The Robert Paisola Live World News Feed

12/17/2008

Vacation pressure leads couple to sue Wyndham Resorts, Posted By Robert Paisola

The Full Lawsuit against Wyndham resorts is Annotated Below:

This is a pre-story on a story that we are doing on Wyndham that will soon be published. We have sent emails to 14 top Wyndham Executives and have not received a reply on our inquiries. We will keep you advised as this story develops.
Robert Paisola
Editor
The Time Share Chronicles

Wyndham Vacation Resorts is being sued by a couple who alleges they were misled into purchasing a vacation package they did not want. We are gathering the legal pleadings to post for your review now.


Roger L. and Catherine A. Cole bought the package after taking Wyndham Vacation Resorts up on an offer of an essentially free vacation in Branson, Mo., in early 2007, according to the complaint filed Dec. 12 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

In order to receive the vacation, all the Coles had to do was listen to a 90-minute presentation outlining the benefits of purchasing a Vacation Ownership Interest from Wyndham, the suit states.

At the end of the May 7, 2007, presentation, the Coles expressed a desire to learn more about the offer, they claim.

When the Coles asked about the offer, Wyndham's employees began to engage in numerous deceptive acts and practices, according to the complaint.

For example, the employees immediately placed an assortment of contracts and other agreements in front of the Coles and pressured them to sign the documents, the suit states.

"In the event plaintiffs expressed hesitation, rather than giving plaintiffs any time and space for contemplation they were immediately introduced to a more experienced agent of superior rand and broader deal making authority," the suit states.

Employees also neglected to provide the Coles with any time to read and fully comprehend what they were being pressured to sign and failed to explain to the Coles several material items in the contracts and agreements including the points that the Coles would acquire were non-transferable except to others possessing a similar "Vacation Ownership Interest," or to approved guests older than 21, the Coles claim.

Other items that were not explained to the Coles included that even transferring under the terms came with a fee, points unused at the end of each annual cycle could not be transferred to cover the cost of monthly payments, the contracts bore only "a trace resemblance to the terms explained during the presentation," the Coles would not be allowed to rent their time share out to others unless they acquired 500,000 points and the Coles would only have five days to rescind their contract, according to the complaint.

Because of the employees' deception, the Coles purchased a Vacation Ownership Interest with "very little understanding of that which they were actually signing," the suit states.

Again in June, the Coles traveled to Orlando, Florida, on another solicited vacation to explore the possibility of buying another 192,000 points so they could rent or transfer their points and ease their financial burden, they claim.

Employees again engaged in deceptive practices by withholding from the Coles the fact that the Coles would only be able to rent in exchange for 40 percent of the ultimate rent amount, according to the complaint.

"Plaintiffs have been fraudulently deprived of honestly-earned income, a deprivation which continues as monthly payments continue to become due, in addition to maintenance payments," the suit states.

Wyndham has not allowed the Coles to be released from their obligation, they claim.

So, they have also suffered extraordinary mental anguish and have become liable for large amounts of money, according to the complaint.

In the two-count suit, the Coles are seeking $150,000, plus costs.

They are represented by Thomas Q. Keefe, III., of Belleville, Illinois.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-632.

12/17/2008 9:55 AM
By Kelly Holleran

Now for the Lawsuit!

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT

TWENTIETH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, ILLINOIS

ROGER L. COLE AND CATHERINE A. COLE )

)

Plaintiffs, )

)

v. ) No. ___________

)

WYNDHAM VACATION RESORTS, INC., a )

corporation )

)

Defendants. )

COMPLAINT

COUNT I

COMES NOW the plaintiffs, by and through their attorneys, THOMAS Q. KEEFE, JR., P.C., and for Count I of their Complaint against the defendant, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc., state as follows:

1. That this is an action under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, 815 ILCS 502/2, et seq and 505/10a et seq, which was in effect at all times herein mentioned.

2. That at all times herein mentioned the plaintiffs, Roger and Catherine Cole, were citizens and residents of the state of Illinois.

3. That at all times herein mentioned the defendant, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc., was a corporation authorized and doing business in Illinois, with offices and other locations operating throughout Illinois.


4. That in early 2007, defendant solicited plaintiffs with an offer of an essentially free vacation in Branson, Missouri; all that was required of plaintiffs was an agreement to meet with defendant’s agent for a ninety minute presentation outlining the supposed benefits of purchasing a Vacation Ownership Interest, (i.e. a “timeshare”) from defendant.

5. That plaintiffs accepted, and the presentation occurred on May 7, 2007; at the conclusion of the presentation, plaintiffs expressed a desire to learn more about defendant’s offer.

6. That at this point, and at all times herein mentioned, defendant - by and through their agents, sub-agents, and/or employees - engaged in numerous deceptive acts and/or practices, including but not limited to:

a) immediately placing an assortment of contracts and other agreements in front of plaintiffs and pressuring them to sign; in the event plaintiffs expressed hesitation, rather than giving plaintiffs any time and space for contemplation they were immediately introduced to a more experienced agent of superior rank and broader deal making authority;

b) neglecting to provide plaintiffs with any - much less sufficient - time to read and fully comprehend that which what they were being pressured to sign;

c) neglecting to explain to plaintiffs several material terms in the contracts and agreements, including but not limited to:

i. That the “Points” which plaintiffs would acquire (308,000 from this initial agreement), which were ostensibly intended to provide flexibility in how plaintiffs used their “Vacation Ownership Interest”, were actually non-transferrable except to others possessing a similar “Vacation Ownership Interest”, or to approved guests over the age of 21;


ii. That, further, even transferring under the above-elucidated terms came with a fee;

iii. That Points unused at the end of each annual cycle (understood to expire) could not even be transferred to cover the cost of their monthly payments;

iv. That - overall - the contracts and agreements plaintiffs were being pressured to sign bore only a trace resemblance to the terms explained during the presentation;

v. That, in the event of purchase, plaintiffs would not be permitted to rent their time share out to others unless they first acquired a total of 500,000 points (192,000 more than what plaintiffs signed up for);

vi. That, in the event of purchase, plaintiffs would only have five days to recind their contract (insufficient time to fully review the terms, particularly while still on vacation), and further that any such recision was only effective when received by defendant;

vii. That reservations cancelled two weeks or less prior to check-in date resulted in forfeiture of all points used to make the reservation;

viii. That defendant’s “network administrator” retained absolute discretion to cancel a member’s reservation due to any type of natural disaster - and doing so does not entitle that member to a refund of the points designated for that particular trip;

ix. That the aforementioned network administrator is vested with unfettered discretion to modify the Terms and Conditions at his or her whim, and without advance notice to or input from the members.


7. That each of the foregoing deceptive acts, practices, and/or omissions occurred in the course of conduct involving trade or commerce, and was undertaken with the intent that plaintiffs rely on them.

8. That as a direct and proximate result of the foregoing deceptive acts, practices, and/or omissions on the part of defendant, their agents, sub-agents, or employees, as aforesaid, plaintiffs purchased a Vacation Ownership Interest from defendant, and did so with very little understanding of that which they were actually signing. Plaintiffs were led to believe that they were agreeing to those terms said forth in the presentation; unbeknownst to them, the actual terms bore little resemblance to that which was explained to them. Plaintiffs have been fraudulently deprived of honestly-earned income, a deprivation which continues as monthly payments continue to become due, in addition to maintenance payments. Defendants have refused plaintiffs’ repeated efforts to release themselves from this fraudulently-obtained obligation. In addition to monetary deprivation, plaintiffs have suffered - and continue to suffer - extraordinary mental anguish, and have become liable for large sums of money in compensation, all to their damage in a substantial amount.

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs demand judgment from the defendant in an amount greater than SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($75,000.00), plus costs.

COUNT II


COMES NOW the plaintiffs, by and through their attorneys, THOMAS Q. KEEFE, JR., P.C., and for Count II of their Complaint against the defendant, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc., state as follows:

1.-8. Plaintiffs hereby adopt and incorporate paragraphs 1 through and including 8 of Count I as and for paragraphs 1 through and including 8 of Count II.

9. That in June 2008, plaintiffs, struggling with payments and newly familiar with the rental provisions withheld from them in May 2007, traveled to Orlando, Florida on another solicited vacation; plaintiffs did so to explore the possibility of purchasing another 192,000 points so that they could rent or transfer their points and thereby ease their financial burden.

10. That, following both another presentation and the same strong armed tactics outlined in subparagraphs 8(a) and (b), supra, defendants - by and through their agents, sub-agents, and/or employees - engaged in the following deceptive act and/or practice:

a) withheld from plaintiffs the fact that - in the event plaintiff acquired the requisite total of 500,000 points and with defendant’s help in renting - defendant would only do so in exchange for 40% of the ultimate rental amount.

11.-12. Plaintiffs adopt and incorporate paragraphs 7 and including 8 of Count I as and for paragraphs 11 through and including 12 of Count II.

WHEREFORE, plaintiffs demand judgment from the defendant in an amount greater than SEVENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($75,000.00), plus costs.


______________________________

THOMAS Q. KEEFE, III

IL Reg. No. 6294376

Thomas Q. Keefe, Jr., P.C.

Attorneys for the Plaintiff

THOMAS Q. KEEFE, JR., P.C.

ATTORNEY AT LAW

#6 EXECUTIVE WOODS COURT

BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS 62226

618/236-2221


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