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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21578
Timeshares are scammy  Reply with quote  

Shortly before my father passed away, he and his wife purchased a timeshare for Cancun, Mexico which turned out to be an absolute nightmare. Neither of them have ever been to this "timeshare" location and, due to his death, they never will. They supposedly purchased the timeshare on an impulse (although I still don't have clear evidence that they signed up for what they got locked into) and they were given the impression that they could cancel the contract they signed within a certain timeframe. No dice. Didn't work out that way. When they realized this was something they wanted nothing to do with, the company was unwilling to honor the cancellation. My dad's widow is now locked into paying for this timeshare forever and they keep sending ridiculous fees. Not only is she unable to deal with this legal problem on her own (like most people I've found online who are in the same situation), but she is disabled which makes it exceptionally difficult for her to travel and/or deal with the obstacles they keep putting in her way.

I have no idea how any of this stuff works but I promised her I would get her out of this scam, by hook or by crook. It's been almost a year now since I promised her that.

I will offer more information when I get the chance.
I need to figure this out by the end of October.
Thanks fam


Last edited by Sage Francis on Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:35 pm; edited 4 times in total
Post Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:49 pm
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mzehe916



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 4543
Location: Switzerland
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Ohhhh man, sorry to hear. I did find this. I guess it can be something to chew on until you give more details and then the legal people can jump in. Best of luck on this!


Quote:

Instructions

1

Find the cancellation policy that is written into the contract, and check it against state laws governing time-share sales in the state in which you purchased the time-share. Nearly every state gives buyers a "cooling off" period during which they can get out of the contract without penalty, but the length varies. For example, Nevada allows only five days, while Florida offers ten. Note whether the cancellation period specifies only business days or weekends as well.
2

Cancel the contract if you are still within the state's legal cancellation period. You must do this carefully, following the law for proper notification. The procedure varies by state, but you are usually required to send a written cancellation notice to the time-share company. Request a return receipt so you can prove when it was mailed and that the company received it. This will allow you to prove that you cancelled within the proper time frame if the company tries to dispute that fact.
3

Insist on cancellation if the time-share company calls and tries to pressure you into going through with the sale. Most companies will make an effort to talk you into going through with it. Remember, you don't have to justify your decision or give a reason. Just keep repeating that you've made your decision and are not going to change it. If the representative sways you on the phone, the clock is still running on the legal cancellation period. If you realize that you really do want to cancel a day or two later, it may be too late.
4

If you want to get out of your time-share contract and the cooling-off period has already passed, make a list of false promises and misrepresentations that might have happened during the sales presentation. For example, if you were told that the time-share has tax benefits, if it was presented as an investment or if you were told that a non-deed time-share has equity, you may be able to get out of the contract.
5

Call the time-share company or send it a letter stating you want to get out of the contract because of the misrepresentations you discovered. Be very specific about how the time-share was misrepresented. If the company says no to your first attempt, let it know you will report it to the Better Business Bureau, its state's regulatory agency and the attorney general. Make the reports if it still refuses, and mail copies of your complaints to the time-share company.




Post Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:37 am
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jakethesnake
guy who cried about wrestling being real


Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 6311
Location: airstrip one
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My guess is, since it's been literally years since they bought it, they aren't going to have any way to "return" the property or cancel the sale. Especially considering that it's in Mexico.

My understanding is that timeshares are a piece of property that you own (for 1 week out of the year) and to get out of it you need to sell the thing.
It looks like lots of people sell them for a buck because the market for timeshares is so bad. :(

This website seems to have very legitimate information and you aren't going to like it. Most of the rentals are priced HIGHER than the sale ads:

http://tug2.net/timeshare_advice/cold_hard_facts_about_selling_your_timeshare.shtml

My parents have one in Orlando and they can either "bank" their week, which can be traded at other timeshare places, or use it, or sell it. If you are not so lucky to be in one of the 5 star locations then you are pretty much fucked and will have a really rough time trading your week for any other week at a place that is not a 5 star place and even then it's not guaranteed.

Your best bet, if you can't actually sell the property, may be to sell the week yearly like a vacation rental and cover the yearly costs and make up the money. This may be just as much or more work as selling it but could be profitable. A lot of this is going to depend on the quality of the resort, just like any other property.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this is all information I've gathered second-hand from my parents, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Post Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:24 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21578
 Reply with quote  

I need some help from people here who are more adept at certain online magic than I am. I'm really hoping you can come through for me.

I've done about 100 hours of research at this point, collecting as much information as I can. There a few roadblocks I've reached.

One thing I've noticed in my research is that someone who is as upset as I am once put together a website called www.sunsetscam.com

However, as you'll notice, that site is no longer available. Is there a way I can find out what used to be on that site?

I'm just wondering if they were able to uncover any information I haven't found already. I've found that "Sunset Group" is swift to shoot down negative information about them online.
Post Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:40 am
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mortalthoughts
LAME KID


Joined: 12 Dec 2002
Posts: 11616
Location: MI
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in the process of walking out the door for the day but i did come across this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA73mVCAXns&feature=channel&list=UL
"sunsetscam" youtube channel you could try contacting the operator of the page

lots of bitching about the company on the internet but not seeing any resolution... good luck man


edit : http://www.timesharescam.com/resorts-black-list/8-sunset-lagoon-timeshare-complaints/


THINK I FOUND SOMETHING USEFULL! http://www.mescam.com/

k bye running late for work now
Post Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:25 am
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8540
Location: Third Coast
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I googled for mirror versions of the site but I couldn't find one that was still working. In short, mirrors are duplicates of a website that can protect against the site being shutdown or closed, among other things. Somebody with a little more computer experience and savvy than myself might be able to help you out there.
Post Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:34 am
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the mean
Certified O.G.


Joined: 31 Jul 2003
Posts: 6497
Location: philly/sacto/kauai/ohio
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Sage Francis wrote:
I need some help from people here who are more adept at certain online magic than I am. I'm really hoping you can come through for me.

I've done about 100 hours of research at this point, collecting as much information as I can. There a few roadblocks I've reached.

One thing I've noticed in my research is that someone who is as upset as I am once put together a website called www.sunsetscam.com

However, as you'll notice, that site is no longer available. Is there a way I can find out what used to be on that site?

I'm just wondering if they were able to uncover any information I haven't found already. I've found that "Sunset Group" is swift to shoot down negative information about them online.

http://web.archive.org/web/20100401151958/http://www.sunsetscam.com/

Unfortunately, none of the links work.
Post Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:53 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21578
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OK, thanks guys. I was able to find a lot of that stuff as I've already compiled a novel's worth of complaints online, but I still feel like I'm missing some vital information. This company seems to be really good at wiping out all damning evidence against them. Ah well. The fight goes on. I'm just trying to get all my ducks in a line before having a lawyer handle the rest.
Post Tue Oct 16, 2012 4:51 pm
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Plum Puddin'



Joined: 26 May 2008
Posts: 1823
Location: Run Ebola, Run.
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Post Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:47 pm
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 8540
Location: Third Coast
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Plum Puddin' wrote:



Best thing I've seen online today. I've wanted to give the ole Mark signal a few times myself. With any luck he'll heed the call and chime in.
Post Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:58 pm
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GrantherBirdly
D&D addict


Joined: 05 Jun 2004
Posts: 3145
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Plum Puddin' wrote:



brilliant
Post Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:57 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21578
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If Mark has any interest at all in helping out, I respectfully request that he email me backchannel. If nothing else, this will save him from having to publicly announce his disinterest and/or inability in helping me out in this matter.

In other news, it's really crazy how much "Mexican timeshare" money has been scammed out of Americans and Canadians. It's well into the millions and it's steadily growing. I don't see this continuing to happen as new generations of people have access and knowledge of the internet. But the generation of my parents and grandparents continue to be victims and it's entirely frustrating. Haha. Ahhh. Timeshares. So.......dumb.
Post Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:29 pm
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anomaly
Loserface


Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 2579
Location: DFW, TX
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A person selling shady timeshares in Mexico or a Nigerian scammer.....which would you rather punch in the face?





OR

Post Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:43 pm
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2008
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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I don't think I can help.

sunsetscam.com no longer resolves anywhere in DNS--and in fact doesn't even appear to be registered any more. The only trick I had other than archive.org to pull old content like this is determining what the IP number of the site used to be, contacting that IP directly using a custom Host header in the hopes that the content (in this case a Wordpress blog) was still sitting there configured on the server. In some cases the lapsed DNS registration is simply neglect and the content is still out there on some webserver if you know where to find it.

http://www.sitetrail.com/sunsetscam.com shows that a couple of years ago, the domain was resolving to 173.236.80.34 -- http://dawhois.com/site/sunsetscam.com.html shows the same information. These are two captures of the DNS entry taken many months apart, which was a somewhat promising sign.

There is indeed still an Apache webserver listening on that address, but it no longer shows valid Wordpress content--just an HTML redirect to a cpanel default page, using either www.sunsetscam.com or sunsetscam.com in the Host header.

Comparing the current server responses to the ones archived on those URLs above, there's good reason to think that the webserver listening on that IP is operated by the same hosting company that had it two years ago when the site was current--but the content seems to be gone. My guess is that whoever registered this domain and bought hosting for it (apparently through singlehop.com) stopped paying the costs associated with the hosting. With the content physically gone from the servers and presumably not archived anywhere on the public Internet, next steps would be to try to reach the person who authored the content by working with the hosting ISP to obtain their contact information. That could easily require a subpoena, if it's possible at all.
Post Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:34 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21578
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Thanks for the info. My strongest hunch is that the timeshare company (and/or resort) settled up with the guy who made that site and he handed the site over to them. That's entirely frustrating because it has happened many times. The person who runs http://www.mescam.com/ even SUGGESTS that that's one of the best ways to get out of a timeshare. Here's what they say:

"To Fight Back against a timeshare company you will need to hurt them where it really hurts, and that is in their future business.  You will need to come up with a way to cost the TS company future business in order to force them to "do the right thing" and give you a full refund. Your goal should be to cost your timeshare company at least 50 times the value of your contract, or $1,000,000 in future business.  The most successful approach with this method is to fight the TS company in the press, with government pressure, and through an internet website.  If you doubt this is possible, with just this website I have cost the resort which tried to scam me over $1,000,000 in refund to other victims. 
Several people have been successful doing this, including one group who set up the website www.mayanresorts.org .  If you check out this website now, you will find it is a pro-Mayan Palace website now.  The group was able to put enough pressure on Mayan Palace to achieve a settlement with refunds of around 90%.  Note, some of these people purchased up to two years previously.  Time does not matter here, what matters is how badly you can hurt the timeshare company and what is it worth to the timeshare company to get you to stop."

So...cool? Instead of people rising up together and making an impact to save future scams, a few people rise up with damning information and then they agree to remove it from the internet after getting a settlement.

Yay! haha. Scoundrels.
Post Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:16 pm
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