San Antonio Judge Rules Against Wyndham
Written by: Traver
Wyndham Vacation Resorts is perhaps the most well known and largest company in the timeshare industry, with over 80,000 vacation properties available around the world, with a company of this scale anytime they must appear in court or make the news it is a big story to both timeshare owners and people across the industry. Earlier this week the timeshare giant appeared in court in an effort to get documents obtained by a former employee sealed and not allow them to become public record, since the company is so large and has an entire legal team dedicated to handling issues such as this one it came as a surprise to many people when the judge ruled against Wyndham Vacation Resorts.
The court battle takes place in the San Antonio area and involves a former employee of Wyndham’s, James F. Faucett. A little background on Faucett shows he was employed at a Wyndham San Antonio timeshare resort as a salesman until 2008 when he was dismissed by the company for unknown reasons. It seems that Faucett must have felt sorry or guilty for the sales practices he was using at the resort and started an organization named Advocates Against Timeshare Fraud where he helped owners get out of timeshare contracts they had signed under false pretenses with the timeshare resort. Faucett collected many documents from the resorts’ trash bin which helped him to cancel many new timeshare owner contracts, among the documents collected was a manual for sales people to use at Wyndham Resorts, as you can imagine this did not sit well with Wyndham and they filed a lawsuit against Faucett. According to an article found on “MySanAntonio.com” the lawsuit also requested that all documents collected in this manor be sealed and not become available to the public because as Wyndham stated releasing the manual would “alert competitors to its practices and could give them an unfair advantage”. The judge did not agree with Wyndham and has allowed the information to become public. Faucett has released the sales manual along with other documents on his website http://mywyndhamlawsuit.com/. Faucett also stated under testimony that his supervisors had encouraged him to tell timeshare owners things that were not true in order to sell them on the idea of upgrading their timeshare. During testimony Faucett stated the company “used a ‘take away’ sales method in which customers were told they were not enjoying certain benefits, and that they could make up to $1,200 a night renting out their timeshares and would get a ‘personal representative’ to assist them.” However these claims were not true and simply used as a tactic to persuade existing owners to upgrade their ownership. While the sales manual recovered by Faucett explicitly states not to engage in sales activities like this he said the printed material in the manual and what sales managers actually told sales personnel to do was completely different.
We find this case very interesting as one of the main complaints from people visiting timeshare resorts in the aggressive sales methods used by the sales people. This case could force officials to investigate the issue and may lead to some major changes in the way timeshare sales practices are handled during a timeshare presentation.
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