Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed suit against a Branson, Missouri-based company and its two owners for violating the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act in selling timeshare exit services to consumers across the country. RSI, LLC, which sometimes operated under the name Relief Solutions International, is alleged to have charged several thousand dollars each to a number of consumers with promises to get them out of their obligations to pay maintenance and other fees for timeshares.
“I will always fight for the rule of law, which includes holding fraudulent companies accountable for preying on Missourians,” said Attorney General Bailey. “We will use every tool at our disposal to obtain justice for victims of consumer fraud.”
The Attorney General’s Office has received complaints from 114 consumers who collectively paid the defendants over $800,000 but did not receive the results that the defendants guaranteed in writing. Attorney General Bailey is seeking injunctive relief, full restitution for all affected, and civil penalties for each violation.
This lawsuit is not the only action taken by Attorney General Bailey against a timeshare exit company for violation of consumer protection laws. Earlier this year, the Attorney General’s Office obtained a consent judgment against Vacation Consulting Services, LLC; VCS Communications, LLC; The Transfer Group, LLC; Real Travel, LLC; and their owner Brian Scroggs for failing to let consumers out of their timeshare agreements. Scroggs owned Vacation Consulting Services, a Missouri-based company that offered timeshare exit services around the country.
General Bailey encourages consumers who believe they were taken advantage of by these defendants, regardless of where they live, to file a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 392-8222 or by submitting a complaint online at ago.mo.gov.
Timeshare Exit Tips
- Consumers who want to get out of the timeshare contract 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 promise 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 this link.
General Timeshare Tips
- Look at 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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