Wyndham Vacation Ownership is the tenth timeshare developer with complaints about timeshare rental scams. In a different twist from prior articles, Wyndham themselves reported this scam by way of a lawsuit they filed on September 9 this month against their former sales agent, Robert Kasprzyk, and his wife Paula Kasprzyk, accusing Robert Kasprzyk of breaching his Wyndham employment contract by doing rental and resale deals as a side business, while employed, and for a prohibited time period post-employment.
Ironically, Robert Kasprzyk filed a lawsuit against Diamond Resorts on November 18, 2021, alleging Diamond Resorts instructed him to sell additional points to Diamond members using deceptive practices – including telling members they should buy additional points to rent. As a result of being forced to be deceptive, Kasprzyk reported suffering the following maladies:
- As a further direct and legal result of the acts and conducts of DIAMOND Plaintiff has been caused to and did suffer severe emotional and mental distress, anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, fright, mental and physical pain, discomfort and anxiety, all to his damage in an amount according to proof at the time of trial. Plaintiff does not know at this time, the exact duration or permanence of said injuries.
Kasprzyk’s anxiety didn’t last long. In less than a year he was working for Wyndham – encouraging Wyndham owners to buy points to rent – from him! He also encouraged existing Wyndham members to upgrade by buying “deeded” points that he said he had acquired from Wyndham owners. Text messages from Kasprzyk, included in the lawsuit complaint, support Wyndham’s allegations.
November 19, 2021 text message to Owner 1:
- And the side deal I’m talking about. The bottom line is if you have 7500 in cash to put in. I can make you a 5K profit. Return you 12,500 within 45 days. On my side-rental business. If that’s appealing to you. Guaranteed return.
After Inside Timeshare has published reports from 28 families reporting that they were encouraged to buy additional points to rent to cover the cost of the timeshare, only to learn this doesn’t work, for a variety of reasons. It is our goal to collect a volume of complaints to document a pattern of rental scams hoping that a lawmaker, regulator, someone, somewhere, will act.
Timeshare problems warranted the Federal Trade Commission to list Timeshare Sales at #9 on their 2020 Top Ten Scams List. Timeshare Resale Scams were #10.
- Timeshare Sales, $17.4 million
- Timeshare Resales, $13 million
According to AARP:
Buying a time-share has long been viewed as a risky proposition, fraught with high-pressure sales tactics and ripe for potential rip-offs. It also pays to be wary when someone offers to help you sell your part-time vacation property.
Bluegreen Vacation owners have reported being presented with a survey of “likes and dislikes” with “maintenance assistance” listed under dislikes. One owner said that when they checked that box, the sales agent zeroed in on selling them more points to buy to rent. Now, Bluegreen is suspending accounts of owners “suspected” of renting! Bluegreen’s suspicion is based only on reservations made in the name of a party other than the name of the account holder. Covid left many timeshare members holding a bag of unused points, allowing others to use them. We let our Priest and another friend of ours use our excess timeshare points.
Wyndham, according to the lawsuit, allows their members to rent via third-party rental websites:
- Once they enter into a Timeshare Contract, Wyndham Owners have the option to purchase additional Wyndham benefits, including points, elevated membership status, and additional property interests, as well as the option to list unused vacation time for rental.
Volumes of lawsuits and arbitration cases have been filed by developers against exit companies and/or attorneys, developers and their defaulting members, members against developers, employees against their former employers, and employers against former timeshare employees. The best defence always reverts back to consumer education and awareness – especially awareness of the Oral Representation clause, buried in the fine print that warns – don’t believe anything a timeshare sales agent says. This is not fair to honest sellers, but it is near impossible to differentiate the good from the bad.
Excerpts from the Dueling Lawsuits
Diamond Resorts employed Robert Kasprzyk for all of one month, from approximately October 2019 through November 19, 2019. Diamond’s rules prohibit members from renting to anyone the member doesn’t know, or to use a third-party rental platform.
Robert Kasprzyk’s lawsuit filed against Diamond Resort (pending) Case Number: 30-2021-01232498-CU-WT-CJC filed November 18, 2021, in the Superior Court for the State of California in the County of Orange
ROBERT KASPRZYK, Plaintiff,
DIAMOND RESORTS INTERNATIONAL MARKETING, INC., Defendant
7. Defendants employed Plaintiff as a senior Diamond Dinner Agent/Manager whose job was to sell customers memberships and other “points” ancillary to the membership.
A script was provided to Plaintiff by DIAMOND which was to be followed by Plaintiff during the conversations he had with potential buyers of the DIAMOND product(s). The script instructed the sales associates to inform the customers that their account had been “flagged” and that they needed to bring over a manager to discuss. The script continued that, while this is not true, it will create confusion for the guest and then enable employees to sell them more points.
9. Plaintiff is informed and believes and based upon such information and belief alleges the script was intended to mislead the customers into purchasing more points for benefits they may already have; namely, the script required the sales team to advise the customer they needed to purchase more points to convert their ownership into a brand-new ownership in the new program. In addition, the script forced the sales associates to pitch customers to purchase more points as rental income to offset their maintenance fee bill at an extremely inflated price.
10. Plaintiff immediately informed DIAMOND he was uncomfortable with the blatant unethical, illegal, and misleading script. In fact, Plaintiff advised DIAMOND he was uncomfortable selling the product based upon the script as it was essentially lying to the customer, an act which would put his California real estate license in jeopardy.
11. DIAMOND informed Plaintiff “this is the way we do it” and “there needs to be a hook to be able to sell them.” DIAMOND instructed Plaintiff DIAMOND was not going to change the script, but that Plaintiff would be required to sell the points as specified within the script.
12. On November 19, 2021, DIAMOND retaliated against Plaintiff for expressing his concern(s) over the script and terminated his employment. Plaintiff alleges that DIAMOND was motivated to retaliate against Plaintiff, in part, for his protected actions in bringing the improper, immoral and illegal actions being undertaken by employees of DIAMOND at and under DIAMOND’S direct order to DIAMOND’S attention.
33. During all relevant times for this action, Plaintiff complained to DIAMOND regarding the script all employees were required to follow when attempting to sell DIAMOND products and services, but Plaintiff was ignored and subsequently terminated for bringing this information to the attention of DIAMOND.
The Wyndham Lawsuit filed against Robert and Paula Kasprzyk Case 6:22-cv-01609 Document 1 Filed 09/07/22
WYNDHAM VACATION OWNERSHIP, INC. a Delaware corporation; WYNDHAM VACATION RESORTS, INC., a Delaware corporation, Plaintiffs
ROBERT KASPRZYK, an individual and resident of the State of California; and PAULA KASPRZYK, an individual and resident of the State of California, Defendants.
43. In November 2020, Kasprzyk told one of the Wyndham Owners (“Owner 1”) that he could help to rent out the Wyndham points that Kasprzyk sold him, and solicited a business relationship with him related to Kasprzyk’s “side rental business.” (November 19, 2020 iMessage correspondence between Kasprzyk and Owner 1). That solicitation was in violation of Sections 4 and 10 of the Employment Agreement.
44. On December 19, 2020, Kasprzyk and Owner 1 entered into a written Loan Agreement under which Owner 1 agreed to provide Kasprzyk with $7,500 (the “Loan Agreement”) that was intended to secure rental inventory Kasprzyk claimed to have available to him through his “side rental business.”
45. The Loan Agreement, which memorialized a transaction agreed to via iMessages, promised a return on investment to Owner 1 of $5,000 to be repaid in full by January 15, 2021.
46.Owner 1 ultimately paid the monies for the benefit of the Defendants’ scheme directly to Mrs Kasprzyk at the direction of Kasprzyk:
47. After the initial payment, Kasprzyk continued to provide Owner 1 with alleged opportunities to make a return on investment, which induced Owner 1 to pay Kasprzyk more money.
48. Kasprzyk also claims he can exploit these Wyndham Owner’s Wyndham property interests for profit. In the process, he demands the Wyndham Owner pay him the monies meant for Wyndham benefits or “rental services” otherwise attainable through Wyndham – depriving Wyndham from such payments.
49. As part of the scheme, the Defendants sign “promissory notes” to give the defrauded Wyndham Owners a false sense of hope that either the benefits or a return of their money is forthcoming. However, in every known instance, the Defendants do not provide the Wyndham Owners with any benefit. The Defendants also largely failed to return the payments.
We reached out to Robert and Paula Kasprzyk’s attorney hoping to reach them for comment. There was no response.
Are my Consumer Rights being eroded? February 25, 2022
By former Westgate Resorts owner Benn Dover
New Florida legislation that went into effect in 2022 allows documents to be provided electronically. The timeshare consumer must request a hard copy. A frequent complaint is that a tablet is provided that often does not work. Attempting to order a hard copy and have time to review documents during the rescission period is unlikely.
Tahiti Village (Soleil Management) Active Duty Navy, Security Clearance
I bought the Tahiti Village timeshare in 2017 in California. The sales agent told us this was an investment because the Raiders stadium was being built right across the street. We were told we could rent the timeshare out so that it would pay for itself.
Westgate, a 100% Disabled Army Veteran with a Security Clearance and a fatal lung disease
Our Westgate agents promised us that if we did not want to continue with the property, we could request to get out of the timeshare loan with no penalty and Westgate would retain the property without further financial charges. Our agents also said we could offset the cost of the property by renting the timeshare out and that Westgate would assist us with the rental process.
Westgate, an Active Duty Air Force Service Member
In September of 2021, my family of three purchased a 4 BR Westgate Resorts unit at Westgate Lakes in Orlando. We were assured of the ability to rent to cover the cost of the timeshare, and to earn income.
Nine Westgate Families (2 – 10) March 4, 2022
Club Exploria (1) March 11, 2022
Sheri (Vacation Village) March 18, 2022
Ashley (Vacation Village 2)
Westgate by Abdur Rashid (11) April 22, 2022
Jackie’s Vacays Westgate (12) June 10, 2022
Branson’s Nantucket (3) May 13, 2022
Diamond Resorts (2) Reported by an Army Veteran
Our agent said we could deduct our maintenance fees because renting points can be run as a business. He mentioned this after noticing we hadn’t used our points. We rarely travel. He explained how people from all over the world could get their own Dream Vacation by renting points from us. He used this example: You live in California. People want to ski, so you book a trip, then post an ad and make money. We cancelled this contract, finally realizing Diamond points are not an income investment.
One thing which never surprises us at AIT when it comes to timeshare, you could never make this stuff up, even Hollywood scriptwriters would have a hard time making you believe it. If anyone does have an idea for a storyline, I think the best actor for the part of “Sales Agent” going by past performances, has to be Leonardo Di Caprio, (The Wolf of Wall Street).
All these testimonies which Irene and others have helped to prepare with the people concerned, really do show that there is a very serious problem with the Timeshare Industry. A problem which is out of control, it has become the modern-day “Wild West”, a problem which was most prevalent in Spain until the EU Timeshare Directives were strengthened and placed into domestic law. Sales in Spain were the first to suffer, as the news spread of the court cases and the heavy losses the timeshare developers were taking, new “victims” were becoming a rarity. Sales Agents were laid off, and OPCs (ticket touts) were disappearing from the streets, followed shortly by the closing of many sales decks, (the franchises were the first).
With the “EXTREMELY” bad reputation timeshare has developed in Europe, it may no longer be viable to start any new sales program, the industry is tarred as a scam, it is as simple as that. It is not just the initial “dodgy” sales, it is the continued “unnecessary” upgrades for no reason other than profit and then being open to all sorts of scams from the periphery, from resales to exits and claims. All using your original data from your very own timeshare.
That is all for this week, we hope you all have a very relaxing weekend, Baby Dog is hoping for a repeat visit to the Dunes with his favourite ball, not allowed at home for obvious reasons.