We were called and told we had won a sweepstakes and asked to come in person to claim our prize. I don't even know when we put in a form, but when we arrived it was, of course, a sales presentation. We went in fully intending to just listen to the presentation and leave.
However, the idea that we could take our very large family on vacations was very appealing.
We were very direct with the salesman. We told him up front that we have SEVEN (7!) children and that we would always need larger accomodations. We asked if this was possible. He of course told us YES, absolutely. Just make your reservations as far out as possible.
He was right...if you call 11 months out you can find a place large enough for our family. In Montana or possibly Michigan.
We told him that we have the other children only in the summer (usually weeks 22-27) and at Christmas (weeks 50-51). Again, he said that's no problem. You'll always be able to find a place big enough for your family if you make your reservations in advance.
Again, he was right. IF we want to go to Montana or Michigan.
The problem is that he sold us 12,000 points bi-annually (we really told him we just can't afford this plan but he was very high pressure and really kept pushing the "buy now or never" routine so we finally caved) and assured us that even though we didn't have a lot of points, we could easily take a vacation every other year with our family.
Okay...just where, exactly, are we going to go? All nine of us? We require at least three bedrooms around summer or winter - the peak times.
The idea of this was to save money. Yes, we could go to Montana in the summer. But how are we going to get there from Indiana? Flying defeats the purpose of the "money saving timeshare" and is something we specifically discussed with both the salesman and his manager first! We can't exactly fly nine people across the country to use what essential turns out to be a hotel room. Driving? Do you have any idea how long it takes to drive from Indiana to Montana...with seven children?
We bought the plan not to enjoy tropical vacations, but specifically (again, we were direct with the salesman) to use the locations in Missouri. They just happen to be conveniently located right between where five of the kids live (Oklahoma) and Indiana.
We were very, very clear and direct. We wanted to stay in Missouri. He assured us, time and again, that this was possible. He showed us pictures, told us all about the amenities.
But never points tables. Never floor plans.
Because the only one of the three Missouri locations big enough to accomodate 9 people costs 48,000-52,000 points per week. The other two only accomodate 8 at the most.
We were told when we left after purchasing our timeshare that we had three days to review the information online and decide to cancel without penalty.
The only problem? We didn't get access to the website until a month later. In fact, we just got our RCI packet with our membership number two weeks ago!
I can understand people being at fault if they expect last minute accomodations and don't reserve in advance. I can understand the buyer being at fault if they don't understand how their maintenance fees work, and that they will go up and be lifelong.
But we were sold something where the salesman blatantly lied to us. We were told that this program would work for us, but it won't!
For us, this wasn't a money-making investment. It was an opportunity to finally vacation with our enormous family. But now, it's a drain on our monthly income, and a once-a-year slam with maintenance fees (yes, I appreciate that they're lower than average, but that doesn't make me happier when I can't even use my timeshare in the first place).
Is there any way to get out of this *** thing? At this point, I'd take a loss of a few thousand just to save myself money in the long run. Is there anyone I can complain to about their business practices to get out of this only minus the payments I've already made? Can anyone help?
Product or Service Mentioned: Bluegreen Resorts Vacation Ownership.