Wyndham’s Arbitration “Shell Game” Bedgood v Wyndham Oral Arguments

Oral Arguments in Bedgood v. Wyndham Vacation Resorts and Worldmark took place at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on April 20, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia. Wyndham’s contract states that an arbitrator will be assigned by the American Arbitration Association (AAA), but the AAA refuses to arbitrate Wyndham cases, stating that Wyndham did not abide by their rules and policies, and has not paid arbitration fees. Wyndham argued that the court should therefore appoint a special arbitrator.

Three lower courts, in three separate lawsuits filed in Florida, New Jersey and South Carolina, denied Wyndham’s motion to compel arbitration. One of the lower court judges called Wyndham’s actions a “Shell Game” and a “runaround” or stall tactic. In Reynolds v. Wyndham, Case #4:22-cv-00892-JD, filed in South Carolina, Reynold’s arbitration claim was submitted on December 7, 2018. They were not notified by the AAA until December 30, 2020, that their arbitration claim was not allowed to proceed.

We are reviewing a total of 11 lawsuits filed against Wyndham beginning in 2019. From one of the court filings: THE RICH GET RICHER

  1. While opining that Wyndham may be subject to over $60 million in litigation risk in 2020, Wyndham’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that it issued more than 75 stock grants to officers and directors during the period January 1, 2020 to June 17, 2020 for nearly 1.5 million shares, which at the June 17th stock price of $30.92 equals approximately $45 million of stock grants in less than six (6) months.

Bedgood et al v. Wyndham Vacation Resorts and Worldmark, Case Number: 6:21-cv-00418, filed March 3, 2021, in the Middle District of Florida at Orlando.




This case is about one identical arbitration clause in Wyndham and WorldMark contracts, and a single, common fraudulent omission by Wyndham and WorldMark.

The single alleged “fraudulent omission” concerns poor availability, but also mentioned in the lawsuit complaint are timeshare practices that are widely reported by members and owners throughout the industry, including:

  • The promised 90-minute presentation was three to six hours or more,
  • High-pressure sales employing a tag-team format,
  • Agents falsely promising to be the members personal representative, but never answers phone calls,
  • The demand to buy today,
  • Volumes of documents with little time to review before signing,
  • They told me what to say (or not say) during the closing session,
  • Problems, especially poor availability, can only be fixed by buying more points,
  • Little to no resale value.

Florida District Judge Paul G. Byron denied Wyndham’s motion to compel arbitration.

Wyndham appealed.

Wyndham’s arbitration clause

(b) Neutral Arbitrator/No Jury. Any Dispute will be submitted to a neutral arbitrator, for a final and binding determination, known as an award. The arbitrator is an independent decision maker, appointed by the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), who reviews and weighs evidence provided by both Parties and issues an award enforceable in court.

It will be a landmark ruling if the Appeals Court upholds the lower court’s rulings. Timeshare Developers go to great lengths to force pre-dispute arbitration, arguably biased towards the industry. Arbitration is private and binding.

Why has Wyndham not amended their contract to remove the requirement to have the AAA appoint an arbitrator?

We reached out to Wyndham to ask this question, or to let us know if the AAA has been removed from their contract. No response.

It is beneficial for timeshare members to learn what goes on behind closed courtroom doors.

Excerpts from Florida US District Judge Paul G. Byron’s Order, that led to Wyndham’s Appeal  

Defendants Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc., Worldmark, The Club, and Wyndham Resorts Development Corporation’s Motion to Compel Arbitration

Using allegedly coercive tactics, Defendants induced Plaintiffs to purchase timeshare points based on representations that “purchasers will have a dizzying array of choices and will be able to stay at their desired property wherever it might be.” (Id. ¶¶ 32–43).

However, when the Plaintiffs went to use their timeshare points to book the accommodations, the Plaintiffs discovered that there was little to no availability at their desired affiliated resorts, leaving the Plaintiffs with no way to utilize their purchased timeshare points. (Id. ¶¶ 45–49).

In the Motion to Compel, (Wyndham) Defendants argued that: (1) the AAA was unavailable because it would not arbitrate the Agreement; (2) however, the AAA was not integral to the Agreement; (3) thus, the Court must compel arbitration before a substitute arbitrator.

According to R-1 (d) of the Consumer Rules, should the AAA decline to administer an arbitration, either party may choose to submit its dispute to the appropriate court for resolution.

Finally, Defendants do not appear of one mind whether the AAA is an available forum. Defendants originally argue in the Motion to Compel that the Court should appoint a substitute arbitrator as the AAA is unavailable based on Plaintiffs’ allegation that the AAA declined to administer the arbitrations for CB, JB, and HB. (Doc. 11, pp. 7–16). However, confusingly, in their later reply, Defendants then switch positions, saying that the Court need not appoint a substitute arbitrator as the AAA is available regardless of whether Plaintiffs had attempted to arbitrate, making it unclear as to what remedy Defendants are even requesting.


For the reasons set forth herein, it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:

The Motion to Compel Arbitration is DENIED.

DONE AND ORDERED in Orlando, Florida on March 30, 2022


Snippets from the Bedgood v Wyndham Oral Arguments (There may be errors in my transcription)

In the event the audio cannot be found on Page 2, the link to all oral arguments: https://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/oral-argument-recordings 

The Bedgood oral arguments: https://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/oral-argument-recordings?page=2

  • 9:00 am
  • Wyndham’s attorney, David S. Sager: This is a somewhat unusual setting for arbitration in that both parties agreed to arbitration. The AAA rejected arbitration. The AAA never elaborated the reasons why it rejected arbitration.
  • Judge: It did say because your client is in violation of AAA Rules
  • Sager: Never elaborated reasons. We don’t know as we sit here today.
  • Judge: Other cases say failure to pay fees can be basis for rejecting arbitrating. How do we set aside the District Court’s Order without knowing your client’s alleged reasons?
  • Sager: There was no finding as to what the reason were.
  • Judge: You have not asked the Triple A (the reasons)? It strains commons sense … to think an entity like Wyndham doesn’t engage in communication with AAA to see if the alleged problem can be solved.   
  • Sager: There is no evidence it has anything to do with administrative matters like fees. There is a reference to the forum selection clause. AAA findings were incorrect. Reference to a limitation of  liability issue. No reference to fees.
  • Judge: How are fees any different? …. Your client refused to comply with policies. Under the rules you bargained for, and demanded, frankly.
  • Sager: If conflict, the parties’ contract controls.
  • Judge: Arbitration initially is a matter of contract. One rule, I think Rule 12, if refusal to arbitrate, if non-compliance, parties can submit dispute to the appropriate court. Why isn’t that the end of the case?
  • Sager: Section 5 AAA allows and provides for the appointment of a substitute arbitrator
  • Judge: Only if the arbitration forum is unavailable.
  • Sager: The AAA is unavailable.
  • Judge: By your unilateral action.
  • Sager: Absolutely not. We’ve taken no action.
  • Judge: AAA says you are out of compliance.
  • Sager: If policies were fees, we would be talking about one very long line of cases. I would have no quarrel. That is not the fact.
  • Judge: Why are fees special?
  • Sager: The courts have interpreted fees as a gatekeeper function.
  • Judge: I do not understand the bright line between fees and policies/rules.
  • Sager referenced “rouge polices” Limit of liability or forum, we will be in this circle going on and  on…
  • Sager referenced Casper case.
  • Judge: Unpublished opinion, binds no one.
  • 9:17 am
  • Sager: It is absolutely not for the AAA to rewrite law as we (the AAA) want it.
  • Judge: What if the District Court appoints a substitute arbitrator and the arbitrator refused to arbitrate because you violated Consumer Rules?
  • Sager: I would have a right to appeal
  • Me (Irene) to my computer: Shell game stall – gotcha!
  • Sager: AAA rules do not apply if they are inconsistent. Our agreement is subject to law, not up to the AAA administratively to disagree with the law.
  • Judge: What’s inconsistent with the finding that you violated policy and AAA won’t arbitrate?
  • Sager: The AAA is making judgment without finding.
  • Judge: You are sabotaging the process?
  • Sager: Why are we here? The AAA decided we would be here.
  • Judge: AAA said we are not going to do it because of policies violated.
  • Sager: AAA simply said we don’t like it.
  • Judge: You insist on Orange County venue. Does that exercise legal judgment?
  • Sager: The agreement said it will be held in Orange County unless parties agree to a different location.
  • Judge: You concede fees are a different animal. Arbitration rules say, each party will suggest an arbitrator, then the body will choose. The business refuses to suggest. You are not playing by the rules. Is that fees or not?
  • Sager: Arbitrator could say you are not participating. More like fees.
  • Attorney for Plaintiffs, Howard Prossnitz: Administrative decision. Freeman was not just a fees case. Failure to follow rules is a default.
  • Judge: If AAA decided not to take the case because they are swamped. Where are you?
  • Prossnitz: Wyndham picked AAA.
  • Judge: In that case, it is hard to argue inconsistent.
  • Prossnitz: Hypothetical of my own, Let’s suppose, like Casper, we shall agree on a substitute arbitrator if AAA decides not to hear.
  • Judge: In my hypothetical Section 5 kicks in, Court shall designate an arbitrator
  • Prossnitz for Bedgoods: Then okay, a substitute is okay, but in this case the AAA was available.
  • Judge: A few plaintiffs did not try to arbitrate:
  • Me to my computer: Why should they if the prior cases could not arbitrate and Wyndham and Worldmark are not on AAA’s list?!
  • Judge: We don’t know which policy or rule was violated. They may be able to be correct. Why are we to assume the violation can’t be corrected.
  • Prossnitz: That would be fine with me.
  • Judge: Why won’t other plaintiffs file? Did AAA ever deny an arbitration request against Worldmark?
  • Prossnitz: Worldmark is not on the approved list, so plaintiffs shouldn’t have to sue in court. Mr Bedgood is in court. These are real people (my emphasis added).
  • Prossnitz: This is an administrative rule – there was no “policy” decision. They are asking you to rewrite AAA rules.
  • 9:48 am Wyndham Rebuttal: There are five of eight Plaintiffs who did not pursue arbitration.

The Tangled Legal Web  

One lawsuit led to another.

The Bradley Heisman v Wyndham lawsuit Case 2:20-cv-11480-KM-JBC, filed on August 26, 2020, in New Jersey District Court, in which presiding Judge, Hon. Kevin McNulty denied Wyndham’s motion to compel arbitration, settled. Therefore, no appeal. 

It is an unconscionable commercial practice and a material misrepresentation of the Agreement to include an arbitration clause in the agreement that Defendants knew was inoperative at the time the agreement was signed because of Defendant’s failure to adhere to the requirements of the American Arbitration Association.

James M. Reynold and Judith A Reynolds v. Wyndham Vacation Resorts and PTVO Owners Case #4:22-cv-00892-JD filed 3/17/22 in South Carolina was dismissed after a settlement. Therefore, no appeal.

Presiding Judge of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Kristie F Curtis April 5, 2021 Order denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss and compel arbitration and denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss certain claims:

The provisions of the contract between Wyndham and the Plaintiffs are unconscionable in that the contract denies basic consumer remedies to the Plaintiffs.

Eleven lawsuits filed against Wyndham we have segregated by:

  • Orders in which a court denied a motion to compel arbitration,
  • Orders in which a court denied a motion to dismiss fraud claims, and
  • Whistleblower lawsuits that support Wyndham owners.

There is that old adage, “Where there’s smoke there’s fire.” The eleven lawsuits have been filed in six states: Tennessee, Illinois, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey and South Carolina. One of the lawsuits has 59 Plaintiffs. Their attorney was instructed to break them down into groups of five. In another of the lawsuits, over 200 Wyndham members have reached out since the lawsuit was filed.

Related Case

Another case in Europe with timeshare lenders arguing that the law has been misinterpreted


Thank you, Irene, it seems that recently we have been covering quite a few court cases which appear to be going against the developers or financial institutions where they themselves have instigated the appeals. A tactic used by developers in Spain during the flurry of cases following the first Supreme Court ruling, it is also used to delay court-ordered payments, with several of the defendants now in liquidation. A further attempt to avoid paying out.

These appeals all seem to be centred around the “interpretation” of the law, claiming it has been “misinterpreted”, an argument about “semantics”. In many of the cases, the claim is the “judge or judges” have “misinterpreted” the law, in the case of the banks in the UK, their claim was that the Ombudsman, who was adjudicating a claim, had “misinterpreted” the law, only because his decision was in favour of the consumer.

If this isn’t an abuse of the legal system, what is?

It is also a serious affront to the thousands of consumers who have valid complaints, it is they who are paying for it all, in the case of the timeshare developers, whose money are they using to pay for these legal challenges, it is yours, the “owner/member” paid with your annual fees, incessant upgrades and anything else they can rinse from you.

Timeshare was intended to be something we would enjoy with wonderful memories, so forget the wonderful resorts for a moment, they are part of the original “dream” you were sold, and it didn’t include all the nightmares which timeshare has now become.

That’s it for this week, we hope you all have a wonderful relaxing weekend and join us again next week. While getting things ready for publishing, I felt I was being watched, luckily I had a camera ready on the desk and managed to get this shot.




  1. Joan

    Timeshare companies treat the consumer horrible. The people at the call centers are fine and so are the people at the resorts but the purposeful misleading, lying to and overall treatment by the sales staff and the administration people in the timeshares is so bad. It is imperative that lawmakers learn what is happening to the average, hard working person once they walk into a sales presentation and then the things that too often happen to them, which should be illegal. I will not stop reporting how bad it is until somebody goes in, investigates, reads those contracts and make them change the contracts more favorable to the consumer. They have ALL cards stacked against the consumer and all for themselves. We owners have a Facebook site where all the negative things done to us are published for all to see. I will gladly help people to find them. These are likely accurate across the board in the timeshare world. One I would like to point out is that – we’re told that our timeshare will be worth about as much as we paid in. It’s worth almost to totally nothing. Another one that happened to me and my husband is that we were taken into a private room and we were told that if we let them change all our purchases into one purchase (of course, you always have to buy more – that’s a given), that we would get an extra biennual drop of points into our account. We were told that we should not say a word about it when we went into the room to sign the papers, so we didn’t. That was a very dumb mistake. We didn’t need more points and now Bluegreen will let us give them back to them to decrease our annual fees but they will not pay us back anything. We got NO extra points for that purchase. It was all a huge lie. Bluegreen has the contract written that we initial that we acknowledge that we are not to believe sales. To me, that is so obvious that they teach sales to lie and then they have our initial that we know it can be a lie. Besides that, a former employee was fired because that employee refused to participate in the lying. There is so much evidence that there is so much wrong. It’s ALL set up to take all the money they can off people and refuse to treat consumers right. All about money for them. The timeshare is great. But getting people in by dangling money and then lying to them to get them to sign contracts and then they can’t back out of them once the few days recission period has passed, is so very wrong. Many of us just make the best out of the mess we got ourselves into, until they put the screws to us real bad. Then it’s very hard to enjoy the timeshare at all. That’s where I am. Now, they will take it back for free but I think that’s what they want. They have always rented, encouraged renting and now they lock accounts on people who have rented or even are just accused of renting. This mess needs to be stopped by whatever agency or people in America, who can stop it. Right now, the timeshares are operating like mafia type people without the killing part. But they are ruining many people’s lives and it’s so very wrong. If they wouldn’t paint the picture so wrong, many who cannot afford it, wouldn’t sign up in the first place. Then, once they’re in, they just will not just let you out.

  2. Chantal Jones

    Great article Irene! This proves that timeshares need more legal guidelines they are required to follow and then maybe so many people wouldn’t be in the situation where they regret their purchase and immediately they’re trying to cancel. I know theres so many people in the same situation where investing in a timeshare has completely ruined their lives, but with everyone telling their stories, eventually change will happen! Hoping even more stories are able to go before the courts and more lawsuits brought about!

    1. Nita

      We need government that gives a care! I talked to the government office that is supposed to protect consumers and I was told, “you think we don’t know what goes on in Branson.” I was outdone! I was also told by a counsel person, if we help you, it’s like cutting my nose off to spite my face. My eyes are wide open now. We have to ban together, share our information, so some can succeed. I will share all my information on Westgate.

  3. Les Jamieson

    So Wyndham continues to require people with legal complaints to go through the Arbitration Association and continues to have people sign contracts with the arbitration clause even though the AAA has basically shut the door on them back in 2018 in the Reynolds v. Wyndham case. When I think of the millions of dollars timeshare companies like Wyndham takes in through highly unscrupulous sales tactics, such as what I experienced, one wonders how their contracts are allowed to be structured as they are. These issues have to rise to the level of federal reforms, that would also provide relief for so many thousands of unsuspecting people who were sold these exorbitant deals that create such financial stress for minimal value. Timeshare companies should be made to explain that consumers are basically buying a high-interest mortgage with monthly maintenance fees that will increase, would often have difficulty booking vacations, would have no future equity, and would be subject to multiple attempts to extract more money through upsells. This would offer transparency for what people are actually getting into.

  4. Nita

    Thank you Irene for the article. As you state, they sell you the dream without telling you, when you buy, you become the star in a perpetual nightmare saga. There certainly needs to be timeshare reform. I am quickly learning, there are kickbacks, palm greasing, lobbying efforts, industry influence, and relationships between timeshare developers, management companies, and regulators that keep this mess going. The government is aware, and as long as they get their cut, they will do it on the backs of hardworking people like you and me who are trying to obtain the dream. If you notice, the demographic is generally persons who do not have the means to sue. It is a well calculated plan. I say, rise up people, rise up! If we join together, tell our stories, unite, and be tenacious, change will come. I am committed. Westgate sold me a timeshare that had been seasonally closed five years prior to my sell. I was conversing with the person, unknown to him, who sold me my timeshare. He was bragging about having obtained his dream home. All I could contemplate was his actions were on my back. He told me Westgate could never tell you you can’t come home. What he neglected to tell me was–there is no home. I am willing to be a class action leader in Branson, Missouri, if anyone is interested, especially those who purchased gold season Building 3000 or Building 3200. I will share my information, so you can take it to an attorney.

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