Timeshare Legal Issue for Wyndham Timeshare Company
A retired couple has taken legal action against Wyndham Vacation Resorts, their latest timeshare legal issue. They are alleging that the company issued them two Wyndham-branded credit cards, credit limit totaling $40,000, without their knowledge or consent. In a proposed nationwide class action lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that this incident is not an isolated one and seek to hold Wyndham responsible for its actions. Wyndham, a resort and timeshare company, offers credit cards in partnership with various banks.
The Ashbys, both in their 70s and residents of Indiana, are the plaintiffs in this case. They stated that they were invited to enjoy three complimentary nights at a Wyndham timeshare property in Missouri last July. However, the condition for their stay was attending a timeshare sales presentation, to which they agreed. During the presentation, a sales representative attempted to persuade them to purchase a deeded property. However, later shifted their focus towards buying “points” for future Club Wyndham vacations. Eventually, the couple agreed to make a $3,375 purchase using their credit card.
Issued Credit Cards Totaling $40,000 Limit Without Consent or Knowledge
According to the lawsuit, the salesperson then requested their social security numbers and driver’s licenses. The salesperson claimed it was necessary to secure the best deal. Interestingly, the topic of credit accounts was never discussed during the presentation. However, upon returning home, the Ashbys discovered that both Wyndham and Comenity Capital Bank had issued them individual Wyndham-branded credit accounts. Each account with a $20,000 credit limit—an alarming revelation for the couple.
The lawsuit contends that the Ashbys promptly voiced their concerns to Comenity, resulting in the closure of the accounts the following month. However, Wyndham allegedly stonewalled their attempts to address the issue. The plaintiffs argue that this incident was not an isolated occurrence. They presented Better Business Bureau reviews and media reports that contain similar allegations against Wyndham. They also referenced a whistleblower lawsuit involving a Wyndham employee in the company’s San Francisco office. This lawsuit resulted in a punitive damages award of $12.8 million.
Drawing parallels, the Ashbys compare their case to the 2017 class settlement involving Wells Fargo. The bank was accused of opening accounts without customer consent, resulting in a $142 million settlement. The lawsuit suggests that both cases exhibit a pattern wherein companies establish unrealistic sales targets for employees and subject them to immense pressure to meet those goals. Consequently, employees resort to questionable practices, such as creating unauthorized accounts to fulfill their objectives. The companies, in turn, allegedly turn a blind eye, deny any
wrongdoing, and downplay the extent of the problem until exposed in legal proceedings.
Lawsuit Claims Wyndham Collaborated with Comenity in Fraudulent Scheme
Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that Comenity and its parent company, Alliance Data, collaborated with Wyndham in the fraudulent scheme beginning in 2018. The Ashbys are suing Wyndham under several acts, including the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, Delaware Consumer Fraud Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Unauthorized Issuance of Credit Cards under the Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z.
In their lawsuit, the Ashbys seek to represent a nationwide Class comprising individuals who were issued a Wyndham credit line without their consent, as well as a Missouri Class. Their demands include a declaration that the alleged practices are unlawful, an injunction preventing Wyndham from engaging in such activities in the future, reimbursement of costs, triple damages, and a jury trial.
Meanwhile, Wyndham faces additional recent timeshare legal allegations of misleading and exploiting customers. In August 2020, timeshare owners filed a class action lawsuit accusing the company of deceiving customers. The complaint was about benefits and subjecting them to aggressive marketing tactics in order to sell worthless points. This lawsuit followed a similar class action filed against Wyndham in February 2020.
If you have ever experienced the issuance of a credit card or credit line without your consent, share your story in the comments below.
Case referenced: Douglas and Suzanne Ashby, et al. v. Wyndham Vacation Resorts Inc., Comenity Capital Bank, Alliance Data Systems Corp., Case No. 6:21-cv-03044-WBG, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District Of Missouri Springfield Division