After paying over $80K to Wyndham for a timeshare bought in 2015, David and Brenda Kriens are now suing the timeshare conglomerate for sales fraud. According to the couple behind the class action lawsuit (David J. Kriens Sr., et al. v. Wyndham Destinations Inc., et al.,), Wyndham allegedly used a “highly organized” timeshare scheme to misrepresent the features and overall value of the purchase while leaving out important elements of the agreement. In turn, this caused them to spend a lot of money with little to show for it.
Represented by Donald S. Hackett III, the Kriens claim the scheme intentionally avoids the discussion of “prohibited limitations” for points program (VOI’s) in order to close deals. From their perspective, nobody would make the purchase if they knew the sales pitch wasn’t entirely true. Like most unhappy vacation owners, dealing with minimal disclosure can be a tough pill to swallow. Especially when you find yourself under contract after being lied to.
What Did Wyndham Leave Out of the Sale?
Regarding the Kriens’ contract, they agreed to purchase a number of points for a specific dollar amount. According to their understanding, they would be able to use these points to stay at “several resorts” owned or operated by Wyndham or an affiliate. They also confirmed they knew some resorts and locations would cost more points due to popular demand or the resort’s overall rating.
What the Kriens did not believe was fully explained was the simple fact that there were additional “factors” that could hinder them during booking attempts. The legal accusation specifically says “much is represented to prospective customers [during the sale], but representatives for the company do not accurately represent certain limitations of the system.” One of the primary factors left out was that other point holders would be in competition with them for timeshare units.
After processing thousands of complaints for the timeshare industry, our understanding of point memberships is that available spaces may rarely be consistent and predicated on demand – allowing price gouging to hike profits through upgrade “solutions”. Aside from failed expectations, the class action suit is also alleging many of the units promised to point holders are often occupied for prospect tours, retail leasing opportunities and other marketing efforts. It’s rather ironic that nearly every timeshare owner we speak to has similar assumptions.
The Kriens Aren’t Wyndham’s Only Timeshare Problem.
Hypothesis aside, the class action lawsuit simply wants Wyndham to admit they knowingly misrepresented the opportunity to the Kriens (and others) in order to increase profits. False advertising for a pair of slippers is one thing – but after receiving over $80K from the Kriens, you would think at least an apology would be provided. Especially if they’re not interested in providing specifically what their sales teams presented.
Thousands of people have relied on timeshare sales teams for adequate product representation and have been let down. This isn’t the only lawsuit of its kind against Wyndham. After reviewing hundreds of cases like this, it’s hard for us to believe timeshare companies will ever admit any wrongdoing. But that doesn’t mean the Kriens won’t receive restitution for their losses. Unfortunately, they’re going to have to go through a lot of trouble just to get it.