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LisaH

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Not a lawyer but it sounds like Rachael might have committed mail fraud which is a federal crime. FBI should be contacted.
 

Pat H

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I'm going to make an assumption here. Guests rented 4 weeks for $6000. If each week was the same price = $1500/wk. Rental agency "paid" Linda $800 and rented the same unit for $1500 = $700 profit. I'd say that's a pretty good profit.
 

Ty1on

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I'm going to make an assumption here. Guests rented 4 weeks for $6000. If each week was the same price = $1500/wk. Rental agency "paid" Linda $800 and rented the same unit for $1500 = $700 profit. I'd say that's a pretty good profit.

Especially if you neither pay Linda her $800, nor find anyone to rent you the other 3 weeks. That's $6,000 profit.
 

SueDonJ

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I'm going to make an assumption here. Guests rented 4 weeks for $6000. If each week was the same price = $1500/wk. Rental agency "paid" Linda $800 and rented the same unit for $1500 = $700 profit. I'd say that's a pretty good profit.

I wish there was a way to know how many LMR forum users exploit the forum in that way.
 

Pat H

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Not a lawyer but it sounds like Rachael might have committed mail fraud which is a federal crime. FBI should be contacted.

Mail fraud is handled bu the US Postal Inspectors Office. Rachael committed wire fraud since the renters wired the money. The FBI will not investigate cases under $100,000 anymore. However based on my past experience, the two people that got stiffed are only the tip of the iceberg. Cindy, Linda and the renters should all file police reports with the local police either where Rachael lives or where the business is located. It can be done over the phone. The PD can sort out the jurisdiction.

I know most people think it's not worth it to file police reports but in a case like this, if Rachael isn't held accountable, she will do it over and over to other victims.
 

DeniseM

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I wish there was a way to know how many LMR forum users exploit the forum in that way.

Did the Canadians rent on the LMR Forum?
 

Bill4728

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Things like not getting paid for a rental is why I take the advice of the many TUGGERS who rent their weeks much more often than I do.

Use paypal It may cost you a bit but waiting for a check in the mail isn't a good idea.
 

SueDonJ

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Did the Canadians rent on the LMR Forum?

No, their expectation was that they were renting through a legitimate broker. It appears that person used the LMR forum to place a LMR-Wanted ad, completely scamming the company she used to work for but of course none of the players knew that at the time. And the broker, whether legitimate or not, isn't the party who should be following the TUG rules - the TUGgers who respond to LMR-Wanted ads are!

So if anybody broke any TUG rules it was Linda (IF she responded to the LMR-Wanted ad with an $800 offer for 7 nights.) But that's why I used the term "exploit" to describe how some timeshare rental brokers use the TUG forums, and didn't say instead that I wish there was a way to know the number of players who blatantly break the TUG rules. Although, it would be nice to know all of it.
 
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TUGBrian

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while it would certainly be frowned upon, there is no specific rule against someone PMming another person with an offer to rent that does not meet the requirements for posting in the LMR section.
 

NTHC

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I don't believe the price or the forum has anything to do with the true issue.

Linda and Rachael had a relationship. They spoke on the phone periodically, they discussed personal things, kids, travels etc. The transaction was based on a trust that had come about as the result of 15-20 transactions over the course of 5 or 6 years.

Last minute or not, there are rules to conducting business. One being paperwork and the other being payment. Both come before a guest is allowed to occupy a condo. If you break those rules, and I don't care if it is with family or friends, you open yourself up to have something go wrong. Whether you be the lessee or the lessor. In this case, no paperwork was done.

I believe Rachael was discovered, thankfully, in the infant stage of this new business venture and hopefully all future collateral damage has been mitigated.


Cindy
 
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dioxide45

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So if anybody broke any TUG rules it was Linda (IF she responded to the LMR-Wanted ad with an $800 offer for 7 nights.) But that's why I used the term "exploit" to describe how some timeshare rental brokers use the TUG forums, and didn't say instead that I wish there was a way to know the number of players who blatantly break the TUG rules. Although, it would be nice to know all of it.

while it would certainly be frowned upon, there is no specific rule against someone PMming another person with an offer to rent that does not meet the requirements for posting in the LMR section.

Right. Per the guidelines in this post in the LMR Wanted forum.

REPLIES WITH OFFERS:
Replies in public posts must comply with the $700/week or $100/day forum offering price limit. Replies made by direct contact are not bound by this limit.
 

theo

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I believe Rachael was discovered, thankfully, in the infant stage of this new business venture and hopefully all future collateral damage has been mitigated.

Your portrayal of this (apparently repetitive) behavior as a "new business venture" is very charitable indeed.
To me, phrases like "grand larceny" and "criminal enterprise" and "willful fraud" come more immediately to mind.
 
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am1

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Things like not getting paid for a rental is why I take the advice of the many TUGGERS who rent their weeks much more often than I do.

Use paypal It may cost you a bit but waiting for a check in the mail isn't a good idea.

Paypal is going to get you burned more times then this situation will.
 

Miss Marty

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Risk Management and Internet Adverising

A licensed entity advertising or marketing real estate brokerage services (including timeshare resales and rentals) on a site on the Internet, should include their identity, an email address and phone number, etc.

When required they should follow the
NAR Model Internet Advertising Rules.
 

am1

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My next question is, if this all came about because of the LMR board, why is Linda out $800 for a 7-night stay when the limit on that board is $100/night?

Probably there are people who don't like seeing some of these questions asked, but my feeling is that IF there's shenanigans that go on behind the scenes between TUGgers who make a cottage industry of rentals and brokers who sub-contract through them, shouldn't all of that be made known up front??

In this case a number of factors are in play that don't make sense and that made this a dicey deal from the get-go. I don't understand how a well-known TUGger who knows the rental market and uses TUG to promote it - and regularly advises others about the way to approach it with the least amount of risk - can act against her own advice yet still expect the rest of us to be sold that she's a complete victim. I'm sorry for being so blunt, Linda, but that's how I see it.

No need to blame the victim. There are a lot of situations where one would wait for money from a trusted source. Most times it is not a good idea but it can be justified.
 

Egret1986

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It was a trust built up over the course of time and number of transactions.

.....I don't understand how a well-known TUGger who knows the rental market and uses TUG to promote it - and regularly advises others about the way to approach it with the least amount of risk - can act against her own advice yet still expect the rest of us to be sold that she's a complete victim. I'm sorry for being so blunt, Linda, but that's how I see it.

I had no doubt that was the case from the get-go. As you stated...."well-known TUGger who knows the rental market....regularly advises others...." I'd call your remarks something other than "blunt".


I have also rented to long time Tuggers who I trusted because of their long-time tenure here with no more documentation than an email. It is not rare at all. Obviously, you don't do that with a stranger.

Recently, a long time Tugger sent me a PM and asked me if my Scotland TS was available. I made the reservation and rented it to her on the basis of her reputation here on TUG. She trusts me and I trust her.

Many on TUG that rent to others may make decisions based on the longevity of a person on the boards and familiarity with posts. I have a few repeat customers, over the course of several transactions, that I give some leeway to because of the relationship developed over the years.

I stopped lending money to friends even as I keep getting the run around from them. Funny thing is that I've gotten screwed by "friends" and people I know more than strangers.:(

I make it a practice not to lend money to family or friends. I'll gift it if need be, but lending money to those closest to us has the potential to turn a good relationship into something else.

Wow. Someone was stiffed, very upset by it and then was asked to post a thread about it and people are challenging her fee structure. When all else fails, blame the victim, I guess.

I really appreciate the posting by Linda. She was victimized, IMHO. I, too, have had rental dealings with Rachael in the past. Because of that past relationship and her connection to Cindy at NTHC, I would have been waiting on my check, too. Without this timely warning, I could have become an unwitting victim also.

I didn't interpret her post as seeking pity, but more as a warning to others to watch out for Rachel.......

Agreed....."as a warning to others to watch out for Rachel..." I don't get the assumption that Linda was seeking pity.

Linda and Rachael had a relationship. They spoke on the phone periodically, they discussed personal things, kids, travels etc. The transaction was based on a trust that had come about as the result of 15-20 transactions over the course of 5 or 6 years.

Cindy

Who would not have trusted a business relationship of 15-20 transactions over the course of 5 or 6 years? Apparently, Cindy trusted Rachael over the years also. Should she also be blasted for trusting Rachael? I'm not sure at what point one decides that no one is to be trusted ever, no matter what.

No need to blame the victim. There are a lot of situations where one would wait for money from a trusted source. Most times it is not a good idea but it can be justified.

"......a trusted source. Most times it is not a good idea but it can be justified."

To me this thread was taken off topic with a "witch hunt" to find fault or label Linda with conducting unscrupulous practices on TUG's LMR forum. The potential of folks exploiting the LMR forum really doesn't have a part in this thread that I can see. It has nothing to do with the OP's post. The topic is about the OP being exploited by another TUGger.

This thread was started, IMHO, to warn others about what happened and possibly provide an underlying warning. It doesn't matter how long someone has been on TUG, how big of a broker they are in the rental market or how many past transactions have previously been completed without problems; look what can still happen.

It's life. There are those out there who take advantage of others. I don't feel pity for Linda, Cindy, the Canadians or any others that were taken advantage of by Rachael's scheme. But I do feel empathy for all of them. Broken trust cuts as much or more as lost money.

Best wishes to Cindy on recovering from this hit to her business and possibly reputation.
 

Jennie

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Some more info re: this topic

I have been a TUG member for many years.

Linda is obviously upset about what has happened. Here are a few things that I learned about the situation during a phone conversation with this evening.

Linda owns a lot of weeks and Points in the Wyndham Resorts Programs.
My family, friends, and I have rented many weeks from her through the years and have always been extremely satisfied .

A family from Canada contacted Linda and she agreed to rent ONE week to them at a Florida a timeshare. At the end of the week, the family went down to the Front Desk and asked the staff member when their unit would be ready, and does he know which unit they would be moving to next week.

The agent checked the computer but could find no indication that there were confirmations for them for the next two weeks. So he called Linda, who owns many weeks there, thinking that it must be some computer glitch.

But Linda said that she had no reservations for them beyond the one week they had just completed. She then asked them how they had obtained the next two weeks reservations and they named Rachael Arrington as the agent who had charged them about $5,000 for the alleged reservation.

For many years Rachael had worked (as an agent, I think) for the National Timeshare Help Center. Many TUG members, including myself, have done business with them and they are well respected.
 

JudyS

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Things like not getting paid for a rental is why I take the advice of the many TUGGERS who rent their weeks much more often than I do.

Use paypal It may cost you a bit but waiting for a check in the mail isn't a good idea.
As some long-time Tuggers may recall, a number of years back I rented out a week for $1200. The renter paid me via PayPal. After my renter checked in, PayPal information me the renter had used a stolen credit card, and billed my account $1200. Paypal was completely unhelpful in doing anything to help me get my money, and I had to eat the $1200 loss.

I think PayPal is reasonably safe, but if anything goes wrong, PayPal does not have the seller's back.

The time I got stiffed, the name on the PayPal account did not match the name on the reservation. When I agreed to rent the week, I wasn't worried about the difference in names, because there are plenty of reasons why one person might contact me, and a different person's Paypal account might be used for payment. After I got stiffed, though, I decided it was very risky to rent in any situation where the last name on the payment doesn't match the name on the reservation. I generally will ask for extra ID if the check-in name is say, Sarah Smith, and payment is made in the name of, say, Jill Jones.

I actually think a personal check drawn on a US bank is safer than PayPal. Knowingly writing a bad check is a crime, and it is much easier to trace a bad check than a stolen credit card.


I'm not sure how payment was made in this case. Did someone say the renters wired money to pay for their reservation? Wiring money is very unsafe.
 
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JudyS

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...
As a business, we sent an email blast to all of our vendors and former customers explaining the situation. ...
Cindy, I have rented out a few weeks through Rachael over the years, and I thought I was renting them out through NTHC. But I did not get this email that you sent to your vendors/customers. Maybe the email was lost in cyberspace, or maybe I'm not on your email list because I didn't rent out any of my weeks through NTHC last year.

Or, maybe NTHC never had any record of the weeks I rented out. Maybe these weeks were just "side deals." If you like, I can go through my old records and give you a list of all the weeks I thought I had rented out through NTHC. (There were only maybe 3 or 4 weeks in total.)

I didn't interpret her [Linda's] post as seeking pity, but more as a warning to others.......
This is how I took the original post, too. I appreciated the warning.
 

chapjim

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I rarely (and reluctantly) conduct rentals, but I frankly doubt that there is much "profit" in a LMR Forum rental with a $700 per week maximum.
QUOTE]

It may not be so much a matter of making a profit as it is avoiding a total loss on a fixed week that didn't sell or on a reservation made with points that expire.
 

theo

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I certainly have "no dog in this fight", but it is nonetheless my personal hope that Cindy Townsend of NTHC will, as a good faith gesture, make good on her previously and openly stated offer to compensate Linda $800; money lost as a direct result of Rachael Arrington's improper (and seemingly larcenous) activity while apparently representing herself (even if falsely) as being associated with NTHC. Ms. Townsend has undertaken efforts to notify others of this "misunderstanding", going forward.

It seems to me that voluntary NTHC compensation would go a long way toward restoring and maintaining NTHC's previous, well established credibility here on TUG.
As for Rachael Arrington, it can only be hoped that newly informed people will now avoid her new "independent business enterprise" --- and that the appropriate law enforcement entities will soon enough enter Ms. Arrington's life to facilitate her being held accountable in courts of appropriate jurisdiction for her larcenous activity.

JMnsHO.
 
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