Retired teachers Roger and Bonnie Legako from Knoxville Tennessee last month received an invitation to attend a timeshare presentation in Gatlinburg at the Holiday Inn’s Smoky Mountain Resort on Historic Nature Trail. The couple is currently Holiday Inn reward club members.
The timeshare industry is big business in East Tennessee. There are many people who attend at least one timeshare sales presentation during their lifetimes. A couple from Knoxville were invited to attend a presentation last month with the promise of luxurious gifts to lure them in, surprise, surprise no gifts were received as promised on the day.
To attend the presentation, the couple were asked to pay a fee to reserve their seats in Gatlinburg, which they did. Whilst they enjoyed the tour of the condo-style units, they did decide to decline the timeshare offer. After the presentation the couple asked for their promised gifts in return for their attendance, both were told there were no gifts to be had, the couple felt as though they had been given the “brush off.”
“They wanted us to try this vacation club, check it out,” said Roger Legako.
The couple paid 49 dollars each in order to reserve their seats. Whilst at the presentation they were taken on a tour and they watched a video presentation. Even paying the fee, the couple figured even if they didn’t buy a timeshare, they’d still come out with something worthwhile.
“Well if you check it out, we’ll give you a hundred dollar check and 60,000 IHG points,” said Roger Legako, re-counting the benefits he said he was promised.
The Legakos said they knew the sales pitch would be high pressure, but the sales representative, they said, was pleasant and professional throughout.
“He sat us down at a table, told us about himself about us, asked what we liked and everything,” said Bonnie Legako.
The couple was presented with very high-end accommodation sales pitch and they were told that included in the package offered they could choose to stay at other luxury resorts. Albeit they admitted to been slightly tempted, they did decline.
“I thought it was way too much. I’m not going to go into $44,000s of debt at this time in my life,” said Bonnie Legako.
“There was going to be a $1,600 a year association fee. Plus, if you stayed someplace you had to pay the cleaning fee,” said her husband.
Whichever way the couple swayed they were informed that the promise of the cash back and points would still be offered. “They said it would be immediate. They would hand the cash over to us there and then,” said Bonnie Legako.” However, they didn’t, they just kept on coming up with excuses without giving us our money or our points,” said a very disappointed Legako.
The couple were not giving in so easily and persisted with the sales representative to give what they had been originally promised.
“He was all apologetic and said our manager has to okay everything, but all my phone calls to IHG, to the corporate office, said, no that’s not true,” said Roger Legako.
Finally exhausted and frustrated, the couple said they left the resort without their promise of 100 dollars or their 60,000 points.
Once home the couple contacted a citizen’s advice bureau who in turn contacted the Holiday Inn Club Vacations’ sales office in Florida. Surprisingly they had better luck and within two days this response was sent: “We apologise to the Legako family for the service they received after they toured our resort. We can certainly understand their frustration. We reached out to them directly to resolve the issue and have provided the agreed upon gifts.”
And without fail on June 28, 2018, a cheque for 100 dollars arrived by FedEx. Holiday Inn Club Vacations not only credited the couple their 60,000 points, but 20,000 additional IHG Points were added to their account for the inconvenience.
“Yes, I’m glad that it’s been resolved, should not have ever happened,” said Roger Legako.
The company spokesperson did confirm that is was highly likely there had been a mix-up and the couple would have absolutely receive their incentives. The misunderstanding has now been resolved and we have compensated the couple for the inconvenience.
Posted on: July 9, 2018
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 01253 804 318 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk