This a complaint about both Escape to Paradise in California and Platinum Property Exchange in Las Vegas (both the same company) and are now 5 Star Resort Marketing in California. A year ago I was contacted by Melinda Hofferbert from Escape to Paradise in Newport Beach, CA and was told how much better they are at renting and selling because they are in California where my timeshare is located (Tahoe). She said “I would not have a job if I could not sell it in 6 months”. About 3 months later my week was coming up for use and I made about 20 calls to her asking me what to do. In each case someone took a message but I never received a call and in the end lost my week but the resort was nice enough to give me another week. I then finally got a call from a guy Bill Jefferson, the owner he said, who said they now specialize in Rent to Own sales but would not list it to rent unless I gave him another $299 and he guaranteed he would rent it, I do not know what happened to Melinda. After paying him again I did not hear from him ever again. I called numerous times to have them reduce the asking price of the rental and was only able to leave messages and send faxes. In the end they never rented it. I rented it myself for $750, within the 20% of their advertised $900 asking price. They would not return my money because they base the 20% on the original $1200 that they, the so called experts, recommended they list it at, not at what they actually ($900) list it at. The experts could not sell it but I could? These guys are lame.
In May I was contacted by Summer Holland, representing Platinum Property exchange, who is extremely nice to me and said that since they are so close to Tahoe and see thousands of people daily in Las Vegas they will not have any problem selling my timeshare so I pay her $300. I do not here form her for 2 months and call and leave several messages and lots of emails. She finally gets back to me and tells me she was off having a baby. I ask her about renting the timeshare and she said that is a separate fee and once again assured me it would get rented. This is all taking place while Platinum Propety exchange is also trying to sell and rent it.
In the end I rent it my self and Summer Holland and her side kick Edward Collins refuse to give me my money back because they base the 20% on what they put in the contract, not the actual asking price they use on their website. Also, they drop my add from their “For Sale” listing after only 2 months. I also bring this to their attention but nothing ever changes. Along with the fact that they do not even have an asking price or the photo of a different resort.
The kicker to this whole thing is that I recently found out that Escape to Paradise and Platinum Property exchange are owned by the same people and John Goldstein is the GM.
These people have absolutely no morals and will just take your money and make empty promises and never return your calls. To protect yourself do as I did: 1) record all conversations on your computer by going to “Start” then “All programs” then “Accessories” then “Entertainment” and “Sound Recorder” and put your phone on speakerphone. It turns out that the FTC (Federal trade Commission 1-877-FTC-HELP) and your credit card company is very interested in this and will use it against them. The FTC will give you a case number and an agent. So far they have been able to get my money back in every case and in some cases the company (Global Timeshares) was issued a fine.
Other things you can do are call the BBB, and the local governing agency and the state attorney generals office and file complaints. If you are on the Federal “Do not call list” contact them http://www.ftc.gov/donotcall with the date they called you and the name of the person. In two case I was able to get them to fine the company.
This is a link http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=89077
to a reputable website and a forum of people just like me who have been screwed over by these people. Lots of complaints about Summer Holland and her company. All I can say is that I believe in Karma and theirs will catch up with them, but I will also. Having a relative working for the feds helps a bit. The best thing about this is that in the end I know I will cost them way more than what it cost me as this is only one of many places on the internet I am leaving this and have lots of time on my hands.