Reviews of the timeshare industry by the owners...
On 6 May 2007, while staying @ Sunset Lagoon, we were invited to a 90 minute timeshare tour and presentation which ended up lasting over 5 hours. During the sales promotion, we were introduced to a rental program "through their Marketing office" which would rent our unused vacations for $1500 which would help cover our maintenance fee.
The program was attractive and we bought. While signing the contract, which involved the timeshare facility and another facility, we repeatedly questioned documentation of the rental program. We were told there was no need, it was an understood policy. Every day we went over the program with our sales person and were guaranteed of its operation. On 17 May, Customer Service called to go over some personal information. I again questioned the rental program and was told "Sunset is a timeshare sales, not a rental office, you can rent on your own". Quite upset, I was then told I would hear from the Sales Director, the next day. NEVER... On 4 Jun, I heard from a Sales Manager, who pretty much admitted that the program was non-existent.
Voicing my disdain, he said HE was cancelling me (he just voided my contract!). I immediately called my credit card company which is disputing the charge. I did not hear from anyone until 28 Aug when Customer Service called wanting to send my welcome package, saying that my contract was still active - after almost 3 months of silence and having been told I was canceled ?? Obviously, they got the chargeback from the credit card. Now, I have been called by legal, threatening me. He says the sales manager has no authority to cancel me, yet I have not heard from anyone from 4 Jun to 28 Aug and then not again until 19 Sep. I questioned their sales practice. Legal stated they could not control what was said or done in the sales room.
Then they offered me a different package. I asked for everything in writing (being penalized rental program not in writing!!). They asked me to send an email saying I would review the package and it would be sent via express mail. I did so that night, but also asked questions regarding trust, management practices, guarantees, lack of confidence, etc. (Once burned!!) I also mentioned that I would be on travel shortly. Legal called the next day, reneging his offer because "I asked questions and was taking several trips (don't know what that has to do with anything)", and he would see me in court.
Thru various websites, I have now learned my situation is a common practice with Sunset. They are non-responsive to any email - probably don't want to put anything in writing. I will be sending complaints to the several suggested points of contact, and weblinks, such as Profeco, US Embassy, Federal Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, etc. Sunset maintains a business office in Miami, so I will check out that area and send notices to anyone applicable there. I described the situation to a well-known local lawyer who cited the phase "intentional statement of fraud", which is misrepresentation for profit/gain, knowing that the client relies on falsehood and is then damaged as a result.
Thanks to all for the information and tips from other victims.