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Time-Shares/Westgate Travel Club

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John,

    Hello and thank you for taking time to read about our predicament.  My husband, our 3 children and I were visiting Gatlinburg, TN last November 2012.  While there, we were approached by street sales people who offered us some free tickets to sit through a presentation.  We accepted and went to the presentation the next morning.  We were excited about this new "travel club" that is "different" than their time shares.  They talked about how privileged we'd be, getting our Westgate weeks (4/yr) for $500/wk and only $200/yr membership fees, only due each year that you use the club.  Also, we get 4 wks/yr of other vacations at a seriously discounted rate...quoted 70% off trips to places like Italy and even Disney cruises.  They also told us these would be 2-3 bedroom suites and basically that we'd be offered every service and amenity, making it sound as though we'd be treated like Kings and Queens.  We were pressured by being told that we would never again have an opportunity to purchase because they won't allow us a second chance later.  We were sold this membership for $6,900.  We signed up for Bill Me Later and received 6 months no interest.  We have not paid a dime on this.  Upon further research, we have discovered that Westgate has a terrible reputation and is famous for lying to people and that the club is pretty much worthless aside from the Westgate weeks.  We were mostly excited to travel outside the country and go on heavily discounted cruises, etc.  Now we find out that we can get just as good of deals on websites like expedia.com  We have also learned that we could have said "no" to them and received a half-price offer from them.  That tells me that what they are selling clearly isn't worth much if they can sell it half price.  We feel sick that we were so stupid as to sign up for this.  We have filed a dispute with Bill Me Later but don't have high hopes that it will get us anywhere.  Westgate, of course, told us we were lifetime members now and no way to get out of it.  Is there any recourse at all, at this point?  Should we get a lawyer?  Thank you for any help or advice you can offer.

Answer
Christy,

If you feel that you were lied to during the sales presentation then an attorney may be the way to go. Otherwise you are legally obligated to pay the $6900 as you did sign a sales contract and most likely received a deed. There are companies that deal just with getting people legally out of their contracts, and don't be alarmed if it costs you a couple of thousand of dollars just for their services. Let me know if you have any further questions.

John

Time-Shares

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John Kushman

Expertise

I can answer any questions regarding the timeshare industry, developer sales, resales, vacation clubs, donation, liquidation, listing, for sale by owner, RCI, II, SFX exchange. Anything related to timeshares or campground memberships or fractional vacation real estate

Experience

I have been in the industry for 7 years. I started selling timeshare for a developer in South Dakota. I then transitioned into the escrow side of the resale market and I am currently the VP of Sales and Marketing at Resort Closings, Inc. Resort Closings Inc is the largest timeshare escrow service in North America. It provides full service timeshare transfer as well as sales.

Education/Credentials
High School Diploma. 3 years of Higher Education.

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