Legislative Updates Provide Increased Protections for Consumers
Wednesday, June 14th, 2017
The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) is announcing the passage of House bill 3647, offering greater consumer protections in the arena of timeshare resale. H3647 addresses several facets of the timeshare resale process:
- Written contract. Timeshare resale service providers are required to give consumers a written contract including a complete description of the services offered, the length of the contract, and SCDCA’s telephone and web address.
- Five-day right to cancel. Consumers have a right to cancel the timeshare resale contract within five business days.
- Fee restrictions and escrow. The bill establishes guidelines for the transfer of money during the resale process. Timeshare resale service providers cannot charge a consumer upfront for an appraisal, but may charge for marketing or advertising efforts. Any monies given to the timeshare resale service provider by the consumer must be held in escrow until the complete execution of the contract.
- Enforcement. SCDCA may enforce these new provisions through penalties, warning notices, cease and desist orders and consumer refunds. While the law creates some great consumer protections, SCDCA always urges consumers to be on guard and take proactive steps to protect themselves in the marketplace. Consumers looking for a timeshare reseller should:
- Adequately research the company. Find out if the timeshare resale service provider has any complaints on file with SCDCA. A quick internet search may reveal complaints as well. Know the terms. Oral promises are hard to prove.
Make sure the contract includes all promises in writing and never sign a blank or incomplete contract. Visit SCDCA’s website for tips on avoiding timeshare resale scams.
Consumers can file a complaint against a timeshare resale service provider at www.consumer.sc.gov or by calling 800-922-1594 to request a hard copy complaint form. About SCDCA The South Carolina Department