In December 2018, Timeshare Exit Team founder and chief executive Brandon Reed was deposed by Richard Epstein, the lawyer for a timeshare developer.
Mr. Reed testified — under oath — that frustrated customers of Timeshare Exit Team regularly refuse to accept refunds. That’s right: According to Mr. Reed, frustrated customers regularly refuse to accept their money back, and they instead insist that Timeshare Exit Team keep their money and continue working on their behalf.
The Washington State Attorney General recently filed a Consumer Protection Act complaint against Timeshare Exit Team. The Attorney General’s complaint tells an entirely different story about the experience of dissatisfied Timeshare Exit Team customers. According to the Attorney General, the company’s “much-touted money-back guarantee” is an illusion that is “seldom honored.“
When deciding whether to believe the Brandon Reed or Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Hancock.Law clients have the benefit of Mr. Reed’s deposition transcript.
During the deposition, the timeshare lawyer asked Mr. Reed to justify the exorbitant fee that Timeshare Exit Team charges to consumers. Mr. Reed offered the following series of answers:
- Epstein: So let me ask you the question.
- Reed: Sure.
- Epstein: Somebody contracts with you on December the 13th, 2016, and it’s two thousand — It’s December 13, 2018, and they haven’t gotten exited yet.
- Reed: Uhm-hm.
- Epstein: So they — I paid you $5,000 on December 13, 2016, —
- Reed: Yeah.
- Epstein: — and I haven’t gotten anything from you. And I’m paying my mortgage, and I’m paying my maintenance because you say that’s what you tell people to do.
How have I gotten anything of value from Timeshare Exit Team?
- Reed: When you say they haven’t gotten anything of value from us, what do you mean by that?
- Epstein: Haven’t been exited. I’m still paying my mortgage. I’m still paying my maintenance.
- Reed: Oh.
- Epstein: And I paid you $5,000 two years ago.
- Reed: Right. So we communicate with the customer, and we let them know kind of what’s going on, and —
- Epstein: How much do you charge per word?
Well, you said that’s all I’m getting is words. So I’m wondering how much do I pay per word that I get in these communications? Because that’s all I’ve gotten is words; right?
- Reed: I’m trying to understand. So you’re saying because —
- Epstein: I haven’t been exited.
- Reed: Right.
- Epstein: Okay?
- Reed: Yep.
- Epstein: And I paid you $5,000.
- Reed: Right.
- Epstein: I’m paying my mortgage. I’m paying my maintenance. And you say you’ve communicated with me. Communications are words, right?
- Reed: Yes.
- Epstein: Okay.
- Reed: Okay.
- Epstein: And so I’m paying per word for what?
- Reed: I know, but you’re not — That’s silly. You’re not paying per word.
- Epstein: What else have I gotten, other than words?
- Reed: What you’ve gotten is you’ve got a commitment that we’re going to get you out of your timeshare, and we have — We’ve now paid a vendor. If that vendor couldn’t get it done, we went to another vendor, and we got it done, and —
But we’re also communicating —
- Epstein: You’re making me pay for those vendors, too.
- Reed: Well, I want to — Can you let me finish? I just want to finish.
- Epstein: Oh, go ahead. Please. I’m sorry.
- Reed: So, you know, we communicate with our customers, and we let them know. I mean, they — We let them know what we’re experiencing. This — the industry, why has it taken two years now? It didn’t used to take two years. John Abrams used to get a mortgage done, you know, in a reasonable amount of time, but the industry has went — you know, and they’ve — They’re completely against exit, and so they’re the ones that have slowed it down.
And I can tell you whenever I’ve talked to a customer, when — when — Because I got to the point I’m like, you know what, I want to talk to some of these customers. I want to hear from them. I mean, I know we’ve gone through growing pains. I know that we’ve dealt with internal issues and communication. I mean, we’re a —
We grew overnight. I mean, when Dave Ramsey hit, I mean we — Oh my gosh, overnight we grew. And I mean, ever since we opened the doors we’ve been growing like a wildfire. Obviously there’s a huge issue here and a huge need, but we —
I’m losing my train of thought. Take me back. Sorry.
- Epstein: You were trying to explain to me exactly what I’ve gotten for my $5,000 —
- Reed: Yes.
- Epstein: — in exit fee —
- Reed: Right.
- Epstein: — and the mortgage that I’ve paid for two years and the maintenance fees that I’ve paid for two years.
- Reed: Right. So — Oh, I was saying that when we — When we — When I’ve talked to a customer, okay nine and one-half times out of ten when I talk to the customer, I say, “Here it is. I know you’re frustrated that it’s been two years in some cases.”
And I can tell you that the — We’re offered money back, said, “Here, you know, I’m really sorry we couldn’t get it done in that amount of time.” They don’t want —
- Epstein: You told me only a couple hundred times, though.
- Reed: I said there’s — Yeah, there’s — I don’t know how many times, but it was — There’s not that many. In terms of refunds?
I think that’s what we were talking about.
- Epstein: Yeah.
- Reed: Then yeah, then that’s — That’s accurate.
So — But I’m just saying I — When I’ve talked to customers it’s not because they wanted a refund. It’s because, you know, maybe they’ve posted something online. I hate seeing that. And so I wanted to talk to the customer. When I’ve talked to the customer, they’re just — They are — Yeah, they’re frustrated.
Some of them they’re just frustrated because of our growing pains and, you know, the communication just — either they fell through the cracks for whatever it may be; but when I’ve tried to offer them a refund, they don’t want a refund. They don’t want a refund. They just say, “Listen, I don’t care if this takes — Just communicate with me. I don’t care if it takes another year. Get me out of this thing.” Like I’ve tried — I —
There’s been multiple times when we’ve tried giving a customer their money back, and they just say, “Listen, I don’t want my money back.” I had someone walk into my office. This was probably three weeks ago. I happened to be walked out to go have — at a business lunch, and I ran into a customer. And I think they recognized my face and so they said, “Can I — Can we speak with you?” And I said sure. And we went into a conference room. I was late to my lunch meeting, but I —
You know, they were frustrated, but their frustration, as we were talking, they are frustrated with the resort. “Let me out of my freaking timeshare.” Like this is — And they were paid in full. I mean, it was just —
So I think again, I kind of got off there, but —
- Epstein: Well, again, I’m still trying to — The question is simple. I’ve paid an exit fee two years ago. I haven’t been exited. I’ve paid my mortgage. I’ve paid my maintenance —
- Reed: The value.
- Epstein: — because you’ve told me I need to do that.
- Reed: Yeah.
- Epstein: What have I gotten? What have I gotten for the money I’ve been paying?
- Reed: We have been working on their file for two years, I mean, it’s just — But because the developers play games, too, in terms of there are some developers out there that will exit our customer, but they won’t let the attorneys know, or they won’t let — Because they — They won’t communicate, but they’ll allow — They’ll let the customer out.
- Epstein: All right. So —
- Reed: So —
- Epstein: — the answer is I haven’t — I as the consumer have gotten nothing for my money that I can — that’s tangible that I can see, and it’s the developer’s fault?
Value to Clients
This blog post quotes from only nine pages of Brandon Reed’s 450 pages of deposition testimony.
At Hancock.Law, we take seriously our fiduciary duties to our clients, including our fiduciary duty of undivided loyalty and our fiduciary duty of disclosure. If we know facts that are relevant to the legal interests of our clients, we disclose those facts to our clients. Clients of Hancock.Law therefore have access to the entirety of Mr. Reed’s deposition testimony, along with multiple other court filings from the case that affect their legal interests.
This blog post isn’t legal advice.
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