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Action: Terms of timeshare contract strange, but they were followed

Timeshare experience so bad he wants a refund

Q: On Aug. 8, my wife and I signed a contract with Club Hipico Sunset Cancun for future vacations in Cancun.

After spending several days in Cancun and two days at Club Hipico Sunset's hotel, we were totally disappointed with the experience. On Aug. 13, I sent my request for cancellation of the contract by overnight courier to Sunset Group's offices in Miami. This was within the five-day cancellation policy.

Subsequent to my letter, I've sent numerous e-mails to the company concerning my cancellation. So far, all of my communications have remained unanswered.

After spending six days in Cancun and Sunset Group's facilities, we don't want to go back.

I'd appreciate any help you can give me.

William Kinmouth

A: The contract you signed was for a 30-year membership to use the facilities at Hacienda Andalucia for a total of $11,800.

The resort bills itself as the first place in Cancun to offer a "real equestrian experience," including "polo lessons, jumping lessons, Mexican ladies' riding, rides along Mayan paths, horse and carriage rides, ponies and a Mexican specialty restaurant."

The contract, executed by Promotora Sunset Beach Clubs, also contains an interesting clause. It requires confidentiality of "trade secrets" and asks that members not disclose information to use against the company. That's not uncommon. However, members also agree "not to make any statements or communications which could disparage the reputation and integrity of Sunset Group or its products . . ." It reminds members that negative comments about timeshares could hurt the value of their memberships.

I've read a lot of contracts in my time with Action, but I don't recall ever seeing language that sought to restrict free speech.

You did follow the requirements for early termination as set forth in the contract.

Customer service representative Montse Castraneda sent an e-mail on Oct. 8 letting Action know you were no longer a customer and that your contract down-payment had been refunded.

You didn't actually receive the refund until Nov. 14, but now you're $6,809.07 richer.

Verizon scrutinized for 'out of service' calls

Last week, the Florida Public Service Commission ordered Verizon Florida LLC to show cause why it should not be penalized $4.56-million for taking too long to restore customers' landline phone service.

The PSC alleges Verizon failed to restore service to customers within the 24-hour time frame required in Rule 25-4.070(3)(a) of the Florida Administrative Code. The outages affected more than 56,500 phone lines in 2007 and 2008.

Verizon has argued the PSC misunderstands the rule and has failed "to recognize critical information in the reports that demonstrate the company's compliance with the rule."

Verizon will have 21 days from issuance of the order to respond in writing why the company should not be penalized for its apparent violations.

Action: Terms of timeshare contract strange, but they were followed 12/20/08 [Last modified: Saturday, December 20, 2008 3:30am]
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