Peppertree/Equivest/FestivaUnhappy Peppertree/Equivest/Festiva Timeshare Owner

B
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Verified customer

If you are unhappy with a timeshare membership that you own, you are not alone!
I am one, also. I originally bought a package thru Peppertree, which eventually changed ownership several times…Peppertree to Equivest to Fairfield to Festiva.

There are a growing number of us unhappy owners…our complaints are to many to list here, but include: ever-rising annual maintenance fees, unavailability of resorts for booking, unsavory practices of sales reps & management, etc….to the general rip-off nature of the timeshare system itself.

We have a yahoo discussion group set up, where we are coming together to offer support, exchange info., ideas, & experiences, etc….along with a current movement to join together to file complaints & make our voices heard. The yahoo group is completely free to join, all you need is a yahoo ID. We speak candidly, & there’s lot’s of good information to be had there. We have approved memberships only, as to keep out ‘moles’ & spies from the timeshare companies.
Come check us out:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Equivest-PeppertreeOwners/

Billy Earnest
Asheville, NC

More Peppertree/Equivest/Festiva Complaints & Reviews

Responses

  • Je
    jerry Aug 04, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Do not let Festiva Reps in your home. They are just the worst!

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Ron Smith Aug 23, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Because of issues like these when I was at a Festiva Resort (via timeshare exchange) I told them I would not take a tour of Festiva due to the complaints on the web. I encourage everyone to do the same when presented the opportunity. When asked to review their resorts / Open House / Vacations tell them the same thing I did not until you guys CLEAN UP YOUR ACT. Resolve the complaints on the web and I might visit but not until then.

    0 Votes
  • To
    Tom and Patsy Roach Oct 27, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    When the Festiva reps. came to our home, I had a very specific set of questions to ask them, and even recorded the conversation on tape. Even this was not enough to "frighten them straight." They lied, and again, my wife and I were duped into believing these charlatans. My advice to you is very simple...don't go near Festiva, and never let them into your home!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ne
    Nelson Smith Nov 11, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    We unfortunately let a Festiva Salesman into our house over concern of what was going to happen to our Peppertree/Equivest points timeshare. We actually signed on the dotted line to join their Adventure Club (and gave them cash) thinking it was our only option to keep anything we had. Fortunately we sat down and read all the fine print after the salesman hurriedly left before answering all our questions. So within the five day limit. through numerous telephone calls with their management, we were able to get out of that contract (and get our money back) and are back to being Equivest Owners. Now our fear is are we owners of anything and how high is our maintenance fee going to go. Festiva actually told us they would take our points off our hands if we wanted to give the points to them and we wouldn't be responsible for the annual maintenance fee and we'd be out of the timeshare business and not responsible for any maintenance fee (in other words, no one is interested in buying what you have but we'll take it)??

    0 Votes
  • Lu
    luther & erma Barnes Jan 05, 2009

    I am an unhappy timeshare owner with Diamond resorts which was London Bridge/Epic, then Sunterra, and now Diamond Resorts and since we bought in 1999 our maintainance fees has trippled from $400.00 to $1200. We own 8500 pts. and each year we have had to use most of it to help pay the maintainance fees leaving us only 2, 125 pts to use. and after using the pts. to pay part of the maintainance fees we still had to pay $890.40. So you can see why I'm
    unhappy, we don't have enough points left to take a decent vacation plus the amount of money we are paying out we could have just save two or three houndred dollars more and taken a nice vacation.

    0 Votes
  • Na
    Nate and Annette Williams Jan 05, 2009

    We are also owners at Diamond Resorts. We too originally purchased our timeshare through London Bridge/Epic and when they were bought out by Sunterra, we lost 1, 000 points and our maintenance fee went up because of "upgrades" to several of the location (we visited the Las Vegas location and nothing had been done; it stilled looked like they purchased an apartment complex from the late 80's and stuck a timeshare name on it). Every year the maintenance fees go up (voted on by the "board") and if we don't pay them, we loose our timeshare and all the money that we have already invested over the years. Our maintenance fees were $296.00 in 2006 and $741.11 in 2007. Nothing was done to merit the increase other than Sunterra buying out Epic; we had to pay for their acquisition and they receive the profit. We are charged top dollar for the points, but if we want to use them to pay our fees or exchange them for something else, we are only given wholesale value. Fees are calculated on the full point value to determine how much you owe, but at a fraction of the value when you want to use them, i.e. 1000 point =$200.00. It would be great if we did ban together and change the way the timeshare industry is handled.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Massie Feb 03, 2009
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    We were just talked in to converting to Festiva this past weekend. We're still in the five day period. I have had a nagging that something wasn't right. We had paid off our Peppertree property last year but disgusted with the increase in maintenance fees and the unavailabilites to get in. Festiva made it sound like we really had no option but to rebuy at $10k and 16% interest. Please fill us in so if we need to cancel we can. If we cancel the contract are we going to be able to use the Peppertree property or exchange it for other vacation time?

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    Billy Earnest Feb 03, 2009
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Based on what I know I recommend this - Cancel the deal if you can!

    We have a free yahoo discussion group dedicated to this matter - please join there...post your questions, read posts, share information, etc...

    Here's our group:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Equivest-PeppertreeOwners/

    I don't normally field emails directly at my personal address. The group can give you lots of info. I'm just one person.

    Thanks,

    Billy Earnest

    0 Votes
  • He
    Heather Apr 12, 2009

    Festiva calls all the resorts in myrtle beach that do not have a switch board operator and asks for all your personal information. If you get a call inside your hotel and they state guest services, come to front desk and make sure. We as hotels/resorts DO NOT run surveys on their guests in house, they will wait til they check out and if there is an email address on file they will send a survey, but WE DO NOT RUN SURVEYS ON GUESTS IN HOUSE. If you are among the guests getting caught in this trap please hang up your phone. But also be advised that they are also calling these guests back and cussing at them and telling them that they will keep calling til you take their tour. DONT FALL TRAP TO THIS SCAM!!!

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    Billy Earnest Jun 07, 2009
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    My complaints with Festiva/Peppertree/Equivest have been resolved. I have no further comment on this matter.

    Billy Earnest

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    Louise R. Dec 29, 2009

    I too have been scammed by this company. I would advise all future parties to be aware of these fast talking wolves in sheep clothing. I wish to join with any group going after this company.
    M. Robinson

    0 Votes
  • Br
    Broke? Mar 09, 2010

    Anyone read the Peppertree By the Sea newsletter? Says that corporate owner of 772 unit weeks will not being paying this year.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Robin Owens May 24, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    We have been members for a very long time, we first bought a week got it paid for then found out about the points system and paid another 7, 000 dollars to just switch to points told we would still own the week we paid for but we wouldn't be paying maintance fees anymore!!! We would just be paying club membership fees which at the time we were paying 500 a year for the week and switching to points would just be 400 and it would be more flexable to use. Paid that 7, 000 and then came a letter stating that they thought it was unfair to the ones who just owned by the week so they would also be charging us by the points again too!!! Remember the 7, 000 we were told unless we wanted additional points we wouldn't be charged for points again!!! So then our 3500 points went to 1, 000 dollars a year within the same year we had already paid 400 for that was due in august, the 1000 was due 4mths. later no prior warning or anything!!! We have since been arging with everybody we could get a hold of that this was a billing error of course we are always talking to someone other than who we should and told another number to call which says the same thing this has been going on for years!!! Now its 1, 300 a year and if you don't pay that they send it to a collection agency we have perfect credit and don't want it ruined!! My husband and I are now disable and can't use it anymore so our 30 year old sons try to in 3 yrs. they were able to go to n. myrtle beach once that was 3 yrs. ago!!! In the beginning when it was peppertree we enjoyed alot of really nice beach vac. but the trouble all started when they sold the first time and is continuing to get worse by the year!!! How the heck can you get rid of this fraudlant draining company and make them pay for the lies they have told one after another!!! We need desperately to get out now before this company manages to bankrupt us!!! Anyone have the answer please let me know at [protected]@yahoo.com and please don't reply if you want money to sell it or anything else!!! We have been scammed way to much!!! Thank You for creating a place we can vent and hopefully someone will be wealth enough with the right power to take these people to court for all of us!!! President Obam holding bankers to be accountable as well as car companies so why hasn't anyone made timeshare feet to the fire yet!!!

    0 Votes
  • Nc
    NC Condor Jul 27, 2010

    Has anyone filed a lawsuit against Festiva/Equivest/Peppertree or spoken with any lawyer about filing a class action lawuit? It seems that all of us have been duped and will continue to be duped as this scam continues and the company morphs every few years into new ownership. It is interesting that Mr. Billy Earnest began this blog but now has resolved his differences/concerns with Equivest without explaining how or why . It would be nice to have some particulars unless he is precluded from sharing this information by some type of confidentiality agreement.

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    Billy Earnest Jul 27, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I agreed not to discuss the details of my 'resolution'.

    Billy Earnest

    0 Votes
  • J4
    J4rsu53 Oct 19, 2010

    We are Peppertree owners and are very unhappy with our timeshare. Festiva is a company with no morals or concerns for their owners. Timeshare is a complete sham and now is under investigation in many states. They are all the same, and the entire industry will be brought down. Contact me at [protected]@aol.com. We, as a group, can make a difference for the better. Companies such as these should be shut down and their management teams placed in jail for a long time.

    0 Votes
  • Mc
    mcstone Nov 04, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    In order to avoid any additional potential fees, the special assessment of $321.00 due by November 15, 2010 was paid on November 3, 2010. This amount is in addition to yearly maintenance fee which has increase approximately 30% over the past year.
    Prior to paying this special assessment I felt compelled to contact a representative to discuss the logic regarding the special assessment. To summarize; we will have this special assessment for 2010 and the two following years; There is no limit as to the cost of future assessments moving forward; Peppertree Resorts is to be self sufficient without Festiva adding revenue; Festiva justifies this extra cost by stating that Peppertree Resorts has been mismanaged and that we had been given a choice to change over to Festiva Adventure Club this past year ( at an additional cost).
    I also believe that the intention of Festiva is to force out Peppertree/Equivest property owners who use points until they relinquish their properties back to Festiva who will continue to expand their "Adventure Club" properties with those individuals.
    I did express my thoughts with the representative stating that these were dirty business practices and that it is difficult to find the value in being an owner. The representative stated that he thought there was an option to terminate the contract for a fee of approximately $2, 500.00.
    I will continue to educate myself on my various options over the next year.
    This timeshare was purchased as an Equivest Property in June of 2001 as means of enhancing our quality of life. What was expected to be a positive experience has digressed to an “Albatross”. The cost of ownership has continued to increase at an astronomical rate thus removing the value aspect of owership.
    I would welcome any feedback regarding a means to change these circumstances.
    Best Regards all.

    0 Votes
  • Mc
    mcstone Dec 14, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Since posting my original situation a representative from Festiva has contacted me and issues have been resolved.

    0 Votes
  • Le
    leaird Jan 21, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I too am having terrible problems with Festiva. We purchased a timeshare 14 years ago from Peppertree. Since then, our maintenance fees have gone through the roof! They are now up t0 $1069.60. Plus, we were charged an additional special assessment this year of $321. Everyone here has the same complaints in regards to the fees but ours goes a step further. We moved 7 years ago into a new home. We have changed our address with Festiva EVERY SINGLE YEAR and still they do not send us our bills. Every year we have to remember to call them to find out how much we owe. Well, this year we called as usual and changed our address yet again. We were promised that they would send a bill to our home so we could pay. Well, no bill ever arrived. So, my husband called them back today so he could pay over the phone before we get hit with late fees. That's when he found out about the special assessment which he also paid. They sent confirmation emails to me where I see that they have tacked on an additional $148.78 in late fees, interest, and collection fees!!! When I tried to call to straighten this mess out I received a message to leave my name and number because everyone is busy right now. Could it be that they have thousands of other pissed off customers in line ahead of me? Every year I do what it takes to make sure that my bill is paid on time even though I never actually receive the bill from Festiva. There was no possible way for me to know about this Special Assessment in order to pay it on time.

    This made me mad enough to get directly on the internet to start researching my options. That is how I found this website. I will be contacting the Attorney General's Office and Better Business Bureau by the end of the day. There is no way that Festiva can justify charging late fees, interest, and collection fees for a bill that they never sent to us even after we have changed our address with them year after year after year. It is time that we all join together in a class action lawsuit. I will be joining the Yahoo Group today to discuss this possibility with you all. I believe my case will be very valuable in proving Festiva's negligence and bogus fees. I believe what they are doing is intentional as a means of increasing revenue. How can they justify charging a collection fee when no actions have been taken to actually collect my debt? They have my correct email address and phone number yet I have not received any communication from them. If they have mailed anything to my old address of 7 years ago, I hate to tell them that the post office doesn't forward mail that long!

    See you all soon on Yahoo Groups,
    Elizabeth Leaird

    0 Votes
  • Rg
    RGinGA Feb 10, 2011

    Elizabeth, Have you gotten anything settled with FESTIVA? I'm in the process of filing complaints. I would love to hear from you. [protected]@aol.com

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Robin Owens Feb 10, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    we have the same problems here too. What I don't understand is if we are paying property tax assessment fee which we all do no matter what, then how do they get by selling something we all are suppose to own without an opt. to get out of our contracts. We didn't receive any money due to the sell I'm sure no one else did either but I'll bet they sure did or they wouldn't have sold it not just once but several times. None of us know anything about all this going on untill after the fact only then instead of us who are suppose to own something as they say which is bull sh_t possibly getting something from this in a positive manner we wind up getting no just another bill but its a whole lot more than it should have been. If we want any changes made or even if we don't we have to pay a huge amount for our change so why don't they if they want to make a change not have to do something like even letting us opt. out all together isn't that what they are doing when its sold! They don't continue to pay the pay the new owner that would be crazy right so why is it not the same for us? I wouldn't mind one bit if I knew we could legally be done with this mess to just simply cut our huge losses and give it back! If we pay this huge forever raising fee we still can't use it because its not worth the paper and the time they wrote these phony documents oh excuse me one sided contracts on because there is nothing ever available for anywhere or time. we have tried for at least the last three years to simply go to any beach or around an amusement park nothing is available!! If just give up like I was told a couple of years ago to just not pay it we will ruin an A plus credit rating we have always strive to keep and they know this because they keep track of all of us! How do you think they know to keep raising our rates!! My husband retired close to two years ago now which he worked very hard to do early enough to enjoy his life some but we can't not with this crap going on! I had to go on disability about 7 yrs. ago as well knowing it would make it harder on us as well but you do what you have to do and you shouldn't have to worry about paying a darn timeshare fee not house payment, rent, car or utility bills, or even if you can buy food no we have worry about if our vacation.( that word is a joke) timeshare fee is going to be and yes we don't get a bill till way after the late fees or whatever they want to call this rapeing of all of us time after time is!! When our real estate tax on our house goes up we have a chance to as everyone does to dispute it and a council meeting is held so we can voice our concerns! Looks to me like this is such a illegal sham I just can't believe with all the lawyers out there suing for medical malpractice to everything else a lawyer can make major money on why hasn't one figured out they could really clean up on this stuff!! Where is our Government that wants to go so far as to tell us we can't let our kids play with squirt guns or even smoke outside probably even in our on yard which we are non smokers! What about the car makers and even the banks being bailed out on our dime as well why hasn't anyone stepped in to regulate this major screwing we all and their is alot of us get sometimes even more than once a year if they decided to up and change when they want it paid by like they did to us the first few times! Clark Howard even talked this past Sat. and Sun. about what a horrible I think his words where the biggest scam of all time this is but still just advised the person since it had only been 3 days before that man realized how he was being majorly robbed to continue with it told him to get a real estate lawyer and get out of it! That was fox news so why is this not a major story screwing of America at a time when we are in a depression doesn't one of this big news media go after these scam artist? I just don't understand yes we got ourself in to this but there is know way to get out!! I'm sorry this is along complaint but I am very angry over this! If anyone can come up with a real way to get us out of this without paying out more major money we don't have PLEASE let me know!! Don't contact me though if its just a scam to get me to pay up front to sell this for us we've heard that scam endless times too!! We just want out completely forever! Thanks for listening to my ram-balings its really a major sore spot for us!! Robin Owens [protected]@yahoo.com
    s

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Robin Owens Feb 10, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I can't get the yahoo group site to work. Anyone else having this problem? If someone knows alot about facebook and how to set up something there since it is growing maajor attention these days I think that would be a great way to really voice how we feel and to let the rest of the world know about these scam artist too. I would do it but I'm not that great as everyone can tell with the computer in itself let alone a group. I will join anything that doesn't cost us more money to get this out to the public and possible have some strength in groups of people to stop all of us from becoming and staying their victims! I have even heard if we die they can come after our heirs for money! I sure hope this isn't true but then again look at all they have and continue to do and manage to get by with it also add to their victims list daily as well!! Please someone come up with the right answer!! Thank you Robin Owens

    0 Votes
  • Sc
    scammed again annemarie Mar 03, 2011

    I recently took a tour in charlestown and signed up for the festive package to apply to a timeshare once paid
    off, I have since looked on line and saw all the complaints against them I have stopped my payments from beig
    taken out of my account. I will make a complaint against them, they are trying to still get my money and
    threating to put a bad credit against me [protected]@gmail.com, can anyone give me advice

    0 Votes
  • Je
    Jerry Polston Jul 09, 2011

    I have contacted the NC attorney generals office and have received a reply back from Festiva. Their key points to Peppertree Owners is that they do not "own us" or our contracts. They are simpy a managing company. The two companies operate on different trust agreements. (**NOTE - Festiva Resorts was the original name but they did not set up as a non-profit, thus the change to FAC; meaning they can be a "for profit" organization). Many people have been scammed out of their fixed weeks and those that have maintained their Peppertree (like myself) have seen MFs severely rise, opportunitiy for rentals decrease, limited space for PVTC members, higher assements, etc. WHY? The main reason is because Festiva has scammed and continues to scam PVTC members to convert. Festiva has taken PVTC members and now says we must pay higher fees because our member numbers are lower - the members they scammed into joining FAC and leaving the current PVTC members with less membership. I am working in depth with a couple of lawyers and some state department members. I NEED HELP. ANY INFO YOU CAN GIVE ME ABOUT TRUE DECEPTION (no opinions please), LACK OF AVAILABILITY, CHANGES IN HOW YOU NOW GET RESERVATIONS vs BEFORE FESTIVA, CHANGES IN HOW YOU ARE TREATED AS A PVTC MEMBER, ETC. Also, does anyone know the names, addresses and phone numbers of the PVTC Advisory Committee (ALL THREE MEMBERS, that continue to supposedly give all this "wonderful" advice from Festiva to PVTC members)? I really feel that I am close to something good for the current PVTC members; hopefully those that converted from PVTC to Festiva will benefit also. BOTTOM LINE - none of you should have to give up something you have paid on for years and years. And for Festiva to want you to pay (if you terminate your contract) just to give them YOUR contract so they can resale????? OR pay them to convert to Festiva for less???? I need your replies to my email address - jerry.w.[protected]@us.army.mil I am a US Soldier and I am even looking at involving some DOD counterparts with JAG into this. We fight for FREEDOM, even from what seems like internal scammers. Together we can put a stop to this group that thinks they are untouchable. Thanks!
    Jerry Polston, NC

    0 Votes
  • Fe
    Festiva Rep Jul 11, 2011

    To: Jerry Polston
    Please keep in mind that Festiva has in no way forced any PVTC members to convert their memberships. We have seen many PVTC members convert and are happy with the conversion as there are added benefits beyond what they were receiving as PVTC members.

    0 Votes
  • Je
    Jerry Polston Oct 03, 2011

    My issues with Fesitva have been resolved to my satisfaction. Jerry Polston

    0 Votes
  • Gc
    gcconsulting Jul 10, 2015

    If you are unhappy with your Timeshare we can help. send an email to [protected]@gmail.com for more information. Little or no cost !!

    0 Votes
  • Ho
    houseofhafers Jan 27, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I wish we would have seen this years ago. It would of saved us headaches, time and money. We are still Peppertree owners, since [protected]. There have been multitudes of changes. There is never any availability. Always rising costs and hidden fees. We too have consulted with a real estate attorney, The Better Business Bureau, The Attorney General. These are just the ones I'm at liberty of sharing at this time. My husband a heavily decorated retired military police officer has paid this original contract in full, without being able to receive the benefits with high costs. I hope to include many of you in the information we are being assisted with.

    0 Votes
  • He
    Henbys9 Jan 31, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I too have fallen victim to this greedy grubby festiva. Bought into peppertree in 1999 and have had maintenance increase sky rocker year after year, no availability and units are roach motels. Wish I could take a tax loss on this and I would gladly serve festiva the deed to my "property" on a silver platter.
    Khenby

    0 Votes

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