AG Schmitt said the companies promised to get customers out of their timeshares or buy them out but did neither
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Attorney General is going after a man and his four timeshare exit companies he said backed out of payment agreements with customers.
Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced a lawsuit against Brian Scroggs and his four timeshare companies after he said the companies promised to either get them out of their timeshares or buy them out but did neither.
Schmitt said customers of the four companies — Vacation Consulting Services LLC, VCS Communications, LLC, The Transfer Group, LLC, and Real Travel L.L.C. — were told to stop making maintenance payments on their timeshares because the exit company would cover those costs. Schmitt said companies did not pay those fees, leaving the customers even worse off than when they started.
“The Missouri Attorney General’s Office is dedicated to protecting consumers, and whenever we can take action to hold those seeking to defraud Missourians accountable, we will,” Schmitt said in the press release.
Missourians who believe they were scammed by Scroggs or his companies are asked to call the Consumer Protection hotline at 800-392-8222 or submit a complaint online at the Missouri consumer protection website.
Schmitt’s office also provided the following timeshare tips:
- For consumers who want to get out of the timeshare contract, they should reach out to the timeshare directly to see if they offer a deed-back or exit program. If a program is not available, consult with an attorney for further legal advice.
- Beware of making upfront payments to timeshare exit companies for the work they promise.
- Written guarantees from timeshare exit companies may not offer the protection or promises that consumers expect.
- Do your research. Research the owners and the business carefully before paying any money.
- Check with the Attorney General’s office and BBB for complaints prior to doing any business with a timeshare exit company.
- If you believe you have been scammed, you can contact the Missouri Attorney General’s office Consumer Protection hotline at 800-392-8222 or visit their website at www.ago.mo.gov
- Look on the secondary market first. If you are interested in buying a timeshare, you may save thousands buying on the resale market. Be fully aware of what you are purchasing and from whom you are buying to ensure a smooth transaction. Make sure you have in writing the terms of the sale and what each side is responsible for paying at closing. Read the contract carefully and ask questions of the seller.
- Don’t bow to pressure. Take time to think about your decision. Ask the salesperson to send you written information about your possible purchase, including a contract that you can review. There is nothing that says you have to sign the first thing that is shown to you. Let the deal breathe before you figure out if it is right for you.
- Do your research. Compare travel savings with online travel services or local travel agents. Also, check out the company with the Attorney General’s office and the BBB.
- Act fast if you are not satisfied. If you sign a contract for a timeshare or travel club, you have a short window to cancel the contract if you don’t like what you purchased. Don’t wait until after you get back from your trip to take a second look at the contract and research the company you are dealing with or it may be too late. Also, always pay with a credit card so you can challenge the charge should something go wrong with the purchase.
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