Bluegreen Vacations Rental Report 1
Angela, a Florida resident, and a Bluegreen Vacations owner, is the 29th family to report being sold points to rent out to cover the cost of the timeshare. Bluegreen is the 9th developer with owners reporting how they were sold points to rent, following Westgate Resorts, Vacation Village, Exploria, Branson’s Nantucket, Tahiti Village (Soleil Management), Diamond Resorts, and Wyndham (the 10th resort). Two additional resorts resolved disputes with owners complaining about being sold points to rent.
Renting to cover maintenance fees and loan payments is unfeasible for the average timeshare member, and as one resale broker informed us in a prior article; it is illegal in Florida to sell a timeshare as a rental opportunity. On September 23rd we reported on a lawsuit Wyndham filed against one of their former agents caught renting as a side business, while employed.
In an effort to crack down on renting, about a year ago, Bluegreen began suspending accounts of owners “suspected” of renting for commercial activity. Suspicion is based only on reservations made in the name of others. Accounts are suspended without warning.
Angela had lost 7,000 points and was about to lose an additional 10,000 points due to unexpected medical issues. Angela says she only booked a stay for friends and family, yet Bluegreen suspended her account suspecting her of commercial activity. She is adamant she was not engaged in commercial activity.
What is Commercial Activity?
Bluegreen does not clearly define what constitutes commercial activity. Some Bluegreen members reported that when encouraged to buy points to rent, they questioned the clause they noticed in the contract that prohibits commercial activity. They said that their sales agent told them, “That only applies to mega-renters.”
The Survey Set Up
Bluegreen owners have reported that they are provided with a survey at check-in. “Maintenance assistance” is a survey selection and the perfect lead-in for agents to zero in to up-sell to rent. One member reported that after checking Maintenance Assistance, the agent explained, “This is a sign that you don’t have enough points” and proceeded to sell them additional points to rent.
We have reproduced the survey as the one provided contained handwritten notes.
Your Bluegreen Ownership is very important to us. We are dedicated to providing you with the best vacation experience possible. To help ensure that your ownership is everything you deserve, we have created a new customized ownership review. This is designed to make sure that you receive the information that is imperative to you and your family. We hope to help you learn more about your ownership and enjoy your stay with us!
I would like to learn more about or have questions regarding:
|Instant Access||New Bluegreen Online|
|Levels of Premier||Online Waitlist|
|Maintenance Assistance||Travellers Plus|
|New Building of Long Creek||Uncle Bucks|
|RCI||Choice Privilege Benefits|
|Bluegreen Rewards||Points Expiration Program|
Please bring this card along with your IDs to your ownership review.
Your vacations specialist will cover the topics selected.’
We reached out to Bluegreen for comment. It’s no surprise there was no response if they won’t discuss the situation with their customer.
Angela’s Bluegreen Account Suspension
We have been Bluegreen owners since 2016. I first bought 13,000 points from another individual. At our age, the price of buying directly from Bluegreen could not be justified. We acquired a second deed for 7,000 points from a friend in December of 2020.
My Bluegreen account is permanently suspended. I rented points to friends and family because they were going to expire. I was not able to travel much in 2021 because my husband had a stroke. His short-term memory is impaired and he falls frequently. My son is impaired and my mom, who lives on our property, has dementia. We were going to lose about 10,000 points. I booked short stays for friends. In no way should my reservations be considered commercial activity. There was only one three-day rental booked for someone I did not know. A friend helped me set up an ad and listed it on her Facebook page.
I received correspondence from Bluegreen on July 11, 2022, notifying me of suspected commercial activity, stating that we had breached the contract based on “the rental and/or commercial use of Bluegreen Vacation Club ownership.” They also sent an affidavit I was asked to sign regarding commercial use. Bluegreen acknowledged they received our notarized affidavit on July 21, 2022, but my account is still suspended.
I emailed a letter on August 17, 2022, to Bluegreen representatives Kathy Foster, Dusty Tonkin, and Chief and Legal Compliance Officer Jorge De La Osa. I explained that I was not engaged in commercial activity. The email was acknowledged on August 23, 2022. I tried to call. They said they were not taking my calls.
We just want some quality vacation time. My husband is 67 and his medical condition is not improving. How we have been treated by Bluegreen is nothing short of cruel.
A Westgate Public Records Request
As previously reported, a group of Westgate owners, angry about being sold on the benefits of renting, filed a Public Records Request with the Florida Attorney General. Nearly half mentioned renting. There were 551 complaints filed over a three-year period. Statistics included:
29 veterans and 3 active duty military
251 mention “rent”
88 mention “profit’ and 111 mentions “investment”
Total dollar amount: $4,162,062 (many left the amount blank)
A postscript from Angela:
I attended a Bluegreen update last week in Florida. They said my account was restricted because I bought “after-market” points meaning I was not entitled to Charter benefits. They said I could not use new resorts because I did not buy from Bluegreen. They said my maintenance fees were $.08 per point ($1,800) but they would be $.04 per point if I bought directly from Bluegreen because Charter members pay $.04. The sales agent said he was a traveling agent who only explains how to use points. He said he does not sell anything.
FACT CHECK by a Bluegreen expert: Everyone pays the same amount in maintenance fees. As this member is older, the benefit of paying for Charter benefits is outweighed by the cost.
Other Articles about Renting
Are my Consumer Rights being eroded? Westgate Benn Dover February 25, 2022
Nine Westgate Families (2 – 10) March 4, 2022
Westgate by Abdur Rashid (11) April 22, 2022
Jackie’s Vacays Westgate (12) June 10, 2022
Club Exploria (1) March 11, 2022
Vacation Village (2) March 18, 2022
Branson’s Nantucket (3) May 13, 2022
Tahiti Village Soleil Management, Active Duty Navy, 14 years served
Diamond Resorts, a Decorated Army Veteran
Westgate, Active Duty Air National Guard, 8 ½ years served
Westgate, a Veteran, 100% Disabled, works at the Pentagon, 24 years served
Being sold your timeshare with the promise of being able to rent it out is not new, it has been going on for years, Silverpoint in Tenerife sold packs of weeks with the same promise as well as being able to sell for a profit. As we have seen all those sales ended up in court and were deemed illegal, it was a con, pure and simple. Any sales agent using this technique is going to be lying through his teeth, yet the developers allow them to use it, with the knowledge they can always claim, “We are not responsible for what the sales agent says”.
Over the years we have seen timeshare change and not for the better, it has been “bastardised” into something the early pioneers of the industry would not recognise. It has become nothing more than a tool to make sales agents and developers rich at the expense of the consumer, using lies and in our opinion criminal behaviour to achieve this.
It is time for a change, and only you the consumer can do this, the industry is not going to change without being forced to, and that my friends, is not purchasing at the beginning, not falling for the never-ending upgrades and most importantly by handing it back so they receive no more of your maintenance fees. Hit them where it hurts, in the pocket!
That’s all for this week, please leave any comments on the relevant article, if you have any questions or require any further information please use our contact page.
Poor Baby Dog is sad, no Tio to make a fuss over him for a week.