Report attacks unscrupulous timeshare exit industry
The dishonest practices of the timeshare exit industry have been highlighted in a new American report that is likely to make interesting reading for timeshare owners all over the world.
The American Resort Development Association – Resort Owner’s Coalition (ARDA-ROC), which represents more than 1.5 million timeshare owners, recommends that owners read the full report that the Better Business Bureau of Eastern & Southwest Missouri & Southern Illinois issued on 6 June 2019, to better understand the unscrupulous and deceptive practices in the timeshare exit industry. The report cites 700 complaints from 46 states and millions of dollars of losses to consumers.
After issuing several consumer warnings over the past two years about the timeshare exit industry, the Missouri BBB released its in-depth study on the dishonest practices of the timeshare exit industry in Springfield, Missouri, and the substantial harm that many of those exit companies are causing consumers.
The study revealed “consumers across the U.S., many of them senior citizens and many on fixed incomes, are falling victim to timeshare exit companies at an alarming rate.”
Robert Clements, VP of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel of ARDA, said: “Despite knowing that the consumers were older and in difficult financial situations, the timeshare exit companies examined by the BBB took advantage of them by charging large upfront fees for services they knew they couldn’t deliver.
‘Misrepresentations and fraud’
“The losses that consumers are suffering because of the misrepresentations and fraud of many of these exit companies is staggering. Most of the 100 per cent money-back guarantees are worthless.”
In its study, the “BBB urges local law enforcement officials, attorney generals’ offices across the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Justice Department to investigate and pursue timeshare exit companies that participate in fraudulent activities”.
Clements noted that ARDA-ROC and the industry have worked tirelessly to warn consumers about fraud in the exit industry.
“With the help of law enforcement, Attorneys General and the Federal Trade Commission, we believe criminal actions in the exit industry can be stopped,” he said.
“ARDA-ROC and the industry are currently working with and will continue to work with these agencies to go after these individuals and companies to protect consumers.”
The timeshare industry, which has over nine million owners, and generates over 540,000 jobs and $10.8 billion in federal, state and local taxes in the U.S., has become a target for unscrupulous individuals and companies.
As a result, the industry has committed to better communicating with owners who want to understand safe timeshare exit options, often directly through their developer or property manager, which may be available for exiting their product. This information can be found at www.responsibleexit.com
• ARDA-ROC’s European counterpart EUROC was formed earlier this year and is currently recruiting members.