Welk Resorts is one of the largest timeshare companies in the U.S., and based in San Diego, CA. Marriott Vacations Worldwide recently acquired Welk Resorts for $485 million and is now the owner.
Welk timeshares are located in several desirable areas, including Missouri; Baja California Sur; the San Diego, Tahoe, and Palm Springs areas in California; and Breckenridge, Colorado. However, if you’re trying to get out of Welk timeshare in one of these places, you are certainly in good company. Many people end up wanting to exit a timeshare after running into problems with booking, financial add-ons, or the properties in themselves.
We did a great deal of research on Welk Resorts and Welk Vacations, and found that there were several reasons why people sought to cancel Welk timeshare. Among the most common reasons were the following:
- High-pressure sales tactics and false promises during presentations
- Poor or no customer service
- Nonfunctional points program (i.e. more false promises)
- Badgering past customers after they’ve cancelled
- Ill-kempt properties with high APRs
- Overall responsibility from the company and its property managers
These are serious issues, and we found them cited on a number of reviews websites multiple times. Some of their ratings and complaints included:
- 1.03 out of 5 stars with the Better Business Bureau, based on
- 218 complaints closed in last 3 years
- 84 complaints closed in last 12 months
- 2.5 stars on Yelp
- 388 reviews on ConsumerAffairs that aggregated to a 3.1 out of 5 star rating
- Most recent reviews were 1-star ratings
You can review some of the reasons for these negative reviews and low ratings in these excerpts from the following reviews that we found online.
- “While at a baseball game with my husband, I was approached by a Welk rep who was offering a free stay in Las Vegas if we attended their presentation. At the presentation, I was told that this membership would give us the best and cheapest options available to vacation and that we could travel internationally at no additional cost. This all sounded amazing… There is so much that the salespeople left out during the presentation that we did not learn until after the fact. For example, we were told that this was a tax write-off, yet we have never been able to do so. These employees have never been truthful with us and now that we are in this situation of their making, they will not help us resolve it! What kind of customer service is that?”
- “I wasn’t going to write a review because they processed my timeshare cancellation without any issues. BUT I think it’s sad that they have the nerve to leave me on their call list AFTER I got out of my timeshare. … They were quick to process my request and gave me my deposit back within a couple weeks so I figured good riddance. All of this was in July. But then on Aug 11 I received a voicemail from a Jennifer who was apparently trying to schedule us for a tour? I ignored it. Since August I have gotten a couple of missed calls from their number; in fact I got one today. I don’t even bother to answer or request that they remove me because I’m kinda curious how long the apparent lack of recordkeeping on their end will continue … I am shocked this business model still exists!”
From the BBB:
- “Where do I start? First, we were told that just by attending the seminar in Breckenridge, whether we signed up or not, that we’d receive a three night stay in either Cabo or Hawaii. We did end up signing the contact [sic], however, we never received the vacation package that was promised for attending. I talked with multiple staff at Welk OVER THE LAST YEAR to resolve this issue and here we are today, still not resolved. … I’ve honestly never felt worse about giving my money to a company that was supposed to make my life easier in planning and booking vacations. I’ve experienced nothing but one issue after another. The customer service reps literally read off a screen and will sit there on repeat until you decide you’ve had enough. I had to cancel my reservation at a Chicago hotel in the beginning of March and am STILL WAITING on my refund. I will never use this service that I have paid for again. … Everything that was promised was a lie.”
The recent 1-star reviews on ConsumerAffairs were very telling, as they mostly spoke to the high-pressure sales tactics that Welk Resorts used to push people into buying timeshares. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon, and can lead to buyers’ regret in the long run.
Welk Resorts Major Class Action Lawsuit
It’s notable that these tactics and promises were the foundation for a major class action lawsuit between San Diego County and Welk Resorts. It’s not difficult to find information about this case if you look up “San Diego vs Welk class action lawsuit.”
You should be aware that, in June 2020, they were relegated to paying up to $3.5 million in penalties and restitution to those who suffered from their false promises.
There are also a handful of other class action lawsuits involving Welk Resorts, including:
- Welk Resort Sales, Inc. v. Bryant – Case No. 17-03197-CV-S-SWH, United States District Court For The Western District Of Missouri Southern Division
- Lopez v. Welk Resort Grp., Inc. – Court Of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District Division One State Of California
- Chavez v. Welk Resort Grp., Inc. – Court Of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District Division One State Of California
Not only is there a page on the Welk Resorts website about the resolution of the San Diego County lawsuit, there is a website called Welk Restitution for those who could be considered claimants. While you typically do not need to do anything to receive compensation from a class action lawsuit of this nature, it is worth looking into, as there is a good amount of information there about the case in general and what you can do to recover what you’ve lost.
Welk Resorts Exit Program
There does appear to be an official Welk Resorts exit program. It is not exactly easy to find, as it isn’t located on their website, but if you look up that search term you can find it through Responsible Exit. The exit program runs through Experiences Vacation Ownership by Welk Resorts.
On the website for this program, they claim to work with both “deeded and points-based properties,” and handle sales directly without any upfront fees. If you are trying to cancel Welk timeshare, this is one route you can look into using. Oftentimes, though, whether or not you can actually sell back a timeshare depends on the value of your property, or the amount of mortgage you have left to pay, so it’s wise to have another plan in mind as you explore this option.
What Timeshare Exit Companies Can Do
Some of the other options for getting out of your Welk timeshare are resale with another platform or working with a licensed timeshare broker. We tend to recommend these after exhausting what you can do directly with the company, since they can save you time and money in the long run.
It’s also worth exploring what timeshare exit companies can do for you in case you need another option. We created this website in order to help timeshare owners like you resolve issues with timeshares, and we have several companies we recommend that can help.
Our recommended companies are only those who are legitimate and reputable, and we tend to parse this by those who offer escrow payment as an option. When you pay through escrow, that the timeshare exit company does not get paid in full until after you have successfully cancelled your timeshare. You can learn more about why escrow payments are important on this page.
Making sure you go by this rule of thumb is a good way to avoid scams and make sure you’re actually getting relief from your timeshare struggle.
If you’re one of the many people who’s suffered the consequences of Welk Resorts’s false promises, there’s still more than one way to get out of Welk timeshare. Have a look into our recommended timeshare exit companies to figure out what might be best for your situation. All of these companies are reputable in that they use escrow for payments, and have many positive reviews from clients they’ve helped in the past.
And if you have other questions about cancelling a timeshare, or want to ask about one of these companies, feel free to get in touch with us. You can give us a call at 949-229-7748, fill out the contact form on the right side of this page, or initiate the live chat to get started.