“We gave them $2,276 for half of the escrow on our timeshare,” said a Sacramento man. “We called their phones multiple times and never heard from them again. We want our money returned.”
At least three other Sacramento-area consumers were taken by the company, all claiming losses of more than $2,000.
The company allegedly contacts consumers via telephone claiming they have a buyer for the consumer’s timeshare. To continue the transaction, the company states they need an upfront fee to cover various costs. The company reassures consumers the fees will be returned after the transaction. However, customers complain that after the fees are collected the company becomes difficult to reach and the timeshares are not sold. Some consumers allege the company contacts them again requesting more money for the transaction.
First Capital Financial Services Corp. currently has an ‘F’ rating with Better Business Bureau for failing to respond to 25 complaints. Over 50 complaints are currently pending.
“Time shares can be difficult to regain investment value on,” said Gary Almond, president of BBB serving Northeast California. “Don’t rely on promises, if they have a buyer, we recommend you engage them in the agreement.”
BBB Tips for Selling a Timeshare
Use a trustworthy business – Make sure the timeshare reseller is a BBB Accredited Business or at the very least has a good rating with BBB. Check out a business’s BBB Reliability Report at bbb.org
Confirm licensing requirements – Some timeshare resellers 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. In the state of California, timeshare brokers are required to be licensed with California Department of Real Estate
• 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 - Opt to pay upfront fees via credit card, which offers recourse in cases of fraud.
• Don’t fall for the hard sell – Ask the salesperson to send written materials. Take the time to think the deal over. Unscrupulous timeshare resellers may claim that your property is in demand and they can sell it immediately; unfortunately, these promises are often empty.
As a business-supported nonprofit organization, Better Business Bureau's mission is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBB sets standards for ethical business behavior, helps consumer identify reliable businesses through BBB Business Reviews, sets standards for truthful advertising, evaluates and provides reviews of charities, educates consumers, and offers dispute resolution services. More than 87 million consumers rely on BBB for Business Reviews, consumer tips and scam alerts. To learn more, please visit www.necal.bbb.org.