The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfactionResolved Unlimited Vacation Club — Misleading and lies
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Check-In to AM Resort property Secrets Maroma Beach, Riviera Maya Mexico
Within one hour of check-in, we are offered to attend a resort presentation the next day and accept. We are told the presentation would be 90 minutes and we book for 8 a.m.
We started our resort presentation at 8:00 a.m. with Unlimited Vacation Clubs (UVC). Within the first hour, we informed them that we had a UVC trial membership 5 years ago and did not renew because we believed the membership had no value. For the main membership privilege (which was discounted AM Resort reservations), we could reserve resort rooms much less on our own, than with the membership and all of the restrictions. We were assured that so much had changed since those early days, that we would be very excited to hear about all of the changes. We agreed to continue to listen.
We purchased a trial membership from UVC 10/10/2015 at the AM Resort Sunscape in Curacao. This 5-year trial membership expired 10/9/2020 and we did not renew.
The 90-minute presentation turned into a 6.5-hour presentation (378 minutes). The ordeal took an entire day out of our vacation. We signed the new agreement under duress. So many UVC people kept coming to our table with a new pad of paper, writing new numbers, talking about all the benefits, then going away - spinning us. When we asked to speak to a member to get their input, the head of the operation came over quickly to get the deal closed immediately. Threw in many more low value items then said this is as good as it gets, as I'm the boss.
What we were told in the sales process:
Issue #1 - the main privilege of the membership and reason why we bought - the $40-150 range for all AM Resort properties - per person, per night no matter of the date.
They told us that the trial we bought in 2015 is so different than today's program. We mentioned the 25% discount from the 2015 contract and said it has no value to us. With this 25% discount, UVC will beat the lowest published rate for their AM Resort properties, but only when matching to a list of specific websites; these are the most high-priced websites on purpose. We did not book this current stay through our previous membership but went to multiple lower-priced competitive websites (not on their list); these sites, like TripAdvisor (a high-use, high traveler frequency site), were much lower than with UVC's 25% discount on their listed sites.
The sales staff did not bring up the 25% deal initially, but told us the rate we would pay would be between $40 on the low end and $150 on the high end, per person per night. This range would be totally inclusive of all AM Resort properties, no matter the time of year. Therefore, we could stay at their most expensive brand Zoetry during a Holiday for $150, as that would be peak and at the upper end of the range. Another example would be their down brand Sunscape for $40 on a non-peak period. The price will always be in that range.
When signing the agreement, we wanted to know where the $40-$150 was specifically, and the manager told us don't worry, they can't put that in the contract and have to have the 25% in there. Why would we buy a program two weeks after we chose to NOT renew our previous UVC membership, with the exact same 25% discount we had in the trial program? Why would we buy this new membership for the same main privilege when we didn't even use the UVC membership to book this resort for the week we were there because of the high price (with the 25% discount)? Because we were lied to about the $40-$150 range. We would have left the presentation if we knew the main privilege was the exact same as the previous membership we did not renew.
Issue #2 - the annual fee. We were told the only annual fee for the UVC membership would be a $155 concierge service. In reading the contract, UVC picks up a couple years membership fees in many of the programs, however in years 3+ we are additionally responsible for a $299 Lifestyle Collection Fee and an RCI fee.
Therefore, if we maintained all of the privileges of the membership, our annual fees would be years 3-40 before even spending a dime on a vacation.
$155 UVC Annual Fee
$99 RCI Platinum Membership Fee
$89 RCI Endless Vacation Magazine - benefits are only obtained via subscription
$299 Lifestyle Collection Membership - required for the Savings Credits below
$642 Annual Fee
Issue #3 - Savings Credits. We were told that we could purchase hotel nights at Hilton, Marriott, Cruises, Wine, etc. at a 60%/40% rate based on Savings Credits. As example, provided we had enough Savings Credits to cover, if we wanted to book a Marriott room in Hawaii that was $500/night, we would have the Savings Credits program take care of 60% of that cost or $300; we would be responsible for the 40% or $200. If we had 2, 000 credits saved, then a 2-night stay would use 600 of those credits (300 per night) per the example. We were even shown an example on a UVC website regarding a Cruise we are planning on taking in 2022. This seemed logical but cannot find the 60/40 split anywhere in the contract; only mentioned under UVC Lifestyle Collection Membership that Savings Credits can be used for partial payment, dollar-for-dollar to buy down the total purchase price of qualified travel. We were not told about a fee each year for this, past year 2.
Furthermore, we were told that we could deposit RCI week blocks of 7 nights for 750 Savings Credits. Therefore, if we wanted to add to our Savings Credits total for the year, we would have the ability to deposit a week or weeks for Credits. What was not told to us during the presentation, was that each deposit of 7 nights would require us to pay $250 to the UVC Member Services and Reservations Center, and that the $250 fee can go up each year based on the US Consumer Price Index (as mentioned in the contract).
Issue #4 - we were told by purchasing the Gold Plus membership, we would receive 5 free weeks (35 nights for 2 people) at any AM Resort. While this is true, there is a major condition that was never explained to us during our presentation.
These nights will be released 1 night for each 2 monthly payments. All nights will be released on the date the Member satisfies the total price in full. These 5 weeks will now take us 4+ years to receive. We don't get them right away as sold to us in the presentation. We thought this to be an extra bonus to the $40-$150 rate told to us, and now understand there is a major catch to receiving the weeks.
Issue #5 - termination policies were not ever reviewed with us. Per contract termination policy, we had five days from signature to cancel. (10/30/2020) We could not get to the contract per the email link, nor access to the member website with credentials until 11/3, of which we then notified Member Services of our desire to cancel. See below.
Issue #6- deception with purchase. We signed and initialed the 45-page Agreement on an ipad that they controlled after 6 hours under duress. We wanted to get out of the sales room and get back to our vacation, we had spent the entire day there and knew a Hurricane was coming the next day We authorized the Agreement on a tablet, and when signing or initialing, the tablet would quickly scroll to the next area to be authorized, purposely moving us quickly through the document without review. We asked for a copy of the Agreement and they said they could not give us a copy in person, but that we would get everything via email. We had some of the yellow pages they wrote all of their fast numbers on regarding how all of the deals would work, but not all. We looked for the #1 Issue yellow page above which had the $40-$150 written on it, and that was not in our papers they left us with; they took it as evidence.
10/26/2020 - Hurricane Zeta hit our resort.
10/27/2020 - we went online via our phone and attempted to pull down the Agreements to review; clicked the link and it would not work.
10/30/2020 - we got back to Chicago and attempted the link again, did not work.
11/2/2020 - contacted Member Services (Monday) and stated not only were we not able to get to our Agreement via the "Review Documents" Link, but that we received no information as to their Website and credentials for logging in to review our purchase. The Member Services representative apologized and stated she would get an email out with the Agreement in. PDF in the next 24 hours. She would also make sure we received credentials for logging into the UVC website to review the details of our membership.
11/3/2020 - we received the email with the Agreement, and were surprised to see no record of many of the aforementioned promises/issues and statements they had made during the sale. This Agreement had many of the exact same covenants as our trial Agreement from 2015, which we stated had no value to us. We also were now able to review the actual cancellation policy, which rescind period had now passed (5 days from purchase).
Called Member Services regarding the issues within the Agreement and continued no access to our member portal
• Member Services apologized for us not being able to access our membership portal and said they would get a note to technical resources to fix the issue. Credentials with Login kept failing as "couldn't find contract" failure. This is now 7+ days from when we signed the contract and we can't even access our member portal.
• Asked the Member Services representative about our #1 issue which is the $40-$150 per person per night promise, and they stated that is not accurate. That the savings program is 25% of the published rates and that he has booked members much higher than the $150 rate I'm talking about.
• The representative asked if the sales staff went over the cancellation policy, and was surprised when I stated no.
Thereafter after detailed review, we emailed that we wanted a full refund and wanted to cancel the membership.
11/6/2020 - we had a call with Fabiola Enriquez, in response to our intent to terminate our Membership. We had our call with Fabiola, and the call became heated quickly, we said good-bye and hung up.
The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.
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