TALLAHASSEE, FL (November 2, 2009)– Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that his office has filed a lawsuit and has requested an emergency injunction against two related South Florida timeshare resale marketing companies. Universal Marketing Solutions, Creative Vacation Solutions, and owner/manager Jennifer Kirk allegedly collected over $4 million in marketing fees on a monthly basis, but rarely if ever marketed, advertised, or facilitated sales for the timeshare owners who had contracts with the companies. The injunction requests the companies’ cease doing any timeshare business while the lawsuit is pending.
An investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Division indicated that Kirk and her companies were charging marketing fees as high as $2,500 for timeshare resale advertising services. The companies were soliciting hundreds of consumers nationwide via the internet and though aggressive telemarketing calls, allegedly making empty promises and false misrepresentations that they would actively match timeshare sellers with prospective buyers. According to the lawsuit, when prospective buyers contact the companies to purchase a timeshare, no attempt would be made by the companies to match those prospective buyers with sellers who had contracted with the companies, thus making the advertising and marketing claims a complete sham.
To solicit more customers, the companies allegedly boasted of their “superior marketing tools,” including marketing events, presentations and seminars. Kirk and her companies allegedly claimed they could “definitely” sell timeshares within a certain period of time and that they had buyers waiting with approved financing to buy the consumers’ timeshare. Consumers were also verbally assured contract terms during telemarketing calls, but were furnished contracts with entirely different terms regarding the resale services. Additionally, the companies would allegedly charge consumers’ credit cards or cash consumers’ checks without and/or before obtaining a signed written contract from the consumer delineating all the terms and conditions of the services to be provided.
Consumers who complained to the Attorney General’s Office reported that the companies have not performed the promised services and that they were unable to contact the companies or get refunds. The Attorney General’s Office believes that there could a total of more than 400 victims affected by the two companies’ deceptive practices, and has been receiving approximately 10 complaints per day against these companies. The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting the defendants from engaging in any timeshare resale business while the litigation is pending. The lawsuit also requests full restitution on behalf of all victimized consumers, civil penalties, and reimbursement for fees and costs related to the investigation.
Consumers may file a complaint about Universal Marketing Solutions or Creative Vacation Solutions by visiting the Attorney General’s website at http://www.myfloridalegal.com or by calling the fraud hotline at 1-866-966-7226.
A copy of a consumer affidavit form and instructions is available online at: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/KGRG-7XBT2F/$file/TimeshareAffidavit.pdf
A copy of the lawsuit is available online at: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MRAY-7XENWJ/$file/ComplaintForInjunctiveRelief.pdf
Media Contact: Sandi Copes
Phone: (850) 245-0150
SOURCE: Florida Attorney General’s Office