Diamond Resort’s, one on the giants in the timeshare industry and well known in their endeavours to take action against anyone helping timeshare owners end their contracts, is suing yet another firm they say is running a timeshare exit scam.
In fact, Diamond says scam companies cause such a big problem for their owners, they have now opened a support page which offers advice for those who have been approached by rogue operators. CEO, Mike Flaskey has made no secret that the company plan to tackle and take down anyone who takes advantage of Diamond members and says the problem is rising. In this latest news, Diamond took legal action against Timeshare Exit Team, located in the U.S. They say the company has made unsolicited phone calls to Diamond owners and made claims that they could help exit owners from their contracts for an upfront fee.
Timeshare Exit Team hit back at Diamond’s claims and in a motion filed to the court, asked the judge to dismiss the case, stating the claims of false advertising were untrue. However, the judge has ruled in favour of Diamond, agreeing that the company may have violated Unfair Trade Practices as they encouraged owners to stop paying for their timeshares, which led to owners defaulting on loans which resulted in bad credit for some owners. Diamond say Timeshare Exit Team, charged thousands of dollars in upfront fees for services it could not perform. They also say the firm misrepresented itself by claiming to be a licenced lawyers office, which it was not. They say the services they offered were no more than instructing owners to stop paying Diamond, convincing owners that their contracts had been terminated.
The suit also alleges Timeshare Exit Team violated the ‘Lanham Act’ which means they falsely advertised their services to clients, who were then convinced to hand over large fees to the company. Timeshare Exit Team asked the court to dismiss Diamond’s claims on the grounds that the services they were performing were legitimate and any letter they wrote on behalf of clients ‘amounted to protected activity’. The court disagreed and went on to say Diamond has a high probability of winning the suit as they have evidence that the firm did not perform any of the services they claimed on behalf of owners. The case will undoubtedly continue through the courts for some time but is another example of Diamond putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to their owners.
On their website CEO Mike Flaskey says these companies are preying on people with misinformation. Mike Flaskey said: “I think it is time the greater vacation industry takes back the narrative. These exit companies have been controlling the narrative for the last couple of years because there is so much money to take from unsuspecting owners.”
Over the years Diamond has developed an exit strategy for owners and members to ‘adjust their ownership contracts to meet their needs’ They say customer satisfaction is their number one priority, but what happens to people who don’t want to ‘adjust or modify’ their contracts and simply want a way out for good? Well, unfortunately this is not an option readily on offer. Which is surprising as timeshare is meant to be a leisure activity and something to enjoy. Why would anyone sign up to a lifetime membership for which they have to pay over and above the price for. It is a bit like having a gym membership, you enjoy it for a period, or perhaps you enjoy it so much you keep paying for it. The difference is it is a competitive market, so the prices are not extortionate, and most memberships allow you to cancel at any time, or at least after a short notice period. Why doesn’t timeshare offer the same for their owners? Timeshare is a leisure activity and not something you should be forced to endure for years on end, especially when you are not enjoying it or getting value for money.
The timeshare industry continues to grow, in fact it is a multibillion-dollar industry which relies on fees and people being tied into lengthy contracts that are difficult to get out of. If it wants to continue to grow in a healthy way and not take advantage of owners and instead develop a good reputation for the future, perhaps it should look at genuine exit strategies for owners who want to end contracts for legitimate reasons.