A Colorado couple contacted BBB serving Mississippi over a $4,500 dispute they had with a Jackson MS company. The couple had contacted their timeshare company in Mexico inquiring about selling their timeshare. Shortly after that, Vector Marketing Solutions contacted the couple telling them they had sold the timeshare for them. The couple was instructed to wire $4,500 for closing costs and after they did they were then told that they need to pay another $15,750 for Mexican taxes. The couple got suspicious and contacted the company to cancel the deal. They were told that the $4,500 would be returned to them within two weeks. After three weeks past and several attempts to contact the company failed, the couple contacted Better Business Bureau serving Mississippi and filed a formal complaint.
After their complaint was returned to BBB as undeliverable, BBB called to verify the address of the company. A BBB investigator attempted to visit the business and found that there was no such address. “We made several calls to Vector Marketing Solutions at 204 E. Capitol Street in Jackson, MS and they were very evasive about their location” says John O’Hara President/CEO BBB serving Mississippi “ We were told that we needed to have a sales representative contact us first, but still couldn’t explain where their office was.”
BBB offers the following advice for selling a timeshare:
Don't Agree to Anything Over the Phone - Before making a decision take the time to think it over. Don't be pressured by salespersons. Ask the representative to send you details in writing.
Be Cautious of Upfront Fees - Never agree to pay any fees until you have a contract and have completed your research and independent verification of the business. And never wire money for a deal; the money should come to you.
Be Aware of the "Balloon Strategy"- Dishonest timeshare resellers may start with an outrageous fee, and then reduce it to a more appealing number, to lure the seller to pay.
Know the Process - Inexperienced timeshare sellers can be easily misled. Before doing business with a broker know the approximate value of what you own. Find out if the agent's fees and marketing practices are consistent with the practices of other agencies. To ensure the proper value of your property BBB suggests using a timeshare appraisal service. To do this for U.S. based timeshares, you'll need to research the company with the Real Estate Commission in the state in which your timeshare property is located. The Federal Trade Commission also has helpful tips for timeshare buyers and sellers.
Check Licensing Requirements- Ask if the resellers agents are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. This can also be verified by the state's real estate commission. Ask for and check references.
Don't Sign the Contract if the Deal Isn't What You Expected - Before signing the contract, confirm that it explains the services of the broker, the costs and when they must be paid, a specified length of time to sell the timeshare, guarantees, refunds, and who is accountable for the sale. If the deal isn't what you expected or wanted, discuss changes or find another reseller.
Make sure the Business is TRUSTWORTHY - Avoid any company that fails to provide a street address and alternate contact information. A UPS or post office box is not enough. Beware of "look-alike" company names. Check out bbb.org for warnings and verify the address with a mapping service, property manager and the licensing authority.