Like many vacation owners, Ron Russelburg eventually grew tired of his timeshare contract. Once his kids were all grown up and the family was somewhat dispersed, he didn’t have much of a need for the travel package anymore. After looking for an affordable way to offload the timeshare, Russelburg determined selling his weekly interval at the Calypso Cay Resort in Orlando, Florida was the best solution. This is a fairly common decision that’s often misunderstood. But once he came across an advertisement for the Timeshare Exit Team, he was ready to take action.
In an interview with KMOV4 in St. Louis, Ron explained how Timeshare Exit Team’s guarantees really convinced him that selling his property was a good idea. Although the relief market is quite muddy, he acknowledged that confidence in a beneficial outcome really encouraged him to go forward with the sale. This was in October of 2017.
Guarantees Encourage Timeshare Owners to Pay.
After discussing the process with the well-known, reputable cancellation firm, Ron said he felt good about proceeding with the transaction. According to Russelburg, the salesman insisted that Timeshare Exit Team would find a buyer within 180 days. But he was first advised to work with the company to eliminate his annual maintenance fees. So he agreed to pay a few thousand dollars in upfront fees to get the ball rolling.
By February of 2020, Russelburg’s frustration with the effectiveness of the sale reached its tipping point. Aside from the guarantees to remove maintenance fees, 27 months had passed without any scent of a sale. So he contacted his local news channel for help. His main cause for concern was the reluctance of Timeshare Exit Team to follow through with their promises. “It was their guarantee that if it didn’t work out we could get our money back. It would be no harm no foul,” he said.
Why Would Timeshare Exit Team Do This?
When the Missouri journalist asked him why he’s yet to receive a refund, Ron replied by saying, “That’s a good question.” Thousands of vacation owners are not only trapped in their timeshare contracts, but left without answers by relief agencies. Sadly, many of these “guaranteed” services are scams. What makes this story interesting is that Timeshare Exit Team has had some success helping consumers get out of timeshare contracts in the past.
At the same time, convincing someone that you can help them sell a timeshare, then charging them to cancel annual fees seems a little odd. Once the interval of transferred to another owner, the original buyer shouldn’t have to worry about annual responsibilities. Nonetheless, Russelburg was out over $4k with no resolve.
When the St. Louis news station reached out to the Timeshare Exit Team for answers, a refund was initiated within a few days. This is encouraging because it shows that the company isn’t willing to inconvenience a customer in order to make a few thousand dollars. At the same time, it’s fair to wonder if a refund would have transpired had Mr. Russelburg not gone to the media for assistance.
Timeshare Exit Team’s Refund Statement.
Due to the negative attention caused by the public media, Timeshare Exit Team released the following statement: “Since 2011, [we have] successfully helped more than 20,000 consumers find a path out of their timeshares. Most of these people were unhappy with their timeshare purchase and faced numerous traps, loopholes and maintenance/other fees. Unfortunately, there was some confusion by this customer regarding the time frame detailed in our contract and a separate agreement that one of our third-party vendors had made with her.
Timeshare Exit Team has never had a 180-day guarantee and we’re very sorry for any frustrations this may have caused. We have clarified this and she has relayed that she understands [our] time frame. We completely understood their frustration at this process, made unnecessarily complicated due to the hurdles that developers put up to keep people stuck in their timeshare, and have reached out to make it right. We offered to find another exit option for them, which they declined, so we are providing them with a full refund.”
Truth be told, Ron paid for a straightforward service and a very specific outcome. Whether Timeshare Exit Team made guarantees or not, we can’t miss the big picture here. Resale just can’t be viewed as a realistic option to get rid of a timeshare. Participating In this type of relief can ruin a company’s reputation fast if they’re not careful.