Travel Club

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Oct 6, 2018
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#1
Has anyone heard of Signature International? They also go by Signature Club and World Wide Escapes. They presented themselves as a company that would sell my timeshare for me. But, I had to join what may be called a travel club at a cost of $6,700. I'm unable to break my contract with them.
 
Mar 23, 2015
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#3
Has anyone heard of Signature International? They also go by Signature Club and World Wide Escapes. They presented themselves as a company that would sell my timeshare for me. But, I had to join what may be called a travel club at a cost of $6,700. I'm unable to break my contract with them.
I sincerely hope you're asking this PROACTIVELY and not in retrospect... you're trying to find out BEFORE you join and pay them this money if they're legit, right? If you already joined and paid, you typically have 3 days to cancel. You could well be hosed by not having asked the question first. I really hope that isn't the case. Good Luck!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,833
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www.promalvacations.com
#5
It’s too bad you didn’t come here before you bought.

Timeshares are rarely a good thing to buy. They should never be considered as an investment because you’ll never get what you pay. And the annual fees are often more than you would pay to take an annual vacation.

Check the timeshare complaints we have here.

World Wide Escapes has a D rating from the BBB

https://www.bbb.org/us/tx/tyler/profile/timeshare-companies/worldwide-escapes-llc-1075-28098807

Travel “clubs” are also a known scam:

https://www.smartertravel.com/10-tricky-travel-scams-and-how-to-beat-them/

Chris has written about travel club memberships before -

https://www.elliott.org/blog/i-paid-6995-for-a-travel-club-membership-did-i-just-get-scammed/

Yes, you need to contact an attorney.
 
Jul 16, 2016
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#6
If you have $6700 to spend to get rid of your timeshare I would suggest joining Timeshare Users Group https://tug2.net/ and placing an ad. For that amount of money (assuming your timeshare is paid off?) you could pay yearly maintenance fees for some years in the future to induce someone to buy it. Also be prepared to pay escrow or transfer fees, those are pretty standard.
I own a week in a 2 bedroom in Hawaii that I purchased for $10, with maintenance of $750 a year, and it trades well. Developers will promise you anything but it will not be in the contract. Make them show you where it says it before you sign if you feel you MUST buy from them. So if you (or anyone) is tempted to purchase another timeshare things to consider:

*Is there a secondary market available? You can buy them for MUCH less than the developer charges, see website above but there are also others.

*What are the yearly fees? Some of the newer places charge more than $1400 a year per week owned for a 1 bedroom. For that price you could get a nice hotel although it may not have a kitchen.

*How is the resort management run? If the developer maintains control they get to make decisions for you about property amenities, assessments, number of weeks set aside for owners vs. rented to the public. This can lead to problems when members want to reserve, are told no availability, but they see time rented to the public https://www.consumeraffairs.com/travel/the-manhattan-club.html

*Can you exchange internally or without joining an exchange company? Some resorts have a list of affiliated properties you can exchange, others (mine) have an informal list of resorts they know will exchange and can help facilitate. I can't get to Paris without joining Interval International or RCI exchange, but I have traded my week informally for San Francisco, Napa, other Hawaiian Islands, Las Vegas, Orlando, Arizona, etc. They have even waived the $100 exchange fee a few times when I was willing to take a place last minute.

*How long do you have to use your yearly week? Does it expire at the end of the year? Can you roll it over? For how long?

*What are exchange fees? It may cost $100 per year for a basic minimal RCI membership, $239 to exchange each week, other fees for better membership levels, to extend week deposited to use it later, to allow a guest to use your week, etc. They will "fee" you to death so make sure you understand the true price of ownership. Interval international operates similarly, Platinum Interchange is better but less trades available.

*How desirable is your week? You may get a deal on a week in Palm Springs in Summer, but good luck finding any trading power with it. (trading power is "how bad does someone want your week") It may trade for Iowa in Winter, but never for Laguna Beach in Summer. Also having a 2 Br means I can trade for a 1 Br or studio if it a place with lower availability, but if you own a studio you will have a hard time getting a 2 Br (except for massive extra fees)

*Are you buying points or deeded week? A deed gives you property rights if management decides to "sell" the property, they would need to pay proportional shares to all owners if sold (note- not the full inflated value you paid). Points are a right to use, if the development goes bankrupt you have nothing. Sometimes they call them points but they are backed by a deed, read the contract!

*Do you have an exit plan if you decide you don't like it? I watched the resort where I now own offer weeks for sale, saw long until they sold, watched weeks offered on TUG to see when weeks were offered and how long until the ads disappeared (before the end of the paid ad period) to estimate that I would be able to sell for my original $10 investment without having maintenance fees hang over my head until I died. Developers will also tell you temporary points are better because they will not involve your estate. I am not sure a timeshare developer will actually come after your estate- they may report you to a credit bureau for non-payment, foreclose, and ruin your credit- but i think if you are dead you won't care about that.
 
Oct 6, 2018
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#7
Unfortunately, Signature Club talked me into putting the $6700 on a credit card. My timeshare fees are only $779 every three years which I didn't realize. Their worksheets showed $1500 every year. I own the timeshare because I paid off my son's loan to remove his former girlfriend from the deed. No good deed goes unpunished. Will a lawyer be able to help me?
 
Jul 16, 2016
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#8
Multiple questions first since we are talking about 2 different timeshare situations you have:
1. You paid off your son's loan for the original timeshare, but did you actually transfer title to yourself? If not, they can't come after you for payment because it is not your debt. They may come after your son though.
2. Have you contacted the original (son's) resort to see if they will take the week back? Which resort? What is the yearly maintenance for that one (you say $779 every 3 years, but I have never seen one that low for an "every year" week)? Have you tried selling or looked at TUG yet?

3. Have you actually read the contract for signature club all the way through? Read, not scan? https://tugbbs.com/forums/index.php?threads/royal-resorts-signature-club.191119/ seems to indicate the first 2 years are free and then there is a fee EACH year. Some posters also indicate it expires after 5 years, that might be a way to limit damage. I am afraid the $6700 is a lost cause- having to pay a lawyer to fight that might cost you almost the same amount again with no guarantee of winning. So you first need to know exactly what you are on the hook for in the future, then act accordingly.
4. Have you tried using signature club yet? If they can't get you what is written in the contract (not promised orally, written) and if it has not been too long since you charged the credit card then you may have a case to open for a chargeback, but ONLY if you can show they are not providing what is in the contract.
5. Have you contacted signature club to ask about surrendering your points so no more fees accrue?

Never sign anything without reading and understanding it, and please stay away from timeshares/clubs if you will believe what they say. There is no magic plan to dump a timeshare.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,833
13,261
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
There are companies that specialize in getting people out of time share contracts but they aren't inexpensive. If you do a search on Google you can find them. But see if you can get a free consultation with a local attorney - they may or may not be able to do anything but it is your only option.