Over 1.5 million timeshare owners in the US are represented by the American Resort Development Association – Resort Owner’s Coalition (ARDA-ROC). They are satisfied with the recent study released by the Missouri Better Business Bureau (BBB) that exposed the unscrupulous practices of some timeshare exit companies. Timeshare owners who are thinking of exiting their timeshare are advised to read the report so they can understand the deceptive practices employed in the timeshare exit industry.
Timeshare is a growing business. Although they have their share of unhappy customers, the satisfied ones are greater, and they continue investing in a timeshare. It happens that some owners want to exit timeshare and scammers pounce on them. Only a few timeshare companies have an exit program; a lot of them do not. This is where unscrupulous exit companies take advantage.
Here are some highlights of the report:
- The Missouri BBB has been issuing consumer warnings to timeshare owners should they want to engage the services of a timeshare exit company.
- The scammers do not choose their victims. They even prey on hapless senior citizens owners who are on a fixed income. It doesn’t matter to them if their victims are already hard-up.
- In a nutshell, the exit companies promise timeshare owners that they can exit their timeshare easily in exchange for a large upfront free.
- The BBB is asking local law enforcement officials, the attorney generals’ offices in the US, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to go after the timeshare exit companies that participate in these dishonest activities.
The timeshare industry continues to grow and despite this, there is no exit procedure in place for those who want to quit. This then became a target for scammers. Knowing this, timeshare companies are committed to protecting the owners from falling prey.
Avoid falling prey to timeshare scammers
The bigger timeshare companies have started putting an exit program in place. They also educate them on safe exit options.
If you are a timeshare owner who wants to exit timeshare via an exit company, here are the warning signs that you might be dealing with a scammer:
- They tell you that they are from the Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council (ATHOC). But ATHOC do not send out unsolicited emails. They will not call you up or initiate communication UNLESS they are replying to your request.
- They tell you that they have an “interested buyer”.
- They promise that, for a reasonable fee, they can modify, cancel or transfer your timeshare.
- If what they’re telling you sounds too good to be true, run the other direction.
If you have been victimized by these unsavory companies, you may get help from your state’s Office of Fair Trading or Department of Consumer Affairs.