Part III in the ongoing story of attempting to fight back against Westgate Resorts rip-off time share scam. See our previous story on Vegas time share scams.
In the previous installment I described how Westgate Resorts in Las Vegas used dishonest practices to sell us a time share single-week package for Miami Beach, Florida. We bought the package with the assurance that we could easily book the week we wanted (for my brother’s wedding in March). Previously, I described how things went wrong. For the past two weeks I’ve made an attempt to fight back against Westgate, and do all in my power to get them to own up to their lies and blatant deceit and give us the vacation we purchased.
Fortunately, we never purchased the $30,000 time share in Las Vegas Planet Hollywood Resort (which is now selling for just under $10,000 here). We did however, buy a one week package for $495. We assumed this compromise was indeed a good deal, used to entice customers to upgrade to the full package. We were assured by our sales representative Sonia that this was the case. She was a nice lady and didn’t for a moment appear be a con-artist. In hind-sight she was so effective in her lies because she appeared innocent and kind. Where the previous sales efforts of Hikoo and Melissa failed, Sonia succeeded perhaps because as a unique foreigner from South Africa she in now way appeared deceptive.
We had completely digested the lies Sonia had fed us had, when we finally discovered them (nearly one month after our purchase). Not until after the 30 day processing lag when we first attempted to book our vacation, did we discover innocent sweet dark eyed, dark hair and foreign Sonia, was in fact a bold-face-liar. Sonia had told us we were buying 8 days and 7 nights. The contract, however, sated “4 nights.” I do blame myself besides Sonia for this oversight. Anyone spending any amount of money, based on an agreement, should read a contract in its entirety. If anything is unclear in a contract, don’t ask for an explanation, instead simply don’t buy. Everything in a well written contract should be crystal clear. Contracts for purchasing agreements should never be confusing, (my dad is a realtor and he has told us this). If there is nothing confusing about the agreement (buying a one-week vacation) there should be nothing confusing in the contract. The contract should be brief and easy. Westgate’s contract for purchasing a (supposedly) one-week vacation is four pages. Sonia was talking to us about South Africa as we were signing the agreement. She never bothered to point out what the contract actually stated. This was lesson number two: don’t be friendly while signing a contract.
With this said, I wasn’t about to complain to Westgate about Sonia’s sales tactics. Yes, I was lied to, but everyone living in the United States (especially me) should well know that what is in black and white is what matters, not what verbally agreed upon. We (believed) we had bought four nights five days for $495, I could still live with this. My relief in not purchasing the entire time share package helped me to forgive Sonia and realize my own ignorance.
So why have I been fighting Westgate for the past month? Because our contract states in two places that the arrangement is for “4 nights”, yet they keep telling us they don’t offer a four night package only a three night and seven night package. So because there is no such thing as a four night package, we need to understand that we only have three nights, despite what the contract states. Unbelievable? Its true, I spoke to three different Westgate representatives, we have booked our vacation for August, yet each representative has told us the carbon-copy ink impression on our contract is inaccurate and we only have 3 nights. I spoke to two Hispanic women when I called the first two times. I didn’t want to raise hell to these women, so I asked to speak to their manager. The second lady told me I should fax them my contract, and if it does say “4” nights I will get my four nights. I did one better than this and scanned two pages of the contract where the number “4” is so clearly written.
Finally, I sent the e-mail along with links to my previous stories. This was still not enough. I then spoke to a gentleman named Louis, who told me, despite the evidence, it didn’t matter. They don’t offer a 4 night package. I was begining to wonder if this was a common routine. I asked to speak to his manager, Louis said he would have his manager Freddy call me. I said to Louis, “They have told me before they will call and they never did. So I don’t believe you.” I was angry, the entire time on the phone with Louis. “Freddy will call you. I’m sure he will when he gets off the phone.”