Complaint Review: Thousand trails
Thousand trails NACO Ripped off have life time membership with over $500 on year maint fee and public get is w/o membership for as little as $30/day. Descanso California
Some potential campground members are promised, at the time of sale, that they will never have to pay another ‘Initiation Fee’ if they will advance an additional few thousand dollars. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘Lifetime Membership’.
No one is told that, as a member, they will be expected to pay annual fees “until they die” or convince someone else to do the same.
This is not a trivial oversight by the seller.
This is important information that is critical to the decision to purchase the membership and MUST be disclosed before the purchase.
Salesmen and the people who employ them, who engage in this practice could be guilty of fraud.
Bill of Rights for Campground Members
We believe that campground members:
Efforts of sellers to coerce members to pay money every year “until they die” might be found guilty of fraud and/or extortion. If they engage in interstate commerce or use the telephone or
US mail to carry out their threats may be guilty of a Federal crime and might face jail terms.
We are told that some courts have ruled that such an alleged commitment would be against public policy and not permitted. Victim of this scheme should fight back. We have posted some tips on this web site.
So You Want to Cancel Your ‘Lifetime Campground Membership’
Note that the “initiation Fee”, the initial cost of the membership, is usually refundable for the first few days. Most states require that the purchaser have a prescribed number of days to change their mind about a major purchase. This is normally between 3-5 days. After that time, the initiation fee must be paid in full even if the purchaser changes their mind. This is usually because the seller, by this time, has “hypothecated” the membership (sold it, at a discount, to a third party for collection).
Remember, if it isn’t in writing - it didn’t happen.
Send a letter (KEEP A COPY FOR YOUR RECODS), return receipt required, to the address that sends you bills. This letter should identify you and your membership number, etc., stating that they cancel your membership, the effective date and that you will not use their facilities or pay any future fees to the company.
NO campground membership contracts we have reviewed stated that you must pay annual fees “until you die or sell the membership to someone who will”. All of these contracts, however, state that the campground can deny you access to their facilities or services if the annual fees are not current. This, in our opinion, limits their options to collect unpaid annual fees.
Be Fair to the Campground:
Sometimes dues payments are simply late. Your campground may feel a commitment to maintain the campground for your use for the balance of the first unpaid dues period. Conscientious campground owners may provide a “grace period” to their members. Be fair to these campground owners. Make your intentions clear - in writing.
Keep Careful Notes:
Make a “Memo for Record” of what you told them and when, what they said to you in writing or on the phone and when. Sign and date your notes.
These notes will be useful if they actually try to take you to court. (Rare, if it has ever really happened.)
Harassing telephone calls from agents of the campground can be disregarded.
They aren’t being nice to you, you don't have to be nice to them.
Just tell them to send it to you in writing - then hang up on them.
Letters from alleged “Pre-litigation Officers” can be disregarded. They are neither officers of a court nor attorneys.
Letters from actual "Collection Agencies" are entitled to one response. Some people have mailed letters that simply said:
"I am not affiliated with that company and I do not owe them any money. I have instructed them to send me evidence, in writing, that I can provide to my attorney for evaluation and they have not provided it. Do not contact me again."
Letters from a real attorney or a clerk of courts must be taken seriously. Let us know if you get one and we will try to help you and ‘your’ attorney.≠
“They told me that I would never have to pay another initiation fee if I would give them an extra couple thousand dollars
– so I did! –
NOW they tell me that I have to make annual “dues” payments
— until I die! —
That isn’t what they told me when I joined their camping club...
What can I do?”
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/14/2013 01:00 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/thousand-trails/descanso-california-91916/thousand-trails-naco-ripped-off-have-life-time-membership-with-over-500-on-year-maint-fe-1066942. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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