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eBay Purchase - Big Problem-Need Advice

RoverJohn

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In December I was the high bidder for what was listed on e-Bay as a two-bedroom unit. Because there is always confusion about this particular resort and Timeshare System, I emailed the seller and asked him “Is this a two bedroom all year or a One bedroom that can be a two bedroom only in Select Season?" His answer back was” According to the resort it is 2 bedroom anytime.” I submitted my bid, was the winner, and paid my money promptly. Today, I attempted to reserve a two-bedroom unit but was told I had only purchased a one-bedroom unit although it can be used as a two bedroom in Select Season.

Ownership is now in my name and the maintenance fee for 2006 is paid. I don’t want a one-bedroom unit. I’ve alerted the seller (an agent or somebody who sells timeshare) of the problem and he said he is away from his place of work but will get back to me in a day or two. What can I do? Do I have any leverage? Oh, and I was so pleased earlier that I gave the seller a high rating. Too stupid!!.

John
 

juice920

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I would first continue to try to contact the seller about this issue. Once you go down the path of disputing the charge through credit card, PayPal or eBay the seller may become much less cooperative, especially when it seems hard to tell at this stage if the seller was trying to deceive or was just lax in their information gathering.

Depending on how long it has been since purchase you may be passing some of the normal buyer protection time limits from PayPal, Credit Card or eBay so that might complicate things a little. If you can't resolve this with the seller and feel that this is a significant change from what you thought you were buying (seems to be the case, rightfully so) you can file an eBay dispute. See the following link for details on that: http://pages.ebay.com/help/tp/inr-snad-process.html
 

Bill4728

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As the sale has been finialized, I think you're out of luck.

Since you knew that this could be a problem, IMHO, you should have checked with the resort before completing the sale. This should be a warning to everyone out there, You can't count on the seller knowing what they are selling. After a Ebay bidding is over before completing the sale, you must varify with the resort all the information which you believe to be true about the property.

Here is a link to the TUG advice page which lists the 20 - 30 questions which need to be answered before going through with the purchase of any TS. link

Good Luck
 

DavidnRobin

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Hmmm... I can see this going either way. Yes, you should have done a due diligence on this TS, and not take the sellers word for it. As a recent 'winner' of an eBay TS auction - I have been going through this process (as my numerous posts can attest).

However, if the seller misrepresented what was being sold - you do have some recourse as mentioned above.

Also, when buying a TS (or any real estate property) - I do not think it is wise to pay the entire cost at once. One should only put down a 'good faith' deposit that allows the closing/escrow company to open an account, and proceed forward with the preliminary Title report and other necessary closing docs. Also, this gives the seller some protection if the buyer backs out, and the buyer some stop loss if the property was misrepresented.
 

RoverJohn

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Just what is due diligence and how much is necessary. The seller was a TimeShare sales company. When I emailed him through eBay asking whether it was a two bedroom for the entire year, or a two bedroom only in Select Season, his answer back was” According to the resort it is 2 bedroom anytime.” This is saved in my email folder. I did not find out the ownership number until three weeks after payment - the resort system is very slow.

John
 

Amy

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RoverJohn said:
Just what is due diligence and how much is necessary. The seller was a TimeShare sales company. When I emailed him through eBay asking whether it was a two bedroom for the entire year, or a two bedroom only in Select Season, his answer back was” According to the resort it is 2 bedroom anytime.” This is saved in my email folder. I did not find out the ownership number until three weeks after payment - the resort system is very slow.

John

In the future you should, at a minimum, obtain the ownership information (e.g., ownership number, name, copy of deed, copy of last maintenance fee bill, etc.) IN ADVANCE of paying anything -- preferably before bidding even -- so you can call the resort to verify the details of the ownership. Any legitimate seller would be or should be willing to provide some such verifying information -- if a seller is not cooperative you should avoid dealing with him/her.

Edited to add: the fact that the seller is a professional timeshare reseller means little. Lots of resellers or agents or even owners themselves don't really know what they are selling.
 

Steve

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Another perspective...

Amy said:
In the future you should, at a minimum, obtain the ownership information (e.g., ownership number, name, copy of deed, copy of last maintenance fee bill, etc.) IN ADVANCE of paying anything -- preferably before bidding even --

I have not found it realistic to get this information from any seller before bidding on an auction. The best you can expect is that they will agree to fax you a copy of the deed after...and if...you win the auction. You should get it before paying...but you'll have to wait until after you've won the auction.

Although as a buyer it might be nice to have the info before bidding, this is not practical. Having sold several timeshares on ebay, I can attest to the fact that sellers get asked all sorts of questions by people who don't win the auction...and often don't even bid. As a seller, I would not be willing to take the time to fax a copy of my deed or maintenance fee bill to everyone who had a question...nor would I want that many copies of my deed floating around.

It's good to be careful, but you also have to be practical.

Steve
 

gmarine

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Bad situation. I think since the sale is final that you may be out of luck. Regardless of who the seller is or what they said, you still need to verify the details of ownership with the resort. Not doing so can cause problems like this.
 

glenn1000

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Steve said:
I have not found it realistic to get this information from any seller before bidding on an auction. The best you can expect is that they will agree to fax you a copy of the deed after...and if...you win the auction.

My experience has been different. The few times that I have used EBay for bidding on timeshares I have had deeds faxed to me- it takes only a minute to send a fax- and have either been impressed by the seller's cooperation or concerned about what I might not know. Twice I have noted differences on the deed compared to the auction (one was a smaller unit than listed, the other a different view) that allowed the sellers to revise their auctions appropriately. If I had bid on these auctions only to find out later that they were accidently misrepresented, it would have been a real problem for the seller. I tell the seller my EBay name so they can check out my feedback and feel comfortable about sending ownership information.
 

RoverJohn

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I have read the responses and suggestions posted here and ruefully admit that I relied too much, maybe even entirely, on the sales person's answer to my question "according to the resort it is a two bedroom unit anytime." And hopefully, in the future I will apply the precautions more knowledgeable buyers on eBay auctions take. But what can I do now. What pressure or threat can I raise when I contact the seller again. Do I have any leverage. I will appreciate any suggestions.

John
 

Avery

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Wasn't there a contract prior to closing stipulating it was a 2 bedroom unit? If yes, then the seller breached the contract. I would also suggest that many TUGgers bid on ebay auctions; and sometimes listing brokers make honest mistakes, but they make it right. If you have dealt with an unscrupulous seller who won't make it right, we would all want to know who it is.... how's that for some leverage??
 

funtime

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Try to work with the seller

First off, give the seller the chance to correct this mistake. However, also be aware that the paypal and ebay dispute policy has a 90 day time limit.

If worse comes to worst, and he or she refuses, you can resell it on ebay or bidshares with an honest description. Even though it is not what you want, someone else might really like it and if your description is accurate but great, you might come out as well or better.

Lastly, I do not fault you for not getting the deed first -- it is highly unusual to get that early in the game. Funtime
 

jazzfan

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RoverJohn said:
Just what is due diligence and how much is necessary. The seller was a TimeShare sales company. When I emailed him through eBay asking whether it was a two bedroom for the entire year, or a two bedroom only in Select Season, his answer back was” According to the resort it is 2 bedroom anytime.” This is saved in my email folder. I did not find out the ownership number until three weeks after payment - the resort system is very slow.

John

If this is a legitimate timeshare sales company that you were dealing with, the salesperson has a duty to know what they are selling and make accurate representations about the property. The fact that they did not do this creates a situation for which they can be held legally liable. Real estate agents usually carry E&O insurance to cover errors and omissions like this so there may be insurance available to cover any damages caused. What you have to figure out is how much the damages are from this misrepresention and be able to quantify the amount. Then make a demand for this amount and pursue legal action if you have to. Good luck.
 

philemer

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RoverJohn said:
I have read the responses and suggestions posted here and ruefully admit that I relied too much, maybe even entirely, on the sales person's answer to my question "according to the resort it is a two bedroom unit anytime." And hopefully, in the future I will apply the precautions more knowledgeable buyers on eBay auctions take. But what can I do now. What pressure or threat can I raise when I contact the seller again. Do I have any leverage. I will appreciate any suggestions.

John

Since fraud was committed, accidentally or intentionally, your leverage is to dispute the charge with your credit card co. Give the seller a chance to 'make you whole' and if he doesn't, say within a week, then call your c.c. company.

Phil
 

gmarine

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philemer said:
Since fraud was committed, accidentally or intentionally, your leverage is to dispute the charge with your credit card co. Give the seller a chance to 'make you whole' and if he doesn't, say within a week, then call your c.c. company.

Phil

The OP doesnt mention anything about paying by credit card.
 

RoverJohn

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I have been in touch with the seller and he seems confused also. He evidently phoned the resort before the sale and was told it WAS a two bedroom unit ANYTIME. To this point things have been cordial and he seems to be trying to clear things up with the resort. I will give him until Friday to correct the situation or ask for the return of all money paid in this transaction. Even though it is still a fair/reasonable price for a one bedroom unit, I wanted and bid on what I believed and was told was a two bedroom and all its potential. And yes, I did pay by credit card, but the date of payment was January 3, 2006. Is this past any final date to contest the payment?
 

judyjht

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Call the credit card company to make sure but I thought you had 60 - 90 days to dispute it.
 

Dave M

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According to federal law, you must send your complaint letter (a telephone call isn't sufficient) so that it reaches the CC company within 60 days after the first bill containing the error was mailed to you.

That means that, no matter when your statements are issued, you'll have at least until at least until March 4 to get your letter to the CC company.

If you can't resolve it with the seller, send a copy of the eBay listing, showing that you bought a 2BR and didn't get what you bought, as part of your support when you send the letter to the CC company.
 

gmarine

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RoverJohn said:
I have been in touch with the seller and he seems confused also. He evidently phoned the resort before the sale and was told it WAS a two bedroom unit ANYTIME. To this point things have been cordial and he seems to be trying to clear things up with the resort. I will give him until Friday to correct the situation or ask for the return of all money paid in this transaction. Even though it is still a fair/reasonable price for a one bedroom unit, I wanted and bid on what I believed and was told was a two bedroom and all its potential. And yes, I did pay by credit card, but the date of payment was January 3, 2006. Is this past any final date to contest the payment?

Your not past the date to dispute the charge with your credit card. However, if you paid with your credit card through Paypal or any other intermediary, then your purchase is not covered by the Fair Credit Billing Act which protects consumers who use credit cards for purchases.

If this is the case then you will need to take up the dispute with Paypal if they have a dispute system in place.
 

DavidnRobin

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Also - if I read the PayPal guidelines properly - PayPal only covers/protects up to $1000
 

philemer

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gmarine said:
Your not past the date to dispute the charge with your credit card. However, if you paid with your credit card through Paypal or any other intermediary, then your purchase is not covered by the Fair Credit Billing Act which protects consumers who use credit cards for purchases.

Do you have something, in print, that proves your statement? Not saying you are wrong but just would like to know for sure.

You might find this article interesting- http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/personal-finance/creditcard-billing-errors-204/overview.htm

Phil
 
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philemer

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gmarine said:
The OP doesnt mention anything about paying by credit card.

I guess I'm just prescient. :)
 

gmarine

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philemer said:
Do you have something, in print, that proves your statement? Not saying you are wrong but just would like to know for sure.

You might find this article interesting- http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/personal-finance/creditcard-billing-errors-204/overview.htm

Phil

Good article. The Fair Credit Billing Act covers purchases made from a merchant. In the case of Paypal, you are not actually purchasing anything from Paypal so the credit card company isnt compelled to do anything about the purchase.

The FCBA covers the purchaser in the event the merchant doesnt deliver the goods as agreed. In this case the merchant charging the CC account is Paypal, not the seller of the timeshare.
 
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bogey21

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RoverJohn said:
When I emailed him through eBay asking whether it was a two bedroom for the entire year, or a two bedroom only in Select Season, his answer back was” According to the resort it is 2 bedroom anytime.” This is saved in my email folder.

Sounds to me like seller checked with the resort and passed on to you what he/she was told. Unless seller wants to go the extra mile, I think you are out of luck for not checking yourself.

GEORGE
 

philemer

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gmarine said:
Good article. The Fair Credit Billing Act covers purchases made from a merchant. In the case of Paypal, you are not actually purchasing anything from Paypal so the credit card company isnt compelled to do anything about the purchase.

The FCBA covers the purchaser in the event the merchant doesnt deliver the goods as agreed. In this case the merchant charging the CC account is Paypal, not the seller of the timeshare.

Since Paypal was sued by NY they have changed thier policies. You may now pursue a credit card refund through your CC company. See #4 in their agreement. https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=p/gen/ua/policy_buyer_complaint

Here's part of it: Relationship between Buyer Complaint Policy and Credit Card Chargeback Rights. If you used a credit card to fund a purchase of goods or services through PayPal, you may have chargeback rights granted by your credit card issuer. Credit card chargebacks, if they apply, can be filed more than 45 days after the transaction, are not limited to funds in the seller’s balance, and cover cases where the goods are not as described by the seller as well as cases of non-delivery.

You can choose to pursue the Buyer Complaint process or your credit card chargeback rights; however, you cannot pursue both at the same time or seek a double recovery. If you initiate a Buyer Complaint claim and, while the claim is pending, you file a credit card chargeback, PayPal will cancel your Buyer Complaint claim, and you will have to rely solely on your credit card chargeback rights.


Phil
 
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