On November 25, 2016, columnist Gretchen Morgenson of the New York Times profiled Patricia Williams who was wrongfully terminated after she blew the whistle on fraud at former employer, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, the nation’s largest timeshare company. A San Francisco Superior Court jury the week earlier awarded Williams $20 million for her lost earnings and emotional distress, and punitive damages.
During her tenure at Wyndham, Williams told her superiors about an array of dubious activities with a focus on defrauding elderly customers. Salespersons falsely told customers that Wyndham would buy back their ownership stakes if they no longer wanted them. Credit card accounts were opened for buyers and charged without their knowledge and approval.
Morgenson wrote that Williams “succeeded in bringing to light abuses at a powerful corporation that wanted to keep them hidden.” Chris Dolan, who served as co-trial counsel for Williams, stated, “I hope this case sounds an alarm for corporate America. Change your behavior — or a jury will change it for you.”
The San Francisco Chronicle also reported on the verdict, noting that among evidence presented at trial was a sales practice known as “TAFT” days. TAFT stood for “Tell Them Any F**king Thing,” a practice that encouraged sales representatives to say whatever was necessary to get customers to further invest in their timeshares.
Learn more about the Wyndham timeshare fraud whistleblower lawsuit.
I worked for Wyndam from 1995-2006, Then Fairfield resorts. I quit after wyndam took over because of the sales tactics that began. I worked at the Branson, Missouri location. From what I understand, it has only gotten worse.
I’m a current FT employee of Wyndham Vacation Ownership. I have been bullied several times by other employees since I’ve been there. The first was a coworker whom works close by verbally abusing me for anything found. Another, is a supervisor whom now takes it upon themself to state that other employees are not happy with my behavior for simply asking short ?’s. Not sure what to do, but this scene is not fair. I’ve also learned about many things the public are telling me directly as I have contact with them and many times it’s not positive and reveals that the sales people lied to get their money. I’m caught in between being bullied and also hearing the TRUTH from the public about what occurred. It’s caused me a great deal of stress and now not sure if I want to work there at all. The first bullydog couldn’t get me out as I addressed it with the person immediately and stated he wouldn’t get away with bullying me. So now, it’s with a Supervisor whom has taken it to bully in terms of using other employees or just lying about it to me.