My parents are Silverleaf timeshare owners in Oak N’ Spruce, Massachusetts. They have been since 1999 when they were pressured into buying this worthless timeshare.
They are so unethical. My family moved to United States in 1995 from Slovakia. Neither one of my parents spoke English in 1999, so the sale was basically made to me when at the time I was only 15. The information was given to me and I was advised to translate all of it to them.
I myself did not speak English that well either let alone understand the legal language and what we were getting ourselves into. I do not remember a lot from that day since it was so long ago, but I do remember the sales person pressuring us so bad that he was willing to drive to our house, 2 hours away, just to get a deposit out of us to put as a down payment on the timeshare. We kept saying we do not have money to put a down payment of any sort. Needless to say we did not see a way out of this, and ended up purchasing the timeshare with a down payment of about $90.00 which at first they wanted thousands.
We never filed a complaint against them because we did not know we were able to do so nor did we know it was a scam until I recently researched this company and saw lawsuits and complaints. In 2006 while using their June vacation time, my parents were asked to see a sales rep to talk about their timeshare. While speaking to the sales rep my parents were asked if they wanted to upgrade by buying another week. We said we rarely use the week we currently have and said “no thank you”.
He insisted that the resort is growing and the value of the timeshare is going up every year. The current sale of the red week (what my parents own) was apparently selling on the market for $25,000, so we were told. The sales rep offered to sell it to us for a very “special” value of $14,000. We were skeptical as they had recently finished paying for the first one.
We were given the same runaround as the first time and it was made almost impossible to leave there without agreeing to the purchase. We mentioned also that we like to vacation in Slovakia visiting family and would rather use that money toward flying there. The sales rep told us about the RCI program that we can use and whenever we want because Silverleaf is a participating member and we can exchange our weeks with them anytime. I recently learned we need membership with them which we need to pay for.
I do want to say the second purchase was somewhat easier only because we were led to believe that we are investing in something wonderful. I remember asking about selling the timeshare and was told as stated earlier the value of the timeshare is increasing every year and that it is a very desirable timeshare and would have no problem selling it. We made the purchase based on a lie that we may sell it whenever we want to and make very good profit.
I would like to express how Silverleaf has managed to basically strip our family of thousands of dollars when we could not have even known all the facts about the resort because of the language barrier.
Secondly we were made to believe we were purchasing something that will eventually be worth a lot more than we invested or would invest. It was not until recently I started researching selling the timeshare that I learned of the real value and the scam. There are thousands of postings from people all over United States trying to sell them. I have even seen postings on Ebay, selling value being $0.01.
I also came across thousands of complaints. We want to sell it but as I stated earlier it is close to impossible to sell since there are so many listing. I am not letting my parents spend another dime. They and I understand this will most likely affect their credit, but we will much rather pay money to either fix it or take them to court, than throw money away into a company that tricks, manipulates, lies and steals from its customers.
They have most certainly taken advantage of us as they state on their website in order to qualify you must make at least $45,000 and speak English. At the time of purchase my parents did not make anywhere close to that. We also did not speak English well and they state in order to sell anything they would provide a translator that would help translate everything, which they had not. The sales rep misrepresented the timeshare.
So needless to say stay away, we convinced ourselves we were doing a good thing by buying it, but in all honesty it is worthless and basically the only way to get rid of it is to donate it because you have to pay the "maintanance fees" every month for the rest of your life! And I will admit fault to being fooled but I was young and didn't know any better and we came from a country where things like this don't happen so anyone who is going to write "you should have known better" yea it's true we should have but we didn't think it was a scam...who ever does?
Product or Service Mentioned: Silverleaf Resorts Vacation Ownership.
Monetary Loss: $20000.