Update by user Jan 02, 2016
As of the month of June in 2015 after weeks of legal consultation, my girlfriend and I were granted a mutual release from out timeshare contract. We no longer have any financial responsibility to the time share property.
It has been a great relief to the both of us.
I only wish the amount paid was given back to us, but I'm very much content with the results. It has been a hard lesson learned dealing with these kinds of practices.
Original review posted by user Jun 12, 2015
My girlfriend and I unfortunately got involved with this company last September. We went to their location in Sheridan, IL for a "90 minute tour" for free gifts. The location looked very nice and the tour guide we were with was friendly, but the moment you start to be practical about whether or not you can afford they crank up the high pressure sales tactics. Needless to say we don't make that much. Me and girlfriend are both students and make just enough money to maintain a very modest one-bedroom apartment. Even when telling the sales manager our financial situation, they still proceeded to throw numbers and figures at us to try and make it seem is something we could afford when in reality we couldn't. We wound getting into a "blue season" deed which was plenty within our budget. Even with the basic amenities that came with a blue season, we were very content and wanted to take baby steps into this. What was described as a 90 minute presentation ended being 5 and a half hours on top of a 1 1/2 drive.
Two months later, we get invited to their Lombard, IL location for a "new owner's orientation" which actually ended up being the same thing we went on the first time. Anther "90 minute presentation" that went on for 3+ hours with them trying to sell us on a more expensive deed. It just ended up being a case of dejavu. With having no experience with timeshare, we remained optimistic and tried seeing it through because we were sold on investing in something that benefit our family and friends.
Another two months go by for yet another "new owner's meeting" at the previous Sheridan location supposedly to go over upcoming changes. We told the representative that we were fine with what we had and was within our budget. He proceeded to crank it into high gear about how they are getting rid of deeds and it was the last opportunity to take advantage. We kept telling him we couldn't afford it and he proceeded to bring in another guy to do more convincing telling us how he helped another guy do this, that and all of the above. Again the numbers and figures came. Specifically, he told us that it was more but all we had to do was refinance the amount and it would guarantee us lower payments even as far as saying we could apply for a Home Equity LOC (all of which we found out later was not an option or benefit to us). He guaranteed that by helping us out that he would give us a call every few months to come out to see him in order receive free gifts in the form of a visa gift cards saying we can use them to pay the monthly maintenence fees. By then, my girlfriend and I were unfortunately convinced that we could handle it financially and got so gassed up in everything he fed us for almost 3 hours that we ended up going through with it. We believed what he told us. Since then, no calls or appointments, no free gifts to pay the fees.
As expected, finances got rough. The first day the payment was past due, the phone calls started. We got a minimum of 5 calls a day. The most I received in one day was 8 calls with not one person leaving a message. If I had a actual emergency, I wouldn't have been able to tell based on the call frequency. I tried to pay as much as much as I could without putting us in worse shape. The calls didn't stop. Finally, a rep left a message and we called back and explained what our situation was. We scheduled a meeting to see about rectifying our situation. The following week or so we went back to the Lombard location to see if there were options about getting our payments lowered. What was supposed to a meeting for helpful options wound up being another "90 minute presentation" just like before. Not only did we not get help, but they tried to sell a more expensive deep that was double the amount of the one we just got into and again saying that refinancing it will cut the payments in half. The rep even said to use their referral program to get more money towards the payments by selecting random names out of the phonebook so if they come I can get a credit. Who does that? It obviously didn't feel right so we declined after 4 hours being there.
About another month went by and things didn't get any better. I couldn't make the payments so I decided to call financial services, which I also recorded, after attempting to refinance which ended up in vain. I told them my situation and I eventually began talking to one of the managers in that department. I went into detail of my experience as a whole thinking she could try to give me an alternative that would be helpful. Never have I experienced such patronizing and high level badgering about my situation. Every solution made was to set up a payment that I had already clearly expressed I did not have which infuriated me. I kept my cool during the call which the longer it went on the more it revealed this company for what it is. To my surprised, I learned they had noted my account saying I spoke to someone on a prior date and authorized a payment to be taken out, which was false. Even after expressing my displeasure she completely disregarded my description of their aggressive sales tactics by replying with "I don't think so" and "you understood what you agreed to pay." (Not in the same sentence.) It was by far the worst customer service experience I've ever encountered.
This was the absolute breaking point for me with this company. They obviously have no regard of financial responsibility to the consumer whether before or after you sign your name on the dotted line. If you know for a fact that you cannot afford a timeshare, do not get involved especially with this company. They will gas you up and make promises that they can't or won't live up to and leave you holding the bag. This is a company in the business of selling you a dream. I'm currently seeking legal counsel about this matter as my girlfriend and I, as far as I'm concerned, were met with empty promises and totally misled and conned into this agreement. Take my advice and avoid these people at all costs.
Reviewer is in unhappy mood. Please immediately contact the author of this review to discuss poor customer service of timeshare presentation. Silverleaf Resorts needs to read this review and look into the issue (if any) according to poster's claims.
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