The Better Business Bureau says that it exists to promote “an ethical marketplace where buyers and sellers trust each other.”
In the case of Timeshare Exit Team, the Better Business Bureau contributed to an unethical marketplace. The BBB concealed Timeshare Exit Team’s wrongdoing from the federal courts.
The lawyer responsible for the BBB’s concealment — William Weinstein.
In Summer 2019, a lawyer sent three notices of deposition to the Better Business Bureau. Each notice required a BBB employee to answer questions about a different aspect of the BBB’s relationship with Timeshare Exit Team.
On August 20, 2019, the lawyer representing the Better Business Bureau canceled the scheduled depositions. In the ongoing litigation between Westgate and Timeshare Exit Team, the lawyer wrote in an email message, the Better Business Bureau “had no interest in choosing sides.”
The lawyer who canceled the depositions is William Weinstein.
When Weinstein canceled depositions that would have required the BBB to disclose facts about its relationship with Timeshare Exit Team, he had a direct financial interest in Timeshare Exit Team’s ongoing success.
In the email message canceling the depositions, Weinstein failed to mention that he is the owner of a law firm that was taking approximately five million dollars per year from Timeshare Exit Team.
Weinstein also failed to disclose that he had personally discussed the issue of BBB accreditation with Timeshare Exit Team owner and chief executive Brandon Reed.
Weinstein, of course, is the same lawyer who has earned a vast fortune as a consumer-debt collector, and who operates a consumer-rights law firm while concealing his role in firm operations from the firm’s clients. Weinstein is the same lawyer who consulted with Dave Ramsey about launching a consumer-rights law firm to take referrals from Ramsey followers who had been abused by debt collectors.
Brandon Reed is Timeshare Exit Team’s founder and chief executive officer.
Reed knew that Westgate Resorts had sent notices of deposition to the Better Business Bureau, requiring three employees to answer questions about the BBB’s relationship with Timeshare Exit Team. When William Weinstein canceled the depositions of BBB employees in August 2019, Reed knew that Weinstein was the lawyer representing the Better Business Bureau.
Brandon Reed claims, however, that he never spoke with William Weinstein about the depositions, and that he knew nothing about Weinstein’s efforts to prevent BBB employees from testifying about Timeshare Exit Team.
If you believe Brandon Reed’s story, you likely also believe Weinstein’s story that a he flew to Tennessee and drove twenty miles from the airport to Dave Ramsey’s recording studio — so that Dave Ramsey could tell Weinstein that he is a “good lawyer,” and for no other reason.
The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit entity founded in 1912. Consumers regularly turn to the BBB when deciding whether to trust a particular business.
The Better Business Bureau claims that consumers can trust that a BBB-accredited business embodies integrity, which means that the company “approaches all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity, good faith, and the intent to do what is reasonably expected.”
According to the BBB’s Standards for Trust, the BBB issues its accreditation only to companies that are transparent and responsive, that advertise honestly, tell the truth, and safeguard customer privacy.
From September 2016 through December 2018, Timeshare Exit Team enjoyed BBB accreditation, and a grade of A or A-.
Until December 2018, consumers who trusted the Better Business Bureau had every reason to believe that Timeshare Exit Team was an honest and transparent company that conducted business with integrity.
During his August 2019 deposition testimony, Scott Loughran explained why the Better Business Bureau issued an accreditation to a company that suffered from the obvious ethical problems that have plagued Timeshare Exit Team since its founding
Loughran’s explanation was simple: Timeshare Exit Team gave the BBB lots of money.
According to Loughran, Timeshare Exit Team regularly purchased advertisements on the BBB’s website. Because of that money, Timeshare Exit Team expected special treatment: “If they want to continue to receive that money, then they should be treating us with the kid gloves that we expect them to because [the accreditation] was a big deal to us. It was important.”
Loughran and other executives were angry when the BBB finally revoked Timeshare Exit Team’s accreditation in December 2018. Loughran acknowledged that the BBB’s primary purpose is supposed to be as a consumer watchdog. For Loughran, nothing about the that purpose should have prevented from the BBB from being a “partner” to a “consumer-protection group” like “Reed Hein & Associates.”
The BBB revoked Timeshare Exit Team’s accreditation only after receiving notice that the company was being investigated by the Washington State Attorney General. In January 2018, the Attorney General served the BBB with a civil-investigative demand, asking for all consumer complaints that the BBB had received about Timeshare Exit Team. The BBB revoked Timeshare Exit Team’s accreditation by the end of the same calendar year.
By the time Timeshare Exit Team’s accreditation was finally revoked in December 2018, the BBB had received hundreds of consumer complaints about the company.
Breach of Trust
Consumers trust that the Better Business Bureau only issues its accreditation to companies that act with integrity — just as consumers trust that a consumer law firm like Granite Spire Law Group is loyal to its clients, and that Ramsey Solutions endorses only companies that provide genuine value and that are led by people of integrity.
Each of those institutions — the Better Business Bureau, Granite Spire Law Group, and Ramsey Solutions — has proven itself to be untrustworthy. Each institution has deceived consumers who turned to it for the facts, and each has concealed information that consumers have a right to know.
Law firms exist to serve clients — and lawyers enjoy extraordinary privilege because of the requirement that they place the interests of their clients before all other interests.
To speak with a lawyer who is loyal to his clients, click this link.
This blog post isn’t legal advice.
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