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[ 2014 ]Westgate Resorts What's the Scam & What are your Cancellation Success Stories

_ombe115

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Hi everyone! I'm new here, just joined today because I wanted to post this.

I just came back last night from a trip to Orlando. While in Universal, I was approached by someone who offered a free buffet breakfast and free gift if I attended a 90 minute sales pitch with no obligation to buy. So I said, eh might as well.

At the time I didn't know it would be for timeshares and I had never heard of Westgate before. But, I knew I always wanted to travel to as many places as possible and I was previously interested in owning property, so the whole Westgate thing appealed to me because of their partnership with Interval International that allows you to trade your timeshare in Orlando for a stay for almost anywhere else in the world.

I'm a person who usually does thorough research on anything new I come across and since I had never heard of Westgate, I quickly Googled it while my sales person went to attend to something. The top results centered around "scam" and were on sites like ripoffreport or consumer compaints, etc. And in my head I'm like ohh shiiit.

But they convinced me the deal was good by saying I got a "trade in" whatever that means and they kept telling me i got it way below market value (about $13,000) for the 2bd deluxe and a premium week (week 14) and 5 hours later I signed a deed. But now I'm researching more about Westgate and all I see is SCAM. Which makes me nervous.

The good thing is that I didn't give them any money that day, not even a deposit and they don't have my card information. I qualified for the "bill me later" so my down payment wouldn't be due for 6 months, which is on a Mastercard they gave me, and the first payment wouldn't be till December 11.

What is it that makes Westgate a scam? I'm a bit confused but would like to know in detail. How are people ripped off? all I see in comments are "Westgate is evil--they stole my money!!"....or something along those lines. Can someone explain to me please?

Also, this board has been thorough in providing steps of how to cancel, so thanks for that! Some comments, though, end with "I sent my cancellation (rescind letter)" but I don't see what happens afterwards.

What happens to the "gift" you received from them"? Do they charge me for anything after that? What about the balance on the credit card they gave me? And what of the first balance due in December for me?

They also informed me of their rewards program: referring people for vacations and also referring people to sign up and you get $600. also, they told me you could rent out your timeshare. Any success stories about making a profit from your timeshare?

and what about timeshares in general? is it worth it for me to have it? i'm in my early 20s and single, no kids or hubby or anything. are timeshares better for families or at least with someone you can share the financial burden with or is that just up to personal discretion?
any and all help/advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
 
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DeniseM

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The timeshare you bought can be purchased on the resale market for $1 - true. We have people on TUG trying to give them away, all the time.

Westgate is infamous for treating it's owners badly and making changes in the rules and policies that devalue ownership.

You should absolutely rescind.
 

Passepartout

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FIRST! Cancel NOW. TODAY! The 'gifts' are yours to keep unless it was something (like an iPad) or something keyed into your purchase. But whatever they offered for you to attend the presentation is yours to keep. include in your rescission letter that their promotional materials will be returned - unless there's something that's worth $50 to you.

Their product is unsaleable. It is unusable by anyone you attempt to sell your ownership to. You can get Wastegate ownerships for less than nothing. People right here on TUG will pay you to take them- and it's no 'deal' then either.

Send a copy of the contract. We understand it's in a hidden flap inside the binder you are given. The address is the one in Ocoee (sp) FL. Anyone who signed the contract must sign the rescission letter. There are sample letters in another thread in the Buying, Selling, Renting forum as well as many anecdotal stories of success and heartbreak.

After you get the letter off (certified USPS w/return receipt), c'mon bac. We need to talk.

Oh, and VERY IMPORTANT, Stay off the phone with them. They will call and try to sweeten the deal, browbeat you into delaying your rescission, tell you lies like that your reason for rescission isn't good enough. No end of lies.

Rescission is your right. Exercise it. And believe me, if this was a good deal last week, it will be available this, and next week/month/year too.

Welcome to TUG. Now get going, you have $13,000 to save yourself.

Jim

ADDED Look through this thread. http://tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73564 There is a good sample rescission letter and it's outcome in post #261 on page 11 of the thread.
 
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_ombe115

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thanks for the prompt replies! i'm in the process of drafting the letter now so i can get it sent out tomorrow.

the only trouble i'm running into--how do i officially/formally state that i don't want to give them money? lol. most sample letters include a statement such as: "we expect a full refund/credit back to our card." since i did not provide card information or give a deposit/DP, how do I word that i'm not going to pay the DP in 6 months, the first monthly payment on December 11 and the maintenance fees in April 2015? or is that all expected? i just want to cover all ground, be as thorough and detailed as possible; i don't want to miss anything and still be stuck in a sticky situation.
 

DeniseM

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Make it simple - BTW - you should cancel that credit card immediately.
 

_ombe115

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thanks! should i cancel even before the cancellation is confirmed/official? do i call Mastercard? do i also mention that in the letter, that i cancelled the card?

how does this sound: "please use this letter as a notice not to charge me for the down payment, monthly payment(s), and any other (associated?) fees"
 

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Passepartout

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Just state something like "I/We wish to cancel contract #XXXXXX in accordance with state law."

If no money has changed hands, there's no need to put that in the letter. I agree with DeniseM. Cancel the credit card post haste. I can't see how a credit card was issued without a SS# or other identifier. Cancel it anyway. No good can come of Wastegate having ANY access to your financial life.

Wastegate are thieves and totally without honor, but this is one area where they won't dare to play games after they have signed for your letter. They WILL cancel the contract and WILL NOT put a charge on that card.
 
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DeniseM

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I can't see how a credit card was issued without a SS# or other identifier.
Westgate has buyers fill out a credit card application to charge the payment to. The OP would have provided that info.

thanks! should i cancel even before the cancellation is confirmed/official? do i call Mastercard?
Cancel the credit card immediately - before Westgate can charge anything on it. Once you are charged, it gets more complicated. Yes, you have to call the credit card company to cancel - just like any other credit card.

At no time do you want to call Westgate - a call has no legal standing and you will just get harassed. The letter is the legal requirement for canceling.
 
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_ombe115

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thanks for the info. doing it as soon as i get home from work. does something along these lines work? "Please do not make any additional charges on the Westgate Mastercard that was issued to me as it has been cancelled." Should I add something about an amount being credited back to it or?? I don't want to owe anything in the end even after I send this letter.
 

DeniseM

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When you call Mastercard to cancel, find out if any charges have already been made - if they haven't, no need to bring it up in your letter. Once you cancel the card, Westgate will not be able to charge anything, so it's a moot point.

*Cancel the card TODAY - before you send the letter.
 
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Hunter007

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Great advice here

You are one lucky gal to rescind within the time allowed! Me, I snooze and I loose! I haven't paid them a dime but I'm sure they will drag my credit thru mud until it can be foreclose which will take about a year:(:(

Congratulation on your timely recission!
 

_ombe115

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thanks everyone! (i know i keep saying thank you, but i truly mean it! thanks for your patience and helpful answers!)

i haven't called yet to cancel the card. but IF there is something charged to the card, how do i go about that and mention in the letter and ensure i don't owe that money once the contract is canceled?
 

DeniseM

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thanks everyone! (i know i keep saying thank you, but i truly mean it! thanks for your patience and helpful answers!)

i haven't called yet to cancel the card. but IF there is something charged to the card, how do i go about that and mention in the letter and ensure i don't owe that money once the contract is canceled?
You should call now - then you don't have to worry about it. Speculating about something that may not have happened is just slowing down your rescission.
 

_ombe115

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just called Mastercard to try and cancel but they said they don't handle cancellations...took a little while to hunt down the bank associated with Westgate but the agent helped me and i was able to cancel the card quick and easy and there was no charge/balance! first step is done, now i'm updating the letter and going to send everything back tomorrow. crossing my fingers that this works out well!

only thing is i couldn't find the contract in the black binder...i was in a hurry yesterday because i was about to miss my flight. i saw papers that included: the financial breakdown, the acknowledgement about the mastercard (i don't actually have the physical card), Bill Me Later information (which is why i didn't have to pay upfront--instead it would be interest free and the DP would be due 6 mos later), and the Deed. i checked the pockets and pamphlets and books but didn't see any contract.

am i missing something?
 

Passepartout

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i checked the pockets and pamphlets and books but didn't see any contract.

am i missing something?
We hear it's a hidden pocket secured by velcro inside the cover. (back? maybe?) I've never seen one but that's what has been reported by others who've rescinded.
 

_ombe115

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i'll double check the binder.

i think i also read somewhere that the letter has to be notarized? is that a requirement to make the recission official? if so how do i do that?
 

DeniseM

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No - it does not have to be notarized - you only need to send it with a return receipt so you can prove what day you mailed it.
 

theo

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Cancel now, research later...

The good thing is that I didn't give them any money that day, not even a deposit and they don't have my card information. I qualified for the "bill me later" so my down payment wouldn't be due for 6 months, which is on a Mastercard they gave me, and the first payment wouldn't be till December 11.

What is it that makes Westgate a scam?
Whether or not you actually parted with any deposit money upfront, please understand very clearly that you have executed a lawful, binding contract.
Under applicabe FL law, you have 10 days from the date of contract execution in which to rescind (cancel). Do so without delay, as directed by others above already.

Westgate (a.k.a. Wastegate) is not a "scam", per se. More accurately, it is a company whose overpriced timeshares have poor value and one which is widely held in very low regard (including by many dissatisfied current Westgate owners). You have made a big (but reversible) mistake. Rescind now, while the law still allows you to do so.

You posed a multitude of timeshare-related questions in your original post. Those questions cannot possibly be adequately addressed in just a few short, simple lines.
Cancel now, then undertake some personal effort to research timeshares (...it will likely take you a few months to become truly well informed). Only then should you consider buying a timeshare. If you later make an informed decision to buy a timeshare, save yourself many thousands of dollars by purchasing in the resale market, not from hungry, deceitful sales weasels after being misled, browbeaten and held captive for hours at any developer "presentation", just for a few crummy "gifts". :eek:
 
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_ombe115

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thanks for the information! so i mentioned in a post i could not find the contract...is there anything else i should include when sending the letter or would just the letter be enough?

Edit: Nevermind, I found the secret compartment!! But would still appreciate clarification on what exactly I should send aside from the actual letter, if additional things are even necessary. thanks!
 
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DeniseM

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To rescind - you must send the letter - it is "helpful" to send a copy of the first page of the contract, but it isn't mandatory.

Wyndham may require you to send back other materials to avoid a charge for the materials. That is SECONDARY, and it does not impact your legal right to rescind.

Right now you need to get your letter in the mail, because that is the critical piece.

After you do that, sit down and carefully read the rescission instructions in the packet, and see what it says about other materials that must be sent back. That can be done separately - you do not have to do it now.
 
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Wastegate

Be sure to cancel this contract as soon as you can... Do not WAIT!!! As an owner of Wastegate for 31 years I can tell run, run far away from these people. Luckily I did not pay the crazy prices they are charging for them today. This company has really changed over the years. At one time they had great resorts, friendly people and it was a pleasure to own there. Now it is all about the money, they do not care about owners! So again I say RUN! By the way I have 2 Westgate weeks up for sale for $1.00. So if you really want them there are plenty on this website for much less than $13000
 

theo

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Be sure to cancel this contract as soon as you can... Do not WAIT!!! As an owner of Wastegate for 31 years I can tell run, run far away from these people. Luckily I did not pay the crazy prices they are charging for them today. This company has really changed over the years. At one time they had great resorts, friendly people and it was a pleasure to own there. Now it is all about the money, they do not care about owners! So again I say RUN! By the way I have 2 Westgate weeks up for sale for $1.00. So if you really want them there are plenty on this website for much less than $13000
Good advice, from the most credible source possible -- a dissatisfied Wastegate owner. Out of curiousity, have you ever inquired into a "deedback" with Westgate?

It is well and widely known that Wastegate practices and policies significantly devalue ownerships, making it difficult to even give away said ownerships for free, but there have been reports of people getting Wastegate to take back their deeds (...for a fee, of course --- like anything and everything else associated with Westgate).

Just a thought...
 
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Westgate just not worth the fees

I have stayed at the Westgate in Las Vegas a few times this year. Their two bedroom units are spacious. I found the units needing some repairs and I had problems with the wireless. The parking lot was generally full along with the pool. Overall the experience was good. I think Theo stated an accurate perspective on Westgate. I paid under $300 for each week. I suspect that the maintenance fees on a week are significantly higher which is why there is little value in this timeshare.
 

theo

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Perspective matters a whole lot...

I have stayed at the Westgate in Las Vegas a few times this year. Their two bedroom units are spacious. I found the units needing some repairs and I had problems with the wireless. The parking lot was generally full along with the pool. Overall the experience was good. I think Theo stated an accurate perspective on Westgate. I paid under $300 for each week. I suspect that the maintenance fees on a week are significantly higher which is why there is little value in this timeshare.
Westgate facilities themselves are not the problem at all. Ownership within the Westgate system is the dilemma --- and for a whole multitude of reasons that go far beyond maintenance fee amounts (which are actually not particularly out of line with most others; that's not at all where the "value" problem lies within Wastegate).

More specifically, Westgate knowingly and deliberately devalues resale ownership by making reservation procedures and availability difficult and time-limited and by unilaterally adopting different reservation rules for "resale" weeks, which makes any and all subsequent resales of Westgate ownerships difficult and nearly worthless.

With all due respect, your casual observations as occasional "visitor" to one Westgate property in Las Vegas cannot possibly even begin to reveal the many underlying flaws, shortcomings and difficulties of actual (and very hard to dump) Westgate ownership. Just the same, I'm glad that you've enjoyed your brief "Vegas Visits". ;)
 
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