RCI Lawsuit Finally Reaches Settlement
Today we received an email from a former client of ours who wanted to share an email they received this week about the RCI Points Class Action Settlement. As you will read, RCI denies any wrong doing and has merely reached a settlement with the individuals in the suit and the lawyers who represent them. The point of this article is to give you a lay-man’s view of the case, the possible impacts it would have had on the industry and our general opinion on the entire lawsuit. Our Timeshare Release and Timeshare Redemption program has seen a considerable spike in timeshare owners with points searching for a way to cancel timeshare since the case was first filed.
RCI Timeshare Complaints Result in Ridiculously Small Settlement
RCI REACHES A TWELVE DOLLAR [$12] SETTLEMENT?!?!
Recently we noticed a trend line of Points owners that have been unsatisfied with their timeshare ownership and searched for ways to give back their timeshare. We deal with a large number of clients who at one point owned a fixed week, but later upgraded to the Points system. It seems that some of these ‘weeks to points’ did not find the flexibility and ease of booking that they perceived they would find. There may also be even more people who thoroughly enjoy their Points program ownership and are not looking to sell or get rid of their timeshare. Keep in mind that we only speak with people looking to get rid of timeshare, and not the other large percentage of RCI users that are thoroughly happy with their association and membership.
Tired of how RCI treats YOU? Give Back Your Timeshare Today!
The timeshare titans in the Vacation industry have had their eyes locked on this case since January 2009. The original class action lawsuit filed against RCI was based on allegations that, among other things, RCI had rented certain timeshare inventory that Plaintiffs alleged should have been made available exclusively to members of the RCI Points Exchange Program. The Complaint was originally broken into four separate counts:
- Count 1: claims for violation of consumer protection laws
- Count 2: breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing
- Count 3: breach of fiduciary duty
- Count 4: unjust enrichment
RCI swiftly moved to dismiss the complaint and on January 20, 2010 and ultimately the courts dismissed Counts III and IV of the Complaint with prejudice and soon thereafter the original Complaint was amended. The Second Amended Complaint only spoke of Counts 1 & 2 listed above.
Over time, and coincidentally as lawyer fees mounted – a settlement was reached. This settlement was deemed to happen in good faith and was only after SUBSTANTIAL arms length negotiations between counsel, that the Parties respective interests are best served by entering into the Settlement Agreement. Typically in these types of cases, when it takes years to move through the courts system, legal fees can become as much of a decision to pursue the case as much as the actual original complaint. While both sides felt they had a valid case, and neither felt they were wrong – a settlement was reached. You can read the Settlement Agreement here.
Here is a copy of the informative RCI settlement email which was forwarded to us today.
You May be Entitled to a Payment from a Class Action Settlement
About the RCI Points® Exchange Program
A Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit that claims that RCI, LLC violated certain consumer protection and other laws by renting timeshare inventory deposited by members of the RCI Points Exchange Program. RCI denies it did anything wrong.
Am I included? You are included if you (1) Are a resident of the U.S. or its territories, and (2) Were a member of the RCI Points Exchange Program on or before April 25, 2012. If this postcard is addressed to you, you are included in the Settlement unless you exclude yourself.
What can I get? If the Settlement is approved, Settlement Class Members who submit Claim Forms may receive a payment. Current members may get $12 and former members may get $10. Claim Forms are due by August 24, 2012.
What are my other rights? If you do not want to be legally bound by the Settlement, you must exclude yourself in writing. The exclusion deadline is October 2, 2012. If you stay in the Settlement you will not be able to sue RCI for any claim relating to the issues in this lawsuit. If you stay in the Settlement, you may object to all or any part of it by October 2, 2012.
The Court will hold a hearing on November 1, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. to consider whether to approve the Settlement and a request for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses in the amount of $835,000.00. The Court has appointed attorneys to represent the Class. You may hire your own attorney at your own expense.
RCI TIMESHARE REVIEWS
As you may have read, as part of the agreement qualifying timeshare owners are only being offered roughly a dollar a month equal to one year of ownership for their perceived troubles. That’s right, for those timeshare owners who fall under the qualifications listed in the Settlement that feel ‘wronged’ – they get at most 12 DOLLARS! However, it does seem that more transparency can be expected for RCI timeshare owners in the future. This clarity will be provided both on the RCI members website and also some terms have been updated moving forward in the RCI terms section of their member print materials.
If you are looking to easily get rid of your timeshare and you would like a free and friendly alternative to over priced givebacktimeshare companies, fill out the form below.
Remember, RCI denies it did anything wrong. The Court did not decide that RCI did anything illegal or wrong. The Settlement does not mean that RCI admits that it did anything illegal or wrong. The Settlement avoids the cost and burden of continuing the case.