Below is the context of a letter being faxed to BBB of Florida, Westgate Resorts via Central Florida Investments, and the Attorney General of Florida:
To Whom It May Concern, BBB of Central Florida:
In 1998/99, my wife and I purchased/upgraded a timeshare through Central Florida Investments via Westgate Resorts in Orlando, Fl. This purchase was made with Westgate in good faith and written premise of the availability and High rating (Red Weeks) for our unit to trade across the Westgate locations, and also through Interval International, a closely tied organization for swapping timeshare use throughout other companies and countries.
Over the past few years we were able bank, swap out weeks, and generally had a good working relationship with the Co for utilizing this timeshare. Only a few issues arose with regards to utilizing the banked years' weeks, and transfers, but these were worked out with employees onsite with the initiative to ensure the customer was taken care of through industry best practice. Costs of these swaps for use of our week during these years was generally fifty ($50) to one hundred and thirty ($130) dollars based on details of the swap.
In September 2005, we paid off the balance of the mortgage' with this company.
With the news of a military (officer) relative of his intent to marry in Las Vegas, we contacted Westgate to swap out our week to their current resort in the area to be a member in his wedding, and help offset his costs as a member of the wedding party. My wife contacted Westgate to go through the same procedures in utilizing a banked' week, this time in Las Vegas for the event. Below is documented outlining of the dialogue between my wife and various Westgate representatives (last names of representatives are not available):
1. July 24th Spoke with Cindy. Our week with Westgate has now been invalued as of Jan 1st, 2006. Nothing was sent as notification to owners, but this policy now being enforced.
2. Same day Transferred to Bobby, Supervisor ext 13045 in Ocoee FL. If we were rejoined to Interval International, every week would be a valued week. Interval International still has no seasons' for valuation. He stated that our week has always been an invalued season, but now it was being enforced. Wife informed Bobby that our deed does not state anything about invalued seasons, states all year. Bobby stated this is a new policy as of Jan 2006. Bobby also stated we can exchange our week for an upgrade to another week for a fee. In order to also swap our week for Las Vegas, there would be an additional $500 in addition to the transfer of $130. (According to the Las Vegas Westgate website, the cost to book this without being an owner' is $715)
a. In 1999, when the property was originally purchased, our week was a Valued week, also known as a Red Week (highest rating). If we were aware that this week was truly' an Invalued week, or devalued, we never would have purchased the deed.
3. July 31st Attempted to contact Westgate, on hold for over 20-30 minutes per attempt, hung up on twice. Third attempt, spoke with Diana. 22 minutes on hold to transfer to Bobby. Bobby unable to take call, was promised to call back the same day. Pending fax from Bobby with policy change in writing, and ability to check against our deeded information.
4. Aug 1st Attempted to call Bobby again due to lack of response. Left VM about Fax of new policy now in force, as well as documentation about new exchange fee. Never received Fax.
5. Aug 5th Was hung up on during initial call. Second attempt, reached Stephan. Bobby is Stephan's supervisor as well. Was again offered Season Upgrade'. Also stated that new policy is now listed in the Co. Public Offering Statement, not Owners manual. Stated that this new policy also states that Westgate reserves the right to change Policies as warranted. New Fixed' seasons are for weeks falling over Christmas, Easter, New Years. All Season' weeks are now broken into owners with weeks June through August, some weeks in Feb/March. Our week is the first week in Oct, or week 40'.
Due to a change in policy within Westgate, our real estate investment has been devalued outside of allowing owners proper buyouts for losing the benefits endowed during purchase. It also appears that once you have paid off your mortgate', that you are placed into a owner group that will have to purchase new deeds forcefully for the same benefits in place while there was a balance of capital on their account.
Westgate has opened new options for owners to work around this policy change. This work-around entails more dollars to regain value in their properties. If this policy change occurred when my account still had a balance of dollars capital to be paid for the property, Westgate/CFI would be in breech of the contract.
Our property has been reclassified from a Highly valued property season', to a budget season, and will not be updated to the previous status without my family outlaying more dollars to the Company. Also, in order to have the same benefits as when originally purchased, we would again have to join a separate company, Interval International, with more membership dues associated. This company is still utilizing deceptive practices to lure, attach, and provide ongoing financial burden to families across the country and abroad. Based on our experiences and others across the internet, it is very evident through these years that in order to receive these benefits after a debt is fullfilled, an owner must continue to purchase upgrades, change requests, and various other services' to stay in good favor.
To resolve this complaint, it is up to Westgate/Central Florida Investments' best discretion to either revalue the property at original contract levels, with all benefits and ammenities reloaded to the account, or refund the full purchase price of the property at original face value.
In addition to this Faxed document, an online complaint has been placed with your office through the website for your locality.
Thank you for your response,
Florida Commissioner of Deeds, Florida Attorney General,
Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)
Central Florida Investments
Please add replies to this as
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Westgatee Resorts