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.
When timeshare resale goes wrong
While there are legitimate timeshare resale companies, the industry has been plagued by owners and salesmen willing to break the rules to make a sale. Here's a step-by-step guide explaining how telemarketers trick timeshare owners into parting with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars.
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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