After a failed attempt to muster up some business with Vacation Consulting Services, it looks as though Brian Scroggs is already ruffling additional feathers. His newest venture, Real Travel, LLC, recently received notice that a consumer protection lawsuit has been filed against them by Arkansas Attorney General (AG). According to Leslie Rutledge and her office, Scroggs and his partner Bart Bowe violated the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act while operating out of Bentonville, Arkansas.
After receiving over a dozen complaints regarding failed cancellation services, the AG believes Real Travel duped their customers out of nearly $140K by means of aggressive sales tactics and disturbing levels of deception. Her conclusion alleges, “Real Travel preyed on consumers who were desperate to get rid of timeshares that they no longer wanted or could not afford.”
This is a common practice in the timeshare exit realm. Every month, thousands of buyers are led to believe that canceling their timeshare is an easy transaction – it’s not. But not everyone knows how to legally get out of timeshare contracts. Inexperienced companies full of empty guarantees only add to the loss of a failed timeshare purchase. Real Travel is just another relief program creating negative headlines for the industry. This is unfortunate as it discourages those dealing with a difficult situation from seeking legitimate help.
How Real Travel Persuaded Unhappy Buyers.
Although the lawsuit is being processed in the state of Arkansas, Real Travel’s deceit was felt across the country. The amount of time and money put into their sales and marketing efforts allowed them to reach and attract hundreds of unhappy buyers on a national scale. This was nothing new for Scroggs as he’s become known for his keen ability to remotely persuade people to buy into his relief programs.
Once the operation was able to hook potential prospects with an enticing offer, they went in for the kill. According to consumer complaints and the lawsuit itself, Real Travel told their victims they could transfer, void or legally cancel their unsavory timeshare for a price that ranged from $5-18K. While we’re unsure of how the pricing was formulated, many scams use premeditated questions to elicit information from consumers. This allows them to maximize their offers. They know how to find out how much money you’re willing to spend on cancellation. If you tell them you have $10K laying around, predators will more than likely ask for $12K.
This is why timeshare owners need to know how to prepare for these types of situations. Fraudulent operations will use anything and everything against the consumer. But sometimes they don’t have to. In this scenario, Real Travel stuck to the simple approach of over promising and under delivering. Scroggs’s experience supplied the operation with a strong sales pitch while their 100% guarantees established a layer of trust – even if it wasn’t real.
In the end, Real Travel didn’t even come close to honoring their promises with some clients. While it’s common to have a few disgruntled customers here and there, a multitude of people claiming the same thing screams misconduct. To date, companies led by Brian Scroggs have left dozens of fractional owners with the burden of their timeshare after promising them a way out of their contract.
Victims Still Waiting to be Repaid for Their Timeshare Expenses.
Not only have owners failed to receive any type of restitution or refund for the failed cancellation, they’ve also been stuck with additional penalties from the resort. Maintenance costs and late fees have only added salt to their wounds. Attempts to contact Real Travel and resolve disputes have had no prevail.
The Attorney General is asking the court to impose civil penalties on Bowe and Scroggs while requiring them to repay victims for legal fees and the cost of doing business with Real Travel. She’d also like to permanently prohibit them from performing any timeshare related services in the state of Arkansas.
When asked about her reasoning, Rutledge said, “Sadly, good people were left with unwanted timeshares and thousands of dollars in fees for services not provided.” Since Scroggs is known for his public rebuttals, it’ll be interesting to see what he has to say about his latest battle with the law.