Westgate promised, but did it deliver?

Westgate promises Matt Solum “free” ski lessons, tickets and cruise vouchers as part of his timeshare purchase. But when it doesn’t deliver, should he get his money back?

Question: My wife, Gwen, and I bought a timeshare from Westgate last December. The location where we purchased was in Park City, Utah, but the week we ended up buying was in Arizona at another Westgate property. We had taken a free two-night stay with the agreement we would sit through a presentation at the end of the stay.

As you can imagine, it was a high pressure sales pitch and there were two people trying to get the sale. They offered us all sorts of incentives to get us to buy and they really seemed like quite a good deal.

Among the promises, we were told that we could visit any Westgate resort at any time, even without staying the night there, and use the associated amenities after being a Westgate owner. We were offered five $300 cruise vouchers ($1,500 total) if we purchased a timeshare. A sales representative promised us that he could get us free ski tickets for Canyons Resort in addition to free lessons for our children.

We ended up buying the property for $6,000 on a no-interest loan and we are subject to the maintenance and taxes every other year.

We have been trying to use some of the incentives they offered for the past few months but are coming up empty-handed. For example, my family and I went up to Park City both in January and February to get away for the day. On both occasions we went to the Westgate property to use the pool and both times we were denied because they said they were at capacity and could not allow non-staying owners to use the facility.

I went to try and use these vouchers to book a cruise for my wife and I was told I could only use one of the vouchers per booking, not all five. And how about those free ski tickets? When I called the sales representative in February to take him up on his offer, he said that his connection to get those free benefits no longer works at Canyons Resort. I asked him about his promise to us and he said there is nothing he could do.

I felt like I was lied to and scammed just for them to make a sale. I’d like my money back. Please help. — Matt Solum, Salt Lake City

Answer: I’ve really agonized over this case. The documents you signed with Westgate for your timeshare promised you none of these extras — the “free” ski tickets, cruise vouchers and amenities.

Yes, your representative dangled them in front of you, by your account. But there’s no written evidence that they were ever offered to you.

I’m really offended that anyone would call these things “free.” If they were truly free, then my family could drop by our closest Westgate facility to use the pool. We could ski at the Canyons without paying and take a cruise, gratis.

At best, these amenities were included in the price of your purchase. But at $6,000, the numbers don’t add up. A day of lessons at the Canyons can easily set you back several hundred dollars, and if you rent equipment, it can cost much more. The cruise would have cost you thousands of dollars, if you’d taken your family.

Can you say “too good to be true”?

By the way, if you’re interested in other guest experiences with Westgate, you might check out what customers have to say on Consumer Affairs or Ripoff Report.

Sigh. Maybe the company is just misunderstood.

Maybe not.

This case has dragged on for almost a year. I contacted Westgate on your behalf to get its side of the story. A supervisor phoned you and answered on behalf of the company.

Westgate sees this as a “he said/she said” thing, according to the representative. The timeshare salesperson doesn’t recall the transaction in the same way you do, which is to say he doesn’t remember offering you the things you claim he did. A review of the paperwork you signed suggests you received the product you purchased.

In a subsequent letter, Westgate says it investigated your claim, and that “allegations of misrepresentation were unsubstantiated.” Oh, there’s a big surprise!

We’ve been back and forth with Westgate for months, and I’ve appealed this to the highest level at the company. Its decision is final.

You may still have legal options — after all, you may have had an oral contract with Westgate that a court could affirm — but I’m afraid there isn’t much I can do, except to issue this warning: Get everything in writing.

Did Westgate deliver what it promised?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at chris@elliott.org. Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • polexia_rogue

    “The documents you signed with Westgate for your timeshare promised you none of these extras — the “free” ski tickets, cruise vouchers and amenities.”

    another one? really?! the OP would even have trouble taking them to court because unless they were magically recording their conversation they have no proof AT ALL.

    the OP needed to cut his looses and get out from under all the taxes and cleaning fees, while he still can. (or IF he can.)

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Here’s a different perspective.

    The OP should sue for fraudulent inducement in small claims court. Sue both Westgate and the rep, then demand the name, phone number and address of each person who attended the time share. I’ll bet that the rep made the same representations to everyone. These are very easy things to do. I suspect a check for 6k (less if the jurisdictional limit is lower) will be forthcoming shortly afterwards.

    Having said that. Anything that a salesman, (or anyone for that matter) refuses to commit to writing should be viewed as a lie.

  • Cybrsk8r

    Sounds like a good plan to me. Once a dozen or so people say they were offered the same incentives, the company will quickly cough up the cash.

  • backprop

    There’s that “promise” word again.

    Look at your contract. This one would be settled in five minutes on Judge Judy.

    As for claims of verbal misrepresentation, it seems like there’s too little to go on.

    It sounds like OP can use Westgate facilities even if not staying there; they’re just “subject to capacity controls.”

    The cruise vouchers were given and are valid, just not in a way that pleases the OP. It doesn’t sound like there was verbal misrepresentation on the vouchers at all.

    As for lift tickets, it sounds more like a personal offer from the salesman; the OP’s wording even seems to indicate that lift tickets were never ‘part of the deal’ with Westgate, but rather a ‘favor’. This item is the strongest possibility of dredging up some sort of misrepresentation claim, and yet it’s still incredibly weak.

    In short, there’s not a single thing in the story that makes even a moderately strong case for misrepresentation.

  • BillCCC

    It looks like Westgate is delivering everything they are contractually obligated to provide. As I say to my kids, sorry if you heard Disney World I said dentist.

    Chris, please stop claiming that because a business says something is free it means everyone in the world should be able to use it. It sounds a little foolish.

  • John Baker

    Chris … I think you’re probably yelling at the wall on this one. I’m willing to bet that the contract had a clause in it somewhere that the company is only responsible for provide what is outlined in the contract and not a verbal promises outline by the rep. I’ve gotten burned by this before…. Anyway…

    It sounds like the OP got most of what’s promised…. They can use the facilities except when the hotel is full which sounds reasonable to me. The vouchers are valid they just can’t all be used at once (note for the future… always be suspect that vouchers can not be used together if you’re provided multiple vouchers instead of one). I think the OP assumed, but never asked, if they could be used together.

    I have yet to find a timeshare that works to my benefit. OP’s best course is to sell it on the resell market an move on.

  • Naoma Foreman

    NEVER, EVER, EVER go to a Timeshare Presentation. Unless you are my husband who can out talk every one of them and knows how to say NO. They are scams and we own a few from years ago — WORTHLESS but you owe “maintenance.”

  • EvilEmpryss

    My daddy told me long ago that an oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. This has saved me more than I can ever count when I insist on something being in writing and suddenly the salesman’s tune changes.

  • Stereoknob

    Never expect to get anything that isn’t in writing. With that, get EVERYTHING in writing. No one forgets something that’s been written down.

    Also- as my little avatar icon shows… unless the salesman has a beard in one of the shown styles, don’t trust them. These are the trustworthy beards.

  • Chris Johnson

    Gee, a timeshare company not delivering on its promises! Where have we heard this one before? Every timeshare solicitation I get by mail, no matter how great the “free” gifts sound, goes straight into the trash, and when I see timeshare sales people at various vacation spots, I run in the other direction. Westgate is the absolute worst I think. If you’d really like a look behind the scenes as to how sleazy the owners of that company are, you should watch the “Queen of Versailles” documentary. They make Marie Antoinette look modest by comparison.


    I admire you for having attempted to mediate this one. The OP signed a contract that did not mention any of the items he was promised. He did get the cruise certificates but could not used them all on one booking. I would have been surprised if that had been allowed. The resort was full when he went to use the facilities and was turned away. Again no surprise there at all.
    The ski lessons and ticket offer should have been in writing along with the above 2 items. If it is not in writing you can assume you are not going to get it. Period.
    I once went to a timeshare presentation as a lark with a friend 25 years ago. The pressure was unrelenting and promises were being made like mad. Another attendee told them he would buy only if they put all their incentives in writing. The salesman was astounded and said they never put incentives in writing, that they were offered on trust. Even in my late 20s I knew if It was not in writing that I would not be getting it. It was quite an educational couple of hours and taught me valuable lessons about dealing with high pressure sales techniques.

  • emanon256

    Ive always wondered what the text in your icon says above each beard. Its too small to read.

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one. It’s not nearly as foolish as a company promising something “free” that isn’t.

  • Londoner1936

    À hundred out of 130 voting think that Westgate did not deliver what was promised, but reading the account suggets they did. The OP does not seem very savvy: there is nothing to negotiate here, and as another poster says, he should sell promptly and get out from under those future fees and taxes !

    Incidentally why buy in AZ when you are clearly interested in skiing in Park City, not too far from Salt Lake City. Seems Mr. Solum has been taught an expensive lesson.

  • Susan Schaefer

    Time shares … when I’ve had clients insist on taking advantage of a time share offer (X nights dirt cheap in exchange for 90 minutes of your time at a presentation) … I tell them to stick to their guns with this line “my attorney has advised me to sign NOTHING until he has reviewed it in person.” Then offer to take the contract with you, back home, to have “your attorney” review it. If “your attorney” approves, then you can sign it & return it to them. Works like a charm. They NEVER want you leaving with the contract to be reviewed by an attorney.

  • emanon256

    I have to be honest here, many years ago when I was a novice, I purchased a time share. The thing that did it for me was that they when I asked if I could think about it, they said yes, put everything in writing, and send me to my fancy dinner on their dime. I did the math, came back the next day, and bought it. For the most part, its been good. The maintenance fee is very low, and I have exchanged it every year for a new place without trouble. Unfortunately, three years ago, the management company that ran it sold it to some conglomerate, and the property has gone down hill fast. Its in horrible shape, and now its very hard to exchange. And I still have the maintenance fees, which fortunately are still low. I tired to sell it, and found so many owners selling similar for $0.01 plus closing cost, which turn out to be around $2,000. So I would cost me money to get rid of it. Its something I am considering. It was a good run while it lasted and I more than made my money back.

    On the other hand, the SO and I routinely go to time share presentations to get the free stuff, and I have learned enough that I can easily walk out of them. I always do the math, and it never works out. I tell them, and we prepare to leave. I have found that almost all of them are rip-offs and then get overly pushy. The worst being Starwood and Wyndham. The only good one I have seen has been Marriott. They have given me no pressure at all, and always give me an offer in writign and tell me its good as long as they still have property left. Unfortunately, their prices are very high, and because of that the numbers don’t work out for me.

    In the OPs case I am curious what the property was like, I have never seen one for $6,000. Even 15 years ago the one I bought was $12,000. Most of the ones I have seen in the past few years have been $30,000+. One of the numbers I always run for fun is what it would cost to own it year round. For example, a time share I looked at last year was $32,000 for one week, that means it would cost $1,664,000 to own year round. Yet in the same area I can find a condo with the same amenities for $300,000. Also, the HOA fee is drastically cheaper than the maintenance fee. In many of these vacation destinations, the condos are sold furnished, and the HOA fee includes weekly cleaning. In this example, the Time Share fee was $900 per week, so $46,800 for the year, the condo was $800 per month, or $9,600 for the year (it included weekly cleaning, building maintenance, snow removal, pool, parking, etc.). Personally, I can’t afford the $300,000 condo either, but that just reinforces that it would be stupid to pay 5 times that divided by 52 for one week at a time share.

  • shannonfla

    OMG! Everyone needs to take a business law class in high school. It’s a national travesty that people don’t know enough about credit, contracts, etc. I took that class in college and it has proven useful over the years.

  • Jeanne_in_NE

    “Full Beard” (left) “The Philosopher” (right)

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Only to your ears…

  • Paul Abourezk

    These incentives are common place in the Travel Club and Timeshare industry, the 300.00 dollar cruise voucher is probably for a 7 night cruise or longer and for a balcony cabin or higher, which means the host travel agency will still probably make 100.00 dollars on the cruise sale if the customers upgrade to a suite cabin the host agency will make more. Is it a crime? Probably not, but it is a bit unethical. It is like a simmered down version of a Ponzi Scheme and Travel Clubs and Timeshare appear to get away with it. Travel To Go in San Diego still retains their California seller of travel license with the Attorney General of California, even though perpetrating these types of schemes. My advice on cruises is to ask the timeshare salesman to produce a travel agent copy of the Cruise confirmation from the vendor like Royal Caribbean or Holland America thus the consumer will see the (net rate) which will probably exceed 300.00 dollars, ergo ask for the net rate on the cruise without commission from the salesman and get it in writing……

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Let me tilt at my windmills.

  • Dutchess

    “I felt like I was lied to and scammed just for them to make a sale”

    Ya think?!?! It’s a timeshare….nothing more needs said.

  • JoJo449

    Stupid is as stupid does. It’s hard to believe in this day & age, with so much information available at our fingertips, that people are still being sucked in by this time share crap. Where can I contact these people? I have a few bridges that I’d like to sell!

  • jerryatric

    How many times? If it’s not in writing, as part of a contract – DON’T SIGN! Simple.
    If it sounds too good to be true.
    Failing that, advise the timeshare salesmen your recording their offers, during their pitch.

  • LeeAnneClark

    While your comparison with buying a condo is fascinating, I have another one that always does the trick for me: comparing what it would cost to just stay in a nice resort, or do a VRBO condo rental for a week. I have never heard of a timeshare purchase that was a better deal than just…y’know…going on vacation. Wherever you want. No maintenance fees, no scrambling to trade, nothing to sell later. No date restrictions. Just…vacation. Whenever and wherever you want. That approach to accommodation has worked for me for decades. ;-)

  • LeeAnneClark

    People still send money to Nigerian princes, so…….

  • Justin

    Always get promises in writing. Talk is cheap and ends up as He said She said WHICH LEAVES YOU EMPTY HANDED.

  • BillCCC

    I agree to disagree.

  • Stereoknob
  • karenell

    The OP lives in Salt Lake City – 30 minutes from Park City. He just wanted to ski – not spend vacation time there.

  • y_p_w

    It’s not actually $6,000. I attended one of these things in Vegas around last Christmas. They started with the two week package for over $30K. Then they started negotiating down to one week packages. As we were about to go out the door in some sort of “debriefing room”, a “manager” stopped by with a final offer of maybe $8,000 for one that would supposedly get us a stay at this location every other year, but where we could optionally get points every year that could be used for hotel stays or timeshare trades.

    We actually recently returned to Vegas recently, and my wife was tempted to go to one of these things – until she realized it was the same place. I remember once guy on our bus ride back who said he had no intent to buy and they supposedly let him off early. However, they were obligated to give him his discounted tickets.

    And a lot of people wonder why they don’t simply move to the next group. I understand that each salesman might get two customer tops since they rotate who gives the sales pitch and they go in order. Each sales guy essentially has only one or two sales pitches a day, so 90 minutes or 4 hours – they only have that shot until their number comes up much later in the day.

  • Mark Carrara

    The OP will get a lot of practice saying no every time he visits a resort and they want to meet with him about ‘updates’. I keep threatening to pull out my cell phone and ask the salesman doing the update if he minded me recording it. I have done that yet, but next week we are staying at our time share in Oceanside. I just might.

    BTW we do like out timeshare with Wyndham. It is the points system and we have gotten a lot of use. It is expensive and it is NOT for everyone but we do like it. You just have to remember what the goals of the salesmen are. I once saw a add for timeshare salesmen that promised six figure commission after the first year. I don’t know if they lie to the candidates, but I can believe the figure seeing how high pressure they are.

  • Raven_Altosk

    I wouldn’t trust a timeshare salesperson if their tongue came notarized.

  • Londoner1936

    Exactly, to quote you “he just wanted to ski there”; so why buy a time share in AZ if that is all that you wanted to do? Pay for your ski tickets at Park City, and rethink your plans for time share purchases. Did he think he would get cheap ski tickets by buying the time share … yes, he really does need to rethink what he had in mind for a time share !

    And I checked out the “Consumer Affairs” material which Chris referenced in his article … the OP should have done the same, and he might have been spared his present agony. Chris, you should down this case, and any like it.

  • emanon256

    The fancy ski time shares near me are very expensive, $40K+ for one week a year during ski season. But they all say at their presentation that if you own any time share in their family you can use their facility as a day guest anytime. They offer free parking, ski storage, use of spa facilities and pool, and they are all ski-in-ski-out. So for someone who skis on a regular bases, it may be worth buying a time share in the same family in another state for less, just to have the day access. Of course in my case, just like the OPs, they never say there is a capacity restriction when they are selling it to you. Perhaps that’s what the OP was going for? Get a cheap time share in AZ, so he can use the facility on the slopes.

  • DavidYoung2

    Totally a tangent, but isn’t this the same Westgate where the owner was trying to build a replica of the palace at Versailles in a swamp in Florida? Consider your $6,000 to be a contribution to that monument vanity.

  • Justin


    Promises are empty during a sales pitch. Stuck with buyer’s remorse, Mr. Solum regrets the decision of singing the contract and being left empty handed. I sympathize, but the whole situation was avoidable. Mr. Solum didn’t insist on modifying the contract and having the new terms entered into writing.

    Now the situation has become an uphill battle. I hope Mr. Solum can find other couples to corroborate fraud. I’ll defer the legal eagle expertise to Carver. My guess is the courts uphold the contract unless Mr. Solum can prove wrongdoing.

    Free is NEVER FREE =).

  • Mark Cuban

    Poor guy, who would have thought a timeshare company would lie to you. Outrageous I say!

    (stupid tax)

  • Mark Cuban

    You mean my $4K isn’t getting me 400 million?!?!?!?

  • http://elliott.org Christopher Elliott

    Please be nice, everyone. The word “stupid” has been used too much in the comments today and is starting to set off alarms.

  • MarkKelling

    If you send me $4K I will send you 400 million (probably not dollars, but I’m sure I can find 400 million of something to send to you [like pre-Euro Italian lira?]).

  • Justin

    Tell you what. I’m a very generous person.

    If everyone here sends me 1,000 USD, I’ll smuggle out a 100 trillion dollar bill. You’ve got my word. You’ll be rich (In Zimbabwe) for about 5 minutes.

    *Zimbabwe money devalues quickly. However, lucky candidates will have the opportunity to brag about their fortune. A whole 5 dollars worth.

  • Lindabator

    Why would the commission made even be an issue??? The cost of the cruise is the same if booked with an agent or directly with the cruise line – the client isn’t paying NET or GROSS but total – whether the cruise line gives a portion to the agency is beside the point, as the client would not get the amount refunded if booked with the cruise line directly.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Tilt away :-)

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    You’re correct. He should have insisted on them putting it in writing. But that’s why these time share folks are so well versed in the hard sell.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    You got down voted for asking for civility??? Sometimes I really wish the down votes weren’t anonymous.

  • OzJohnno

    The more I read these stories the more I become aware that in the United States it appears that you have no protection under Consumer Law. Surely it’s fraud not a misrepresentation of the facts. By the giving of a voucher you have a commitment from the company irrespective if it’s in the contract or not. If you have to litigate to get what is rightfully yours then it’s obvious to me there is a hole in your comsumer laws that you could drive a truck through sideways.
    It’s painfully obvious to me that this man was offered incentives, in the form of vouchers, to sign the deal. Whether he should have or not is his choice but the company is wrong here and should be prosecuted under the law. A law it seems that is not there. This type of deal doesn’t happen any more in Australi because our citizens are well protected by consumer laws. Instead of postulating here perhaps you should be lobbying your politicians to have laws in place to protect consumers.

  • Thoroughlyamused

    Wow, it seems like lots of people think that the OP should have read what they signed and not relied on verbal promises. That’s funny, because a few articles ago when an OP signed for CDW and then said they never wanted it, everyone said that it was perfectly reasonable for the OP to rely on the verbal promise of the rental agent, and that reading the actual rental agreement was a completely ridiculous request.

  • Annie M

    For the life of me, I don’t understand why all these people voted that Westgate didn’t deliver what it promised. It delivered exactly what was in the contract. It just didn’t deliver what a lying salesperson promised orally but didn’t put in writing. If it isn’t in writing, you aren’t going to get it.

    I am in Mexico and was talking to a man who used to be a time share salesman and told me what a rip off all time shares are and that he couldn’t take lying to people about what a good deal they were getting and he quit the job.

    OP apparently is very naive. He got what was in the contract and I don’t think he has a leg to stand on.

  • Thoroughlyamused

    Give me a break. If a verbal promise was made, it should be kept. It’s true that everything should be in writing to minimize he said she said situations, but if the promise was made, it can be considered a binding agreement. If this were a rental company selling CDW everyone including you would be saying how it is totally ridiculous that you can’t rely on the rental agent and that a full refund is in order.

  • Justin

    Verbal agreements are legal ad binding contracts. I hope the OP had a voice recorder handy.

    No Voice Recorder? He said She said. I defer you to my last statement:

    Now the situation has become an uphill battle. I hope Mr. Solum can find other couples to corroborate fraud.

  • Thoroughlyamused

    If a verbal promise was made, it’s binding. The problem is PROVING that the promise was actually made. We now have a He said She said situation on our hands, which often isn’t resolved in the consumer’s favor. Carver had the best idea of suing in small claims, since you then get to do discovery. That might help the OP prove their case.

  • Justin

    Correct. Feel a hard sell coming on, walk away immediately. Honest salesman don’t mind giving customers time to lull over a contract.

  • Londoner1936

    So, he was perhaps trying to game the system, but it did not and seemingly does not work out. In the end, not worth the effort … which reaffirms the advice most wise posters give: stay away from time shares, particularly if you think you are trying to use them for some indirect gain.

  • Justin

    You’re just reiterating what’s already been stated. Verbal contracts are binding, but proving a conversation is quite difficult. Had the OP taken due diligence by entering the conversation in writing, Westgate’s denial is dead in the water.

    The OP faces an uphill battle proving what, if any, incentives were offered. To corroborate the claim, other customers testimony are necessary, The case went from easily resolved to nearly impossible.

  • OzJohnno

    I’m sorry if I’ve missed something but where does it say that the incentives were all verbal. I read it as he received “vouchers” and to me a voucher is something on paper not a verbal contract. If he has paper from them then he doesn’t have to prove anything.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    So, a point of law. Verbal promises made before or contemporaneously with a written agreement are neither binding nor admissible to vary or contradict the terms if the written agreement is meant to be the full and final expression of the agreement, i.e. has an integration clause, which is pretty much boilerplate these days.

    The major exception is when the promises were fraudulent and intended to induce the signing of the contract. So, unless the OP can go for fraud as I suggested, the OP doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Not true.

    There are any number of laws which protect against this sort of thing. As long as the OP can substantiate his claim, he can go to the authorities.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    For the life of me, I don’t understand why all these people voted that
    Westgate didn’t deliver what it promised. It delivered exactly what was
    in the contract. It just didn’t deliver what a lying salesperson promised orally but didn’t put in writing.

    Perhaps I can help you understand. The salesman is an employee and agent of Westgate. Westgate set up the system which encourages lying and other unsavory tactics to make the sale, from which Westgate profits. A company is legally, morally, and ethically bound by its agents actions, particular if they are consistent with his/her duties. Westgate is complicit in the salesperson’s lies.

  • OzJohnno

    If what you say is true then why do so many of these cases end up with Chris. If you had the laws and they were enforced as they are down here then I wouldn’t be reading about stories like this one. What does he need to substantiate? He did not get what he paid for. A voucher is a contract in itself.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    The answer is obvious. Not everyone chooses to avail themselves of governmental intervention for any number of reasons, e.g. lack of information, lack of desire, etc.
    Consider, the OP here did not avail himself of any government entities but choose to seek out Chris. There could be a million laws, all of which might be enforced, but if the victim doesn’t file a complaint, how would the appropriate authorities know that something unlawful was happening?

  • backprop

    Yes verbal contracts are binding in and of themselves. But in very general terms, a verbal agreement can not modify a written contract. The only possibility here is that the verbal ‘promises’ were used as some sort of false inducement to sign the actual, written contract.

  • Michael Holmes

    I think all the promised incentives were just the cherry on top of the bad deal cupcake we all know as TIMESHARE or euphemistically referred to as VACATION OWNERSHIP. Just look at the resale values of ANY brand in this industry. Nobody wants these after becoming owners.

    For a short period I worked on a sales floor in Vegas for one of the bigger national timeshare companies. We had two group presenters: One was a magician, the other was a short bald man that would cry on cue telling you about taking his daughter to Disney World. He would do this everyday and he could get the people in the audience to cry too. Does this sound like a sales tactic for a reputable product?

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    How was the OP trying to game the system?

  • Carver Clark Farrow


  • tom65xke

    It is always best to run when you hear the word timeshare

  • tom65xke

    I am sure it’s the same guy. The documentary “Queen of Versailles ” shows a lot about the inside workings of the place, eventually went bankrupt

  • Mel65

    I’m no lawyer, but I always was under the impression that if there is a written contract the ENTIRETY of the agreement is within the four corners of that contract. Any ammendments/additions etc… added must be added in the same form, i.e. written and signed and that a written contract cannot be ammended verbally. If that’s the case (ok maybe I watch too much Judge Judy), then the OP is kinda SOL isn’t he? My sympathies are torn. On the one hand, it seems that Timeshare shills are scammy and scummy and I’d like to see them get what they deserve. On the other hand. who on earth doesn’t KNOW that timeshare shills are scammy and scummy and doesn’t take everything they say with a critical mindset? Maybe I’m too cynical…

  • tom65xke

    The Marriott prices are high because they actually deliver what they promise and that costs money, still would not buy one

  • Travelnut

    I’m not an attorney, but in my business law courses I recall that real estate contracts must always be in writing – verbal contracts are not valid. Would this not be a real estate contract? The promises given would seem to be some kind of consideration given by the time share company. (Again – not a legal expert here, but just trying to apply logic.) I do feel for the OP, who seems terribly naive.

  • KarlaKatz

    In every jurisdiction I know of, any time there’s a “written” contract, verbal amendments are NOT
    considered valid… it’s known as “the four corners” rule. If part of an
    agreement is written, the only contract that stands valid is within
    “the four corners” of the written agreement. Period. If OP was promised anything, OP should have added those items to the written agreement; it’s so easy!

  • JJ Lonsdale

    What planet are you living on???

    In the world of “I’ll meet you at the restaurant at 6,” verbal promises should, hopefully, be reliable. In the world of A SIX THOUSAND DOLLAR purchase, you get it in writing or it doesn’t count.

  • Annie M

    But of course it is going to end up being a “he said, she said” case with Westgate taking the side of the lying agent who swore he never told the client what they claimed. I met a guy this past week who was a time share salesman and he told me he quit because he couldn’t stand lying to people on what a “great deal” they were getting with a time share when he knew they could stay three weeks at a nice all inclusive for less their time share was going to cost. And he also told me he was encouraged to lie through his teeth to make a sale. But do you really think Westgate is going to admit perhaps their tactics might be illegal? Of course not, which is why you need to read what you are given in writing. If it’s not in writing, you aren’t getting it. Westgate may very well be complicit, but the client signed the contract without reading or questioning why the oral promises weren’t there.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I think you’ve answered your own question. Salemen being encouraged to lie through his teeth. If Westgate is complicit in lying to procure the contract how can we accept that it followed the contract?

    This is a balance of equities. One one side we have the naive customers who should read, understand, and not trust. On the other hand, we have (assuming it’s true) a company which is acting fraudulently and unethically, in an industry where salespeople (such as the guy you met last week) are encouraged to lie.

    It seems to me the OP’s negligence is far outweighed by the Company’s complicitness in outright fraudulent behavior.