Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc. is the largest timeshare ownership program in the world. But the complaint for this class action alleges that it uses deceptive and misleading presentations to sell its timeshares, misleading potential customers about things like the value of its points and the availability of the properties for vacations.
Wyndham sells its vacation timeshare interests in the form of points. The points supposedly entitle purchasers to stay at any of its resorts throughout the world. In reality, the complaint says, desirable destinations sometimes have to be booked as much as a year in advance, if they are available at all.
Even after people have bought points, the complaint claims, Wyndham keeps trying to sell them more points, to upgrade their memberships. Even when customers arrive at a vacation destination, Wyndham tries to sell to them. The complaint says, “A common Wyndham ploy is not to give a parking pass to a member until they agree to attend an ‘owner update meeting”—actually a sales presentation.
The complaint alleges that Wyndham misleads consumers about many things, beginning with the meeting. For example, they are told the meeting will only last for 90 minutes, when it actually lasts five or six hours; or they may be promised some kind of prize or award for attending, and if they try to leave, they are told they will lose it.
Even worse, the complaint says, they are “repeatedly lied to” and told, for example, “that points will not expire, that units will be available, that maintenance fees will not increase, that long advance booking is not required, and that points are easily transferable or marketable.”
The complaint reproduces some online postings of purchasers who claim Wyndham lied to them about terms. It also details misrepresentations Wyndham allegedly made to the plaintiffs in this case.
When purchasers complain about misrepresentations given by previous salespersons, they are told that the situations can be solved if they just buy more points.
A whistleblower case filed by two former Wyndham salespeople has confirmed that the company’s representatives mislead customers and that Wyndham knew about and even encouraged the behavior in order to make sales.
According to the complaint, Wyndham has faced a number of legal cases, brought by customers or state officials, where the company has been forced to pay damages, fines, or restitution and/or rescind contracts.
Two classes have been proposed for this action.