Travel Troubleshooter: Vacation bar buyer's distress costly

  • Rowena Cruz buys a membership to Palladium Hotels  Resorts’ vacation club, though roughly immediately regrets her decision. Why won’t a association reinstate her $8,174? Photo: JIM KRANE, AP

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Q: My father and we recently stayed during a Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. While we were there, we were invited to attend a sales display for a Palladium Travel Club. We paid $8,174 as initial payment, that enclosed a deposition and executive fee, regulating a credit label for a 30-year package with 60 comprehensive weeks.

My father and we shortly satisfied that a membership is not profitable to us and that we can’t means it. Two days after we purchased a bar membership, we motionless to cancel and told Palladium of a decision.

About dual weeks later, we perceived a call from a sales manager of Palladium Travel Club, advising me that we can’t cancel my membership since there is a no-cancellation proviso in a contract. we trust we have a authorised right to cancel my membership, and we wish to practice that right. Can we assistance me get a refund?

Rowena Cruz, Ontario, Canada

A: You have a right to cancel your agreement — if not legally, afterwards ethically. But before we get to that, let’s take a closer demeanour during what happened to we while we were visiting a Dominican Republic. There we were, minding your possess business on an comprehensive vacation, and out of a blue someone invites we to a “brief” sales presentation.

That display for Palladium’s bar took roughly all day and, if a website is any indication, it was filled with lofty promises and hyperbole. How could we not wish to pointer adult for something that offers “endless possibilities to change your approach of roving forever”?

Palladium seems to shimmer over a costs, and it’s also deceptive on a advantages of a “club.” Sample doubt from a site (www.palladiumtravelclub.com/en/faqs): “How can we get a best out of my membership?” (Hmm, we competence start by revelation me how most it costs.)

Disclosure: I’m a transport bar skeptic. As we wrote in my book “How to Be a World’s Smartest Traveler,” there’s usually one transport bar we trust: AAA. From what we can tell, Palladium’s bar is a extraordinary multiple of faithfulness program, time-share and all-inclusive. And we see no reason to change my opinion about transport clubs.

But let’s give Palladium a advantage of a doubt. Let’s assume that this whole operation is on a up-and-up and that we had sealed adult in good faith. Should we be means to cancel your membership within a certain duration of time? You believed your agreement was governed by Mexico’s laws, that need a cooling-off period. The Palladium deputy to whom we spoke pronounced there’s no such requirement since a agreement is governed by Spanish law.

Frankly, we don’t caring whose law applies, and conjunction should Palladium. It sole we a bar membership in a high-pressure environment, when your defenses were during their lowest, while we were on vacation, and it should immediately reinstate a money.

I list a names, numbers and emails of a Palladium Travel Club executives on my consumer-advocacy site. A brief, respectful email to one of them competence have helped your cause.

I contacted Palladium on your behalf. Your termination is being processed.

Christopher Elliott is a ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler magazine. Find transport tips during www.elliott.org. Email: chris@elliott.org Twitter: @elliottdotorg

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