Can the Palladium Travel Club keep my $ 8,174?


Rowena Cruz purchases a Palladium Travel Club membership but almost immediately regrets her decision. Why doesn’t the company reimburse him for $ 8,174?

Question: We recently stayed at the Grand Palladium Bavaro in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. During our stay we were invited to attend a sales presentation for the Palladium Travel Club. We paid $ 8,174 as an upfront payment, which included a deposit and administration fee, using our credit card for a 30 year plan with 60 weeks all inclusive.

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My husband and I soon realized that membership was not good for us and we could not afford it. Two days after purchasing the club membership, we decided to cancel and advise Palladium of our decision.

About two weeks later I received a call from the Sales Manager of Palladium Travel Club advising that I cannot cancel my membership as there is no cancellation clause in the contract. I believe I have the legal right to cancel my membership and we want to exercise that right. Can you help me get my money back? – Rowena Cruz, Ontario, Canada

Reply: You have the right to terminate your contract – if not legally, only ethically. But before we get to that, let’s take a closer look at what happened to you during your visit to the Dominican Republic. You were there, minding your own business on an all-inclusive vacation, and out of the blue, someone invited you to a “short” sales presentation.

This presentation for the Palladium club took most of the day and, if their website is any indication, it was filled with high promises and hyperbole. How could you not want to sign up for something that offers “endless possibilities to change the way you travel forever”?

Palladium seems to hide the costs and he is also vague about the benefits of his “club”. Sample question from his location: “How can I get the most out of my subscription? (Hmm, could you start by telling me how much does that cost?)

Disclosure: I am a travel club skeptic. As I wrote in my book, How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler, there is only one travel club I trust: AAA. From what I can tell, the Palladium Club is a curious combination of loyalty program, timeshare and all inclusive. And I see no reason to change my mind about travel clubs.

But let’s give Palladium the benefit of the doubt. Suppose all of this is up and running and you signed up in good faith. Should you be able to cancel your membership within a certain period of time? You thought your contract was governed by Mexican law, which requires a cooling-off period. The Palladium representative you spoke to said there was no such requirement as the contract is governed by Spanish law.

Frankly, I don’t care which law applies, and neither does Palladium. He sold you the club membership in a high pressure environment when your defenses were at their lowest, while you were on vacation, and he should immediately refund the money.

I list the names, numbers and e-mails of Palladium Travel Club executives on my consumer advocacy site. A brief and polite email to one of them could have helped your cause.

I contacted Palladium on your behalf. Your cancellation is being processed.


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