Saturday, January 11, 2014

Part II: You're Still the Victim of a South Carolina Timeshare Scam

My last post entitled "You're the Victim of a Timeshare Scam. How did that Happen?" was viewed about 120 times in its first day. And people keep asking me, they'll say, "that's it?" And mostly, yes, that is usually it. People are usually only burned one time. But for many still, they will be ripped off a second, third, fourth, fifth time maybe. So, to pick up where we left off.

You go ahead and purchase the upgraded and rocketship edition timeshare that does everything the last one doesn't. Finally, someone who understood your timeshare needs. And, confidentially, they even told you that your previous salesperson is no longer with the timeshare company and probably lied to you. Believe it or not, you've been defrauded again. It's the same scenario as the first purchase: what the timeshare salespeople told you and lead you to believe was all lies, and the contract does not contain the terms that were discussed with you by the timeshare salesperson.

Maybe this is it for your. You realize you have been ripped off, and you decide to get help from a third party. If so, please feel free to move on to the next Paragraph. Some will go through this cycle another time or few, but at some point you realize that you have $30,000.00 invested in these timeshares that you cannot use, that you've never really been able to use, that have none of the features that were promised to you, and you are still stuck with your other timeshare with the high maintenance fee. The timeshare they told you they would dispose of for you on your behalf, and in exchange you would purchase their low maintenance fee timeshare. The entire reason for the purchase.

You do a quick Google search and are blasted with advertisements for timeshare dispositions. They offer guarantees and promises. And, well, that sounds pretty good. It sounds too good to be true almost. It's a theme. You pay an upfront fee, your timeshare is listed on a website somewhere, or maybe it's never even posted. It never sells. Same as before. You can stop here. Or you can pay another company to do the same thing. Okay, so the timeshare cannot be disposed of this way, but what else?

You check eBay and find in the completed listings that your timeshare has sold for significantly less than your purchase price, maybe only a couple or few hundred dollars. You then learn that your timeshare company charges you a fee to transfer the timeshare from your name to someone else's name, assuming that you have paid the timeshare in full and own it, and assuming you can find someone else to take it. A timeshare resale company told you about the fee. The timeshare resale company was going to sell you another timeshare, but at a significant discount, and dispose of your most recent timeshare. Sound familiar?

You decided enough is enough, and you say: I'm going to write a letter. And you send it to any or all of the following (I will use Hilton Head for this example, but please relate these to your location's appropriate entities and individuals): South Carolina Real Estate Commission, Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation; the Island Packet; Mayor of Hilton Head's Office; the Better Business Bureau; the Bluffton-Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce; the South Carolina Attorney General's Office; the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office; the FBI; the IRS; the Consumer Affairs Commission; the Federal Trade Commission; the Governor's Office; your credit card company; the AARP; and on and on and on.

After seeing your complaints shuffled around the government or receiving no response or no meaningful response, you discover that your ultimate remedy is filing a lawsuit. You read our timeshare blogs. All of it sounds strangely familiar, eerily familiar, just like your story. Just like all of the complaints that have been posted on the internet on websites like www.ripoffreport.com, www.complaintsboard.com, and www.redweek.com.

You do a Google search: you find my law firm.