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Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima

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1 Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:50 am

mrsdelantar


Arresto Menor
I signed up for Club Ultima last year. We were advised that we can only take advantage of the offer that day so we have to decide right away. The offer was really good at the time and we were only in Boracay for limited time, we agreed to join.

Reservation : Php 18,400
Monthly Due: Php 3,000 (May 2014 - May 2015); Php 5,400 (June 2015 - June 2017)

Once 30% of the total price has been paid, we can take advantage of the benefits as members. That is at least more than a year from signing up.

All is well and monthly dues were autodeducted on my creditcard. However, I didn't get any updates anymore after this. I need to constantly make follow ups to know if I already paid the 30%. I believe that this should be automatic since this is important in our membership. After that I was advised to deposit my annual fee first to take advantage of the free nights included on my membership. I said they can just deduct it in my CC. No updates afterwards. Numerous follow ups happened again.

Finally, I decided to cancel the membership but I was told that no payments will be refunded because it has exceeded 15days after reservation. This is unacceptable. It also said on the contract that if we were unable to use any benefits, we are entitled for a refund. Or so what I understand. In any case, how was I to know that their service sucks if it takes more than 12months before I can take advantage of their services? Also, they didn't give us enough time to review the contract and get legal advice. Plus if this is the case, they made us agree into a contract fraudulently because they know they can give under quality service and still we cannot backout because none is refundable. So we just have to put up with their BS. This is denying of our consumer protection as Filipino citizen.

If I handle this legally, will the consumer protection law be favorable to me?

Thank you.

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2 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:03 pm

kalabukab


Arresto Menor
hi.

have you filed any case against the club?

We're having the same problems.

I'm also seeking legal advice from some friends.

Please keep me updated on this.

We also want our money back.


Kind regards.

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3 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:49 am

mrsdelantar


Arresto Menor
I didn't. I decided not to stress myself regarding this anymore. But if there can be a class action lawsuit regarding this, I would be willingly join. I requested my membership to be on hold for autodeduction as of the moment.

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4 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:09 am

kalabukab


Arresto Menor
ok. I'll just inform you if anything comes up. Thanks.

have a good day.

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5 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:19 pm

S2S


Arresto Menor
DTI Makati is accepting filing of cases for free for Article 52 of RA 7394 with sales / transaction that is grossly inimical to interests of consumers and is grossly one-sided in favor of the seller.

I have the same problem Club Ultima.

Just that my membership is already fully paid. But then, they increased the annual fees more than double this year.

I hope we could all work together to push DTI in protecting us as consumers from abusive sellers as Club Ultima.

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6 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:01 pm

lovegador


Arresto Menor
I encourage you to do the same. I am also fixing relevant docs that can be used as attachment to my complaint. Let us flood DTI with complaint on Club ultima.

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7 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:02 am

S2S


Arresto Menor
Hi lovegador,

I already filed my initial complaint last Feb 2018. The only thing that got worked out was my booking this April. I was even quite surprised - coz the day of mediation alone, Club Ultima membership manager Arlene Cabbadu was there an hour prior to attend to 1 mediation, and after me, she has to attend to another. In DTI's logbook, she even looked for Joseph Manuel P. Pamittan, the Mediation Head. So as far is flooding DTI with complaint, I think that's already their status. They could even be chummy already that she frequents their office regularly. Club Ultima's office is just right accross DTI FTCB.

The goal should be to make things happen and find what will work out for us.

For my request on option to cancel my membership bec I was not amenable to their increase (and we were not advised prior, especially during purchase, that there will be one anytime in the future), this was not worked out. DTI's timeline lasts only for 10 days. They advised me to re-file, they will provide the assistance for free. I am doing that this coming April and I'll be directing it to -
Rafael King
Chairman of J.Kings and Sons Co.
Mother company of Crown Regency and Club Ultima

Coz if you direct it to any employee, including the Membership Manager, there is nothing they can do. They are powerless. They will keep telling you they had forwarded it to Management in Cebu and to their Legal Department. But there's no answer or the answer will always be negative.

I am trying to find complainants with the same problem -
Manila Club Ultima Members who are "Still" members, have fully paid the membership fee or least still paying, and who are not amenable to the abrupt and exorbitant increase on the annual maintenance fee (from 6720 to P13,920).

Coz I learned from Club Ultima office that Member Complaints from Manila are many.
A friend advised me that a Class Suit may be more effective than individual cases.

So if you are, and would like to do something about it, together. Please contact me here.

In fact, I have even gone to Tulfo and was referred to Integrated Bar of the Philippines for consultation - but this did not help either.

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8 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:08 am

lovegador


Arresto Menor
Hi S2S,
What is your next step. I am still finishing up on my narration then will email to DTI. Will definitely join a class suit if there is any.

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9 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:22 am

S2S


Arresto Menor
I am just polishing my narration, marinating it in prayers, and will be submitting my papers again to their office on April 2. Coz I think emails don't work with them. In the first case I filed, after they sent me the moderation appointment, I sent 2 emails back but I never received a reply. I even tried calling but numbers weren't working and couldn't get through.

Email and calls seemed not to work with DTI's office. They only use it for outgoing notices, but not really for communication.

What's the main issue are you filing if I may ask? You may also send communication to me at terrytsy AT gmail.com

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10 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:24 am

lovegador


Arresto Menor
I am also filing because of the exorbitant increase in the annual fee. Wih the way they offered ny their membership it seemed to me that the 6720 was fixed only to find out that they can increase it any time they want.

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11 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:54 am

S2S


Arresto Menor
During presentation last year 2017, they did not inform you they were increasing this year for the annual fee?

I bought my 2nd one 2015 and they did not inform me then.

My first one I bought last 2009, but they've only allowed me to pay my annual fees in advance till 2017 but not further. And I did this 3 years ago.

Until I received the memo this year for the increase.

I had been guessing and wanting to know if they had informed members who joined at least last year, and if they had been at least transparent about it.

If what you say is as it is, for me you have a strong cause (if the P6720 in your contract agreement). If so, that will strengthen and confirm my case too.

It also confirmed my hunch. They had plans all along and were just not transparent with the planned increase. Management or even board approved increases like that are not decided overnight. Even if the tangek lawyer from IBP informed me that it's board prerogative, and members have no say according to corporation law (but at least they should have been clear to us about it from the start that we are subject to it, then we would at least decided to purchase based on it, knowing what we are getting ourselves into). How are we to know and ask each time we buy a product if it's a corporation behind it, to know if we are subject to increases, diba?

Then we have the same case. I suggest we file it together. I even suggest that you don't submit it yet. If you can, send me an email of your narration. Once I finalize mine, I'll send it to you too. Coz I think we only have 1 shot. If we don't win it here, I don't know where else to go, what to do and who will help us anymore.

I hope there will be more members with the same case to join us for us to file together. To solidify that what we say is true and we have been told and committed of the same thing. That will make our claims solid and stronger, and them a liar and practicing unfair business, preying on small people like us.

I know we are many (from what Club Ultima office says), but we don't know each other, and their office will not help us get together or find ways. We are all being asked to write a letter of complaint to their management, and our laboriously written letters are just being piled perhaps as heaps of trash since they don't care, they are too big, too far, untouchable, and too proud.

They have no plans to reverse the increased annual dues, based on my last mediation discussion with them this Feb in DTI's office. The company already have plans where to use the funds.

I also hope no not a single member would pay for the 2018 dues yet to prove all our point that we don't approve of the increase, that it's not fair to subject us to forced increase or payment.

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12 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:16 pm

lovegador


Arresto Menor
Actually, I bought my membership 2016. The amount 6720 was not in the contract that I signed but it was stated in the list of member benefits that they gave me. However, it was also not written in the contract that the annual fee may change. So I assumed that it will be fixed for the whole duration of my 15-year membership. I also did not receive any notification that they will increase the fee. It was only when I asked my father to pay for it that we knew about the increase and that this increase was due to the TRAIN law which is now being implemented "daw".

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13 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:45 pm

S2S


Arresto Menor
I've just attended the seminar on train law this March and no way does the tax increase reached over 100% hehe. They have used so many wrong arguments already.

I want to know if they still use the words "no inflation" in their sales presentation until your time. Coz that's what they were strongly using when I purchased. And tama ka, because of how they repeated those words, I expected no increase within my contracted term also.

Sige let's compare notes. We need to strengthen our arguments to get the implementing body to our side.

I hope we could also find someone who recently purchased, like 2017 or even 2018. If the increase was already mentioned.

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14 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:58 pm

S2S


Arresto Menor
I re-filed my complaint with DTI FTEB today for arbitration to ftebmediation@dti.gov.ph (their office is in Makati, just right across Club Ultima).

To Rafael King
Chairman of J.Kings and Sons Co.
Mother company of Crown Regency and Club Ultima
christine.bernardo@clubultima.com - his secretary for Club Ultima
032 2550155

If DTI hears us saying the very same things in our complaints, even if Club Ultima did not put all their verbal promises to us in writing. I believe we still have a chance in solidifying our claims for their trained and misleading sales pitch.

I clearly recalled I was convinced by Club Ultima’s sales agent to buy this vacation package, promised then and made to believe, that with the package bought, I am protected from inflation, should the hotel decide to increase later on. That's why we were offered the product. That is where I have set my budget.

The recent increase was really surprising and not amenable because there was no mention that something like this will happen, to have at least allowed me to carefully give it a thought, before agreeing to buy.


It was confirmed to me from all written papers provided that I only need to pay for for the P6,720 each year to be able to use my allotted 7 nights of vacation.

After going through initial mediation, Club Ultima still want me to pay for the increased fees or I cannot use anything that I have paid.

Because of their change in price other than what they have convinced me to buy, I am requesting through DTI FTEB the case be subject to their investigation, re-appealing that I be provided other option like be refunded for the unused portion of my purchase.

I believe that for Club Ultima forcing me to pay for the increased price or cancel my purchase
without returning any form of value for my unused payment is not right.

Their increase goes contrary to the “no inflation” benefit they have used to convinced me to purchase this vacation package in the first place.

I am persistently requesting through DTI FTEB that I be provided value for my unused payment.

Further stating that –

I felt misled by Club Ultima in more ways than one. What was promised is different from fact.

1. They said I have room price advantage for buying this membership package.
But in fact, I do not. They are offering their rooms on line and elsewhere, cheaper.

2. Lack of transparency during point of sales, particularly concerning pricing, was not disclosed / they have concealed.
Price of the room – that they offer the same or even lower price to those who did not purchase this vacation package.
Possible increases - their agent were all trained to promise that for buying, we are protected from inflation and future increases – which is contrary to what’s happening now.

3. We are provided priority as members.
I get very late replies for confirmation when I book. In many instances, my bookings gets declined.
As a paid customer, I am ignored for valid concerns, as narrated.
It has been so difficult to reach them, their phones are not working or they do not have answers commensurate to the value of what I have paid.
Service is below average for the price paid.

4. I will be provided assistance to sell my membership.
I had approached their Membership office a couple years back, yet they declined to assist me on this.

With all these, it made me quite dissatisfied for the purchase made.

If you have the same experience, I encourage you to file the complaint. Let's do this together and be persistent about it.

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15 Re: Unfair Business Practice - Club Ultima on Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:50 pm

S2S


Arresto Menor
I write this for the benefit of Club Ultima members who do not agree nor want pay the increased annual maintenance fees that started this 2018 and who are still in the dark of what to do.

Thanks to someone whose DTI regional head defended her cause on this, she got a settlement from Club Ultima. That DTI head pointed out to Arlene Cabaddu of Club Ultima that our contracts do not mention anywhere that we are subject to increase, making it faulty, so either they change the contract and make the fee P6720 yearly all throughout our contract perior or they they should offer refund. Club Ultima chose the later.

Because of that, in my 2nd DTI mediation today, I was offered the same settlement by Club Ultima.

However, I think the offer was a bit insane.

I am being charged P6,000 for every voucher I used in the past to be deducted from my full vacation package payment. Even when I am fully paid, I ended up owing them money!

Because of the various promotional room rate Crown Regency Hotel has on the net (from P2,000-P3,000/night only - try to google), I am not very happy already with my member's room rate at P2493-P2712/night.

With the P7200 annual fee increase, I cannot accept the +P1028 more a night, making it P3521-P3740/night.

So why would I accept the price of P6,000/night/voucher deduction from all my payments in the settlement?

I told them I am not stupid.

I decided to proceed filing for arbitration on DTI's advise and encouragement.

I have to prepare well for my position paper to show the arbiter how Club Ultima is unfair in their business practice to win the case.

DTI's performace rating here serves as my encouragement -
https://www.dti.gov.ph/media/latest-news/10465-dti-strengthens-consumer-protection-redress-mechanism

For those who read this, pray that I will win. I also need encouragement for fighting alone. Coz those who said they will join me for the class suit, aren't....

Yet once we have a positive record with DTI on this, I believe it will pave the way for easier claim on unfair business practice by Club Ultima for future complainants as well as with other vacation companies.

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