For tourism, 2020 has been an interesting year to say the least. As travel restrictions continue holding up people’s vacation plans, lawsuits against major hotel chains have begun to garner momentum. The latest timeshare company to land on our news desk is facing another class action battle for alleged planned contract omissions. While Wyndham Vacations is no stranger to controversy, this accusation is a little more aggressive than past claims.
According to the lawsuit, class members believe Wyndham is “built on the false assumption that the company can lie to consumers to get them to sign ‘confusing, vague and ambiguous’ boilerplate contracts while effectively disclaiming within the documents any and all falsehoods.” In other words, the plaintiffs claim the timeshare company will “say anything to get people to sign contacts.” Once they’re bound to the agreement, owners are said to be held liable even if they feel they’ve been deceived.
Who Does the Wyndham Class Action Include?
The class action went on to accuse Wyndham of purposefully targeting elderly consumers and other vulnerable groups with planned contract omissions because they typically “borrow heavily” for large purchases. By forcing people to attend “hours-long” sales presentations, Wyndham was purportedly able to manipulate prospects by wearing them down. These demonstrations were marketed as 90 minute segments and some went on for more than 6 hours. But the length of the sale is the least of their concern.
Apparently, most of the class members of this lawsuit were putative members in a separate filing against Wyndham in Illinois. Unfortunately, the initial case was “dismissed without prejudice” after Wyndham complained that the lawsuit needed to be presented in Delaware (filing state) or Florida (where the claim resides). Either way, all plaintiffs allege Wyndhams timeshare presentations were rife with planned contract omissions that didn’t adequately forecast the experience.
Reserving Timeshare Weeks Was Also a Problem.
Aside from expressing their experiences for extensive, unanticipated booking troubles, availability just wasn’t what they thought it was going to be. In fact, many of the plaintiffs in the case claim they haven’t even been able to book their timeshare interval. Based on the way the experience was presented to them, class members are hoping to expose Wyndham for “intentionally and consistently” omitting pertinent details out of its sales pitches.
“Among other details, the defendant fails to disclose to prospective buyers that they can obtain equal or greater access to Wyndham resort destinations at an equal or lesser cost through public websites without dropping the average $21,000 on a timeshare,” says the 26-page class action lawsuit. The lawsuit also touches on the ever-increasing maintenance fees that Wyndham bills every year but reportedly fails to mention.
Additional Lies Allegedly Fed to Wyndham Prospects.
In order to deceptively persuade them, plaintiffs claim they were told it would be more expensive “to go to the same destinations without being a Wyndham timeshare Owner”. To them, the reality of owning a Wyndham timeshare stands in stark contrast to what the company represented during their sales presentations. In fact, they believe the reseller focuses more on selling points rather than making accommodations available. In their eyes, if it weren’t for the reputedly planned contract omissions, they would have never even made the purchase.
“Owners are locked into timeshare ownership that has limited availability of destinations, often requires that bookings be made a year or more in advance, and results in Wyndham Owners paying more for vacations than they would on public travel websites,” said one class member. “The picture painted by Wyndham in its six- or seven-hour-long sales presentations is far rosier than the reality experienced by timeshare owners,” the lawsuit continues.
Business Has Been Good for Wyndham Vacations.
Even though Wyndham supposedly sells their timeshare points for ridiculous prices (anywhere from $15-25K), “the same value of points can be bought on eBay for as little as $1,” said the complaint. The class action looks to represent all owners who attended a seminar, unsuccessfully requested cancellations or signed Wyndham timeshare contracts on or after the 27th of January, 2016.
If you feel as though you’ve experienced planned contract omissions, just know you’re not alone. Wyndham Vacations is only one of many timeshare companies. Thousands of buyers face this realization every year. At the end of the day, finding someone you can trust is absolutely crucial. To learn more about your options as a vacation owner, schedule a free consultation or proceed with the qualification form below.