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"The Club" at Chula Vista

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Chicago, Il
Level Contributor
2,946 posts
56 reviews
"The Club" at Chula Vista

Hi friends,

Anyone heard of "The Club at Chula Vista"? Some new marketing of a timeshare /vacation club /points thing? Looks like discounts on all things at the resort.

Has anyone done the pitch? They say 60 minutes & bring the kids. I don't know if we'll make it 5 minutes with our two little ones!

Any info or experience or costs appreciated.

Thanks,

SeaBass

356 replies to this topic
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
4,770 posts
145 reviews
181. Re: "The Club" at Chula Vista

Today Clark Howard, the consumer guru, was discussing travel clubs on his radio show. Sadly he had little advice. These predators have been around for years and keep finding ways to suck people in. As he said, don't beat yourself up, it's not your job to make sure everyone else is decent and trustworthy.

He did have a couple of suggestions. One, as you've heard here, contact the WI State Attorney General's office. Also, try the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection. Lastly, don't laugh, is to picket them. The people were taken a back by that, but think of it. If every guest at Chula Vista were greeted by people picketing and protesting The Club, think they'd still allow them there? These sleaze balls will just move elsewhere, but at least they'd have a harder time sucking people in.

Arlington Heights...
1 post
182. Re: "The Club" at Chula Vista

Hi,

My husband and I just sat in on that meeting this past January and actually bought the membership. You can't skip the meeting. It is where they "friend" you and get to know you. There are 3 different options and the sales person gets to know you and tries to figure out which option if any would be good for you.

We actually love our membership! We love the coupons for food and entertainment that we have access to through the membership. Besides staying at different resorts at a discount you get a discounts/lowest rates on hotels, air fare, car rentals, and all the coupons from Entertainment books. It's great!

Wisconsin
Level Contributor
4,770 posts
145 reviews
183. Re: "The Club" at Chula Vista

Ah yes, yet another questionable response--for those who are knew to this, those single posts that rave about the program need to be viewed with great skepticism. That "friend" part is known as baiting the hook, fishing around to catch the poor suckers...

Chicago
Level Contributor
23 posts
2 reviews
184. Re: "The Club" at Chula Vista

***Just bumping this so new members see if first and see what "The Club" is all about.****

BTW: I love the picketing idea!

I even don't know where to start on these guys. First of all don't waste your precious vacation time listening to these scam artists. My wife and I fell for their scam and had to fight hard to get our money back. Here is a breakdown of how everything went.

My wife and I attended The Club presentation. Our salesperson name was Greg . Dennis was the financial person that showed us the prices of the different plans. We were hesitant about joining the club, but were pressured into it. They promised our dream vacation for $400 and showed us the savings that members received over the next 20 years and it seemed like a good deal, but they insisted that we had to sign up today because the deal was only good for today. We were then welcomed to “The Family” after we signed the paperwork for a 20 year vacation club valued at $5300.

After sleeping on it, there were a few questions that I had. I had questions about the bonus weeks and also about the maximum that we would pay for them. During the presentation they kept mentioning that we would never pay more than $199 - $799 for a week vacation. None of this was in the contract. I went back downstairs to see if they could answer my concerns. I first talked to the head manager. I informed him that the 3 bonus weeks were not in the contract and that Greg and Dennis kept telling us that we would never pay more than $799. He then said that it was in the books that we had. He looked through the books and couldn’t find it. He said that he was little rusty on the books and would have somebody else take a look. Another salesman came over to help me. He was a younger gentleman; I told him that I had concerns about the price going up. I said that the way that Greg and Dennis portrayed it, we were locked in at those prices. He said that I was wrong and everything goes up in price due to inflation and also said that “It wasn’t his problem”. That was not the way Greg made it sound. He then said the prices have never been over $799 in the past 4 years. I asked him for proof and he said that he didn’t have any. He was very rude and didn’t treat like a member of “The Family.” He walked away because he could see that I was getting more upset with his answers. Greg our salesman came over next. He tried to calm me down. He kept saying, “Give it a try and don’t be upset.” I told Greg that we were thinking about canceling it. He said, “You can’t because you signed the paperwork.” I told him that if I wanted to, I would contact a lawyer. He backed off and said that we don’t want to go there. I talked to Greg for a little longer. I finally decided that I had enough and just told him that I was ok. I didn’t want to waste my vacation time arguing about this. I wanted to spend time with the family and not being stressed.

When I got home from vacation, I was able to create an account on Trading places and look at the website. This was the website that they said was password protected for "Member only". I was then able to pick two vacations and reserve them without being a member. I looked at the website policies and rule#1 stated that you DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER to book the hot deals. So what the heck did we pay for?

I called The Club 3 days after we signed to cancel my membership and spoke to Dennis. I told him that I wanted out of the contract. I told him that I was able to book a vacation without paying for membership. He said that he couldn’t believe it. I even told him that was listed in their FAQ’s. He said that was like a deer in headlights after hearing this. He had to take a look and call me back.

Dennis called me back. He said that I was WRONG and there was no way a non-member could look at the website. He said that I was not looking at it correctly and it was password protected. I even read to him what it said directly on the web site. He wouldn’t acknowledge it. We kept going back and forth, he insisted to give it a try. I said No and that I wanted to cancel it. He said that you couldn’t do that because of the signed contract. I said that we are not getting anywhere and that I wanted to speak to his boss. He kept ignoring my request. I told Dennis that we could do this two ways, I would dispute the charge or you could credit me. Once again he ignored me and kept going on about giving it a try. He finally said if you want to cancel, write a letter to the general manager. I asked for the address and who to send it to. He just gave me a PO Box number and no name. This got me really upset. I then asked for his boss’s name. Once again he just ignored me, for some reason he wouldn’t give me a name. Finally after going and back and forth, he said address it to Garret. Not sure why it took me raising my voice to get his name.

I sent a certified letter the next day telling them to cancel my membership. I also left a message for the manager on duty at Chula Vista.

Karolyn the manager called me back. Karolyn was very nice and was stuck in a rock and a hard place. She was represented the hotel and not "The Club." She said that since this was a legal contract that there was nothing that she could do. I informed her that I already called the Wisconsin Attorney General (Thanks to my Dad), they informed me that "The Club" had 4 complaints already. I also told her that I disputed the charge with my credit card. She was caught by surprise that I did this. I also told her that I was willing to take this to the newspapers and show how much of a scam this club is. She said that she would call me back. 30 minutes later she said that we would get a refund.

Sorry this is so long, I just don't want anyone else to scammed like we did. If we didn't fight back hard we would never have gotten a full refund back.

Here some of the facts that I learned:

1) 4 Complaints filed against them with the Wisconsin Attorney General Office. You can verify by calling them at:

DATCP (Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection) (608) 224-4953. There will be 5 when they receive mine.

2) Look at www.trading places.com to get the same hot deals they promised. There are some deals on here

3) The other website they said was great was equivalent to the Entertainment card that schools sell to save money on restaurants, hotels, etc..

4) The salesmen at The Club use high pressure to get you to sign and can be big bullies. Plus they tell very cheesy jokes.

5) Don't be ashamed if you felt scammed by them. It happens to the best of us. Just make sure you keep very detailed notes, this helped me tremendously. It's what you do afterward that counts.

If you would like more information on what happened, please pm me.

Wisconsin
Level Contributor
4,770 posts
145 reviews
185. Re: "The Club" at Chula Vista

Thanks for the bump. I think you're the first person we've heard of that got their money back. OR have you received it yet? At least there is some hope, but people need to be informed and persistent if they get sucked into this. The best way, as been said over and over, is don't sign up to begin with. Keep us posted.

Chicago
Level Contributor
23 posts
2 reviews
186. Re: "The Club" at Chula Vista

Yes I got my money back within a week. I had to fight for it by being aggressive.

Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
949 posts
38 reviews
187. Re: "The Club" at Chula Vista

hey, tony p, great account of your dealings with "the club"...

a few years ago we fell for a bluegreen sales pitch... the story follows yours to some point... well, we tried but we couldn't cancel, we were on the last day of our contract grace period /7 days, i believe/... i think i wasn't aggressive enough...

so what to do? well, so far we've been enjoying our vacations - every year different place with them...

but those "owner's updates" are really annoying... we went thru 2 of them, one was successful for them -we bought more.. but then we got smarter...

this sunday we will "park our car" in christmas mountain resort and we intend to enjoy it to the fullest... :)

now, what i'm getting at... any ideas how to get out of this "affliction for a lifetime"? i heard that the resale market for timeshares is not that great... we are ok for now, but a year or two down the road we might want to get out of this...

Chicago, Il
Level Contributor
2,946 posts
56 reviews
188. Re: "The Club" at Chula Vista

I've heard you can sell it for 10-30% of what you originally paid, using a resale web service. Plenty out there, so search for the most legit (ha, if there's such a thing). Goal for most trying to resell is to simply get out of the annual fee/expense burden. Alternative is to rent it to cover the fee. We've rented timeshares in Mexico paying $400 for the week in a very nice 2BR. Probably covered their expenses & they were happy with it.

The other thing happening is many timeshare resorts are "all inclusive" requiring owners must pay the daily per person food/drink fee. It's often more than regular Apple Vacation packages to the same resort. Go figure.

Happy day,

SeaBass

Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
949 posts
38 reviews
189. Re: "The Club" at Chula Vista

yes, that's what i heard... all-inclusive per day fees... a co-worker got stuck with it and was not happy...

so far, bluegreen is not bad with it... i don't think they have any of those yet... but in today's internet market you can get really cheap vacations so the timeshares don't work as well, i think...

oh yeah, that hurts... only 10% for my original investment... you may call me.... well, you know what, if i agree to buy more... :)

Chicago
Level Contributor
1,861 posts
22 reviews
190. Re: "The Club" at Chula Vista

I know some people that belong with Bluegreeen and they are very happy with it....

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