Birch Point Resort: Hayward, Wisconsin — customer complaint

Sandy’s 65th birthday was approaching and she was planning a party. The people at Birch Point Resort in Hayward spoiled those plans and appear to have cheated her out of a substantial sum of money. Here’s what she told me about it:

In mid-2005 I contacted the Birch Point Resort & Sunset Grill (Tom & Sheila Swanson) about the possibility of renting units for my 5 children’s families and myself to celebrate my 65th birthday. I inquired about a unit that my daughter had rented the previous year and was told that when they (Tom and Sheila Swanson) had purchased the resort that unit had already been purchased by a private party. Tom then suggested the Kitchenette Unit [and the] remodeled lower level 4-bedroom unit. I agreed to rent Kitchenette Units 9-14. I was told that after the first of the year I would be contacted regarding the 2006 rates and the amount of the deposit due. I received correspondence dated January 4, 2006 confirming my reservation and the amount of my deposit to be $650.00. On January 12, 2006 I wrote check #6476 in the amount of $650.00 to Birch Point Resort. That check was subsequently deposited to the BPR Holdings LLC account at the Chippewa Valley Bank of Hayward Wisconsin. On May 24, 2006 I received a letter from Tom & Sheila Swanson explaining that they were no longer the rental agent for the Kitchenette Units 9-14 and that the locks on the units had been changed. We no longer would have any access to those units. I would have to contact a third party to try to get my money back. At no time in our conversations had they revealed to me that they were simply acting as rental agents for the units. As I dealt directly with Tom Swanson, who I feel misrepresented his ability to fulfill the terms of our verbal rental agreement, I requested the court to assist me in recovering my $650.00 deposit and all court costs associated with my Small Claims action. This was to be a major family event involving 24 family members for which the deposit was their Christmas present.

On October 25, 2006 a Judgment for money was entered in my favor by the court. However, Mr. Swanson has made it clear that he does not intend to refund my money stating that his “household income is below the federal poverty line.” The court tells me that my only recourse now is to issue a garnishment of his bank account(s) at $93.00 a crack IF I can actually locate his current bank account or accounts. I have already spent an additional $204 trying to recover my $650.

Sandy followed up with the Hayward Chamber of Commerce and heard that a number of other people were similarly victimized. It’s a long shot, but if anybody reading this has any information to add or clarification to provide, please do so in the comments. If anybody would care to post their own reflections on customer satisfaction at Birch Point Resort in Hayward, Wisconsin, I think that would be a public service. Sandy may never get her money back, but others should be made aware of the risks associated with dealing with these people.

Posted in Public Services, Truth and Falsehood
3 comments on “Birch Point Resort: Hayward, Wisconsin — customer complaint
  1. John Zappo says:

    Not my real name….

    I’m not here to defend Tom and Sheila Swanson… Tom is well intentioned but should not be in the service industry as there is no grey for him, only black and white. He made a mistake with Sandy and in his “way”, decided not to deal with it. He is very hard headed but really wants to succeed to the point that he has tunnel vision.

    The resort is nice but he only has a rental management contract for a few cabins. He has a lot of boats for rent that are in nice shape. The best part of BPR is the food – Sheila is an incredible cook. The food is totally hand made the day of. The Swedish Rye Bread she makes is to die for. Her desserts are incredible.

    I’m sorry there was a bad experience – I think that probably Tom thought he was getting the contract for those units but he didn’t. The MN/WI resorts are dying because they can’t make enough money to stay open and its too bad this happened.

    I don’t doubt the CofC in Hayward has negative things to say about Tom – they came from “the cities” and are not native to the area. If you aren’t “From There”, you aren’t going to get anywhere.

  2. Sandy Nelson says:

    Being “hard headed” or having “tunnel vision” is no excuse for knowingly duping a hardworking widow out of $650. He had an opportunity to display true customer service but it is apparent that he has no clue what that is. Sandy Nelson IS my real name!!

  3. Maurice says:

    Owning a lodging facility myself and also dealing with sales and contracts I know how how things can change overnight. The Swansons were caught between a rock and a hard spot and so were you as you as a guest. All there reservations for that unit were taken from them and locked up. Unfortunate indeed.
    I have stayed at this resort several times now and all runs smoothly, enjoyed ourselves tremendously and have told our friends to stay there as well.
    Sorry for everyone’s troubles.

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