Raintree Vacation Clubfraud

1
K Review updated:

My wife and I purchased a vacation club membership with RCI/Raintree and have never been able to use it. We've called about 10 times to plan a vacation and every single time, I get the same response "We're sold out and have no space available". These were all different dates and locations. We got scammed out of a large sum of money. I am looking to file a class action lawsuit as many others have had the same experience. I just need to get a large enough group to fight these thieves!

Whatever you do, DO NOT BUY anything from RCI or Raintree or their affiliates.

Responses

  • Ma
    marco Nov 29, 2008

    Sounds like silverleaf BIGTIME. REport to the FTC

    4 Votes
  • Or
    Or stark Sep 06, 2019

    @marco We need to group and hire a lawyer to help us all
    Contact me
    At : email
    [email protected]

    4 Votes
  • Ba
    Bandogge Oct 30, 2019

    @Or stark I sued them, I would love to form a group

    1 Votes
  • Ta
    Tanya Farris Mar 28, 2020

    @Bandogge Have you thought more about taking action ? We are Victims of the Raintree vacation club scam . We would definitely support the lawsuit

    1 Votes
  • Ci
    Cindy Feb 27, 2009

    I am so dissapointed in my Raintree memership. It is a joke. Good luck on booking anything. I would sell it in a minute if any one is interested. I have had it for 4 years and I keep trying to make it work but unless you go to mexico the other resotrts are unavailabe. The RCI portion is a bigger joke. Boy did i get scammed.

    2 Votes
  • Mr
    MrD Jun 06, 2009

    Got a letter in the mail today from Raintree Vacation Club of which we have been members for 6 years. They are whining about not being able to meet all the "upgrades" their members want, so they now have to charge an $820 "Special Assessment". This company is a joke. Every time we have tried to book a timeshare vacation with them we have either been unable to or have had to jump through major hurdles to do so. Now because they are affliated with RCI, everytime I try to book, they want to push me off onto RCI's resorts, not Raintree's.
    I urge all Raintree members to join together and file a class action lawsuit against this scam company.

    3 Votes
  • Or
    Or stark Sep 06, 2019

    @MrD Agree let’s join together nd file class action who can lead this mission
    My email
    [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Tr
    travelerSF Jun 06, 2009

    We are also upset about the Special Assessment, which arrived in the mail today. Ours is $767 for a small unit, alternate years. We have also been members for 6 years. Unlike previous posters, we have had 2 successful RCI trades, one in Hawaii and one in Italy, and have an upcoming stay at their new affiliate at Lake Tahoe. But I don't feel any obligation to pay them to provide what we already paid for.
    Do we have any alternatives? What happens if we refuse to pay? Is the membership sellable(especially now)?

    2 Votes
  • Cl
    ClubReginavictim Jun 07, 2009

    We also got a letter yesterday with the Special Assessment amount of $918 which is extremely annoying. When we purchased a Club Regina timeshare in 2000 - the original maintenance fee was $465 and the contract is until 2046. Every year we have seen increases in our maintenance fees - 2009 fees were $918 and now this special assessment to "upgrade" the resorts. How can Raintree justify a 97.5% increase in maintenance fees over 9 years and still need this special assessment to make upgrades. Obvious mis-
    management in my opinion.
    We have reviewed the contract - it indicates that if the maintenance fee is upaid for two years, membership will be forfeited. Nothing is mentioned anywhere in the contract about Special Assessments. As for whether membership is sellable - highly unlikely. We originally paid $23, 950 for a 2 bedroom suite, one week unrestricted time, and we have had our timeshare listed for 18 months asking $6000 but have not been able to sell it. As long as Raintree is dropping prices in order to sell the new timeshare memberships they have available, ours is defintely not sellable.
    We agree that a class action lawsuit against Raintree may be work pursuing.

    2 Votes
  • Ms
    MsV Jun 07, 2009

    I too have received the "special assessment" fee letter. This is OUTRAGEOUS! We already pay close to $900 a year on maintenance even though when we bought the timeshare the salesman guaranteed it would not go up more than 2% a year. It started at $535 6 years ago. What a scam this is! Now this special assessment fee when the rest of the economy is crumbling. They are so out of touch with customers on this. I read through what they are upgrading and find it not needed but frivolous. I would tell anyone thinking of purchasing from these people to keep your money.

    I have called them calmly trying to get an explanation and get testy and rude. They have some serious customer relations problems. Also, from the last time we stayed with them last summer at the Miners Club in Park City it was horrible service. They have cut back on services they offer like a shuttle around town, keeping the pool and jacuzzi clean and functioning, and the spa is no longer there. It is basically a room with a pool. Nothing else. Add in there the horrible service and they are just a bad place to stay. They have deceived me and shouldn't be allowed to deceive anyone else. I just want to know how to get out of this horrible racket I got myself into. They are thieves!

    3 Votes
  • Ma
    Marilyn Jun 08, 2009

    I have been a member of Club Regina (now Raintree Vacation Club) for 13 years. I just got my "special assessment " letter today. I have always enjoyed my trips to Puerto Vallarta and Cancun and have also done several exchanges through RCI for Florida, Aruba and the eastern US. Yes, the fees have gone up year after year. My original fee was $350 back in 1996 and now am paying $820/yr for a 1-brdm unit. This is the second special assessment charge I have experienced. The first was after a hurricane destroyed the beach at Puerta Vallarta, but it was only $150. I am extrememly uspet about this assessment as it requires that we pay double fees this year. It also means that management is possibly using their good members to replenish the coffers for those who are not paying their regular annual fees in these tough times.
    You can be sure if you refuse to pay that a lien will be filed against your regular property and your credit will be adversely affected. What are our options to sue? I don't know. I've never been this angry with RVC before!

    2 Votes
  • Mr
    MrD Jun 08, 2009

    We too have checked our Raintree contract and no where is there any mention of the resorts ability to charge (extort!) a Special Assessment fee. In researching other similar cases of timeshares trying to charge Special Assessment fee's many of the companies try to claim their ability to charge it is from some form of internal company policy, or internal resort charter, or some such b.s. These are simply not legal nor enforceable. Of course that won't stop these unethical rip-off timeshare companies from follow their usual course of action if you don't pay: stop your membership, attack your credit, harass you through collections, etc. Unfortunately the only long-term solution is a class action lawsuit in which many members unite, pool resources, and sue the company.

    1 Votes
  • Or
    Or stark Sep 06, 2019

    @MrD Let’s join and sue them

    0 Votes
  • St
    steve gullickson Jun 08, 2009

    It's all been said. I plan to sit down with my contract and read it, contact a lawyer refferal service here in Santa Cruz county and find out where we stand. I don't have any information yet on the number of members we have but class action suits may be throwing good money after bad. If I find that I can walk away from the ### that run this company I will.
    Like I said I don't have enough concrete information yet. But one thing I'd like to do after this is behind us is to get some type of media exposure to inform the general public about this rip-off company.It sounds like there is probably quite a bit of animosity out there for a variety of reasons.

    3 Votes
  • Mr
    Mrs.A Jun 08, 2009

    Received my $820.00 "Special Assessment Fee" today. Can't understand why they feel they have the right to do this. I read my contract and it says we only need to pay our membership fee and maintenance fees. No where could I find a clause that said they can charge a "special assessment fee" anytime they want to.

    Has anyone asked where it is written in our contract that they can charge us additional sums whenever they want to? If it weren't for the fact that they will probably attack our credit if we don't pay, I would just wait the 2 years and let my contract lapse.

    I've been with Raintree for 7 years now on an every other year basis.. We haven't had any problems with them until now. We have always gotten into the units when we wanted.

    3 Votes
  • Cb
    CBear Jun 08, 2009

    I just received my $820.00 special assessment and agree with many of the perspectives expressed above. While the Raintree facilities have been pleasant to stay at in the past, the economics of the RVC/Club Regina relationship are making it less and less attractive.
    In my mind, there are three options on the table that can be taken to respond to the special assessment:
    1. Check your contract to see about RVC's right to assess...and in any case complain
    2. Consider your investment in the Club Regina/RVC a sunk cost and walk away. They can take your "asset" back and cancel your membership. It is hard to imagine they would have any recourse to one's credit rating given that the time share has been fully paid for. If they do pursue you...ignore the collection phone calls and rest assured that the potential remark in your credit file will be discounted due to its nature.
    3. We should encourage every Club Regina/RVC member to register their thoughts and feelings about the special assessment on thiswebsite and http://tugbbs.com/forums, and invite RVC/Regina "leadership" to review the comments and reconsider their decision and seek other sources of funding.
    4. Pursue the class action lawsuit avenue...long and arduous, but perhaps the best way to recoup some of our investment.
    One gets the sense that this organization is going down...and in my mind it would be foolish to, in all probability, throw good money after bad

    1 Votes
  • Ri
    Rick Jun 09, 2009

    Concerning the special assessment, there is nothing in my contract which allows this. Something is seriously wrong here. I've spent a little time doing the math. Take what you paid for a week of timeshare and multiply it by 52. In our case, it amounts to over a million for a two-bedroom unit. So, I think we can agree, we paid plenty for the property. Now multiply your maintenance fees by 52. In our case, it amounts to almost $50, 000. If you have visited these properties, is there any possibility they have spent this amount of money each year on each of these units. It doesn't cost $50, 000 a year to clean and change a few light bulbs in two or three rooms.

    Read the list of things they say they need to replace. These are not major renovations. These are things which obviously don't last forever and could have been easily paid for out of the fees we've already paid. We're talking about bedding, lounge chairs and cushions. I've seen how they renovated the kitchens in Cancun. They told us the renovation would be completed in 2008. I was there in January 2009. If this is a complete renovation, we're talking very little expense to do it.

    The contract states what the maintenance fees are to be used for. My guess is that the money is being siphoned off to make someone very rich. The contract also says it takes a vote of a majority of the members to approve a maintenance fee increase greater than 10% from the previous year. This represents more than a 100% increase from 2008. A contract is binding on both parties, it seems to me they are in breach of contract if they have spent the fees improperly and if they cancel our privileges for nonpayment of these special assessments.

    As for me and my house, we do not plan to pay this special assessment unless they can provide a legal document with my signature proving we owe it. If they cancel our privileges and pursue us through collections, we will deal with it when it happens.

    1 Votes
  • Be
    bethb Jun 09, 2009

    I also just opened our "Special Assessment Fee" $820 letter signed by Douglas Bech. The premise of the letter is that the recent on-line member survey showed that we all want upgrades. Baloney. I feel the premise is a smoke-screen for the reality of the Mexican economy: diminished tourist dollars due to the swine flu scare, the high cost of flying and our own US economic downturn. And the addition of another big resort south of Cancun - they probably can't sell the timeshares due to the overall economy. So they have to make it up somewhere else...The supposed upgrades should be covered by our regular maintenance fees. I accept that. But not this.
    There was no mention of ANY efforts on the part of Raintree to reduce expenses. My God, all of us have had to reduce our expenses. If the letter had told the truth about the "need" for the Special Assessment fee, I could almost accept it. But the letter is masking the truth and I agree with those of us who wish to protest this extortion.
    What to do?!
    Beth B.

    1 Votes
  • He
    HEATHER Jun 09, 2009

    If you refuse to pay a maintenance fee or this "special assessment" crap - I thought all they can do is terminate your membership. WHAT IS THIS ABOUT CREDIT REPORTING, COLLECTIONS AND THEM PUTTING A LIEN ON YOUR PROPERTY?

    1 Votes
  • Mr
    MrD Jun 09, 2009

    My wife and I now have a lawyer looking at our contract. Will post his response as soon as we get it.

    1 Votes
  • Or
    Or stark Sep 06, 2019

    @MrD Please update us on the lawyer and any solution you might have found many thanks

    0 Votes
  • Mr
    MrD Jun 09, 2009

    I should have said, a lawyer is looking at our contract AND the Special Assessment letter that came to us.

    1 Votes
  • Mr
    MrD Jun 09, 2009

    FYI- There is another thread running on this board for this same topic:
    http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/raintree-c210535.html

    1 Votes
  • An
    Anne Jun 09, 2009

    Mr. D,

    Please let these people know how to file a complaint against Raintree Resorts International with the Houston BBB. Do you think it would help too if we all filed a complaint against Raintree Vacation Club of Las Vegas?

    Thanks,
    Anne

    1 Votes
  • Mr
    MrD Jun 09, 2009

    Anne,
    Below is the information for filing a complaint with the Houston BBB

    BBB of Metropolitan Houston
    (Houston, TX)
    1333 W. Loop South, Ste. 1200
    Houston, TX 77027
    Phone: (713)868-9500
    Fax: (713)867-4947
    Email: [email protected]
    Web: http://www.bbbhou.org

    Not sure about LV. Definitely couldn't hurt. The more noise we make the better.

    1 Votes
  • Ba
    Bandogge Oct 30, 2019

    @MrD Useless, They cannot help you. If there is a way for everyone on her to form a public group, possibly via facebook or some other media I would be willing to spearhead helping everyone who really wants out to get out. Most sites like this do not allow the exchange of contact information.

    0 Votes
  • Ti
    Tim O Jun 09, 2009

    Raintree has mismanaged their funds and is now attempting to "extort" money from their members under the mask of a "special assessment" They are going to have a fight on their hands and will not get any "extra" money from me!

    0 Votes
  • Tg
    tgrafix Jun 09, 2009

    I've tried calling raintree, the customer service number to book vacations and get a number or somehow get a copy of the contract and am constantly being told to call Mexico but I have no international. When I asked to get the number for Douglas Bech I also wasn't allowed, she said most of them work from home and cannot get a direct number to them, but offered an email address to member services.

    I'd like to know how to get a copy of my contract since I purchased resale and the original owners purchased this in 1991 and I have nothing other than I am to pay maintenance from timeshare closings.

    I also want to join in fighting this because I just barely got the timeshare, have only been once and the fee has already gone up by $100 since I purchased. Please let me know the steps to take other than BBB complaint because I can't even start a complaint since I don't have the address. If someone can email the information I'd appreciate it. My email is [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Mr
    MrD Jun 09, 2009

    On another forum (http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?p=735627) someone who owns a Whiskijack membership called and was told they (Whiskijack RVC members) would NOT be charged the Special Assessment. Anyone have a clue why this is?

    0 Votes
  • Cr
    Croop Jun 10, 2009

    Every year vacation becomes a battle. Instead of the enjoyable time we all work hard all year, it's always, " Well let's see when we can go on vacation and did they renovate all the things they have promised us. Now they think they can assess us an additional fee for something they promised to provide!!! They should have planned the budget effectivally to cover such improvements. Not our fault they either don't have a good financial advisor or they have a crook in management!!! Sign me up for a class action suit. Thanks, Croop

    0 Votes
  • Tg
    tgrafix Jun 10, 2009

    My email to Doug has a reply "Thank you for your response and I understand you being upset. Additional information will be provided. Thank you"

    and he copied it to other people John Berber and Garry Stamm, does anyone else have a reply from him?

    I still don't have a contract and earlier today when I asked to be transferred to contracts got a live person who went on about how they don't write up new contracts and that the original owners signed it. In any case, I made it clear that since I don't have a contract with them I don't pay anything but MF and those are paid. Then her story changed how she would have to find the old contract and have it sent and asked me for a number. In any case, I never got the call back.

    Then I asked to cancel my membership and she passed me to another person who spoke better english and I emailed him since he said he would pass the info on to the correct place.

    I don't have a lawyer or access to one so I really am unclear what to do about all this. I have a reservation late August and hope it's valid, how can I check?

    Moe appreciate some input into how I can verify since all these are paid including the plane tickets.

    In essence, since I don't have a contract and all I have is agreement to pay MF, then how can I be responsible for this? I want out of this agreement, esp since I've been trying to sell it for 8 months.

    0 Votes
  • Is
    is1997 Jun 11, 2009

    I will not pay them another penny of my money. Every time I try to book a week they are never available. I am so disgusted I feel like just abandoning my time-share. Any way we can sue their ### for fraud?

    0 Votes
  • Is
    is1997 Jun 11, 2009

    let's all file a class action law suit

    0 Votes
  • Is
    is1997 Jun 11, 2009

    i will join in this class action law suit in a second

    0 Votes
  • Ba
    Bandogge Oct 30, 2019

    @is1997 Class action may be possible but there are other mechanisms that may be better. Class action everybody has to have same issue, Big motors on this board people are complaining about reservations availability, maintenance increases and termineation. I've been posting that we should all agree to form a group on some other media and then we can share information that could consolidate the aggrievement into one case.

    1 Votes
  • Mr
    mrsK Jun 12, 2009

    I have spoken to an attorney based in Ft. Worth, Texas and he is in the process of reviewing our RVC/Club Regina contract as well as the RVC Special Assessment letter. He is also reviewing this thread on the Complaints Board.

    In the meantime, he recommends members file complaints. There is power in numbers and if the FTC or Attorney General’s offices receive enough complaints, they will most likely take action. As for complaining with the BBB, they really have no authority, but at least it will show up on their website that a number of complaints have been filed.

    I urge everyone to file multiple complaints with the following agencies:

    Federal Trade Commission
    https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

    Texas Attorney General
    Office of the Attorney General
    PO Box 12548
    Austin, TX 78711-2548
    http://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/complain.shtml

    California Attorney General*
    Attorney General’s Office California Department of Justice
    Attn: Comlaints Unit
    P.O. Box 944255 Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
    http://ag.ca.gov/consumers/general.php

    Online complaint form
    http://ag.ca.gov/contact/complaint_form.php?cmplt=CL

    *This option is good if you have signed the Club Regina Cimarron “Statement of the terms and conditions for the verification of the sale/purchase of a membershipfrom Raintree North America Resorts, Inc.” Agreement

    Better Business Bureau
    https://odr.bbb.org/odrweb/public/cibrbusiness.aspx?e=3155944&id=46a6a9cd-5402-454e-9476-e4df22e6f371&site=113

    Company Information
    Raintree Vacation Club aka Raintree Resorts International
    10000 Memorial, Suite 480
    Houston, TX 77024

    1 Votes
  • Ba
    Bandogge Oct 30, 2019

    @mrsK None of these agencies will help you. If there is a way for everyone on her to form a public group, possibly via facebook or some other media I would be willing to spearhead helping everyone who really wants out to get out. Most sites like this do not allow the exchange of contact information.

    0 Votes
  • Tg
    tgrafix Jun 15, 2009

    I've emailed an attorney in Houston about this and unfortunately he doesn't seem to answer, maybe I can give one of you his phone number and he'll be more inclined to speak.

    I know of him through Tug but don't know him personally only once asked him to put my listing up and didn't go through with it.

    0 Votes
  • Ba
    Bandogge Oct 30, 2019

    @tgrafix Can't help you

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    Bianca Jun 17, 2009

    I'm about to file the complaint with the BBB and was wondering if it matters which classification to use. Is it "Billing or Collection issues"? "Contract Disputes"? Does it matter if we all file under same classification (or not)?

    0 Votes
  • De
    Deelia Jun 20, 2009

    i bought a membership, paid it off, paid the first year maintanance, could not get a reservation because they were booked up, didn't go on vacation, before the end of the year, got a bill for some assessment fee (not maintanance fee). I was so ticked off that i wrote a letter to them asking them to cancel the agreement. I told them i didn't want anything further to do with them even though we were going to loose thousands of dollars. Well, they didn't cancel my contract and sent me another bill with a higher $ amount and are charging interest. I sent them another certified letter and now they sent me a letter saying they are placing me with a collection agency. I paid the membersip in full, first year maintenance, and have never used it. This company is certainly not customer oriented. They are crooks - not ethics. I will be happy to join all of you in a class action.

    0 Votes
  • Mr
    MrD Jun 25, 2009

    Larger thread about this Raintree extortion scam posted here:

    http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/raintree-c210535.html?sort=datea&page=1

    0 Votes
  • Ji
    Jim S. Jun 26, 2009

    We have compiled a list in excess of 100 members that are communicating and strategizing with a goal of contacting the attorney general in multiple states, especially Texas and AG Andrew Cuomo in New York. If you want to be a part of the combined effort, please send your email address to [email protected]

    The longest and most thorough thread of complaints and comments is at http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/raintree-c210535.html?sort=datea&page=13. The title of this complaint is “Trying to charge a ‘Special Assessment.’"

    For the convenience of the authorities who might want to read members postings and for future reference, it seems it would be best to accumulate all comments under the above thread. There are already 13 pages on the thread.

    Thank you.

    0 Votes
  • Ab
    abarb2 Aug 01, 2009

    I have been a member of RVC since 2001 with 1 week every other (odd) year. Not once have I been able to use not once have I been able to book a stay. Every time I have tried to book I am continually told that there is not an availability...even trying to book 2 years in advance!!! I have also tried to sell my time share and been ripped off 2 times by companies that "guarntee" they can sell my timeshare for me. I think RVC is a rip off and if any one is trying to get a class action lawsuit together, count me in. I have found that one person alone cannot touch this company. They are now threatning to turn me over to collections for refusal to pay their Special Assessment fee.

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Chris got ripped off Sep 12, 2009

    I should have known it was bad my uncle got the condo for $ 1.00 but he has the pay this fee.

    0 Votes
  • Me
    Melissa Carrillo Oct 06, 2009

    We agree with everyone that has a complaint against Raintree?RCI. My husband got out of the last assessment fee because our son works for Senator Diane Feinstein and it is unlawful practices and illegal without written consent by all members. We received a new assessment fee for this next year and we are not going to pay it!! My husband also recently tried selling our timeshare to a company based in Seattle, Washington called "International Timeshare Consolidators. They told us they had a buyer already and that we would nest $10, 900.00 after we paid them a fee of $500.00. We were told we also had to pay upfront for title fee of $496.00 which we paid, then they called and said taxes had to be paid upfront but would be refunded $1635.00 which we paid upfront. The money was to come by special delivery today, guess what, they called and now say they need another $1805.00 for Mexican Administration fees". What is the heck a Mexican Administration fee, "has anyone ever heard of something like this when they sold their timeshare in Mexico??!!" And they say all our money we put out now upfront will be refunded once the deal goes through once they get another $1805.00 from us!! I think this company is a scam!! I refuse to pay another a penny until I see my money for the sale of our timeshare. I thought their was something funny about this, it was too good to be true. Who in their right mind would pay us $10, 900.00 for a timeshare we purchased back in 2005 when we were told by other companies it pays only ten cent on the dollar??!! I am sick of the maintance fees going up every year and now having to pay a assessment fee on top on it!! I think we should all put timeshare companies out of business!! I am SO mad right now, and I had told my husband not to buy into it but he did. We reap what we sow. Good luck to all on getting your vacation or timeshare sold!! If there is a lawsuit please do let us know, we will join!!

    Hank & Melissa C.

    0 Votes
  • Mr
    MrD Oct 06, 2009

    Hank & Melissa,
    You just posted on one of the older threads on this subject. The main thread that this issue is on is posted at:
    http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/trying-to-charge-a-quotspecial-assessmentquot-c210535/page/27.html#c449081

    Feel free to repost your story there.

    0 Votes
  • He
    HEATHER Dec 01, 2009

    RAINTREE VACATION CLUB BBB RATING - F

    http://www.bbb.org/houston/business-reviews/timeshare-companies/raintree-resorts-international-in-houston-tx-43001081/

    0 Votes
  • No
    Nomad09 Dec 16, 2009

    I just received $820 special assesment fee. I reviewed my contract and found no mention regarding special assesments other than yearly maintenance fee. I purchased my GOLD membership in 2002 for $17, 000 with annual maintenance fee of $465 today it's $820. In seven years maintenance fee has gone up 76% and they are still asking for additional special assesment fee.

    I contacted Raintree regarding the special assesment fee. I was told that if not paid I will not be able to use my membership next year. In other words pay it or lose it. I will fully support a class action law suit.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    MaxWork Dec 28, 2009

    Filed a complain with Huston BBB concerning aunathorized attemt for assessment fee charges. Raintree submitted a responce to BBB that I am not happy with such fee but agree to pay it anyhow. LIE! I agreed to pay Maintainance fee but nothing extra which is not in my contract. Responce was submitted to BBB by Kristin Walters. I am sure raintree playing games by misleading between Maintainance fee and assessment fees.
    I filed a complaint with Federal Trade Commission in Washington. They replied all information taken into account with complain #. Do the same way in order to collect file before to execute massive class lawsuit if nessessary. Email your concerns to [email protected] or [email protected]
    all together we will crush the scammer within raintree company and will help them to reevaluate their managing strategy

    0 Votes

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