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  • Writer's pictureTom Gallagher

Wyndham is sued for issuing credit cards without consumers consent.

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

Wyndham sued for violations under the Merchandising Practices Act, Consumer Fraud Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Unauthorized Issuance of Credit Cards under the Truth in Lending Act and Regulation Z.

A retired couple is suing Wyndham Vacation Resorts, claiming the company opened two Wyndham-branded $20,000 credit cards without them knowing and alleging it was “not an isolated incident” for the company.

Wyndham is a resort and timeshare company that offers credit cards through partner banks. The plaintiffs claim they were invited to a getaway at a Wyndham property in Missouri in July 2020 on the stipulation they attended a timeshare sales presentation which the couple accepted.

At the presentation, they said a sales rep tried to get them to buy a “deeded property,” then pitched them on buying “points” for future Club Wyndham vacations, which they “eventually agreed to buy” for over $3,000 on their credit card.

The retired couple said the salesperson then asked for their social security numbers and driver’s licenses. When questioned why Wyndham needed it, they were informed it was so they could get the “best deal,” the lawsuit alleges.

Although credit accounts were never discussed, the pair got home and were “shocked” to find Wyndham and Comenity Capital Bank had issued them each a new Wyndham-branded credit account with a $20,000 limit, the lawsuit alleged.

They had welcome letters to “Your Vacation Club Credit Account” as well as an Experian credit alert. The couple said they immediately complained to Comenity and closed the accounts the next month, but Wyndham allegedly “stonewalled” them.

“What happened to the retired couple was not an isolated incident,” the lawsuit said, presenting screenshots of multiple Better Business Bureau reviews alleging similar allegations. “Rather, as shown in media reports, consumer complaints, and a whistleblower lawsuit, Wyndham engaged in a nationwide practice of using consumers’ personal information to open credit cards or lines of credit without those consumers’ knowledge or permission.”

The lawsuit led to a case of a Wyndham employee blowing the whistle on how the company’s San Francisco office allegedly “fleeced elderly people rampantly.” That trial resulted in a $12.8 million punitive damages award.

The retired couple also compared their allegations to those made in a 2017 $142 million class settlement with Wells Fargo, accusing the bank of opening accounts for customers without their consent.

The lawsuit also claimed that Comenity Capital Bank and its parent company Alliance Data joined with Wyndham’s fraudulent scheme in 2018. The couple is suing Wyndham under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, Delaware Consumer Fraud Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, Unauthorized Issuance of Credit Cards under the Truth in Lending Act, and Regulation Z.

The lawsuit seeks an order declaring that the practices alleged are unlawful and an injunction banning Wyndham from doing it again, plus costs, treble damages, and a jury trial.

Meanwhile, Wyndham is also facing other recent claims that it misleads and takes advantage of customers.

In Aug. 2020, Wyndham timeshare owners filed a class action lawsuit accusing the company of lying to customers about benefits and subjecting them to aggressive marketing tactics to get them to purchase useless points. That lawsuit came on the heels of a similar Feb. 2020 Wyndham class action lawsuit.

The Wyndham Unwanted Credit Line Class Action Lawsuit is Douglas and Suzanne Ashby, et al. v. Wyndham Vacation Resorts Inc., Comenity Capital Bank, Alliance Data Systems Corp., Case No. 6:21-cv-03044-WBG, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District Of Missouri Springfield Division.

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