation of one vacation a year. Nicole stated that this included airfare with the plus partner option because the trip was 70, 000 points and the 7, 000 was for airfare.
Nicole said that she was going to be our personal representative and gave us a card with her phone numbers at work, her cell phone number, and her e-mail. She said she would help us “work the system” to get the maximum out of our purchase. She said that her manager might come over and if they do we should ask for an all expense paid trip to Greece. When William Weatherspoon came over to talk to us, we did just that and asked for an all expense paid trip to Greece. He said he would be glad to set that up and left to go work on the paperwork for Greece. Nicole said we should ask for another one…where did we want to go? When William came back we asked about an all expense paid trip to Hawaii also and this time he said he didn’t know if he could and he would go check with corporate. When he left Nicole again said he has one more thing he is allowed to give away and he will come back to say yes to Hawaii. She said when he does you should also ask for a cruise. So he did and we did. Mr. Weatherspoon said that is all he can do since we now have three all expense paid vacations. We were still not sure and William said that this was our chance because you can’t go through the presentation again. He said with purchasing in July 2010 we would get an additional 6 months to use our purchased points and the three free trips and bonus points were good for two years until 2012.
We have yet to use any of the items promised or purchased because the information we were told at the presentation/sale was misrepresented and/or false.
1. This is not a deeded property. What we received from the Title Company was an “Ownership Certificate.”
2. We were told we could start using our points right away in July 2010 and that would give us a year and a half to use them before December 2011. The use year actually does not start until January 2011 and was left off of our purchase summary document and it is attached for reference.
3. We were told the bonus points could be used however we wanted. The truth is they are required to be used as a set vacation package Wyndham offers.
4. We were told that 7, 000 points can be used for airfare and when we reviewed the point chart with PlusPartners, it would take 200, 000 for a flight to Hawaii and for both of us to go 400, 000. With Wyndham Rewards it would be 90, 000 points to Hawaii and for both of us 180, 000. Either way, we can not use our points for flights because we only have 154, 000 total points and it was represented as enough for resort and airfare for two separate vacations.
5. The amount of points for a vacation was also misrepresented. It will take 105, 000 points to cover the resort for a vacation we discussed. That is 35, 000 more points and does not leave enough points to take a second equal vacation.
6. The point amounts required for a vacation can/will change at Wyndham’s discretion. Therefore, we are not locked in at today’s prices and vacation will cost us more points each year. Our purchase will be losing value instead of gaining.
7. The maintenance fees are also subject to change and have already increased in four months. Again, not locked in at today’s prices and paying more each year.
8. The locations of the resorts were misrepresented. We discussed Athens, Greece and there is not a resort offered in Athens, Greece. This does not allow us to vacation “anywhere in the world we want.” Other destinations we talked about with Nicole do not have a resort either or the resort is far away from the attraction.
9. Nicole said her other owners do not pay maintenance fees because regular monthly use of the Wyndham Reward credit card earns them enough points to pay the fees. Relying on her information, signed up for that credit card. For minimum benefit I would need to spend over $5, 000 a month to get 10, 000 points in order to cover $60 in maintenance fees. This is not my average use of a credit card and $60 wouldn’t cover all the current fees.
10. We were not provided with any rules, limitations or conditions to the usage of our points. There are extra fees for each step/transaction you want to make to take a vacation. To transfer points to take a RCI vacation it is $194 and a transaction fee of $30, if you call instead of using their website it is $29 more. To bring family you have to get a guest certificate for another fee.
11. We were promised three all expense paid trips (including airfare) and paperwork was to come in the mail from corporate. When it had been almost a month since our contract, I called Nicole to ask about them. She said she would check and to give her my e-mail. I didn’t hear back from her and I tried to contact her through the e-mail on her business card. That e-mail was not correct, nor was the one on the contract. I called and left a message again on her voice mail. She had not responded after two more days, so I called the main line to get her correct e-mail. They were not sure either and I sent out test e-mails to a variety of possible addresses. Finally, contacted Nicole on 7/29/10. On 7/30/10, she replied that the cruise was sent to us and now Mr. Weatherspoon would assist us with the other trips tomorrow. This e-mail is attached for reference. Mr. Weatherspoon called a few days later and said he would set the Hawaii trip up in the system so that all I needed to do was call the 1-800 number and ask to redeem my Hawaii trip. Then, for Greece I needed to decide on my dates and call him and he would personally put it in the system for me. When I later tried to redeem the Hawaii trip by calling on 10/26/10 Naomi said that the computer wasn’t showing any trips. I called William that same day and he said that he would have to look up my contract and get back to me tomorrow because the corporate offices were closed. When he didn’t call at the agreed time on 10/27/10, I called him. His voicemail recording said that it was full so I couldn’t leave a message. I called the main sales # and left a message there for Mr. Weatherspoon. When I still hadn’t heard back I called Nicole and left a message also. On 10/28/10, I was able to leave a message on William’s voice mail. Around an hour later I decided I should call the main line and see if he is in because I wanted to get this resolved. Mark said William Weatherspoon was no longer with the company. I told him the whole story and he could verify the information with Nicole Gunckel because she was there when we were promised the trips. Mark replied that Nicole Gunckel was no longer with the company either, but he can get Rita Abrahams who was William’s manager to call me back later that night. Ms. Abrahams never returned the call. When you call about a problem you get transferred to different departments and no one is sure how to help you. The only people that call want you to come to owner’s meetings and bring friends.
12. The 90 minute length of time was misrepresented as well as the food. Transportation took 45 minutes to get to the sales office with all the stops. The lunch that was promised at the casino had chicken breast and other selections. When we arrived the lunch that was served was a small square of overheated, dry lasagna on a styrofoam plate. With out a real lunch, we were very hungry during the 5 hours we were there.
13. Important details of the contract were omitted from the sales discussion such as the 5 day cancellation period.
If we had known that these representations were untrue, we would not have made a purchase. My husband and I feel we were subjected to a high-pressure sales presentation designed to keep us from reading the contracts, reflection or deliberation on the decision to purchase, discussing with each other the decision to purchase and omitting crucial facts about the timeshare
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