It’s Friday and time for another Letter from America, this week another new contributor Elaine L, in her Open Letter to many heads of the timeshare industry explains her “Nightmare on Timeshare Street”. But first some news from Europe.
Yesterday we published the article on Silverpoints “Company Participations” scheme and the fact that they admitted in court that it is indeed timeshare, just after we published we had some more news regarding Silverpoint.
In a case that was won recently the lawyers from Canarian Legal Alliance have had success in securing another “Cash Embargo” against this company, also securing the payout to a German client. This happy client has now received the grand sum of 57,239.67€, which is 15,292€ more than they originally paid to Silverpoint for their timeshare.
Once again this is a tremendous blow to a company that has for many years been making millions from unsuspecting clients, the courts are obviously taking a very dim view of these past transgressions.
Inside timeshare has also received information from another reader regarding timeshare presentations, this time Azure Resorts in Malta, incidentally this is another Silverpoint company. This time it is regarding the QA sessions or what is commonly known in Europe as “button up”. It is the stage where the contracts are gone through with the client and explained.
Apparently these sessions are now being recorded, our reader explained that the person conducting the QA or button up re-words what the sales rep has told the client, such as the timeshare will go up in value and that they can sell it on if they no longer want it. The QA staff explain that they cannot guarantee increase in value or future sale, that is down to market forces. Again this is another attempt to secure the sale and negate any future litigation and complaints.
It must also be remembered that the person conducting these sessions is usually also on a commission for the completion, so it is in their best interest to ensure that the client does sign.
So now on with this weeks Letter from America.
An Open Letter to:
Michael Flaskey, Diamond Resorts CEO,
Robert Clements, ARDA lobbyist and Attorney
Gary Stein, head of Apollo Corporate Communications
Charles Zehren, Apollo Investor Relations
By Elaine L, #83 in our list of veterans, active duty service members, Department of Defense workers who feel we experienced unfair and deceptive timeshare sales practices
November 30, 2017
Timeshare sales can pose a national security risk. Just about anyone can get hired to sell timeshare points, and for those of us with Top Security clearances, our careers could be in jeopardy because we believed a timeshare sales agent. When the timeshare sales agent suffers no consequences, the sales agent has been given the green light to sell by any means knowing all complaints are answered in favor of the sales agent.
The public needs to know their complaint will fall on deaf ears before buying a timeshare. No matter what the sales agents said, and with little to no enforcement, the buyer will be held responsible for the contract. Diamond should want the public to know this.
According to Social Media reports, the Nevada Real Estate Division (NRED) also dismisses complaints with, “You have no proof,” so there is nothing to stop a sales agent from making up reasons existing member need to buy additional points.
Ages 50 and 49 respectively
I have a Top Secret security clearance
October 13, 2018 complaint
At a December 17, 2017 meeting, we asked Davia H about selling the Diamond/ Sunterra timeshare we already owned. We had tried unsuccessfully to sell our timeshare. We made it clear that our interest was to sell all our interest in Diamond/Sunterra points.
Davia told us that there was no way to sell the Sunterra timeshare because we did not have “Full Club Member” Diamond benefits. She encouraged us to become “Full Club Members” with the promise of being able to sell the timeshare easier.
She said that the points we owned from our original timeshare were worthless and that we needed to upgrade to a “Full Club Member” to receive “benefits that would increase the value of the timeshare to make it worth buying.” We were quoted a unit price of $8 per unit. We feel that not disclosing that timeshare points are worthless was a material omission.
Davia showed us Timeshareangels.com (a site selling Wyndham Resorts points and timeshares) – she told us she is also a Wyndham timeshare sales agent and said that people were selling points (units) for $4-$6 per unit. Davia showed us examples of listings for Wyndham timeshares. It has been widely reported Diamond points are worthless.
Davia also said that she would show us how we could make money off our timeshare, if we bought into Diamond’s “Full Club Member” status. Davia advised us to wait six months before trying to sell because the value of the timeshare would increase. She also told us that she knew someone who helps people sell their timeshares and could give us her contact’s information. Given Davia told us to wait six months before trying to sell, it was too late to rescind the purchase agreement. Repeated calls and texts to Davia went unanswered.
Other claims Davia made:
- Our management fees would be locked in as “Full Club Members” so maintenance fees would no longer increase,
- The value of the timeshare would appreciate over time because of the affiliation Diamond now has with the Apollo Group. Due to the affiliation with Apollo, Davia said we could recoup our cash outlay and the value of the timeshare would continue to increase over time. Davia said the Apollo Group paid way too much for Diamond so were eager to recoup some of the losses.
- We could make our points earn money by selling them – she said we could sell our points for more than the $8/point we were paying.
We did not want to buy more points. We only bought points so we could sell them.
3500 points purchased at Cancun Resort in Las Vegas December 17, 2017
Purchase Price: $15,375
Barclays Credit Card opened and charged $14,000
I have filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission. I will also be writing to Maureen Farrell at the Wall Street Journal, who wrote of Diamond’s upcoming $4 billion IPO. Wall Street needs to hear our side.
Our original complaint sent March 1, 2018 was ignored. Davia used information asymmetry to make money off people in my position. My job and career are at stake due to her charade due to my top security clearance.
Diamond used the recording of the Quality Assurance against us. The “Hospitality” agent said my husband had asked two questions. The questions were about an assessment fee and how long is escrow. How could we ask questions about the ability to make money or sell points if we didn’t know Diamond points were worthless?
The recording of the QA was reported in a Diamond CLARITY press release to be for the purpose of enhanced training. Several members have reported the QA recording has been used against them. I would like to know if the QA person is penalized financially if a sale doesn’t go through. Diamond does not allow the recording of the sales presentation. For us, there was no Diamond CLARITY promise of RESPECT for the customer, clear, concise, accountable and transparent information.
I sent our complaint to this list of contacts found on our advocacy Facebook page:
To: Michael Flaskey, CEO
Barclay’s President’s Office
DR PR Firm
Association of Vacation Owners
If a sales agent can say anything to sell points, and the company response is that you signed a contract, then the public must be warned that they should not believe a word a timeshare sales agent says. There are over 2100 members on our member sponsored Facebook page.
Thank you to Elaine for your contribution this week, we are sure it will be recognised by many of our readers, we can only hope that all those it is addressed to actually take notice, somehow I very much doubt it.
If you have had any experience such as those we publish, or have been contacted by any company telling you they can “exit” you from your timeshare or even get you “compensation”, use our contact page and let us know. Inside Timeshare will point you in the best direction and save you a lot of your hard earned cash.
Have a good weekend and join us next week for more “Nightmares on Timeshare Street” and all the other scams that are out there.