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Have I been duped by Universal Marketing Solutions?

Duped?

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Universal Marketing Solutions called me saying they would send me a check for $5,843 for rental of 3 available red weeks I have - one banked with RCI, two at Stonebridge. I foolishly let them put $999 on my credit card for the service of renting my timeshare whenever I don't want to use it. They fed-ex'ed a paper for me to sign and send back to them which I have not yet returned. Has anyone had any successful deals with Universal or did I just lose $900?
 

timeos2

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In all likelihood you just lost $900+ .If you still can try to contest it with your cc compny BUT you may lose that if you OK'd whatever bull the company fed you for the $$. Sorry
 

rickandcindy23

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I will say it more emphatically: As you suspected, you did lose $900. :( Do as John suggested and contest this charge with your CC.
 

theo

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My $0.02 worth; a different approach...

Has anyone had any successful deals with Universal or did I just lose $900?
You haven't actually identified any specific time frame for this mistake, but if you are within the contract rescission period provided by your state law (generally somewhere between 5-10 days, depending on the state), you should immediately attempt to invalidate the "contract". Do it in writing, sent by certified mail (it's the date stamp of mailing that matters -- NOT just the return receipt aspect of using certified mail). Don't use UPS, FedEx, DHL, hand delivery or carrier pigeon. Deal with the credit card charge later --- the immediate priority should be to lawfully void the contract, if the (unidentified) time frame still even affords you that option.

If you are already beyond the rescission period, all bets are likely off....
 
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laura1957

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This doesnt really answer the question that was asked, but I think I might be misunderstanding - how can they rent out a week that has been deposited with RCI??
 

Tia

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I'd see if you can stop the charge like suggested. If they truely have a customer to pay that rent, they don't, tell them to take their commission out of your rental check. Your not suppose to rent RCI banked weeks, not everyone understands this.
 

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You haven't actually identified any specific time frame for this mistake, but if you are within the contract rescission period provided by your state law (generally somewhere between 5-10 days, depending on the state....
Most (not all) states have a such a recision period to back out of timeshare purchases. However, most states do not have a similar recision law for general contracts.

However, I concur that, unless you signed something, you should protest this charge with your credit card company.
 

tlsbooks

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This doesnt really answer the question that was asked, but I think I might be misunderstanding - how can they rent out a week that has been deposited with RCI??
This might give you some leverage with the credit card company. If they told you that they would rent out weeks that you had already deposited with RCI, then they were committing fraud since according to RCI TOS this is not possible. Pursue that angle.
 

Robert D

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I'd just call your credit card company and tell them they are crooks and ask them to credit your account. You won't be the first one that has called the credit card company about them - they know these people are slime. If it's been less than 60 days, you shouldn't have a problem getting a credit - that's the beauty of paying with a credit card.
 

Duped?

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Thanks!!!

Thank you all SO MUCH for taking time to help this foolish old lady! I will send a certified mail letter to them today saying I've changed my mind and do not want them to rent my timeshare. (not sure of wording I maybe should use - but need to get it in the mail) It's been 8 days and I live in KY so don't know if that will work or not. I'll also follow up with my credit card company today. Any other suggestions or support will be greatly appreciated.
 

theo

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Suggested words...

I will send a certified mail letter to them today saying I've changed my mind and do not want them to rent my timeshare.
Simply state that you are hereby cancelling the agreement and that you request the company to voluntarily and promptly issue a full credit to your credit card. Feel free to further indicate that you intend to dispute the credit card charge if no credit is voluntarily initiated at their end. Period. No further explanation, no long story -- and no phone calls!

You may well already be too late, but it is still worth a try. Dave M opined previously that contract rescisssion terms may not apply. I'm not convinced that he is correct (although he is "spot on" most of the time), but I respectfully submit that it's still at least worth a try. I've seen people succeed in exercising contract rescission rights to cancel car purchases, service contracts, subscriptions, etc. --- just as long as the cancellation action was initiated within the time period identified under applicable state law. In my opinion, you have nothing (more) to lose by at least trying. Good luck.
 

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I was as called by universal today

I am scared they lied . do they all? They told me they have a buyer approved at 22,500. but want me to pay 1395. I did not have a credit card with that amount on it. I have to sell only the one they mentioned I do have another time share they do not know about that i am keeping. So do any of you know how to go about selling a time share At least I haven't lost anything yet. Luck to duped
 

timeos2

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Thank your lucky stars

I am scared they lied . do they all? They told me they have a buyer approved at 22,500. but want me to pay 1395. I did not have a credit card with that amount on it. I have to sell only the one they mentioned I do have another time share they do not know about that i am keeping. So do any of you know how to go about selling a time share At least I haven't lost anything yet. Luck to duped
You were VERY lucky not to have had the money to pay! IF they had a buyer they could easily have the sale completed, got the commission and you would get your balance. They don't, they would take your money and you'd be $1395 poorer and still own the timeshare.

Unfortunately there is no market for even the best timeshares right now as there are far more willing sellers - many for a $1 or even less - than there are buyers. Look to give yours away or sell for that $1 if you want to get out from annual fees but don't plan on making a sale with any type of return on what you paid especially now. And don't pay anyone to market your timeshare as if you do you will be ripped off.
 

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I am scared they lied. Do they all? They told me they have a buyer approved at 22,500. But want me to pay 1395. I did not have a credit card with that amount on it...
There are sticky posts listed at the top of this topic on "How to Sell" and "How to Rent"... READ THEM.

NEVER pay a dime, give anyone a CC number, bank #, or agree to sell or rent a TS for any upfront fee. Its a SCAM. If they had someone ready to buy/rent your TS, they could easily take their commission from the buyer. The fact is that, as soon as you fork over your $$, their buyer/renter will disappear and you will find that your payment went for "marketing" or "administrative" expenses or some such and is non-refundable.

To Duped: As another poster said, you cannot rent a TS deposited with RCI, so that's a fraud and thus the contract is voidable for being fraudulent. I would suggest that "Duped" tell these jokers and his CC issuer that, unless the charge is reversed, a complaint will be filed with the FBI and USPS for wire and mail fraud.
 

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Any Way You Slice It, It's Still Baloney.

Let them take their $1,395 out of the $22,500 sale when papers pass, but DON'T pay them a nickel up front!
Their excuse for not doing it that way is that they are not real estate brokers, so they are not allowed to charge sales commissions & thus can only operate on the basis of fees in advance.

I don't buy it either, but that's what they always say (if they don't hang up on you) when you suggest paying them out of the sale proceeds.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​

 

Talent312

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Their excuse for not doing it that way is that they are not real estate brokers, so they are not allowed to charge sales commissions...
Then they have no business collecting a fee for "finding" a buyer or renter from either party.
I'd say: "Then you wouldn't mind if I check with the state's agency the licenses brokers to
make sure that what you're doing is legal."
 

theo

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The "angle"...

Then they have no business collecting a fee for "finding" a buyer or renter from either party. I'd say: "Then you wouldn't mind if I check with the state's agency the licenses brokers to
make sure that what you're doing is legal."
Actually, their "out" (...it's unethical and deceptive --- but unfortunately not illegal) is the fact that they simply call the upfront money a "marketing and advertising fee". In essence, it's overpayment for creation of a useless, obscure classified ad which very few people will ever even see. :annoyed:
 
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Toughbeat

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a 'possible' way out?

This might give you some leverage with the credit card company. If they told you that they would rent out weeks that you had already deposited with RCI, then they were committing fraud since according to RCI TOS this is not possible. Pursue that angle.
Excellent point. If you are unable to cancel the "contract" and get your money back for whatever reason, you may demand that they return your money based on the fact that they offered to rent out your deposited RCI week when in fact this is not allowed by RCI rules.

Your angle would be that they charged you a fee to perform a service that they knew or should have known they were unable to perform. Therefore such a contract isn't enforceable because the terms were not possible to execute when the agreement between you and the rental company was made.

Any legal experts pease chime in on this. Good luck and please let us know what happens.
 

Talent312

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Actually, their "out" (...it's unethical and deceptive --- but unfortunately not illegal) is the fact that they simply call the upfront money a "marketing and advertising fee". In essence, it's overpayment for creation of a useless, obscure classified ad which very few people will ever even see. :annoyed:
Remarkable... They'll claim to know there's a buyer/renter B4 being paid anything
(w/o the legal authority do so), but then need $$ to place an ad, as if that makes it legal.
 
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theo

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He said, she said, I heard, we meant...

Excellent point. If you are unable to cancel the "contract" and get your money back for whatever reason, you may demand that they return your money based on the fact that they offered to rent out your deposited RCI week when in fact this is not allowed by RCI rules.

Your angle would be that they charged you a fee to perform a service that they knew or should have known they were unable to perform. Therefore such a contract isn't enforceable because the terms were not possible to execute when the agreement between you and the rental company was made.

Any legal experts pease chime in on this. Good luck and please let us know what happens.
Two points I must clearly state first:
1. I despise all of these lying upfront fee parasites.
2. I am not presenting myself here as your sought after "legal expert".

That said, I submit that you have to look very closely at what actually constitutes a "contract" here. It is certainly true that a contract can be verbal --- that much is indisputable and not at issue. Most of these maggots operate with little or no paperwork; usually only conversations conducted over the phone, with credit card info being (voluntarily) provided by the "client", also over the phone. Later recollections regarding who said or understood what is just a crap shoot. Any and all later claims of representations allegedly made are from faded memory (and it is unlawful to record a phone conversation without the other participants' knowledge). When pressed, the party line (...and defensible legal position...) of the upfront fee parasite operation is to simply repeat their rock solid mantra --- "we charge an advertising and marketing fee". Period, amen. On those rare occasions when there is any contract paperwork, you can be assured that there is not one word of guarantee to be found anywhere therein and that it is constructed soley to protect the upfront fee parasite operation.

These parasites are cagey, accomplished liars. They live in a grey world of subtle deception and fuzzy misrepresentation, but they know where that "line in the sand" is. They don't cross over into "illegal", which is how and why they will continue to thrive (even proliferate) until their practices are addressed legislatively. Only when their practices are made illegal will they ever cease to be an awful, odorous blight on the timeshare landscape.

Ranting and preaching completed, it's off to the turkey and tryptophan...;)
 
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Theo...you're absolutely right. My suggestions to the OP are better suited for a written contract. In the case of these unscrupulous parasitic postcard companies, the more appropriate adage is Verbal contracts are worth the paper they're written on.
 

theo

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To clarify...

In the case of these unscrupulous parasitic postcard companies....
For the record, I was not discussing or addressing Post Card Companies (an entirely and distinctly different species of parasite) in my posts about "Universal Marketing Solutions :annoyed: ".

My comments and observations pertained (..and still do) directly to upfront fee "resellers" (or more accurately stated, advertisers) who take "advertising and marketing fee" money from people, with absolutely no chance (or any intentions) of actually selling the timeshare at issue.

PCC's are an entirely different organism with a completely different m.o.
 
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calgarygary

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For the record, I was not discussing or addressing Post Card Companies (an entirely and distinctly different species of parasite) in my posts about "Universal Marketing Solutions :annoyed: ".

My comments and observations pertained (..and still do) directly to upfront fee "resellers" (or more accurately stated, advertisers) who take "advertising and marketing fee" money from people, with absolutely no chance (or any intentions) of actually selling the timeshare at issue.

PCC's are actually a different organism entirely...
Agreed - the PCC may mislead people about their business model but they do remove (sometimes with hounding) the deed out of your name. The upfront "advertising agencies" all know that they are getting $ for an ad that is less effective than my posting flyers in the neighbourhood. Leaving their "customers" short the upfront fee and still with the ts and its mf.
 
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