• Report: #429995

Complaint Review: Lifestyles Holidays Vacation Club

  • Submitted: Mon, March 02, 2009
  • Updated: Sun, April 05, 2009

  • Reported By:Columbia Maryland
Lifestyles Holidays Vacation Club
Cofresi Beach, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic Nationwide Dominican Republic

Lifestyles Holidays Vacation Club The use of Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices by Lifestyles Holidays Vacation Club LHVC, and/or Lifestyles Holiday Escrow Agency, Inc. Puerto Plata Dominican Republic

*Author of original report: Debbie Corp (Sheffield) and her LEGIT business & website: http://cascadesvipvacations.co.uk/

*Author of original report: Lifestyles Holidays Vacation Club (LHVC), and/or Lifestyles Holiday Escrow Agency, Inc. uses Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, PLEASE JOIN OUR FIGHT!

What's this?
What's this?
What's this?
Is this
Ripoff Report
About you?
Ripoff Report
A business' first
line of defense
on the Internet.
If your business is
willing to make a
commitment to
customer satisfaction
Click here now..

Does your business have a bad reputation?
Fix it the right way.
Corporate Advocacy Program™

SEO Reputation Management at its best!

On April 20, 2008, we were invited on a tour to visit LHVC, as we were originally staying at the Villas Jazmin, Costambar, Puerto Plata, D.R. (http://www.villasjazmin.com). It appears that LHVC has made a deal with smaller resorts/hotels in the area, in efforts to lure new members with an upgrade to their resort once a purchase has been made. This tour must have been established prior to arrival, as it was listed on our week's itinerary. During our sale's pitch, representative gave us the following false facts. First, we were informed that they would purchase our existing Hollywood Beach Tower Timeshare. Our sales representative left the room numerous times to consult with his manager about pricing, Finally, the supervisor (Jesus S. Garcia-Tallaj), haggled the price and offered to take $5,000 off our purchase for ownership of our existing timeshare. We were given instruction to fax or email proof ownership once we returned to the United States. Secondly, we were informed that with Lifestyles we would no longer have a maintenance fee and we would only pay when we traveled. This material fact was heavily relied on, because we pay an RCI maintenance fee annually for our timeshare property. With more in depth research we have discovered that a proper sale of a timeshare requires a lawyer and legal papers to be signed. Being that LHVC is in the timeshare business, they should know that, so it appears that they never intended on purchasing our timeshare.

Furthermore, we were falsely told that we would not need RCI to book vacations. Representatives told us that LHVC were the new trend in Timeshare industry and that they would be taking over all RCI properties soon. We were informed that we could just book all of our vacation through them. We would be assigned one agent who we could either call or email. During their pitch, the RCI and other travel guides were constantly waved in our faces and we were told that we could go to any of the sister resorts with ease. Also, the amount of money that could be made was a huge part of the sales pitch. They encouraged us to create a website to invite friends and family to purchase the use our membership. They directed us to a website (http://cascadesvipvacations.co.uk/), created by Platinum memberships, who were currently selling the use of their membership to others.

Well, when we first joined (4/20/08), there was a picture of a couple that was running this site. Now, it appears to be a single woman by the name of Debbie. This website appears to be another form of deception and I would NEVER advise a loved one to visit this resort without knowing what they were getting into.

Another issue was that we were not pleased with their customer service department. On 5/1/08, our initial customer service representative (Nadira Garufi), indicated that we would be receiving a Welcome Package in the mail in about 6-8 weeks from the date of purchase. The email also indicated that the company preferred to use email as the method of communication, because a record could be made of all communications. On 6/23/08, we got an email from a Vance Paul who was introduced as our New representative going forward. We then inquired to him about our Welcome Package, and his response was that it would arrive in 8 weeks. By this time it had already been 9 weeks since our date of purchase. Mr. Paul's response to our earlier vacation inquiries was that there were no accommodations available, but they had provided us with courteous weeks to be placed in our RCI bank. This caused us some confusion, because we were under the belief that we did not need RCI weeks since we already had unlimited weeks with LHVC according to them. Mr. Paul was not timely and/or did not thoroughly respond to my emails, therefore we requested a new representative on 7/10/2008.

On 7/14/08, we were assigned Kristina Novakovic. Once again we inquired about our Welcome Package and she told us there was a delay in the production and we should expect to receive it in 2 to 3 weeks. There were several other emails sent where major contract points were explained, ones that should have all been explained during the sale of the contract. On 9/23/2008, we received an email introducing yet another customer sales representative Vicky Nyland. We finally received our Welcome Package in the mail on October 15th, 2008, although the Conditional Membership Certificate and Welcome Letter were dated May 2008. This date obviously inaccurate, as we were told that there was a delay in production on July 14th, 2008.

LHVC responded to our demand letter with an email instructing us on how to either use their Re-Sale Program, or how to transfer ownership of our timeshare to them. Well, we did not feel comfortable using their Re-Sale Program, because when we asked for an established application or a list of terms, they could not provide us with either. The transfer of ownership we originally thought had happened, required a legal document called a "Quit Claim Deed". We found out about this process only after receiving our maintenance fee bill in October (meaning we were still owners), this prompted our own inquiry to our existing timeshare company.

To make matters FAR worse, although we had formally told LHVC to stop the monthly membership withdraw, on 1/20/09 Lifestyle Holiday Puerto Plata withdrew the same monthly membership fee anyway. While the transaction was pending, they were listed as a Standard Cross Collection. Note: Previous debits posted on the 9th of each month, and were listed under Escrow Agency Distrib NACI. So, we were livid! After sending an official request to stop debits, they took it anyway under a different name. If that is not criminal activity, I don't know what is??? Also, how is an Escrow Agency doubling as a Collection Agency? To combat this, we had to shut down that debit card to really ensure that no more deductions would occur.

Right now we are trying to gather as much information about this group as possible. One of the victims has obtained a Private Investigator and they have come very far. We have started a group on Facebook (The TRUTH about Lifestyles Holidays Vacation Club (LHVC) & Escrow Agency), and really want to build a community. Please join to share your stories As we learn more about this company, we will keep everyone updated. In order to make this a Federal case, Class Action Lawsuit, and attract international media attention, we must have the numbers that reflect this to be a serious issue, one that must be addressed! THANK YOU!

Nicole
Columbia, Maryland
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/02/2009 03:05 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Lifestyles-Holidays-Vacation-Club/nationwide/Lifestyles-Holidays-Vacation-Club-The-use-of-Deceptive-and-Unfair-Trade-Practices-by-Lifes-429995. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

Click Here to read other Ripoff Reports on Lifestyles Holidays Vacation Club

Search for additional reports

If you would like to see more Rip-off Reports on this company/individual, search here:

Search Tips
Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Also a victim?
What's this?
Repair Your Reputation!
What's this?
REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Debbie Corp (Sheffield) and her LEGIT business & website: http://cascadesvipvacations.co.uk/

AUTHOR: Truth revealed - (U.S.A.)

This update is to inform those who are interested in doing business with Mrs. Corp.

As I've already shared with Debbie, when LHVC first presented her website to us in April of 2008, it showed a picture of a couple. As of late March 2009, it was pointed out to me that the original picture was of Debbie and her husband. Sadly, her husband has passed away.

In my report, I made mention of her website because LHVC said that we could use ALL of the content from their site to create our own. Unknown to me at the time, Debbie and her husband had given LHVC permission to use their website in their sale's pitches (which she admitted to). It wasn't until Feb. 2009, (while making further investigations into LHVC), that I noticed the content was different. This biggest change was in the "About Me" section. The original information had told a story of how this couple had gotten involved with LHVC. Now, that story is of how Debbie (the only one pictured), came to know LHVC.

At that point, a LOT of fraudulent things had come to light, and there were so many complaints about LHVC, nothing seemed too far fetch for this group. Having members create websites is one of their ways of getting clients to their door. The way my business relationship with LHVC was shaping up, I had no reason to trust any of their avenues of marketing. My exact wording was "This website appears to be another form of deception", keyword would be "APPEARS". I never said it was a scam. I have no problems admitting that I made a mistake by not contacting Debbie first, this is where hindsight comes in... But, none of this changes the way I feel about LHVC and how they decided to do business with me. Like I told Debbie, it was her decision to allow LHVC to use their site in that way (which she admits she has stopped) and NOT mine... That's why it became a part of my story, LHVC presented it to me.

Ultimately, none of this would matter if there were not any real issues with LHVC. I was never trying to personally make attacks against Debbie, although some would like to try and make it seem that way. I don't know her personally, and where would that get me, really? My fight is solely with LHVC. I've never done business with Debbie, but she appears to be a honest business woman.

The way I see it, it's probably better to book with people like her, while making sure you know all the facts about purchasing Real Estate, and Vacation Packages when visiting the D.R.. I received information from knowledgeable professionals and there are contractual guidelines that are not being followed, ones those like LHVC KNOW, you don't know about. Trust me, I wish I knew all this before I entered their "Now or Never" Sales pitch, where contracts are not standard and cancellation clauses are left out (BE SURE TO HAVE THEM ADD ONE AND WHATEVER ELSE YOU SEE FIT). If possible, bring a lawyer, especially if you own an existing timeshare.

Bottom line, however you make it to this beautiful resort, save your money and just enjoy your vacation...
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#2 Author of original report

Lifestyles Holidays Vacation Club (LHVC), and/or Lifestyles Holiday Escrow Agency, Inc. uses Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, PLEASE JOIN OUR FIGHT!

AUTHOR: Truth revealed - (U.S.A.)

PLEASE JOIN OUR FIGHT! We started a group on Facebook called "The TRUTH about Lifestyles Holidays Vacation Club (LHVC) & Escrow Agency". Please share your stories As we learn more about this company, we will keep everyone updated. In order to make this a Federal case, Class Action Lawsuit, and attract international media attention, we must have the numbers that reflect this to be a serious issue, one that must be addressed!

Currently, one of our fellow victims has gathered a lot of useful information with the help of a Private Investigator. Once he is comfortable that he has gathered enough evidence, he will be sharing that with me and I will intern share that with the group.

We plan on contacting news station and even the Oprah show to try to expose this company and get back what we ALL are owed!!! Together we CAN bring this to the public, so that this will not happen to others.

Here's Our Story:

On December 15, 2008 we sent a demand letter to Lifestyles Holidays Vacation Club (LHVC) to cancel our Penthouse membership. In this letter, the bank instructed us to formally deny permission to Lifestyles Holiday Escrow Agency, Inc. from making any further monthly debits. We also demanded to be fully refunded the monies already paid.

The decision to cancel this membership was not made lightly. It was based on the belief that their company engaged in Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices. During our sales pitch Lifestyles' representatives made several statements of material fact relevant to the transaction that they knew to be false. We both relied on these facts in the negotiation and ultimate decision to purchase the membership. For the 9 months we were members, we have documented their continued misrepresentations.

On April 20, 2008, we were invited on a tour to visit LHVC, as we were originally staying at the Villas Jazmin, Costambar, Puerto Plata, D.R. (http://www.villasjazmin.com). It appears that LHVC has made a deal with smaller resorts/hotels in the area, in efforts to lure new members with an upgrade to their resort once a purchase has been made. This tour must have been established prior to arrival, as it was listed on our week's itinerary. During our sale's pitch, representative gave us the following false facts. First, we were informed that they would purchase our existing Hollywood Beach Tower Timeshare. Our sales representative left the room numerous times to consult with his manager about pricing, Finally, the supervisor (Jesus S. Garcia-Tallaj), haggled the price and offered to take $5,000 off our purchase for ownership of our existing timeshare. We were given instruction to fax or email proof ownership once we returned to the United States. Secondly, we were informed that with Lifestyles we would no longer have a maintenance fee and we would only pay when we traveled. This material fact was heavily relied on, because we pay an RCI maintenance fee annually for our timeshare property. With more in depth research we have discovered that a proper sale of a timeshare requires a lawyer and legal papers to be signed. Being that LHVC is in the timeshare business, they should know that, so it appears that they never intended on purchasing our timeshare.

Furthermore, we were falsely told that we would not need RCI to book vacations. Representatives told us that LHVC were the new trend in Timeshare industry and that they would be taking over all RCI properties soon. We were informed that we could just book all of our vacation through them. We would be assigned one agent who we could either call or email. During their pitch, the RCI and other travel guides were constantly waved in our faces and we were told that we could go to any of the sister resorts with ease. Also, the amount of money that could be made was a huge part of the sales pitch. They encouraged us to create a website to invite friends and family to purchase the use our membership. They directed us to a website (http://cascadesvipvacations.co.uk/), created by Platinum memberships, who were currently selling the use of their membership to others. Well, when we first joined (4/20/08), there was a picture of a couple that was running this site. Now, it appears to be a single woman by the name of Debbie. This website appears to be another form of deception and I would NEVER advise a loved one to visit this resort without knowing what they were getting into.

Another issue was that we were not pleased with their customer service department. On 5/1/08, our initial customer service representative (Nadira Garufi), indicated that we would be receiving a Welcome Package in the mail in about 6-8 weeks from the date of purchase. The email also indicated that the company preferred to use email as the method of communication, because a record could be made of all communications. On 6/23/08, we got an email from a Vance Paul who was introduced as our New representative going forward. We then inquired to him about our Welcome Package, and his response was that it would arrive in 8 weeks. By this time it had already been 9 weeks since our date of purchase. Mr. Paul's response to our earlier vacation inquiries was that there were no accommodations available, but they had provided us with courteous weeks to be placed in our RCI bank. This caused us some confusion, because we were under the belief that we did not need RCI weeks since we already had unlimited weeks with LHVC according to them. Mr. Paul was not timely and/or did not thoroughly respond to my emails, therefore we requested a new representative on 7/10/2008.

On 7/14/08, we were assigned Kristina Novakovic. Once again we inquired about our Welcome Package and she told us there was a delay in the production and we should expect to receive it in 2 to 3 weeks. There were several other emails sent where major contract points were explained, ones that should have all been explained during the sale of the contract. On 9/23/2008, we received an email introducing yet another customer sales representative Vicky Nyland. We finally received our Welcome Package in the mail on October 15th, 2008, although the Conditional Membership Certificate and Welcome Letter were dated May 2008. This date obviously inaccurate, as we were told that there was a delay in production on July 14th, 2008.

LHVC responded to our demand letter with an email instructing us on how to either use their Re-Sale Program, or how to transfer ownership of our timeshare to them. Well, we did not feel comfortable using their Re-Sale Program, because when we asked for an established application or a list of terms, they could not provide us with either. The transfer of ownership we originally thought had happened, required a legal document called a "Quit Claim Deed". We found out about this process only after receiving our maintenance fee bill in October (meaning we were still owners), this prompted our own inquiry to our existing timeshare company.

To make matters FAR worse, although we had formally told LHVC to stop the monthly membership withdraw, on 1/20/09 Lifestyle Holiday Puerto Plata withdrew the same monthly membership fee anyway. While the transaction was pending, they were listed as a Standard Cross Collection. Note: Previous debits posted on the 9th of each month, and were listed under Escrow Agency Distrib NACI. So, we were livid! After sending an official request to stop debits, they took it anyway under a different name. If that is not criminal activity, I don't know what is??? Also, how is an Escrow Agency doubling as a Collection Agency? To combat this, we had to shut down that debit card to really ensure that no more deductions would occur.
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Report & Rebuttal
Respond to this report!
What's this?
Also a victim?
What's this?
Repair Your Reputation!
What's this?
X