Diamond Resorts International Inc. is one of the most well-known companies in the timeshare industry. Founded by Stephen J. Cloobeck and currently led by Chief Executive Officer Michael Flaskey, the company is headquartered in Las Vegas, NV, and has vacation destinations in Europe, Africa, California, and Hawaii, as well as the rest of the United States.
Diamond Resorts is known for its specialized points systems, which give customers access to an assortment of domestic and exotic locations. While Diamond Resorts boasts luxury vacation spots in hundreds of international locations, the company insists that vacation-going and timeshare ownership should be for everyone. They place emphasis on connecting with others and breaking away from the norm to experience once-in-a-lifetime vacations.
But, is the friendly, aspirational tone of their advertising in place to disguise darker ulterior motives of the company? Diamond Resorts has soured many with their pricy management fees, high-pressure sales tactics, and inflexible timeshare cancellation policies. In this guide, we’ll dive into some background on Diamond Resorts, discuss its recent merger with Hilton Grand Vacations Club, and if you’ve been a victim of a misleading Diamond timeshare sale, tell you how you can seek help in canceling your timeshare.
The Diamond timeshare company currently offers two point systems called Trust Points and “THE Club” points. Both systems give you an annual allotment of timeshare points to use at select Diamond Resort locations. According to diamondresorts.com, members can use points they’ve earned to stay at numerous resort locations, book cruises and guided adventures, receive special travel benefits, and even book rental cars and airfare tickets.
A quick glance at Diamond’s timeshare resorts in places like Maui, Nevada, and Florida is sure to impress many potential timeshare buyers. That’s probably why, according to a New York Times article, the company’s revenue soared to $85 million in 2015 with an average timeshare price of $21,700.
Diamond describes its sales methods as being intimate, engaging, and creative. They seek to form a bond between their salespeople and potential customers the moment the initial sale pitch begins. Diamond strives to distinguish themselves from other timeshare companies like Marriott and Westin by maintaining a sense of familiarity and companionship in their presentations, perhaps recognizing the timeshare industry’s reputation for impersonal sales tactics. However, many scorned members have reported that Diamond’s overly aggressive sales presentations and deceptive practices should not be outshined by their glitzy image.
The New York Times article also reported the story of a woman named Mary Ann Gutierrez who was offered a $100 Diamonds gift card in exchange for attending a Diamond Resort presentation. Prior to the meeting, she was asked to fill out a series of documents and provide her credit card number. The five-hour meeting was focused on urging her to give up both of her timeshare deeds, one of which wasn’t owned by Diamond. They said that in exchange for an upfront cost of $30,000, they would provide her with an upgraded membership in Diamond’s points system, keep her maintenance costs low, and allow her to use her points to stay at other Diamond timeshare properties.
As Gutierrez continually resisted, they began to suggest that her current maintenance fees would rise if she refused to make the deal. When they finally let her go, she noticed a $4,840 voided charge on her credit card, showing that they had already charged the down payment for a timeshare they had wanted her to agree to without her consent.
Diamond has responded to the distrustful reputation they’ve gained by developing Diamond Clarity, which is a national program aimed at providing transparency and accountability during the sales and closing process. This program guarantees that customers are provided with a series of operational procedures and enhancements in a single document during the sales process. This document is intended to establish buyers rights as well as explain what Diamond representatives can and cannot do during the sales process.
Diamond also guarantees that during the sales meeting, potential buyers will receive a summary of the maintenance fees that current Collection members are charged, what these fees are being applied toward, and a rundown of the benefits of each Diamond Loyalty Level.
It’s evident that Diamond Resorts has a polarizing reputation within the vacation ownership industry. Though their resorts in places like Orlando and Sedona have been enjoyed by many, their history of high-pressure sales tactics and deceptive practices may have driven scared buyers away in the latter half of the 2010s.
What didn’t help was the dramatic decrease in timeshare purchasing due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. With stay-at-home measures in place throughout the world, the timeshare industry suffered at large. Perhaps this caused the higher-ups at Diamond Resorts to consider merging with other companies.
Following Diamond Resorts purchase by Apollo Global Management in June 2016, Hilton Grand Vacations announced in March 2021 that they were buying Diamond Resorts International from Apollo for $1.4 billion. Diamond has said that this merger will create new opportunities and destinations while maintaining the high-level customer service that Diamond Resorts prides themselves on.
If you are one of the many timeshare owners affected by this move, you may be wondering how this will impact your timeshare status and your ability to resell your timeshare. Will this merger lead to increased maintenance fees and unwanted changes to their current timeshare resorts?
Time will only tell if Diamond Resorts merge with Hilton Grand Vacations is the right decision for Diamond or Hilton timeshare owners. Though this may open up opportunities for current Diamond members to trade their points in for new travel locations, the company’s history of manipulating sales opportunities to seem better than they are may cause some of their customers to be skeptical. Scorned Diamond members may be wondering if this is just another attempt to use flashy vacation destinations to distract from potential fee increases or added stipulations that’ll make it even harder to use the timeshare.
If you’re a Diamond Timeshare Owner who’s experienced deceptive sales tactics, fraudulent information during the timeshare selling process, or misinformation about your ability to resell your property, you may be wondering how to navigate timeshare cancellation. Though the process can be daunting and stressful, especially now that Diamond Resorts has been bought out by an even larger company, the Centerstone Group is here to help you.
Centerstone Group believes that it’s never OK to provide potential customers with dishonest information for the sake of getting a sale out of them. That’s why we’ve created a full-service advocacy group made up of timeshare exit experts with a deep knowledge of the timeshare industry. With a combined 33 years of timeshare industry experience, our team knows how to navigate release for our clients. Centerstone Group has created the most comprehensive, time-tested resolution process in the timeshare exit industry.
If you’ve been a victim of fraud, high-pressure sales tactics, or misrepresentation during the timeshare sales process, whether it be with Diamond Resorts International, Hilton Grand Vacations, or any other timeshare company, cancellation may be possible. Contact us today for a free consultation.