March 15, 2013 — It’s been going on for many years and each Saturday when pouring over the new edition of The GateHouse timeshare blog section of this publication there is no shortage of news about criminals, grifters, cons, cheats & general liars across the USA who are being arrested in droves for defrauding our clients’ timeshare owners out of their hard earned money!
So here’s the scoop: Naturally when the arrests first started many other thieves immediately decided to get out of Dodge and set up in jurisdictions outside the United States. In fact many opened up phone (boiler) rooms & retail operations in regions including Mexico, Costa Rica and around the Caribbean, etc. in order to avoid the long reach of the US law.
The cheats of whom I speak are in the resale and rental sectors and IMO include some of those ‘post-card’ (timeshare transfer) companies charging thousands of dollars to get owners out of their timeshares. The big one now is cons contacting owners claiming they have a buyer for the owners’ ‘time’. The owners believe the grifters, wire the money and of course no such buyers ever existed.
With tens of thousands of timeshare owners having already been ripped off and tens of thousands more in the chute, this week I am calling on ARDA, all the HOAs, all Timeshare Developers, all Exchange Companies and all legitimate rental/resale businesses to unite under one common cause and purpose in order to put an end to these thieves’ activities here and now!
And here is how it could work. Every developer who hasn’t yet done so needs to draft up an e-mail (or a texted message) and eblast all their owners to warn them about the practices of these con artists and how they WILL steal their money.
The eblast could be a simple (e.g.) ‘Red Letter’ warning wherein all developers notify their owners to ‘…never attempt to transfer, sell or rent your timeshare ownership/membership interests to anyone without first contacting the customer service department. Failure to do so will be sufficient cause to IMMEDIATELY terminate & void any such transfer, transaction…’
ARDA also needs to eblast those one million (+ -) ARDA-ROC owners they have on file and warn them as well. What ARDA posted on their website is good but they need to reach out directly to all these ARDA-ROC members post haste!
And speaking of ARDA, I also believe that with their clout they need to contact the major TV networks and cable news outlets as well as the big radio stations (companies) and ask them to interview Howard so that he can send the warning out over the nation’s airways.
As for all exchange companies, legitimate resale/rental businesses and the HOAs, they, too, need to do the same type of an eblast as the developers. And if not in an eblast surely hammer the topic ‘home’ in their newsletters and get the word out today.
Everyone should also encourage their owners/members to spread the word to other owners/members and request that they forward on the warning and also ask them to post the alert on all the timeshare related Blogs/Boards and chat rooms, etc. that they routinely visit.
By doing all the aforementioned immediately this campaign could likely go viral and that is a great first step towards eradicating this scourge from our industry and at the same time improve our image as well as protect present and future timeshare owners.
Now just imagine the impact if all around the world ARDA, the Developers, HOA’s, the Exchange firms and the legitimate rental and resale companies actually coordinated this campaign and set a specific target date and time when they all hit their ‘send’ button!
Oh, and remember developers and HOAs if your clients/owners are more than willing to pay thousands of dollars to a 3rd party entity just to get out of their TS maybe you ought to ponder that concept and realize that those same clients/owners would be willing to pay you instead and then you use that money and inventory to generate more ‘owners’ & cash!
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Contributing sometimes extravagant, bombastic, emotional, pompous or even pretentious writings about the timeshare industry, Scoop covers an array of industry related subjects each week including inside information, tips, scandals, interviews, forecasts as well as new (good or bad) products and services--- and, of course, all the 'Good', the 'Bad' and the 'Ugly'.
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