Orlando, Fl: A deceptive practices class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of timeshare owners at Festiva' Orlando Resort, formerly known as Celebration World Resort, alleging that the resort' developers and managers have engaged in unfair and deceptive practices in the sale of timeshare upgrades and reservation point allocation.
The class action lawsuit, Reeves, et al. v. Zealandia Holding Company Inc., et al., cause no. 13-CA-866-MF, was filed March 1 in the 9th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, in Osceola County.
The suit alleges that, beginning in 2004, approximately 900 parties purchased timeshare interests in Celebration World Resort Owners Association, located in Kissimmee, Fla., from B.L. Vacation Ownership Inc. Between 2008 and 2011, representatives of B.L. Vacation Ownership sold upgrades to existing timeshare owners that would increase the number of points they had to apply to timeshare reservations.
After the homeowners purchased the upgrades, B.L. Vacations sold the resort to Festiva Hospitality Group, now known as Zealandia Holding Co., and the resort' name was changed to Festiva' Orlando Resort. After the sale, the lawsuit alleges, the reservation point system was changed and the upgrades that had been purchased by the timeshare owners were not honored.
The suit names the Orlando Homeowners Association, B.L. Vacation Ownership Inc., Zealandia Holding Co. and its subsidiary and affiliate companies, and RCI LLC as defendants. The suit alleges that one or more of the defendants:
Violated the resort' declaration of covenants by improperly reallocating reservation points
Violated the resort' declaration of covenants for failing to give proper notice of the reallocation
Breached the fiduciary duty owed to the timeshare owners
Violated Section 721.18(5) of Florida' timeshare law
The timeshare owners seek a refund, rescission of the upgrade sales contracts, attorneys' fees and other relief the court deems proper. Plaintiffs are represented by The Finn Law Group P.A.
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We purchased from Celebration World twice. Stupid us. In total we paid $10,000.00 for 300,000 points. We had actually figured out how to use our timeshare through RCI. We had then taken several vacations. When Celebration was sold to Festiva our points were reduced to 31,000. We were totally shocked and in disbelief that they could do this. We are now unable to enjoy some of the better resorts that RCI has to offer as they are more points then we have. At one point Festiva had offered several weeks at their resort per year. Whatever happened to that we don't know but sure know that 31,000 points anywhere should not cost 10,000.00. We could have taken vacations from Trivago or another such company for many years for 10,000.00.
Posted by Vickie Adams
I was told all kinds of lies too. I was talked into a every other year by saying that would give me the most points. Yea but they did not tell me that your points are not good in the off year until nothing is available. I try to find anything and nothing is available so I decided to go over to RTX and just transfer points and pay the exchange so I could make reservations for that year but nothing was available for that either. I tried every month of the year and only found 5 or 6 places that you could book and I checked the All columns. My other lie I was told was about the extra vacations. I tried to book those as soon as I got the email and almost everything was gone for those and if you could not find anything you just lost them because you could not use those in the off year either. Rip Off and I had to pay more for it.
Posted by Koven Brown
We came back to Palm Beach in Orange Beach, AL for the first time in several years. When this facility was first built, it was first class. Returning this year was a real shocker. Refrigerator was dirty and rusted, no skirts on beds, scratched up furniture, microwave and oven were so rusty we were hesitant to cook in it, overall just run down. Carpets are worn out and dirty and rooms need painting.
Will gladly participate in a class action suit.
Posted by Tessa Wilson
I've been taken by Festiva as well... the deceptive lies, high pressure sales tactic and constant changes. How long can this company get by with this. Wanted to cancel next day after signing and they told us we read the papers wrong! No, they LIE... told no points lnvoloved, bank all the weeks, maintaine fee never changes, free cruises and the lies go one!!! I know several states has won suits but.... this needs to be a country lawsuit!! This is nuts ???? for allowing this to happen again and again!!
Posted by Eleanor a jones
Totally rip off I'm 91 years old and trying to get rid of my time shares for many years it's been a total rip off before I close my eyes please get rid of this crooked company thank u please contact if needed I don't do emails
Posted by Linda Price
We have been owners at Festiva/Banner Elk since 2012 and have used it twice. Last December we rolled over our points (for a substantial fee, of course) and are now told that ALL of the Festiva rooms are CLOSED for renovations until January, 2018!! How is this even possible? How is someone supposed to use points by December when it's effectively shut down until January?? High pressure sales... Rude customer service representatives.... No resolution even offered... We are done!!!! Please advise how to join any current class action suit. HELP!!
Posted by Wendy Berliner
I would like to join in the lawsuit of Festiva. I have nothing but comtempt for them and their lies and money making schemes. It seems every time I try to use my points they are booked. Then I find out if I want to go to that resort I can purchase a room for a supposedly lower rate, so they have rooms available but not for their members.
I tried to book something 365 days in advance and it was still booked up. Something is not right here.
Posted by Keri Swartz
My elderly mother has also been taken by FESTIVA DNA FRSTIVA ADVENTURE CLUB. She was an owner at Escape Branson ETC and Escapes Hot Springs ETC. She was told by sales person (at a meeting for Escape Owners in Kansas City) that the owners of Escapes lost the company and she had to buy over to Festiva in order to use her timeshares. She has not been able to stay at any of the festiva properties (except Hibiscus in St. Augustine Fl once) and over the last 4 years maintenance fee has gone from $900.00 to over $2400.00 a year. I am looking for any lawsuits or class action suits to join. I feel they prayed upon the ESCAPE OWNERS especially elderly owners.
My mother lost three timeshares to this company.
Posted by N Mistry
We bought from Celebration World Resort in 2002 and have tried to get out of it by listing with many marketing companies and have been scammed. We would like to get out of this timeshare. Can anyone help how we can get out this mess?
Posted by Cherie Phillips
We are also owners Festivia Adventue Club
. ( Zealand Capital ) is there any information on a lawsuit for this time share company.
Posted by Sandra Dobrowolski
I purchased my timeshare in 2000 at Celebration World in Orlando with my husband who has since passed away. We upgraded in 2004 for 98,000 points at an additional cost of $1995. We upgraded a second time in 2009 for an additional $2,730 at which time we were receiving 230,000 points every other year. Since Festiva took over they are only giving me 33,000 every other year. I PAID for these up grades AND I pay the maintenance and taxes each year. How can they take something away I have paid to have?!?!? Please let me know how I go about attaching to this suit.
Posted by Linda
My mom purchased her timeshare with Celebration Resort in 1999 with my sister. My sister fell off the grid and my husband and I agreed to take over to help her out, not fully understanding what we were getting into. It is paid off, but the maintenance fees and taxes are over $800 now and continue to go up. It was originally in the $300's. There seems to be no legal way out. What will be the consequences to my children and my family? My husband and I were offered the increased points, but declined it because it seemed like you have to dump more money it. This just doesn't seem right.
Posted by W&MGayles
We have not used the timeshare over the last 5 years and have never been able to rent or get the dates we want. They requested to change our points to a week because we could never get what we wanted. When they changed to weeks, it's only for every other year. We want to join the sit. I would like to just sell the it.
Posted by Heidi Francke
I was given this timeshare as a gift from my mother. She paid top dollar. They promised her points would be transferred which did not happen. Repeated calls to customer service resulted in nothing. This is a SCAM. I will not pay maintenance fee and have registered a complaint with attorney general. This organization is known to be 100% crooked. They took advantage of my mother and should be ashamed of themselves.
Posted by Mike Raether
We own i Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin. When we purchased they took 2 other timeshare properties "in trade" i wrote them a check for the "trade". For 3 years i continued to get maintenance bills from one place. Finally i Called Festiva. Told them of the issue. First they said nothing they could do. So i said. i had the cancelled check and contract that they were going to take over this property. So either they do that or void the contract and return "all of my money". That was the last i heard i own more than one timeshare, Festiva is the highest maintence, most expensive and least desirable of the properties i own. i think they are a SCAM along with BLUEGREEN which is also a scam.
Posted by Frank
Festiva Resort is a scam my wife and I have 1 bed room 46000 points. the maintenance fees of 786.35 is way to much. I have another time share at Vacation village 92500 points, 2 bed room maintenance is 100.00 LESS than festiva they are crooks.
Posted by sandra stickler
Our loan was sent to Zelandia collection soon afte r purchase. I paid off my loan when I realized that they
charged $2.50 a day interest. With fees rising every year and no satisfaction, I would like to know whether anyone has seen any results from this class action suit and how do I join?
Posted by MSBurger
My husband and I fell prey to the same misleading, untruthful sales tactics. We were told we could use our points to go to any destination, but every time we have looked for something there is no availability. They told us we could use it for cruises however we are unable to do that through Festiva alone. It requires that we pay an additional annual subscription to interval international. We have had this timeshare since 2009 and never been able to use it to go anywhere. We bought in at Ellington in Myrtle Beach SC, which we never intended to use as it is not on the beach and we do not play golf. Not a problem, is what the sales rep and manager told us, all we needed to do is turn in our week for any other destination. We did pay an additional $250 to go to a managers meeting one summer where we would have to sit through a meeting that was designed to help us utilize the timeshare better, but rather we were told that in order to use our timeshare we really needed to buy more points so that we could actually go to the destinations we would like during the time of year we wanted because as a base member we didn't have the points to during peak season, which means our best bet in booking is try going to the beach during winter week days. We were also told we could trade our points on Expedia but have not had success with that either.
Posted by Janet Fox
Festiva bought out our time share we owned in Coconut Palms II, New Smyrna Beach, FL. They had all this double talk about having to raise fees, a better point system and if you ever wanted to trade, you had to buy into the point system. Long story short... our maintenance fees went from 300 dollars a year to the membership fees of 1400 dollars! Then it is the points that they really don't explain how to use, or you can convert them to credits so you don't lose them. On and on it goes. You can't do anything by email. They want you to call. I work 2 jobs and don't have time to play phone jockey. Biggest mistake I ever made was to even talk to them. Everything they told us in the ownership meeting was a lie. Then they try to act like they can make it better. But they never called me back. I wish I could get out!
Posted by Bill & Darlene Sparks
My husband and I were pressured into taking over my mother in laws timeshare at her death. We were told that her estate could be affected.
We have used the timeshare over the last 5 years and have never been satisfied. Most recently we reserved a cabin in Banner Elk. When we arrived we did not have a cabin. It is an addition built on the back of the member service building. We feel boxed in. The front desk was not surprised at our disappointment and stated that she thought it was a "joke".
I want out! This was the last straw! Our contract has been paid for, we are only responsible for maintenance fees and they have told us we would have to pay 2 years fees to get out of contract!
Posted by HartNNC
All this sounds so familiar. I am an owner of Escapes to the Shores (Orange Beach). This year they literally held my unit for ransom. I had to pay fees associated with a holding company before they would "release" my reservation. Is this legal? I really want to know what to do to start a class action suit for the orange beach ETC. Now they are telling us there was a change of ownership, really? We never receive notice of such and never receive an annual statement or report of what was done with our maintenance fees for the year. The last report showed expenses involved with buying new furniture, paint and upgrades, however, when we DID go to our unit, it looked like it hadn't been painted in over 10 years, furniture was old with water mark stains and damage, there were holes in the doors, rust everywhere and black mold growing in the bathroom where a tile was damaged. Really?
Posted by dooped
we also think that the scam has been uncovered. we upgraded in 2012 to points and have used it one time in myrtle beach. since then nothing. the fees are ridiculous, and you will get no help calling member services. they only want those fees. ours is now delinquent, so more charges. you would think with all these complaints, our judicial systems could help.
we owe nothing. used the fixed week for many years and enjoyed our time at the resort, till it went down hill, rooms went down hill, but we were told we must upgrade to points to keep it. not to mention the extra week we get to pay for the points. they are over sold, and the reason we cant get what we paid for, bottom line, they are all con artist, with expensive and corrupt lawyers.
Posted by F. L. Ollis
Is there a lawsuit somewhere regarding Coral Resorts, Hilton Head. All the complaints sound the same just a different name.
Posted by Merrill and Kathy Adams
We were pressured into buying into timeshare....they are high pressured salespeople who are not going to let you go until you've signed on the dotted line and we fell for their hype.
Every year the maintenance increases to the point we can no longer afford to keep this timeshare, but a locked in so we have no recourse. My husband is now battling cancer and things are tight....is there a way we can join this lawsuit would like to settle without claiming bankruptcy...
We have never used this and can't foresee ever being able to use this service.
Posted by Norris Williams
I find myself also a victim of this fraudulent activity by Celebration World Resort and Festiva Resorts. I was sold the upgrade from weeks to points equal to 16100 points. Festiva reduce my points to 31000 and they decided not honor my contract with Celebration World Resorts. is there something I have to do to be included in this law suit.
Posted by Mary Bowman Mohs
I also have been fraudulently deceived by Celebration World resort. I was sold the upgrade increasing the number of points I would receive. Is there something I have to do to be included in this law suit.
Posted by Dee Jones
what can you do if you have lost thousands. Can you just stop paying the yearly charges?
Posted by Florence Jones
I hope the lawsuit is well. The resorts are always filled up. They shouldn't be charging for rollovers.
Posted by Hawkeye
I am also a victim and I have been fraudulently deceived by Celebration World Resort when I was sold the upgrade. I would also like to join this lawsuit.
I would like to highlight the State of Florida has also permitted (under license) Celebration World Resort to trade as a bussiness under their jurisdiction and control ALLOWING Celebration World Resort to commit fraud.
The State of Florida has also failed to take legal action against Celebration World Resort for their fraudulent bussiness dealings.
The State of Florida has also failed to protect the consumer the owners who are the victims.
With this in mind a Lawsuit should be taken out against the State of Florida
Posted by Janet Harris
Last year Festiva started charging 5cents to roll over your points that you had already payed for with your maintenance fee (you get 8000 points.). It cost me $400.00 more dollars. I wanted to use those points and I was told I would need to use my new points first and pay my new maintenance fee first!!!! The points I had the year before was dropped ( a loss to me because I did not use them around 3500 points). I am not paying $400.00 to roll over my points, this was not in my contract. Has this happened to anyone else??? Are we liable each time Festiva comes up with ways to make us pay more? How in the world can I get out of this contract, I paid several thousands of dollars for this Adventure Club and I feel they are nothing but a scam.
Posted by Danielle Smith
I an a victim as well. Was very happy with my Celebration World Resort ownership which I purchased in 2004. Festiva talked me into upgrading 2 times. Most recently lied tome about using points to cover my maintenance fees. I would like information on joining this class action law suit.
Posted by Melvin L Moore
Can any Festiva Adventure Club owner join the suit? If so, then how? I also fell like they are a scam.
Posted by Heng-wei Cheng
I am one of the owners. Any results about the lawsuit, please.
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