Sedona timeshare company accused of taking advantage of tourist

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

SEDONA, Ariz. -- Ralph D’Errico, 80, describes his recent trip to beautiful Sedona as a nightmare, far from what he expected when he visited Red Rock Country.

It was just one stop on his road trip through Arizona as he and his wife celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary.

During their stay, the newlyweds took what they thought was a tour of a nearby resort called Sedona Pines.

“It really didn't turn out to be a tour,” D’Errico said.

Instead, he wound up sitting through what he calls a high-pressure sales pitch aimed at getting him to invest in a Sedona timeshare.

To find out what kind of sales pitch D’Errico was talking about, 3 On Your Side sat through the same so-called tour on a later date.

The tour, as we found out, turned out to be two hours of a representative explaining how the timeshare system works. We were also shown a large number of figures, prices and costs.

D’Errico admits the timeshare idea interested him but says there's no way he could afford the $25,000 pricetag.

“My pension is like $9,800 a year,” he said. “So that doesn't give you a whole heck of a lot.”

D’Errico says he explained he couldn't afford it, so the representative reduced the price to around $17,000. But, in the hours-long sales pitch, he says he was never told about all the expenses that came along with it.

“It galls me to the fact that they can take advantage of people with some of their tricks and their non-disclosure of facts,” D’Errico said.

Among those expenses, he says, were a magazine subscription and an annual maintenance. In all, D’Errico says the additional costs added up to nearly $1,000 every year, an expense he says he just can't afford.

“Well, that's a lot considering I'll be 81 next month,” he said.

D’Errico says tried to cancel, but Sedona Pines Resort wouldn't let him out of his contract. He filed a lawsuit and contacted 3 On Your Side.

3 On Your Side looked into Sedona Pines Resort and found 53 complaints have earned the company an F-rating with the Better Business Bureau.

We also contacted Sedona Pines Resort, which looked into D’Errico's case. Within a few days, we learned Sedona Pines Resort agreed to return around $9,000 to D’Errico.

It's not the $17,000 he paid, but he says it's more than he would have received on his own.

Sedona Pines Resort says every customer has seven days to cancel their contract, something it says D’Errico didn't do.