While most lawsuits against timeshare companies are rarely fruitful, some deserve public attention. For the most part, a large percentage of society isn’t keen on the sales tactics of the industry. Understanding buyer complaints can help consumers avoid the purchase altogether. In reality, many buyers often find themselves in over their heads with the purchase before they even know what happened. This is why an accusation from 2016 against Diamond Resorts and Barclays Bank is important to understand.
In November of that year, Neri and Fe Jocson bought a “sampler package” from Diamond Resorts International. (DRI) for 2,500 timeshare points. Upon purchase, both were under the impression that they would accrue points every month as they made payments on their package. According to the complaint, it didn’t seem like they were expecting much from the membership but saw it as an opportunity to test the waters.
In order to obtain this membership deal, Neri and Fe say they were required to finance with DRI directly. After signing up for a credit card through Barclays Bank in Delaware, the new timeshare points owners began saving up for a future getaway. But three months later, the perks and accommodations at multiple resorts across the country still weren’t accessible. As a matter of fact, according to the complaint, DRI allegedly told their buyers that they should have never sold them a limited number of points to begin with.
False Verbal Promises Lay Traps for Timeshare Owners.
This is where the plaintiffs began scratching their heads. The accusation went on to explain how Diamond told them that 2,500 points isn’t nearly a sufficient amount to make any type of promises on vacation privileges. In order to enjoy what they were initially promised, Neri and Fe were told they needed to upgrade to the “Silver Package” by purchasing another 6,000 points. Although it seemed odd, both agreed to spend more because they had already committed to the deal.
This transaction is where the plaintiffs felt they were misled the most. Not only does it appear that DRI downplayed their mistake, but one may understand the complaint as the defendant purportedly distracted them with phantom perks and intimidated them into signing an additional agreement with further obligations. This is how so many people end up trapped in a perpetual agreement even though they only wanted a sample. If you feel pressured into any purchase, it’s always best to walk away.
How the Timeshare Membership Lost its Appeal.
As Neri and Fe proceeded with the sales process, they eventually found themselves at an owner’s update meeting in June of 2017. In their lawsuit, they claim that it was here where DRI informed them they had not, in fact, purchased a “Silver Membership.” To make matters worse, they were also informed they still did not have enough points to access any vacation privileges. Meeting hosts then urged them to sign up for another DRI credit card to finance the down payment for an upgraded membership.
This time, the plaintiffs did not take the bait and they began formulating a lawsuit against Diamond Resorts International and Barclays Bank for their deceptive timeshare practices. Their decision to file was solidified in August of 2017 after another failed reservation attempt. At this point, according to the complaint, DRI allegedly went as far as invoking their membership benefits if they didn’t buy more points.
Protect and Inform Yourself As a Consumer.
When you think about it, thousands of people probably fall into fractional ownership by accident. So many buyers try everything in their power to make the purchase worthwhile. We know because we talk to them every day. If you don’t know a lot about this industry, it can be quite the disadvantage – especially if you’re ever randomly lured into a timeshare presentation with appealing perks.
Neri and Fe Jocson were able to identify 10-counts in their proposed class action lawsuit. All accusations were based on high pressure sales tactics, false promises, verbal misrepresentations and misleading advertisements. If you take the time to research past lawsuits vs DRI and other major hotel chains, you’ll find a similar paper trail. The fourth joint status report was recently filed in March of this year.