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  • Report: #929859

Complaint Review: Royal Holiday Club

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  • Submitted: Mon, August 20, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, August 20, 2012

  • Reported By: george — New York New York United States of America
Royal Holiday Club
Internet United States of America

Royal Holiday Club Vacation Club Membership Internet

*Consumer Comment: Follow up Smart Vacations/Royal Park Hotel/RCI Review

*General Comment: Royal Holiday Timeshare Scam

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In May, my wife, two year old daughter and I stayed for three nights at the Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino. In the lobby of the hotel we were offered a free breakfast and gifts to sit through a presentation for Royal Holiday Club. We were told it would take ninety minutes. It took close to four hours..

It appeared to my wife to be a good deal, in exchange for almost three thousand dollars, we would be given X number of points to be used at any of their resorts/. My wife was told, because she specifically asked, a number of times, if there were any extra fees to book a vacation with the club?. She was told no, there were no other fees.

I remember while walking away from the presentation-and sale- saying to my wife that this company must be legitimate, after all, they are operating inside the lobby of hotel owned by a publicly traded company; this cant be a con I said naively;.

Several days later, after returning home, she called Royal Holiday to book a resort vacation". She was informed that there was a seven hundred dollar fee every time you booked a vacation with the club|. We immediately cancelled, by registered mail and email, the purchase and sale agreement within the seven days of signing!. A casual subsequent investigation on the internet revealed many complaints against Royal Holiday Club, as well as a ABC News 20/20 investigation.

We received several days latter a letter from Royal Holiday Club stating that they were unable to cancel and refund ourmoney. The Visa company has also basically said tough luck, you signed the contract.

I send a letter to the Wyndam Hotel group outlining the above. I received a letter stating that they are aware of the group operating in their hotel and will look into it. On a trip advisor website, I have seen complaints about RHC operating in the lobby of this hotel dating back to 2003. Wyndam knows perfectly well who and what RHC are doing in their lobby.

Royal Holiday Club are corporate con artists added and abetted by companies like Wyndam.

If you are in any hotel anywhere in the world and are offered Timeshares or Travel Club membership, walk away, quickly, you were almost mugged.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/20/2012 11:51 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Royal-Holiday-Club/internet/Royal-Holiday-Club-Vacation-Club-Membership-Internet-929859. 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.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Follow up Smart Vacations/Royal Park Hotel/RCI Review

AUTHOR: Cassius - ()

My wife and I were also close to signing up for this. However, our introduction was a little different. We were at an airport in Mexico when we were approached by someone from a company (Smart Vacations or Smart Vacations Mexico or something like that). Supposedly this was part of some deal whereby the Mexican government was helping fund this in order to bring tourism back to Mexico by getting more happy campers to come back and spread great stories of their stay in Mexico (in my case, it’s having the opposite effect, but in retrospect I’m sure this “government” story was entirely made up to fool suckers like me). We paid the $170 there at the airport and was later contacted by people from this company to get us to book our hotel stay in Mexico.

As it would turn out, there was also an additional $90 charge for "service." So all-in-all we were paying $260 for our hotel stay (this only covered the hotel room of course; nothing else). Part of the "deal" was that we would have to listen to a 90 minute presentation regarding a membership with RCI/Royal). That seemed somewhat reasonable at the time (this comes out to about $86.60/night which at this point, really isn't a deal as their are much cheaper "deals" in better hotels). This presentation turned out to be a long drawn out used car salesman-style session where each couple participating in this was assigned a specific sales person who would pound you with a barrage of really bad logic from their sales template and label any reasonable objections you proposed as an "excuse."

Last but not least, there was the "Exit Survey" which was really another sales pitch where they offer you a 3 year "trial" that seems like an even worse deal than the 30 year contract (you pay for the membership and then pay additional for the credits you'd use for your hotel stay). It sounds like this is the 'deal' you (George) signed up for. And I am not surprised to find out from your testimony that there was indeed a $700 fee they weren't telling me about.

Not wanting to come off as too confrontational (that's the problem with sales pitches: the sort of objections and counterpoints a person is expected to bring up in debates, even softball questions/objections, comes off as "excuses" or even affronts when made during a sales pitch), I held my tongue on many of the obvious flaws in the 'presentation.' I realize a sales pitch is hardly an objective presentation but sales people often portray themselves as simply giving you objective advice (these guys certainly did).

Here is my review of some of the flawed arguments they presented. Maybe others will find my objections useful should they happen to be considering signing up for an RCI membership (or anything similar).

"We have a Growing Membership"

They'll show you a chart which shows how their membership base has grown since 2009, and this is supposed to prove that this is a good deal. But these are contracts. The people who signed up in 2009 would still be on the books in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, etc (this assumes that the numbers they show you represent the actual membership they are trying to sell—for example, some organizations use off-the-wall metrics like "email subscriptions"). So of course their membership isn't going to shrink. Anyone who signed up in 2010 would simply be additional members for 2010 along with subsequent years. The only way the numbers can shrink here is if people back out of their contract and pay the early termination fee (assuming that's even an option). The only way these membership numbers can stay flat is if 0 memberships are sold in subsequent years.

The sales guy kept repeating something along the lines of "if this weren't a great deal, we wouldn't have such a large membership." Anyone with the faintest knowledge of consumer behavior knows that many people waste their money on liabilities instead of placing them in assets. The idea that "a lot of people are doing this, therefore it's a good deal" is nonsense. Some of the best-selling products/services are pure junk that preys on people's naivete and/or tendency to spend their money on short term pleasures instead of saving their money or investing it in products/services that will benefit them in the long run.

They kept offering to put us on the phone with "satisfied costumers" in our area. I waived this privilege figuring these customers were probably getting some sort of deal for helping close sales and not expecting people already stuck to a contract wanting to admit they’d gotten duped.

"You're saving money by using our service"

No matter how many times I pointed out that we didn't plan on doing any serious traveling for the next few years, as we are saving up for a house and are planning on having kids soon, the sales person kept insisting that we'd regret not signing up because we'd end up spending more money on our travels.

It was a pretty one-way conversation.

What's more is that their service covers only the hotels on their network. Who knows if hotels not in their network would actually provide even better deals (in fact, having switched hotels during our trip, and getting what I believe to be a much better deal than what we had at the Royal Park hotel, I suspect this is the case). In this case, we would actually be paying more through their service than for a deal we can make through the internet with some other hotel not in their network.

"If you're going to buy a house..."

Throughout the presentation, the sales guy kept drawing parallels to buying a house. Since there were two different prices to deal with (one is the monthly fee you pay, and separate from this is an annual fee) I kept trying to keep both prices in mind when trying to total out these costs. The sales guy kept bringing up maintenance fees for a house (as if I was complaining about the annual fee, instead of simply trying to simply keep in mind the true costs of the membership). In retrospect, I suspect this was more of a red herring tactic to keep potential members from totaling the costs correctly, and getting them to only keep the monthly fee in mind, and forgetting about the annual fee.

"Locking in rates for next 30 years"

One of the more (admittedly) attractive features of this is was the idea that you're locked in for 30 years. So while the payment plan ends in 5 years, you can still take advantage of these deals in 6, 10, 15, etc years. What kept me from buying into this was the fact that the next 5 years are very pivotal for me and my wife. With kids and a house on the horizon, we simply didn't want an additional bill on the monthly expenses (a bill we’d be stuck to for 5 years).

What's more is the nagging suspicion that this deal was riddled with small-text disclaimers that we simply weren't going to e able to consider within the context of this "presentation" and would find out later, after we had signed this deal. There is also one potential hiccup to the idea that you are getting an "inflation-adjusted" deal. If a foreign currency such as the Euro or the Peso take a hit, being locked into these rates can actually be a bad deal for the person locked in.

Hotel Quality review

Our stay at the Royal Park hotel was pretty underwhelming. It's not terrible per se, but there is nothing about this place that stands out. There were a few shortcomings, none of which are serious but which also do not lend themselves to the idea of a "quality" hotel and make this place seem a tad inferior to other nearby hotels (and having checked their reviews, it seems that others tend to agree). There is no internet service in the rooms. You have to walk to the restaurants to access their highly unstable internet connection there (this may not be a huge deal for most people but in my line of work I am required to stay in contact with people via email, even through vacations). Speaking of walking, there are no elevators so if you're on an upper level like we were, there is a lot of stair walking. They still use old school keys (not room cards). Again, none of these are a huge deal, but my stay at this hotel also leaves me in doubt as to the quality of stay at other hotels.

We decided to mosey on over to a different hotel and found a deal for a fraction of the local Royal Park Hotel charges. The room itself wasn't as nice (aesthetically) but virtually everything else about this place was head and shoulders above what we experienced at Royal Park. Wifi, elevators, room cards, and it’s close to the beach as well as downtown.

I suspect that if we had actually signed up for this deal, we'd of been stuck to deals with having choose from accommodations that were similarly inferior to other options out there. And they did claim to have deals with specific airlines, which again leaves me skeptical that these were any better than deals we could find on our own, perhaps with airlines not in their network.

As for Smart Vacations or whoever they are, I'm not sure if they are part of RCI, an affiliate, a reseller, or what have you.

In any case, that is my 2 cents. I hope others find it useful.

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#2 General Comment

Royal Holiday Timeshare Scam

AUTHOR: collins80j - ()

You can get yourself out of the contract !! I got mine cancel a few months ago and Im soo much happier now..

I when with Mexican Timeshare Solutions www.timesharescam.com just give them a call they don't ask for any upfront fee and ask as many questions that you have .. they are really professional and they know what they are doing.

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