We are writing this article for the benefit of our readers because we have uncovered some very important information about how these programs work and how you can get outright scammed without even knowing it. Mexico is one of the top countries in the world for timeshare/vacation club sales so there is plenty opportunities to be offered a presentation. We are always looking out for consumers and tourist so you can make educated decisions on what you purchase and services you pay for so you can take advantage of the beauty of the Rivera Maya and continue to enjoy it for years.
We are not going to mention any names of resorts or management companies. Each person should do their own research before making a purchase and take a decision based on your personal situation. Some of these companies change names often so it is not even worth mentioning because you will not find the new companies name online. We will say that two of the top 20 most complained about timeshare/vacation club membership places in Mexico are in our area and a basic internet search will reveal a lot of information that you might find helpful before making a decision.
Timeshares and vacation clubs-How could this be a scam?
It seems so honest, a simple investment in a share of a beautiful resort that you love. You can imagine coming each year and enjoying all inclusive luxury at that property or one of their partners. So where do all the complaints come from?
Where most people feel the room to complain is the fact of the high pressure tactics and promises of many things that do not pay off. Even people just going to get a free tour or something for free end up buying because of the logic of a sound investment or possible benefits for travel. Smart people fall for some plans that turn our to be a regretful decision. We heard for many people that invested $7000-$30,000 USD and feel like they will never see that money in return based on rental income or in vacation services. The many promises told by sellers were more sales pitches than details in the contract. Even though most of the details are in the contracts people get confused or are misled to believe certain things.
Tricky contracts and changing fees often leave people feeling like they have been scammed out of their money. Also the inability to get out of long term contracts or the ease of selling your timeshare leaves people feeling trapped.
What are the pros and cons of a timeshare/vacation club?
- It is a purchase of a rental unit that can be cheaper for you over the course of many future vacations.
- A locked in space at a resort you like and are implied a guaranteed space for you.
- Something you can share with friends or family.
- You can get extra club benefits and gain points for more upgrades.
- It can be hard to sell or exchange your membership if you want to especially if your circumstances change in the future or desire to keep the share.
- Unexpected fees or maintenance cost increase.
- If you do not go then you can loose your time for the year.
- Promises of return on investment are often just a possible return and are sales tactics to get you to purchase.
- Usually a large upfront cost is involved.
- You are locked into going to the same resort or chain of resorts each year.
- When you circumstances change like a death in family or you are not physically able to go it can be hard to get out of contracts and you continue to pay for something you cannot use.
- Policies can change over time which effect how you can use your time or how much you need to spend.
- Most shares do not appreciate in value unlike real estate (although real estate is not a guarantee of increasing in value, but historical data alludes to it as a better investment).
Common complaints about timeshares
Most of the time when you mention timeshares, people roll their eyes because there has been so many people that have had issues and regrets after a purchase. It is so bad that the name “timeshare” is often dropped and it is now called a “vacation club” or other name. However, changing the name does not make it any less complained about. Here is a list of some complaints we have heard.
- The 5 day period to change your mind and get your money back was never mentioned or difficult to proceed with a refund.
- They had them sign a waiver to take away your rights to the 5 day period, (this is illegal to do).
- Maintenance fees kept increasing and there was no cap on fees.
- Rental income never comes true and it is not the investment they imagined.
- Promises to buy your current timeshare and use it as trade in but often people end up with two timeshares and the sale does not go through of the first one.
- It is hard to contact the resort or property management company.
- Property management companies are changed and your exact benefits are changed under a new contract meaning less benefits and added cost.
- Many things said during a sales presentation are not in writing and often found to be not true.
- Dates for when you want to use the property are not available or the class of service you bought into is also not available.
- The resort property goes downhill overtime and you are stuck with a property that is not the same as when you bought it.
- Unbuilt projects for purchase change from time of conception to delivery. Some of the things promised are not delivered.
Should you blame the salespeople?
The salespeople are often the ones everyone goes after because they feel like they were lied to. These are the ones on the frontline and representing the company. However some of them are only the messenger of the management and don’t even know the correct details of what are the hard facts. This is similar to used car salesmen where the mechanics do not tell the salespeople the truth about the product so they sell with confidence.
Of course timeshare and vacation club salespeople come in all types. Some are only honest in their approach and repeat details learned in training and others become very brazen with lies and deceitful methods in order to get a sale. Some sales people go off script and say things that are not company policy.
We have talked to many timeshare/vacation club sales people that leave the job after a period of time because don’t like doing it morally. It can be hard for some employees to start a new job and realize they do not like it and then have to try to find another job especially if it is hard to find a job that makes the same amount of money.
Remember just because a sales person is from your home country do not get lulled into a sense that they are more honest. Many people look back at things they were told but regret not being more skeptical just because the sales person was nice or from the same country.
Note: Many people that work on 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen also get money for directing people to timeshares. Some of these people have no clue on investing or what exactly it is they are selling or sending people to. All they see is a potential to make a days wage in sending someone to a presentation. Some of these people offer tours for sale and it is only a front to get you to a presentation. Some of these people can be very pleasant when you are interested in a tour but after you turn them down for a timeshare presentation, they can be very nasty. This type of behavior is unacceptable and certainly gives a black eye to tourism in the Rivera Maya. These people should be avoided and a simple no should suffice.
Why do people sell timeshares? Some of the people we have talked to do so for several reasons.
- They hear about how much money can be made and it is appealing.
- It is one of the easiest jobs to get for a foreigner because they like having Americans, Europeans and Canadian sales people because people relate more and trust them more. This affords people to live in Mexico and still make money.
- To some it is a good job and people do like the vacation clubs and it is just a sales position and honest job.
Here are some common objections you have to buying a timeshare and the things they say to overcome your objections.
- We don’t have any money. No problem you can put it on a credit card or make payments. Many people do thinking they can cancel or use the credit card as a bank only to have to make payments on the large payoff.
- We don’t want to come on vacation here. You don’t have to go on vacation as all. It can be rented out for you and you can use it as an investment.
- We already own a timeshare. The new place you are looking at can buy your old one because they have an” agreement” with the place where you bought yours and you can do well financially with the trade (often your old one is not sold and you end up with two).
Here are some crazy things that have been said to clients in order to convince them to buy.
- They are going to build condos at the resort and you can use your share as a down payment and actually own a condo in the Rivera Maya! This was told to clients but the truth was there was nothing being built and no such trade in plan existed.
- You can rent our your unit and make enough on the other weeks you own and get a free vacation here every year! The truth is it often is hard to rent units for the amounts of rent they say is possible. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
- Sales people have talked to the children directly and asked “Don’t you think you deserve to come here on vacation and use the pools?” This is a heavy guilt trip on parents and use children as pawns in a sales tactic.
Note: We have talked to former sales people of timeshares who regret what they said and did to get a sale. Some leave the jobs soon after seeing what it is like, some leave after a while when they can get another job.
Remember in the end you are responsible for your decision and even if you have been told things that are not true, it should be in complete detail in a contract. You must do the following as your responsibility to making such a purchase:
- Read the contract thoroughly and understand it.
- Make sure the contract is in your own language and is provided as an official translated document. Even if you are fluent in another language the legal terms can be hard to fully understand or mean slightly different things in another language.
- Make sure the paperwork has a Profeco registration number.
- Your paperwork has the companies complete address and contact information for both the resort and if there is a management company or other subsidiary involved. This is important because people have trouble contacting the resort or management company after the sale.
- Do your own research online and possibly talk to other people that bought in the resort you are interested in. You can call Profeco’s toll free number to get information on possible complaints about the property you are looking at. This is a Mexican 800 number to be called within Mexico. 1-800-468-8722
What you should do if you are not satisfied?
If you have gone to a sales pitch and felt like you are not totally satisfied after signing your name to a paper it is very important you make up your mind in 5 days! Mexican law is on your side. For any timeshare or vacation club you have 5 days to rescind your decision. This however is not as simple of going to the office and telling them to tear up the contract. Sometimes they will have you sign a waiver to waive your rights to the 5 day cancelation. This is illegal to do this! This should be a red flag that the company you are dealing with is not doing things in a forthcoming manner.
Profeco is on your side! Profeco is a Mexican governmental agency that stands up for consumer rights (see our article on Profeco and how they work for you). They work with verifying prices in stores and making sure measurement of gas is correct as just some examples of what they do. They get so many complaints about timeshare purchases they have a whole division just dedicated to that and helping consumers know their rights.
You can visit Profeco’s website in English here: http://www.profeco.gob.mx/english.htm
For making a complaint you can email them here: [email protected] You can also visit your local Mexican Consulate or Mexican Embassy in your home country for help. Of course it is much better to contact them as soon as possible if you think there is something wrong with your contract or need help canceling your contract. The sooner you contact them the more they are able to help you. All services are free from Profeco.
The direct scam you might not even see coming after your purchase!!!!!
This was the most shocking thing we uncovered regarding timeshares and vacation clubs! We have to give you this important warning to protect you. Often this is not related to the resort where you purchased your timeshare/vacation club from but you are targeting because you purchased a membership or timeshare.
We came across a former employee who admitted to working for a “scam company”. We asked him to explain that statement. He said the entire company offered no benefits and no services to customers. The entire object was to scam people out of money!
There are companies or shall we say people that work just to feed off of unhappy timeshare or vacation club owners. We say people more then companies because some of these companies are not legitimate and therefore don’t exist technically.
Here is the scam. List of names are acquired of people that have bought timeshares or vacation club memberships. Then they call you and confirm your information like how many bedrooms are in your unit and what weeks you have. They offer to rent out or buy your timeshare at what sounds like a good deal. After all many people are dissatisfied after purchasing a vacation memebership or timeshare. The caller asks for a credit card payment of $99, $199, $399, $490 or what ever they think they can ask. They tell you that in 90 days to 140 days you will receive the paperwork or payment. They tell you a long timeframe so your card is charged and you cannot do anything about it. By the time you start questioning it they are ready with more excuses or you might just forget about it after this period of time. They have no intention of doing anything past taking you money! There is no rentals and no potential buyer set up. If you are able to get back in touch with them and ask what has happened with a potential buyer or rental income they have a list of what sounds like reasonable excuses. Then they try to get you again! They will say things like the potential buyer backed out or needs more time. Then they will tell you since your original contact has expired you need to pay them another fee. If you were expecting rental income they can ask you if you bought the VIP package or something like that. You might say you never were offered that and this new better package will put your property at the top of the list to be first rented out. This might sound good and you pay again! But again you are charged money that you will never receive a benefit from.
Because these companies or people work in the shadows or are so close to the line of being a legitimate company, they are not stopped. These scam companies use phone routing technology so it can appear they are calling you from anywhere in the world and they have tech support that helps clean the internet of bad press. They go by many names and change them frequently making it hard to track online and do research.
This might make it impossible to decipher if there are actual companies out there that want to purchase your timeshare or rent your unit. The truth is most timeshares do not retain their value and they are very hard to sell. A good resort will have in-house help to rent our the units and have a clear process for doing so.
- It should be noted that even some large resorts use “outside companies” as management or resale companies. Some of these companies turn out to be not reputable and a blame game ensues. The resort apologizes because they have switched to another company because they had complaints about the outside company that they often said was great for you just a few months previously. Then another company with not much history online appears and is who you are supposed to deal with.
- This constant changing of situation with companies can seem like a stalling procedure and a way to constantly questioning what to do next or how things work.
Our recommendation to you:
If you are even thinking of going to a presentation, think carefully about doing so. High pressure sales tactics and “reasonable investment advice” might convince you to part with your money and it might be hard for you to rescind on your purchase. If you do go to a presentation:
- Get everything in writing. Have a lawyer look over the papers. It is amazing how careful people are when they buy real estate and often are afraid of buying in Mexico but when it comes to a timeshare they sign a paper with a couple of hours from hearing about it!
- Don’t make a decision in the meeting, take your time. If it is such an honest offer then they wont mind you taking your time to think about it and doing research.
- Talk to other people that already bought. This might be hard because it means your best chance is to talk to people staying at the resort and you have to ask around. It also might be hard because there can be plants (people that are working for the resort) that tell you all the good stuff you want to hear and how they love it and get a great return.
- Go online and research before and after. We say before and after because there will be information they give you like names of rental companies or property management companies that will work with you. Get these names and do your own research. This might not be as easy as you think for two reasons. One, information online tends to be much more negative because people often don’t go online to brag about how much money they are making off renting their weeks or how much they love being a member (this is the case with a good legitimate timeshare). Two, companies with a bad reputations work hard to protect themselves online. If there is a website with complaints, there will be fake people challenging real complaints. Companies also change names so you can not search “xxxx Resort scams” or “xxxx management company”.
- Think about what you want to do with your time and investments. Are you looking down into the future and thinking about if this club is where you want to spend your future vacations? Is this small investment opportunity the best way for you to get a return on your money?
Please use caution when attending timeshare presentations and thinking about purchasing a timeshare or vacation club membership. In the end it might not be worth the 90 minutes that turn into 5 hours of your time to get a free tour or breakfast. Please also use caution if you have purchased a membership or timeshare and you are contacted about renting it out or offered for someone to buy your timeshare. A red flag should go up if you are being asked to pay a fee upfront.
*Note: There are some happy owners of timeshares who take advantage of the programs for vocational use and it is possible with full knowledge of the details to navigate the process successfully.
Do you have a positive or negative experience about timeshares or vacation clubs in Mexico? You can comment below for the benefit of other readers.
Please do not contact us with legal advice or questions as we are only writing this article as an advisory and we are not legal experts. We refer you to Profeco, the official Mexican consumer agency or a qualified lawyer.
If you are serious about investing in the Riviera Maya you might be interested in reading our articles on real estate in our Living in Playa Del Carmen section. While there is risk in any investment, some people have found this a more secure way to invest in the area and provided for a possible retirement later. This in no way is a promotion of real estate in the area and this article is not to scare people away from one investment into another. This is just a suggestion of an investment that some have felt works for them in a much better way.
Recently a man going by the name of William “Will” St Regis De la Cruz was arrested in Playa and escorted to the airport in Cancun to be deported back to Colorado to faced charges of felony theft. His real name is George William Bowen III and he is a scam artist and he is a habitual criminal. He was running a business called the “International Travel Club.”
While we neither confirm or deny this information, we did do some looking online and it is easy to find a new story on this in a Puerto Aventuras news outlet. There is also extensive reporting online about a man named George William Bowen online from Colorado. It is a reminder to all of us to do our homework on who we do business with. Many people feel more at ease with someone that is from the same country as ourselves but this is not always the best thing and there are good and bad people in each country.
I simply want to say that after looking at some of the time share and vacation club promotions it can be quite confusing to know what is a good deal nd ho they play on your love of vacations and they promise everything. We are glad we did not buy because we have never heard anyone say they love their vacation share.
All of the pros and cons listed are for timeshares.. How does that affect the actual vacation clubs that work with all inclusive resorts? Where you are not committing to a set room or set dates?
Vacation clubs are another word for timeshare. Most of the time the word “timeshare” is not used because it has such a bad reputation. Vacation clubs are a membership in a certain resort where you share the resort with other people. Extreme care should be taken when thinking about a vacation club because most of the time it is the same idea as a timeshare. You have to ask yourself, what are the yearly fees, can I ever get out of it, can I really book whenever I want, and do you want to go to the same hotel each year. We would suggest not listen to the promises of the sales people because many will say anything to make a sale. The fine print is the final word. We don’t like to demonize all sales people and sales programs, but a very large majority are just not a good deal for our readers.
We know of some vacation club sales that promise you all sorts of perks and benefits for each time you come, only that there is never space available when you go to book. One resort here in the Rivera Maya is in the midst of a huge issue with this because the resort had an outside firm selling the vacation club and they oversold it and the owners only found out when it was too late. The company selling got fired but now the resort has to sort out what to do because they don’t want to make a bad name for the resort.
If you are really interested in one resort, you should take note of the name of the sales company. Many are not the name of the resort. Look them up online. If there is nothing that is not a good sign. Many companies change their names so you cannot look at past records and hear stories of dissatisfied customers.
We hope this information is helpful to you and you are happy with whatever decision you make.
Wow, great info thanks !
I would like to say that if you are victims of the timeshare trap,
There’s something that you can do while your here, go visit
XXXXXXXX Resorts in Rivera Maya, They will help you increase your chances of getting rid of that pain of a Time share and those maintenance fees that goes along with it, They offer something that you can live in full time or part time. No timeshare there,
I love it private residence and it’s also the best of everything golf courses designed by Greg Norman and Jack Nicholson.
My retired and playing golf at their golf club daily, and my grandchildren can visit because theres cirque dil soilie joya show for them to see. Best investment ever.
Thank you for your totally timeshare, vacation club scam post. We blocked out this persons name and details about the resort because as you can see, this person says they live there but there was a link to the persons sales website. We are so glad we wrote this article about timeshare scams in the area so people can avoid some of these bad investments and focus their money on good purchases.
I know exactly which one you are talking about. I worked there they are the worst ones. Very very deceiving. Like yes they dont charge maintenance fee. BUT every time you book you have to pay a weekly fee which goes from 850 usd to 2000 usd! And theres not all inclusive so what exactly did you pay money for if you still have to pay the stay only room? Thats higher than a maintenance fee for nothing.
And that is just one of the things im giving you as an example.
Also… and they dont say it… but its in the contract, every 4 years you must pay the value of 1 week stay whether you go or not and if you go then its extra so lets say you own a 1 bedroom, that 1 week stay is around 1000k, so that pretty much is 250usd x year. Isnt that a maintenance fee? Its the same! Its just covered beautifully thats all.
Thank you for some insights on the industry and what to look for. This will surely help other readers make better decisions.
I cannot believe people still fall for these timeshare traps. It is good you expose some of these scams.
I really don’t put much stock in articles based on conjecture and 3rd party quotes. Especially when the author is afraid to put his own byline on the story. You just pour gas on a fire started by disgruntled ex employees. To say all vacation clubs and timeshares are scams is equivalent to saying all journalism is yellow journalism. People who make major purchases without doing due diligence, usually gets what they deserve.
You raise several interesting points. First we talked directly to people that worked in timeshare sales. Not all of them were disgruntle employees. So these are not 3rd party quotes. We also talked directly to people that have bought timeshares.
If you re read our article we did not say all timeshares or vacation clubs are scams. We will say that most people we have talked to that have purchased tell us a negative experience or result though. We did ask people to share their positive experiences of purchasing timeshares or vacation clubs in the comments following this article. To date we have not had anyone comment with a positive experience.
Lastly you comment that people who make major purchases without doing due diligence, usually get what they deserve. Are you stating that people that don’t do research can fall into the trap of a bad timeshare or vacation club?
What exactly is your opinion of timeshares or vacation clubs here in the Riviera Maya?
I am so glad you mentioned time shares and vacation clubs. We see the people on 5th Avenue that are pretend tour sellers. They can get very aggressive and insult you if you don’t buy something or go on a tour. They tell you all kinds of stories. They are lower class people that have no idea what they are even selling, they just see you as a $ sign. The time share industry attracts scam artist and liars and I wish the whole industry would collapse. I don’t know why people fall for this horrible investments.
I bought a Vacation Club with El Cid in Puerto Morales and it is the best thing I ever did. really lives up to its promises and I can take my points and go to other El Cid resorts in Mexico, Spain and England. I have been going every year since 2006 and have not been disappointed yet. – rooms great, service great, grounds awesome
I just want to worn other people with a timeshare that is thinking of selling. Be very carful of websites looking to sell them for you. Most of them are a scam.
We just left the resort with the golf course mentioned above, that is supposedly a “club” and not a timeshare! It is a total scam! Ripoff! They waste a day of your trip with guilt tripping pushy sales people, and no free breakfast and tickets are worth the anger and frustration you will feel. The Vidanta resort is beautiful but it has an awful rocky beach full of seaweed, and it is very difficult to get off the resort to go tour other places. The shuttle only runs every 45 minutes, so you have to walk over 1/2 mile in the heat to the gate, and then they ask why you are leaving, as though they own you. Run run run from these presentations!
So sorry to hear you had a bad experience. We try to warn people. It is so nice to stay at many of the resorts, another thing to become a “member” or own a timeshare.
This is great advice. I feel sorry for the people that get sucked into timeshares. I don’t know how people can still sell them knowing what they know. We bought one a few years back because we loved the area and wanted to return each year. It would up costing us more then just booking a hotel here. Glad we finally got out of that deal but learned a valuable lesson.
I also attended a presentation at the Vidanta resort. Unfortunately we did end up signing up for a timeshare. As soon as I left the place I began to do some research and went back the next day to cancel bc I had read somewhere about the 5 days. I was sent to a lady who kept trying to sell me a smaller share but kept saying she wasn’t a sales person (which I thought it was interesting). I was finally able to cancel the timeshare but not after going through a long sales pitch by the non-sales lady. I willl say that they did refund me my money and I consider myself very lucky for being able to cancel while still in MX. The sales guy on the first day was externally nice but he hesitated to leaving us alone for more than 5 min when I would ask for some time to discuss it with my family. Lesson learned and I will NEVER fall for that again. We did lose two days of our trip, but I was able sleep better after I received my refund.
We are glad you are happy in the end. Most people are not satisfied after the purchase and is why we wrote this article on timeshares. For more it is best just to come on vacation and stay at a hotel and not worry about anything else.
Just recently got contacted by someone that works in Playa Del Carmen and at first shes teying to befriend me and actually flirted. She pitched that they have benefits that she can transfer over to me so that it does not get wasted. The catch is that I have to gi there for vacation for no set date as of yet until i decide which date. I will be using her bendits as a discount and she would be with me during the vacation. She contacted me via FB msngr. When I ask her for more details, she referred that the other department will provide more info and I just have to make sure that I would actually go and not flake out. Sounds fishy. Please advise.
If it sounds fishy to you then your instincts are kicking in. Listen to them. No legitimate person is going contact you at random and have a great deal for you. We would never listen to this person and would block them on Facebook.
I went to downtown cozumel and I met juan canto with GL tours he promised a 8 hour fishing trip for 4 for 300usd with a 50 usd deposit as long as i would attend a 1.5 hour presentation for beyond experience travel club. We agreed and i did attend the presentation at the palm hotel in playa de carmen. I did not choose to purchase. The following day i waited for him and he never showed up. It took a long while to get in contact with him but when i did He said the boat showed up but left because no one was there. I was there 10 mins early and there was no boat. He told me to reschedule for the following day and i did for 2 reasons one he had my deposit and 2 i know things happen but i try to give people a chance and since we would be in the island for a week i didnt see a problem. The second day comes again no one showed up at the pier. He turned off his phone and i have yet to hear from him. Im now very glad i did not purchase the travel package. Now i can see how deceitful they can be . I will continue to post and repost my experience so that others will not be taken advantage of by juan canto, GL tours , beyond experience, and the palm hotel in playa de carmen who they represent. Its sad when come to a travel destination and get taken advantage of it makes us not want to ever return, tourism is what makes cozumel and coastal cities in mexico.
Thank you for your experience. We try to worn people against these types of scams.
“Vacation home.” Like a “passive activity” the terms are a contradiction. It is best not to mix something fun like a vacation with the responsibilities of ownership.
The purchase of a time share means you will always go to the same place every year. Who wants to do that? Every place you go on vacation has plusses and minuses. No place is perfect.
Here is an idea infinitely better than buying a time share or any vacation home. First, take the purchase money you would use to buy the time share or vacation home and put that in a bank account you call your “vacation fund.” Add to this vacation fund the monthly fee or taxes or mortgage payment you would make if you owned, to your vacation fund.
You will be able to take one or even two wonderful vacations to anyplace in the world you want to go, every year. Noisy construction next door? Poor management? The place needs renovation? NOT YOUR PROBLEM Just enjoy the good parts of where you are staying and go someplace else next year.
Went to Playa del Carmen and met a guy who offered me a massage, $250 gift card, a day pass at a new beach etc in exchange for 90 minutes of my time. So my S/O and I went along to the LVC (Leading Vacation Club) pitch and my gf was absolutely convinced that the wanted to buy it since it sounded great! After talking sense into her, I told the rep I was uninterested for financial reasons. He then brought his boss over to try and work a deal. The second guy was extremely unprofessional and if anything turned me off the product completely. Then he brought his boss to conduct a “closing quality survey” which turned out to be another 45 minute pitch.
Needless to say, I told him I would like to research the company first before I consider anything. He said “You need to sign right now or you wont get the incentives”
We left after that. No way am I going to drop $6000 without doing any research.
Long story short, don’t waste your time.
The giftcard couldn’t be used since I didn’t sign up
The “Massage” was actually 15 minutes in a standard 3 person hot tub (in hot mexico)???
the day pass was for a terrible resort.
Don’t do it.
We turned our “timeshare” into a vaca club Pay Upon Use for a $250 fee 7 years ago. We never went back. Now we are receiving a special assessment of $1500 for 2019 and another $1500 for 2020 for renovations etc to the new properties they purchased in Cabo and Puerta Vallarta in place of the BelAir Collection Resorts. They won’t let me cancel. I have to sell/transfer on my own. We are in our 70’s and have no working income. We simply want to end this. They said Value Traders does a lot of transfers for them. I researched that company and they are scammers too, so what is the best way to exit this relationship without a death certificate?
We are sorry to hear this. We have heard a lot of people who don’t end up liking what they have. We do not have a good recommendation for canceling this contract for you though.
I heard somewhere that it is illegal for the timeshare/vacation club companies to offer you free gifts when you are signing your contract. Can someone validate that for me? We had a very bad experience with a vacation club and are trying to get out. Profeco will not do much to help you if you wait beyond the 5 days. Does anyone have any suggestions that worked to get out of their situations?
PROFECO will not cancel your timeshare contract, it can only help you with the mediation process, but has no power to enforce the resolution for a client who has been scammed h
Unfortunately, by the time you are on the PROFECO website and wind up on this site, it’s already too late to take all this great advice. Have you guys considered creating a website somewhere where folks are looking to book vacations in Playa? We stayed at one of the Reef resorts and also got sucked into buying a “vacation club” NOT a timeshare, we were told by the Leading Vacation Club sales person!!! Being strict vegans, we just couldn’t make it work with the all inclusive meals so attempted to cancel right away. They came back with an offer of “no mandatory all inclusive package” addendum to our contract, which we were happy to accept. When it came down to using it on our first week, the hotel’s General Manager would not honor it even though it was signed by the LVO, the legal Dept of LVC. Of course, both the sales person and the Sales Manager are no longer with the company and have not responded to texts. The General Manager’s suggestion was for us to cancel our membership, so we did. They assessed us more than 45% in cancellation fees, even though the contract states up to 30%. Again they came up with an offer to downgrade our membership and refund the overage they already collected over the 45% fee within 15 business days days. Just wanting to be done with all this stress, we accepted. It’s now been 10 days passed that time frame and no wire transfer received as promised even though we gave them all the info they requested. The person we have been dealing with has totally ghosted us. We were hoping that PROFECO could help us but from what I’m reading, they don’t seem to have any legal power to enforce written contracts. Very disappointing. My only hope is to go ack to the legal Dept but of course, there’s no contact information for them on any of the paperwork! Surprise! Surprise!
Lesson well learned… would love make this information you provide here to people before they get sucked in, not after!!!
We are sorry to hear your story. We do try to worn people. Our website does get a good range of people visiting the Riviera Maya. We work on reaching as many as possible so important things like this can be heard.
We were scammed by a time share presentation in Mazatlan years ago. They ask for your credit card just to see, then they took $12,000 while we were in the weekend presentation. We got a notice from the credit card company so we went to the Profeco office in Mazatlan on Monday and started the proceedings to get our money. After all the paperwork, tracking the company to America, we did not get our money back! Now, about 8 years or so later, we got a call from a lawyer in Mexico City saying that our name was on the list of people who were illegally charged – and the Mexican Government had seized all this company’s assets and was going to court proceedings on our behalf. Would we fill in and sign documents to collect the money? So we did lots of paperwork, and were told that the court decided in our favour and the money would be sent to us. First we had to open a bank account in Mexico, at Bancomer. Then we were told it was a custodial account therefore we were asked to pay $4800 US to activate the account. We said we would come to Mexico ourselves to open the account then have them issue the certified cheque to us. They then called to say we would have to pay $1200 to the bank as there was a deadline of 72 hours to open the account! No time to come to Mexico! So I have referred this whole thing to Profeco and am waiting to see if I can help put these crooks into jail. We are Canadian, so we were also told to have an american bank account as well for the money to transfer!
You do realize that the “lawyer” from Mexico city was also a scam correct? We are sorry to hear your story. It is why we posted this article.