I am outlining many of the issues we have been through with Wyndham. They are many and fairly consistent:
The sales representatives prey on tourists with gifts of lower-priced tickets to amusements, gift cards, and other amenities to coax you into presentations:
Two of the gift cards presented at the end of a sales presentation did not work.
Two AMEX cards could not be redeemed because they would not work – store said they had no value on them
Cheap gifts were given by the person coming to your room – one umbrella would not open and as I continued to try to open it, I fell and spent the night in a hospital with a concussion.
Other trinkets had no value.
We were lured into sales meetings with the promise of a free breakfast, usually consisting of cold pastries, fruit, and beverage. We would be given a time, 8 am or 9:30 am, for those who like to sleep in. They would have these breakfasts as a way for you to find out more about their facility. We would be escorted to a table where the sales process would begin.
These sales meetings were posted as lasting 30 to 45 minutes. Our shortest meeting was 3 hours. Most lasted 4 to as long as 6 hours.
This was wear and tear on our body and mind.
Both parties had to attend the presentation.
This was difficult because we had grandchildren with us often.
On several occasions we were nearly denied admission to the facility unless we signed up for a time to meet with their marketing staff.
Most locations were very insistent that we schedule a sales meeting. “Don’t you want to hear about changes in your program?”
Most locations we would say no to scheduling an appointment, but they went ahead scheduling a time. We refused to answer the phone on these occasions in order to avoid their representative.
The tactic was then to delay getting your room key and/or parking permit.
As we became owners, the name of the meetings changed to owner information meetings where a senior executive would go over changes and methods to best utilize your timeshare. The breakfast improved, but the meeting ended by being assigned to a sales representative who would go over your ownership and begin to push to update your ownership featuring the new changes – MORE POINTS ARE NEEDED TO BE PURCHASED TO ENJOY THESE NEW BENEFITS.
These meetings were conducted in a small cubicle – often it was not that sales representatives own office. This was a lure to have the person from that office return at an opportune time to enhance the need for the purchase of more points or programs. We often felt that we were being ganged-up on. Sometimes this person would bring discounts and other amenities into the presentation.
The sales office area was honeycombed with these cubicles where you could hear other sales representatives spreading the same lies and enticements.
To help with the closing, a senior representative would appear to offer discounts and other enticements in order to” sweeten the pie.”
On many occasions the sales representative would leave the presentation to check on something. He or she was gone for several minutes at a time.
There we sat looking at each other.
We asked ourselves:
Should we get up and leave?
How long will the sales representative be gone?
How do we say no?
Do we feel this is a good deal or not?
How are we going to pay for this?
We know now that this was a technique to wear us down.
We purchased on several occasions just to get out of there. The sales representatives would not take no for answer. They continued to badger us until we gave in.
We can finance the sale of points with them
Later you can finance through an outside source
The down payment could be financed by using Bill Me Later
If the down payment could not be covered by the $10,000 limit, they would have your spouse take out the remaining balance on another Bill Me Later. Bill Me Later was a 6 months interest free program. At the end of six months we still did not have enough money to pay off the balance…great gimmick. It sounded good at the time.
If you avoided the sales presentation offer, there would be a sales person come to the room invited or not invited. They always had a summary of your investment and told what changes had come about and how you could benefit from these changes. They promptly set an appointment with another representative. They are like leaches. They would never give up. This was totally frustrating and agitating. Some of the time we were planning on going somewhere or were with our grandchildren.
Our original two purchases were through Fairfield. When we were staying in San Antonio, we were confronted by a group of sales representatives who asked us if we were told that our Fairfield program was over. We could change the old Fairfield program into the Wyndham Vacation Resorts program, but we would have to buy into the Wyndham by purchasing more points. We refused and were forced into signing documents that excluded us from the program in the future. This process took over 6 hours…one day of our vacation gone.
Most of the sales pressure came “BUY NOW OR MISS OUT.”
We were told we were buying for the future – for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. They will inherit this investment and enjoy it for the rest of their lives. IF THEY CAN AFFORD THE MAINTENANCE FEES AND REMINING BALANCE? This investment will save money in the long run over hotel bills, plus the amenities at Wyndham locations are great. Our points could be used for many incidentals such as housekeeping, airfare, cruises, entertainment, admission to theme parks, etc. Great as long as you had enough points. We found that cruises required an additional surcharge to book. Many of the Wyndham facilities rent out space to permanent residents. Many of the facilities did not have the entire facility available for point usage.
We found it would be cheaper to pay out of pocket for these amenities rather than buying the points and the maintenance fees, which are an annual cost, never to go away and increase in cost.
It is no wonder that the sales people are high pressure – they are 100% commission.
We were led to believe that our investment in Wyndham properties would not depreciate in value. There is always a demand for resorts located in prime locations.
After our purchases we found the value dropped significantly – there is no resale or residual value or equity.
Much of the terminology used was foreign to us like – PICS, extra holidays, Plus Partners, Access, Pathways, etc. It seems that each time we visit a Wyndham facility there is a new wrinkle.
New programs sold to us were:
Pathways – a 20% buyback when we paid off our balance.
Access – the ability to secure vacation in prime resorts and major cities like New York
We found the use of PICS was confusing and we got different answers from different people to include sales representatives or by calling the 888 number.
We found that by calling the 888 number everyone had a different answer to the same question, leaving us more confused.
When we tried to use our PICS from Hawaii and Orange Lake to get to the next level, either Gold or Platinum, we found that these were worthless in our trading process.
In some cases the sales representatives tried to sell us on locations that were less desirable in order to save us money on maintenance fees. These were locations like the Smokey Mountains, among others. We were assured that these locations carried the same value in points as their prime locations.
It has taken us several years of study, trial and error, or by asking that we finally begin to understand Wyndham personnel. By making mistakes, we began to understand the benefits of our investment and the lies we were told in order for us to buy additional properties with Wyndham. We were told to read the book, but the information desired was difficult to find.
In most cases we found the purchase with Wyndham was a bad investment. We feel we have been lied to and sucked into a scam that never ends.
We felt that we were taken advantage of when we had grandchildren with us during the sales presentation. This made our concentration difficult because the grandchildren could not sit that long without creating some kind of a problem or disturbance.
Prior contracts could not be changed without the purchase of additional points, thus requiring more debt. WHY?
The sales representative at Old Town Alexandra changed us from Access to National Harbor to lower our maintenance fees. We were never told that we were losing the Access program, which we wanted to keep. It took another purchase of points to regain the Access program.
Sales representative’s notes seemed to disappear after the sale. We were only able to retain one set from Hawaii. This sales representative told us she was writing a book, “Timeshare for Dummies.” She encouraged us to call her concerning any questions regarding the purchase or other timeshare questions. She never returned our calls. This was a lie. We believe she never intended to answer our calls after the purchase.
There is no regard for age. Most of our sales were made after we turned 70. Both my wife and I have health issues, which were pointed out in sales presentations. We both have heart conditions with Afib heart condition, arthritis, and she has high blood pressure. No matter, there is no concern for the individual, just in getting their money. At the last sales meeting I was limping due to the need for a knee and hip replacement. It appeared the sales representatives totally ignored this issue.
At 74, I will have to continue to work for 10 more years in order to pay off the debt created by these sales. This will make me 84 and still faced with a maintenance fee of nearly $10,000 per year. Both of us are on Social Security. I am on teacher retirement. Total this only brings in $25,000. I continue to work full time to support the two of us. Combined we make less than $50,000.
We were encouraged by different sales representatives to seek other lending sources in order to lower interest and payments. We sought to finance through Wells Fargo. After a $300 finance fee we were turned down because we did not have enough collateral to offset the loan. They stated that timeshare has no value to secure a loan. We tried two small, local banks, M&F and Bryant to no avail. Same story, even though I was a personal friend of both bank directors. A branch manager at Wells Fargo could not help either.
We were told on several occasions the sales representative was lowering our interest rate. Instead it remained at 11.99%. On one loan the interest rate rose to 14.99%.
We like Wyndham facilities and properties, but hate to check in because this is where the dreaded contact with the sales representatives begins. We try not to even look at any of the staff once we receive our key. We feel like we are about to be attacked by the money sharks.
AFTER TRAVELING FOR SEVERAL HOURS ALL WE WANT TO DO IS GET TO OUR ROOM, NOT MEET OR SET A TIME TO MEET WITH A SALES REPRESENTATIVE.
WYNDHAM SALES REPRESENTATIVES WILL NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER, EVEN AFTER STATING ISSUES THAT PREVENT THE PURCHASE. WE ARE TIRED OF THEIR LIES AND UNDERHANDED TACTICS.
Closing was another joke!
We had to wait up to 45 minutes to see the financial person
I can still hear the rapid-fire click of the signature and notary stamp as the financial person went through the documents.
The name of the document was given. The next words were, “sign here and/or initial.”
One document presented in Hawaii was 55 pages long.
The document, in large letters, read – DO NOT SIGN UNTIL YOU HAVE READ THIS DOCUMENT
What a laugh!
With the speed and rapid shuffling, documents were pushed in front of us. It was impossible to read and comprehend the content in the limited time given.
After the purchase of Presidential Reserve at Emerald Grand we researched and found the way to cancel the sale. Because we are often with friends, relatives, and grandchildren it is difficult to sit down and comprehend all of the documents presented.
WE FEEL THAT WE HAVE BEEN LIED TO BY WYNDHAM AND WE HAVE EXPERIENCED THIS ON ALL OCCASIONS. IT MAKES ME SICK TO SEE THE SALES REPRESENTATIVES OFFICE LINED WITH TROPHIES AND PLAQUES FOR THEIR SUCCESS OF LYING AND MISLEADING.
IT IS TIME FOR WYNDHAM TO FACE-UP AND QUIT MISLEADING THE PUBLIC. WE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES BEWILDERED BY THE SALES STAFF. I SEE IT IN THE EYES AND REACTIONS OF OTHER PEOPLE BEING SUBMITTED TO THE SAME TACTICS WE WERE EXPOSED TOO!
I KNOW AND YOU KNOW THAT THESE STATEMENTS PRESENTED ARE THE TYPICAL TACTICS AND PROCEDURES CONDUCTED BY WYNDHAM’S SALES STAFF. ALL LIES AND MISREPRESENTATIONS.