The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Resolved
Festiva Resortsfestiva resorts misleads consumers

S Review updated:

If you are considering buying a timeshare do NOT buy from Festiva Resorts. My husband and I own a timeshare that we bought from Equivest in 2000. In 2007, Festiva purchased Equivest and has since been trying to convert all the Equivest owners over to Festiva. They have been using misleading information and using scare tactics to get over $3000 from each Equivest owner to “convert” to Festiva. Basically, they are trying to charge us $3000 to buy what we already own. The sales rep we dealt with made several claims which we found out were false. We have had issues dealing with Festiva to make reservations and get our maintenance fees paid. I have heard nothing good about this company and recently read an account where the Attorney General in Missouri took Festiva to court and Festiva was found guilty of misleading consumers. Numerous complaints have been filed with the Attorney General in North Carolina (where Festiva’s home offices are located) regarding the fraudulent activities of Festiva. This company cannot be trusted.

There is a group on Yahoo made up of Equivest/Peppertree owners and if you are an owner of an Equivest/Peppertree timeshare and wish to exchange ideas, share experiences, or get information then join us at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Equivest-PeppertreeOwners/. We hope to join together to file a complaint against Festiva.

Responses

  • Fe
    Fedup223 Apr 23, 2019

    Is there anyway to cancel Festiva?

    0 Votes
  • Bu
    bunnyhop58 Jul 04, 2016

    Festiva doesn't care if you can feed your family, I got out of my timeshare with those crooks. Feel free to email me, if you are doing a class action there is lots of info out there. [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    John Tipton Jun 21, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    United States

    Hi, I have a time share unit or points thru Equivest at Blue Ridge Villas in North Carolina. Recently we have been taken over or managed by Festiva Resorts. We have had several presentation opportunities with Festiva which we attended in thier effort to convert us to The Adventure Club. This process of converting was going to cost several thousand dollars which we would not even consider.
    There lastest attempt to get us to convert is a 990.00 dollar conversion cost to the Adventure Club in which by my appraisel is not as flexible as the contract I have with Eqivest. They have what I call a scare tactic within the package. They have noted that Eqivest has a dwindling membership which is going to amount to larger maintenance fees and special assessments.

    I have several questions to anyone that is knowledgeable about this subject:

    Is Equivest going to go under because of dwindling memberships and defaults?

    Is the fact of much higher maintenance fees just a threat or reality?

    Is Festiva a time share resort that I would want to be a part of?

    What is the fate of Equivest Owners if the membership does go under?

    Should we hang on to our Equivest contract to the bitter end?

    Any advise on this matter would be appreciated,
    john

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Karenmoore Feb 02, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    My husband and I purchased in Myrtle Beach last year. We spent over $15, 000 on this crap and had an uneasy feeling from the start. We should've known! They NEVER answer the phone and do not care if you get to go on vacation at all. I hope Festiva goes bankrupt!

    0 Votes
  • Ad
    adsap Apr 21, 2011

    mainebuttassfly you do have up to 18 months to book the thing... it is spring break and they prob aren't going to put freeloaders up at resort during peak times... sorry thats just the logical way i like to use my head but i guess you dont have the capacity to do that.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    MaineButthahfly Apr 21, 2011

    We visited a Festiva Presentation in Portland, Maine. The pressure was very high. My husband and I just did not have the money that they wanted. It was "sign today" or this offer will NEVER be given to you again. We did end up buying a weeks vacation deal. There were specific dates that we could take the vacation. However, when we went to book our vacation in the Bahamas, there was nothing available. We tried New Orleans, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Missouri. All unavailable. I asked what they did have available. Rangeley resort. We paid all that money for a vacation 20 minutes from home. Unbelievable. No refunds. We had to take it. I am so glad that we did not sign for the big deal. I DO NOT RECOMMEND FESTIVA---Scammers!

    -1 Votes
  • Ad
    adsap Apr 13, 2011

    This thread is a joke.

    0 Votes
  • Ad
    adsap Apr 13, 2011

    why would you put down a payment of over 30%? or is that a lie?

    0 Votes
  • Ms
    mshellh Apr 05, 2011

    If anyone is starting a class action suit on this let me know. Please. We are in the same sitation as everyone else. Got suckered into buying something we have never been able to use. We really need out. Can't afford the payments anymore and its starting to damage my credit and they are harrassing me on my cell phone and at work. We have NEVER been able to use the points and were told everywhere we called that festiva doesn't own any of the resorts they rent a spot during certin timeframes and book from that. But none of those timeframes are during times anyone actually wants to vacation there. Please contact me here if anyone is starting a lawsuit. I live in Louisiana. What I don't understand is how this is called a mortgage when there is no tangible property attached to it.

    0 Votes
  • Sh
    Sharon L. Brown Feb 24, 2011

    FYI - The yahoo board for the Equivest/Peppertree members changed its name a while back. The new link is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Peppertree-EquivestOwners/.

    0 Votes
  • Sh
    Sharon L. Brown Feb 24, 2011

    FYI - The Yahoo group changed its name at some point...it is now
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Peppertree-EquivestOwners/.

    0 Votes
  • Fe
    Festiva Rep Feb 21, 2011

    JRS2508,

    I am not aware of any such card ever existing, however I may be able to help you if I could research your account and see what took place. We take customer service very serious and would like the opportunity to answer any questions you may have. Please email us your contact and account information to [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Jr
    JRS2508 Feb 21, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    In March 2007 I purchased a Festiva timeshare in Charleston, Sc only because a special travelcard promised discount trips around the world . I gave $2300 downpayment, made 13 payments @ $312 each and 2 $500 maintenace fees in 1 year. And never was able to access travel card or website. It was under construction according to Representative from Festiva. I tried to get a refund to no avail. So I stopped payments in hope of this turning into a legal matter that would be taken into SC court. To this day I have never heard from this company, or received any refund of my $7000.

    0 Votes
  • Fe
    Festiva Rep Feb 15, 2011

    Please send us your contact information to [email protected] and I will have a customer service representative contact you to address your concerns. We look forward to hearing from you.

    0 Votes
  • Fi
    fixed week converter Feb 15, 2011

    I am really nervous after reading these posts concerning Festiva. We owned fixed week at Banner Elk for 15 yrs, and took the same vacation every year, and made the most of it. For the last 3 yrs, we just simply ignored the messages from the sales staff, and done our thing. In Sept. 2010, we agreed to give them an hour to show us the points system, so we could understand it, and we ended up spending 5 hrs. The rep told us that the maintenance fees would continue to go up, and they were 90% plus converted to points, and we would eventually convert too. I offered to sell them our fixed week, for way less than we paid, but they declined, and we wrote them a check for the required conversion, then on top of that our maintenance fees tripled. We always pay them for what they say we owe, whether we agree or not, but our last vacation to Banner Elk was horrible. They moved us because there was no reception on the TV, but we have complained about that for the last 5 yrs. We are currently planning a trip to the beach area, and my hope is that we dont have any issues like the poor folks that we have read about. I would like to know how many actually converted. I felt like we were pressured into this, and had to buy our LIFETIME of vacations, ALL OVER AGAIN.

    0 Votes
  • Rg
    RGinGA Dec 08, 2010

    I feel the same as most of you. Is there any way I can get any $ out of my timeshare and NOT pay anymore? I just want OUT. My husband & I bought this "great" deal in Charleston this past July. We've regretted ever since. Please let us know what we should do. We don't want to pay anything but don't want our credit damaged. [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Fe
    Festiva Rep Dec 06, 2010

    we are sorry to see you have concerns with your ownership. Please send us your contact information to [email protected] and I can have a manager review your account. We look forward to the opportunity to address your concerns and answer you questions.

    0 Votes
  • Fe
    Fedup with Festva Dec 04, 2010

    My wife and I bought in with Equivest in nov 2000 and basicly was told a bunch of lies from get go fron the salesman Jerry Gilly we was told we would get a deed and that this was not a timeshare. Well we have never gotten to go where we"ve wanted to go and have had to settle for whatever now Festiva owns and tried there scare tactics with us. We requested to give it back we owed nothing and was told we could not give it back, then we get a new bill in the mail for 300 and some odd dollars that the letter stated would have to be paid every year for 3 years and then we still have the maintenance fees on top of that. I am in the process now of talking to Sen Heath Shuler about this matter to see if we can just shut this ripp off company Festiva down atleast in North Carolina. We need relief in this matter.

    -1 Votes
  • Af
    Africa2010 Nov 30, 2010

    Not sure what will come of me this year. I had a guy come to my house to pressure me to switch to points for $3500.00. He didn't tell me the cost until wasting my time for 1 hour. Then he got upset, saying I would eventually convert, but it will not be for the "generous" offer given above. Something like $6000. Whatever. While the managers previous to Festiva were Peppertree and then Fairfield, my maintanence fees never went up more than $20 each year. NOW, it went up over $50 the first year they "owned me" and $104 last year. I still haven't received my bill for this year..scared to see what it will be. Then I tried to contact RCI to bank my week but can't until I pay the maintenance fee... yeah, I know, but when is the bill coming? FYI- NOW what RCI has done with us color/fixed weeks people is make each week worth a point/power system when you bank your week. Trying to figure out how your value is determined is a mystery to me. So if anyone has any advise... please share. They are damned determined to make us switch to points... DON"T pay for this... seems like a rip off to me.

    0 Votes
  • Mo
    mommy aint happy Nov 29, 2010

    I want you to know I am VERY disappointed in this timeshare company! I will NEVER buy from this company and I will be letting people know how they are VERY dishonest and don’t make it easy for anyone to own property. I was given a dollar amount for fees every year and was told they don’t go up much at all. I understand there are fees that go up it is a part of life but to add SPECIAL ASSESSMENT fees on my account 2 years in a row for hundreds of dollars is out of control. “the Festiva Adventure Club has also seen the effects of the economic recession as have many other industries, businesses and individuals. In 2009 there was an increase in delinquencies and defaults from 8% to 14%. As a result the Festiva Adventure Club face some very large deficits heading into 2010 totaling nearly $900, 000.00. In order to face those deficits head on and to ensure that the Festiva Adventure Club continued to fulfill its mission of providing superior products and services to its members, the maintenance fee structure was adjusted in 2010 to include 15% expected bad debt and defaults by its members. Fortunately we can say with certainty at this point that delinquencies and defaults will not exceed 15% for 2010. We anticipate that your increase from 2010 to 2011 will be nominal. However, 2011 will also be the year in which the Festiva Adventure Club must assess its first (and hopefully its last) SPECIAL ASSESSMENT.” So you’re telling me that because others ARE NOT paying I have to pay for them!!! That isn’t how it works in other businesses. My husband is a paramedic if someone doesn’t pay for the ambulance ride they don’t charge the person that is using the ambulance next! My yearly maintenance fees have gone up $144.00 in 2 years. I call today to book a vacation for my kids and was told I have to buy more points because the 4500 points I just moved over that we didn’t use this year is not available for me to use until Jan or Feb. WHAT!!! They are my points I don’t want to buy 500 more points I want to use what I have there. This is POOR customer service and a POOR way to treat your owners. I wish there was a way I could get out of this mess and NEVER hear the word FESTIVA again. I will be turning this into the Better Business Bureau. Tell me what I am to do? I am at the point that I CAN NOT afford this vacation. So I guess next year someone else will be paying for my deficit. BET YOU WOULDN’T SELL ONE OF THESE TO YOUR FRIENDS.

    1 Votes
  • Br
    BrookJo Apr 16, 2019

    @mommy aint happy Hi, I’m currently in the same situation with these crooks and wanted to know how your story ended with Festiva. There is no one to turn to for help with getting out. Any information you can give me would be most helpful. Thank you so much and advance!!

    0 Votes
  • Iw
    I want out! Nov 01, 2010

    I am yet another frustrated Festiva Resort timsehare owner, who was pressured into selling while on vacation n the Bahamas, I never visited my timeshare, just saw photos on the wall! I live in Louisiana and have yet to take one trip, nothing available, unless Im willing to spend more money, I want out! I plan on filing a complaint with the Attorney General Office. If there is a class action, please count me in and provide contact information. These people are rip-off artists and not at all as they appear during the presentation, and No I have not been able to get assistance with how to get out from under this rip-off!

    0 Votes
  • Br
    Brian in Maine Aug 06, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I backed out within the grace period... sometimes i am so smart i shock myelf! Festiva is a SCAM as is most of these vacation deals.

    1 Votes
  • Nc
    ncmountainman Jul 31, 2010

    Correct site for Festiva complaints, call to action and discussions http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Peppertree-EquivestOwners/ as of 7/31/10

    0 Votes
  • Nc
    ncmountainman Jun 30, 2010

    As for the yahoo group site for Equivest/Peppertree owners it seems to have disappeared. Ihave found one named http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Peppertree-EquivestOwners/ A little switching of wording. Have not been excepted yet so not sure if ligit. Wonder what happened to other. Seems originator "settled" his concerns with Festiva. New site with flipping of the name? Festiva ploy? Contact the North Carolina Attorney General's Office? [protected], Deborah Ahlman [protected] You may also want to try the NC Real Estate Commission [protected] They used scare tactics on me also, calling my home and at their resots. One even stated that they had already converted 90% of Equivest inventory to Festiva and that the rest of us would be stuck paying all the expenses of the club if we did not convert and there would be little inventory available to use. Maybe if enough people complain about Festiva's scare tactics to the NC Attorney General's office and NC real Estate Commission, Festiva can be forced to refund the money and return owners and inventory to Equivest/ Peppertree Vacation Club. I am sure most who have converted have found the Festiva Club not near as good as Peppertree and only did so out of fear or deception. Why else would you pay thousands of dollars for a less flexible vacation club?

    0 Votes
  • Wa
    wayne from Dallas Jun 15, 2010

    My wife and I purchased a timeshare at Stormy Point 3 years ago, and are visiting as I write for our second time. Everything that we were promised was done. We absolutely love Stormy Point and look forward to our every other year visit. The people that work here and those to whom we placed our reservations have been nothing but professional and nice to talk with. I agree with earlier emails in that you must read and understand what you are getting into. We were wondering whether the property would suffer any disrepair since our last visit. It is just as attractive and welcoming as we found in our first visit. I am sorry to hear that some have not had a good experience with Stormy Point. That is unfortunate because we have been bringing our grown children and their spouses along with my 89 year old Mom and we have had a restful and relaxing time. Oh, the maintainance fee is somewhere between 4 and 5 hundred which is not too bad either. We did experience a tiring pressure sales presentation to switch to points last time but we just said, "No". I like the fixed week. It works for us. Perhaps some of the others who complained needed to be able to "just say no" and they would not be in the fret that they are in today.
    Wayne from Dallas...

    0 Votes
  • Ho
    holcomb 28 Jun 13, 2010

    Please get in touch and tell me when we can talk.I have been a owner since 1985.I got abill the other week about more money plus fees. Thanks Steve Holcomb

    0 Votes
  • Fe
    Festiva Rep Jan 25, 2010

    Paul Reds;
    We have always been operating under the company name Festiva Hospitality Group, and we have started using that name in place of Festiva Resorts as part of our 10 year anniversary initiatives this year. If you have any specific questions or concerns, we are more than happy to help you reach a resolution. Please contact us at [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Pa
    paul Reds Jan 24, 2010

    Festiva Resrts has change there name to Festiva Hospitality Group, same people that stole you money before! What do you think about a company that has ripped off so many people that they had to change there name?

    0 Votes
  • Fe
    Festiva Rep Jan 13, 2010

    Douglass K.,
    I'm sorry that you had a negative experience at our office in Maine. There are certain qualifications that all guests must meet when taking a tour in order to receive a prize or be entered into a raffle, and i will be happy to put you in touch with someone in our Marketing department in Portland to clarify this. Please write to [email protected] with your name and the date of your tour, and we can have someone look into your situation. Also, the Festiva Adventure Club is our vacation club product and that is consistent at all of our sales sites. Further, the raffle is legitimate if qualifications are met and a presentation is completed. At the last raffle drawing over the summer, Chad Bevins of Scarborough, Maine, won two 2009 Ski-Do snowmobiles with a trailer.

    Shadoe;
    I will be happy to have someone contact you to further explain the maintenance fees and how they are calculated. Please write to us at [email protected] with the name on your account and I will have someone get in touch with you.

    0 Votes
  • Sh
    Shadoe Jan 05, 2010

    We traded 2 weeks at OBBC, 1 week at The Atrium and cash (of course) for the Adventure Club. The salesman promised lower maint. fees. We recently received our bill for 2010 and WOW $3, 727.50. Festiva must be nuts. I called to verify that the bill was correct. The lady I talked to said that a lot of owners had defaulted on their loans and the paying owners had to make up the difference. Sounds too much like the federal government to me.
    Double D

    0 Votes
  • Do
    Douglass K. Oct 31, 2009

    My wife and I live in Maine, and when walking through the mall we saw a stand that said win a free trip to Foxwoods, I filled out the form and was called up by Festiva and was told I won a free three day and two night stay if we come to this presentation, so we showed up with our 4 week old child since she wasn't taking the bottle yet (she refuses, but we will get her to take it), and filled out their forms and showed identification and showed them we had a credit card and then sat there for 15 min and then they told us that we can't go on the tour because we had our baby with us, oh and we don't get our free trip either.

    Festiva Resorts is a rip off and the raffle is fake. Do not go anywhere near this place, oh they also pass themselves off as the "Adventure Club" in Portland Maine.

    0 Votes
  • Fe
    Festiva Rep Oct 20, 2009

    South Rocks;

    I am sorry that you've had trouble with your membership. I have forwarded your comments to our Owner Services supervisor, but in order to better assist you please send an e-mail with the first and last name on your contract to [email protected] with the best way to contact you, and I can have the appropriate person contact you directly tp resolve your issues. We are certainly willing to help as we hate to see any of our owners or members unhappy.

    1 Votes
  • Pl
    PLong Oct 20, 2009

    I have been an owner with festiva for 6 yrs and have enjoyed every minute. My salesperson was Tim Railsback which was very professional, he answered alot of questions so we would understand exactly how to use it.There is alot of info that you need to understand and its done quick. But it was worth the extra time we spent to read and understand exactly what we were buying.It has been a true blessing to be able to go on vacations with are children something that we will always cherish, not that we couldnt have taken them places but festiva offer places an vacations that the whole family loved something for all to enjoy and experience

    0 Votes
  • So
    south rocks Oct 14, 2009

    DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM FESTIVA RESORTS!!! Please read the contract!!! We have been owners in Banner Elk Peppertree Resorts for 20 years. We are DEED OWNERS. We just vacationed this past week. We were called and harassed for several days by the sales staff to speak with us about converting to the points. We met twice and did sign to convert. My parents are also DEED OWNERS .Festiva signed us both over for a small fee of $5800.oo . We still had some worries and read the contract over with my lawyer. My concern was with the 40 years roll over. READ # 15 in your contract (RENEWAL RIGHTS). It said you have the option to extend the membership term for an additinal 10 years if the owners notifies the club in writing at least 12 months prior to the EXPIRATION OF THE PURCHASER'S MEMBERSHIP TERM. THE COST TO RENEW AND EXTEND WILL BE EQUAL TO THE STANDARD ASSESSMENT PAYABLE BY MEMBER AS OF THE TIME MEMBER RENEWS OR A COMPARABLE AMOUNT DETERMINED BY THE CLUB AT SUCH TIME. WHAT WILL THE AMOUNT BE IN 40 YERAS???

    I asked the Project Director about this statement. He said I did not read the contact correctly which means my lawyer did not as well. MR. M said that statement refered to the maintenance fees. The maintenance fees are discused in # 7 of your contract. The word Maintenance is not in # 15 of your contract. I hate to think what is going to happen when the renewal fee is due.

    We decided to revock the contract. You have just 5 days to do so # 16 in your contact, you must respond with a written letter. After cancelling the contract we were treated very nasty by the Project Director and his staff .
    I WILL NEVER SIGN OR HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH CONVERTING TO THE POINTS AGAIN. I will take the phone off the hook from now on when I visit the resorts to have a quite vacation. We as owners shoud not have to deal with this every time we take a vacation.

    SOUTH CAROLINA

    1 Votes
  • Fe
    Festiva Rep Sep 24, 2009

    Mr. Burkholder;

    Increases in maintenance fees are directly related to the increases in operating costs and expenses including taxes, property/building maintenance, utilities, housekeeping, etc. When you receive your invoice, it will include a breakdown of your maintenance fee so that you can see where each dollar is going.

    There is more information on maintenance fees in the FAQ section of our website, www.festivaresorts.com.

    The maintenance fees at Stormy Point and many of our other resorts are relatively low in our industry. According to a study done by the vacation ownership industry's non-profit organization ARDA, based on surveys conducted by Ernst & Young, the average maintenance fee in 2008 in the U.S. was $646.

    -1 Votes
  • Sc
    SCAMMEDSOBAD Sep 23, 2009

    www.vogroup.net

    0 Votes
  • Tr
    Troy Burkholder Aug 26, 2009

    My Wife and I had purchased a unit in Branson a few years back. The first year we were unable to use our week and did not bank it.(our fault) The second year we traded for a place in Orlando with no problems at all. The only complaint I have is the maintenance fee's going up. If there are 50 owners per cabin the fee's should not go up every year due to the fact that everything is new and you are splitting the bill between 50 other owners. I feel we are being taken advantage of.

    1 Votes
  • Fe
    Festiva Rep Jul 20, 2009

    Ethics;

    If you contact us directly with your name, contact information, and the specifics of the sales tactics that you encountered (the date, time and name of your salesperson if possible), then we will certainly do all that we can to research the situation and come to a solution. If you do not wish to post your personal information in a public forum, please message me directly or send an e-mail with the information to [email protected] We take it very seriously when our customers are not satisfied, and we will do everything that we can to work with you towards a solution.

    0 Votes
  • Et
    ethics Jul 20, 2009

    I am seeking to file a class action law suit against festiva for utilizing misleading and fraudulent sales tactics. I live in New Orleans and am curious to know if one must live in the same state as others who are interested in filing a suit against the same corporation.

    2 Votes
  • An
    anticipation May 27, 2009

    Dear All,

    We just signed with Festiva in Feb. 09. We are in the same city as out unit, New Orleans. We will use our site for swimming, lodging and driving them crazy if I don't get what was promised. I will sit at their front door and discourage people from purchasing.

    We purchased Festiva to be able to use Interval for short stays for Hurricane Evacuation.

    I trust this will work out.

    TCJ, New Festiva Owner

    0 Votes

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