Like any property deal, time share purchase and sales are effected by many factors, including location, the state of the economy and “supply and demand.”

But these often high-priced time share deals often also are subject to a more avoidable factor – schemers trying to take your money.

Better Business Bureau of Acadiana is alerting consumers to one such company, Resort Property Depot Inc. The business currently has an F rating with BBB, the lowest possible.

Factors that lowered Resort Property Depot Inc.'s rating include the length of time business has been operating, 15 complaints filed against business, government actions against business and the business has failed to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints. The company also failed to respond to one complaint filed against business.

The company’s full BBB Business Review can be found HERE.

On May 21, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint for Permanent Injunction and other Equitable Relief against the company and its owner, Narendra "Nick" Patel, alleging violations of the FTC Act and the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule.

The court issued an order that halted the defendants' deceptive practices, froze their assets, and put the company into a temporary receivership.

Some of the allegations against the company include making unsolicited telemarketing calls to timeshare owners and tricking them into paying up-front fees ranging from $300 to $3,000. Consumers' timeshares were not rented or sold, and those who sought refunds were denied. The court subsequently halted the defendants’ allegedly deceptive practices, froze their assets, and put the companies into receivership pending litigation.

In addition to the ban on selling timeshare resale services, the defendants are permanently prohibited from telemarketing, misrepresenting material facts about any product or service, collecting money from customers, selling or otherwise benefitting from consumers’ personal information, and failing to properly dispose of customer information.

BBB offers the following recommendations to avoid being trapped in a time share scam:

  • Start with Trust® at Don’t agree to anything on the phone or online until you’ve had a chance to check out the company with BBB.
  • Ask if the reseller’s agents are licensed to sell real estate where your timeshare is located. If so, verify it with the state Real Estate Commission. Deal only with licensed real estate brokers and agents.
  • Does it sound "too good to be true?” Be wary of "great deals" and low-priced offers.
  • Refuse to be pressured. Legitimate businesses do not demand that you make a snap decision. Do not sign anything you do not understand.
  • Get all information and details in writing. Make sure the written information reflects what you were told verbally by the salesperson.
  • Pay with a credit card. Some "scam artists" may ask you to send them money immediately. If you pay with cash via wire service or check, as opposed to using a credit card, you lose your right to dispute any potential fraudulent charges under the Fair Credit Billing Act.
  • When in doubt, say no! If you have any doubts about the trustworthiness of a company, trust your instincts. It is less risky to turn down the offer and say "no."

BBB works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.

BBB of Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.

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