Some businesses look perfectly legal, everything is written on paper and binding to the law. You are ripped off but cannot complain because your signature is on the agreement, even though you really could not foresee the consequences in the future when you signed it. This is exactly how I feel, painfully.
The company that caused this pain is called Recreational Resorts, Ltd or also named Wilderness Resorts and Wilderness Presidential in Spotsylvania, Virginia. Probably, there are many other similar kinds of businesses like them.
Is it a bad business practice? You be the judge.
I bought a lifetime charter membership for $7,000 in 1985. The company had excellent marketing tactics and along with the monthly payments and I also paid about $200 a year for maintenance to use the camping with additional payment and recreation facility. The obligation to pay for maintaining the site is perfectly reasonable if you use it.
This sad story began in 1995. I have no desire to use the site anymore; but I am still forced to pay the maintenance fee that has increased to over $270 a year. I wanted to sell it and paid two realtors at $350 and $170 for selling the membership, but got no response. I also tried to donate to non-profit organizations, but nobody was really interested.
For 18 years I have tried everything, including placing ads in supermarkets, bringing people to the site, or just asking around, but I could not get rid of it. Until recently, a website offered the service of selling this kind of membership. I was the first one to pay $395 for putting an ad on its Web. Just within one month, I have found out that there are 431 other people selling the same membership! Obviously, it is another waste of my money!
Please see the following calculation to see how these smart people ripped all of us off.
Assume 432 members have paid $7,000 to purchase the membership and paid maintenance fees for 10 years without using the facilities. What is the company getting from us? $3,024,000 for membership and $1,080,000 for maintenance fee.
The company is continuing to sell their membership for the business growth. They also hold millions of dollars of those members who cannot sell and at least $750,000 donations from those members who never use their facilities. The number will keep growing if we do not stop it.
What a rip-off?! Who can stop it???
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