The Other Side to the Westgate Timeshare Lawsuit Story
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
In Saturday’s The Timeshare Authority blog, we told you about the Utah lawsuit that ruled in favor of a small group of consumers and against Westgate timeshare. The consumers, represented by Consumer Protection Group, had received gift vouchers to be used for airfare and lodging in Anaheim, California. According to the attorney representing Consumer Protection Group, the vouchers were simply too difficult to redeem, and they left the voucher holders with something that was of little to no value. The judge apparently agreed, ruling in favor of the consumer group and handing down a verdict of $1 million in punitive damages against Westgate timeshare.
As expected, Westgate will appeal this verdict. According to ParkRecord.com, Michael Marder, an attorney for Westgate based in Orlando, Florida, explained, “A number of them (the people who received the vouchers in exchange for attending the timeshare tour) had made a habit of visiting other timeshare resorts and receiving gifts, and based upon the testimony, they had no intention to buy anything; they were coming solely to get a gift. Some of these people came three or four times to other places.”
Westgate Timeshares Respond
The Timeshare Authority mentioned on Saturday that, “there are always two sides to every story,” and it is no surprise that the other side of this story is now coming out …
As reported on www.ParkRecord.com, no timeshare presentation attendees filed suit or brought charges on their own to complain about what they did or did not receive from Westgate. Instead, a Westgate employee allegedly stole thousands of Westgate records in order to give the names of the people who attended the Westgate presentations (and received the vouchers) to an individual who then started the Consumer Protection Group.
As Marder, the Westgate attorney, has said, “Westgate firmly believes that these claimants would not have surfaced had their claims not been solicited illegally … This matter remains in litigation. There are quite a number of issues yet to be addressed both by the trial judge and the appellate courts.”
Further muddying the water is the fact that Consumer Protection Group offered money to people who received the travel vouchers in exchange for their signing a formal complaint against Westgate.
One thing is certain, you can bet that we have not heard the last of this situation. So here’s our hope: let’s get this resolved fairly, and let’s get this resolved quickly, because if ever we all need to be working together in this country instead of fighting among ourselves, the time is now. There are many highly satisfied Westgate timeshare owners who would be quick to tell you that they are pleased with their vacation ownership through Westgate resorts.