Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Should It Be This Difficult To Cancel A Timeshare Purchase?

Some time ago, I received this e-mail through "All Experts" where I volunteer my time to assist consumers with timeshare issues.

I purchased a timeshare from Silverleaf Resorts Inc, on August 17, 2014 and wish to cancel the contract.  It states on the front of my contract that "YOU MAY CANCEL THIS CONTRACT AT WILL AND WITHOUT EXPLANATION WITHIN SEVEN (7) BUSINESS DAYS AFTER YOU SIGN IT, IN WHICH EVENT YOU WILL RECEIVE A FULL REFUND.  SEE PAGE 1 OF THE OFFERING PLAN."  There is no page 1 of my Offering Plan.   So I don't know what I'm supposed be able to learn from going to page 1. 

I have made several phone calls to the corporate offices and owner services and spoken in person with some of the employees but no one will guarantee a procedure I need to follow to cancel my contract within the grace period.  They say "read your contract", but no one will say exactly where I should be looking or reading the contract.

I have written and sent a letter stating my intent to cancel the contract and written "Cancel this contract" across the face of a copy of the contract. I've sent both items to a fax number that was given to me at Owner Services, and mailed both items to the address on the contract, certified mail.  I also plan to send these items via email to an address given to me by Owner Services.  Does this seem adequate to cover my tracks and get this matter settled?

I have also asked a friend to verify in writing that she has looked over the paperwork and also determined that there is no apparent information regarding cancellation of the contract within the 7 days.

Thank you for any advice you have about dealing with this cancellation from a company that just has too many inconsistencies to make me want to stay in contract with them. 
I am pleased to see from your profile that perhaps there are timeshares worth trying...later. one at the office would tell this owner how to cancel her purchase, or for that matter, inquire as to why she wanted to cancel and potentially save the sale.  This already left a bad taste in this person's mouth, but it gets worse.
I volunteered to call the office on her behalf and see what I could do.  I also told this consumer that not all timeshares were like this and gave a "thumbs up" to timeshares in general.
The story continues (with redacted names and phone numbers):
Dear Lisa, thank you very much for offering to call on my behalf.  I've been given so many numbers and names in the past two days that I will try to narrow it down to the pertinent ones!

The phone number for the sales office at the Oak N Spruce Resort is REDACTED.  Today there is a helpful person answering named REDACTED.  My sales agent is REDACTED and his cellphone is REDACTED.  I had verification loan officer REDACTED, who I think has tried to be helpful.  And today I spoke with Office Manager REDACTED at REDACTED.  Her Office Assistant REDACTED is wonderful.  But none of these people could direct me to a page or clause that clearly states the procedure for cancellation of contract during the grace period.

The corporate number for Silverleaf Resorts Inc. is REDACTED.  This number was not working well the times I have called and frequently told me the number I had pressed to get to another department was "not a valid choice".  The member hotline number is REDACTED and you can get to Owner Services through this...sometimes.   Needless to say the number of different phone numbers alone is confusing. 

At this point I have asked for an emailed verification that the cancellation of contract documents have been received in a timely manner, that they meet all requirements of correct procedure for cancellation (since I could not locate any clear information in the extensive documents I was given and no employee would direct me to such), and that the cancellation is being duly processed in good faith with a full refund to be sent to me. 

I wish I could give you more succinct information and an easy way to communicate with this company. If I had been able to feel I could get through and get good answers to my concerns I might have felt I trusted this company. 

The address for Silverleaf is 6321 Boulevard 26, ste 400, N Richland Hills, TX 76180.  I was also given an alternate address of 120 Elm, Suite 4600, Dallas, TX 75270.  The only email I have is

I so appreciate your help.  I am so confused by all the numbers and addresses.  Even if they are closed on certain days I feel there should be one clear way to contact a knowledgeable and authoritative employee  and be assured my calls will be returned in a timely, businesslike manner.

I do look forward to hearing from you.
CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!  I counted five (5) people that this one owner was in contact with in addition to the non-working Owner Services number.  I called two of the five people listed, but they refused to even speak with me.  But, it gets worse...

Lisa, I found the mysterious "Page 1" that is referred to on the cover of my  Offering Plan!!  The one that tells how a purchaser can cancel the contract!!

It is on page OS513 of the entire document  (which, by the way numbers no fewer than 1037 poorly copied pages).  It is the 12th or 13th "page 1" out of over 20.  Even the lawyer I consulted today couldn't seem to find it. But then he only looked for 1/2 hour.  I've been looking for 3 days.

I have asked repeatedly for someone to please direct me to the page in my documents that states the procedure for cancellation of my contract within the stated grace period.   No one ever said, "the page 1 you are looking for is on OS513 of your Offering Plan.  It will give you the information you are asking for about how to cancel your contract within the 7 day rescission period.  Glad we could help you with this, and sorry it didn't work out for you." 

I was told "it's in there somewhere", a bit apologetically by some, with annoyance by others.  These were all Owners Services Agents ,  my sales agent NAME REDACTED,  verification loan officer NAME REDACTED, and Office Manager NAME REDACTED.  

There was also a surly clerk I met on Monday named NAME REDACTED who has been there 7 years.  It seems after seven years he might have been asked this question once or twice and might know the answer, but he said he was not authorized to talk with me about that. Since he was the only apparent person in the building I would have expected he had, at minimum, the authority to  be polite and give me a name and phone number to contact.  He was really awful!

**Just for the record, NAME REDACTED, Assistant Office Manager in the sales office, was a peach. She listened to my concerns and followed through on helping me in an effective manner.  They should clone her.  She will be an asset to any company she chooses to work in.**

A purchaser has 7 business days to cancel the contract.  At Oak N Spruce Resort the sales staff is "off" Monday and Tuesday.  For the date I signed the document (a Sunday) that means  I had only three business days in which to contact a person of authority at the resort where I signed up.  This was terrible, especially as no one mentioned that the staff would not be available those days.  I was told I could call the salesperson, but when he learned I wished to cancel he did not answer or return my calls.

Is this company practicing subterfuge, or are they extremely poorly trained?  I'm starting to get angry at how I was treated.

Enough for now.  Just wanted to let you know that there is actually a Page 1 hidden away in the Offering Plan.  Maybe I should share the secret.
Sounds good!

So if they only talk with members does that mean they won't speak to a legal counsel representing a member?

Think I'll file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and maybe the NYS Attorney General's Office.  Hmm, this could be my new hobby! 

More than twenty (20) "page 1s"!  More craziness.  Shouldn't the cancelation period and policy be easy to find?  And shouldn't someone at the resort have been able to point out "the correct Page 1" to this owner?

This person may in fact choose to purchase a timeshare one day...why did Silverleaf behave in such a way to almost guarantee that it won't be from them?

I'm happy to report that after almost 2 months, this consumer was able to get a full refund of her money and insure that the contract was cancelled,

In Part 2 of this saga, we'll find out a why the timeshare was purchased to begin was for all the "right" reasons and what caused this consumer to have second was not solely related to cost.

As usual with this blog, Silverleaf is cordially welcomed to chime in.



  1. This is probably state law.

    Forget the contract.

    Just send certified mail stating you are cancelling the consumer contract within the statutory rescission period. And that you expect a full refund in accordance with state law.

    Done deal. I've done it, with timeshare.
    It really doesn't matter what the contract says. At least in California.

    1. Agreed, but this particular consumer didn't know where to look to find out what was needed and as she said, no one at the resort would offer her any assistance.

  2. Yeah, she's counting on a company that she gave money to, who would prefer to keep her money, for instructions as to how to invoke her rights. This will cause them to lose money.

    Naturally, they are not all that interested in giving her the money back. They'd rather keep it. No surprise there.

    It's rescission rights under a consumer contract. Google will know.

  3. Of course, the resort won't offer any assistance or even mention that you can rescind. I've done it in Florida, once with the last offer (for a price) to come back within a year and preview the property again. A paid vacation. They even lied about this. The sales sharks count on you enjoying the rest of your vacation and not reading or researching your purchase within the time allowed by law (10 days in Florida). If you know this and mention it during the tour, they won't push near as hard and probably get you out the door sooner.

  4. I am pass my grace period. Anything I can do to get out of this contract.

    1. In moat cases, no. In rare instances, a lawyer who is well versed in timeshare may be able to assist, but it comes at a cost.