Diamond Resorts International Club, Inc. (DRI) and Barclays Bank Delaware are the defendants in a 10-count proposed class action in which two plaintiffs claim the companies misled consumers through “hard pressure” sales tactics, oral misrepresentations, and false statements.
The 21-page complaint lays out a scenario that begins around November 2016 when the plaintiffs signed onto a membership with DRI whereby they would ostensibly acquire timeshare “points” that could be redeemed in exchange for perks and accommodations at various resorts. In order to obtain these points, the case says, the plaintiffs obtained financing directly from DRI and a “Diamond Resorts International” credit card issued by Barclays. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs were sold a sampler package made up of 2,500 points and led to believe their monthly timeshare payments went solely toward the purchase of more points.
In January 2017, DRI reportedly informed the plaintiffs that it should not have sold them 2,500 points because, the lawsuit says, that amount is insufficient to obtain any of the promised vacation privileges. The case says DRI then told the plaintiffs they needed to buy an extra 6,000 points to gain a “silver” membership, after which they could then access vacation perks.
The plaintiffs take issue with DRI’s allegedly “hard pressure sales tactics,” which the complaint says left them feeling manipulated and intimidated into signing a new contract with the company.
At an “update meeting” in June 2017, the lawsuit continues, the plaintiffs were reportedly told that, contrary to DRI’s previous representations, their membership was not in fact a “silver” membership, and that, once again, they lacked sufficient rewards points to gain any vacation privileges. At this point, the plaintiffs were then urged to sign up for a Diamond Resorts International credit card to finance the down payment for yet again upgrading their membership.
When the plaintiffs tried using their rewards points on an August 2017 vacation, DRI allegedly advised them that if they failed to buy more points, they would lose their benefits.
All told, the complaint alleges the defendants “act in cahoots” through false advertising and misrepresentations to induce consumers into signing contracts and paying for phantom upgrades they never wanted.