When it comes to class action lawsuits against timeshare companies, unhappy buyers are usually frustrated by a lack of disclosure or because they’ve been being lied to. Whether they can prove their claims or not, most point out the level of inconvenience and the amount of money the product has cost them. Rarely do vacations owners ever go into detail about the way a timeshare makes them feel. The grief of the purchase can be rather shameful and a recent Diamond class action lawsuit in California sheds some light on why.
After purchasing a timeshare membership more than 5 years ago, Rejean and Gisele Fournier struggled to enjoy the travel perks that Diamond Resorts (DRI) sold them. According to the lawsuit, the couple was under the impression they’d have access to a certain amount of points that could be used towards multiple accommodations at a variety of resorts across the country. But the Riverside county residents claim this was not true.
By the summer of 2015, complaints had already been filed with Diamond about their inability to use their points on certain dates and in locations that were supposed to be available. But it didn’t provide them with a solution. According to the Diamond class action lawsuit, the Fournier’s were then told they would need to purchase a “platinum” membership in order to improve their experience. If they wanted to speak to someone directly, then they’d have to attend an owner’s update meeting.
The Reality of Owner’s Update Meetings.
After arriving at the meeting, the plaintiffs quickly came to the conclusion that Diamond was not interested in their concerns. According to the couple, the resort doubled down on their conditional upgrade offer and pressured them into signing it. What made the process even more excruciating was that they felt they were being mocked by Diamond’s representatives the entire time. The lawsuit furthers their claims by stating the plaintiffs also felt, “bullied, manipulated and intimidated into signing a new contract.”
This completely caught the Fourniers off guard. They didn’t even bring a credit card to the meeting because they thought they were going to be heard. Instead, Diamond’s staff purportedly laughed at every mistake the couple made – resulting in insurmountable “stress, embarrassment and humiliation.” According to the Diamond class action lawsuit, Rejean and Gisele honestly felt as though they could not leave the meeting without agreeing to the upgrade.
Upgrading Diamond Timeshare Didn’t Solve The Problem.
Following their signatures, the credit card they had on file was allegedly charged for $2K and the monthly expense of their timeshare almost doubled. Sadly, the upgrade did not produce the results that the Fourniers were looking for. At this point, they had seen enough and simply wanted to end the agreement. After several failed attempts to do so over the phone, they tried sending a letter to Diamond to cancel future bookings and cease the membership altogether.
It is stated that Diamond responded by sending Californians an $814 invoice that was due within days of its arrival. According to the lawsuit, DRI even conveniently reminded them that late payments would incur fees. No matter how many timeshare cancellation letters they wrote, Diamond allegedly would respond by denying termination requests, reiterating owner obligations and demanding payment. The plaintiffs even claim they’ve been harassed by the company after asking them to stop.
Final Plaintiff Presumptions and Total Cost.
Up until the filing date of their Diamond class action lawsuit, the Fourniers had paid more than $6K in timeshare fees and over $45K towards their principal balance. The couple believes they would have never even signed up for the product if high-pressure sales tactics didn’t deceive them – let alone upgrade the purchase.
Aside from the emotional stress and grief, the Plaintiff’s class action officially accuses DRI of violating the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, False Advertising Act, California Truth in Lending Act and the California Welfare & Institutions Code.
This is not the first Diamond class action lawsuit of it’s kind as there are currently a number of ongoing investigations into their sales practices. You can find out more about this specific case under: The Diamond Resorts Timeshare Membership Class Action Lawsuit is Gisele Fournier, et al. v. Diamond Resorts International Club Inc., et al., Case No. 5:17-cv-00911, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.