Troubleshooter: Vacation getaway

June 29, 2009 7:37:31 PM PDT
An Orange County woman contacted Troubleshooter Diane Wilson after a vacation getaway left her scrambling to find somewhere to stay and upset over a refund denial. The issue involves a time share promotion where you stay at a resort for a discounted rate.

In exchange for lodging, you sit through a time share presentation with the option to buy. The problem is the woman bought the vacation getaway but never got to enjoy it.

Marcene Davie said she has great memories of her Smokey Mountain getaway. But those great memories are no thanks to the vacation package she purchased from Wyndham Vacations.

"They called me up about these vacations, and I thought, 'Hey sounds good,'" Davie told the Troubleshooter.

Davie signed up for two packages over the phone. One package was for the Smokey Mountains and the other was for Williamsburg. She had to meet certain requirements like income minimum, age and other items.

"They did not ask if I was married, separated or single," Davie said. "They just told on the contract that if you're married your spouse has to come with you."

She is legally separated and didn't think that would be a problem. After driving more than five hours and arriving at the Smokey Mountain Wyndham Resort Welcome Center, she ran into a problem.

"The lady there said you told us on the phone you were married, and I said, 'I'm legally separated' and she said, 'That disqualifies you from this promotion,'" Davie explained.

It's something Davie didn't understand since it doesn't state that anywhere in the contract. She said the representative at the welcome center did offer to refund her the nearly $200.00 she paid for the vacation packages.

All she needed was the credit card she booked with.

Davie told the representative, "I don't have that card anymore because I paid that account off and closed that account."

The representative told her to call customer service and Davie said she did right away.

"They told me they would not refund me the money [and] that I [had] broken the contract, since I was legally separated," Davie said. "I've driven 5-and-a-half hours, I have to find another hotel room and you're not even going to refund me your purchase price. I'm getting nothing from you other than a large headache, and I don't get anything back and he said that's right because you broke the contract."

Davie said she stopped fighting and went on with her vacation by finding another place to stay and enjoyed the Smokey Mountains. When she got back home, she e-mailed the Troubleshooter.

The Troubleshooter got in touch with Wyndham Vacation Resorts and Davie received a welcome call. The company said it will refund her the full amount she paid for the vacation packages.

"It wasn't until you became involved that they looked at it closer and said this isn't right to keep this person's money they got nothing for this," Davie told the Troubleshooter.

A representative for Wyndham Vacation Resorts said the company takes all complaints seriously and providing world class customer service remains top priority. The company also said it appreciates when one of its valuable owners or perspective owners informs them of an opportunity to resolve their issue.


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