Timeshares are tempting, but some owners warn getting out of the contract is extremely difficult and often very expensive. That was the problem facing one of our viewers, Nick Anastos, and then he turned to NBC Boston Responds for help.
Anastos has some fond memories of the Kissimmee, Florida timeshare he bought in 1990.
"It was ideal when our children were younger," said Anastos. “But as we got older we, you know, it wasn’t our cup of tea anymore. So we stopped going there."
Stuck paying expensive yearly fees, Anastos wanted out of the deal. So when he was invited to a presentation by a timeshare termination company at a nearby Holiday Inn in December of 2015, he went.
"They said they could get me out of my timeshare within 18 months," said Anastos. "Normally it would take six to eight months, but could go all the way to 18 months, and so I gave them the money, and I waited, and waited, and waited."
Anastos signed a title transfer service contract with a company called Relief Solutions International and paid them $4,995 to get him out of his timeshare agreement. He thought it was no-risk, since the contract states: "If RSI chooses not to transfer the deed or is unable to complete the transfer, all monies paid for these services will be refunded within ten business days."
"I call them back and they said 'oh, we’re progressing, it’s taking time,'" said Anastos. "'It’s a slow process, but don’t worry, we’re going to, we’re gonna get it done,’ so they tried to reassure, but I, you know maybe six, seven, eight, nine months into it, I was not feeling too good about this."
This year Anastos got a letter from his timeshare company, Legacy Vacation Club. They informed him that they had been contacted by Relief Solutions International, but would not negotiate with any third party over his timeshare ownership, and they said they could only work with him directly to end his agreement.
"So I in turn called RSI," Anastos said. "I said 'look I got a call from my timeshare company, stating that they aren’t going to negotiate any transfer so I want my money back.' They said 'that’s a stall tactic that these timeshares use. Trust us, we’re gonna get it done.'"
After contacting RSI several times about getting a refund, Anastos contacted our Responds Unit for help. We reached out to RSI about Anastos’ situation and it was finally resolved.
"I got a call from RSI, telling me they were unable to complete the transfer and they were going to send me a refund in the full amount - which they did,"said Anastos. "I’m really thrilled that you people were able to help me out!"
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RSI did not respond to our requests for a comment.
Anastos is now negotiating directly with his timeshare company to get out of his agreement and those expensive yearly maintenance fees.
Meanwhile, we’ve reported on how other timeshare owners successfully cancelled their agreements, by calling the companies directly.