The Better Business Bureau in the U.S is warning timeshare owners that a so-called exit company is running an unethical operation and victims are losing thousands of dollars.
The Better Business Bureau is the UK equivalent of Trading Standards in The United States and rates businesses by performance and trustworthiness. For those looking to use a reputable company, they can search the Better Business Bureau and learn if they are rated and how highly or not. Equally the organisation lists companies that do not act in the interests of their customers and scores them accordingly. In addition, the bureau also receives complaints from people who report fraudulent actions of companies and takes action when necessary.
The BBB often reports when they have detected a company acting in bad faith and scamming consumers and because of this is hot on the Timeshare scammers trails and often receives reports from people who have been ripped off by rogue traders. On this occasion officials at BBB report that Relief Solutions International (RSI) has failed to cancel timeshare contracts when they promised to within a certain timeframe, failed to provide refunds to disgruntled customers, gave misleading sales presentations, and provided poor customer service. They say over 100 people have complained from 33 different states, and they have even received complaints from residents in Canada.
The BBB first warned consumers about this company nearly two years ago when they first started receiving complaints. This new warning comes after several new customers have come forward with complaints. In one case a man St Louis had paid the company just under $10,000 to get him out of two timeshare contracts. The sales agent told him this would take 12-18 months to complete. RSI failed to terminate his timeshares and refused to give him his money back, instead they gave him a partial refund stating they had failed to exhaust every avenue during the termination process with the resort and because this man had stopped their work before the terminations were completed, he was only eligible for a partial refund of fees.
In a similar case, a man from New York, solicited RCI to terminate his timeshare and paid them $20,000 in July 2018 after attending a sales presentation. He says the company failed to provide any of the services it promised and refused to refund him any of the money, he also says he is still paying for his timeshare.
Michelle Corey is the CEO of the BBB and said the following in a statement to press after the warning was issued: “If the company cannot deliver on its promises of getting them out of their timeshares in a certain time frame, then they should issue refunds. Stringing them on for years only hurts the customers who continue to pay maintenance fees for those timeshares.”
In response to the BBB’s claims, co-owner of RSI, Russell Turner, released a statement disputing these claims. Stating that of all the people they had helped relinquish timeshares the figure of one hundred only represented a small percentage of people they had successfully got out of timeshare contracts. He went on to say that his company had assisted hundreds of thousands of people over the years and this figure only represented .0025% of their clients. He further claimed that it was the timeshare companies encouraging people to complain against small businesses and it was in the timeshare resorts best interests to do so.