During the discussion of the contract, we did asked questions, but only to the extent we know. In fairness, our questions were answered. The Purchase Contract stipulated that during the cooling-off period of 15 days, cancellation was permitted with a non-refundable processing and legal fee of 20,000.00. We believed in the integrity of the company and thus signed the contract, since we wanted to go back to our hotel already (it was past 12 in the morning)
At the hotel, we reviewed the documents and searched the internet for materials regarding their tie up with RCI, and it's holiday exchange system. Imagine our surpise after reading a lot of negative comments regarding Club Astoria and RCI.
Upon return to Manila, I was able to donwload materials re RCI and holiday time-sharing over the internet. No material, such as brochure, or a contract, or a members's charter was given to us, or was made available in their website. I learned that not everything the sales agent told us was true (like all the member hotels are luxury, that we could exchange anytime etc). I emailed their customer service and asked for details, fine prints of contract, any material that will guide us in availing of our membership. But they said that we were given a members' charter...I looked again and found it. a one page document that doesnt even explain much of what was just orally discussed to us during their presentation.
We opted to cancel the purchase agreement and was told that under the New Owners' Declaration (charter) we agreed to the legal and processing fee.
I would like to demand the full refund. We feel that our rights as a consumer was violated when the full details of our membership was not explained to us. The sales agent said we should have asked questions during the presentation, but how could we ask more questions when we have limited knowledge of the basics?
I checked the Consumer Protection Act and I believe that there was unethical sales technique with the way they marketed their product. I was told to address my complaint to the DTI-NRC and SEC. I would like to seet advise first, if my complaint would merit attention or am I just banging my head against the wall in a futile attempt to stop this brand of marketing, which has been going on for years already.