One of the sad truths about the modern travel industry is that timeshares and vacation clubs continue to prey on travelers. Hundreds of thousands of timeshare products are purchased every year by travelers who were lured into slick sales presentations at timeshare resorts — only to find out that they purchased an ongoing financial burden of timeshare maintenance fees, exchange fees, repairs, and other costs.
To add insult to injury, these owners find that there is no real timeshare resale market, so they can’t make money back. Timeshare developers also prevent them from defraying their costs by blocking rentals or charging large upfront fees for allowing those rentals.
This ongoing problem has led to the formation of the timeshare exit industry. These companies were formed to help people get out of their timeshare contracts. The great need has led to the creation of many timeshare exit companies. If you are an unhappy timeshare owner, you have a lot of choices.
Beware, though. Not all timeshare companies are created equal. While some are better than others, there are a few that have created even more legal and financial problems for the people that they were supposed to be helping. With that in mind and the number of options when it comes to timeshare exit companies, you may not know where to start.
This article will discuss many of the timeshare exit companies from the past few years. We’ll look at the costs of using their timeshare exit services as well as customer testimonials and the reputations the companies have established. Most importantly, we’ll look at the timeshare exit scams you should avoid at all costs.
Timeshare Compliance has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2016. They have established a good reputation for achieving timeshare exits in some cases, though they have had 21 complaints in the past three years. In others, though, their communication has fallen short and caused some trouble for their customers, which the company then had to fix after receiving negative reviews.
Many timeshare exit companies have a money-back guarantee. Timeshare Compliance offers an escrow option whereby a fee can be held by a third party until the company does its job. There are reports, though, that almost none of Timeshare Compliance’s customers qualify for this option, which is offered more as a marketing ploy than a genuine option.
The services offered by Timeshare Compliance, as currently described on their website, are vague. The site focuses on legal solutions and referring cases to lawyers. Though timeshare attorneys can help resolve a case, their services can be quite expensive and are not always necessary.
As a result, fees from Timeshare Compliance can add up quickly. Their fees begin at $4,500, though they can get up into the tens of thousands of dollars. There is at least one report that the final fees from this company went as high as $100,000.
There have also been complaints about communication and tactics advised by the company after fees were paid. This includes three lawsuits from timeshare companies who allege that Timeshare Compliance told clients to simply stop making payments to the companies. This is not an exit solution nor a service that anyone should pay for. Apart from not solving a client’s problem, this can also cause foreclosure, deficiency judgments, and ruin credit scores.
Wesley Financial Group, LLC, is a non-BBB-accredited timeshare cancellation company based in Franklin, Tennessee. The company’s website promises termination of timeshare agreements using their in-house team but is very light on details as to the company’s timeshare exit process. This appears to consist of a combination of legal representation and advocacy directly to the developer on an owner’s behalf.
Complaints (of which there have been 61 in the last three years) about Wesley Financial Group center on sporadic or infrequent communication (contrary to what was promised) and the number of fees paid. The amount of fees reported is between $4,000 and $10,000. Some owners, however, have reported fees that would be almost as much as what they would just pay their developer to get out of their contract.
At least one customer complained on Yelp that he had been paying Wesley Financial Group for nearly a year, then sought to cancel the engagement because he was unhappy with the services. When he sought to collect on the company’s money-back guarantee (which is used instead of an escrow option), they denied it was an issue covered by the guarantee and refused a refund.
Whereas Timeshare Compliance and Wesley Financial Group have mixed reviews, Vacation Consulting Services has a dismal F rating on the BBB website. This company is notable for its promise that if it was unable to achieve a timeshare exit within one year, it would buy its clients’ interests from them.
If that promise sounds too good to be true, that’s because it was just another of the many scams that have arisen in this area. In 2020, the Missouri Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Vacation Consulting Services for its failure to provide this relief to its clients.
The company also allegedly advised some of its clients to default on their timeshare payments, leading to foreclosures and other legal problems for those clients. Reckless advice like this can also ruin a timeshare owner’s credit score.
For all these reasons, Vacation Consulting Services is among the timeshare exit companies that should not be recommended to anybody.
These two non-BBB-accredited timeshare exit companies are owned by the same person (Michael Miles) and have similar reputations and complaints, filled with red flags.
Nationwide maintains a C+ BBB rating, with a dismal customer rating of 1.6-out-of-five stars and 15 complaints in the last three years. American has a similarly bad reputation, with a C BBB rating, a 3.08-out-of-five star rating, and 14 complaints in the last three years.
Complaints about these companies show fees well over $10,000 and a lack of results, putting clients in an even worse financial position than they were when they hired the company. The BBB itself has noted a “pattern of consumer complaints alleging failure to issue refunds, failure to cancel contracts, misleading sales presentation, harassing phone calls and overall poor customer service.”
For these reasons, engagement of either of these companies should be avoided at all costs.
Timeshare Exit Team was also the subject of a state attorney general’s lawsuit, which they settled in exchange for paying a huge fine. This company also charges fees in the tens of thousands of dollars without getting good results for its clients. BBB complaints show that despite those outrageous fees and a “money-back guarantee,” clients have not been successful in getting their money back.
As we’ve seen with other companies, Timeshare Exit Team also has advised its clients to stop paying on their timeshares, causing them to go into foreclosure and suffer other serious legal consequences. Timeshare Exit Team has therefore proven that it is an untrustworthy company, as its customers almost always ended up regretting the experience.
Thankfully, Timeshare Exit Team has closed all operations and is no longer an option for owners.
Centerstone Group is proud to have been featured elsewhere on the internet as the best among the timeshare exit companies. Its specialists have collective decades of experience in the timeshare industry, and their expertise has been recognized with an A rating from the BBB, as well as numerous positive customer reviews.
Not only do we have an excellent reputation as one of the best timeshare exit companies, we also offer more options, and execute them better, than any of our competitors. For example, we offer a real escrow option for our clients to ensure that they get their money’s worth.
In terms of our actual services, we don’t just refer cases out to lawyers or ask our clients to default on their timeshare mortgages. Instead, we look at your case and pick one or more out of several options that suit your situation. For some owners, our proprietary pressure campaign against a developer (with administrative complaints) may be the way to go.
In other cases, more legal help may be needed. Then, and only then, would we work with one of our attorney or law firm partners to get you the result you need. And we would always ensure that only work an attorney is needed for should be done by the legal team, so we can keep your costs down.
We are also available to help you with timeshares outside the United States. For example, we have an excellent track record for getting timeshare exits for units in Mexico.
Timeshares eat your money, your vacations, and your peace of mind. Don’t pay tens of thousands in upfront fees or default on your timeshare obligations. We would be honored if you allow us to help you with an exit strategy. Contact Centerstone Group today for a free consultation and case evaluation.