Even the hearty television presence of Alan Thicke couldn’t help Consolidated Resorts, Inc., a company owned by Goldman Sachs that sold timeshares, from going belly up. An anonymous tipster emailed us yesterday to say that they “just laid off most of their staff, including all collections, customers service, marketing, information technology departments.” And according to this insider, this is good news for consumers.
You may know Consolidated Resorts better by the commercial with Alan Thicke trying to sell you on Tahiti Village timeshares.
They gave us a few minutes to collect our personal belongings and asked us to leave with no severance packages for those of us who held professional positions with the company for several years.
The explanation given to us this morning was that GMAC had decided not to work with us. GMAC provided most of the funding to customers wanting to finance a timeshare.
While I was one of the ones laid off, I’m not really sour about that; I expected it and am frankly surprised the company lasted as long as it did being as shady as it was.
I considered submitting the foul practices to Consumerist before, but I didn’t want to lose my job over it. They did a lot of stuff that was wrong, but it doesn’t really matter now if they are made public because they are filing for bankruptcy.
Of the bad things, at least the ones I knew of, I can say the ones that bothered me the most were:
- Misleading customers to think they had properly invoked their right to rescind by simply calling in within their 5 day period (when really they had to send a certified letter). The customer would think they were relieved of the horrible investment then 30 days later, they’re stuck with a big fat bill.
- Using celebrities like Alan Thicke, George Wallace, and others in a game show for timeshare purchasers to win free getaways or a million dollars. The game show was called 2nd Honeymoon. The real purpose behind it was to manipulate buyers from invoking their right to rescind. It worked too.
Here’s a clip from a taping of “Second Honeymoon.” You can watch it and dream of the Tahiti Village timeshare you’ll never own now—or just marvel at this example of the awkward scenarios people will put each other into in an attempt to sell them something.