Created on Thursday, 30 July 2009 17:49
Published on Thursday, 30 July 2009 17:49
Written by AJ
We recently purchased a Wyndham vacation resort package on July 1st. I wasn't aware of the timeshare scams that are out there and even after the pressure marketing tactics that the sales person used on us, I thought that it was a good deal. We bought 6000 points for $12,000 with a maintenance fee of $530 pa. After coming home, something didn't feel right the very next day and after having subsequent discussions with my wife, we decided to stick it out and felt that it was a really good plan for a hassle free vacation.
Come July 8th, I was looking for customer care number for Wyndham to book a rental car and I accidentally looked into the contract and what I saw just shocked me. It mentioned a 16.7% APR for the loan amount that we undertook. After going through the contract in detail, it also mentioned that we had been enrolled into the timeshare membership. There were other one time fees that were levied on top of the contract. We were completely shocked to see these details and that we were never told about these during our 3 hour ordeal at Wyndham office.
We started doing some online research and found out that we had 7 days to cancel the contract and today was it. It was around 11:15 pm so I quickly grabbed the phone and called up Wyndham office and told them that I wanted to cancel the contract due to these reasons. The receptionist told us that she would forward our message to appropriate person but nobody called us. We called the office again and reached the voice mail. We then contacted the sales person who sold us the package and she picked up the phone. We explained the circumstances to her and told her that we want to cancel the contract. She said that she would pass on the message to the finance person tomorrow and have it canceled. We were kinda relieved at that stage but still skeptic.
Next day, we contacted the finance person directly and she explained her helplessness to cancel the contract since it was past the rescission period and that the system won't allow her to do so. We also contacted wyndham customer care and they were of no help and they kept referring us to the contract and the instructions on how to cancel it. They told us the only option was to sell our contract to third party.
Buried under the 100 pages of documents are the instructions to cancel the contract and after carefully reading each page, could we find the information.
At time point, I had no clue to what our next steps would be.
I started researching on internet and came across multiple agencies that help folks like us to cancel the contract. We contacted them and found out that they charge a significant amount to get us out of this situation and we weren't sure whether they are trustworthy or not. I also contacted a local lawyer who agreed to fight my case but there was no guarantee that I would win.
In the meantime, I still wanted to follow the protocol and mailed the cancellation notice to Wyndham on July 10th. I also contacted BBB of Florida and lodged a formal complaint.
I also got in touch with a company called Timeshare Advocacy International and the owner explained me the process and the steps that they would take if I agreed to go with them. The guy in my opinion was very honest and straightforward and was an ex employee of Wyndham and ensured that my case was pretty easy and that I should be able to get out of this contract.
While I was still weighing my options, I call Wyndham to see if they will cancel my contract based on the cancellation notice that I sent them. They said that they haven't received any cancellation notice but they have received a formal complaint from BBB and that the consumer affairs is working on it. This gave me some hope that at least something is happening. They asked me to call back at the end of the week to check whether they have received my cancellation notice.
July 22nd, I received a formal email from Wyndham stating that even if they received the cancellation notice out of the rescission period but due to the fact that I contacted them on the night of July 8th, they have agreed to cancel my contract. What a relief........
I couldn't happier to see that email. Finally I was out of this mess.
The moral of the story - Never ever purchase anything without doing thorough research. I felt so dumb doing that. How could I buy something which is costing me $23k at the spur of the moment without doing detailed research. That was so not me.
I wanted to post this and hope that it might be of any help to potential viewers that are in similar situation like mine.