My husband and I were nearly victims of this disgusting scam, but fortunately we discerned that things sounded too good to be true, did some research, and sure enough, discovered that everything posted on here is true. We were able to cancel our credit card and get out of our "membership" with this dishonest and dysfunctional organization. Although we are now safe, I felt a moral obligation to warn others and share our story. Like many have said, we were just perusing the streets of Charleston for some tourist activities to do when we we came across what seemed like a typical visitor information booth.
The kid working the booth gave us some advice and then told us about a way that we could get free vouchers for activities around Charleston if we attended a presentation. We have been to timeshare presentations before and figured it was a harmless and good way to see the city. We kept reminding each other that there was no harm in listening and that we wouldn't buy anything no matter how good it sounded. We should have listened to our own advice. When we arrived at Wholesale Escapes' office the next day we watched a compelling and convincing presentation by Mike, who we now realize is no better than a C list actor or a very shady used car salesman.
In fact. I am completely revolted when I think of the web of lies he fed to the audience. He pretended to be genuine and talked about stress being a lead cause of deaths in the US as an argument for why we should all take more vacations. He fed us another bullshit story about how he inherited a farm from his grandfather in Ohio but that he sold it because it didn't have any value like the vacation packages he and his company was selling. He claimed to work at the company for 7 years and that the company was celebrating its 32nd anniversary. Later we discovered the company was only in business for 3 years.
I think the worst part of it all was that he pretended to be helping people reduce stress when in reality scamming them out of money that would only result in more stress. I am also sick to think about a lie that he told a single widow. When he was telling us about cruise deals she asked if there were any charges for single occupancy as most cruises book for doubles. He lied to her face and said that his company would not screw someone ever just because she was single, and then proceeded to make up another bullshit lie about a widow who travelled to China because it was her dream with her husband but he passed before they could get there. "Thanks to Wholesale Escapes she made both of their dreams come true". Later than night when my husband and I were doing research, we read that there were charges for single occupancy. That was my first hint that things were not as they seemed.
I wish that this story ended with us sniffing out the lies immediately after shady Mike's presentation, but unfortunately I did buy into the prospect of traveling for such low rates. It may have been the promise of travel because that is a passion of mine, but I kept going back to the idea of how can an operation in downtown Charleston be a scam? The thought never even crossed my mind. The prices that were initially presented were way out of our price range, but the agent who followed up with us kept making us offers that we couldn't refuse with payment plans that coincided with what we could afford. I am disappointed that we took the bait, but we did and continued on our way and enjoyed our free vouchers with the promise of all these discounted vacations in our future. I will say that the vouchers really all worked, so my advice is to scam back the scam artists and take the vouchers and then continue exposing them for the moral-less miscreants that they are.
Once we got back to our hotel room we tried accessing their sight but could not find these "deals' that they presented about. That's when we stumbled across these reports. THANK YOU ALL FOR SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCES. My first defense was to cancel my credit card and then we looked up the law in getting out of our contract. We wrote a letter of rescission and went to drop it off at Wholesale Escapes the next day on our way out of Charleston. We were apprehensive about stepping foot in that shady establishment again, but I wanted to make sure that they received the letter. When we arrived we found shady Mike from the day before lounging on the couch watching Sports Center. The girl who helped us the day before wouldn't even make eye contact with us. And the letter at the front desk said she would accept our letter.
Basically they were all like kids who had got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. Later that day I got en email from the "president" who said she accepted our letter and wouldn't charge our credit card. I still feel reassured that I had canceled it and that they couldn't get access to my information. What a shady, disgusting establishment. I do not know who these people are but I think it is embarrassing and disgusting that this is what they do for a living, and my heart goes out to the poor victims who figured out too late that they paid some insane sum of money for absolutely nothing! I will be writing to the Charleston Post and Courier as well because I just feel that something needs to be done regarding this situation. Sorry for the book, but if I can help just one person, it will be worth it!