We stayed at a Diamond Resort in February in Sedona, a gift from my brother. Traveling to Sedona we planned to spend a night in Flagstaff and then proceed on to Sedona.
Flagstaff was getting hit with two heavy back-to-back snowfalls that was forecast to shut-down Flagstaff (43 inches Friday to Monday). We called the resort to see if we could get in a night early by adding an extra night stay. They could accommodate us, and the price quote was not much higher than the Comfort Inn in Flagstaff. About 15 minutes later the resort concierge calls my cell phone apologizing that a “new” employee gave me an incorrect price quoted.
The correct price was almost double. The concierge said the resort would waive the fee for that night if we greed to attend a 60-90-minute presentation. I stated that we have no intension of purchasing a timeshare. She said that decision was up to us but that was the only way the resort would waive the extra night lodging.
So, we thought we could tolerate a 90 minutes timeshare pitch to save $268. When we checked into the resort I was told the concierge had to meet with me before they could complete the check-in. Shortly the concierge appeared and again became very apologetic about the screw-up and “to make things right” they were upgrading us from a studio to a suite. I state we were fine with the studio, but the concierge insisted; she just needed me to sign a form for waiver accountability.
As she was going over the form two-dollar amounts surfaced: the extra night and the upgrade for a total of $643. If we did not attend the presentation my credit card would be billed for $643. I won’t go into the conversation that accompanied that, but jumping ahead to the presentation a person met us in the waiting area and as we were walked to the sales rep she stated that we had to be formally signed out of the presentation for the fees to be waived. When we began the presentation, the sales person stated that this waiver had to be signed-off by an executive in another building and she would not be the person escorting us to the executive.
During the presentation we explained our stay was the result of a gift and that being 70 we have no interest in purchasing a time share. Just as we thought the sales person hitting on us was giving up, another person would sit down. After 4 ½ hours and 4 timeshare reps later (each having a lower cost offer) we finally caved and purchased the sampler. We were escorted to the exec in silence and I had the feeling the exec was considering clawing my eyes out.
We have been trying to use the 15,000 points which is another complaint story. The presentation at the first sampler stay was beginning to go as the Sedona presentation. The rep required that we write out and sign a statement that we were surrendering $1500 in equity back to DRI on a blank sheet of paper, which we did. He then brought in a VP that put the "sell" on us.
My wife asked them both why they didn't have a form for what they were having us write out on a blank sheet of typing paper. No answer. When we asked "What part of we are not purchasing a timeshare don't you understand?" they both became angry. The initial rep threw his pen against his desk, slammed a desk drawer shut and uttering something as he left the room.
We sat in the room somewhat in bewilderment until a third person who apparently was aware of the situation came in and tried to smooth the situation over. She told us that the down payment for any of their presentation offerings is the commission the rep makes. Roughly 8 of 10 people (couples) commit. Not bad wages if they get 4 of 5 $350 sales a day.
Now we are trying to use the remainder of our sampler points and finding that either the selected resorts on their website that we are interested in are not officially committed for the 2018 year or the points are actually higher. I questioned why a resort that is not signed for the sampler is listed in the online reservation with 2018 dates both the reps I dealt with claim they are not on their database. Supposedly the sampler agents are seeing something different on their computer than what we are seeing on the sampler online reservation program.
I offered to send a screen print but they claimed they couldn't do anything about it. To get beyond this sampler rip-off we scheduled a stay in an area we are not that excited about and are leaving $220 on the table.
Product or Service Mentioned: Diamond Resorts International Timeshare Selling.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.