It took me five hours and 18 different individuals to get my room booked and our tickets purchased. We still had unanswered questions and discrepancies at 9:30 that night. The next day I spoke to a gentleman in the Florida corporate offices about all the problems, all the lies, all the conflicting information and details. He was hateful. When we arrived to a supposedly luxurious room with pillow soft beds we found instead a standard, run-of-the-mill type of hotel room. The beds hurt my back. We were supposedly going to rooms that were "all ground level" yet we had a room above us which apparently was hosting a stampeding elephants convention. There was no breakfast included with our room as advertised.
Rather, we had to pay $4.50 EACH for an outside company who caters it on the property. Our "discounted" tickets to Dixie Stampede, which were purchased through westgate, placed us in the worst seats in the house where there was no room for your legs and narrow bench seats. Everybody else had comfortable seating!
As it turns out, our tickets were not discounted at all, but full price. People who bought their tickets from the ticket counter received a souveneir boot mug and peanuts or popcorn. We did not. Oh, and you have to eat with your hands there. Not good for my manicure, so I didn't eat at all.
This was one of those timeshare vacation packages where you have to sit though a presentation. Our 90 min. presentation lasted 3 1/2 hours! I told the sales staff that we had not experienced anything positive so far except for the presentation, and therefore, could not make a decision to purchase. We had nothing to base our decisions on from our own experiences. We were offered to stay our final night in a one bedroom condo as compensation for our bad experiences, but then they made us believe that we had to agree to "try out" their resort by paying $200 down towards a purchase of a timeshare.
I declined. Only when I literally got up and walked out did it end. One thing after another happened to us this whole trip. Every time we turned around there was yet another negative surprise. We left early, not staying for the final night.
Upon check out I find out that they charge you 75 cents per LOCAL CALL that you make! When I questioned this the front desk clerk said "Oh, well, the information on the phone charges are listed in your information book". That is, the information folder that nobody ever bothers to look at and of which by the way was in the drawer under the phone! In total, there were 31 different problems within a 3 day period.
The package we received was 3 nights for $129.00. This price was to include a two queen bed luxurious room with pillow soft beds and fluffy pillows. The rooms were to be all ground level. A 20 item breakfast was to be included with our room. Ammenities offered with the resort shuttle service to Silver Dollar City and other attractions, a video game room with free tokens for the kids, internet access, phones, microwave, and mini fridge in every room, a large outdoor lit playground area, activities for all ages.
It was also advertised that there were numerous nature trails on property with a natural waterfall to visit. Included in this price as well was two 2 day passes to Silver Dollar City. These prices were made available as long as I agreed to attend a 90 minute presentation on the timeshares available at the resort. I agreed to pay the $129.00 based on all of this information. My stay was paid for using a credit card.
When we arrived, we found that our room was not luxurious. It was a standard, run-of-the-mill room. The fridge was not even turned on! We had to wait till the next day before the fridge was cold enough to actually use! The beds were the firm variety, very firm I should add. So firm in fact that I had considered going and buying a blow up mattress from Wal-Mart. My back hurt both mornings and for a large part of each day after sleeping on their beds. Our room was ground level.
However, there were rooms above us, which means that not ALL rooms are ground level. Other guests were booked in the room above us. When they walked the floor sounded as though it would cave in at any moment. There was no shuttle service available from the resort. Rather, guests had to call outside taxi services for this "available" shuttle service. The video game room with free tokens does not exist YET, but will four years from now. There are no computers anywhere on the resort for guests to gain internet access, nor are there any dataports in the rooms. There were phones in the rooms, but there was nothing anywhere to disclose to guests that there would be a 75 cent charge per local call to use it.
When we checked out is when we found out that we had to pay $4.50 for our 6 local calls. The front desk clerk said "Oh, well, that information was in your Westgate welcome folder in your room". This being the big folder nobody ever bothers to read all the way through. I couldn't go back into the room to check and see if in fact this was true since I had already turned in my keys, so for all I know this was a lie too.
The only truth in advertising I found regarding the rooms was that there was a microwave and fridge in the room. The large outdoor playground area was not large. It was one average size piece of young children playground equiptment with one streetlight over it. The activities for all ages, for the most part, were available for an additional fee. If you wanted to use any outdoor sporting goods, even a basketball, you had to pay a rental fee.
When we checked in we were told that two of the three nature trails were closed, including the one leading to the waterfall, and that the third was the more "advanced" trail. Our two day pass to Silver Dollar City, which was supposed to be an exclusive special promotion only available through them, turns out to be the standard way the tickets are sold.
If an individual buys the tickets at SDC, they will pay for one day. But, if they buy those tickets anyplace else but SDC, even a standard attractions sales counter, they will get the 2 day pass. SDC asks that you use these two days within 7 days of purchase.
Our 90 minute presentation turned into 3 1/2 hours. I told the sales team at least 6 different times that we had not experienced anything positive or truthful so far during our 2 day stay, so we really could not make a decision to purchase. We were offered to stay in a one bedroom condo for our last night as compensation for all the deception so far. Then, when we agreed to do this, the sales staff turned it around against us to say as if we were binding ourselves to a contract to purchase with them by staying in that condo.
We declined to stay there after that! Only when I reached my boiling point and literally got up and walked out did the presentation end. I remained polite during the whole time, never becoming unpleasant, but when I felt I could take no more I got up and left rather than conducting myself inappropriately.
In total, from the time I began the booking process for the room to the time we officially checked out, we encountered 31 different problems or discrepancies. I will gladly list and detail each and every one if you need me to. It will take me a long time to write out that novel, so that is why I am not doing so already. I will do so if need be.
I very strongly believe for these reasons that the company failed the truth in advertising laws. They used numerous deceptive techniques in order to take my money and get me there to try and sell their resort to me. My husband and I are in fact in the market for a timeshare.
We looked forward to visiting this location, in hopes of finding a new place to call home. We visited this resort, thinking that we would be able to try them out and then possibly buy from them. What we found were lies, lies, and more lies. Like a magician, they used glitz and glamour in one hand to cover up the truth in the other.