• Report: #1133436

Complaint Review: Westgate Resorts

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  • Submitted: Tue, March 25, 2014
  • Updated: Tue, March 25, 2014

  • Reported By: sisman1313 — Rochester New York
Westgate Resorts
5601 Windhover Dr. Orlando, Florida USA

Westgate Resorts Central Florida Investments Timeshare Sales Scam by Westgate Orlando Florida

*Author of original report: Westgate Practices Devious sales

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Response to Planet Hollywood Owner

*Consumer Comment: How to terminate ownership of a time share

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Seller - Westgate Resorts, c/o Central Florida Investments, Inc., 5601 Windhover Dr., Orlando, Florida

We purchased a Timeshare at Westgate Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, in October 2007.  At the time of the recent purchase, Mr. Ferretti noticed quickly how antsy our son was since he had to sit for the presentation that lasted over 3 hours and he was only 10 years old.  This was supposed to be a 90 minute presentation to current time share owners.  He used it to distract us into this purchase.  We erroneously relied on the fact that our first Timeshare purchase at Westgate Villas in Orlando had not contained misrepresentations.  None of the reasons that led to our purchase have been realized.  Additionally, when we stayed at the resort, we were disappointed to find out that the pool was reserved for a college group that was extremely rowdy. When we tried to use it, our son was subjected to drunken college students.  We wish to be rid of this scam and have our money returned.  At the time of the sales pitch there were several material misrepresentations made by the Westgate sales staff to entice us to make the purchase.  The representatives involved in the most recent sale gave us false information that led to us agreeing to the purchase.    Included but not limited to the below issues are some of the reasons we are seeking contract cancellation. 

Value – The location was stated to be upscale and more desirable then other properties. It’s proximity to the Las Vegas strip made the timeshare more valuable.  The land on the strip was very limited so purchasing that day would give us a very valuable property.  Additionally, a second building was set to be built as well as a rooftop pool for the owners to use. In fact full color brochure was presented showing the two buildings.  As of today, the second building has not been built.

Rental Income – We were told several times that the location of the timeshare would allow us to earn a huge profit if we rented it for conventions or sporting events held in Las Vegas. The sales representative told us we could earn $5000 for our week. He even drew up charts and calculations with detailed information on the income we could receive.

Referrals – The Westgate sales representatives told us we could earn a referral bonus for supplying names. We supplied over 30 names but never received any bonus.  People we referred told us they had great difficulty in understanding what the Westgate people were requesting and ended up not booking a trip.

Maintenance Fees – Although there have been few changes if any our maintenance has gone up every year.  We were told that the maintenance fees would remain stable since there were plans to add more units. The only time it would increase was if there was a special assessment. This is completely false. We were originally paying $755 and now the fees for 2014 are over $1,100. The maintenance fees alone make it unaffordable for most people.

Availability – We had the option of exchanging to go anywhere we wanted. We were told the only limitations were New Years and Christmas. In June 2013, we attempted to make reservations at the Flamingo in Las Vegas but there was no availability. In the end, we went to a resort in Florida but then had to pay an additional $250 fee.

Property Ownership – The Westgate Planet Hollywood was sold to Hilton Vacations and became the Elara.  We were not advised that the property was changing hands.  Our first indication was our maintenance bill from Hilton Vacations.  No certified mail was sent to alert us to the change. 

We have made several attempts to resolve this matter and have been told “there is nothing they can do” on every occasion.  This is after they have been paid over $ 20,000.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/25/2014 09:05 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Westgate-Resorts/Orlando-Florida-32819/Westgate-Resorts-Central-Florida-Investments-Timeshare-Sales-Scam-by-Westgate-Orlando-Flo-1133436. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 1Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Westgate Practices Devious sales

AUTHOR: sisman1313 - ()

They sell you all the positives they can come up with and then leave you with a ruined experience, holding a property you would never have purchased at arms length.  The first time we went to the property the single available pool was filled with rowdy drunk teens.  At the sales pitch we were shown a full color 8.5 by 11 inch brochure with two towers, one of which was to hold a pool for owner/family use.  WAS NEVER BUILT!

While at the 4 hour presentation that they advertise to last for about 90 minutes, we were bombarded with constant delays and the salesman stepping away to bring managers over.  We tried to end the onslaught but there was always one more person to speak to.  If they salesman is only there to show us things why does it take several hours and several “forced” discussions with people HE brings over not us?  We did eventually choose to enter into a contract but that was based on incorrect statements that YOUR salesman provided.  I call that fraud.  How about the full page full color brochures with Twin Towers smack in the middle being provided to us at the table to induce us to believe we were purchasing into a growing property?  One huge example of their deceptive practices involves them providing a colorful brochure of TWO towers and using it as a selling point. Then when we talked on the telephone and I was trying to come to a reasonable solution, I was told that Westgate did not have to build a second tower based on one sentence in a multipage bound document handed over to us at the end. There is no disclaimer on the color brochure to that effect.  We were victims of believing in an organization that had treated us pretty well in the past at our prior property. 

Buyers should be aware that there was tremendous pressure put on us at our meeting.  

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Response to Planet Hollywood Owner

AUTHOR: Westgate Guest Relations - ()

Westgate Resorts has many great projects and resorts, and we appreciate that you were interested in this one as well based on your good experiences at Westgate Villas in Orlando.

Our presentations are a minimum of 90 minutes and may go over, depending on your interaction with the salesperson. We give tours to lots of families, and they are able to make decisions with their children present. Please do not assign a motive to your salesperson-they are there to show you what we have or what is planned, and the contract. If you felt that you were distracted by your son, it is purely up to you whether or not you enter in to a legal contract.

Regarding the unit you purchased, the details of what you were purchasing are right there in the contract. The resort is located proximate to the Las Vegas strip, one block away from MGM and Monte Carlo. Most would consider this a higher value than properties not located right by the strip. Those who are familiar with pre-construction purchases realize that plans sometimes change due to situational circumstances-permits may not be approved by the local government or construction realities may dictate that a particular feature is not feasible. As of late 2011, Westgate Resorts sold the property to Hilton. Any added enhancements or future renovations to your timeshare will be handled by your new developer.

Regarding rental income, this is up to the timeshare owner to realize the value of the property and market it as such in order that they rent it at a higher amount, thus making a profit. We do not guarantee returns-that is up to the owner.

Regarding referrals, we do have a wonderful Owner Referral Program whereby many of our owners have received numerous benefits after referring friends, family and more who have wound up purchasing. In order for referrals to get these super deals, they have to qualify- this is a series of straightforward questions about age, marriage/cohabitation, income and more that help determine package eligibility. We even verify this information with the referred person so they absolutely, totally understand. Sometimes qualified referrals wind up not purchasing, but they still receive a great vacation at a fantastic price. When they do purchase, you, the one who referred them, will get the bonus. You may contact our referrals department and see the outcome of each referral.

Maintenance fees are handled by the Homeowners’ Association (HOA), which holds annual meetings where owners may inquire about circumstances related to managing the property, including what is spent to keep it in top condition. Owners may request a copy of the meeting minutes in case they missed it.

Regarding availability, those who check availability earliest usually have the best chances at booking for a particular time of year. We are constrained by a finite number of units, and we encourage owners to call up to 11 months ahead to check availability and book. Owners have the ability through the Developer Exchange Program to exchange outside of their usage year or even outside of their home property. The developer exchange fee covers this exchange outside of what is owned. If owners would like a more popular part of the year, they may upgrade to the higher season by paying a seasonal upgrade fee. All of this information is provided in the contract, however, our vacation specialists at the Owner Reservation line would be glad to discuss this with you. They will also check availability to any of our resorts as often as you would like to call, for your convenience.  

We’re glad we had the opportunity to reach out to you, and it would be our pleasure to assist you.

 

 

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#3 Consumer Comment

How to terminate ownership of a time share

AUTHOR: SophieM - ()

Without a doubt, timeshare cancellation is the best and easiest solution to get rid of an unwanted time share. Once the contract is properly cancelled, the strings attached to the resort will be gone forever. Nevertheless, it is important to do the cancellation through the right people. There are many timeshare cancel professionals that ask for an upfront fee, and then they disappear. This is a good article on how to terminate ownership of a time share:

timesharescam.com/blog/172-how-to-terminate-ownership-of-a-time-share/

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