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FROM THE FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE CONCERNING TIMESHARE COMPLAINTS (very important)

Forum: Buying, Renting, and Selling Timeshares

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FROM THE FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE CONCERNING TIMESHARE COMPLAINTS (very important)

I copied the below from another thread .... this if from the Florida attorney general's office concerning timeshare complaints.

"Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum received your email regarding your concerns with Royal Marketing Group. Attorney General McCollum asked that I respond. I apologize for the delay in our response, due to our activation of the Attorney General's Price-Gouging Hotline following Hurricane Ike.

Attorney General McCollum is concerned with all potentially unfair and deceptive trade practices that mislead consumers. By law, this office exercises statutory authority to address consumer fraud under Chapter 501, Part II, Florida Statutes, known as Florida's Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Our office focuses its enforcement efforts on business practices by companies which harm numerous consumers in more than one
judicial circuit. We use complaints to develop information about patterns of business activity which may indicate the need for formal investigation or action by our office to protect the broad public interest.

The Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, and Mobile Homes, which is part of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), regulates the creation, sale, and operation of timeshare plans in the State of Florida pursuant to Chapter 721, Florida Statutes, the "Florida Vacation Plan and Timesharing Act."

For complaints or inquiries relating to timeshares, please contact DBPR. Contact information as well as frequently asked questions about timeshare plans, is available on DBPR's website at:

http://www.myflorida.com/dbpr/lsc/timeshare.html

Also, Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Consumer Services (DACS), is the state clearinghouse for consumer complaints and has a voluntary mediation program to assist individual consumers. You may contact DACS online at:

http://www.800helpfla.com/

Or by mail at: 2005 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee, Florida 32399. The telephone number is (850)488-2221 or toll-free from within Florida (800)435-7352.

You may contact the Mexico Consumer Protection Agency, Profeco, which assist consumers with complaints regarding purchases based in that country. You may contact Profeco at Av. José Vasconcelos No. 208, 6º Piso, Col. Condesa, México D. F. C.P. 06140, phone numbers: 55-68-87-22; 01-800-468-87-22, or file a complaint via email to: extranjeros@profeco.gob.mx

To view information in English on Profeco's website, below, click on Atencion al Extranjero "and scroll down the page to the English text"

http://www.profeco.gob.mx/

The following information about foreign timeshare and real estate transactions may also be of interest to you:

http://myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/22334FF77D6CFA10852573170044A
67A

In addition, you may contact the following consumer agencies as you seek to resolve your individual complaint:

Federal Trade Commission
Toll-free: (877) 382-4357
Internet: http://www.ftc.gov

Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida (serving Miami, Ft.
Lauderdale, West Palm Beach areas)
Phone: (561) 842-1918
Internet: http://www.bbbsoutheastflorida.org

Broward County Consumer Protection
Phone: (954) 357-5350
Internet: www.broward.org/consumer/

Finally, Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act provides individuals with a private remedy to bring an action for damages, attorney's fees and court costs. If you need legal advice, The Florida Bar offers a Lawyer Referral Service which you may contact toll-free at (800) 342-8060. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be eligible for low cost or pro bono assistance through a local legal aid office. The Florida Bar can assist you with this process. The Bar's website provides more information about legal aid:

http://www.floridabar.org

Thank you for contacting Attorney General McCollum's Office. I hope this issue can be resolved to your satisfaction.

Sincerely,
Samantha Santana
Office of Citizen Services

PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS E-MAIL. THIS ADDRESS IS FOR PROCESSING ONLY.

To contact this office please visit the Attorney General's website at
www.myfloridalegal.com and fill out the on-line contact form. Again,
thank you for contacting the Office of the Florida Attorney General."

Avatar for jayjay jayjay

5 years ago
Sep 27, 2008

FROM THE FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE CONCERNING TIMESHARE COMPLAINTS (very important)

This is about the most mumble jumbled official email that I have ever read. If I wanted to know you procedures, i could look in the Florida Statutes.

My question to you is what are you doing to stop the public from being ripped off from all the time share presentations that only tell how wonderful owning a time share is. In reality, its a total rip off, the worse I have ever seen and evident by the number of Timeshares being built and sold in Florida running amok.

For your information, a free 45 min presentation turns into a sale's presentation that last for hours, goes to 3 or 4 level of sales people to get you to sign on the dotted line.

If you buy a timeshare from the developer, its not unusual for pay from 20-40,000 for a l,2, or 3 br unit., only to find out it has a resale value from $1.00 to $2000.

I first got involved with buying a time share through an on line auction. I figured if some idiot was dumb enough to initially pay $25.000 for the timeshare, buying it for $1.000 would be a good deal.

The developers tell you, you can trade your week for anywhere in the world, but they forget to tell you there has to be an opening when you want to go, in order to trade your unit, you have to join a tlimeshare trading company RCI, II, and that costs you 85-125 a year, then when you deposit your week, it costs another $125-150 to initiate the trade, and if you want to let a family member or friend then you have to buy a gift certificate, so figure it out, 750 annual maintence fee, 100 member ship fee to trade, 150 to trade, and 50 for a gift certificate

That my friend comes to over $1000 Such a great deal, now its time to sell, try and get 10 percent of your initial purchase price. You can buy timeshares all day long on ebay for $1.00 that some slick time share company sold to you 4 years ago for $25,000.

Woops I for to add that these units need to be cleaned, painted and maintained, the annual maintence fee's do not even come close to keeping them up....so here comes the almighty assessment of $1500 plus.

A total rip off, Florida and the powers to be should be ashamed of themselves. Stop this nonsense NOW.

L. S. B
Florida Resident

Avatar for larryj32 larryj32

4 years ago
Dec 30, 2009

A differing point of view...

First, thanks to jayjay for making the effort to relay the post of specific FL contacts, which will help those seeking to do research and/or file complaints. I personally believe that the BBB is a waste of time, but that's just my opinion. Finding the correct and applicable statutes is rarely an easy task --- even for someone with a law degree.

Second, my own experience (encompassing 27 years now) with a number of different FL timeshare ownerships (all of them coastal) has actually been quite satisfactory and considerably different from that of larryj32. In the course of several decades, I've encountered only a few (always unwelcome) special assessments (all of them were hurricane damage related), and each was under $500. Repairs and maintenance are never free --- and insurance has big deductibles in coastal locations.

Third, I have NO illusions about the likelihood of successfully "exchanging". I believe that "exchanging" is increasingly just a long-odds "crap shoot" and, for that reason, I have never purchased anything except what I would be happy to use myself (and have, in fact, been happy using myself) and that is waht I always recommend to others. Buying just to "exchange" is a fool's errand; "exchanging" is, by definition, ALWAYS strictly based upon availability --- not just upon someone's desire to go somewhere. You can't "exchange" into what isn't available to begin with...

Fourth, Florida (where I am NOT a year round resident) is by far the most proactive state in going after timeshare industry scammers. They also have one of the longest timeshare contract recission (cancellation) periods available anywhere in the U.S. (10 days in FL, where some states have as few as 3 days and the national average is 5-7 days).

Finally, developer sales weasels are generally hungry, lying, decepetive and /or ill informed; that much is certainly beyond dispute. This has ALWAYS been true of developer-direct sales --- and it's true regardless of geography. It's true in Las Vegas, in Branson, in Williamsburg and everywhere else. It is certainly not a phenomenon unique to Florida. Do you blame your FL state government that sales weasels EVERYWHERE routinely lie and people STILL choose to believe them --- even though the false verbal claims by the sales weasels are not actually reflected within the contract ( the contract which many buyers don't even bother to read or try to understand until later --when it's often much too late to do anything about it)?

There are certainly flaws and scammers in and around the timeshare industry, but with all due respect Larry, your observations and views certainly don't reflect mine. Different strokes for different folks...

We can probably at least agree on CAVEAT EMPTOR (Buyer Beware)...

Last edit by ken1193 on Dec 30, 2009 07:40 AM.

Avatar for ken1193 ken1193

4 years ago
Dec 30, 2009

FROM THE FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE CONCERNING TIMESHARE COMPLAINTS (very important)

My information below was posted in Sept 2008 ... so far, only a few upfront fee scammers have been shut down by the Fla attorney general .... what's the hold-up since ALL upfront fee companies lie (deception/mislead) going so far as to tell prospective clients that they have a buyer for their timeshare (when they do not) and other such lies ... I can assure you that Mr. McCollum's office has had thousands upon thousands of complaints against these scammers, but they are still in their (deceptive) business(es) .... I would have to ask Mr. McCollum why these deceptive practices still exist ... could it be that outting these scammers would open a huge can of worms in the state of Fla since there are so many scammers operating there ... it's rampant in that state.

Attorney General McCollum is concerned with all potentially unfair and deceptive trade practices that mislead consumers. By law, this office exercises statutory authority to address consumer fraud under Chapter 501, Part II, Florida Statutes, known as Florida's Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Our office focuses its enforcement efforts on business practices by companies which harm numerous consumers in more than one
judicial circuit. We use complaints to develop information about patterns of business activity which may indicate the need for formal investigation or action by our office to protect the broad public interest.

Avatar for jayjay jayjay

4 years ago
Dec 30, 2009

A calendar check...

jayjay wrote:
My information below was posted in Sept 2008 ... so far, only a few upfront fee scammers have been shut down by the Fla attorney general ....

The Florida statute specifically targeting upfront fee timeshare parasites in Florida was passed only a few months ago (i.e., in 2009), with an effective date of July, 2009. Accordingly, that particular law has been on the books for less than 6 months now....

Last edit by ken1193 on Dec 30, 2009 10:38 AM.

Avatar for ken1193 ken1193

4 years ago
Dec 30, 2009

FROM THE FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE CONCERNING TIMESHARE COMPLAINTS (very important)

my complaint is with the Wyndham timeshare. They scam the public by taking your money. I am out about $22K. I am writing to the Bureau of Compliance in Florida. Hopefully they can help me. But I have had very good years traveling all over the world with Wyndham, Vacation Village, and Palm Beach Shores. You have to be flexible and the exchanges have been very good. I am only complaining regarding Wyndham because although I have paid off my timeshare, they cancelled my membership and I can't use my timeshare with them. However, since I am going to complain about it, this may very well change. Their presentation tactics stinks but you must be firm with your decision. If you do not want to buy don't sign. I understant that this might be difficult but just walk away if you get a gut feeling that you should not sign.

Avatar for elenad5 elenad5

4 years ago
Aug 12, 2010

On what pretence did Wyndham cancel your membership? Were you behind in maintenance or tax payments?

Avatar for greg208 greg208

4 years ago
Aug 13, 2010

FROM THE FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE CONCERNING TIMESHARE COMPLAINTS (very important)

I had written a complaint about Wyndham resorts. Did you get it?

Avatar for elenad5 elenad5

4 years ago
Aug 13, 2010

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