It’s no secret that most timeshare owners are not happy with their purchase. This is probably because timeshares just aren’t great ways to schedule or use your vacation time. Even if you could get the exact time you want with that perfect ocean view, you’ll also have to contend with constant maintenance fees and assessments, and you probably won’t be able to sell it.
You might be surprised to learn that, although Timeshare exit strategy are usually a pretty bad vacation experience for everybody, there are actually timeshare companies that are worse than others. Companies that are so bad nearly every review submitted about them makes negative comments about their products or their honesty. In a nutshell, these are the worst of the worst.
One company that has been consistently trashed in its reviews is Capital Resorts Group, also known as Capital Vacations, LLC, or Capital Vacations Club. With a variety of resorts from Kennebunk, Maine, through Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Branson, Missouri, and all the way down to the Grand Cayman Islands, Capital Resorts maintains a wide variety of resorts around the East Coast.
Though it initially appears to have a very high Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating, even a quick perusal of over 100 customer reviews shows a dismal rating of 1.36 out of 5 stars. Even Yelp, which has fewer reviews, posts a similar 1-out-of-5-star rating.
So, what’s the story? If your next vacation is in a unit at a waterside resort, complete with air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and a hot tub, can it be that bad? We’ve taken a look at various customer reviews and synthesized the top five complaints that Capital Resorts customers seem to have with the company. Take a look at them below and decide for yourself.
Problem #1: Constant and Pushy Sales Presentations
Capital Resorts: person signing a contract
One feature that seems universally shared by all timeshare companies is aggressive and overly long sales presentations. Capital Resorts certainly has its share of these. When Capital Resorts responds to negative reviews and complaints, it’s very quick to point out that no is obligated to buy at these presentations. One wonders why they feel they have to say that.
Complaints about long sales presentations are further met with the explanation that, if a person is thinking about a purchase, the presentation may go longer than 90 minutes. What is not explained by Capital Resorts is how they tell the difference between presentees that are considering and those that are not considering.
There have also been reports of presentations and attempts to get even existing customers to “upgrade” their contracts after check in at a resort. Sometimes, this can even happen when a customer comes in with a complaint.
No matter what the product, if you have a problem, an ethical company will do its best to resolve that problem before anything else. The company should not try to sell you another product, and it certainly should not imply that buying something else may help you get rid of your original problem. In cases like this, you should definitely run the other way.
Problem #2: Misrepresentations Made by Salespeople
Capital Resorts: magnifying glass
Another issue frequently mentioned in connection with Capital Vacations Club sales presentations is untrue statements made to customers. These include statements about the poor condition of resorts. (In other words,”The resort that I got looked nothing like the one in the brochure!” or “You showed me a much nicer unit when we went on a tour!”)
Exchanges and points are often a problem as well. For example, let’s say that you have a home resort in North Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and you want to spend some time at a resort in Kissimmee, Florida, or the Virgin Islands. You will probably be in for a surprise: The points you have may not even be sufficient for a weekend at one of those other properties.
Another major problem that keeps arising is misrepresentations about the amount of annual maintenance fees. In reviews and complaints, owners have expressed surprise that their fees increased from year to year (often well over $1,000 USD). Many say they weren’t prepared for this possibility by salespeople.
For its part, Capital Resorts has responded by pointing to the timeshare contracts and by arguing that the contracts prevent owners from relying on oral statements made in presentations. While they are correct that the contracts say that and that these sorts of provisions (known as integration clauses) are common, that is not a reassuring public stance from one’s timeshare company.
Problem #3: You Can’t Schedule Your Vacation
Busy calendar with pins
Part of the deal of vacation ownership is supposed to be that you own a piece of your favorite vacation spot. Whether that piece is a week at your favorite resort or a certain number of points that you have come to rely on, you should be able to get what you paid for and schedule your vacation with less hassle and worry than you would otherwise, right?
Unfortunately, many customers of Capital Resorts don’t seem to feel that way. There are reports of frustration among customers who have tried unsuccessfully to schedule their vacations for weeks, or even months. They find themselves unable to use the owners’ website and have constant trouble reaching a live person to speak with at Capital Resorts.
Timeshares are already expensive and difficult to get rid of. If you also have to suffer through a customer service headache every time you want to schedule a vacation, there doesn’t seem to be much advantage to vacation ownership.
Problem #4: Unhelpful/Unprofessional Staff
Angry man pointing to a contract
Another common problem with Capital Resorts is that owners have trouble getting in contact with them — or at least, with a real person that can give them answers. Some owners, unable to make reservations or an exchange for their vacation, have been left to their own resources without talking to an actual person for weeks.
Others, some with serious problems, have finally managed to secure in-person meetings with Capital Resorts staff, only to have them be dismissive, rude, or generally unhelpful.
A notable exception to this rule, however, was noted when there was a possibility that the owner might purchase more timeshare points from the company. It should go without saying, though, that good service should not be contingent upon the fact that you are planning on buying more products from the company that is giving you problems.
Problem #5: Capital Resorts Won’t Let You Use Its “Exit Program”
Eventually, most people regret their timeshare purchases and they want out. All kinds of timeshare companies, from Marriott to Wyndham, understand this and try to offer some halfhearted assurances that unhappy owners can leave. These “exit programs” are famously difficult to use, when owners can even get them to work at all.
And public information about Capital Resorts’ exit program may give you even more cause to be wary. In response to reviews and complaints, Capital Resorts is usually careful to qualify its statements by saying that a successful exit is contingent upon an owner meeting all their financial obligations.
The exact nature of those obligations, though, is vague. And if a timeshare owner is having a conflict with the company about other issues, it is likely there will be a disagreement about whether financial obligations have been met as well.