Milwaukee, Wis. (May 2, 2012) –– The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers about Midwest Timeshares, a Green Bay-based timeshare reseller who has racked up 70 complaints from consumers in 33 states and Canada.
The company, which has also done business as National Timeshare Resale (“NTR”) and Integrated Advertising Solutions, has an “F” rating with the BBB, the lowest grade possible. Complainants tell the BBB that the company charged them upfront fees, claiming they had a waiting buyer, but the buyer never materialized and promised refunds were never received.
Patricia Z. of Delaware states, “We were contacted by Midwest Timeshares and had to give them money for them to do a title search, in the amount of $499. They wanted more but we didn’t have any more to give them. We were called back and told that they had a buyer for the timeshare and it would take 30 days to complete the sale.”
Patricia never heard back from the company and it did not respond to the BBB.
Clara P. of Indiana says Midwest Timeshares promised to sell her timeshare in twelve months. When it didn’t, it promised to refund her $699. She never received the refund and said, “I hope that my information can help you in some way to stop these criminals.”
The Wisconsin BBB has sent several requests to the company asking it to verify its techniques in finding buyers for timeshares and to provide name and contact information for customers whose timeshares were sold. However, Midwest Timeshares has not responded to the BBB’s requests.
“If you want to sell your timeshare, contact a real estate agent”, says Ran Hoth, CEO/president of the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin. “Do not pay money to a stranger that you have only spoken with over the phone, that you have never seen nor met.”
Hoth says, “I understand that our economy has been struggling, and some timeshare owners may be desperate to rid themselves of their investment and make some money. Unfortunately, scammers are capitalizing on this desperation. And by the time they realize that they were scammed, it may be too late to get a refund through their credit card company.”
If you are interested in selling your timeshare, the BBB offers the following tips:
- Be wary of too-good-to-be-true resale claims. The company’s salespeople may claim that the market in the area where our property is located is “hot” or that they have already received a buyer request. Be skeptical of these claims.
- Be careful if you’re asked to pay a large fee upfront. Smaller fees for appraisals, etc. are customary for a real estate transaction. However, if you’re asked to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars up front, this should be seen as a red flag.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau to see what type of a report it has on the firm. Also check to see if any complaints have been processed and, if so, how did the company respond?
- Request a written contract and read it. What cancellation rights do you have? If you were promised the company would sell your timeshare, but the contract doesn’t state that, don’t sign it.
- Check with your state to see if the salespeople are licensed to sell timeshares or if they are licensed real estate brokers and whether there are any complaints on file against them.
- You may want to try to sell your timeshare “by owner” by placing an ad in a newspaper or magazine. Or, list your timeshare with a licensed real estate broker.
For more information or further inquiries, please contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). For more news from the Wisconsin BBB, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.