Timeshares are sold with promises of exciting vacations. But some owners find those promises just don't add up.
They want out of their contract, but no one wants to buy their timeshare. So, they trust a growing industry of businesses willing to do that.. for another fee.
Tired of their increasing yearly fees and lack of availability, Joan and Jim say one timeshare cancellation business finally promised them great news.
"We could definitely get you out of it in two years... or you can get your money back," Joan says.
It's the same promise another local couple, Linda and Jeff also received. "They told us it could take six months to a year to get out of it," Linda says.
Both owners hired the same company, Timeshare Termination Team out of Colorado with offices in Tempe.
"It cost almost as much to get out of it as the timeshare cost," Linda says.
The couple paid a timeshare termination team around $7,800. Jeff and Linda committed to about $3,000.
Their contracts state they'll get monthly progress reports. But they say that didn't happen consistently and then stopped altogether.
"Last time we talked with them was in March and they said, 'ok we are working on it,'" Joan says.
The Federal Trade Commission, AARP, and the Better Business Bureau have warned about timeshare exit and resale business scams.
Several states have sued exit companies for taking money and not delivering on promises.
But many owners are desperate to get out.
Timeshare Termination Team did not return our calls or emails. Unfortunately, our sister station in Denver found their headquarters closed. They seemed to have vanished.
The Colorado Attorney General's Office would not comment about it or what victims can do now.
So, what started years ago with promises of exciting timeshare vacations, ends with two couples feeling victimized.. twice.
"Waste of money. The worst thing we ever did," Jeff says about the couple's full timeshare experience.
If you want out of your timeshare, check with your seller. Many now have exit plans. But there is a fee involved.
Once you start down the timeshare path, you will be asked to spend more and more.
Really consider it even before you go to the sales pitch.
The Federal Trade Commission offers advice on how to avoid Timeshare buying and exit scams.