My correspondence with Better Business Bureau is below. I would prefer not to spend much more of my valuable time on this issue, but I feel others need to know. PS, Summer Bay Partnership has approximately 300 complaints with BBB. Please see below
ACTIVITY REPORT Case # 90096414 BBB of Central Florida
Consumer Info: Anderson, LuAnne
Business Info: Summer Bay Partnership
Consumer's Original Complaint :
Summer Bay refused to refund the full amount I paid when I arrived to check in and they were not able to accommodate me.
On February 9, 2012, I purchased a special promotion Summer Bay Resort vacation package for $159, to include a 4-day/3-night stay at Summer Bay with $50 to any restaurant or attraction, as well as a 3-day/2-night mini-vacation and a VIP
resort amenities card. I corresponded with Summer Bay representatives numerous times within the few months prior to my scheduled arrival date of September 20, 2012, including asking a representative approximately one week prior to my scheduled check-in if I could please schedule my required 60-minute presentation since I had a conference I needed to attend on Saturday September 22.
The representative stated that my presentation would be scheduled when I arrived on Thursday the 20th to check in.
I arrived to check in and was told that the only time I could attend a presentation was on Saturday at 11:00 AM.
My husband was scheduled to speak at the conference at 11:30 so I told them they would need to find me a different time. They stated that they are closed on Fridays, and they do not offer presentations on day of check-in or check-out. I told them I could come early Saturday or late Saturday, but not at 11:00. Since they were not able to accommodate my schedule, I asked for a full refund. They attempted to call a representative in their legal department, James Baker, but he did not answer, and the girl stated "he never answers his phone."
I decided there was no point in waiting around, and my husband and my pet were waiting in the hot car. It looked as if there was no compromise, so I took Mr. Baker's number and told them I would contact him myself to arrange a full refund. About ten minutes later I spoke to Mr. Baker on the phone and told him the situation.
He said since I "cancelled my reservation" within two weeks of my scheduled check-in, I would forfeit $120 and my deposit refund would be $39. I told him I did not cancel my reservation, I arrived to check in as agreed.
It was Summer Bay who could not accommodate me, even though I had tried to schedule my presentation with them previously, around my conference schedule. He then said that I could pay an additional $199 and stay at Summer Bay as planned, but not attend the presentation. I told him this was not acceptable, and that I demanded my full $159 to be refunded to me and that I would pursue legal action in small claims court if I did not hear from Summer Bay by the middle of the following week, stating that I would be receiving the $159. I have not received any such confirmation or any correspondence, so I will be pursuing legal action.
Mr. Baker was rude and refused to listen to much of what I was trying to say. He spoke over me when I tried to explain and
give him my phone number and address. I admit I was angry, but when the first word out of his mouth was "unfortunately," I knew the conversation would not go in my favor. Mr. Baker has no concept of "the customer is always right." At least the representatives in the check-in process were friendly and considerate.
I wonder if this has been a problem for other customers, and perhaps Summer Bay has realized they are not making any profit on this vacation package so they are intentionally not accommodating buyers so that they forfeit the purchase amount, as Mr. Baker suggested that I would have to do. It seems worthy of investigation. I intend to contact all pertinent government
agencies as well as the local newspapers and TV stations, to tell them what Summer Bay did to me and may well be doing to others.
The amount I paid for the Summer Bay Vacation Package of $159.
10/03/2012 WEB BBB RECEIVE BUSINESS RESPONSE : Mr. Newkirk-
Thank you for forwarding the above issue of Ms. A to my attention. Please be advised that Ms. A's issue was sent to my attention on her date of arrival at the Summer Bay Resort Welcome Center.
On that day while check in our representative while acting in normal capacity of performing her duties was attempting to provide alternative dates for Mr. and Mrs. A to take their required presentation. They were also offered to take the presentation on Sunday as an exception provided by my office while I was on the phone with the Welcome Center Team Leader on duty. Mrs. A refused the open (first come first serve) appointment for the earliest time on Saturday and exception to tour on Sunday (day of check out) stating that she was attending church that day. As such with any guest she was advised of the other option of paying the $199 Non Qualification fee to cover the total cost of the accommodations since she did not want to do the required tour as her schedule did not permit same.
Shortly after I spoke with the Team Leader and Agent assisting Ms. A she called me on my directly office line provided to her by the Welcome Center. She immediately began the conversation with "I tell you what you are going to do is refund my money." I attempted to explain to her that since she was not intending on attending the required presentation that she would be responsible for paying the Non qualification fee. I had even proposed the fee be reduced to $159.00 as she is an Owner of
Summer Bay Resort property. The additional cost would cover the monies for the room she reserved for her stay. Ms. Anderson declined that also.
As such the confirmed reservation for her stay were cancelled subsequent to the conversation and the appropriate amount of $120 as disclosed in the Terms and Conditions of the offer and purchase information was charged to cover the cost for the "Late Reservations" cancellation. The balance of $39 was refunded to Ms. Anderson via the payment method that was provided at the point of sale of the timeshare owner's promotional package offer.
Mr. and Mrs. A are Owners and are very familiar with the reservations process and cancellation period offered on same Owner reservation cancellation which generally would result in the loss of booked points or forfeiture of monies deposited for same owner's reservation.
The marketing package operates essentially the same providing the customer/owner with a reservations cancellation window. In this case they arrived and refused to check in for their reserved stay because they did not want to accept the available tour times.
Ms. A stated that the representatives were considerate and friendly but she still acted in kind with them that she did with my office when she contacted me; that is the only reason the issue was escalated to my attention on her date of arrival with her request for a refund and refusal to schedule her presentation. The A's arrived on late afternoon on Thursday, the Preview Center was scheduled to be closed on Friday for its weekly cleaning, and as such Saturday and Sunday were the only days available and offered to Ms. A.
Had Ms. A checked in on the confirmed date of arrival and accepted either of the options for attending the required tour (Saturday or Sunday) then this would not be an issue.
For clarification, I was never rude or refused to listen to Ms. Anderson as she talked the entire time she was on the phone informing me as to what I was going to do in respect to her issue and her request to cancel the reservation and her refund.
If the customer participates in a product offer that requires them to attend a presentation (owner update) and then refuses to schedule same from the open vacancies provided and the businesses generous nature to allow one to tour on the day of check out, there is no concept of as Ms. A stated "the customer is always right." Would we error on the side of the customer? "yes absolutely" if the customer had a legitimate complaint or concern.
As it pertains to this matter there was not one, just simply a customer's refusal to fulfill his/her obligation of participation.
As such procedure was followed and customer service gestures were offered to alleviate the issue, but the customer refused same. Therefore, there is no significance or matter thereof to provide a full refund. As stated the remaining balance of $39 was
credited back to the customer/owner.
10/15/2012 OttO BBB Case closed - ASSUMED RESOLVED
10/15/2012 BBB MORE INFO RECEIVED FROM THE CONSUMER : I found the status of my complaint,
#90096414, and am extremely unsatisfied with the status of "assumed resolved."
Mr. Baker lied numerous times in his response to your communication. Specifically, I was not rude to the customer service representatives when I checked in. I could not accept the 1:00 appointment on Sunday because I would be checking out at 11:00 or 12:00, standard checkout time, and would be heading back home. I was told by the customer service reps that the "first come/first served" time early on Saturday morning would be taking a risk on my part, as all appointments for early Sat. morning were taken. Mr. and Mrs. A are not owners. Only Mrs. A is an owner. Mr Baker states that the "only" reason the issue was escalated to his attention was because I acted "in kind" with the customer reps.
Actually, the issue was escalated to Mr. Baker's office simply because it could not be resolved by the customer reps and they stated that they tried to contact him but "he never answers his phone." Mr. Baker WAS extremely rude and refused to listen to me on the phone. Mr. Baker suggests that I did not have a legitimate concern, to which I might agree, had I not contacted the Summer Bay offices a week prior in an attempt to schedule my appointment around the 11:00 presentation I needed to attend at a conference on Saturday. I will now forward all correspondence with you regarding this matter to all Summer Bay offices, as well as any governing bodies over Summer Bay, and the news organizations in the Orlando area. I will also pursue legal
action to receive the remainder of my deposit $159 less $39, or $120.