Companies that offer to resell your timeshare may sound like a sure thing, but thousands of customers say they were ripped off. And state officials have done little to stop it.
Opened on: March 31, 2008
Location: 7250 49th St. N, Pinellas Park, 33781
Better Business Bureau rating: C-minus
Business website: http://tstravelerpro.com/
In an office next to a pizza shop, just around the corner from CondoTrader, is Timeshare Traveler. The Attorney General's Office has received 50 complaints against the company, many claiming that salespeople promised quick sales and never returned calls. State regulators licensed the company's owner despite his criminal record.
Name: Connie Pedroff , officer/director
Pedroff said her company offered legitimate advertising, but the timeshare resale industry has been ruined by "bad apples" at other companies. She said in October she planned to close down the company in the next few months and start a company that does magazine subscription renewals. The company was still open in March.
"I'm ready to move on to new adventures," she said. According to state records, Pedroff was convicted of grand theft in 2001, and served three years of probation.
Name: Dwayne Pouncy, officer/director
Pouncy did not return calls for comment. According to state records, he has felony convictions of robbery, carjacking, and cocaine possession. He was sentenced to state prison three times, the last time for selling cocaine in 2001.
Connie Pedroff, Pouncy's wife, said her husband is a "changed man."
"He changed his life years ago," she said. "He's a wonderful man, and a wonderful father."
Pouncy is a former employee of St. Petersburg's Vacation Property Services, according to state licensing records. Vacation Property Services has been sued by the Federal Trade Commission for deceptive sales practices.
Timeshare Traveler has generated 50 consumer complaints to the Florida Attorney General's Office since 2009. Search a database of Pinellas and Hillsborough county companies that have been listed in two or more complaints to the Florida Attorney General.
List of all the companies in this report
How we did this story
The Tampa Bay Times started investigating the timeshare resale industry in June 2011.
The newspaper reviewed more than 2,000 consumer complaints against Tampa Bay area companies and tracked down their offices across two counties in an attempt to interview owners and employees.
The Times interviewed more than 100 people, including company employees, victims and government officials who oversee or investigate timeshare resale companies. It also reviewed thousands of pages of court documents and licensing records and closely examined the criminal histories of employees at more than a dozen local resale companies with customer complaints.
The complaints reviewed are those recorded by the state Attorney General's Office, which operates a fraud "hotline" and accepts and categorizes complaints that come in by phone, email and letter.
Contact reporter Will Hobson to suggest further timeshare resale story ideas.
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