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[ 2012 ] Summit Marketing Assoc in Longwood FL - legit?

jasperdog

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Unfortunately, I expect they are not legit, and don't do anything to rent your timeshare week. Has anyone ever successfully rented their week at the promised rate? Or is it just a scam? When you think about it, if it's so automatic that it is virtually certain they can rent your week at the stated price in a short period of time, why would they NEED to charge marketing upfront?

I don't know how to get my upfront $599 "listing fee" back. I faxed them a cancellation last night, exactly one week after I had "electronically signed" an email to "activate my listing." But the contract states that I have "7 calendar days" to cancel the contract "in writing." So I also sent the same signed cancellation today physically via overnight mail, but it will definitely arrive beyond the 7 day limit.

I assume I should dispute the charge with Mastercard.

I already filled out a complaint form at Fla. attorney general's office. I figure if I get a refund I can report that to them

The BBB of Central FL only has one complaint against them.

A couple of red flags were:
1. They charged my credit card before I agreed to their contract
2. They thought my HGVC week in Orlando was for a 2BR unit, but when I told them it was a 1BR, the promised rental price didn't change and they didn't seem to care.
3. They said my HGVC account would only be charged 1700 points for the rental. I get 4,800 HGVC points a year for owning there. Getting $1,700 ($2300 rental minus $599 listing fee) for 1,700 points would be almost a no brainer. So it's too good to be true.

But the original caller was insistent that if they could not rent the week, I would get the listing fee returned. Unfortunately, the contract that half pops up on the screen when you "electronically sign" the email says no such thing and the only guarantee they give is that they will continue to "list" and "market" your property until it is rented.

I just now got a call from "Marasol" at SMA and she said the marketing manager would call me tomorrow to process my refund. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Is it even possible to rent your HGVC week if you haven't used your points to reserve the week ahead of time?

jdog
 

DeniseM

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Don't wait - you should immediately dispute this with your credit card company.

There is a simple rule of thumb for dealing with timeshare business offers:

Any company that charges you a large upfront fee of any kind to sell or rent your timeshare, or to get your money back from another company, makes their money from the upfront fee - they have NO intention of providing any services to you. They ALREADY have your money - why should they!

Legitimate businesses charge a commission after the service, but these companies all ask for a large upfront payment.

Here are some warnings signs with these kinds of companies:

1) Did you get an unsolicited sales call or mailing or email from them?

2) Do they say that they already have a renter/buyer for your timeshare? (Or an established market like people attending conventions.)

3) Do they claim that they can get your money back from another scammer?

4) Do they want you to pay hundreds/thousands of dollars for a title search, or transfer fees, or taxes, or a closing fee, or appraisal, or ANY large fee, UPFRONT?

5) Are they offering to rent/sell it for far more than the market value?

6) Do they want you to pay a large up front fee that supposedly you will get back?

7) Do they want your credit card number over the phone?​

If you answer yes to any of these questions, then this is the usual scenario:

Once you pay the fee and receive the contract, you discover that the company has only promised to advertise your resort, not to rent/sell it, and they don't mention having a renter/buyer in the contract.

Then, you won't hear anything from them for a long time, and when you contact them, they will tell you that the renter/buyer backed out, but they will advertise your timeshare on their over-priced website.

Finally, when you try to get your money back, they will point out that you signed a contract, and it's only for advertising.

When you try to challenge it with your credit card company, they will tell you that you only had 60 days to dispute the charge, and that it's too late to do anything.​

This is a bitter pill to swallow, but right now, most timeshares are selling for 0-20% of the original retail price. It's not a good time to sell a timeshare.

To see what your timeshare is really worth on the current resale market:

1) Register with ebay
2) Sign in
3) Search for your resort by exact name
4) From the menu on the left click "completed listings"
5) The next page will show you current selling prices

(Be sure you look at the completed listings - those are actually SELLING prices - you will find asking prices all over the place, but what really counts is what they actually sold for.)​
 

jasperdog

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Thanks, I immediately notified Chase and they're sending me the dispute form, but meanwhile, I don't have to pay. Doing a quick search of Orlando rentals, it does seem that the price they quoted me is about 100% above what I could expect to get. The price did not seem that high when quoted to me because I received more than that to rent out my 2010 week at a Carlsbad, CA resort. But I realize now that even peak prices in Orlando are not that high.
 

jasperdog

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Summit Marketing did refund credit card

I did get the entire fee back on my credit card and it took less than a week, though I was technically a day late with email notification and 3 days late with express mail. Thanks for the advice I received here. If I had not cancelled, I'm sure they'd be hanging on to my money and doing nothing to "market" my timeshare rental.:D
 

jimbo213mo

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I'm pleased at SMA's cancellation response.

I don't know how to get my upfront $$$ "listing fee" back.
jdog
Well - I'm pleased.

I electronically signed the contract on 6/15/2015
I cancelled on 6/16/2015 by writing "cancelled and signed our names" on the face of the 3 pages, scanned to PDF, and emailed to To: info@smatimeshare.com. Stephanie [my sales person] was quite cordial and processed my cancellation [after I had to talk to a manager who tried to talk me out of cancelling ... of course].

On 6/17/2015 got a "SMATimeshare.com Customer Refund Notification" email from james bessinger III (james@gulfstreamcf.com)

As of now, the VISA transaction is still in the PENDING status. So either SMATimeshare will just let the pending transaction lapse ... or they will issue a credit.

I didn't have the nerve to let my $1599 "registration fee" be the test if these folks are legit or not ... but at least I'm please to post that they have apparently cancelled my contract and will be refunding [or not processing] my VISA charge.

Jim in Missouri
 
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