Report: #204690

Complaint Review: Central Florida Investments

  • Submitted: Sat, August 05, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, September 05, 2006
  • Reported By: Olathe Kansas
  • Central Florida Investments
    2801 Old Winter Garden Road
    Ocoee, Florida

Westgate Resorts/Central Florida Investments Owner Property Devaluations Ocoee Florida

*Author of original report: Thanks, but too late

*UPDATE Employee: You werent fully informed

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Below is the context of a letter being faxed to BBB of Florida, Westgate Resorts via Central Florida Investments, and the Attorney General of Florida:

To Whom It May Concern, BBB of Central Florida:

In 1998/99, my wife and I purchased/upgraded a timeshare through Central Florida Investments via Westgate Resorts in Orlando, Fl. This purchase was made with Westgate in good faith and written premise of the availability and High rating (Red Weeks) for our unit to trade across the Westgate locations, and also through Interval International, a closely tied organization for swapping timeshare use throughout other companies and countries.

Over the past few years we were able bank, swap out weeks, and generally had a good working relationship with the Co for utilizing this timeshare. Only a few issues arose with regards to utilizing the banked years' weeks, and transfers, but these were worked out with employees onsite with the initiative to ensure the customer was taken care of through industry best practice. Costs of these swaps for use of our week during these years was generally fifty ($50) to one hundred and thirty ($130) dollars based on details of the swap.

In September 2005, we paid off the balance of the mortgage' with this company.

With the news of a military (officer) relative of his intent to marry in Las Vegas, we contacted Westgate to swap out our week to their current resort in the area to be a member in his wedding, and help offset his costs as a member of the wedding party. My wife contacted Westgate to go through the same procedures in utilizing a banked' week, this time in Las Vegas for the event. Below is documented outlining of the dialogue between my wife and various Westgate representatives (last names of representatives are not available):

1. July 24th Spoke with Cindy. Our week with Westgate has now been invalued as of Jan 1st, 2006. Nothing was sent as notification to owners, but this policy now being enforced.

2. Same day Transferred to Bobby, Supervisor ext 13045 in Ocoee FL. If we were rejoined to Interval International, every week would be a valued week. Interval International still has no seasons' for valuation. He stated that our week has always been an invalued season, but now it was being enforced. Wife informed Bobby that our deed does not state anything about invalued seasons, states all year. Bobby stated this is a new policy as of Jan 2006. Bobby also stated we can exchange our week for an upgrade to another week for a fee. In order to also swap our week for Las Vegas, there would be an additional $500 in addition to the transfer of $130. (According to the Las Vegas Westgate website, the cost to book this without being an owner' is $715)

a. In 1999, when the property was originally purchased, our week was a Valued week, also known as a Red Week (highest rating). If we were aware that this week was truly' an Invalued week, or devalued, we never would have purchased the deed.

3. July 31st Attempted to contact Westgate, on hold for over 20-30 minutes per attempt, hung up on twice. Third attempt, spoke with Diana. 22 minutes on hold to transfer to Bobby. Bobby unable to take call, was promised to call back the same day. Pending fax from Bobby with policy change in writing, and ability to check against our deeded information.
4. Aug 1st Attempted to call Bobby again due to lack of response. Left VM about Fax of new policy now in force, as well as documentation about new exchange fee. Never received Fax.
5. Aug 5th Was hung up on during initial call. Second attempt, reached Stephan. Bobby is Stephan's supervisor as well. Was again offered Season Upgrade'. Also stated that new policy is now listed in the Co. Public Offering Statement, not Owners manual. Stated that this new policy also states that Westgate reserves the right to change Policies as warranted. New Fixed' seasons are for weeks falling over Christmas, Easter, New Years. All Season' weeks are now broken into owners with weeks June through August, some weeks in Feb/March. Our week is the first week in Oct, or week 40'.

Due to a change in policy within Westgate, our real estate investment has been devalued outside of allowing owners proper buyouts for losing the benefits endowed during purchase. It also appears that once you have paid off your mortgate', that you are placed into a owner group that will have to purchase new deeds forcefully for the same benefits in place while there was a balance of capital on their account.

Westgate has opened new options for owners to work around this policy change. This work-around entails more dollars to regain value in their properties. If this policy change occurred when my account still had a balance of dollars capital to be paid for the property, Westgate/CFI would be in breech of the contract.

Our property has been reclassified from a Highly valued property season', to a budget season, and will not be updated to the previous status without my family outlaying more dollars to the Company. Also, in order to have the same benefits as when originally purchased, we would again have to join a separate company, Interval International, with more membership dues associated. This company is still utilizing deceptive practices to lure, attach, and provide ongoing financial burden to families across the country and abroad. Based on our experiences and others across the internet, it is very evident through these years that in order to receive these benefits after a debt is fullfilled, an owner must continue to purchase upgrades, change requests, and various other services' to stay in good favor.

To resolve this complaint, it is up to Westgate/Central Florida Investments' best discretion to either revalue the property at original contract levels, with all benefits and ammenities reloaded to the account, or refund the full purchase price of the property at original face value.

In addition to this Faxed document, an online complaint has been placed with your office through the website for your locality.

Thank you for your response,

Florida Commissioner of Deeds, Florida Attorney General,
Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)
Central Florida Investments

Please add replies to this as

Olathe, Kansas

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#1 Author of original report

Thanks, but too late

AUTHOR: Matthew - (U.S.A.)


I appreciate the time you have taken to not only answer my report, but several of the other reports at the same time while at work. Either way, even if the sales rep was dishonest, uninformed, etc. isn't the point.

The issue is that those individuals involved with selling the timeshare directly represent Westgate, period. If they mislead an individual or family, they represent Westgate. No one has stepped up from the corporation to fix any of these issues.

Currently, this information is being acted upon by the Atty. General, Economic Crime Division, and the DBPR through what I am sure will be a fun investigation.

Also, we were fully informed at the time of sale, that this week is a highly valued week, and that all weeks at Westage Lake are Red (swappable for ANY week, period). Even our original Mortgage, Deed, and other paperwork from 1998/1999 has this information on it. Westgate, including representatives involved in Sales and Customer Service, have now instigated a policy 'change' for enforcement to their business that is not conductive to a 'legal' policy update in Fl. This is new, and is now in full review.

As for the personal note, yes. We were given cell numbers for our various reps over the years, but most of them were rotating cells, not personal. Once we had real issues (ants, ceilings collapsing, maintenance not being completed on unit, overcharging, etc too many to name), the phones mysteriously stopped working, even to the clubhouse...

Either way, I'm sure many people are happy when they are there. For the most part, when things went well, my family and friends were happy as well.

But, the fact that these types of issues continue to crop up is enough to say we're done dealing with Westgate/CFI. So, in conclusion, buyer beware.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

You werent fully informed

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

I work with wesgate in Orlando and what happened was that there is a difference between just red weeks and value, all season, and holiday. What happens is now the color week you own i.e. red, yellow or green arent the only factor in obtaining your exchange. While you week is still red, it is value season, from what I observed from your comment, which is the lowest. It works like this, holiday means you can pick ANY week out of the year and use it.

All season means you get to choose from 45 weeks out of the year, the 52 weeks minus the holidays. With the value season you are only allowed to pick from 26 weeks out of the year. Sorry this happened to you you must not have had the best sales rep. Im sure to tell this to all my owners because i deal with them after they purchace as well, even going as far as giving them my personal cell phone number.
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