St. Louis, Mo., June 13, 2014 – Better Business Bureau (BBB) is advising owners of timeshare properties to be extremely cautious dealing with United Adventures or Business Travel Solutions. The two St. Louis County companies appear to have links to a timeshare rental firm in central Florida with two dozen BBB complaints.
BBB has received several recent complaints from United Adventures customers who say they paid between $600 and $2,000 each after the business promised to find corporate clients to rent their timeshares. In each case, the complainants said, United Adventures was unable to rent a single week and did not refund their money.
The ownership of United Adventures remains unclear. Officials with United Adventures LLC registered the business with the Florida secretary of state in March 2013. Paul L. Gladieux of Clermont, Florida, is listed as CEO and Anthony L. Gladieux of Clermont is listed as vice president. Officials with UA Enterprise LLC registered that business with the Missouri secretary of state in April 2013. Elmin Kazic of St. Louis is listed as registered agent and organizer of that company.
A man who said he was the former sales manager of United Adventures identified Kazic as his boss. The former sales manager told BBB that he worked for United Adventures at a south St. Louis County call center for about nine months. He left in February after he became concerned about how the business was being operated. He said he and coworkers left after they realized, “this just doesn’t make sense.
In recent weeks, Kazic has begun operating what appears to be a virtually identical business under the name Business Travel Solutions. Kazic registered Business Travel Solutions (website btsolutionsonline.com) with the Missouri secretary of state in March of this year, using the same address on Grasso Avenue as UA Enterprise. Kazic is listed as the sole organizer of Business Travel Solutions, which recently has run Internet ads for telephone sales representatives for the firm.
Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said the connections between the troubled timeshare rental companies in Florida and the St. Louis businesses raise serious concerns for consumers. “The histories of these companies show clear connections between employees and websites that are difficult to ignore,” Corey said. “Our concern is that these businesses are running into trouble with unhappy consumers, shutting down and reopening again under different names and in different locations.”
The St. Louis businesses appear to have connections to a company called Resorts 2 Travel, also known as Resorts 2 Rent, of Orlando, Florida. Officials of Resorts 2 Travel registered the business with the Florida secretary of state in September 2010. It lists Louie D. Flores, Nicolle M. Ramos and David A. Edwards all as company managers and presidents.
BBB in Orlando logged two dozen complaints against Resorts 2 Travel in late 2010 and 2011, most from consumers who said they paid Resort 2 Travel to rent out their timeshare properties but received nothing in return.
Among the complainants was a woman from Imperial, Missouri, who said she paid $600 to Resorts 2 Travel in April 2010 after the company promised to rent six weeks of her timeshare for between $1,300 and $1,600 per week. Among the representatives she spoke to was Paul Gladieux, who later would become CEO of United Adventures.
The Imperial woman said the company never rented her timeshare and closed down without issuing her a refund. She was unable to recover her money from her credit card company, which said too much time had passed since her payment.
United Adventures appeared to operate with two different websites: unitedadventuresonline.com and uamarketingonline.com. Both sites list the same address in Chesterfield, Missouri, and both have virtually identical testimonials, guarantees and other content. The website registration for uamarketingonline.com lists Louie Flores’ email and phone number as contacts.
BBB also found ties between United Adventures and Business Travel Solutions. The website for Business Travel Solutions contains the same testimonials and much of the same content as the websites for United Adventures
The former sales manager for United Adventures said that he was hired after responding to an ad on Craiglist. He said he reported to Kazic at the company’s call center on Telegraph Road in south St. Louis County, but said he was told that the business was based in Florida where it was run and operated by Paul and Tony Gladieux.
The former manager said officials with United Adventures told him its recruiters were traveling and attending conventions in an attempt to sell timeshare weeks, but he never saw any evidence of it. He said he sold as many as 100 timeshare deals, but “almost every one of my customers had not had anything rented out.”
As customers began asking why their properties had not been rented, the former manager became suspicious about the business. “I’m just glad I’m gone,” he said.
One consumer, from Ocoee, Florida, said he signed a contract with United Adventures in January, agreeing to pay $2,000 in return for the company arranging to rent his timeshare in Las Vegas for seven weeks for $2,000 per week. He said he has received “absolutely nothing” and has been unable to contact anyone with the company.
A consumer in Cold Spring, New York, said she paid $1,000 in an upfront fee in October 2013 in exchange for renting her timeshare for seven weeks. She said she never collected any rent and has been unable to contact anyone from the company.
Kazic and Flores have not responded to BBB inquiries. Attempts to reach Gladieux were unsuccessful.
BBB offers the following tips for consumers solicited to sell or lease their timeshares:
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