Timeshare owners hit Sapphire Beach Club with online petition  “The hotel continues to deteriorate every year”

POSTED: 01/7/16 6:00 PM

 

St. Maarten News – Bruno Sitbon and his family are attempting to buy Sapphire Resort and return it to the pre-eminent state it was in before the Verdiers stopped maintaining it to the satisfaction of timeshare owners. As a result, the Sitbons say, thousands of timeshare owners have walked away from their Sapphire timeshare weeks, Jeff Berger reports in his electronic newsletter St. Maarten Weekly News.

Some Sapphire timeshare owners have drafted an online petition regarding their plight. Here is the full petition text:

“For many years we have owned timeshare weeks at Sapphire Beach Club Resort in Sint Maarten. We and thousands of other Sapphire timeshare owners all pay annual maintenance fees that by contract must be used to pay for required maintenance and renovations of the resort.

Clearly, expenditures on maintenance are not being made as required in all timeshare contracts. Timeshare owners know this all too well, by virtue of the long-standing deterioration of furniture and appliances in many units and the general condition of the resort. The Resort developers are not complying with the contract they have signed with Sapphire timeshare owners.

RCI, Resort Condominiums International, the timeshare trading company that normally enables Sapphire timeshare owners to trade their weeks for stays elsewhere — and allows owners at other resorts to trade into Sapphire – many months ago severed the trading relationship with Sapphire.

That move resulted directly from numerous complaints about Sapphire received by RCI from both Sapphire timeshare owners and from owners at other resorts who expressed great disgust after trading into Sapphire. RCI for more than two years has allowed no trades into or out of Sapphire because of the deplorable condition of the property. Government inspectors have confirmed many violations from building codes.

The hotel continues to deteriorate every year. Often, nothing works — elevators, air conditioning, water in apartments that has scalded some of us, unhealthy pool water, leaks, flooding, mold and mildew in our apartments …and countless issues with decrepit or non-functioning appliances, filthy or non-working Jacuzzi whirlpools, and much more.

Many of us have pictures proving the validity of these complaints. When we try to complain to the Verdiers, in the rare times when Jean Verdier is there, he (the father) pretends not to speak English. Usually he refuses to see timeshare owners in his office.

His son, Philippe, who is now supposed to be in charge, seems never to be present — or at least timeshare owners are told that when we seek him out. As a result, we are reduced to sending emails or letters which no one bothers to answer. This horrible mistreatment of timeshare owners must stop.

Years of requests for audited financial statements from Sapphire have never been answered, which fuels the widespread belief on the part of timeshare owners that their hard-earned funds are either going into the pockets of the developers or to their numerous projects on other islands and not into the contractually required maintenance of timeshare units at Sapphire.

But if we refuse to pay our maintenance fees, we risk losing the weeks we have bought. We do not receive what we paid for and are reduced to posting public complaints in petitions. We hope St. Maarten courts allow this sale instead of the continued abuse of Sapphire Resort timeshare owners, which worsens the already tarnished image of St. Maarten timesharing and gives yet another black eye to St. Maarten as a desirable location for warm-weather winter vacations. We hope the courts hear our plight and solve these long-worsening, totally intolerable problems.”

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Timeshare owners hit Sapphire Beach Club with online petition  “The hotel continues to deteriorate every year” by

Comments (32)

 

  1. Brenda Simmons says:

    I am SOO excited to finally read the Truth about this once beautiful resort but for several years ignore disgusting situation. The facts are real we have paid years of maintenances fees and as stated the place is close to being a dump. Hard words but Come On the elephants are in the room. We/timeshare owners should not have to pay anote maintenance fees further any longer for at least 3-5 years AND we should get a copy of their finances NO QUESTIONS!!! I have been complaining for years and especially one of the most recent incidence I became deathly sick from heavy mold/mildew smell that I experience from day one 2005. They actually shut down that unit admitting to Horrible mildew but a year later I was assigned to that very room horrible mildew smell and because they claimed they had no room. Calling pleading due to severe health reasons inhaling mold not to mention the dust clogs in the vent so I was left with no altertive but to sleep out get to jacuzzi that was broken a wad making this annoying knocking noise the whole night I could go on and on and on but ……….

  2. Brenda Simmons says:

    I am not sure if I agree with Bruno and family taking over. Didn’t have a great experience with them as well. Made lots of promises and did not come through and never returned ANY emails or phone calls

    • Paul Berlin says:

      Brenda,

      If you have an email or phone number for Bruno Sitbon I would appreciate you emailing it to me!!

      • Falk Halenza says:

        we try to change again our Studio 362 week 16- in 2016 by RCI
        Sapphhire : impossible
        RCI : yes if sapphire gives it free
        We asked for the General Manager
        we got the Name Jan Borsje
        no answer

  3. Paul Berlin says:

    We are conducting an investigation of the Sapphire Beach Club and the Verdiers. We are in contact with the government of Sint Marteen.
    We are attempting to get them to provide us with a complete list of all timeshare sales transactions and owners. Once we receive that list we hope to contact all owners and Bruno Sitbon to plan further action.
    If you are a timeshare owner please send us your name, email address, and any pertinent information, including your contract number. We will keep you informed.

    • Denise costantino says:

      Would love to hear what you have planned. Have owned since 2003..probably not paying my fees this year

    • Eric says:

      Hello,
      What is the email address to send information about this place. I own week 26 and 27 and after being there, can’t figure out why I would pay maintenance fees.

      I could barely get any answers from owner services down in the basement, but witnessed two separate guest reservations first hand, who just checked in while waiting for owner services to come up. Upon my departure and hour or so later, checking out talking about conditions of rooms are sooo bad.

      Owners services, staff, everyone knows that none of the money is being applied to keep up the place, nor putting any money in for YEARS…

    • Falk Halenza says:

      We have at Sapphire Rom 362 week 16
      Adress
      hövelnstr 8
      23566 Luebeck
      Germany

    • john sutera says:

      please keep me updated on Sapphire situation. i am an owner since 1993 and I am frustrated with the place

    • Mary G says:

      We “WERE” owners at The Sapphire Beach Resort until last fall when we relinquished our 2-weeks. When RCI decided to suspend the Sapphire we attempted to contact someone at RCI to find out what was going on with no results! We also contacted the government of St. Maarten and was promised to receive an answer several times. However, no answer ever came. I read in a St. Maarten newspaper that the Government had threatened to close the Sapphire down if repairs were not made. While I was on a cruise I went to look at the Sapphire and was very disappointed at what I saw. Looking at another year of maintenance fees, which increase often, as well as hearing that there may be “another” additional fee for maintenance, I and others got together and decided that since RCI was not giving us information and we could not get information from the St. Maarten government it was time to cut our losses and stop paying into a resort that appeared to be spending our fees elsewhere.
      Suprise, RCI has reinstated Sapphire Beach Club without notifiying us prior to the reinstatement that there was a possibility. Now we have no timeshares and all is lost. I’m not sure if I am more upset at the Sapphire or RCI. We attempted every avenue to find out what was going to happen before turning in our timeshares. Can’t help but wonder who is selling them now! I would have preferred to keep getting the points and using them elsewhere.

      • Don Patch and Jocelyn James says:

        We have been trying to give back our week since Dec 2015 please tell us how you were able to return yours. We haven”t got back any replies from them and have sent at least three letteres and phone calls. Thank You Don 607 797 4332

    • Hello Paul, just noticed this post online and looking for more information. We are owners and purchased in 2000. Our last visit was 2009 and the conditions of the resort were bad at that time. We keep hearing about problems with elevators and such and I require crutches and sometimes a wheelchair for mobility so we have been very reluctant to go back as I don’t want to be stuck in a room for a vacation, not to mention safety issues. We also have not been getting responses from management so if you have any information on the current status of the resort and why RCI went back I would appreciate it. Also, if you need anything from us regarding any actions from owners just let us know. If there is a list to update us on conditions, action, etc. please add my email address listed above. Thanks in advance for any information you might be able to provide. Harry & Bruce

    • Don Patch and Jocelyn James says:

      contract 70973-1 we have tried to give back our week sent thee letters with paper work no repl called no replay emails no reply. Don 607 797 4332

    • Laura Croft says:

      Paul,
      I am a owner of week 12 Deluxe studio, could you please give me any info of status Of Sapphire beach club. I have owned here from the first year it opened. Thank you

    • Suzanne Pringle says:

      I own 3 units and have not paid maintenance for 2015 or 2016. I just want out since I obviously will not use the timeshare in the state that it is in.

      Thank you for leading the charge to protect us!

  4. Shari Caiola says:

    24107-1 unit 402 week 16. Just got my maintenance bill and it went up again.Now 901$ and no improvements at the club

  5. Roy E Revis says:

    Unit362 Week 10. Contract 32203-1
    I did some quick math, and they are collecting 4-5 million per year in maintenance fees. I just received a second bill for 2016 maintenance fees even though I have email confirmation that they received my payment for same. I would like to see a class action lawsuit on this issue. I would also like to be reimbursed some of the fees from previous years for maintenance not performed. This is blatant theft of our money due to flagrant breech of contract. I would be willing to donate funds to pursue this action on behalf of the owners.

  6. Todd Petrovski says:

    28132-1 unit 112 week 25. Just got my maintenance bill and it went up again.Now 790$ and no improvements and you can get in touch with them over the phone to resolved the issue I want to know what we can do to resolve it’s probably because I want keep my timeshare but not continue with this kind of problems

  7. Karol and Booker Goodwin says:

    I would like to participate in a petition.
    Thanks for considering this.
    Karol and Booker Goodwin

  8. john sutera says:

    I am waiting to hear about the results of the court date from March 8 but have not any results. does anyone have any info on that issue

  9. Michael C says:

    My wife and I have been owners for more than 20 years and have seen the continued deterioration of the beach club. Apparently, the owner refuses to spend any money to make the renovations that are sorely needed. We love the island and for the last two years we pay to stay at another resort because of the horrendous and unsafe conditions at the Sapphire.

    I would be happy to be part of any class action suit against the Verdier family as they have been negligent in their obligation to keep the club safe, clean and a place to enjoy a vacation.

    • Mary G says:

      I would be willing to go in on a class action suit to try to get some money back from the original purchase and the 12 years we paid maintenance fees.

      • Melanie Young says:

        Mary,
        Did you ever hear from anyone re: potential legal action? I relinquished ownership due to poor conditions and lack of participation with RCI and they are trying to collect maintenance fees even though I no longer own the week.
        Thanks.
        Melanie Young

  10. Charles R says:

    Just received notice from RCI that Sapphire is no longer on probation. Not exactly sure what they did to accomplish that, but apparently you can book your week(s) into RCI.

    • Mary G says:

      How very convenient that RCI would reinstate Sapphire after people relinquished their time shares rather than pay for a run down resort. I know personally of people relinquishing for a total of 7 weeks. I personally lost approximately 95,000 points. Who is going to profit from the resale? Why did RCI reinstate them? If anyone can get these answers I. would appreciate a response.
      I contacted the Sint Maarten Tourism Bureau for assistance. Promises were made but never heard back. Lesson learned, we lost our investment, was ignored by RCI and Wyndham, then the government of Sint Maarten. NEVER invest your money in the islands — buy in the US where you at least have some representation.

  11. Bob Collins says:

    Been an owner since the early 2000’s. I refused to pay them anymore money. I know I will likely loose the week but I don’t go there anymore because it is so bad. I know recently RCI let them back in but its hard to imagine how they did that. The maintenance and improvements that were needed would take more than a year to do especially at the pace things are done in St. Martin. Be interested to hear what others are doing and any action that is being taken to recover the money we paid for the benefits we did not receive.

  12. Virginie LEROY and Michel FAUVIN says:

    We own week 30 (Unit 243) and week 31 (unit 121) since january 2008. We always paid our fees, but this year we decided not to pay. We also think that we should get part of our maintenance fees (already paid before) back as this money has not been used to improve the resort. We just don’t know what to do to get our money back.

  13. Charles R says:

    We also own 2 weeks. I haven’t paid 2016 fees yet, but since they are “back in” RCI, I think I might pay and bank with RCI.

  14. Tom and Helen DeShazo says:

    We have owned there 18 some years own weeks 20&21
    Got very sick from mold and place is awful we are interested in a class action suit as well as this is total negligence on the Verdiers!!!!!! Please keep us informed on this situation….

  15. charles and nancy mcdermott says:

    Wk# 42 penthouse 385.Owned for 15 years,We would love to be involved in any actions to force the repairs or the return of our investment. What the owner has done is criminal…please keep me informed of any information that may evolve. Thank You

  16. Melanie Young says:

    Hello all,
    I inherited a week at Sapphire from my folks and have never gone there but rather deposit the week to use elsewhere. With RCI not accepting deposits from Sapphire as of early this year, I relinquished my ownership on the grounds that I would not be billed for current year’s maintenance fees. As expected, received a letter indicating that they accepted our request to relinquish only to subsequently receive multiple bills (and late fee) for the maintenance fees. I have no intention to pay but am worried that they will send this to collection and destroy my credit – which they did some years back – only recently came off credit report. I would be interested in thoughts and experiences of others. Happy to join in legal action as well.

  17. Laura Croft says:

    Please send me info, I have owned a deluxe studio since it opened, very upset about all of this, could someone please let me know what is going on? Thank you

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