Countrywide Timeshares / Fraud
This company is a joke!! They contacted us regarding selling our timeshare in Florida (Mystic Dunes) in Feb '08. The person we spoke to was Kate at ext. 3003. She had said they had a buyer for our property that was offering $23, 500. This sounded too good to be true but my wife insisted we hear what they say. I told them I needed a couple of days to think about it. She called several times after and left messages on our answering machine that they had an immediate and confirmed buyer and all we needed to do was pay the fee and our deal would be started. I called her back and after negotiating with her and her "supervisor" we agreed on $500 for them to start the process with the understanding that if the deal fell through we would receive a full refund. Well after several weeks and not hearing or seeing anything I called again and again and was never able to get a hold of "Kate". I did manage to speak to her once but she was so frazzled that she pushed me off on some other guy. His name was "Sean Thomas" and his extension was 3012. Sean was supposedly handling the escrow portion of our transaction. He said that everything should have been back and gave some big apology and said he would "look into it". After another week he called after I threatened to take them to court saying that there was a mistake on the title report and they needed to submit it again. So another week goes by and he called to say that the closing documents went out and I should receive them in 2 days. 2 days and nothing so I called. He said he would send them again, nothing still. So I called again and all of the sudden he's gone. No longer works for the company. The receptionist said he got called back to the National Guard. So I asked for a supervisor and got a "Frank Johnson" this time. He was very apologetic and explained no one knew "Sean" was being recalled. He tried to say that "Sean" left a lot of open files that didn't move off his desk. Now is when it gets good! He said "Sean" never did anything with our file and that the "buyer" cancelled the deal a month ago! A month ago????? He again apologized and said that he was working with the "President/Owner" of the company and was authorized to make things right. He said we could either receive a full refund or he would relist our property with their "platinum service" which puts us on some stock exchange type ticker and gives us the highest level of exposure. I told him I wasn't interested and I wanted the refund. He agreed to my request and said he would need the final sign off my the owner which would take about 2 days and then the refund would be processed. That was over a month ago. I have since tried calling the company and "Kate", "Sean" and "Frank" no longer work for the company. I was told I need to speak to "Jessica" who is a supervisor but have never been able to speak to her. I was then give "Jennifer" at extension 237 who supposedly handles refunds. I tried calling her and left messages for a week until I finally sat on hold and waited for her for an hour! After I spoke to her she said the best she could do is give me $200 back. I told her that was not what I was told and would not accept it. She tried pulling the usual "you signed a contract" and I told her to go back and look at what I signed and faxed.
I covered my tail with these guys knowing they might pull something fishy. The contact they sent had "N/A" through just about everything except for the sales price, resort name and my name. I amended the contract on their paper and also outlined the terms of our deal on the cover page of the fax. I also made sure to choose my words wisely when they do their normal "recorded for verification" process that says they didn't give you "the name" of a buy and so they don't get caught for bait and switch. I also made sure to save any phone conversations they left on my machine and also records of all phone calls/faxes.
So after I told her I had all this she got quiet. She said she would need to speak to their "legal team" to see if they can authorize it. She said to give her 24 hours and she would have an answer for me. 24 hours and still nothing. So I called, and called, and called. 7 days calling and not once a return call. I have left message after message for them and I only get the receptionist. The thing I find funny is they have changed their phone greeting and the people who answer. When I first started calling there was 2 grumpy women who always answered. Now it sounds like some teen who needed a job.
Needles to say I am now contacting the State Attorney General for CA, FL and PA (where they are located). I am also contacting the Better Business, Department of Real Estate and my lawyer.
If anyone would like to contact me regarding this feel free to. I set up an email account just for this. firstname.lastname@example.org
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