Would You Pay Thousands of Dollars to End a Timeshare Membership?
Monday, February 13, 2006
We seriously hope you would never make such a mistake, but one Singapore businessman has.
The February 13, 2006 edition of The Singapore Electric Newspaper reports that a Singapore man paid $84,000 in fees to a timeshare resale company promising to help him end his timeshare membership—a timeshare he initially purchased for $9,000. While we aren’t certain, I would assume that this news story uses Singapore dollars as the rate of currency discussed. So, if it makes US readers feel any better, Mr. K. B. Ong, was really out about $51,600 dollars, depending on the prevailing exchange rate on each of the days he wrote checks to the timeshare reseller.
Sounds like a crime, doesn’t it?
The authorities in Singapore don’t seem to think so. Police are treating this case as a civil dispute, while the Consumer Association of Singapore looks into the matter. Worst of all, it does not appear that Mr. Ong’s timeshare membership has even been terminated. Which in the end, may be his only good news. If the company failed to provide the services promised, Ong’s attorney doesn’t have to argue the ethics or legality of how much Ong paid, only that the services for which Ong paid were never provided.
If you think that timeshare scammers aren’t good at what they do, consider this: Mr. Ong has an engineering degree and an MBA and presently works in sales management.
Of course he should have known better, but he said he was pressured into signing checks on the spot, with him thinking each check was the last one. In all, Ong wrote checks for $6,000; $3,000; $5,000; $15,000; $15,000 (again), and two final payments of $20,000 each.
Mr. Ong’s timeshare membership is in the Asian Travel Club (ATC). Because of the ongoing lawsuit, the name of the timeshare reseller has not been released. I however, can assure you one thing: it is NOT SellMyTimeshareNow.
What’s the #1 reason why Mr. Ong wanted to sell his timeshare? According to the article, due to “hectic work commitment” he has not been able to use his timeshare once since purchasing it.