Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona is alerting consumers to Condosmart, a Hereford, AZ based timeshare marketing company that has received 19 complaints with BBB from consumers around the country, including 11 unanswered complaints.
In the complaints consumers say that Condosmart representatives inquire about consumers’ recent timeshare purchases, and state that the consumer has received “bonus weeks” or “get-a-way” weeks as part of their timeshare agreement, and, for a fee, offer to advertise the bonus weeks for rent on their website.
Although Condosmart says that they only advertise condo units, in complaints consumers say that after paying the fee to advertise with Condosmart they’re told that their condo has been rented, and they can expect a check in the mail ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
Robyn Brook, a New Jersey resident who paid to advertise her timeshare with Condosmart in August 2013, told BBB that when Condosmart called her she thought they were working through the company she purchased her timeshare from because, she said, “they had all my information.”
“The first time they told me it was rented they notified me that my five weeks had been rented for an event in Las Vegas, and I would receive $5,250 in December,” Brook said.
After the check never came, Brook said she struggled to get someone from Condosmart to return her calls and emails. When she finally reached the company they told her that the condo actually hadn’t been rented for the event in Las Vegas, rather it had been rented for the Daytona 500 in February, and she could expect a check in the mail by the end of that month.
The check never came, and Brook says she still has not received the check she was promised. Condosmart did not respond to the complaint Brook filed with BBB.
Brook’s experience is part of a pattern of complaints against Condosmart. BBB contacted Condosmart on May 8, 2014 to ask them to address the pattern of complaints, and for a plan of action to identify and eliminate the underlying cause of the pattern.
Condosmart responded, saying that the terms and conditions that are given to clients states that the company is a marketing-advertising business, and that once advertising has been “executed” their services have been rendered. The company also told BBB that their terms and conditions say that they “make no guarantees, written or implied as to (the) time frame for marketability of any property.”
In their response to BBB Condosmart failed to outline a plan of action to arrest the pattern of complaints, and to identify the primary reason for their complaints.
BBB cautions consumers to be wary of any timeshare marketing or resale company that charges an advance fee or that claims to have buyers or renters already interested in their timeshares.
Marketing company or real estate company? While many timeshare marketing companies claim to have ready buyers or renters, imply they are representing foreign investors; or that corporations are interested, most are just offering to advertise your timeshare for sale. Do not confuse the service of an advertising or marketing company with those of a real estate company.
Read the fine print. Make sure that what the sales person tells you on the phone is consistent with what is in the company’s terms and conditions.
Get it in writing. Before agreeing to anything over the phone, ask the company to send you all relevant documents to review before you make a decision.
Research companies before doing business with them. Check www.bbb.org to view the company’s Business Review to see what their letter grade is, and how well they handled disagreements with past customers in case a dispute arises.
If you feel pressured, hang up. Request detailed written information about the company's services, find out where they currently advertise and visit other Internet listings the company may have. If the solicitor balks at any of these requests and pressures you to hand over your money, don’t hesitate to end the conversation.
For more consumers new and tips, or to find a business you can trust, visit www.bbb.org/tucson.