The BBB Warns Timeshare Owners to Beware of Alpha Services, Inc

  
     
April 28, 2014

Columbia, SC April 28, 2014 - The BBB Serving Central SC and Charleston is warning timeshare owners who are trying to sell or rent their timeshares to beware of a company called Alpha Services, Inc.

Alpha Services, Inc. has been the subject of several inquiries and one (1) serious complaint from the state of Colorado. In the complaint, the timeshare owner reports that Alpha Services, Inc first contacted them with a promise to sell their timeshare located in Mexico.   The consumer contacted by Alpha Services explained they would be required to pay a 3600.00 transfer fee before the closing could be completed.  The consumer was then contacted several times by Alpha Services, and required to pay additional fees, including a Mexican Government Tax Fee in the amount of $16,000.  To date, the couple is out over $34,000.

BBB representatives verified with the property management company that the business is not located at 1004 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201 the address listed on their website and contracts that were provided by the consumers.

"Timeshare owners who want to sell or rent their timeshare should be wary of timeshare resale services that pressure customers to pay thousands of dollars up front, claiming that buyers are at hand," said Jim Camp, President and CEO for the BBB serving Central SC and Charleston. "Too often, the services don't deliver and customers can't get refunds."

BBB offers the following advice to timeshare owners who are looking for help in selling their timeshare:

  • Check out the business - You can check out a business at www.bbb.org. BBB Business Reviews include basic information, complaint overview, and BBB rating from A+ to F, along with the reasons for the rating.
  • Confirm location and licensing - Some timeshare resellers will use fake addresses or PO boxes in order to mislead timeshare owners. Confirm where the company is located and in what states it does business. Ask if the company's salespeople are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. If so, verify this with the state licensing board.
  • 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 charging an advance "appraisal" 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 written materials; take the time to think it over and don't be pressured. Unscrupulous timeshare resellers may claim that your property is in demand and they can sell it immediately; unfortunately, these promises are often empty.

View a BBB video on "Tips on Selling Your Timeshare" at http://www.bbb.org/us/article/tips-for-selling-your-timeshare-17827.

For more consumer tips or to check out a business or file a complaint with BBB, start at www.bbb.org.

 

About BBB:

 

BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities