Skip to comments.Vacation Clubs
Posted on 01/12/2014 8:12:30 PM PST by Allen In Texas Hill Country
We got pulled into a so-called vacation club pitch. Long story short, after the pitch which included stated price of $9k I told the interviewer I wasn't interested and then added but might for $3k. Two or three talked back and forth and they finally said OK. That should have been a clue but in any case I went for it.
We do travel a bit and I thought I might be able to use the site. MAYBE???
Got 3 days to change my mind and thought I might toss this out to the Freepers,
I left the actual name out of the discussion just to be safe. Thanks for any help.
How can anyone say if you don’t provide any details?
Well you’re safe, and the name has got to be the ballgame, I should think, before advising someone.
A few years ago, wee went to a hard-sell for Shell Vacation Club in Hawaii to get all the free goodies. It’s my opinion that these things are total scams, and in the best case an extraordinarily bad value.
I strongly urge you to cancel and use the money to go on vacations you arrange yourself. You’ll save money and have better and varied vacations.
If it was me, I’d overnight a cancellation letter via FEDEX ASAP.
Any doubts, google:
vacation clubs scam
Get out NOW!!!!!
Too many stories, too long to tell — things are never available when and where you want them, locations are not very good — you can stay at great hotels for the price — also I am sure there are monthly/yearly fees — you can vacation at luxury hotels of your choice every year with the money you don’t give them. You also can NEVER sell it, nobody ever buys those, except a very few gullible people from the slick salespeople.
I hope you didn’t actually put any money down.
CANCEL it IN writing. Get ready for a strong assault from them trying to change your mind.
Don’t EVER set up any appointments to talk to people like this.
As PT Barnum said, there is a sucker born every minute, don’t be one!!!
My wife’s sister joined one. You buy points and get to stay at their properties based on them. She likes it because she and her husband like to go to the same vacation places over and over again(East and West Florida mostly) Didn’t interest me because I’m not keen on Florida. She says it’s saved her some money but the real value was it induced her to actually get away and take vacation(probably kept her from buying a condo down there too, which was good.)
Of course you have to keep pouring money into it to pay various fees, you’re limited in your choices, they might not have dates you want, you can’t readily sell it....
You’re running out of time to cancel
They are not going to give you anything for free. They need to hook you into something so they can make some money on you.
They may have indicated a new price of $3K ... but if you do not run away (now) they will squeeze the $9K out of you. Some how. Some way. It's what they do. They are not in the vacation business. They are in the "squeezing $9k out of people" business.
I hope you will get out of this and hopefully learn your lesson for the future: NEVER, NEVER EVER sign anything on the spot. There is NO “good deal” that will be gone by tomorrow or the next day. If it were a good deal, all they would have to do is put a small ad and people would be standing in line. Don’t EVER let sales people into your home — go to their office, so if you want to, you can just get up and leave and don’t give them info about yourself either.
They clearly did a con job on you starting with the $9K and then make you think you are getting such a good deal for only $3K. That’s a standard tactic and what you witnessed about them arguing with each other was a well choreographed act.
The reason they pressure you on the spot is exactly because they know that once you sleep on it and think about it you may realize it’s just a big scam.
Before the four clubs, if you have a BJs, Costco, or any of the numerous store memberships, try them first. If you plan on renting cars or traveling with a credit card, get one that provides vehicle insurance and purchase protection on tickets, and insurance on your luggage (Visa has these).
Marriott in Spain. We bought a time share and loved the Marriott concept, but it is expensive. We have sold it after 11 years.
Grand Resort Travel. We went and saw the product which is discounted vacations, tickets, hotels, etc. This is great for those who are not Internet savvy or want the comfort of getting a decent price; but when you factor in the prices of entry level at $2K plus or $5-6K then you have to take a lot of vacations of get your money back.
Blue Green/Pro Bass. They are affiliated and go hand-in-hand. Take the 3 day/2 night sampler for $99 and get your money back in the form of gift cards.
Carnival Cruise: They are a club of sorts. They want you take a credit card for a discount and then charge your bills while traveling with them. Carnival is about Food, Food, and more Food so not for those on diet. If your ticket costs $250, rest assured the fees will push this to almost double in most cases on 10-days or less travel time.
All vacation clubs have sales people and closers and their success in selling you their product keeps them their jobs.
“They are not in the vacation business. They are in the “squeezing $9k out of people” business.”
You are absolutely right — when you want to go on vacation you will have to pay as much or MORE, as you would if you would take a vacation on your own and you are restricted. There will always be more fees to “maintain your membership” and if you go anywhere it will cost you more and more and more — you will keep throwing good money after bad, because you will convince yourself, that you “want to get your money’s worth” — there is no end in sight with this.
Get out NOW. If you actually put down some money, try to get it back, but I hope you didn’t write them a check for the entire $3K, if you did, call your bank and stop payment on the check immediately. If you put it on a credit card, call them and send them an overnight FedEx letter, call your bank, fax them a copy and tell them to not honor the charges.
You will need to work hard and fast to get out of this, but if you don’t you WILL regret it.
There are lot better things you can do with $3K, than hand it to scam artists.
Here is what AARP says:
Vacation Club Vexation
Promised freebies may be bait to hit you with membership hard-sell and high fees
“If you do attend a presentation, never sign anything there. Many contracts are riddled with small-print loopholes designed to disadvantage members. Youll want to carefully review the entire contractperhaps with a lawyers helpaway from the hard sell.
Keep your credit card in your wallet. Some travel club reps demand to see your plastic for identification purposes before detailing their offers. But that could be a ruse to put charges on your account. If youre told you must show a credit card, walk away.”
You said you looked on the internet — I just did a few searches — the “good” is usually said by those actually promoting the clubs.
Here is another article of caution:
Don’t let travel clubs take you for a ride
May 23, 2013
“Nationwide, more than 2,000 people filed complaints last year with the Better Business Bureau about travel clubs.
The Better Business Bureau in Dallas said in a report last month that the complaints “provide a glimpse into a complex network of evolving and widespread travel club schemes that deceptively operate throughout the country.””
And look what the Better Business Bureau in Dallas says — the link to this pdf was in the article I mentioned above:
Travel Club Schemes:
Inside The Promotion Commotion
“In 2012, BBB received over 200,000 inquiries nationwide regarding companies in
the travel club industry. In addition, BBB received over 2,000 consumer complaints
in that same time period. Many of those complaints provide a glimpse into a
complex network of evolving and widespread travel club schemes that deceptively
operate throughout the country. This dark side of the travel club industry has
increasingly produced criticism by marketplace advocates and law enforcement
alike. However, as recent marketing campaigns suggest, this scheme is as popular
The annual fees and maintenance are a killer. Get your money back. You can rent places for a couple of weeks for much less money.
Check out vacation rentals by owner at vrbo.com
Have used the service several times and the places have been great and the prices really good.
Thanks all. I posted the query late and thought I would check back in the morning. But my nerves are so shot I won’t be sleeping for awhile.
Thanks for the responses. The cancellation form says to mail the package and cancellation form back. I’ll be overnighting it, registered and return receipt.
Don’t ever get old :<(((((((((((
“The cancellation form says to mail the package and cancellation form back. Ill be overnighting it, registered and return receipt.”
As I said, if you gave them a check, call your bank and cancel it first thing in the morning and if you gave them a credit card, call your credit card company and tell them to not honor it and make sure they take a note of your call, ask them for a fax number and fax them also your cancellation and do anything formal you need to do to request that they not honor the charge. Check and make sure that the charges haven’t gone through — hopefully they have to wait the 3 days before they can charge it.
And if you don’t have a lot of regular charges going onto that credit card, you can cancel it and request another one with a different number, and the bank will overnight you another card, terms and everything else stay the same. I recently had a situation where I thought I was dealing with a reputable firm, gave them my CC number — completely different situation than yours — but they didn’t do the work, I got concerned that they may charge my card anyway, my bank was very helpful, changed the card number. The usual “an ounce of prevention” is better than to have to fight it.
I noticed on your home page you are or used to be a computer programmer — so we all know you are smart, but sometimes smart people are the easiest “marks” because they tend to be too trusting, they are honest and think everyone else is.
Hope you will follow through and cancel and keep your money, rather than trying to get it back.
Good luck now and in the future. :)
And one more thing — obvious, but when one is frazzled, it’s easy to forget something — be sure to make a copy of the cancellation notice you sign and send.
Now go get a good night sleep, knowing that you made your sensible decision and take care of it first thing tomorrow.
>”Got 3 days to change my mind and thought I might toss this out to the Freepers,”
My guess is you dont have 3 days to cancel. Usually, and that may vary by state, 3 days is given for contract cancellation when a salesman visits your house! Otherwise contracts are binding. They told you that you have 3 days so you’d sign. Doh! Doh!
Report your credit card lost, cancel your check. Whatever it takes.
My personal philosophy is to never let a salesman “sell me”.
If I finding a sales pitch attractive, I ask myself did I think I need this in the last week, last 3 months or a year, if not then they are creating that desire within me(sales tactics) and I only buy when I create that desire within myself. I sell myself!
>The cancellation form says to mail the package and cancellation form back. Ill be overnighting it, registered and return receipt.
My guess is that goofy form is just that a goofy form and that there may be no cancellation language in the contract.
Goofy forms and lies to get you to sign!
That business is completely scummy, and I understand it well, since I used to work in it.
Even the reputable names, such as Disney and Hilton, engage in the same pricing strategies and misleading sales tactics.
Get out of the deal. You asked and that is the advice you got from everyone.
After you take care of that come back and ask the right question, “Can anyone recommend a great vacation location that I can arrange myself?”
I think you'll find with a little work that you will come across some excellent deals on your own via the internet.
Sometimes it's a reward unto itself putting together a good deal.
Lots of good advice.
Let me add a few things.
We bought one: never again. We were young, and it was before we had kids.
Advantages: We went to some great places by exchanging our week. Disney, skiing out west. We used it as a chance to explore and see new places. As kids got older we could change to different kinds of places. Also forced us to to on vacation once a year!
Disadvantages: Cost. The yearly maintenance fee (700 bucks now) the Exchange fee: 130 bucks and the membership fee - It think another 100 annually). So - it costs another 1000 bucks a year to “own a week” which we also paid for.
We no longer own. We have had great luck with a few websites: Vacation rentals by owner (vrbo.com), Priceline and hotwire - and lots of other sites.
The group would meet & decide where to go (several trips per year) & for how long. The trips were open to the public. Prices were good because no one was making a profit & groups can get discounts for flights & hotels. Traveling with friends & neighbors can be a lot of fun & you wind up with new friends. One of the best parts of traveling this way is the trip coordinator handled all the details, luggage, checkin/out, etc., leaving Mom free to sight see.
I've done the same thing with the local ski club in my younger years.
Check around at some of the larger churches in your area. I'll bet some of them have a travel group. The ripoff factor is near zero.
Besides the ‘goofy’ cancel form the contract also has the same cancellation stipulation down to the return address.
I hope I’ll remember to post the outcome of this screw-up.
Besides paying the $3k you will be hit with annual maintenance fees and the like. I joined one and got socked with a $700 fee.
Get out and join the Disney Vacation Club.
They have not only the resorts at Disney World, they have California, Vero Beach Fl., Hilton Head, and Hawaii.
They have connections with resorts around the world, and tours (Adventures by Disney).
We did some calculations when we first joined and that we can stay at a $300+ per night room for $70 over the life of our contract. We live on the east coast, so, we go to WDW several times a year, but, sometimes we go to Hilton Head which is only an hour from the house. It’s been perfect for us.
What we liked best was there was no pressure at all in the presentation. We walked in, got the spiel, they said, here it is, if you like it, or, we’ll give you a few fast passes and take you to your favorite park. Then the presenter left the room.
We were ready to buy when we went to the spiel, but, the wife said she would have walked out if she had felt any pressure.
Best vacation selection we ever made.
Cancel, cancel, CANCEL!!! “Vacation Club” is just another name for “Time Share.” If you really like the place, then you should easily be able to rent a unit from one of the suckers who brought a membership for a lot less than the cost of the membership.
One more thing but probably too late for you:
is to follow the instructions in the contract for cancelling.If it says ‘submit in writing’ your cancellation, then write up your own statement. The language in the contract will follow federal and state law.
Frequently the ‘goofy’ cancellation form that they provide,
will take away what the law provides for you and has clauses that you sign agreeing to steep cancellation fees and what not.
Well, how did it go — did you want to give us an update?
If you decided not to cancel, we understand — I was so emphatic, because I had more one friend make very poor investments, I warned them, they didn’t listen and indeed lost all their money.
You can take a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.
Hope you made an effort and were successful in getting out of the deal — if not you will see the light eventually and think of us then...
Mailed package back this morning, registered and return receipt. The UPS people said that even tho the address was a PO box that the USPS could get a signature. Sure wonder how.
Today we got two introductory calls from them. The first I didn’t answer ‘cause I wasn’t sure what to say and the wife was not home. The second call was later in the day and the wife said she would talk to them.
We said we really messed up because we have no plans to travel for the next few years and that we returned everything as per the instructions. The lady on the other end was quite cordial and understanding. She said to expect the refund in 2 or 3 weeks.
Thanks for all the input and I’ll post a follow up thread,,,,,,,,,,,,,, hopefully when that happens.
They could have new phone numbers and addresses in 2 weeks.
Hope it works out.
Excellent! I am proud of you! :)
Thanks for the update.
The USPS can indeed get a signature — they put a notice into the box, letting the box holder know that there is an item that needs to be signed for, so when they go to pick up their mail, they go to the counter, sign for it and get the item.
Hope you’ll get back/keep your money.
As long as you have your receipt, you should be OK, if these people are half-way legit.
But I would still cancel the check or call the credit card company. An ounce of prevention and all that — unless they already cashed the check or charged your credit card. If there is a charge, I would call the credit card company and let them know the situation that you canceled it and that there should be a credit shortly, if there isn’t, that they shouldn’t have charged it until after the cancellation period expired, so they have a record.
As I said, I recently had to cancel my credit card and it was no hassle at all, it’s easier to prevent than to try to rectify such things.
“They could have new phone numbers and addresses in 2 weeks.”
You are absolutely right.
The fact that all they provided is a P.O. BOX number, no physical address, is another red flag.
As I said before, cancel the check or credit card, rather than wait for a refund, which may or may not ever come and all you have is a P.O. BOX address for them, so you can’t even find them to sue them.
Why is it taking them weeks to give you a refund?
Either way, hopefully you learned your lesson and will NEVER sign anything on the spot, without going home to think about it.
Outcome, he DID get 90% of his money back!