A group of former followers of finance guru and radio host Dave Ramsey, along with his company and a marketing firm, have filed a lawsuit against them. The lawsuit alleges that Ramsey endorsed a timeshare exit company that defrauded customers out of millions of dollars.
According to Religion News Service, seventeen former Ramsey listeners have come together to file a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Western Washington. According to the lawsuit, Ramsey allegedly received payments of up to $30 million between 2015 and 2021 to endorse the Kirkland, Washington-based firm called Timeshare Exit Team.
This firm, which many Ramsey listeners were customers of, collected a total of $200 million from clients. In return for payment, the company promised to help clients escape their timeshare obligations and offered a money-back guarantee. However, the lawsuit alleges that these promises were not fulfilled, resulting in customer financial losses.
However, despite charging customers over $5,000 each, the company failed to fulfill its promises. In 2021, Reed Hein & Associates LLC, operating as Timeshare Exit Team, settled a lawsuit filed by the attorney general of Washington state, accusing them of deceptive business practices. The settlement amount was $2.61 million, and subsequently, the company ceased operations.
According to the lawsuit, Dave Ramsey, Timeshare Exit Team, and Happy Hour Media Group, a marketing firm linked to Brandon Reed, one of the founders of Timeshare Exit Team, violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act. The plaintiffs allege they were defrauded, citing “negligent misrepresentation,” “unjust enrichment,” and conspiracy. The lawsuit is seeking damages exceeding $150 million.
The plaintiffs claim that they relied on Dave Ramsey’s enthusiastic endorsement of the Timeshare Exit Team and his financial expertise when they decided to engage with the company.
Renowned for his strong disdain towards timeshare companies, Ramsey proudly expressed his trust in the expertise of the Timeshare Exit Team. During a segment of his show in 2018, a video of which can still be found on “The Ramsey Show” YouTube page, Ramsey declared to his listeners that he had spent years searching for a company capable of helping individuals escape timeshares.
“I could never find anything until I stumbled upon this company called Timeshare Exit Team,” he stated in the segment, enthusiastically highlighting the company’s money-back guarantee. “About three years ago, we started endorsing them, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed frustrating the timeshare people.”
Despite the company’s legal issues and the accusations of defrauding customers, as previously reported by Religion News Service, Ramsey remained steadfast in his support, asserting that government officials, reporters, and the timeshare industry had conspired against Timeshare Exit Team.
“Rather than acknowledging the deception, Ramsey recorded a nine-minute radio segment in which he vehemently criticized anyone he deemed responsible for Reed Hein’s difficulties,” states the complaint.
Through his enduring radio show, conferences, and the faith-based personal finance program known as “Financial Peace University,” Ramsey has garnered the trust of millions of devoted followers. However, according to the complaint, his extensive expertise should have alerted him to the fact that Timeshare Exit Team was an untrustworthy entity. This assertion is based on the premise that Ramsey’s knowledge and experience in personal finance should have allowed him to recognize the dubious nature of the Timeshare Exit Team.
Greg Larson, a shipyard worker, and devoted listener of Ramsey, is one of the plaintiffs mentioned in the complaint. Larson had heard Ramsey endorse Timeshare Exit Team “hundreds of times” before reaching out to the company. Other plaintiffs include healthcare professionals, retirees, and individuals who became followers of Ramsey through their churches or his radio show.
The complaint provides a comprehensive account of the association between Ramsey and the Timeshare Exit Team. The latter is categorized as one of the “endorsed local providers” who heavily rely on Ramsey for generating business leads. Ramsey Solutions collects these leads through various channels, such as church-based programs, the company’s website, and newsletters.
Ryan Hedrick works for WIBC in Indianapolis as a Morning News Anchor/Digital Content Producer. Prior to moving to Indy, he served as Assistant Program Director and Co-Host of the Morning News Express at WFMD. His career also includes stints at News Talk 103.7 FM in Chambersburg, PA, Sirius XM in Washington D.C., WBEN in Buffalo, NY, and WIBW-AM in Topeka KS where he earned the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) award for Major Market enterprise reporting in 2016. To connect with Ryan, find him on Twitter @SureToCover.
WDAY Host Jeff Left Retires After 50 Years
Left worked in New York City, Portsmouth, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Fargo.
WDAY host Jeff Left is saying goodbye to radio as he’s retiring after 50 years in the industry across the country. Left began his career in Cleveland, Ohio, when he was 17 years old, and his first on-air opportunity was reading traffic reports to listeners.
“I wasn’t afraid or nothing. ‘I-35 backed up 10 minutes’, and I’m just reading it,” Left said about doing his first live-reads. “I said to myself, ‘Is this it? This is fun!”
Those live-reads led to Left traveling the country and working at various stations throughout his 50-year career. He worked in New York City, Portsmouth, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Fargo.
Eventually, he returned to WDAY for a second time, working in sales, production, and as an on-air personality alongside Bonnie & Friends.
“I’m lucky enough to have 27 advertising awards, I’ve been published 23 times nationally…” Left said. “…I thought it was time, and so that is why I decided to retire.”
Beginning Monday, October 2, Jace Denman will join Bonnie & Friends as Bonnie’s new co-host.
KQED Promotes Ernesto Aguilar to Executive Role
Since joining the radio station in 2021, Aguilar has been Director of Radio Programming.
News/talk KQED in San Francisco is promoting Ernesto Aguilar to Executive Director of Radio Programming and Content DEI. Since joining the radio station in 2021, Aguilar has been Director of Radio Programming.
Aguilar reacted to his promotion on X, formerly Twitter, and shed light on details of what the new role that he’s taking over will consist of.
“Happy to share that my role at @KQED is growing,” Aguilar wrote. “I’m now Executive Director of Radio Programming and Content DEI. In addition to the exciting broadcasts we do, I’ll also now oversee diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in the Content division.
“I’ll work closely with our Chief DEI Officer and teams to ensure our internal culture and our programming authentically serves the diverse Bay Area community we cherish. I’ll also be implementing annual Content DEI plans.”
Before joining KQED and heading to the Bay Area, Aguilar was Executive Director of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and worked in Houston’s public radio scene. Furthermore, he thanked his boss, Holly Kernan, for entrusting him with the new role.
“Sincere thanks to @KQEDKernan, my boss, for her dedication and leadership on diversity issues,” Aguilar added. “Her support for devoting resources within Content is invaluable and a step I hope other organizations learn from.
Chris Hayes Taking Podcast on Road with Live Tour
Joy Reid will join Hayes while the tour is in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Rachel Maddow is the guest for the New York stop.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is taking his Why Is This Happening? podcast on tour, as he’ll be hosting three live shows in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York. Hayes has already made a stop in Austin, but the bulk of the tour is getting underway.
Hayes’ tour this fall will begin on Oct. 9 in Chicago, then head to Philadelphia on Oct. 16, and conclude in New York on Nov. 12. Furthermore, the MSNBC host won’t be alone, as he’ll guest, including some from his network.
Joy Reid will join Hayes while the tour is in Philadelphia; meanwhile, Rachel Maddow is the guest for the New York stop.
The All In host was recently in the news after it was announced that Inside with Jen Psaki will take over the Monday 8 p.m. time slot of Hayes’ show, with the change beginning on Sept. 25.
Nonetheless, Hayes will still anchor his show Tuesday through Friday, and Psaki will continue in her Sunday time slot at noon.