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Scam business...They're a joke trying to scam people in buying timeshares. They're not at all good at it either..Hope they have another job...It's actually rather entertaining how bad they are as a "sales rep"..
We were swindled into "signing up" for a "free vacation" to sit through a seminar. The ordeal would take 90 minutes of our time, "No pressure" to buy anything and to get a free trip to Disney on the other side of this to sit through the speech. There has to be a catch right? Yup. So we get invited to their Tukwila office not far from South Center Mall in WA. We walk in, very legit seeming. Very friendly staff. No issues so far. We sign in, they want to see our ID and a major credit card, just to verify identity. They never wrote anything down or ran the card. Seems okay enough...
We get in the main conference area. Loud music playing in the space and everyone is smiling and wearing Tommy Bahama shirts and khakis. Seem very islander and everyone is on vacation. Cool right? So we sit with a gentleman who starts out using profanity, often with us, I later believe was to make us feel comfortable. This 30 minutes was him asking us a lot of personal details about our lives, all pretty much hinging on our relationship. He mentions my make, model and year of my vehicle without me mentioning it or putting that on paper. How her and I would soon be marrying, wanted ages of our kids I had from a previous marriage and our child together. We are both in public service, what a weird coincidence, he's former military. I believe this was either a false story of his military time or they had him choose us for the public service piece and reliability.
There is ZERO talk about what they're selling us or trying to in this time. I call this the ice breaker time. We have our walls up. She's getting irritated. I am keeping my wits about me. The loud music was nauseating and disorienting. Jimmy Buffet cranked sorta thing. We're two feet from this guy and we're all yelling over the music. It's ridiculous. Constantly being interrupted by other salesmen coming up to us with nearly seemingly scripted banter they planned at certain times. Think 80's standup comedy but worse. We all, and by all I mean one other couple, pile into another area separated from where we were by a wall. Now is the presentation. "Presentation", ha.
It's another 30 minutes of listening to the actual sales pitch, sorta. It's a lot of dates and "the Bobs" (being their founders both having the name Bob) by a shorter male. He was nice enough but was cringy 90% of the time. We wrap it up, go back to our original tables with our former military guy. Then he is trying to tell us about the packages. Here is the sales pitch right? Hell no. It's more banter, his "boss" comes over, a lumbering tall Italian guy. They all have a story. His was having married a white girl who wasn't italian and his grandfather being racist and disappointed. Eye roll emote here. He evidently also has a developmentally challenged child which I seriously hope is NOT just a story cuz how messed up would that be?
Anyhow, the former military dude mentions him coming from a broken family... it was like this. All intended to make the potential customer feel pressured into buying. Relatability and making you feel bad is their goal here. I could not speak about how crap this was enough. So the Italian dude, he's cringy, stares at you when he makes lame jokes, just uncomfortable. We now are to follow him into his office. We walk in looking at the time being well over 90 minutes at this point from start to finish. We have kids waiting at home, things to do, better things to do like root canals or castration with a brick. We sit. We wait. He comes in, finally the sales pitch, no joke. It's finally happening.
$6K and change gets us the thing they're trying to sell us. Wait, you can't do that?! Okay, here's a special employee only deal, $3K. Can't do that either eh? Okay, super secret deal, I would get fired if they knew kinda deal. $1600, $170 or so monthly gets you points and this that and the other. We're done at this point. I ask him if he has a business card, can we circle back, his demeanor totally changes. Says "no, you can't. No, I have no business cards. This is right now commitment". I told him nope and we were leaving. He gets all huffy with us, "hold up, can't leave yet, I need to give you your free gift". I said no, that's okay and I wanted to leave now. He blocks my egress and says he has to have me sign off for the gift whether I wanted it or not. I am now looking at their lobby which has no door knobs to exit the front. Ah yes, when we entered they buzzed us in. I am now feeling like I am being illegally detained.
I am eyeballing the fire exit thinking what are they going to do. He comes back, we sign, he's very aggressive telling me he doesn't care if we use the Disney trip or not and to stay, let's talk more. I charge the exit door with my girl behind me ready to fight my way out if I need to. He follows, motions to the clerk up front to buzz the doors open and we walk out with him up my backside the whole way talking in my ear and then snidely says "you folks take real good care now" as he watches us leave the parking lot.
I felt completely violated both emotionally and psychologically. I felt like I needed to shower, no joke. The whole ordeal was intended to swindle people from their money. Relatability, manipulation. They also need you to be a couple. They will not see you if you're alone and they do not allow you to separate to discuss. It's all very intentional, organized manipulation. I studied psychology many lifetimes ago, this was all very well planned out, methodical and precise. Looking back everything was orchestrated to make us feel comfortable, let our guard down and be pressured into making a poor financial decision. It was calculated and intentional. Nothing was unscripted, everything was driving toward bilking innocent people out of their money.
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I made the HUGE mistake of buying into this crap. Everything that you do with these people you have to pay. They lure you into by saying "call us, we're here to help you book your next vacation and save you money with the flies as well." Well, they'll want money for that. The first time I had to pay the enormous amount of $647 for the annual maintenance fee, they add a $69 w/out asking you for some type of magazine that help you "save" even more. When you question it then they try to tell you that you should keep it bec of all the benefits. False!
After sending this $647 thru WF Bill Pay, they still kept sending me emails that I haven't paid. I opened a claim with WF BP to investigate where this money went (VI took the money but never credited it to my account). I tried to call them many times, sent emails, and left voice mails to let them know about my findings but to no avail. Nobody responded. I think that I should report them to the District Attorney. I am surprised these people haven't got sued yet. I even called their management company, EQUAINT, but they're the same. I waited over an hour and nobody comes on the line to speak to you. Do yourself and your family a favor, STAY AWAY from these creeps.
First, I see a lot of complaints about the sales process - yes it is sometimes frustrating, and sometimes the sales folks are not as honest as I would like - but hey you were the one wanting free stuff... So buyer beware and don't let them push you into anything. Never fall for the "...you have to buy today to get this deal" trick - there is always another deal another day. But remember the sales process does not really have much to do with the resort experience.
We have about 3 weeks worth of points (almost all bought on the resale market and then transferred in when Pacific Shores went belly up) and we have found VI resorts timeshare program to be excellent. Their resorts range in quality from middling to good and the value is always excellent. If you are content to work within their system, and you get up to the platinum level of their prestige program, the value can't be beat.
When we used to be RCI members - it seemed like we were always paying too many extra fees - A typical holiday might cost $300-600 to book (RCI membership, transfer points, extend points, high booking fees etc.) so we quit that entirely. Now at VI we pay $20 for each booking - that's it. If there is a change, they are usually very keen to make things work. If you cancel more than 30 days out, you get your points back (or 24 hours if you choose to pay for last minute cancelation insurance). If you have another timeshare that you don't want to use one year, you can deposit it and get a fair return in points. Been a VI owner for about 10 years and very happy with the product value and service.
I have been a member of VI since 1980 (purchased in Puerto Vallarta). I have always enjoyed using it, units reliably clean and in excellent condition, problems addressed immediately. I like the way the point system works, but it is true that the most popular resorts must be booked a year in advance (Puerto Vallarta, Leavenworth, Ocean Shores and some of the Hawaii locations). It is absolutely NOT true that the more points you have the more benefits you get. The only way to get to reserve more than a year out is to pay to get on an advanced reservation list. We do have the ability to “bank” points for three years, and after that they are gone.
There is a legitimate third-party (Anderson, retired gentleman’s hobby) site that is free that sends a newsletter out listing points for sale and usually needs odds and ends that are unused for other people who don’t quite have enough. Think family reunion. In my years of experience, both the resort staff and VI phone staff are wonderful, courteous and respectful. Part of my enjoyment is seeing the same staff at the resorts time after time. Management finally put restrictions in place to keep other other timeshares (Diamond, etc.) from claiming all of our locations were in their system and disallowing block advance reservations. I feel like we have our timeshare back, to some extent.
Virtually all of the negative reviews are from people who thought they could get something for nothing, then when the third party sales people did not provide all that was promised and were rude, they blame VI. The reason they can’t tell you what company they are calling from is that they are calling for so many different ones. We do not have a property in Cabo, or several others that were mentioned. Additionally, the owners own all of the properties in trust. When another company TRIED to take us over and stole lots of Torres Mazatlan property, it cost us quite a bit to get it all back.
We now no longer farm out to another management company and strictly keep it under our control. Part of the reason it is hard to get into some of our original resorts is that we have bailed out so many small failing timeshares to keep them out of bankruptcy. Consequently, we have lots more run down properties, or otherwise not prime, with many more members. Additionally, management has finally put restrictions in place to stop other timeshares (Diamond, etc.) from claiming our properties as part of their inventory.
They also stopped “block” advance reservations from these same companies. So, please do not blame VI for scammers using our name to get you in to these horrible time-wasting presentations. Not that I want more members - I just take it personally to see all these negative reviews from mostly people that have never used the program, whereas you will note that nearly all of us owners give VI 5 stars.
My wife and I have belonged to V.I. for years. We have had to learn to pre-plan vacations and have some flexibility. That said, we have never regretted our membership and definitely take more vacations than we would otherwise. Over the years there have been a couple issues which have arisen. V.I. has always responded and we have found their customer care to be, actually, caring. We have learned our timeshare membership becomes more valuable the more we use it. While, by planning ahead, we usually get the location and time we want, being willing to sometimes change plans to utilize existing vacancies rather than what might have been initially the plan, has on occasion, proved very enjoyable and we have seen locations we might not otherwise have considered.
My fiance's name was pulled from a drawing that our kids entered us in at the mall. The drawing was for a free car which is how these clowns got his name. Long story short, we knew what this was about but my fiance thought he'd give this a try. I told him before going that I wasn't about it...I've been through timeshare pitches before and I'm not about being pressured into purchasing something. Anyhow, the person who contacted him of course said that he had won prizes, that he'd get the prizes with no purchase necessary yada, yada, yada. So, hey in the spirit of just going to listen to the pitch, I decided to go along for the ride.
When we arrived, the establishment was hardcore about practicing social distancing precautions (which is good, right?). You had to wear your mask, they were checking temperatures, they wiped the pens down after people touched them etc. However... As soon as our names were called, we were greeted by the infamous Chris who did not have a mask on and was very vocal about his right to "Not be told what to do with his body." Okay... That is already strange but whatever, we kept it pushing.
As soon as we sat down with Chris, he gave us zero information. We were both very vocal about the fact that we were skeptical about the whole operation so he knew that we were already on the fence but nonetheless willing to listen. He proceeded to ask us personal questions and because I told him I was just there to support my fiance, he kept asking us questions about how long we've been together, where we met, if we had kids together. Oddly, the conversation reared in the direction of covid and social distancing. He then proceeded to tell us that he didn't believe in social distancing and that he doesn't feel like anyone can tell him what to do with is body...Which was all fine besides the fact that we spent 10 minutes in the lobby upon arrival being screen, poked, and prodded for social distancing purposes. It made no sense that he was clearly anti-social distancing. Anyhow....Another red flag we noted but ignored.
While he proceeded to talk about nothing related to why we were there, I was on my phone texting with my son. Chris then proceeds to ask me to put my phone down and "Participate." First of all Chris, I'm not 5 years old and perhaps if your pitch was convincing, I would have been more engaged. Secondly, he had no business telling me to put my phone down. Longer story short...Chris and this entire establishment are a joke. When my fiance asked him if all prizes outlined in the email he received would be honored, Chris' response was "Well I don't know...I don't know what was in the email." So basically, whoever gets you in their door is a completely separate entity and they clearly do not communicate with one another.
I ended up telling Chris that he was way out of line and we got up and left before having to sit through the 90 minute presentation which basically suckers you into purchasing timeshare through them. Chris was so flustered after I told him that he was way out of line that he stood up and said "I'm going to get my manager." Why? For what? Because you have no responses for people who aren't naive and gullible? Save yourself the time and don't waste 90 minutes of your life on this nonsense that you will never get back again. I'd rather watch paint dry for 90 minutes!! Not today VI...Not today or ever, lol.
I am actually quite upset by my treatment by VI Resorts. They cold called me and told me I was "selected" as a winner in their raffle. I said, "I won a free trip" and she said yes! No obligation but they wanted me to come watch a 90 minute video. I am not married but in a long term relationship and I referred to my partner as my husband. She then said, "Come down. Bring your husband and watch this video and we will give you free tickets". I could not find child care and they were relentless in calling me and I said, "Well can't I just come pick up the free trip" and she said, "No, you have to bring your husband and you have to watch this 90 minute video." I said, "Wait. You said I "won" a trip with no obligation" and she starts arguing with me that she never said "won". She said I was "selected". I then went on to tell her I was not really married and she replied, "Doesn't matter. You have to come with him or you won't get anything."
THIS IS A SCAM. THEY WERE RUDE, DISRESPECTFUL AND DISCRIMINATORY. The tactics of this business are disgusting and if I ever see or speak to anyone in relation to this business I will give them a piece of my mind. I think I will also write a letter to their corporate executives about my treatment. What a SCAM. They are not legit, and who would want to engage in with such disgusting business? THERE IS NO FREE ANYTHING.
I booked a resort in Kona. The views were fabulous, many amenities, but no AC, which would have been fine had there been adequate ventilation. There were fans, but it was so hot in the condo, it made trying to sleep unbearable or nonexistent. The tv did not work, nor did the remote. Some lights were missing bulbs, and some lights did not work at all. The front desk was notified, but repair service was not readily available, so we had no tv during evening hours, and limited lighting. Areas around the sliding door had not been cleaned.
Considering that Hawaii should be a destination highly sought, I was frustrated to have traveled so far to find such inadequate accommodations. I had the feeling that the front desk staff was there to check-in clients, then the staff became unavailable. Myself and family have stayed at other VI resorts; found similar issues, not updated, missing lights, or damaged items inside the condo. I recommend a walk through after each client checks -out of the condo.
Rented 3 Units at VI Homestead in Lynden Washington. Two where points were used and one paid with cash by person travelling with us. Person travelling with us had I emergency heart surgery and couldn't come. Contacted VI Internationale 15 days in advance and was told no refund as needed 30 days in advance. Agent then asked if wanted to cancel. I said no as there was no refund so why cancel? She said so someone else could book the room. So essentially they could receive two payments for same room. Ask if we could cancel one of rooms booked with points but told no because we hadn't purchased points cancellation insurance. Why couldn't I just lose the points? When our original timeshare went bankrupt VI Internationale purchased it and then encouraged us to become points owners with them. Big Mistake. Should have just walked away.
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