ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I purchased a 5 bedroom timeshare at Westgate-Gatlinburg in October 2010. The financing offer was a down payment and payments over 10 years. The option was to pay 50% within 60 days and remainder over 3 years with no interest. My plan was to use the option within the allotted time. After about 45 days, I received a call from the accounting/deeding department in Orlando indicating that Westgate wanted to close loans and was willing to offer an incentive (5% discount) to pay it off within the 60 day period. I asked and it was confirmed that paying the loan off 100% would not incur any interest. The answer was YES, NO INTEREST.
I asked for the payoff total and authorized the payment from my credit card. In January, I received a notice that I had paid $200.97 in interest. When I questioned why interest was charged, I received several fabricated stories but finally they said I broke the contract by paying the loan off early and therefore they could charge interest. I still have the recording from Westgate representative stating the payoff would be a no interest loan payoff.
An appeal to the local business closure person who wrote up the “no interest” loan provision caved in to the home office and indicated that if I took them to court, they would provide numerous witness stating that I agreed to be charged interest. This is a total fabrication and I challenged them to listen to their tape recording of phone calls to prove it. They would not.
An appeal to David Seigal, president, resulted in no response. The lesson is that even though a contract is in writing, they can change their mind and dare you to sue them. Any future purchasers of a timeshare from Westgate, do not believe anything that is told to you nor anything that is in writing. Just bend over, grab your knees and hold on.
OCOEE, FL, FLORIDA -- Our high school band director and I planned a trip with 15 high school seniors, to Westgate Resort in Gatlinburg, TN, during March 2010. I spoke with several reps regarding rooms, times, dates. The weather and the school calendar would be a factor. I was advised to buy the $21.99 additional trip insurance. They assured me that the trip insurance would get me my $372.00 back if something caused our trip to be cancelled. I specifically asked if I would indeed get my entire purchase price returned and she answered yes. Needless to say, the trip was cancelled.
I made phone calls for 3 days before I was able to get through to a representative to cancel. Every time I called I got a recording saying "Phone lines are down due to weather conditions." When I finally got through to cancel, I was told it was too late, no refund, and the trip insurance did not apply. I filed my claim, it was rejected. I spoke with no less than 7 representatives, including someone in the office of the CEO. Every one of them said the insurance did not cover "trip cancellation", only covered if we arrived, someone got hurt or sick, and we had to leave early. I argued no, that is not what I was told. They said it was a recorded conversation that I had agreed to those terms.
When I requested a copy or a transcript of the conversation in which I had agreed to this, they refused to send it to me. I haven written letters to the CEO and other officers of the company with no results except for a few phone conversations with a secretary. She assured me she would help me, but after a month of trying to speak with her, she said no, I had agreed on a taped phone conversation with the terms and that there was nothing she could do.
I asked her to refer me to someone who could get me a copy of this "recorded" agreement, I called that number, and as of today, have left 2 messages and been on eternal hold, with no results, no call-back and no hope of getting a refund. I would STRONGLY ADVISE TO NEVER EVER DO BUSINESS WITH ANY WESTGATE RESORT IN EITHER TENNESSEE OR FLORIDA. I TRULY BELIEVE THIS IS A SCAM.
KISSIMMIEE, FLORIDA -- Please please please STAY AWAY. I was seduced by the vacation package offering 2 nights stay and 2 free Disney tickets for $190.97 if I went on the 90min timeshare presentation. Well, I paid for it over the phone, met the qualifications as far as income and being a single female. When I took the tour, I decided not to buy because the amount was something I could not afford. They had the audacity to question my income by telling me they have never seen a nurse make the amount I wrote down.
When I didn't get upset/act ugly they sent the manager over to me and he said that I lied about being single because he called my room and a man answered the phone and identified himself as having my last name. That's complete BS because the man is my boyfriend and we don't even live together, let alone the same state! If a man in my room did have my last name, it could have been a relative!
When I talked to my boyfriend he said the front desk called and asked if we wanted room service and he said no thanks. They addressed him by my last name as soon as he answered but he did not correct them because the room was in my name and he figured it was standard practice.
At any rate My credit card got charged full rate for the room and Disney tickets $204 extra dollars because they said I did not meet the qualifications for the vacation package. Now, I have to jump through hoops and dispute it with my credit company. Brian, the welcome center manager is the ring leader and can't be trusted.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- We originally bought a timeshare in Las Vegas (Flamingo Bay). We were lured with the promise of worldwide travel and shown inflated numbers showing that in a few years, due to inflation, it would be so much more to travel to these destinations. We were unaware, at the time, that the maintenance fees would surpass any rates of inflation. We were not made aware of fees that would be imposed for banking the timeshare and further fees for joining interval international. We were also disappointed to find that when we did choose places to exchange to they would be unavailable anyway.
We used the Flamingo Bay resort in 2009 and while there were told it would be in our interest to attend an owners meeting which, unfortunately, we did. While there we were made to think that if we 'upgraded' to Planet Hollywood we would have no problem getting exchanges that we actually wanted. Stupidly we did this! It wasn't until I went to bank the week that I was told we no longer had exchange rights because we now only owned 4 days rather than a week.
At no point had we been told this and the contract is so ambiguous that any lay person would have been fooled. I knew they had not fully disclosed everything in the first sales presentation but never would I have expected these dirty bait and switch tactics. We are now left with only 4 days and no way to exchange. How ironic since the main reason for buying a timeshare was on the promise we would get to travel the world! Plus we had just paid Interval International for 5 years of exchange privileges.