Over the years, we’ve realized there’s never a shortage of newsworthy timeshare topics. It may seem like the $9.6 billion industry has a lot of good things going, but unethical timeshare sales and fraudulent 3rd party companies are slowly deteriorating the public’s perception. Although an enjoyable timeshare experience isn’t impossible to come by, the greed involved makes the travel option foggy at best. But we’re not here to persuade you to avoid fractional ownership. We’re simply trying to protect your interests by exposing those taking advantage of unhappy buyers. Today’s spotlight is a timeshare relief company by the name of Vacation Consulting.
As misconduct continues to grow in the timeshare industry, a number of consumer protection agencies have taken notice. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has been especially helpful to timeshare owners over the past few years. Although the platform does have its flaws, it has proven to be an effective tool in identifying timeshare fraud.
How Vacation Consulting Deceived Timeshare Owners.
After recently investigating 10 midwestern businesses claiming to be timeshare relief companies, the BBB came to the conclusion Vacation Consulting has been “promising something they can’t guarantee they can deliver on.” While the BBB can’t exactly press charges, they can make their findings public. Spokeswoman Laura Blankenship went on to say the Bureau has received hundreds of similar complaints regarding the company.
“People are calling and not hearing back and not getting services and not getting their money back,” says Blankenship. Collectively, people have lost millions of dollars since the company began reaching out to timeshare owners. So what exactly are they doing to scam people? Let’s let one of their customers explain their interaction with the timeshare relief company.
A Look at Vacation Consulting’s Customer Experience.
Robert and Suzann Allison first received a call from Vacation Consulting a few years ago. At the time, they owned three timeshare properties and we’re quite content. They bought their first timeshare in the 1970’s and absolutely loved their experience as fractional owners. When they spoke to the timeshare relief company, they were intrigued but not necessarily interested. But the aggressive tactics by Vacation Consulting caused them to reconsider.
Since the couple was aging and didn’t have the itch to travel like they once had, the salesman was able to persuade them to meet in person. After accepting an offer to attend an event in Troy, Michigan, the Allisons ended up handing over $14,000 to sell all three of their timeshares. What inevitably sold them were the money back guarantees. They were told, if the properties didn’t sell in a year, they’d receive a full refund. So they figured, why not.
Mr. Allison said, “I would have been satisfied if they did what they said. But they haven’t and they’ve avoided us in every possible way.” He explained how Vacation Consulting didn’t even try to sell his properties in a timely manner and he had to eventually drive to their corporate office in Missouri for answers. After Robert confronted the business, they claimed two of his timeshares and were sold. For his displeasure, they offered him a partial refund on the third. But this is where things got interesting. As soon as Robert exhaled, the wind was knocked right back out of him. “They sent me a check in late December and it bounced in 3 days,” he said.
The Reality of Investing in a Timeshare Relief Company.
Hundreds of predatory agencies operate the same way Vacation Consultants did. They know how to keep consumers on the edge of their seats by always promising a solution. In the end, the customer gets burned and the business plays dumb. Brian Skroggs, the owner of the alleged timeshare relief company, has recently gone to the news to refute the public claims against his company. Amongst a handful of excuses, Skroggs placed most of the blame on the Allisons. Unfortunately, people involved in misconduct tend to always find a way to justify their actions. It’s apparent when they spend more time saving face than serving customers.
The owner of the timeshare relief company said, “As you can see, we have done everything that we promised. I could have argued that because we didn’t get the estoppel that we did not owe him any money. But for customer service reasons, I cut him a check for $3,948.99.” Not because he cared, but for “customer service reasons.” Thanks Brian, you really shouldn’t have.