What a Crock……..

ULTIQA ™ have come across this blog.

An organization with morals and ethics would take a long hard look at itself when confronted with testimony from a myriad of disillusioned clients. It would seek to identify and rectify its shortcomings. It would offer recompense to those who have been pressured into a purchase package which is not suitable for their needs. It would change its business model to one which is transparent and which is fulfilling to its clients as well as itself.

Did ULTIQA™ behave this way?

No…it sent the host of the blog (WordPress) a trademark infringement complaint, and have asked for the removal of the https://ultiqa.wordpress.com URL as it “would lead a customer to think that the site would be run by the ULTIQA entity” and create “customer confusion”.

So…for any hypothetically confused customers…this blog is DEFINITELY not a production of ULTIQA™. Its a little blog by a bemused prospective client who has detailed his experience at an ULTIQA™ hard sell event, and comments by others with similar experiences.

My opinion is that ULTIQA™ wanted this blog removed so it wouldn’t show up in search engines by prospective customers, and disgruntled purchasers. Claiming a “trademark infringement” is a cynical and pathetic attempt to shut this blog down.

WordPress have decided not to take action on the spurious complaint by the ULTIQA™ rep. Well done WordPress.

Hopefully there will be no more about this matter…but if this blog disappears…you will know that ULTIQA™ have thrown enough money somewhere to achieve this.

But, just in case it disappears here, it will likely pop up somewhere else.

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Getting out of the contract

It beggars belief that Ultiqa has managed to obtain a bare minimun 7 day “cooling off” period. If you sign up on the night while you are a tourist there is no, or hardly any time to reflect upon this contract with your trusted financial and legal professionals.

If you are reading this post after you have signed up, and before the “cooling off” period has ended, the ball is in your court.

You are absolutely entitled to retract your agreement to the contract.

If the model suits you, it is quite likely that you can purchase someone else’s folly much more cheaply than what you are pressured into during the presentation.

http://www.timeshares.com.au

At the end of the day, a reputable vendor of an expensive and complex  product lets you examine the product and gives time to decide whether this is right for you.

Ultiqa fails this simple test.

 

 

Cheque, mate

As the end was drawing nigh, the sales manager went through his spiel. He did write some figures on paper trying to make some substance to the pitch from his toady.

When we asked to take the scratchings home to examine them in more detail, he refused. He said something like “I can only offer you this now. Its not something to take home”.

So, from memory, the upfront cost was around $20,000 – $25,000 for entry into the scheme for a weeks accomodation per year. The annual maintenance cost  was estimated at $2000.00 if I recall. Just bear in mind that the salesperson could not state an upper limit to this call upon timeshare owners.

When pressed about the point about taking the material including the PDS away from the high pressure sales pitch, and making a cool headed judgment with some research, your man and his minion were very open to admitting that their income depended upon making sales on the night. The PDS stated this offer was a “one time only on the night:” or words to that effect.

In my mind, the Ultiqa timeshare sales model is reprehensible. It gives no opportunity to make a sensible examination of the structure.

The touts and the sales staff are only interested in sucking dollars from your pocket. They sail as close to the wind as the law allows. They have no conscience and prey upon you.

All they are interested in is your cheque, but they are happy to call you “mate” right until the time you have been parted from your cash.

The end game

It is only after you have survived the first 60 minutes that your sales rep will talk about the timeshare model and the costs. The manager comes along at some point.

The model that is being spruiked is that you are purchasing a partial ownership in a timeshare property, and that entitles you to a certain number of annual points which can be then used to stay in that property, other properties in the Ultiqa group, or entered into an exchange mechanism whereby these points can be used at other timeshare properties or holidays (cruises mainly) around the world.

Sounds good doesn’t it!

Of course there is an annual “maintenance fee”, and if you don’t use your points within a certain timeframe they expire.

Your rep will give you give you a woolly indication of the maintenance fee, but ours dodged the question of what the maximum liability could be. RED FLAG.

Just remember, you have been dragged off the street to buy part of a real property. This is only revealed after 60 minutes of your personally tailored presentation.

Why would you trust anyone, or any organisation who is not prepared to be upfront from the word go? RED FLAG

Why would you trust a business which operates a continuous model which includes a “Good Night, Irene” clause; ie if you don’t sign up today you can never be offered this “opportunity” again. RED FLAG

Three Red Flags are enough for this post. More to follow. I’ll provide some information about some brushes that Ultiqa’s previous incantation (“The Holiday Club”) have had with the Law, Timeshare Company ethics, Cooling Off periods, Secondary market sales and whatever else crosses my desk on this matter.

The simple fact of the matter is that your initial purchase is overpriced and almost unsaleable if you want to get out of it. You will be liable for the annual fees while your ownership remains. You cannot walk away from it. Many timeshare owners try to exit the property by giving it away for free. The annual burden of fees remains until, or if, someone else accepts transfer.

At Ultiqa, the price for the real property you are purchasing, also includes paying for the touts on the street, the commision for the salesperson, the commision for the salesperson’s manager, the office staff, and the Developer’s markup on property sales. Great value. Lots of people get to clip the ticket before it gets to you.

The game moves on

A previous post was replied to by a former Ultiqa employee. I have no problem with that, and as the author of this blog, I can approve or reject replies to be submitted on the blog. It would be very unlikely that I would not approve a post, whatever viewpoint it came from. So, if you are happy with your Ultiqa experience, please post, if you feel you were scammed, please post, if you are are a former Ultiqa employee/agent, please post, if you are a current employee/agent please post as well.

Snail, the replier on “The Next Step” thread, made some comments. He/she claims the industry is strictly regulated. I await the verification for this. There are some other things he/she said which I may comment on in another post

So, after that aside, lets move on.

At the 60 minute mark you are given the opportunity to leave and take your “free” gift with you. At this stage any attempt to discuss the model for the timeshare setup and the cost of it has been refused. Our salesperson said “I can’t talk about that yet”.

If you stay for the rest of the ride the next step is to show you the Ultiqa apartment in the Chevron Renaissance Towers. Our salesperson asked us if we wanted to go to the toilet before he led us there. No messing up the toilet in the apartment allowed! We were taken on the long route to the apartment – pass the pool and various other features. The apartment itself is nice enough and we spent a few minutes looking around.

The way back to the salesroom is much shorter. No pool this time!

Nows the time when the talk turns serious.

The pitch – Opening gambit

Like lambs to the slaughter, couples are invited in a large room with individual tables for the couple and the Ultiqa front person. Do all Ultiqa representatives have sociopathic traits? This is a question I do not have an answer for, as my sample size was only two, and I’m wary about extrapolating.

Backtracking a little…..there is no doubt in my mind that some Ultiqa supervisor tries to match the front person to the sucker couple from the “questionnaire” which has to be filled in beforehand.

Our personal Ultiqa guy pulled out the entire gamut of ingratiation……timeshare is completely different to bad practices in the past….timeshare is much more flexible than it has ever been…..etc.

He even pulled out the mother card…”My mother has timeshare properties”

Provided that I am able to maintain the rage, I will detail all the RED FLAGS that were raised by my interaction with Ultiqa. At this stage I’m happy to say that any salesman who plays the mother card within 20 minutes of first meeting gets an automatic RED FLAG.

The Next Step

The hustler in the street would seem to pick out couples who look over 25. He insists that both members of the couple have a scratchy card. He scratches the first card for you….”oh dear”, he says….”I hope the other one is a winner”…and of course it is. And the patter continues..

“You’ve won the wonderful opportunity to attend a seminar about a life changing experience. I just need you to come upstairs with me to register. There is a $20 administration fee, which will be refunded when the seminar commences.”

Then there is the questionnaire to fill out..Name, Address, Phone, INCOME, occupation, lifestyle choices etc etc..before the “seminar” commences.