LANCASTER, S.C. — A Lancaster couple wanted to end their timeshare, so they hired a company to help. Nearly two years later, they’re still paying for the timeshare and paying the company that was supposed to help them.
The couple, who requested their real names not be used, told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke they wanted out of their timeshare because the maintenance fees had gotten too expensive.
They hired an exit company, Square One Development Group, to help them.
“I ask myself over and over ‘how did I let it happen?’” the man said. “I thought I knew better to fall for something like that.”
The couple say in addition to paying for the timeshare, they’re paying Square One $112 each month.
Stoogenke tried to contact Square One multiple times, but no one responded in time for this report.
Action 9 discovered the Better Business Bureau issued a warning about Square One in June advising consumers to use extreme caution doing business with the company. At the time, the BBB counted more than 130 complaints from consumers in 39 states, saying they paid Square One a combined $1.5 million, but that they hadn’t seen results.
Advice from Action 9:
- For recently purchased timeshares, each state has a rescission period, which allows the buyer to cancel the contract within a certain number of days after signing. In North Carolina and South Carolina, the period is five days.
- Ask the timeshare company to take it back. If that doesn’t work, try to sell it or give it away. Someone may be willing to take on the yearly fees.
If you want to hire an exit team:
1) Make sure the contract explains exactly what the business plans to do and what happens if it does not accomplish it by a certain date.
2) Pay with a credit card in case you need to dispute the charge later.
3) If you feel cheated, file complaints with the state attorney general, the BBB and the Federal Trade Commission.
Stoogenke says whatever you do, don’t go dark and stop paying the fees. You could end up with legal and credit trouble.
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