Couple blames pressured sales tactics for vacation deal

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Alan and Sally Bediamol have fond memories of taking their children on vacations as they grew up. After they entered into a contract through what they called pressured sales tactics though, they said their vacation deal became an expensive problem.

“The timeshare presentations became more pressured,” Alan Bediamol said.

The Bediamols told the 8 News Now I-Team that they signed up for a timeshare in 1998. According to Nevada’s Consumer Affairs Division, what they actually purchased was a vacation club. A timeshare is defined as buying into a single property to visit each year while a vacation club includes packages to choose from. The Bediamols claimed they were under the impression that they were owners. They said they upgraded throughout the years and with each vacation, there was another sales pitch.

Alan Bediamol said phrases like “it’s a no-brainer,” and “happy wife, happy life,” were repeatedly used at a presentation, and in 2021, the couple agreed to sign up for a larger package with Diamond Resorts. The couple claims they were told that they could use points they paid for in their package to pay for a maintenance fee, but they later learned that they could not.

“Our goal is to retire and have affordable vacations. They knew that. That’s the leverage they used on us because I told them I’d like to retire. I’m gonna have a fixed income. They’re like don’t worry about it. You can buy into this and for life, you can use your points to pay for the total amount of the annual fees,” Alan Bediamol said.

The Bediamols admitted that they did not read the contract. “…we have faith. After 20 years long ownership with Diamond Resorts, you know the salesperson, we trusted him. He helped us before,” Alan Bediamol told the I-Team.

They said they were paying more than $1500 a month, and later learned what they had paid for was really worth. “It’s only worth two thousand dollars,” Alan Bediamol said.

The Bediamols filed a police report in Las Vegas. They said they were told this is a civil matter though. They also reached out to the 8 News Now I-Team.

Diamond Resorts was acquired by Hilton Grand Vacations in 2021.

In 2016, Arizona’s attorney general announced an $800,000 settlement with Diamond Resorts. The settlement included consumer restitution after the state received hundreds of complaints alleging deceptive sales practices.

There are also multiple civil lawsuits filed against both Diamond Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations.

The I-Team also checked out a sales presentation in Las Vegas where multiple salespeople tried closing the deal, and a manager who initially said he handled finance later said he didn’t deal with finance.

The I-Team reached out to Hilton Grand Vacations about the Bediamols’ concerns and a spokesperson sent the following statement:

“We are pleased that these owners have been able to experience many vacations at Diamond Resorts properties over the course of their 20-year membership and plan on continuing with Gold-status membership. We value our owners and understand that situations occasionally arise. We have been in touch with this family to resolve their concerns quickly.”

The Bediamols told the I-Team that the company agreed to pay a refund and cancel the recent contracts they entered into.

The Federal Trade Commission offers the following tips for handling the timeshare/vacation club sales presentations, as well as Nevada’s Consumer Affairs Division.

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