HOUSTON – Traveling and spending time with family are two big draws that convince people to buy into timeshares. But when those timeshare owners want to get out of the expense and commitment, they usually find themselves stuck. That’s why dozens of people paid big money to a company that promised it could legally end their timeshare agreements. Once they paid, the company disappeared. Those customers contacted KPRC 2 Investigates reporter Amy Davis to get answers.
Timeshare Termination Team floods local media
From 2019 up until June 2021, it was easy to find the Timeshare Termination Team (TTT). They advertised their services on local television stations all over the country, including on KPRC 2 News’ Houston Life.
That is where Pamela Durel and her husband first heard about the timeshare exit company that offered a money-back guarantee. Customers paid TTT to work with attorneys who they said could legally end their timeshare agreements. If that didn’t happen within 24 months, the customer could get a refund of all of the money they paid the Timeshare Termination Team.
“At the time of the purchase, we really didn’t realize that it was for life, basically,” explained Pamela, who said they had tried unsuccessfully to sell their timeshare “It will eventually go to your family, so they will inherit this when we’re gone. And we don’t want to burden our children with that.”
The Durels saw that TTT, based in Colorado, was a member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. The company had only positive reviews online.
“We spoke. We called. They called us back. We had a long consultation,” Pamela told Davis. “We felt, ‘This is a good company. We’ll go ahead and use them.’”
In December 2019, the Durels say they paid TTT $4400. Pamela said they communicated monthly with the company by email and by phone. Their assigned TTT consultant told them things were moving slowly, but that was typical. All of a sudden, the communication stopped in June. There was no email from TTT updating the status of their case. No one responded to the emails and phone messages Pamela left TTT. This December, the Durels were expecting to get their $4400 back or be out of their timeshare according to that money-back guarantee.
Complaints from all over the country
Complaints just like the Durels poured into the Better Business Bureau from all over the country. The BBB forwarded each one to the Timeshare Termination Team until the BBB’s Keylan Villagrana said the bureau received a phone message that Timeshare Termination Team was closed. At that point, the BBB revoked the company’s accreditation. More than 60 complaints with the BBB online claim the company owes customers thousands of dollars.
“We received positive reviews up before then, you know, so who knows what was going on behind the scenes?” said Villagrana.
What we know about the company
Timeshare Termination Team, based in a suburb of Denver called Greenwood Village, opened in 2011 by Brian and Holly Wilbur. TTT’s parent company Vindaloo Travel Network LLC listed the same owners and an office in Centennial, Colorado.
Brian Wilbur is a U.S. Marine who says he started the company when he had his own nightmare experience trying to cancel or sell a timeshare. He has said he used what he learned to help others.
In 2019, the company started an aggressive advertising campaign on TV. Its pitchmen and women made appearances on local TV stations everywhere.
Meredith Myers/Timeshare Termination Team: “We are a veteran-owned company,” said paid spokesperson Meredith Myers, appearing on Houston Life in June 2021. “We treat our customers with the same values and integrity that our owners founded our company on.”
By the time Myers made that claim, Durel and other customers were already having difficulty reaching anyone at Timeshare Termination Team.
In 2020, Vindaloo Travel Network received a $144,155 PPP loan from the federal government to help cover the costs of paying employees and their benefits.
In 2020, timeshare company Bluegreen Vacations sued TTT For interfering with their customers’ contracts. The trial is scheduled for December 2022.
KPRC 2 News called every phone number, attorney and associate tied to the Timeshare Termination Team. Only one former attorney who did work for the company spoke with Davis. She said she heard the company filed for bankruptcy. There is nothing on file with the federal bankruptcy court in Colorado yet. When and if they do file, we will update this story with how customers can file claims in the bankruptcy court.
Until then, if you paid the company with a credit card, you can try disputing the charges for services not received. Customers can also file a complaint with the Colorado Attorney General here.
Pamela said if she could speak with the owners of the company, she would say this: “Look hard and see what you’re doing to people that have worked hard for their money; and just do the right thing.”
Since we aired this story, a representative working on behalf of Diamond Resorts contacted KPRC 2 News. He said that it is not true that the Durels children would inherit their timeshare when they die. He also said the Durels are likley eligible to get out of their timeshare. He said someone with Diamond Resorts (recently purchased by HIlton Grand Vacations) would follow up and help them with the process. We will follow up and let you know if that happens.