At first, a timeshare seems like a great way to enjoy a vacation. But then the fees start to add up and people realize they don’t use their timeshares as much as they planned to. Companies like Omni Ellis promise to help timeshare owners break free. But does the company do all that it promises?
What is Omni Ellis?
Omni Ellis is a timeshare exit company that also promises to help its clients eliminate student loan debt. The company has been in business since 2015 and claims to have helped thousands of clients get rid of their timeshares since then.
The company claims to help timeshare owners get rid of their mortgages, as well as any fees on their timeshares. It does so by transferring timeshare titles. If the company’s process is successful, the timeshare title transfers to a new owner, freeing the original owner from any further obligation.
In addition to providing timeshare exit services, Omni Ellis also seems to offer student loan debt elimination services. It’s notably vague about what it does to help people get free from student loans. The company’s website stresses that it doesn’t consolidate loans but is somehow able to remove them from people’s credit reports.
Omni Ellis has headquarters in San Francisco, California. Beyond that, it’s difficult to find out details about the company, such as who owns or founded the company and what its process is.
The company’s website is startingly vague and somewhat deceptive. It claims to be accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) but a glance at the BBB’s website reveals a different story.
How Omni Ellis Works
Timeshare exit companies often claim to use one or more tactics to help their clients break free from their timeshare obligations. They can rent out the timeshare for clients, using the rental proceeds to help a person afford the mortgage and other fees.
Another option is to go after the timeshare or resort company, claiming that it used deceptive practices to lure in the timeshare owner. A third option is to sell or transfer the timeshare to a new owner.
Omni Ellis calls itself a transfer company that “disposes” of timeshare titles for its clients. Once the transfer goes through, the timeshare owner has no further commitment to the resort and can resume living their life, free of any timeshare obligations. The company also claims that it will clear any first rights of refusal that a resort might have.
As if helping people get out of their timeshares weren’t enough, Omni Ellis also claims to have a student loan debt division. How it works with clients who want to get rid of student loans is unclear.
One thing is clear, though. The company doesn’t offer student loan debt consolidation. With debt consolidation, a borrower takes out a loan that is large enough to cover the pay-off amounts on all of their other loans. They use the principal from the consolidation loan to pay those loans off.
After consolidating, borrowers are left with a single monthly payment. Usually, the interest on a consolidation loan is less than what the borrower was paying on the previous loans.
It’s possible that the student loan debt elimination service Omni Ellis offers is a scam. Student loan debt relief scams are common enough that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently paid money to borrowers who had lost money to scam companies.
The FTC points out that what many of the student loan relief services companies like Omni Ellis claim to offer are things borrowers can do on their own, for free. It advises against paying any upfront fees to a company that claims to eliminate debt.
Omni Ellis Pricing
It’s not much of a surprise that Omni Ellis is vague about how much it charges clients for its services. The initial consultation is free and the company says that it charges a low rate that ultimately helps clients save thousands of dollars.
Omni Ellis stresses that it doesn’t charge hidden fees and that its cancellation fee is a one-time fee. In the next sentence, though, it notes that situations vary and there may be additional fees that clients need to pay, on top of the so-called “one-time” fee.
In terms of actual pricing, a look at reviews of the company online reveals that prices seem to start at $3,000 and go up from there. Some reviewers noted paying upwards of $5,000, $7,000 or $9,000.
There’s no mention of a money-back guarantee on the company’s website, although it does make a vague mention of “no removal, no fee.”
It also doesn’t seem to offer an escrow option. With escrow, the money a client pays gets deposited into a separate account. The company providing the service doesn’t have access to it until it holds up its end of the deal.
Escrow is meant to provide an extra layer of protection to a consumer. They’ve paid in good faith for a service and have the expectation that the company they’re working with will follow through. If it doesn’t, they can easily get their money back.
Omni Ellis Qualifications: Who does Omni Ellis Work With?
Omni Ellis claims to work with a wide range of timeshare owners. It says it will work with timeshares that are located in the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe and Mexico.
Clients don’t need to be U.S. citizens to work with the company. It says it can help people who live in Canada or other countries, provided they have a timeshare at a U.S.-based resort. It will also help U.S. residents who have timeshares located in other countries, but wouldn’t be able to help a Canadian resident who owned a timeshare in Mexico, for example.
The company also claims that it can help clients who still have a timeshare mortgage. It states that it can work with almost any resort or vacation club and doesn’t have a list of restricted resorts.
Some timeshare owners might have properties at multiple resorts. Omni Ellis says it can work with people who are looking to transfer or exit multiple timeshares at the same time. It might offer special pricing to people who have several timeshares to get rid of.
Online reviews can tell a potential client a lot about what it’s like to work with a company. Reviews can also reveal how large a company’s marketing budget is. Some businesses pay people to post positive, glowing reviews of it online.
Usually, a reader can spot fake reviews from a mile away. They all sound similar or are light on details. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Omni Ellis. Compared to other timeshare exit companies out there, there aren’t as many reviews about the company online.
But where there are reviews, they don’t put the company in the best light.
Better Business Bureau Rating of Omni Ellis
The Better Business Bureau aims to promote trustworthy business practices. It acts as an intermediary when consumers have an issue with companies and it uses the information provided to it to help other consumers make smart decisions.
One of the ways the BBB helps consumers is by collecting and monitoring complaints against companies. It gives businesses an opportunity to respond to complaints, either to set the record straight or to solve issues clients are having.
The BB issues ratings for businesses and accredits some companies. Ratings range from F (the lowest) to A+ (the highest).
As of 2021, Omni Ellis has an F rating from the BBB. Among the reasons for the company’s abysmal rating are the following:
- It has not responded to 67 complaints against it.
- It has used the BBB’s trademark or name without authorization (the company’s website says it is BBB accredited).
- It has an underlying pattern to complaints, which it hasn’t resolved.
The BBB has issued an alert against Omni Ellis due to the pattern of complaints against it. In the alert, the BBB notes that, according to complaints, the company doesn’t release its clients from their timeshares in the timeframe promised, nor does it issue refunds to those clients.
The alert also notes that Omni Ellis has a pattern of not replying to emails and not returning client’s phone calls. In some cases, the numbers given to clients are disconnected.
Although the company has an official F rating from the BBB and isn’t BBB accredited, it does have a surprisingly high average star rating. As of July 2021, the company has an average rating of 4.05 out of five stars.
However, a closer look at those reviews paints a picture that’s similar to the company’s complaint record. The most recent reviews of the business are largely one-star reviews, with some reviewers mentioning that they’d give zero stars if it was an option.
Among the issues reviewers have brought up is a lack of communication from people at Omni Ellis. Many reviewers say that no one returns their calls or emails. Another common complaint from reviewers is that they paid a lot of money upfront, usually at least a year ago, and they haven’t seen any results yet.
Interestingly enough, the majority of the reviews seem to be for the company’s timeshare exit service. Few reviewers mention its student loan services.
Other Online Review Sites
Interestingly enough, Omni Ellis doesn’t have a Yelp page and there are no reviews of the company on Trustpilot. The company does have a Facebook page and the reviews on it aren’t pretty.
As of July 2021, 18 people have reviewed Omni Ellis on Facebook, giving the company an average of 1.2 out of five stars.
The negative reviews on Facebook are similar to those on the BBB’s site. Clients are unhappy because they paid a lot of money and haven’t seen results. Many are frustrated because they have tried to reach the company unsuccessfully.
Some dissatisfied clients are proactive enough to take their story to a local news program. Cleveland 5 has a story about a local couple who attended a seminar held by Omni Ellis at a hotel.
During the seminar, the company claimed it could help the couple get rid of their timeshare. Omni Ellis allegedly called the couple repeatedly after the seminar. They finally negotiated a price that seemed reasonable to the couple.
Over a year later, the couple told the news station, they are in the same place they started. They, like many of the reviewers, are also having trouble contacting anyone from Omni Ellis.
The reporters working on the story also reached out to the company for its comments but didn’t get a response.
Based on the reviews and news reports about Omni Ellis, it seems that consumers who work with the company will get the following:
- Lack of communication
- Little, if any, results
- Lost money
The reviews speak pretty loud and clear. Clients who work with the company aren’t happy with the way it has treated them. Many are still stuck with their timeshares.
Omni Ellis Lawsuits
Given its low ratings and bad publicity, Omni Ellis seems like the type of company that would be ripe for lawsuits. Although some reviewers have stated that they wish they could sue the company, there don’t seem to be any current or previous suits against it.
Who is a Good Fit for Omni Ellis?
Omni Ellis claims to work with timeshare owners who live in the U.S. and own timeshares in the U.S. and abroad. It also works with timeshare owners who live internationally but own timeshares in the U.S.
The company will take on clients who currently have a mortgage on their timeshare. It claims to work with a wide range of resorts and vacation clubs and doesn’t explicitly state that doesn’t work with any.
Pros and Cons of Omni Ellis
When deciding whether or not a company is worth your time and money, it helps to weigh the pros and cons. Some companies have more pros than cons and others have more cons than pros. In some cases, the pros and cons are relatively balanced.
For Omni Ellis, it looks as though the cons outweigh the pros.
- Claims to offer a fast and simple process
- Has a free consultation
Claims to offer a fast and simple process
Omni Ellis claims that it will help you get rid of your timeshare quickly and that the process is easy. For some clients, that might be the case. For all the bad reviews out there, there were a few that stated that the company genuinely helped them.
Has a free consultation
The details on Omni Ellis’ website leave a lot to be desired. Maybe you’re curious to see what the company can do or want to learn more about its process.
It does offer a free consultation, so you can call or schedule a meeting to talk to someone from the company. There’s no guarantee that the company won’t use your contact information to launch a high-pressure sales process on you, though.
- F BBB rating
- Limited communication
- Sketchy details on their process
- Lots of dissatisfied customers
- No escrow
- Fees aren’t transparent
F BBB Rating
The BBB doesn’t mess around when issuing its ratings. An F rating isn’t something to sneeze at or ignore. It means that the company has an established record of complaints and that it doesn’t respond to complaints.
Also disturbing is that the company claims to be BBB accredited when it is not.
When clients agree to work with a company, then pay that company thousands of dollars, they have a right to expect the company to deliver on its promises and to keep them updated about their situation.
Many of Omni Ellis’ clients have expressed frustration regarding how difficult it is to get a hold of someone from the company. The limited communication seems to contradict the promises the company makes to clients on its website.
Sketchy details on their process
Clients don’t necessarily need to know exactly how the sausage is made, but they should be told what the company will do for them and whether the services provided go beyond what a customer could do on their own.
Omni Ellis is surprisingly vague about how it helps clients, beyond mentioning that it helps with timeshare transfers and that it can eliminate student debt from a person’s credit report.
Lots of dissatisfied customers
Numbers don’t lie. There are a lot of unhappy campers with Omni Ellis. There are the people who took the time to complain to the BBB, the couple who called up their local news station and the many reviewers on Facebook and the BBB’s site.
Omni Ellis collects money from clients upfront, and often, according to some clients, fails to do its job. The clients are then out thousands of dollars and have to fight to get their money back, often with little success.
If the company offered escrow it would give clients an extra layer of protection and make it easier for them to get their money back. An escrow option also helps to build trust between the company and its clients.
Fees aren’t transparent
How much does it cost to work with Omni Ellis? That’s not exactly clear. The company claims to charge a one-time fee but acknowledges that there might be additional fees, based on the resort.
Final Verdict: Is Omni Ellis a Legit Timeshare Exit Firm?
When it comes to Omni Ellis, the best advice a timeshare owner might get is: Run in the opposite direction. The company has a track record of not living up to its promises, of charging high fees and of disappearing on customers.
Owning a timeshare can be a headache and a financial drain. When someone decides it’s time to get rid of theirs, they shouldn’t have to jump through hoops or spend thousands of dollars for nothing.
There are other timeshare exit companies out there that do what they claim to do and provide results to clients. It’s best to give Omni Ellis a pass.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns Omni Ellis?
Lots of timeshare exit companies have a heartwarming story about their founder or owner. Usually, the owner is someone who’s been in the same situation and now wants to help others.
That’s not the case with Omni Ellis. The company’s website makes no mention of an owner and doesn’t provide any details on the company’s employees.
Where is Omni Ellis located?
Omni Ellis lists its address as 100 Pine Street, in San Francisco, California.
How is Omni Ellis rated online?
Omni Ellis doesn’t have a great online reputation. It doesn’t have reviews on many of the major review websites, such as Google, Trustpilot or Yelp. The reviews on its Facebook page aren’t great and its BBB rating is an F.
What does Omni Ellis do?
Omni Ellis claims to help transfer timeshare titles and help eliminate student loan debt.