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Vacation Ownership

Read Danvil Plans, Crown Regency, Nuskin and other Scams

crown regencyYou have just won a FREE 4 days 3 night package for two including 2 children from Crown Regency Hotel.“, the caller congratulated me. I know there is always a catch to freebies. They got my name from a “raffle stub” that I dropped at the Fil-Negosyo Expo 2006. The lady sounded a bit defensive “There is no catch. The gift certificate is valid for 6 months and you have the choice of staying in our Mactan or Davao Hotel. All you need to bring is a valid ID. You don’t even have to bring cash, credit card or a checkbook“. Something about the “too-good-to-be-true” call piqued my curiosity. This must be a new marketing gimmick which I needed to experience. When I relayed the news to my husband, he immediately thought of a time sharing scheme. When we arrived at the reception area, we found out that we could only get the gift certificate after listening to a 90 minute audio visual presentation. I couldn’t imagine why it would take that long to view the hotel features.

So the catch is this. No, it’s not time sharing. It’s a club membership of sorts. The guy introduces the concept of a dream vacation and the expenses it entails. But with an investment on a lifetime Club Ultima membership, your vacation expenses are not lost forever. One can avail of discounted hotel rates around the world including the Philippines. Their partnership with Interval International is very appealing.

Interval International is celebrating its 30th year leading the vacation ownership industry as the exchange company of quality and innovation. Interval has a global network of more than 2,000 affiliated resorts in over 75 countries, and serves its developer clients and nearly 1.8 million member families, worldwide vacation owners, through 28 offices in 19 countries. The company provides a variety of exchange services and year-round travel-related benefits to enhance members’ vacation experiences.

The concept of [tag]vacation ownership[/tag] is really great. Among other benefits, the Individual A membership comes with a 7 day stay for $138 in any member-hotel in the world for 4 adults and 2 children, a 15-20% discount on plane fare etcetera. Here goes the catch, for the Individual A membership it’s 210,000 pesos ($3,900) for lifetime use and one can get all the benefits right away after downpayment. They will even give you terms for the 30% downpayment and 2 year terms for the balance.

Here goes the catch: The above price for the membership is valid only today as IN that afternoon. Whoa, hold on. This is something that has to be discussed and thought of. We’re not buying apples and oranges. We have financial goals. Here are my thoughts:

Why are they pressuring us nicely to “impulse buy”? Vacations are not the highest priority in our list as of the moment.

Is this company reliable? Club Ultima has been in business for almost 3 years. It would have been great to hear of testimonials from existing members although they claim to have 3800 family members already. So maybe the owner, Mr. King is known as the Motel King magnate in Cebu before he ventured into five star standards hotel. In fact, they nearly bought one of our properties in Cebu but backed out when they saw 4 family members died. He’s definitely liquid.

Anyway, so now we know why it took 90 minutes to get our free gift certificate. Sales Talk was the agenda. That was a good one. Instead of spending millions of pesos on billboard or glossy magazine ads or brochures, a personal “talking brochure” yielded positive results in membership.

We got our gift certificate alright. But we have to pay 4,000 pesos ($75.00) booking fee a week before we check in either to their Mactan or Davao hotel. And air plan fares are not cheap. I know we need to take a break now and then but a vacation in the Philippines and outside of Luzon Islands is not affordable. It’s even cheaper to take vacation packages to Thailand, Hongkong and other Asian cities. Oh well, maybe we might buy a Club Ultima membership once the Makati hotel rises up in Arnaiz Avenue. In the meantime, our vacation in Europe is just a dream within the next 5 years.

club ultima

47 thoughts on “Vacation Ownership”

    1. Wowww thank you so much this very informative and help site.. this is a great blessing and even to my family.. because we don’t waste our time and effort also money as well.. I got call today through cell phone while i’m working,, the good thing is that i’m not available today so i re scheduled friday or saturday. the things that I wonder very much because iring nag gakus no joke2,, I wonder because he was so interested with my income also the income of my wife though at the back its scam.. but not 100 percent and at the same i’m not afraid because I live her in davao in he transact me here in davao also at near assumption church before agdao.. thank you very much..if he call me again maybe i says to him that i cannot hear his voice in my phone or whatever,, thank you very very much for this site,,,

  1. my parents had a similar situation as yours about 4 years ago, when they received a letter saying they were selected to have a vacation to Hawaii for free. so they went to a hotel to claim the prize but as always there was a catch. The catch was they have to buy thousand dollars worth of company products before they can go to Hawaii. haha… I was laughing at them by even bothering at going to the hotel, making a fool out of themselves. hehehe….

  2. naku, i went through this thing too. i got the free accommodation certificates (yun lang naman interes ko makuha kaya ako nagounta) but was not able to use them. at least, they were really given as promised.

  3. Mike: it’s a marketing ploy but the fixed costs are paid through buying the product

    Connie: I might be able to use the Hotel accomodation in Cebu since we have properties there and sometimes will need to do business. Yes, they were given as promised naman.

  4. kelan kaya ako matawagan sa teleono ng ganyan to claim my Free accomodation in a plush hotel.. ill just get the gift check and wont listen to their blabbering. hehehe

    i remember dati ang Club Panoly may ganyan din…

  5. Thanx a lot for the info on the crown regency promo… Believe or not, there is another company promoting the same thing…puerta del sol…i also declined to go…

  6. two years ago someone called us up to drop by crown regency hotel in mactan to get a freebie (1night stay in a hotel.) i dont know where they got my number. we dropped by one day at the hotel without knowing what were getting into. so, after blah, blah, blah, offering this membership we’re told that the offer is good for one day only. we ended up agreeing to give down payment/deposit for individual b account (12 nights free). we paid the balance for two years and started to pay monthly dues this year. we haven’t really had a chance to avail of the facilities yet, i just hope this is really a good thing. a good investment i hope

      1. hi! i just wuld like to know if you continue your membership with crown regency hotel coz’ im in a same situation as yours though yours is almost a year ago. i just signed up yesterday and also thinking to cancel it.

        thank you.

    1. hi! im having a second thought to continue our membership with crown regency hotel. we just signed up yesterday. i’l really appreciate if you will share your experiences as a member of the hotel.

      thanks. hope to hear from you soon.

  7. hi there!
    i got the same offer from Villa Anna Resort (Anna Dizon owns that resort). As I saw the website of Villa Anna, I was enthralled by the resort photos so i decided to get the invites. My husband and I were going to use it for my birthday this month. So off I went to Batangas City where their office is located. I was exhumed in a 5-hour traffic! good thing I didn’t bring the car with me; otherwise, it would have been hellish. anyways, so there we were (i met my husband at the bayan because he came for a visit to his parents who live there) at 5:30 pm excited with the FREEBIES and all when they introduced us first to their 90-minute talk. that was like, we want to eat coz i am dead-hungry na and there they were telling us the freebies will be given after the presentation. and well, that presentation was a sceheme to lure you into availing the HOLIDAY Package. darn! so we ended up wasting precious time there. I did get the freebie…but what the heck? was it worth it? i don’t think so because there was still 800 pesos to pay for reservation. ha!

  8. great that you worte about this. i received the same call from puerto del sol and did not go. this morning i got another call from crown regency and wanted to go… but thougt about researching it first. i decided to obey my husband and not go… good thing. it will just waste my time. besides, you’re right. The Asian tours we had are waaaaay cheaper.

    Thanks and God bless!


  9. Thanks for this post. I just received a call from Club Ultima this morning and searched right away about their “raffle”. good thing you posted your thoughts on this. when i had problems with danvil, i also searched for answers in your blog. you are really such a big help to me and to lots of other people. Thank you very much! God bless!

  10. hello there!!
    i thought it was a real waste of time, they dont give u much time to think do they? hahaha. i wanted to see the contract but they wouldnt produce it.

    anyways i was thinking of availing of the gift cert., and i wanted to ask if you were able to refund the booking fee?

    thanks so much!!

  11. My husband and I had 2 experiences already, the first one was done at A-Venue (Gold Crown) and this was international. We got to use the GC in their partner resort in Boracay which was a far cry from the Tides (where we stayed. Ok lang libre naman eh!).

    Then I got a call again just this January 2009. Grabe, the 90 min streched to 3 hrs! I cannot believe it! They will not give up! It was a good thing, me and my husband had stronger will power than their motor-mouths. We’re leaving for Mactan and then Bantayan Island this May! 🙂

  12. I attended the seminar last night.. i find it expensive.

    How about yung 5k refundable booking fee totoo ba? actually the package they offer is not worth it.. their package now is 100k for 8 years plus 6k for yearly maintenance fee(whatever they call it). for 7 nights accomodation, it will be an approximate of 19,000 per year.
    (19k multiply by 8 years = 100k + 48K (6k x 8 years)

    19,000 for 7 nights accomodation? then you will tied to use just their hotel..

    so for me its not worth giving your cash in advance and get a roughly 2.7k per night stay.

  13. Hi, I also received a call like that offering free Hotel accomodation. When we got to A Venture Suites in makati we we’re seated at the granvcia cafe resto to have a dinner buffet (salad, bacon – tomato pasta, beef & vegetables, some sort of mocha brownies and iced tea) I had to sign a form that we’ll get the buffet dinner for two plus the Hotel accomodation certificate if we agreed to listen to a 90-min. AV Presentation. During the presentation they offered us a vacation ownership amounting to around 275,000 for 25 yrs. with RCI affiliation. You get one week at their A Venture Suites or can exchange it with international destinations, but you have to pay around 11K for international, 9K for asia-pacific and 5K for domestic. Aside from that you have to pay for ‘Maintenance’ which is 8K, plus you have to pay for the so-called ‘get-aways’ brochures (I think you get 2 every 3 mos.) cost 4.5K. The get-aways as far as I understood it are unlimited and you can avail them aside from your 7days. Of course we declined, we still got the GC. We already have flight tickets to Bangkok in october which I bought way back in february, and that was the only reason I attended this: to get the GC. I’m a bit doubtful about this GC but will see if its real and if there is any further catch to this. please, if anyone was already able to refund the booking fee please let me know. Thanks!

    1. hi rita! any update? were you able to use the GC A.venue gave you? im in the same situation now but the difference is i already made the downpayment of 20k. hope i can be enlightened if this is a good investment before i pay my first monthly payment of 5k.

      many thanks!

  14. Wow it’s just now that I got curious of looking for this time share scam as I was, well maybe “victimized” by this scheme in the sense that I had to spend the whole evening till the wee hours of the morning of the next day with these people selling timeshares and yes they want you to decide on the spot to buy the packages..My gosh the packages were already worth buying a property and of course like what you said it’s not one thing you decide immediately..The invite was like we won a buffet dinner in a decent hotel in Mand (I forgot the name) and we had the dinner had this grueling 5-7 hours with the sales person who looks down at company paid business trips (it’s nothing compared to real vacation which is somehow true) but of course business trips are good deal already having the experience of going to another country…
    we declined to get any package and we got a gift cert instead- a 2 week stay in a Brazilian hotel…now going to Brazil is our problem..this scheme is a big waste of one’s time.

  15. hi noemi! i was surfing the net about crown regency because my mom and i got to register. tapos ang registration is P10,000!!! sabi ko sobrang mahal. we have not yet paid the P10 k kasi wala naman akong money that night and even if i did i wont pay. the prob is my mom got easily swayed and even if i dont want to apply as a member she wanted it…i dont know how to convince her. but good thing i have not yet paid. i want to figure out how i can backout

    1. IF THE OFFER IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS. Got a similar offer from Club Ultima and after going to their office and reading the blogs above, it’s a blessing that we didn’t get to sit in to their presentation and shell out our hard-earned money. CLUB ULTIMA and the likes, in our opinion, is the ULTIMATE MARKETING SCHEMERS who thrive on deception and half-truths!!!

  16. Got a similar call from Club Ultima (that i won 3d2n stay…) Went to the place and was asked to fill-up a form w/ questions that I felt were discriminating (i.e., what’s your status in life, are you living together? for how long?).. huh??? what kind of question is that? I asked the girl what the purpose was and she said it was just a marketing survey. Although, I was not in that “status”, it was the first time, I’ve seen a survey that asked such a question and it made my suspicion rise about how “legit” their offer was. I didn’t get to listen to the presentation which I now think as a blessing as my husband (who refused to come to what he knows to be a marketing scam/ploy) didn’t go with me and the club didn’t even want to present to me the offer when I was alone. This is one time that I’m glad that my husband “told me so”. Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences about similar marketing ploys. IF THE OFFER IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS!!! Read the blogs above and learn that it’s not really worth your time and money. What the “club” is offering is not really free. There is always a catch to it… CLUB ULTIMA and the likes… YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE IN MARKETING SCAMS!!!

  17. I kept on receiving calls from this company asking me and my fiance to visit their office in Quezon Avenue to claim our free gift certificate for a 3D/2N stay in any Crown Regency Hotel. They said the same thing, we just need to stay at their office for 90 minutes so we could choose which hotel we would like to stay in. Sounds good, actually too good to be true. Then after that she asked me some few questions like what do I do for a living, how much do I earn, if my fiance and I are living together, if he earns as much as blah blah blah a month, questions that are very unnecessary.

  18. well as for me, I really wanted to stay in Crown Regency in Cebu. I don’t think I wasted my time during the presentation, I kinda enjoyed the presentation but I’m a bit annoyed on some questions like financial standing etc. The offer is actually good and so the privileges when you become a member of club ultima. One thing I don’t know is that you need to pay a booking fee for 4,000php, I thought its free and anytime you could check-in. We’ll may there be booking fee or none I will avail of my free 3D/2N GC sometime this July before it expires.
    .-= Mao´s last blog ..Can Machida Salvage Another Victory? =-.

  19. It’s a club membership, similar to sports club but theirs is a creative vacation and leisure offering. if you take annual vacations seriously, or at the time of your life to just take it slowly and discover the world or a business that takes you places then this club is for you.

  20. Too bad that Club Ultima engaged in “scam tactics”, they should have just used proper marketing strategies rather than engaging in such malicious acts. I really don’t believe in free stuff or service, not unless it is accredited by the Department of Trade and Industries. I’ve seen this kind of tactic in malls, clamming you get all the free stuff if you buy this item right now.

  21. in fairness, A.Venue gave me the promised GC no questions asked after I listened to the presentation. It was a hotel stay at Sunway Resort in Malaysia for 3 days 2 nights worth P12,000+. Good thing we were really scheduled to go to Malaysia so I chose that GC though I had the option to choose Bangkok or Boracay.

  22. First of all, Club Ultima never had a tie up with any resort in Jakarta Indonesia. None now, none before so it is impossible for the company to have offered Jakarta in lieu of Malaysia. Second, all the tie up agreements with the hotels in Malaysia are still existing and there is no hotel whose tie up is no longer in ever since they entered into an agreement with Club Ultima. Third, China is not included in the issuance of gift certificate.

    The 5k refundable booking fee is required to make sure that the guest is committed to push thru with the reservation since the hotel is giving up free hotel accommodations. This is being refunded upon check out at the front office of the Crown Regency Hotel or at the membership or sales office if the vacation is done outside the country. I wonder why the 5k being refunded was not mentioned.

    It is also not true that the blogger has “forgotten about the investment” since she has made use of the membership twice this year, one in Cebu and one in Boracay. How convenient for her not to mention using the membership.

    Club Ultima members who joined 2007 onwards can sell their membership 2 years after full payment. In other club memberships (i.e. sports clubs), this is called the holding period. The blogger is not yet fully paid with the membership, therefore still cannot sell it. She also cannot refund her payments as what she initially demanded. No self respecting company will refund payments to someone for something that has already been used or availed of. Club Ultima has, however, has allowed her to let someone else assume the membership for her for a fee and she agreed to this. She has in fact endorsed somebody for the company to contact and explain the membership to, which was speedily done. This person is already willing to assume the membership. In fact, she only had one question: if this membership is up to date with the payments to which the company said yes. The company has also already agreed to the manner of payment to the balance. The assumptee informed Club Ultima that she will just dicuss everything else with the blogger. The blogger is informed regarding this and everything is documented. Club Ultima’s only requirement for this to push thru is the letter that will be forwarded to the company regarding the assumption should bear the signature of her husband who is the principal member and authorized signatory of the membership. The company has not heard from her since this was raised. The company has also delayed calling the husband since it is not known if he is aware of this transaction, the company does not want to create trouble between them.

  23. Too sad, me and my wife also went through this grueling 90 mins which later became 4 hrs. After all the blah blah blah we gave in and paid our initial payment of 30,000 pesos. Then because it was really an attractive investment for the enjoyment of the kids, especially the pool, and the gym for the wife + the deal on spas. We paid again another 13K. Total payment made to date is 43K. 2 months ago i decided to stop paying and asked them if i can get the refund. They said i cannot get even a sigle cent as 1 month passed by already. But it is my hard earned money? I haven’t use their facility and was only able to tour it during that grueling exercise.
    I really think this is a scam!!! How can you not refund peoples money when they have not really use the facility in any manner? That is our hard earned money?
    Everyone please be very careful with this scam!!! If possible never attend their presentations as they will just forced you to signed and pay. Too bad for me I never did the investigation… if i only was able to read the blog above my money should still be in the bank.
    To whom it may concern, can i still get my money back? Is it legal for them not to give back my money? It’s unconscionable and I believe our law protects people like me from this big company stealing small people’s hard earned money… Please help???

  24. hi guys, in fairness to the staff of Club Ultima…90 mins presentation is the only requirement for them to show you how Club Ultima & Crown Regency is all about,,,unlike before they use Tri-media (TV;Newpapers;Radio) to inform the public about the hotel but since it was too expensive,,, they just invite people to promote their hotels & resorts…that’s it,,,part of their presentation is to offer you a membership but it’s up to you if you want to join or not,,at least learn about their hotels,,,they’ll just giving you a choice if you want to put your money in a travel agency-like package tours & after that your money is gone,,only receipts,,but as a member you may use your privilege as long as you want ‘coz its a lifetime thing…they will not push you to get it…and whether you get their membership or not they’ll give you the GC 3D/2N in Cebu, Mactan or Davao,,, and i use mine in Crown Regency Cebu, the one with Edge Coaster ride and that’s great experience…i’ve been attended to many time sharing before but i think Club Ultima/Crown Regency is the best with much flexibility when it come to usage,,,,maybe just maybe i want to be a member of their Club once i can afford to be one like my uncle…thanks.

  25. aba! nag cocomment and club ultima?! better if you give back the hard earned money of your members who are not satisfied with your service. how can you feed your family with food that came from deceit? i know of someone who’s family was stricken by disease and death one after the other because they are like you people. all you are after is money regardless of how you got them.

  26. As part of our tour, the agent told us that pwede daw buy back ang membership if there is urgent need. My query is that: meron ba talagang na buyback ang club ultima na membership? Coz we are in a really bad situation right now coz of a family member health problems, and we need to dispose of our membership.

  27. I remember way back 2006, I also received a call from Club Ultima. After all the sales talk, my husband and I paid a downpayment of P11,000.00. The next day, after coming to my senses, I decided to cancel. I was informed of a cancellation fee of P10,000. In spite of that, I thought that it’s better to be duped for P11,000 than make additional payments and be duped for more. I faxed them a letter and I tried calling them for a reimbursement. Eventually I got tired of demanding for my downpayment and just charged the same to experience. Until now, I still feel bad about it.

  28. I am a member of Club Ultima for so many years now. I am not happy with my membership for the following reasons:
    1. Parking area is a mess. It’s very hard to park your car in the basement parking area. Members must pay Php20.00 per 3 hours while hotel guest are free to park. Weird ruling.
    2. Club facilities are deteriorating. My son was afraid to go to the CR/toilet because according to him, “It’s creepy. There is a flushing sound every 2 to 3 seconds”.
    3. They offer buffet dinner at Php450/head. If you use a consumable coupon of Php500, they won’t give you a credit of Php50 to apply to other consumable items such as soft drinks. They keep the Php50 excess and you have to pay for your soft drinks with cash.
    4. The agents tell you your 1-night membership will now cost Php301,000. If you tell him to help you dispose of it as you don’t want it anymore, he will tell you to sell at Php120,000 (it may take longer) or Php100,000 (it may be faster to dispose).
    5. A can of softdrinks will cost Php60.00. Parking will cost Php20.00/3hours. You pay Php1,000 monthly fee (Php500 fully consumable, Php500 non-consumable). This is not a club incentive or privilege. It is a club hold-up.

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