I was contacted by Gus Geldman on 12/07/2007 regarding our Time Share, and wanting to resell it for us. He knew all about the property and that we had listed it before. He offered a valuation of $12,500.
He claimed that ordinarily there was a marketing fee of $1999.00 to cover cost of gifts, incentives, trips offered to prospective buyers, but he would waive that fee. All we would be responsible for would be the transfer and title fee of $499.00, and he would "piggy-back" our camping timeshare with another sale. The money was to be paid up front, with a 90-day money back guarantee if the property was not sold in that length of time.
He stated that most of their buyers were Europeans and had the money to pay cash up front. American Timeshare drew them in with the typical incentives given by Timeshare companys; that it was done through direct sales.
He sated that they were one of only 4 companys licensed in Florida, and gave me a license #TC 3066; that only 14% of properties were held for sale for one year.
He said they didn't take credit cards, only checks, and he wouldn't put the charge through until the following Monday. They would fax the contract to me to lock in the $12,500. sale amount, but contact me if they received any bids. At the time of sale we would receive a wire transfer for the full amount of the sale.
After talking to him a couple of times, discussing the terms at length and some hesitation, I agreed to the sale. When I asked if he was going to hold the transaction until Monday, he said that "it's Friday night, it won't go through until Monday anyway now." He turned me over to a girl for "State verification". She verified the bank information and the amount. There was no mention that the $499.00 was a marketing fee, or that it was a listing or "for sale by owner" advertising Co., nor do I recolect any mention of immediate sales initiative.
When I received the contract by Mail the following Thursday, it was not as agreed. I called them on Friday, the next day and asked for Gus. The girl who answered asked me for the contract # and put me on hold. When she returned she said he had just left for a showing, that he would call when he returned. Later in the day, after giving him time to return, I called again. This time I remembered that I had an extention # for him, and gave her the extention no., insisting that that is who I was told to call. She put me through and Gus answered the phone.
He acted like he didn't know me, but when I told him I had received the contract and it was not as he had said so I would not sign it, he said that there was no one there (Friday pm) in Administration, to call back on Monday and ask for them.
I received a call from Jessica that evening, stating that she had a message to call me. I told her the circumstances, and she said she would discuss it with the owner and call me on Monday, that the fee was a non-refundable fee per their policy, as the contract stated, and that it was a "maketing fee". I told her that Gus had said it was a transfer and title fee, not a marketing fee, and that I had specifically asked him if it was refundable and he had said that was correct.
Meanwhile, I called my bank to see if the check had gone through on my account (they had requested a check # and instructed me to return the voided check with the credit authorization which I would receive with the contract.) It had not gone through, so I put a stop payment on it. I was unable to bring my account up on line until today, and discovered that they had put the transaction through as a debit and not a check.
On Monday I called and told her that we would not be signing the contract. She said OK and hung up. When I discovered that the transaction had already gone through, I called again. She said they already had expenses for marketing it, that they had my verbal permission to start maketing it immediately. I reminded her that I had notified them of the discrepancies in the contract within the 72 hours of receiving it, and that the fee was not supposed to be for marketing. Since there would be no contract and thus no sale, there should not be a transfer and title fee. She insisted that we would not pay anymore for the transfer/title fee, but since they had already incurred expense for marketing and it is "listed on their internet site", they could not refund the money. She also stated that the 3 day notice was required in writing.
Obviously I am being held to my "verbal" permission, but they can't be held to their verbal promises, and my "verbal" cancellation was not acceptable.
Union City, Pennsylvania