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[5/2009] Raintree vacation club

rsonc

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Raintree special assessment charge

FYI

Just got a notice from Raintree that they are charging a special assessment this year equal to your m/f. My sapphire account is $1106 and my gold is $820.00 ouch!! that is almost $2000 that I will need to pay out for this.

They are offering a payment plan over 3 or 6 months and if you book anything in RCI Points they will match up to 100000 points until June 2011. They also said they will not allow it to be used for airline tickets via rci only resorts.

I wish they would point match for something booked within club regina/raintree since I will have to pay RCI a fee to use any of their resorts or just give us the 50k points to use how we want. It is a nice offer and I know they don't have to do anything but it is also a lot of money for many people right now.


Just wanted to give any owners a heads up that they are just now sending out the invoices.

Susan
Susan
 

Wonka

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I'm "livid" about this assessment, didn't realize a string had already begun.

"Surprise" assessments happen as a result of poor planning. With regular reserve studies and competent management, they shouldn't happen (other than a natural catastrophe). This is the 3rd special assessment I've paid in the 10+ years I've owned a "Select" week (which is basically worthless for trading).
 

sjuhawk_jd

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FYI

Just got a notice from Raintree that they are charging a special assessment this year equal to your m/f. My sapphire account is $1106 and my gold is $820.00 ouch!! ...

If I have every other year gold membership, then should my assessment be half of $820.
 

my7tvette

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I pulled out my contract of purchase, we bought in Jan. 2000 and was reading the second paragraph of declaration 7. On my contract it states:

Non payment of the maintenance fees during 2 (two) consecutive years shall imply the cancellation of the MEMBERSHIP....

As was stated previously by other posters, their contracts have probably morphed significantly over the years, but this language doesn't seem to imply anything about a collections process.

Bottom line, I have been considering selling this thing for several years, but this "special" assessment is the final straw.

Wait, I was just reading earlier in the same declaration it states: "The buyer is obligated to cover the annual maintenance fees during the month of January each year. This fee can be increased or decreased in the same proportion as the items to which this fee are destined, and this information shall be furnished and justified to the buyer for his knowledge. In the event of default on punctual payment, a 5% charge will be made as well as moratorium interests at the rate of 2% per month, plus collection expenses, under the terms of Exhibit "B""

Conveniently, I can't locate any Exhibit "B" in the paperwork.
 
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itgrafix

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I don't even have a copy of my contract, it was never supplied to me by closing company or by resort so I have nothing to look over.

Isn't a RTU timeshare a membership which one can cancel anytime? I thought that is what was told to me so I have a dilemma in that I can't find a way to get my contract though I have contacted the guest relations and they said that the Mexico office is innudated with something.. she didn't elaborate what their office is going through and that a time frame of when I would get it is unknown.

So my next question is if the ownership is in Mexico and one is in the USA how does it work? I don't know anything about Mexico law but how can something from Mexico appear on US Credit Report? To my knowledge it can't... am very upset and willing to go in on class action lawsuit... follow the thread to complain and collectively maybe can get somewhere.

If anyone has some info for me please email me through here or send a message, thanks!
 

my7tvette

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Seriously, anyone with practical advice on dumping this thing, please respond. Obviously, if I could recoup some of the $$ I've dumped into this thing, that would be great, but at this point I would practically pay someone to take it. I have come to dread making our vacation plans. We always seem to be forced into a compromise between timing of the vacation and/or quality of the resorts. The fact that I am forced to make my reservations through Raintree, and unable to fully utilize RCI's website to search for resort availability, exacerbates that problem. Frankly, we bought the membership to "see the world", and it was foolish to buy a location that we were not willing to utilize on a regular basis. Again, any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks for listening
 

CbearBBS

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Sources of advice relative to responding to the Raintree's "Special Assessment"

There is much useful and authoritative information and advice on how members may deal with the "Special Assessment" fee being charged to Raintree vacation club members. It is important to read and take action in order to have any hope of generating sufficient groundswell to to cause RVC to reconsider their drastic and untimely measure. GO TO: http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/raintree-c210535.html
Please pass this on to as many members as you think might be interested.
Time is of the essence.
 

SUAVEJ

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Raintree

RVC is having a problem with a group of people they took money from for villas they were to built in Cabo but not only did they not build them the money was used to pay off debt. The s/a might be a way to raise money for it's current legal problem.
 

TimeShare Junky

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RVC is having a problem with a group of people they took money from for villas they were to built in Cabo but not only did they not build them the money was used to pay off debt. The s/a might be a way to raise money for it's current legal problem.
The whole Mexican timeshare experience is turning into a nightmare
I bought Belaire Golf Resort PV., and 3 years have passed, no building and the one that was started has one floor for Parking, Lobby and rooms with over 800 contracts.
 
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itgrafix

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any info or phone

If anyone can tell me how to find out the laws and what my rights are in terms of terminating the contract that I do not have in my possession because I am not the original purchaser, it would mean a lot to me.

Also who does one contact about finding out if the reservation is gauranteed valid if made a year ago? I have reservations late August and would like to know that once off the plane I have a place to stay at but where can I verify this?
:wall:
 

itgrafix

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Got short reply from Bech

I got a reply from Bech "Thank you for your response and I understand you being upset. Additional information will be provided. Thank you"

So who knows what the additional information is ....:shrug:
 

elaine67

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Raintree Vacation Club Specisl Assesment

Two days ago I received a $1, 350 assessment fee for 2009. Needless to say I was outraged. Obviously, Mr. Bech must live in his own little world as he seems to be oblivious to the economic disaster that this nation is in and most of us are experiencing.

I have been a RVC(Club Regina) member since 1995. I too was promised the vacation experience of a lifetime with very little increase in Maintenance Fees.
Boy was a taken in. I used to exchange resorts thru RCI. Now, you have to go thru RVC and is difficult to make exchanges to my liking.

I have all my paperwork from the start and nowhere does it say anything about any assessment. They said all maintenance work was taken care of from our yearly MF.

I am now very suspicious as to the amount of money from MF that actually went to repairing the resorts. I would like to know how we as members can get
accounting records and make Mr. Bech and his company accountable for every penny of our money. It seems to me this is turning into a big scam and I would also like to get involved in a class -action suit.

I do not have any intention to pay this fraudulent assessment fee.

Please keep me posted and hope we can all work together to make RVC accountable for their actions.
 

Corman

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I suspect most of you are going to think that I am nuts, but here it goes.

I am not thrilled with idea of having to pay a special assessment, but if it is going to make a noticable difference in the look and feel for me as an owner and increase the trade value then I guess I can live with it. All I can say is look at marriots maintenance fees, they are huge and you can see the quality in thier units. You get what you pay for. I just want to see a difference if I have to pay this.
 

MrD1

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Raintree Special Assessment

Corman
The real issue as far as I can tell with my own view, as well as dozens of other members that I have heard their point of view, is that the money is only part of the issue. The other, bigger issue is what gives the leadership of Raintree the right to do this? Since they do not disclose any financials about where the regular maintenance fees go, we have a situation of zero accountability in tems of management behavior and spending. Did they misspend this years maintenance fees and are short of money? Did the executives of RVC grant themselves huge pay raises or bonuses? Did they over-extend themselves by buying those additional -2nd rate- resorts earlier this year? Did they make some bad deals or get ripped off doing any of their stated "remodels" going on? Are there some offshore accounts being funded illegally? The answer to ALL of those questions and many more is a big: WE DON'T KNOW BECAUSE RAINTREE DISCLOSES NOTHING TO IT'S MEMBERS. And they have purposely set it up that way by the way. In so many ways they are not subject to the usual laws that U.S. companies have to follow.

Additionally, since none of our contracts apparently have any clause about Special Assessments nor any other right for RVC to charge anything above the basic maintenance fee, Raintree has no right or legal standing to charge this fee. Threatening to suspend one's membership for non payment of this Special Assessment is literally nothing but pure casebook extortion. There is no other way to color this.

In the end, my prediction is the short-sightedness of Raintree's leadership is going to bring this company to its end. Instead of working WITH its members about what the real issues are, they take a dictatorial stand and DEMAND money from members without any legal right to do so. Unless Raintree backs down from this issue, the longterm effect of this will likely be an almost complete inability to sell more memberships. Which means they will have to raise their maintenance fees even more and do more of these Special Assessments. Are you ready for that?
For me, this is the line in the sand that we must draw now.
 

CbearBBS

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Action against the Raintree Special Assessment

There are a lot of action ideas being suggested, and taken, at http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/210535/page/1
So far there are over 5 pages of considered opinion on this topic at that site. I urge everyone to review the ideas and take their own steps to fight this fee. There have been over 1300 viewings of this TUG site. That is a step toward building critical mass. Addresses and verbiage for filing complaints against Raintree with the Texas Attorney General's office, the FTC, and the Better Business Bureau are contained at the complaintsboard site listed above.
 

rbarre

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Raintree "Special Assessment"

The Bylaws and Regulations that I have from my purchase at Club Regina in Los Cabos do not mention even the possibility of a "special assessment" fee. The only fee mentioned is the annual "service fee", which most call an annual maintenance fee. I paid my annual service fee for this year, and by my contract with Club Regina I will demand my "right to use" this year. When I pay next year, and any year to the end of my contract, I will expect all the benefits I paid for. RVC seems to think otherwise. By instituting a "special assessment" at mid-year this year they imply that if I do not pay this "special assessment" I will not be able to use the resort, now or ever again. They are treating this "special assessment" as an annual service fee, but there is no contractual agreement for such. How does this come about?
Really, RVC needs $$$. Their past funding practices in this economy no longer work, and their delays of needed maintenance and capital improvements has caught up with them. Guaranteed, that member maintenance fees have been misappropriated. Why would any good company wait till now when the economy is racked to demand a hurried mid-year "special assessment"? Or, look at it this way. The extra payment of $820/week by any member is $42,640 per year per unit. Has anyone stayed in a RVC resort that needs this extra amount of upkeep help? Keep in mind the increasing annual maintenance fee is still extant.
I am now very uncomfortable with this timeshare. I see what has become commonplace in corporate America--serious financial problems without honest disclosure.
To date I have lost $22,322 to timeshares in Mexico. I certainly do not want to add to this total. Fortunately RVC has a presence in the good old USA. My advice is to protest this fee in everyway you can. There are addresses for the Atty General of TX, and the BBB in Houston in this web, use them to complain.
If this company was honest enough to disclose the truth I might be considerate, but under these circumstances I will resist.
Finally, let me emphasize that all my stays at the Club Regina Resorts in Mexico have been wonderful. These are really fine upscale resorts. My complaint is with the arrogance of a management that seems to think they can on a whim demand $$$ from the membership yet ignore existing obligations.
 

itgrafix

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I've sent emails...

I spoke to Kristen at Member Services and brought up the complaint about not getting these surveys but she kept saying how members want these upgrades and I expressed that I really don't care for marble in the bathtub, I don't even have it at home. In any case, she told me that if it wasn't paid I wouldn't be able to use membership, which for me, at this point is fine, I didn't have a great time in Mexico and the unit wasn't that great to begin with. They should of thought to update the jacuzzi tub on the balcony because that needed an update for sure, in any case, what I want to know is will not paying the SA and the MF following mean what? I own VOC in Mexico only so what happens next? Is membership canceled and it goes back to them?
 

aleksir

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I suspect most of you are going to think that I am nuts, but here it goes.

I am not thrilled with idea of having to pay a special assessment, but if it is going to make a noticable difference in the look and feel for me as an owner and increase the trade value then I guess I can live with it. All I can say is look at marriots maintenance fees, they are huge and you can see the quality in thier units. You get what you pay for. I just want to see a difference if I have to pay this.
I just found out about the special assessment yesterday when I wanted to reserve for 2010. Of course I had not received any notice about it yet, but I was emailed the letter. I'm Club Regina, bought 2nd hand, and of course have never received the contract I've requested from Mexico.

On the other hand, I've heard of special assessments on TUG from other owners/groups. It was not a total surprise but I agree with many that I was not surveyed (maybe reasons people give to not buy?) and have no insight into where the money goes. I will pay it, but will count it as an unexpected expense. One of the reasons I bought this unit was it was a RTU 2026 and I figured I invested into a 21 year experience, unless I sell on ebay first.

Our experience with Club Regina has been good. We've enjoyed all of the times we've visited, but Puerto Vallarta is our favorite. I saw the 'upgraded' suite they are planning to go to, and I thought it takes away a lot of the Mexican ambiance. The wireless in the room is something I will appreciate.



Here is the text of what I received via email.

June 2009
Dear Member,
You purchased your Membership to enjoy memorable vacations in high demand locations. At Raintree, our commitment is to deliver upscale resort properties to our Members. You have come to expect a certain standard from Raintree and we know that meeting that standard will help you enjoy your vacations more for years to come.

Over the years we have actively sought to keep your Annual Maintenance Fees as low as possible. Your maintenance fees cover the annual operating costs of the resorts and provide for emergency maintenance and other necessary capital projects. Unfortunately, continuously rising operating and energy costs have resulted in the deferral of various maintenance and upgrade matters that no longer can be nor should be deferred. Many of these deferred matters have been minor, but when viewed collectively, have not kept the resort properties at the standard that our Members desire.
These deferred matters include normal maintenance items, adding features that Members clearly desire, such as ‘in‐room’ wireless internet capability, and updating furnishings, bedding and kitchenware. Despite the fact that we have spent approximately $6 million on improvements during 2007 and 2008, the rooms and units require additional work to bring them to the standard that you expect from Raintree.

You have expressed your concerns and requests for improvement and we have taken your feedback seriously. Raintree has spent a considerable amount of time analyzing the specific items that need to be addressed immediately so that the resort properties and amenities will be at the standard that you expect and demand. We have derived a plan to address these matters but it has required a very difficult decision on our part on how to fund these needed improvements.

The decision we faced included either materially increasing your Maintenance Fees over the next few years, or a onetime assessment to our Members to fund and implement the needed improvements as soon as possible. The feedback we have received is that many of you want these improvements sooner rather than later so we have elected to have a Special Assessment.
We know the timing of this assessment is not optimal, but it never will be. Our Members overwhelmingly desire these improvements to our resorts now, so this Special Assessment is necessary for implementation.

Some of the improvements we plan to undertake are:
RAINTREE'S CLUB REGINA CANCUN
RAINTREE'S CLUB REGINA PUERTO VALLARTA
install wireless internet in units
install wireless internet in units
replace bedding in all bedrooms
replace bedding in all bedrooms
complete kitchen renovation
complete kitchen renovation
replace tile in shower areas with marble
insulate cold water pipes
replace all ceiling fans
beach security system (Buoy)
replace lounge chairs and cushions
swimming pool filter equipment
renovate Pool Bar and add improvements to Inizio Restaurant
new umbrellas for pool area
replace all pool area lounge chair cushions

RAINTREE'S VILLA VERA ACAPULCO
install wireless internet in units

RAINTREE'S CLUB REGINA LOS CABOS
replace bedding in all bedrooms
install wireless internet in units
replace ice machines
replace bedding as needed
paint building exterior
complete kitchen renovation
replace A/C thermostats in all rooms
refinish nightstands, coffee table and end tables
replace boiler and hot water tank
paint building exterior
purchase flat panel TVs for each unit
add marble top to all nightstands
reupholster furniture (all rooms)
in room safe for each unit
replace curtains (all rooms)
replace night stand lamp (all rooms)
replace lounge chairs as needed
replace all lounge chair cushions

In addition to the above, other items within this project include significant improvements to infrastructure at most resorts for preventative maintenance purposes as well as to continue to meet safety standards.
Included with this letter is your special assessment notice. Please read it carefully as you have choices on how to remit payment.
Sincerely
Douglas Bech
CEO, Raintree Resorts International, LLC
To contact a Raintree Vacation Guide, please call: 1.800.424.6532 / 317.805.9167
 

TimeShare Junky

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So to complete each unit at an average of 900 would be 48,800 for
each unit. I do not see how that can be for the items on that list.

You have the low labor costs in Mexico.
 
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rlblack

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My opinion is, Raintree did not anticipate the extreme negative response from their members- since when the first "special assessment" happened- it was for an "act of nature"- a hurricane. I think most of us felt that was a justifiable assessment, and did not complain. This assessment, with the lists "improvements" appear to be on-going maintenance items.

If members that are opposed to the special assessment have not written, my suggestion would be to register your complaint- directly to Doug Bech dybech@raintreeresorts.com. - explaining how you feel the assessment is unjustified.

I believe that due to the member response- and the email I received from Mr. Bech also- they are re-evaluating and will be issuing some change of policy.

Although I believe the "special assessment" was not reasonable- I think if members act reasonably- management will also. No one wins except lawyers when a lawsuit is flied.

Rlblack
 

POPESAYS

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RVC sham- how to get out?

Seriously, anyone with practical advice on dumping this thing, please respond. Obviously, if I could recoup some of the $$ I've dumped into this thing, that would be great, but at this point I would practically pay someone to take it. I have come to dread making our vacation plans. We always seem to be forced into a compromise between timing of the vacation and/or quality of the resorts. The fact that I am forced to make my reservations through Raintree, and unable to fully utilize RCI's website to search for resort availability, exacerbates that problem. Frankly, we bought the membership to "see the world", and it was foolish to buy a location that we were not willing to utilize on a regular basis. Again, any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks for listening
You have expressed my sentiments exactly! If you get ANY realistic advice on how to exit this timeshare at RVC, please forward to Buddy@Popesays.com
 

Blondie

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I sent an email to Doug Bech and with two hours received a very nice and very quick reponse. I was annoyed that my assessment for and EOY unit was the same as for an annual unit. He replied to me and forwarded my message to Mr. John Berger and he responded too. They said they made a mistake in billing (yeh, right) and the EOY weeks should be billed half of the assessment. Further they vow (unless for a natural disaster) not to have another assessment for at least 10 years and to cap maint fees. I imagine we all be getting the newest letter at some point. They were very courteous and apologetic so I think they are listening to their angry public. I thought I'd never hear anything back from them since I'd emailed cust relations and have been ignored for a week. Keep your emails coming to Mr Bech...someone just may be listening
 

DanielKeeney

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Hello folks. I am helping Raintree Vacation Club improve its communication with its Members. As others have posted, Raintree's leadership acknowledges that they really messed up by not providing more notice and giving Members greater insight into the financial challenges the Club is facing. We understand and appreciate the concerns expressed here and elsewhere. In response, flexible payment plans are offered for those who request them. I am not here to spam, defend or argue -- just to let you know Raintree has a new Web site, www.raintreelistens.com to provide answers and enable better connections between the Club and Members.
 
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