Warning!…Please! If you are going to the “free” 1-night-stay + $50 night at Westgate resorts in Park City…BEWARE!
submitted by Sarah Ashliman
My husband and I, and my little girls went to the “90 min. resort tour” (ended up being closer to 4 hours) and ended up buying! Why? We had made each other a promise before we went in that we wouldn’t get sucked in. Somehow we our promise to each other was out the door by the time it was all over. We were tired, our girls cried for about 2 hours of the “tour” (really a well-crafted sales pitch), my husband really wanted a dream vacation with all the promised perks, the sales people were so “nice” and gave us lots of free incentives(about $1,000 worth), etc… We were taken up to an “impartial” closing agent when we decided to go with it. She seemed very trustworthy. She told us that she was not affiliated with Westgate and that she was a non-partisan 3rd party. I was very happy that I had someone not employed by Westgate to talk to before signing the papers. The closing agent told me that she had a time share with Westgate and proceeded to tell me how much she adored it and how purchasing the timeshare was one of the best decisions she had made in her life.
Needless to say, I felt sick that night. The sales rep upgraded our stay to a 2-bedroom presidential suite (of course he didn’t tell us that if we backed out, we would be paying over $500 for it), he also gave us $50 to Coldstone creamery, $100 to a pizza place, $200 to a day spa, and another 2-night stay. The presidential suite was pretty amazing, but I really didn’t enjoy it much being that I felt absolutely sick from the bad decision.
Luckily, I found in the papers that we signed that we had a 5 day period to change our minds and get a full refund.
Unfortunately there were no sales people at the resort the following day. We decided to not spend any more (we had already used the presidential upgrade and $50 pizza) of our “gift” vouchers in case we had to pay them back.
The next day I was able to get ahold of the “non-affiliated” closing agent by phone. I have to say, it was one of THE WORST conversations I’ve ever had with anyone. She started by nicely asking me why I had changed my mind after she had explained everything to me in detail. I gave her my reasons. She told me that my reasons weren’t good enough and asked me again, “why?” I gave her more reasons thinking that maybe this was part of the refund process! She then proceeded to tell me off. Seriously. The “non-affiliated” to Westage closing agent actually told me off on the phone for trying to get out of my contract! She told me several times that I was “unethical” for trying to get out of the contract. She told me that this would “RUIN HER REPUTATION WITH WESTGATE.” When I asked her (should I giver her name? I suppose I won’t do that for now) what I needed to do to get out of the contract she said she wouldn’t help me and if I wanted to find out I needed to read my paperwork. I then asked her this, “if what I am doing is ‘unethical’ then why is it Utah law that I have 5 days to get out of the contract?” She hung up the phone on me. She then called back, my husband answered because I was a bit upset at that point, she apologized to him and said she was having a bad day.
Anyway, when we called the Florida office to find out what to do we were told to “contact your closing agent!” We told him we already tried to contact her and she wouldn’t help us. She he gave us the name of her boss. We have caller her twice with now response (in the last 2 days).
So, we sent the certified letter within the 5-day period, to Florida cancellation center. We then got a babysitter for our girls and drove an hour back to the resort to return our briefcase (would have been charged $50 for it), and all the vouchers that we didn’t use. We had one of the sales reps (there were only two people there at that time, and they weren’t the ones who we had previously dealt with) sign a detailed letter that my husband had written up detailed what we were returning.
So, that is our story. And, all this has happened within the last 3 days. Yuck. I would like others to be warned, and I would like the Westgate resort sales team, and especially the closing agent, to have at least SOME accountability for treating people this way.
~glad to have a place to share my story