An Atlanta company that falsely claims to have buyers for timeshares and requires upfront fees is generating complaints nationwide.
A Broadview Heights man told BBB he received a call from Vacation & Resorts. According to the caller, Vacation & Resorts was a real estate company who had found a buyer for the consumer’s Cancun timeshare. The buyer was willing to pay $32,560 and Vacation & Resorts would handle the sale and financing arrangements.
The consumer, who is currently unemployed and hasn’t been able to use his timeshare for a few years, was glad to receive the offer. He had listed his timeshare three years ago with another company, but with no luck.
Anxious to make the sale, the Broadview Heights man agreed to give Vacation & Resorts his credit card number in order to pay a required $1680 the company claimed was needed to handle various fees. Vacations & Resorts claimed they had recorded the call to document the sale and promised to fax some paperwork in 15 minutes.
When the fax did not arrive, the consumer did some research and discovered the company had an “F” rating with BBB primarily due to unanswered consumer complaints. Other hopeful timeshare sellers filed complaints with BBB after they paid advanced fees by credit card ranging from $1600 to over $2400 and received nothing. Once fees were paid, the complainants were unable to reach anyone from the company or were falsely told the sale had been delayed. Vacations & Resorts has not responded to any of the complaints. The Atlanta BBB reports the company’s address appears to be a mail forwarding service.
BBB offers the following advice to timeshare owners who are looking for help in selling their timeshare:
- Use a Business You can Trust - Make sure the timeshare reseller you use is a BBB Accredited Business or has a good rating with BBB. You can check out a business's BBB Reliability Report online at cleveland.bbb.org or by telephone at (216) 241-7678.
- Confirm Licensing Requirements – Generally, a company that is selling timeshares needs to be licensed by the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Real Estate. The seller may also be required to be licensed in the state where they are located. Contact the state agency and verify the company is properly licensed.
- Get the Facts on the Figures - Find out if the business charges a commission. Do they handle the entire closing and provide escrow services? Do they charge an up-front listing or advertising fee? What does it cover and is it refundable?
- Be Wary of Upfront Fees - Many complainants to BBB were burned by companies that charged an advance fee for services or were told that they just had to pay closing costs and the timeshare would be taken off their hands. Consider opting for a company that offers to sell for a fee only after the timeshare is sold.
- Don't Fall for the Hard Sell or an Offer that Sounds Too Good to Be True - Don't agree to anything over the phone but instead ask the salesperson to send you a contract; take the time to review it or have it reviewed by an attorney. Don't be pressured to sign immediately. Unscrupulous timeshare resellers may claim that your property is in demand and they can sell it immediately; unfortunately, these promises are often empty.