July 16, 2010 — If there is, then can you tell us if a person or business can lawfully make, in writing, the following statement while inferring that the U.S. Federal Government is either directly and/or indirectly involved with, supports or endorses that announcement and ‘their’ private enterprise?
“Let us be crystal clear… Breaktimesharecontract.com provides a form, which is valid in all 50 states, and will cancel your timeshare contract.” [sic]
In the body of their message they state: “timeshare owners that bought because they were told, “it will rent out to cover the fees” or just lied to, are due a refund, and a cancellation of the timeshare contract” [sic]. Then they provide a “free info click link” hyperlink to their URL (web address), where the very first thing responders see is the colorful ‘USA.Gov’ logo (a real federal agency), which hyperlinks not to a Government site but only to a photo of the logo.
From there they have more razzle dazzle stuff, with the apparent objective to get responders to fill out a rather lengthy set of questions (about 40 in all) involving all sorts of personal information. They collect this ‘content’ in what appears to be an unsecured format, too, which is alarming.
After collecting the responders’ full names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc. one of the first questions they ask is for the timeshare contract number (and resort name), and that is followed with their second question (exactly as it appears, type goofs and all):
“Please provide the name address, account number, and phone number for the bank that the timeshare is financed with, so we may contact them to let them know we are involved and you’re unhappy.” [sic]
Other questions include but are not limited to: “Where you held captive…”; “Did you purchase to get out of the presentation…”; Where you drunk…”; “Do you feel cheated…”; “Was your paperwork done by a third party noncommissioned representative…”; “How much was your down payment…”; the very last question being “What would you like the authorities to make happen besides getting you out of this contract?” (Again, this was copied verbatim, typos and all.)
And as a sidebar, BreakTimeshareContract.com is apparently trying to get the word out, in part, in direct violation of the CAN-SPAM Act.
It seems they’re attempting, in a rather sophomoric way, to circumvent that law by placing in the ‘subject box’ “information for you, as requested”. But since I personally never requested any such information, and they don’t even offer the ‘opt-out’ provisions that are required by law, they seem to be spamming.
There is, of course, no shortage of ‘firms’ offering services for owners to get out of their ‘CONTRACT’ and they seem to be increasing on a daily basis. So for now, we’re looking into this particular company that apparently has something to do with a person named Scott King (at least that’s what the voice message says) and once our investigation is completed I’ll post a follow up to this story.
In the meantime, ‘buyer beware’ may very well apply to ‘BreakTimeshareContract.com’ because although they also state on their website “Thank you, America, for letting us serve you for the past 11 years”, their website was only registered this past March, they only paid for their registration for 1 year and it will expire next March.
Email Scoop: firstname.lastname@example.org