Resort VillaScam and cheating

1

I got a call one day after filling out a contest ballot, that I had won a 'free vacation', all I had to do was attend a 'small' presentation, where dinner would be provided. They made it sound like it was a banquet for the Vacation winners where they would present us with our free vacations.

Turns out the Free Chinese 'Buffet was a few takeout tins of fried rice and chicken balls. It was gross- but also turned out this was a TimeShare presentation, so I new I would be there for a while and so I ate it with relish.

Every time I tried to elave, a new person would intercept me at the door- and each guy was more intimidating than the next. I swear this thing is run by the Mob- they all had these pinky rinks and spoke like a Soprano.

They'd try to give us another reason why we should get the time share. And when I said no, they'd keep asking why as if I must be stupid or crazy to say no to this 'Wonderful Opportunity'. So you're not only being bullied into buying this thing, but your being shamed into it! There are laws against strong arm sales tactics, but these guys slip under the wire of culpability so beware.

No kidding, it was 6 hours later before we were able to leave. and guess what folks... I bought a time share!

To make matters worse- there were all sorts of undisclosed details like 'maintenance fees', and 'user fee's . Turns out that not only are you paying for 'vacation weeks', in advance at a "low low rate", but when you try to use them, you are charged a user fee of $300.00 so it comes out to the same thing as if you bought a regular vacation- EXCEPT- the whole fee doesn't include airfare- only hotel. So in fact you are paying double because it's cheaper to buy a package than to pay separate airfair and hotel.

Insult to injury, at the end of the year, you have to pay $100 to renew your membership- so if you bought 5 weeks and only used 1 or 2 per year, you have no choice to renew or you won't be able to use those weeks you already paid for.

So in actuality you're paying only for hotel- a luxury hotel mind you, but who stays at the Ritz?! Regular people go to Hilton, Holiday Inn, Sheraton ect. I tried to exercise the 14 day refund policy- guess what they do? They don't answer your calls or emails for 14 days, and by the time you do finally get in touch with someone- ohh too bad, the trial period is over. I went to court- lost- the contract is impermeable.

Bottom line, do not attend the presentation- do not buy 'Vacation Weeks', that you will not ever use. This is not a scam- but it is a cleverly disguised 'pay for your vacation in advance' program that is not a good deal unless you are the type of person who normally would stay at the Ritz when you travel.

But for average Joes? This is not for you.

Responses

  • Ar
    Arthur May 11, 2009

    Beware of Bona Vista Travel, Resort Villas & The Vacation Store (as well as Triad International) Scam Alert: Resort Villas (eresortvillas), The Vacation Store, Bona Vista Travel & Triad International

    Hopefully this will help some other innocent people out there.

    My family members were recently scammed by an unethical, although not illegal, group of companies, including THE RESORT VILLA, THE VACATION STORE, BONA VISTA TRAVEL and TRIAD INTERNATIONAL.

    If you are dealing with these companies, pleae beware. A telemarketer contacts an innocent person by phone telling them they've won a trip and to bring their wife and credit card to an event in Woodbridge, Ontario. When they arrive, there is vacation music playing and smooth talking sales people doing a presentation. There's cheap food available for attendees as an incentive. Essentially, they pressure you into signing on-the-spot deals for a time-share-like scheme, but using what they call "points." These points are supposed to go toward discounted 5-star hotel stays world-wide, but with all the user fees, maintenance fees, incidentals and restrictions, you end up paying much more than you would have, had you booked a luxury package deal online or through a travel agent.

    The presenters convince the audience of their authenticity by throwing in familiar names like "Bona Vista Travel" - note: this is NOT the reputable Bonavista Travel, rather a similarly named travel agency based in Woodbridge, Ontario. They also say it is certified by the Ontario government (as are most travel agencies).

    While Resort Villas, The Vacation Store, Bona Vista Travel and Triad International (their associated financing company) are supposedly unrelated, they actually all reside and work out of the Woodbridge area. They have been in operation for over a decade because their contract is airtight and everything they do is legal. While participants think they will stay at hotels like the Ritz Carlton or other big name hotels, these are only advertised verbally in the presentation, but aren't in the actual contract you end up signing.

    Also, while the contract does refer vaguely to "Article 25" on a pdf document on their website, it doesn't explicitly inform those who do end up signing that they have a 10-day period to cancel the contract according to Ontario law. IF YOU READ THIS BEFORE YOUR 10 DAYS ARE OVER (counting each day after the contract is signed), CANCEL IMMEDIATELY. We have spoken to a lawyer, and there is no other way out. They will go to court and win, and they will continue to do business, because they can. File a complaint with the Consumer Protection Agency in Ontario and let all your family and friends know, especially the elderly, so they too, are not innocently scammed.

    While the salespeople offer 49, 000 points, for instance, for about $17, 000 dollars, I have read other stories from people scammed saying that when they first refused, the salespeople lowered the price for the same 49, 000 points to a mere $4900--still not worthwhile, but so much less than the original offer.

    If you do attend something like this, ask for identification, business cards, catalogues or host hotels in the agreement. Also ask about the cancellation policy. And please, don't sign. If you decide to sign it or any other contract, please be sure to read the fine print. With words like "coersion" and "no cancellation" in their contract, please heed the red flags and get out of there.

    This scam has been happening for years now, and also entices people from the United States and parts of Ontario. Please spread the word and protect yourself and those you love.

    2 Votes
  • Cz
    CZA Jan 22, 2010

    Everything in the above mentioned emails is true, the phone calls, the presentation site, trophies, latina ladies, shady presenters, posters, websites, food, cubicles, etc.

    To make a long story short: my sister+hubby bought into their 5-year trial membership @ 1, 500.00 in 2008, and got their member's folder, which actually is titled :Resort Villa Vacations, located at 690 Rowntree Dairy rd, suite 201 Woodbridge, ON L4L 5T7. The 216 Chrislea address seems to only be their presentation location.

    The vacation "prizes" they then received where all so very restricted that they never made it to Cancun, Las Vegas nor Orlando, cause you could only book tue-thursdays, not incl. holidays, and the administration fees were like around $600.00, only to make the "not guaranteed" reservations. Furthermore, the prizes were only 6 months valid!!

    When my sister signed up for the travel membership, she was told verbally by those gangsters that she would receive a membership confirmation from them by mail within a week, so that they could still cancel the membership within the 10 days cancellation period.
    Needless to say, that the "confirmation letter arrived 14 days later and no one had the decensy to answer any calls/emails/fax during the mentioned time.

    Finally a couple of days later, after numerous frantic calls. someone picked up the phone at the "reservation" extension and gave her the cell phone to a lady named Roula.
    That Roula-witch then told her that they've surpassed the 10 days cancellation period and were thus bound to their membership agreement. My sister yelled at that woman and said that she would go and stand in front of their presentation site and warn everyone from this scam, but Roula told her that she would sue my sister for blackmailing and trespassing private property. My sister swallowed the humilliation and violation of her dignity, and is now just paying the dues and waiting for the 5 years bond with those money-monkeys to be over and never to be associated with TVS, eresortvillas.com, Resort Villa Vacations Club Inc., Bona Vista, nor Triad International ever again.

    My sister also mentioned that an other couple had bought into the points programm early into their "cubicle session', which was then 'celebrated', however, she now came to the conclusion, that that couple was probably one of the scammers themselves, a tactic to make the whole deal look more 'attractive' and less harmful.

    My sister+hubby fell for those gangsters after feeling absolutely mentally exhausted after the 4 hours presentation ordeal, and thinking that the 1, 500.00 won't tumble them into financial distress anyway, which it didn't, but the violation to their dignity was the hardest to swallow.
    They as well as myself have since been to a couple of other shady time share/vacation club presentations, just to slam a big fat NO to those shameless scammers after initially enthusiastically giving the scammers some hope of a jackpot sale and wasting all their skills & efforts in the process.

    Btw, according to our researches, eresortvillas.com just expanded their "business" with zipartist.com, so beware!

    http://www.who.is/whois/zipartist.com/


    Also check out:

    [email protected] in

    http://www.dialing4deadbeats.net/deadbeatlist.htm

    AND LAST BUT NOT least, please also check the Better Business Bureau website, cause the company "Resort Villas Management Inc." aka www.eresortvillas.com, located at 201 - 690 Rowntree Dairy Rd, Woodbridge, ON L4L 5T7; currently does not have ANY rating at all, see it for yourselves at:

    http://www.bbb.org/kitchener/business-reviews/travel-clubs/resort-villas-management-in-woodbridge-on-12103#

    Carol

    2 Votes
  • To
    TOMMI J Feb 12, 2010

    Thanks for all of this. I got a call tonight from someone who didn't speak too well of english and told me that I had won a draw. He got me to confirm my name and address but the funny thing is that I told him that the address was wrong and that I had moved but he didn't even take down my new address. Well thanks to reading all of this stuff I will not be attending so when this SHAWN STEVEN calls me in the morning to confirm that I will be attending tomorrow I will be sure to give him an ear full!!!
    Tommi

    Feb. 12, 2010.

    1 Votes
  • Du
    DUMB and DUMMER Feb 21, 2010

    I attended a presentation last nignt because I was told over the phone:
    1. That I would receive a minimum prize of $500.00 for attending.
    2. That my wife and I would receive a dinner on the town
    I did not buy and received a $500.00 travel voucher good for 2 years. Problem is the voucher states in the small print that the terms and conditions can be changed by Bonivista Travel at any time. Also the food voucher was worth about $5.00 at best as we would never eat there.

    What a waste of time.

    Gary

    1 Votes
  • Ro
    Rose and Sam Feb 21, 2010

    It is the old saying...Buyer beware!!!
    If it looks too good to be true...it usually is!!!

    1 Votes
  • Di
    Disgusted with OSPCA May 17, 2010

    This happened to us too, I only wish we had read this first.

    1 Votes
  • Ca
    Car2 May 20, 2010

    Unfortunately, it happened to us as well. Three years ago we “lost” 10, 000 dollars in this scheme, and now we are being charged 149 dollars to cover some bad business decisions they made last year. Has anybody else being charged? Is there a way out?

    Carlos

    2 Votes
  • Al
    Alfie067 Jun 08, 2010

    We all know that this is a scam now!
    What we need is representation or a way out!
    Can anyone represent us - this plea is going out to any law firm that is will to take this case. I am sure that you will get a large number of poor souls that were scamed by "The Vacatuib Store".

    Please reply with some information on how to fight these guys and hopefully get our money back!

    Another Scamed Customer :-(

    1 Votes
  • Di
    Disgusted with OSPCA Jun 08, 2010

    I got that email I have already given up on my initial money and am not giving them another dime! To add insult to injury I just got a phone call telling me I was selected for a prize, but the name was different (Canadian Value Solutions) when I googled the name it is the same address and they even have a picture of the building. They need your $149 to fund more scam telemarketing. These people are evil.

    1 Votes
  • Sw
    Sweeman Sep 20, 2010

    We paid $3995. for the 5 year trail membership plus 2 years due to our limited availability. Thank you very much we can now pay dues for an extra two years.
    Our experiences so far has been...no free trip, the price for the trip to Cancun worked out to be more than an all-inclusive with a time limit to boot.
    Secondly, the free cruise to Alaska with Royal Caribbean Cruise lines in reality was $1600. American on Carnival Cruise lines.
    We identified that our availability was limited to Christmas and mid summer to which they said no problem done neglecting to tell us that fees for high peck times was double the price, (already higher than any other travel club).
    So far we are into our fourth year and we haven't gotten off the ground.
    This past March an additional $149. was needed to help bail them out, apparently too much inventory.
    Annual fees coming due again, bad investment.
    Buyer beware, read between the lines. That is where you will find the truth.

    0 Votes
  • Im
    imoan Sep 26, 2010

    We got scammed as well. The people whom we had to deal with at THE RESORT VILLA Woodbridge put tremendous pressure on us to buy. It was a very costly price to pay for being so gullible and not checking out this operation more thoroughly. I don't know how these people live with themselves and go sleep at night knowing they are scamming and cheating people. What goes around comes around.

    0 Votes
  • Sw
    Sweeman Sep 27, 2010

    You would think as far as the business is concerned it would be more satisfying to have happy customers instead of unhappy coerced ones.
    I wonder if an ombudsman would be able to help?

    0 Votes
  • Sg
    sgauth Oct 21, 2010

    Thanks for all these post I got the call today and there gonna call me back in three days to cofirm a time.
    No sales pitch
    no movey needed
    I just won a free trip from Canadian value solutions( just need to show up at a specific time with 1 piece of Id

    GOd i am so lucky eh...
    I just checked up there name on the BBB website and found no complaints there
    You guys should repost on there website since that's the first place peaple check

    0 Votes
  • Ho
    Honesty and Fairness Nov 02, 2010

    My experience with Resort Villa Vacations was basically as described above by the many victims. We simply got taken! The first vacation I tried out didn't work either, we paid in advance with my CC for reservations and were left out in the open. My wife and I are now trying to take the case through the Justice System. I intend to pursue my case hoping this will make people aware of this type of SCAMS. Unfortunately, those of us who tend to be most trusting of others are the ones who stand to loose the most.

    0 Votes
  • Sw
    Sweeman Nov 02, 2010

    Do let us know if you have any success!!

    0 Votes
  • Gb
    GBurns65 Apr 07, 2011

    When we received a call from CVS, TVS or whatever name they go by at the moment, my wife was taken in at first and agreed to visit their Chrislea location on Sat April 9, 2011. She called me at work and wanted to tell me some wonderful news but wanted to wait until I got home to discuss it. After having been to a few timeshare presentations, I refuse to got to them anymore, so she was hoping that in person she could get me to agree to go because the person the phone said it was not a presentation and we would get 2 free vacation packages (incl airfare) just for attending. When she told it was located in Woodbridge, alarm bells went off, as we'd been to Woodbridge a few years back for a non-presentation on which I walked out, so I told her no way would I be going. After a bit of cajoling I said I would reconsider, which was true - I did reconsider it until I got home and asked Dee a few more questions. First off when I asked about how we would get our "free vacations" Dee replied that we only had to attend for 90 minutes, but it's not a presentation. If I have to attend for a set length of time, how is that not a presentation? I asked. And what about the airfare - is it from Toronto? Was my next question. So Dee set about doing a bit of research and within a few minutes declared, "that's it, we're not going, these people are crooks!" So thanks for the heads up - it made my life much easier 'cause I knew there was no way I would be signing anything other then a rude hand gestures at their "non-presentation".

    0 Votes
  • Ef
    Efm6 Jan 10, 2012

    unfortunately my wife and I did attend a presentation back in 2009 in Woodbridge, with the promise of a vacation trip, we believe all they said and fell victim of this "RESORT VILLAS SCAMMERS, some how this people convinced us, to sign a membership and we put down a down payment of $1, 600 with our CC and we got the rest financed by a TRIAD INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION, last year after a illness in our family
    I tried to cancel the membership and also contacted triad corporation and explain my situation, they do not care, basically they told me to pay no matter what or they will send to a collections agency and also is no cancellation the membership or the financed money, up today they keep accrued interests on the loan . it looks like is no way out of this,
    by the way we did not got any free vacation trip, and no vacation at all, hopefully some law firm can represent us

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Robert Lodger Oct 05, 2012

    The new name is suitelife vacations, If you've been invited to suite life vacations at 690 Rowntree Dairy road, suite 201 Woodbridge,
    Ontario, L4L 5T7 don't waist your time, this is a scam, a timeshare sales scheme and believe me they are convincing and will try at any cost to make you buy, they promise you a prize to get you there, in my case a free Niagara falls trip all you have to do is come to the location and listen to a 60 min show, not true, the sales thing is over 3hs long and hard pressure I mean very hard core pressure and the so called prize is not even real just a peace of paper saying i have won a trip, you have to call to activate it and pay, the administration fees, the taxes and some sort of hotel fee, don't fall for it, it's just a waist of time if you google the time shares they try to sell you get the same deals for a fraction of what they are selling I am so thankful I didn't buy into it.

    0 Votes
  • Me
    Melissa1234 Nov 12, 2012

    This is a huge scam if anyone knows how we can get our initial investment out that would be great! Too take advantage of peoples innocence and trustworthiness is horrible!!! they should not be able to get away with this!!! There should be someone that can help all of us in this same situation

    0 Votes
  • St
    Steph12345 Nov 15, 2012

    Almost 10 years ago my husband and I attended one of these "scams" as everyone is calling them. We had a 4 month old at home and having traveled yearly before becoming pregnant, (and thinking we'd never be able to afford it again) my husband and I bought in for the 49, 000 points (which was doubled to 90, 000 when we were skeptical..). I admit, it was a lot of money. And then there were the 'maitenence' fees and the extra money if you actually wanted a bedroom, not just a hotel room, and then the bale out fee. So, yes, it gets frustrating and costly. BUT, have any of you tried to use it anywhere besides somewhere down south? We have. We live in Ontario and have used it three times at 2 different resorts in Northern Ontario. Awesome resorts, Awesome rooms and a great time had by all. We are booked in again this year at yet another different 5 star resort in Ontario before Christmas and our kids can't wait. We used it to go to Mexico 3 years ago (which we also sold a week to friends travelling with us) and are using it to take the kids to Disney in 2013. We have made great memories. You just need to open your minds to other destinations. We are no where near 'loaded" or accostumed to staying in "Ritz" style resorts. We are the typical average Joe family. I am a p/t stay at hom mom, we have a mortgage, bills, car payments, 2 kids and planning for a future. Sometimes you just have to make the best of it. Happy travels everyone. May this be your silver lining. I am telling you, give them a call, and just try. You'll be glad you did.

    0 Votes
  • I worked for the telemarketing company (a small call center called Market Aiming) in Toronto who makes the phone calls to book people at these events for Suite Life International held at 690 Rowntree Dairy Rd, Suite #201 Vaughn ON, L4L 5T7. When I did a google search Suite Life and saw what people were saying about the presentations that they attended there I decided to quit the job. I never went to the presentations but according to some posts on other forums this whole thing is timeshare. The manager told us that it is NOT timeshare and that we are to tell people, if they ask, that it is not timeshare. We call people to tell them that they filled out an entry form at various shows (Zoomers, 2012 Women's Show, The International Home Show) that their ballot was selected and they are one of the "83 finalists", that they are guaranteed to win one of five prizes one of them being 4 days and 3 nights in Niagara Falls. People who fall within a certain demographic are being booked for the "Dinner, travel show and draw", which is 80 minutes, because they want their opinions on the latest products and services for Suite Life. It is for couples who are married, common-law, engaged or for professional single women between the ages of 27-65, have an combined family income of over 60, 000 per year and like to travel often (or in the next 18 months). Those with a spouse must attend with their spouse. I was told by the manager that Suite Life International is one of the most well known travel companies in Canada and Toronto (never heard of it before). In the script it was written that the telephone agent was to say that they are the promotions manager or the show co-ordinator but I did not want to lie about that and when I brought it up to the manager I got a very unnerving response (verbally and physically by his presence) as if how dare I suggest that Suite Life is anything less than honest. The environment of the call center was very negative and unprofessional with all the bad language being used outside of their calls and with the attitude from the guy who did the verification of the bookings.

    1 Votes
  • Bo
    Bobinstructor Dec 09, 2012

    So the big question is...is this a 'scam' ? Strictly speaking...it does not appear to be a scam by pure definition. Is this 'contest' or promotion misleading or suspicious? I would say yes nonetheless, it is all done within the law. Sadly...the typical or average 'sheep' population are likely to fall prey to their marketing efforts and salesmanship especially after you break the cost of a membership down to $40 or $60 a month (or the same as a cell phone plan). Of course, this is not the point...but more on this later.

    I was first contacted and informed that we had won 1 of 5 great prizes each worth approx. $800 or more (TV, iPad, $1000 cash, $1100 furniture voucher, or 4 nights in Niagara Falls). I was informed over the phone that other than hotel taxes (if I won the Niagara Falls 4 night package) there are no other fees to pay. I was twice assured of this. I told them I was suspicious and doubtful because I read many negative things about this company but the manager was insistent that everything was legit and blamed some of the 'bad reviews' to a bad marketing company who they previously contracted and assured me that things were much better now. Well, the manager on the phone was polite as well as all of the staff once I got there and even as I politely declined and left the place, the last gentlemen we spoke with remained professional.

    As far as the presentation/pitch goes...it essentially sounded like selling a Costco membership for $3, 000 which would last you 7 years. With this membership you would be entitled to receive "discounted" rates from a number of condominium hotel/suites around the world. They demonstrated some comparisons between their rates and rates similarly advertised on sites like Expedia.ca. They apparently quoted and compared rates between Expedia and their (i.e. Suite Life Vacation) rates which showed that you saved approximately 43% using the Suite Life rates. So if you completely trust their research and statements and believe wholeheartedly that they fairly compared their vacation packages with Expedia's offering, then of course, you will agree that they offer significant discounts and that you should sign up to become a member today !

    If however you don't 'drink the kool-aid' (Google "Jim Jones Kool aid") and instead decide to be a responsible, diligent and mature consumer you will want to see factual information and conduct your own research versus relying on one vacation vendor to provide you with unbiased factual information about vacation prices. As a seasoned business traveler to the US and multiple international locations I have an idea of hotel and travel costs and finding good rates. Travel/vacation prices are very volatile and can change on a dime and are subject to many conditions and influences. As much as any company or website wants to claim that they always have the best prices...this is simply not true from my own experiences...one day you may find that Expedia is publishing the best deal...the next day it'll be redtag.com, the next day you'll secure an amazing offer from priceline.com...but wait orbitz.com is showing an even better deal...or wait a minute...there's another website where people who own timeshare properties are looking to fill vacancies for dirt cheap prices...you just can't keep up...so Suite Life vacations to me is just another one of these sites claiming to offer the best discounts...if I can secure a comparable deal from another web site why the hell should I pay a $3000 membership fee ? (Ah…you shouldn’t…)

    When I came home from the seminar I went to the Suite Life website to see if I could compare its rates with other sites...guess what...you can't because Suite Life requires you be a member to access their website rates...so I really cannot compare...so does that mean I simply put my complete trust in Suite Life sales people? Of course not, I think if their rates were publicly available (or even just to me for the day!) let me see for myself that they truly are the best deal in town. On another note...how can you really compare a Suite Life condo/suite with a comparable suite offered by another company? They'll tell you that they're comparing 5 star hotels/suites with each other but did you know that you could have a 5 star hotel in the middle of the dessert and a 5 star hotel on a beachfront ? You tell me which is better and if we're really conducting a fair comparison...we're not...therefore, once again it's very difficult to prove their business proposition. I secured deals from priceline.com before where I know I saved 60% so Suite Life (nor anyone else) has a monopoly on the "best deals."

    I could go on about their business proposition but I'm tired so I'm going to end with this last point which I want to say is a "scam" but it's really not ...it's just misleading...so you tell me...a vacation company owning condominiums/suites has the opportunity to hand out gift prizes...a TV, iPad, Cash or a 4 night stay at a "chosen" location...geee...can you guess what prize we were awarded along with every other person I talked to in the parking lot afterwards? The 4 night stay ! Even on these forums I've never read anyone saying that after declining their offer they came home with a TV, iPad, cash or anything other than a 4 night vacation somewhere. So is this coincidence? I had the opportunity on our way out to put my hand in a drum and draw a raffle ticket which would tell me which prize I would be taking home so again...it is all done legitimately...did you know that in the drum there looked to be about 500 or more tickets...why? why do you need 500 tickets ? if I'm told that I will walk away with 1 of 5 prizes shouldn't there be just 5 tickets? 1 ticket representing each prize? Well, the answer is Yes, if the draw is meant to give every prize the same opportunity to be picked as the other...or the answer is NO, if you want to create minimal opportunity for anyone to win a TV, cash or iPad. You could for example have 500 tickets in the drum...496 tickets can say a 4 night stay somewhere on a Suite Life property and you could add just 1 ticket that says TV, 1 ticket that says iPad, and 1 ticket that says [insert any exotic prize you want] and be able to truthfully communicate and legally advertise that "you will walk away with 1 of these 5 prizes !" Who knows how often this seminar thing is conducted and how many 4 night stay tickets get dumped or flooded into this raffle drum!

    By the way...in order to redeem your 4 night stay (contrary to what was communicated to me), you are in fact required to pay taxes, surcharges, reservation fees, additional fees for weekend stays, additional fees for each child...so for example, I picked what I thought would be the cheapest traveling destination Niagara Falls...if I want to book a date I am required to pay approx. $240 up front (with a possible $50 refund if I understood the terms correctly) at the end of the stay. Oh...and by the way, it doesn't tell me where I'm staying so it's a bit of crap shoot and again I have to trust that the place will be something nice. I didn't pursue the redemption because frankly just too many unknowns and surprises that I'm scared to be hit with another fee or condition once I book the hotel or show up and they tell me that there's another fee to pay. I can only imagine what surprises may lie ahead for those who become members…well actually, after reading some of the posts here, I don’t have to completely imagine….Several months back, I redeemed some VISA travel points to pay for a hotel stay...I was quoted a set amount and given the opportunity to pay with points or cash - I chose points and there were no surprises...I didn’t pay more or less…a far superior and respectful way to conduct business or a travel rewards transaction than the process to redeem mine today.

    In conclusion I'm thankful these folks weren't as pushy or rude as other posts describe. Their actions and sales pitch although I'm sure is perfectly legal and legit is not how I would want to treat people or be treated. I did feel they were very presumptuous and rather bold to think and expect that a room of prospects should be able to decide right then and there to commit to a several thousand dollar membership after the prospect has only heard one side of the story - theirs.

    1 Votes
  • Gi
    GioJim Jan 01, 2013

    Do I think this is compromising? Yes.Yes. and Yes. I can't even remember when we ended up being pushed into buying this package but paid lots for it and have never used it. We were told that we had so much money to pay for flight for 2 to Hawaii plus free accomodations. Never got to use the vouchers because when I called in to book the flight the person on the phone never even asked for our membership # and quoted me an outrageous amount for flight. All with an attitude. Have tried a couple of other times to call and book for flights and whatever and always got attitude plus quotes on flights that were ridiculous. So they took our money. Wouldn't let us out of the contract as someone else has mentioned and never been used. Do we feel ripped off. You bet. No one explained how to use it and never any call backs. Now trying to get in to do annual renewal which is more money wasted and can't find the website let alone get in to pay. I don't even know if my contract is still good. And not to make anyone feel sorry for us because ultimately we did cave to purchase but my husband had had a recent brain injury and I was not completely with it when we went and they still pushed and with no conscience would not let us out of it.

    0 Votes
  • Ra
    RASUA Oct 12, 2013

    I am in the same boat for last 4 years. The yearly renewal fee for the two bedroom is now $700 plus. Is there a way out of t his madness the mistake that we have made?

    0 Votes
  • Do
    dontscammebro Dec 16, 2013

    I received a call this morning from the number 16472860018 from a man with a thick accent saying that I had won a trip. I was wary, as I know that there are many scammers out there, but I do enter a lot of contests online and have legitimately won prizes in the past (no trips, but I've won an iPod, a barbecue worth $1500, etc.) so I decided to hear him out.

    He told me that I had a choice between two prizes:
    - a 4 day, 3 night 5 star vacation in Las Vegas
    - a 5 day, 4 night 5 start vacation to anywhere in North America
    Both for two adults, two children, transportation not included.

    He asked me if I had children and I said no. He asked me if I was married, and I said no, but I have a partner. He asked if we lived together and I said yes. He asked if we were both over 28 years old and I said yes. He did not ask for any additional personal information (address, credit card info, etc.).

    I asked him what company he was calling from, as I missed it when he initially said it, and he said "National Grand Center". He then told me that his manager would call me in a few minutes to give me a password to claim my prize and information on where to claim it.

    While I waited for the manager to call me, I did a quick Google search for "National Grand Center" and nothing came up. I also searched "how to tell if a prize is a scam". One of the things that stuck out to me on a site that I read was, "Sweepstakes Scams Often Don't Use Your Name". I didn't remember the first guy asking for me by name.

    The "Manager" calls me from a number that comes up as 000123456. I ask him what the company he is calling with is called (since I couldn't find it online) and he says "Suitelife Vacations" (which does have a website http://www.suitelifevacations.com/). I told him that the previous man I talked to said he was calling from "National Grand Center" and he replies that National Grand Center runs the contest. This man also didn't ask for me by name, so I ask him, "Can you tell me the name of the person who won the prize?" He seemed slightly off guard and then tells me that he just has the phone number. He keeps asking me, "Well, didn't you enter a contest to win a prize?" I said that I have entered some contests, but all of them required me to fill in my name. He tells me that the company that runs the contest only sends them the phone numbers (sounds legit, lol).

    He spent a little time telling me that they did not want any money from me, and explaining that they are offering these prizes to promote their company through word of mouth (i.e. If I have a positive experience, I tell my family, coworkers, etc. about them).

    He then gives me the address to where I will need to go to pick up the prize: 690 Rowntree Dairy Rd, Unit 201 (2nd floor), Vaughn (he also said Woodbridge? I'm not very familiar with the GTA), L4L 5T7. (Highway 7 and Pinevalley Drive).

    He tells me that I need to choose a time to come in to obtain my prize and once I did so, he could give me the "password". I believe it was either Tuesday or Thursday at 7:45pm. I told him that I wanted more time to look into the company. He asked me when he could call back, and I told him tomorrow.

    When I got off the phone, I Googled the address he gave me and it brought me to this site and another with similar complaints (so much for Word of Mouth!). Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing their experiences, and I will be telling them "No thank you!" when they call back.

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    Jonro May 23, 2014

    Same here eresortvillas or suitelifevacations whatever name they change to it makes no difference their prices or so unreasonable that it is cheaper to travel with other companies. It's set up that way so you'll be discouraged to use them. This is a pure waste of money and time. Spread the word and make sure no one else gets caught up in this legal scam. On top of it their service level is rude and unprofessional. They don't care about their clients they are just there to take your money.

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    Neil C. Mar 03, 2015

    I've been a member of this vacation club for a few years, having agreed to it during a highly aggressive sales pitch that glossed over the available units these guys actually have available. I have NEVER used it, but kept paying the annual fees to keep it current in the hopes of someday offloading it. A few years ago, in the depths of the recession, they did a "Special Assessment" because they had purchased inventory that went unused. Yesterday, when one of their partners went bankrupt and inventory they had purchased wasn't honoured, they issued another special assessment (never happened before, they claimed) asking for another $399USD (why this club operates in USD is beyond me). Despite having sunk $10k into this initially, and having paid the annual $139USD, I'm ready to cut my losses on this club.

    These guys claim to have luxury accommodations at discount prices, but when you do the math, the cost of rental works out roughly the same as what you can get independently through AirBNB or VRBO (without the $10k initial investment).

    If these guys call you in for a sales presentation, run away.

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    OneUpsetGirl Mar 03, 2015

    Oh Neil, you hit it right on the button!! I got that email this morning, we too been 3 years and have not used it (through no fault of theirs, just bad timing on our part). I have sent them a couple of nasty emails, stating how do they think people can come up with $400 on such short notice, and also this:
    Subject: RE: Assessment Fee

    "Oh, I am not disputing the fact that stuff happens...what I am saying is, why is that Suitelife as a company, does not carry insurance? If we all had to pay more then the $129 or whatever member fee to cover, so be it.
    I am also saying, how can you expect people to come up with that kind of money on such short notice??
    Again, we are in no position (as I am sure there are others) that can come up with an extra $400 within a month
    Being jobless at the moment, or even not, we budget out each month, our bills rent etc, that keeps us going till the end of the month. If you had said to be paid within 3 months, THAT MAKES SENSE.
    As of this moment, we do not even have $200, as we are in the negative with waiting for EI. Depends on how the payments fall at the end of the month.
    I think instead of shooting off an email demanding everyone pay by the 30th, you should have sent one apologizing for the inconvenience, and that you would contact each member to make arrangements as this was all of a sudden.
    Also, I would like to see paperwork as to HOW you come up with $399.
    Please post ALL info (or send to me) all the legal action and fees that will be taken upon Suitelife, that JUSTIFY everyone giving $399. I am sure we would all like to see how you came up with that amount. We are entitled to know WHAT the "assessment" fee is for, and why that amount."

    Before this reply to them, they basically said if the fee is not paid, they will send to a collection agency. They offered for me to pay $200 by March 30 and $199 April 30th.
    I am waiting on a response to post HOW THEY CAME UP WITH $399 to justify it...if more members do this, then MAYBE they will act on it. Keep checking the member forum and see if they do this!

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    Flagman58 Mar 03, 2015

    I also made the mistake of paying good money to join this club a few years back.. After paying $18, 000 initially to join, and steadily rising yearly maintenance fees, I have used their services exactly twice, to book weeks at their featured resort in Orlando. Certainly no complaints about the resort, except that I could have booked the same place for the same or less money direct with the resort or a travel booking site, without having spent the money on this membership. Now they want a "special assessment" of $399 USD due to the failure of a USA based timeshare booking service. They offer zero proof to substantiate their claimed losses, and try to compare this to a condo corporation special assessment. One big difference, Suitelife. As a condo corp shareholder I get to see the books when they request a special assessment. Are you ready to open up your books to substantiate your claim?
    Just about ready to stop paying the yearly fees and abandoning this outfit once and for all.

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    OneUpsetGirl Mar 04, 2015

    Yes Flagman58! As stated above, one of my replies to them regarding showing proof. As of yet, I have heard nothing. Today I will be sending another email stating if they don't post the books on how the came up with that amount, I will be taking this to the media.
    They originally said that if its not paid, services with them will be suspended and go to "their" collections agency. Well, sorry, although its in the contract regarding "special assessment fees at anytime" no where did I sign agreeing to the $399, and unless they show the proof, then I guess they are crap out of luck, cause i don't think they will be getting too many people to pay! They will spend more money on a collections agency, then getting their money.
    They gave me the "condo" line as well.
    AND they expect that people who are travelling BEFORE March 30, have to pay BEFORE then??? REALLY?? They just paid thousands of dollars to go on vacation, and Suitelife thinks they can just magically come up with extra $399??? Ya right.
    I hope all members are bombarding them with this as well!!

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    OneUpsetGirl Mar 04, 2015

    My latest email conversation:

    "Uh uh, not good enough.
    Doesn't state how the AMOUNT was arrived at. Doesn't say anything.
    Insurance not necessary?? Looks like you are wrong on that as well, cause you guys certainly needed it now!

    And let me get this straight...you've been telling me (and others) that this is like a "condo corp" where if we OWNED a condo, we would need to pay extra fees for whatever.
    NOW you say you are a PRIVATE company, so we don't OWN anything, (even tho we invested thousands).
    So i guess this means that you are NOT like a condo corp, and we DON'T owe money. Suitelife, keep contradicting yourself, looks good!

    Not disputing the assessment fee. You just have no right to pick a number out a of hat (which obviously you have done since no one is providing proof on how that number came about) AND expect people to pay in LESS then 30 days.

    So...this is the second time. Looks like maybe you DO need that insurance.
    Cause 3 times the charm!
    Oh, and lets not forget the $20, 000 pay out by Suitelife for soliciting phone calls last year.

    Looks like not too many people will be giving you the money...people will take their loss and move on.
    Your going to paying out a lot more money for that collection agency, that everyone will just ignore, or fight, cause we did NOT sign on an agreed amount...only that we would pay 'special assessment fees". You can't just pick a number and expect people to pay it, WITHOUT BACKUP. If you had said $100, or within 90 days, you most likely wouldn't have had a problem.

    Please send a breakdown of WHY this amount was chosen, in a file that was done by managment/accounting etc, signed.
    NOT IN AN EMAIL FORM that ANYONE can write. Signed documents.

    Just remember, people will pay you if you come up with proof. They are not going to just throw money your way with nothing to back it up.

    Subject: FW: Assessment Fee
    Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2015 09:54:09 -0500

    Good morning,

    The Proof of Claim is on our website under the Dream Travel tab. It is there for our members to view.
    We are a private company and therefore, members are not entitled to our financial statements.
    Circumstances such as this, are extremely rare and insurance, if there is one that covers bankruptcy, is not necessary.
    Again, the Rules and Regulations form part of your membership agreement which you signed. Article 15 clearly explains that special assessments are the responsibility of every member. If not paid, it will be handled accordingly and if that means a collections agency will be involved then that is the route management will take.
    The club has been open for 15 years and only has billed a special assessment once. This is the second time. Dream Travel is the only supplier that the club purchased this volume of inventory from and again, we are not the only company on her list of creditors. This information has been provided to you and all members to view to keep you informed.
    Here is some additional information provided by management for you:

    - Value of losses by Suitelife: In accordance with Suitelife’s claim in bankruptcy the amount claimed at this point is $582, 030, which is in addition to the cost to replace weeks and cost to fix weeks, the total outlay estimated at $1.2 million.

    - How was $399 determined: Pursuant to Member Rules and Regulations, Article Fifteen: Budgets & Contingencies, the amount was determined as that necessary to replenish budgeted amounts as a result of the supplier bankruptcy.

    - How is the Management Company Sharing in these costs/losses: All reserve funds have been utilized..

    - Justification of the Special Assessment: Costs are related to the suppler bankruptcy as well as extraordinary expenses not provided for within the Club’s budget.

    - Expected Bankruptcy Recovery: At this time expected recovery from the bankrupt is nil since the bankrupt has no apparent assets..

    - Prepayment Controls: Management of the Club is by an experienced management company in the vacation accommodation business, and decisions related to inventory acquisition and terms thereof are subject to industry practices, inclusive of determinations as to inventory prepayments that will differ depending upon the type and location of inventory. Going forward, the Club is not expected to purchase any inventory more than 12 months in advance.

    - Supplier Financial Statements: Depending upon the supplier relationship, financial statements may be a requisite of contracting. Many suppliers are however, private entities that do not provide financial statements.

    - Time until Inventory Confirmation: Depending upon the type and location of inventory, confirmations thereof may be a long as a year and as short as a week prior to usage.

    - Safeguards/Controls to be Implemented: Discussion will be had with the Club’s accountant and advice sought therefrom as to what, if any, safeguards/controls could have obviated the current situation and what can be implemented going forward.

    Regards,

    Suite Life Vacations Club
    690 Rowntree Dairy Road Suite 201
    Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
    L4L 5T7
    1-800-786-4143 option 1
    Fax 905-856-5354

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    snevetson Mar 04, 2015

    I am in the same boat with the others, regarding the demand for $399 US in less than one month's time. This bankruptcy case is in its early stage. Probably very little chance of recovery. Suitelife Vacations could very well be complicit in this scam, as far as anyone knows. We need more information. $399 US for all of its members could well be a substantial sum of money. Until this club establishes some trust and good faith, I am not paying them another dime. How can we try to reach out to other Suitelife members??

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    OneUpsetGirl Mar 04, 2015

    Thats what I'd like to know...how to reach out to others!!
    In her latest email, she says that because they are a "private company, they do not have to share the books with members" and that "they will go to collections if thats the action that management wants to take"
    So I guess that means we are NOT like a condo owner? So then, why should we have to pay? (which i asked her)
    I still demanded to know how they came up with that amount. Nothing since. I even said until you give us proof, you've destroyed your relationship with your members, current and future.

    I wish there was a way to get everyone together and go down there and confront them in person. I hope more people check out this board!

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    WishToStopThisScam Mar 04, 2015

    Same here. Joined 6 or 7 years ago, actually was able to use it once - went to Hawaii. The accommodation I got was far below than it was promised when they got me to sign for this membership. All my other attempts to get accommodations in different places never succeeded - they never had anything where or when I needed (or I was supposed to book a year in advance !), even in the locations where they claimed they have their own units. This membership is USELESS. The unit fees keep raising, so does the membership fee. And now this US$399 assessment fee comes, second time during my membership. The only question I have now is whether there is a law firm that could run a law suit or class action on behalf of all scammed members, to finally stop this.

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    OneUpsetGirl Mar 05, 2015

    I was thinking the same thing about a law firm. Only thing is we can't sue for money (we haven't given them the $399 yet), but if we could get a firm to make them show us the books, that would be great! We all signed an agreement re: special assessment fess, and that's fine, but what we would like to know is WHY and HOW they came up with such a ridiculous amount, and how they think we can all pay in less then 30 days! Do they expect their members to pay for their losses?? I don't think so! It's not OUR problem that Suitelife doesn't carry insurance because it's too "costly" (and look where they are now!!) I have kept all email correspondence with them, because they keep contradicting themselves.
    I wonder if any members are lawyers??? I hope we can get enough people to do something.

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    OneUpsetGirl Mar 05, 2015

    What about going to the Media? Something like "Silverman Helps", although he is gone, does anyone know of any other shows like that for the news????

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    OneUpsetGirl Mar 05, 2015

    "UPDATE"
    This is part of her response:
    "An update is being prepared with the information you are requesting and will be going out to ALL members shortly."

    Keep a look out in your email and lets see what kind of "update" we shall get. She states the information I am requesting, so let's see if they do it.

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    snevetson Mar 06, 2015

    So let's get this straight. If the supplier has no assets, that would lead me to believe that Suitelife does not purchase properties/suites/timeshares (or whatever you might call them) directly from the owners of the properties (which is what I believed to be the case), but they purchase from third party brokers who have the arrangements with the property owners?? Way to expose yourself to shady, fly by night, basement operations, and risk member money...

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    OneUpsetGirl Mar 06, 2015

    As of today on their website:

    Update: March 6, 2015
    On February 23, 2015, Judge Jason D. Woodard, of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court dismissed the bankruptcy application by Dream Travel, for failure to timely file documents or pay required fees, on a without prejudice basis. A copy of the Order can be seen by clicking here ( Dismissal Order ).

    According to Nolo.com, if the court dismisses the bankruptcy without prejudice, it means that Dream Travel can refile their case right away. But they will typically have to fix their mistakes and also file a motion to extend or impose the automatic stay in the new bankruptcy.

    During the time when the case is dismissed, Dream Travel loses the protection of the automatic bankrutpcy stay and their creditors are free to come after them to collect their debts.

    So what does this mean then:? She has to pay her creditors for now, and that WE should NOT have to pay??

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    clubless Mar 10, 2015

    I've been with vistavilla, resortvilla and now suitelife for 12 years, paid my fees yearly. my membership was around $16, 000. I only used the club 3 times, each time was a little more substandard than the next. I tried selling my package years ago on the next scam adventure, "sell your time timeshare on line", pay again to get rid of the nightmare, still no luck. I tried selling back to the club, but they want me to pay $1500USD just to give it up. Can you imagine, I have to pay to give away a fully paid up membership worth according to them $16, 000. I believe that after the fine of $20, 000 to the Canadian government, that the club must be legal if the government or anybody else has not shut them down. If they had no problem paying the fine they probably have some deal with a collection agency and some pretty shady law firms.
    With the Canadian dollar so low I believe that Canadians will travel less. That means less income for the shadylife vacation club. Less income means another mid year fee for some other fabricated reason.
    I've had enough, I paid the fee, and the membership transfer fee, to cut my losses, and free myself from this cancer. It cost me $2400 Canadian. I had planned to make a stand, but wanted out before the raised the transfer fee again. According to the contract that I signed under pressure, it states they can raise that amount any time they feel like it. Its a lot of money lost and it hurt me financially, but I believe that it will cost that much within the next couple of years anyway.
    Maybe we should start a club for the "walking scammed". Good luck folks, time to enjoy club free vacations.

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