Welcome to the GateHouse

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

PUBLISHED WEEKLY, EVERY SATURDAY

I'm watching you...Keeping an eye on the industry, The GateHouse is a timeshare blog powered by InsideTheGate.com, your best source for daily timeshare news and information.

Some Special Features from InsideTheGate.com you might want to check out this week:

  • CURRENT NEWS HEADLINES (stuff you might have missed last week)
  • SCOOP DU JOUR (published weekly, every Friday)
  • OFF TOPIC (Just for fun, from the goofy to the profound, published weekly, every Monday)
  • ON THE ROAD Timeshare Resort destinations and reviews, travel deals and more! (Published weekly, every Monday)

Open All Night. No shirt, no shoes, no problem!

Just leave your tips at the bar…


EMAIL: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

meerkats

Where in the hell are the UPs?


(Leave your own caption in the
Comments if you’re so inclined…)


It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse
Apparently the “average” nightly rate in 2014 for a standard hotel room for two (2) adults in Las Vegas, NV is about $128.00. That means a week’s vacation in the bustling 24/7/365 Sin City for two adults would run about $900.00 for an average-size, most likely ‘no-frills’ hotel room on the Strip.

Conversely, in Vegas there are many off-strip properties that are much less desirable and can be rented for a much lower average nightly rate; and for two adults in cities and countries all around the planet there is a plethora of other hotels where that average nightly rate for just two adults is two, three and more times higher than the Vegas $128 average nightly rate.

So what’s the Scoop? What does that have to do with timeshares? Find out at “Scoop du Jour: Apples to Apples”


BREAKING: New York’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, has gotten a court order that temporarily bars The Manhattan Club developers from selling timeshare interests. The order also requires that the club’s principals, Ian Bruce Eichner, Leslie H. Eichner, and Stuart P. Eichner, appear in court to ‘splain themselves; they have to testify about the club’s practices and produce documents to the Attorney General’s Real Estate Finance Bureau about allegedly fraudulent sales tactics. The order also bars the corporations through which the club and the developers act from draining bank accounts connected to the hotel during the investigation (aka, freezing their assets).

The Manhattan Club is further barred from foreclosing on timeshare purchasers, who the Attorney General alleges were lured into investing with false promises.

In April and May, the Attorney General sent undercover investigators to record the Manhattan Club’s “Vacation Ownership Experience” sales presentation, held at the club. Oh-oh.

As alleged in court papers filed by the Attorney General’s office, investigators found evidence indicating that the Manhattan Club’s sales tactics amounted to a bait-and-switch scheme. Prospective purchasers were baited by a relentless sales pitch that includes a number of misleading promises, including that ownership in the Manhattan Club is “better than money in the bank.” Prospective buyers were also allegedly told that the club does not rent rooms to the general public, that reservations are easy to make, and that few restrictions apply to reservations by owners.

So what the AG’s office is basically alleging is that The Manhattan Club has a bunch of heat merchants working for them, even perhaps that the whole scheme was a big fraud from the get-go.

The Manhattan Club member owners who have been shouting that to the world for the last several years as they attempt to sue the company must be feeling pretty vindicated right now.


Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: VAC) has reported its second quarter 2014 financial results, and the news is good. Here are some highlights:

  • Adjusted EBITDA totaled $57 million, an increase of $9 million, or 20 percent, year-over-year.
  • Company adjusted development margin was 24.2 percent and North America adjusted development margin was 26.3 percent, an increase of 710 and 680 basis points, respectively, year-over-year.
  • North America volume per guest (VPG) increased 5.3 percent year-over-year to $3,383.
  • Adjusted fully diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $0.87 compared to $0.73 in the second quarter of 2013.
  • The company disposed of a parcel of undeveloped land on Singer Island, Florida for gross cash proceeds of $11 million.

Want a little bit more?

  • Total company contract sales were $164 million, a $7 million increase from $157 million in the second quarter of 2013, driven by $4 million of higher contract sales in the company’s North America segment and $4 million of higher contract sales in the company’s Europe segment, offset by$1 million of lower contract sales in the company’s Asia Pacific segment.
  • VPG increased 5.3 percent to $3,383 in the second quarter of 2014 from $3,211 in the second quarter of 2013, driven mainly by higher pricing. North America vacation ownership contract sales were $146 million in the second quarter of 2014, an increase of $5 million over the prior year period.
  • As of June 20, 2014, the company had $197 million in available capacity under its revolving credit facility after taking into account outstanding letters of credit and had approximately $170 million of gross vacation ownership notes receivable eligible for securitization.

Oh yeah, there’s a lot more to take in, and you can read the whole press release here.


Diamond Resorts International, Inc. (NYSE:DRII) will release its second quarter 2014 earnings results after the market closes on Wednesday, July 30, 2014. Management will hold a conference call to discuss the quarter’s results at 5:00 p.m. ET that day.

Participating on the call will be Diamond’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Palmer, and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Alan Bentley.

To access the call please dial (866) 562-5561 from the United States, or (706) 679-1894 from outside the U.S. The conference call I.D. number is 74632227. Participants should dial in 5 to 10 minutes before the scheduled time and must be on a touch-tone telephone to ask questions.

This call will also be available as a live webcast which can be accessed at Diamond’s Investor Relations web site at http://investors.diamondresorts.com.

Mark your calendar.


TWEET OF THE WEEK:

Where are YOU going this year?


 

Bruce Springsteen used as his inspiration for this song John Steinbeck’s classic 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath as well as “The Ballad of Tom Joad” by Woody Guthrie, which in turn was inspired by John Ford’s film adaptation of Steinbeck’s novel.

Originally “The Ghost of Tom Joad” was a quiet folk song, and Springsteen has performed it in many venues over the years. In 2013 he ramped it up a bit and re-recorded it with Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) for his eighteenth studio album, High Hopes (2014).

Here is that powerful version performed live: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, featuring Tom Morello, performing The Ghost of Tom Joad. (Morello’s guitar solo at the end will blow your mind.)




The Weekly Juke Box aims to feature good music/good fun regardless of era or genre. Send in your own favorite and if I can find a good version on YouTube I’ll post it for you! What would you like to see or hear?

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

BOSTON: In June the Wisconsin Department of Justice fined the notorious vacation club scammer William “Bill” Bailey, Christy Spensberger and their travel club business, Travel Services, Inc., a whopping $4.8 million for their deceptive business practices between 2006 and 2009.

Now it’s Massachusetts’ turn, but on a much smaller scale. Travel Services, Inc. and its principals have agreed to a $50,000 judgment that permanently prohibits them from selling and marketing vacation club memberships in Massachusetts, settling claims that they sold over-priced memberships by using high-pressure sales tactics and misrepresenting the value and benefit of memberships to consumers.

The consent judgment settles allegations that Travel Services – formerly known as Funseekers Vacations, Inc. and operating in Massachusetts as “Outrigger Vacation Club” – along with President Christy Spensberger and Vice President William Bailey, used bait and switch marketing tactics to trick consumers into paying thousands of dollars for vacation club memberships worth a fraction of that price.

You know, standard operating procedure…


“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

CAMDEN: Sentencing has finally begun for those former VO Group employees who pled guilty to various charges in order to (hopefully) receive reduced sentences. Most, if not all, of them agreed to tell the Feds everything they knew and several of them were called to testify against company owners Adam and Ashley Lacerda and/or Ian Resnick and Genevieve Manzoni at their trial in September last year.

Eric Reilly, who pled guilty in January 2013 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, was sentenced last week to three years in prison plus three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $3,040,767.54 in restitution. (Sentencing was originally scheduled for May 17, 2013, so it’s been a long, stressful wait for the 34-year-old Mr. Reilly.)

The mail and wire fraud conspiracy charge to which Reilly pled guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, so the 3-year sentence may not seem too bad to him relatively speaking.

Perhaps more importantly, the length of this sentence could indicate that when the 4 who actually went to trial and were convicted on multiple counts are finally sentenced, the judge will not be lenient. Keep in mind that Adam Lacerda was convicted on Sept. 5, 2013 on 13 counts of mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. His wife Ashley was convicted on 6 counts of conspiracy and mail and wire fraud. Even if they were sentenced to a mere 3 years for each count, that would amount to a significant stretch of years if served consecutively. Others have suggested a possible sentence of 20 years for each offense but served concurrently. IMO there are too many possible options to make predictions, and probably none of those options are looking very good to them or their families.

Right now the issue being litigated is the question of forfeiture of assets, which I understand plays to the length of the sentence among other things. The more the government can claim the bad guys stole, the more time they can potentially get in the slammer. The government is asking for the forfeiture of nearly $12 million (originally they claimed a mere $3 million). The hearing on those motions is now scheduled for August 30, 2014.

Convicted on the same day was Ian Resnick, a close associate and loyal friend of the Lacerdas, who was found guilty on 7 counts of conspiracy and mail and wire fraud. Resnick previously did time for bank robbery.

The fourth guilty verdict was for Genevieve Manzoni, who was convicted on 2 counts of conspiracy and mail fraud and found not guilty on one count of wire fraud.

Resnick and Manzoni have both requested a new trial. Their motions are currently scheduled to be heard on July 28, 2014.

Of the four, only Manzoni has remained out on bail; bond for the other three was revoked prior to their convictions due to the judge’s assessment that they were flight risks and amid allegations of witness tampering.

So it’s one sentence down in the VO Group timeshare fraud case and many more to go. Watch this space for updates.



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse >> Eastern USA Timeshare News

WILKES-BARRE: It’s been a while since I had anything new to report on the Sundance Vacations vs Albert Whitehead front.

Don’t groan and roll your eyes (yeah, I saw that!), this is a serious issue and what I’m reporting on today ought to make you sit up and take notice.

Have you ever heard of “debtors prison”? That’s where people are imprisoned for being too poor to pay a debt — essentially people who don’t have any money are sent to jail for not having any money until such time as they get enough money to pay the money they owe. The absurdity and immorality of this is apparent to you, right?

That’s what the attorneys for Sundance Vacations are proposing as a course of action for the court’s consideration in a recently filed motion before the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas. More precisely, the proposed order attached to “Plaintiff’s Motion For A Finding Of Contempt” says this:

And now this ______ day of July 2014, upon consideration of Plaintiff Sundance Vacations, Inc.’s Motion for a Finding of Contempt, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

(a) Mr. Whitehead is compelled to pay a daily fine in the amount of $200.00 for each day after July 18, 2014 that the $12,991.50 sanction remains unpaid or, in the alternative, shall be confined in the Luzerne County Jail until he pays the $12,991.50 sanction…

PonderHow is it reasonable to ask that any individual “pay a fine in the amount of $200.00 for each day…” against an individual who cannot afford the initial sanction in the first place?

Let’s run through this briefly. We’ve got an elderly man being treated for liver cancer and hepatitis C who has submitted documents under oath confirming his only source of income is a modest Social Security stipend. According to those documents (which include his Income Tax forms) he has only that amount of money to pay for everything. No additional income exists. His penury is such that he cannot even afford an attorney to help him; he has been fighting Sundance for 2 years pretty much on his own, which doesn’t seem like a fair fight to me.

So Sundance is essentially saying that a sick elderly man who requires a considerable number of expensive medications to keep him alive and who cannot afford to pay the sanction ordered by the court should be imprisoned until such time as he CAN afford to pay the sanction, regardless of whether or not that sick man can receive the care he needs in the interim. You see, Dowd maintains that it isn’t a case of “can’t pay”, it’s a case of “won’t pay”.

It’s potentially tantamount to a death penalty for someone as elderly and sick as Albert Whitehead.

How did we arrive at a state of affairs like this in America?

It’s notable that the Court has scheduled the “Show Cause” hearing on Sundance’s motion for October 6, 2014, a date unusually far in the future. I wonder why? Full docket? Summer vacation time for judges?

And why is all this so important? Because although the case is nominally about someone who breached a settlement agreement, its actual import is an assault on the First Amendment freedom of speech as Sundance struggles to have a Facebook page critical of the company removed from the Internet. Somewhat ironically, that is a matter over which Whitehead has no control whatsoever, yet Sundance continues to merge the two issues in its lawsuit as though Whitehead were in fact responsible for the page. Facebook itself, responding to Sundance’s attempt to force FB to remove the page, had this to say in an official pleading:

Sundance now asks this Court to order Facebook to delete the Boycott Page in its entirety, including an unknown number of statements (none of which are alleged to be unlawful) by an unknown number of third parties (none of whom are before this Court). In short, Sundance has turned its claim against Whitehead into a vehicle for silencing legitimate online criticism by others. This Court should reject Sundance’s thinly disguised attempt to stifle lawful speech…

Meanwhile the Boycott Sundance Vacations page on Facebook, which is at the center of all this controversy, has been quietly rolling along. The number of “Likes”, as of this writing, has risen to 2,102 2,110 and counting.


Email the Gatekeeper (or leave a comment below).



“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse>> EASTERN USA TIMESHARE NEWS:

HILTON HEAD ISLAND: A couple of weeks ago I reported on a court transcript published by The Island Packet when it was finally released to the public, a transcript relating to a lawsuit filed by timeshare owners against Coral Resorts.

As it turns out, that transcript wasn’t so much “released” to the public as it was provided anonymously to The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette, both of which newspapers then “released” it to the public on their own initiative.

As you can guess, Coral Resorts didn’t take kindly to that action and they promptly registered their dismay by appealing to S.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge John C. Few to make the newspapers cease and desist. Coral REALLY didn’t want anyone reading that transcript, which had been previously sealed by two courts AND a state regulatory official.

According to The Island Packet:

The newspapers are seeking to intervene in the appeal of a judge’s decision to seal the transcript and other documents related to Coral Resorts. The newspapers want to get involved in the case to challenge 14th Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen’s sealing of the once-public information. The Court of Appeals has not decided whether to let the newspapers intervene.

Well, Judge Few sided with the newspapers on that issue, denying Coral Resorts’ request and allowing the transcript to remain in the public domain. After all, the hearing was public so why shouldn’t the transcript be public as well? And what’s in that transcript that Coral Resorts sooooo doesn’t want made public?

You’re going to have to read the document for yourself, so grab a beverage and a snack and settle down for a good read. See if you can figure it out… ;)

PS: You might also want to read this: Hilton Head mayor was paid to testify for Coral Resorts Just saying’…


“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse >> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS

GUANACASTE: ***For those of you who feel you have been scammed and lost money you need to make the effort to contact your local FBI office and report your losses. Once the total losses exceed $100,000 from all combined across the US the FBI will proceed. As individuals unless your loss is $100,000 nothing will be done, but as an organized group you can pool your losses and reach the investigation criteria.

Take whatever evidence you may have, make your case and make sure you explain that others across the country are doing this to reach the $100,000 mark. Ask them to make sure your report gets forwarded to the Richmond, Virginia office to the attention of Special Agent Michael R. Schuler.***


Complaints about the goings on at Coco Bay keep coming in, and as long as they do I’ll keep reporting on them. That’s just how it works, boys and girls. One example:

We were involved with George Triggs and Tod Dean [Todd Dehn] and bunch of the other people 2 years ago at Puerto Bahia, we also got lied to and ripped off, we went there this week and they call it the Residence Club, all different people, we tried to get out money back and couldn’t. I would love to see these guys prosecuted and us get some money back…

They seem to be primarily selling their vacation club nowadays, but not Luxury Leisure Alliance. They’re selling the old one, the original parent travel club, Las Palmas Travel Network. There’s a ton of information and complaints available online about that (and the gang’s other endeavors), and it continues to accrue. Don’t believe me?

Here’s the thing about vacation/travel clubs. I can count on one hand, with fingers left over, the number of travel clubs I personally would deem at least semi-honest. This description of a standard travel club operation, written by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, puts it pretty succinctly:

…consumers entered into the membership contracts based upon false promises that they would receive better-than-Internet wholesale prices on vacation packages, cruises, accommodations and other travel services. Instead, consumers allegedly left sales presentation venues having spent thousands of dollars on vacation club memberships that were essentially worthless when compared with travel arrangements they could make online, or by calling airlines, hotels and resorts directly.

Of course in this particular case it’s a “luxury” vacation club, with a few twists. They throw around phrases like “residence club” and “fractional ownership” and imply (if not outright declare) vacation opportunities at the various “luxury” developments in the area. You’ve heard it: “Buy x number of weeks in our luxury vacation club and stay in the residence club at Vista Ocotal/Coco Bay Estates/La Palma/Bahia Turquesa”, as well as other luxury destinations. But the actual contract belies those promises; you pays your money and you takes your chances, as the saying goes, because they guarantee nothing.

I’ve heard from people who came away from a presentation believing they had purchased as many as 52 weeks of right to use (or in some cases actual fractional ownership) at Coco Bay Estates only to discover once they got home, sobered up and looked at their contracts that they hadn’t purchased anything of the sort.

Want to know why I’m “picking” on these guys? Here are just a few examples of why, added to the dozens of pleas for help I’ve personally received from their victims.

Buyer Beware: Timeshare Scams in Guanacaste

http://news.co.cr/buyer-beware-timeshare-scams-in-guanacaste/31935/

Ripoff Report

http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Las-Palmas-Travel-Network-LPTN/Not-known-Select-StateProvince/Las-Palmas-Travel-Network-LPTN-Coco-Beach-Vacation-Club-Bahia-Turquesas-New-scam-that-1076771

And

http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Las-Palmas-Travel-Network/internet/Las-Palmas-Travel-Network-Brent-Welch-Sales-Person-Ripped-off-by-buying-into-discounted-1080635

And

http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Coco-Bay-Estates/nationwide/Coco-Bay-Estates-The-Residence-Club-at-Coco-Bay-Estates-Vista-Ocotal-Residence-Club-Coc-1142460

Pissed Consumer

http://las-palmas-travel-network.pissedconsumer.com/bought-my-timeshare-then-ripped-me-off-20130831444183.html

Redweek.com
http://www.redweek.com/forums/messages?thread_id=15969;page=1;query= (this thread starts in 2009 and continues for many pages to current times)

Complaints Board

http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/coco-bay-estates-amerashare-annuity-the-residence-at-coco-bay-estates-coco-sunset-vacation-club-scam-timeshare-c710007.html

TripAdvisor

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g309243-i4490-k7408982-Coco_Bay_Estates_Residence_Club_at_Coco_Bay_Costa_Rica-Playas_del_Coco_Province_of_Guanacas.html

The Howler

http://issuu.com/howler/docs/howler1312dec_d5830f039359c4/26

Need I go on?

The evidence is clear that at the very least the people working those various deals around Coco Bay are either big time “heat merchants” (professional liars) or at the other end of the spectrum outright scam artists. Choose your poison.

And since most of them have come from participating in other verified scam operations, I see little reason to assume they’re suddenly going to find Jesus, change their ways and sell a legitimate product cleanly. Am I being too harsh?

Well, that’s it for this week’s report on the Costa Rica Experience. But watch this space for more on the continuing adventures of Charlatans in Paradise!


“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse >> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS

TAHITI: It’s great news for Hawaii-based design firm Group 70 International, Inc.. The company, which beat out 77 other contenders for the contract, has been selected as the architect, interior designer and civil engineer on record for the 130-acre Tahiti Mahana Beach Resort and Spa project on Tahiti’s west side.

Led by the French Polynesian government, the nearly $3 billion project will be the largest resort in French Polynesia and is intended to reignite tourism in Tahiti and stimulate its economy. G70 will be responsible for developing a comprehensive waterfront plan for the project that includes five international class hotels, a timeshare, condominiums, a marina, an aquatic park, a casino, a convention center, theaters and luxury retail shops.

G70 will form Group 70 Tahiti, a French Polynesian corporation based in Tahiti to service this project. The G70 architecture team is led by Chairman Francis Oda, FAIA, interior design by Vice Chair Sheryl Seaman, AIA, and civil engineering by Associate David Brotchie, P.E. Additionally, G70 will work with Hawaii-based Walters, Kimura, Motoda, Inc. on the landscape architecture.

The firm anticipates breaking ground on the project in six to nine months with a target completion in 2021.

It’s all good, but of course we’re most interested in the timeshare portion, right? During what phase of construction will it be built and who do you think will brand, market, sell and operate it? For a project like this, it can’t be just anyone. My early money is on Wyndham Vacation Resorts, perhaps with management duties being covered by Outrigger Hotels and Resorts. How about you?


“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse >> INTERNATIONAL TIMESHARE NEWS

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO SEE ALL OF THE POSTS IN THIS BLOG ABOUT MEXICO’S TIMESHARE RESALE/ESCROW/BANK WIRE SCAMS!

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO SEE IN DETAIL HOW THE TELEMARKETING BOILER ROOMS IN THE PUERTO VALLARTA AREA OPERATE PLUS THE REAL NAMES OF SOME OF THE SCAMMERS!


CANCUN: It may be encouraging for you to know that PROFECO is at long last issuing warnings of timeshare scams in Mexico. They aren’t the specific scams we’ve been talking about based in the Puerto Vallarta area, but hey! It’s probably some of the same people anyway.

The Federal Consumer Office (PROFECO) has identified seven Mexican corporations/companies operating in the state of Quintana Roo (where Cancun is) that have been selling people false timesharing properties, collecting up to 35,000 pesos as down payment for timesharing properties throughout Mexico.

Apparently based in Mexico City, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Merida and other major Mexican cities, these outfits operate by renting conference rooms, restaurants and convention centers at five star hotels in Quintana Roo, where they hold their events over the course of a weekend, collect down payments, and then disappear. The seven scam companies are:

  • Inverflow S.A. de CV
  • Word Travel Service S.A. de CV
  • Travel World Travel Service Inc. de C.V.
  • World Exclusive, Inc. de C.V.
  • Destination and Operator Services International, SA de C.V.
  • Distributor SA Travel Collection de C.V.; and
  • Global Services SA Tourism de C.V.

So those of you who’ve been scammed by the escrow/bank wire fraud and/or the “recovery” scam, go ahead and file a “denuncia” with PROFECO. You can start the process with an email to extranjeros@profeco.gob.mx or call (+52 55) 5211 1723. It’s a step in the right direction and something might eventually come of it…

Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission has this good information about classic recovery/refund scams for all y’all:

Refund and Recovery Scams
Scam artists buy and sell “sucker lists” with the names of people who already have lost money to fraudulent promotions. These crooks may call you promising to recover the money you lost or the prize or merchandise you never received — for a fee in advance. That’s against the law. Under the Telemarketing Sales Rule, they cannot ask for — or accept — payment until seven business days after they deliver the money or other item they recovered to you.

How the Scams Work
Many consumers might not know that they have been scammed by a bogus prize promotion, phony charity drive, fraudulent business opportunity or other scam. But if you have unknowingly paid money to such a scam, chances are your name is on a “sucker list.” That list may include your address, phone numbers, and other information, like how much money you’ve spent responding to phony offers. Dishonest promoters buy and sell “sucker lists” on the theory that people who have been deceived once have a high likelihood of being scammed again. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0102-refund-and-recovery-scams

When someone calls you out of the blue saying there is some kind of “fund” available to compensate you for that timeshare you wish you didn’t own, keep the above information in mind and just say no. You don’t want to end up on a timeshare scammer’s sucker list!


“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

This week’s timeshare sales tip:

Price

REMEMBER: You hear it all the time when a sales rep/closer states a prospect didn’t buy because they are broke, can’t afford or whatever. But considering most resorts have a modestly priced ‘package’ (all the way down to an ‘exit’ program) that the majority of sales guests can use and afford then there is something else going on besides ‘price’ (aka: affordability).

When a prospect stands their ground and keeps telling the rep they ‘can’t afford it’ that is often a kind way of simply saying (e.g.) I/We (the prospect) don’t like you, I/We didn’t like your presentation, I/We don’t believe you, your product/services, etc.

One of the main causes for this hidden objection is the failure of the rep to develop a basic relationship with their sales guest, which in turn establishes a foundation of trust. If a prospect doesn’t like and/or trust their rep guess what the outcome is 80-90% of the time?

It’s the old ‘No Sale Today Amigo’, end of story!

Of course it’s true that there are those sales guests who are ‘financially challenged’, who don’t have another penny to be squeezed out of their budgets. But the savvy TS Pro who has developed that basic relationship and trust with every prospect will not hear the price objection (aka: (‘I/We ‘can’t afford) very often and instead will laugh all the way to the bank!



Join us for a pithy morning meeting timeshare sales tip of the week, originally published in InsideTheGate.com, to help you to greater success in selling timeshare. Brief and to the point, these sales training tips are designed to get you thinking, to expand your knowledge, to help you to become all that you can be in the timeshare sales arena.

Whether you’re an industry veteran or a green pea, it never hurts to brush up on your skills!

Copyright InsideTheGate.com All rights reserved

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouseQUOTABLE QUOTES: “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” -Peter Drucker


I’m a big fan of the Central California Coast and visit as often as I can. I love all the coastal towns, from San Luis Obispo to Santa Cruz to Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara — all the way north to Monterey and Carmel. The drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, Hwy 101, is breathtakingly beautiful.

Avila Beach is one of my favorite towns along the coast and I recently ran across this nice video showing the area off so I thought I’d share it with you.

Diamond Resorts has a nice little resort there. Visit some time; maybe we’ll cross paths… ;)


“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share (ANONYMOUSLY)? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com

It's Happy Hour at The GateHouse

Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club, located on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic on Cofresi Beach, is expanding into Mexico with the new Sea Adventure by Lifestyle Resort.

The resort is located on 1,300 feet of white sandy beaches on the North side of Cancun at the tip of Puerto Juarez, the gateway to Isla Mujeres. On-site sales, member reservations and stays are already underway this month at Lifestyle’s newest vacation club destination.

Members and guests will enjoy a full-service kids club for ages 4 to 10, a water park with water slides, waterfalls and other fun rides, three restaurants, four bars, fitness center, a large ocean-front swimming pool with three inset Jacuzzis, shaded palapas and sun bed, a 13-hole mini-golf course, and a ballroom-theater for dinner shows. The on-site activities team arranges a wide variety of activities for the entire family, such as beach volleyball, soccer, water polo and ping-pong. Paddleboats and kayaks are also available.

The distinct developments and vacation experiences of Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club in the Dominican Republic include: The Tropical, The Crown Suites, The Crown Villas, The Royal Suites, The Royal Villas, The Residence Suites, The Presidential Suites – Puerto Plata, The Presidential Suites – Punta Cana, Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort, as well as the new Costa Esmeralda by Lifestyle, and Villa Park Villas & Suites under construction and scheduled to open by fourth quarter 2014.


cheerleaderLifestyle Holidays Vacation Club: getting BIGGER!


Do you have tips or rumors you’d like to share? Something you’d like us to investigate or follow up on? Help fill up the Tips Jar so we can share it with the whole Timeshare World! CONTACT: gatekeeper@insidethegate.com</a>

on vacation
The problem with this damn timeshare I bought is the excessive daily all inclusive charge I have to pay to eat and drink every time I visit my home resort.

Geez, ya’d think that after my initial down payment and paying the balance each month the past 5 years at such high interest rates and my annual maintenance fees that keep going up each year they’d give me a break on the all inclusive package.

Maybe I’ll sell this thing once I get back home…

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…


(Leave your own caption in the
Comments if you’re so inclined…)