On Dec. 14, 2012, I received a phone call from a man naming himself as Michael Williams, who at first represented himself as being with RCI, with whom we have an account via our timeshare ownership. He proceeded to promise to buy our timeshare 'getaway weeks' (twelve weeks) at the rate of $1200.00 per week, but that we would have to pay $149.00 per week first to activate them. He told us that they had corporations ready to utilize the timeshare getaway weeks and that we would get a cashier's check for $14,400.00 in the mail within 60-65 days. I took detailed notes of our conversation. He told me that I would receive 2 more phone calls after ours ended to verify information and that a contract would be emailed to me the same day. He told me that there was a 180 day money back guarantee and that I could change my mind any time within that time-frame and get a full refund. He told me there would be no other fees or charges except that I would have to activate the weeks prior to selling them.
He took my credit card information to charge $1788.00 to activate the 12 'getaway weeks' and said that would appear on my credit card statement as being charged to ATN. It actually appears to be charged to CTC with an address of 1300 La Quinta Dr, Ste 2, Orlando, FL 32809-7726.
The two phone calls that followed were from someone named Lilly and another from another woman to verify my credit card number and to remind me to e-sign the contract as soon as possible once they email the contract to me.
The contract (ATN Contract # 4539) came in my email yesterday (12/15/2012) and the contract does not at all match what I was told on the telephone. In fact, it says that Access Travel Network only does advertising and that they don't handle rentals. It also says that there is only a 7 day 'mind changing' grace period and ONLY if the contract is not first signed. In fact the contract states that if the contract is signed, there will be NO REFUND. There is also a 'Fees & Taxes' listing of $717.00, which was not mentioned at all by Mr. Williams on the telephone. And the contract says that all ATN does is advertise and if the property doesn't rent they will re-list the advertising after 90 days IF we inform them that the property doesn't rent. This is not at all what Mr. Williams told me on the telephone. There was no information given by him that this was an advertising contract. He said they were buying 'getaway weeks' from us and that we would get a cashier's check within 60-65 days. He said nothing about advertising or them contacting us to let us do the rest, which is what the contract says.
I did not e-sign the contract. My husband and I read it carefully and began researching the company, Access Travel Network (address per the contract: 672 N. Semoran Blvd. #301, Orlando FL 32807) and found that it is apparently a scam. So I prepared an email response cancelling the agreement, and telephoned both phone numbers provided to cancel the agreement and demand immediate reversal of charges to my American Express account. I left messages at both phone numbers:
Customer Service: 888.451.5547 and
Hassle Free Cancellation Number: 877.253.0718.
There was another phone number that Mr. Williams gave me, which he said is his direct line: 407.205.7060 ext. 7017, I did not call this number because it would be long distance charges.
I informed them via email that I would be notifying the Florida Attorney General's Office with full details, which I have since done. I also informed them that I expect a full refund/reversal of charges to my American Express card within 24 hours, and that I would be contacting AMEX if and when that charge changes from pending status.
Additional information: they spelled my husband's name incorrectly and listed our timeshare ownership incorrectly as well. (Our Wyndham timeshare is not in Orlando, even though that is how they listed it on the contract.)
Also, obviously Michael Williams does not work for RCI, and I was obviously not in one of my smartest moments when I gave out my credit card number over the telephone.
Other inconsistancies from statements made by Michael Williams versus the contract:
1. Mr. Williams stated we would receive a cashier's check for $14.400.00 within 60-65 days and there is absolutely no mention of this in the contract.
2. Mr. Williams said they had corporations ready to use the timeshare weeks, but the contract says they don't arrange rentals at all.
3. Mr. Williams said there is a 180 day money back guarantee, but the contract says there will be NO refund once the contract is signed.
4. Mr. Williams said that the charge of $1788 on my AMEX bill would appear as ATN, but it appears as CTC.
5. There was No mention of advertising by Michael Williams & that is expressly what the contract covers.
6. Mr. Williams said there would be no other fees or charges, yet the contract includes a listing of 'Fees & Taxes' of $717.00, of which I was never informed via the telepone conversations.
7. Mr. Williams said I had to activate the weeks, which is a term that I might expect RCI to use, but the money is not going to RCI, so this is a scam trying to get money from us and RCI will have no record of it, so there are NO RCI getaway weeks or property to rent.
More information: I called the the same telephone numbers again today (12/16/2012) and left another message on the Hassle-Free Cancellation Hotline, but the Customer Service line's voicemailbox was full, so I could not leave a message.
I have also sent email responses to the email address that the contract came from and listed several variables of the president of the company's name in hopes that one of them might be his actual email address, to re-notify them of the Cancellation of the Contract.
I filed a report with the Florida Attorney General's Office via their online reporting mechanism and attached several supporting files, including information from my extensive notes during the phone conversation with Michael Williams and the contract & email from ATN.
I am considering filing a complaint with my local police department next.