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What really happens when you file a timeshare resale complaint.

Timeshare complaint

Timeshare Resale Complaint

The lengthy regulatory path 

In the State of Florida, Timeshare Resale complaints are typically handled by an administrative agency and/or referred to the Division of Consumer Services which regulates timeshare resellers under the Florida Department of Agriculture (FDACS). When a consumer submits a complaint, it is processed via electronic format and then later added to the Department of Agriculture database. A copy of the consumer complaint is then sent to the business for response and resolution.

FDACS is also a law enforcement agency that is charged in part with investigating business violations and enforcing the Florida timeshare resale statutes. An investigation is usually triggered by an unusual volume or pattern of consumer complaints filed against a timeshare company. If the issue meets a clear and convincing standard and is considered an unfair and deceptive practice, the department may be able to help a consumer directly resolve a resale complaint. When a business complies with the department’s directives, the complaint is moved to a Closed Satisfied (CS) status. When an open matter is not resolved, the complaint may generate a notice of violation and a visit from a field investigator.

When a complaint is escalated to a field investigation unit, the investigation is often conducted at the timeshare resellers place of business. Spot checks are also conducted on timeshare businesses that operate in the secondary market to ensure compliance. This includes resale companies, transfer/ trade in, sellers of travel and finally timeshare exit companies.

What can be done to resale companies that take advantage of consumers? 

FDACS can issue significant fines, carry out cease and desist orders which temporarily shuts down a company and even arrest telemarketers. This can happen for repeated telemarketing violations, failure to register agents and the use of sales scripts and any other documents that may be used to induce a timeshare owner to do business with a particular company.

So what happens after the investigation?

It can sometimes take years to build a case against a company who does not comply with Florida state law. Once the investigation is completed, the agency refers the matter along with any economic victims to the Florida Attorney General’s office for prosecution. The state can make a claim on the business’s surety bond or pursue fines and restitution by way of a court order and judgement for all victims associated with the reseller violations. Finally, it is also not at all uncommon in a settlement or judgement to gain an Auto Voluntary Compliance (AVC) agreement whereby the business agrees to change its business practices in exchange for the ability to continue operations.

Should I file a complaint?

You may now have a better understanding of how a complaint is processed and potentially handled under these circumstances. If you need to file a timeshare resale complaint, go online or call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352)

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