They descended upon me at the airport and invited me to a 90 min. discussion w/ free breakfast, money for my hotel for that night, and money for a taxi to my hotel. I had no intention of buying anything, but they kept me there for almost 5 hours promising me I would make a huge profit from this and that THIS was a legitimate timeshare. I was told I could rent out my "suite" for at least $1500/mo....I've had it listed at half that for 5 mos. and haven't rented it yet. Every time I try to call and speak to the person who sold this to me, he either just left, isn't in that day or is somehow not available. Letters do not get a response either. In checking the internet to see how much I could rent my "suite" for, I came across "mayanresorts.org", which is a group of hundreds of other people who have been defrauded in almost exactly the same way and are either in the process of trying to get their money back, or have gotten part or, in some cases, all of their money back.
My wife and I got burned at Mayan Palace in Puerto Vallarta in dec. 2006. At this point our dispute with the credit card companies over the $10410 deposit has been dismissed... Mayan would not give back the money and the credit card co.s do not seem to care that their practices are illegal. Sad to say that mayanresorts.org and .info ,which had helped inform so many of the ongoing fraud at Mayan Resorts have both been absconded by Mayan and are now being used to promote their fantastic vacation opportunities. There are other informational sites out there... use them, resist mayans criminal power trip , they make things ugly for the rest of the timeshare industry... they make me sick, but they are wrong.
Studs Terkle said it... "don't let the ### grind you down"
We too were fraudulently scammed. We made such a mistake believing Mayan Resorts that the timeshare would pay for itself either by donating the weeks as tax write-offs or by renting the weeks out. We have disputed charges and are complaining to every consumer protection agency I can in both the US and in Mexico.
If anyone knows of an attorney that can help us, please respond via email.
We didn't buy, but I have never seen more high pressure sales tactics in my life. My guess is that they get 9 out of 10 people to sign. I almost had to get in a fist fight with one of the "managers" to get out of there. It's too bad people can't be locked up for this. I'd throw the whole lot of them in prison.
Under Mexican law, anyone can cancel a contract for a timeshare within five (5) business days (dias habiles). Just how the five (5) days are counted I do not know. ###/u/me they INCLUDE the day you signed a contract. Also unknown is exactly how "dias habiles" is defined. Answers to these questions can be obtained from PROFECO, the Mexican governmental agency entrusted with oversight of these contracts.
Immediately notify your bank or credit card company of your cancellation under Mexican law and make sure they document your conversation in the notes in your file. Follow up as many times as needed immediately to satisfy yourself that you documented with the bank you cancellation within the five (5) day time period. They should be aware of the Mexican law provision and send you a letter requesting all details. YOU MUST BE ABLE TO PROVE YOU CANCELED WITHIN THE FIVE (5) DAY PERIOD. See below.
PROFECO (PROCURADURIA FEDERAL DEL CONSUMIDOR) can be reached by email from their Internet web site found at: http://www.profeco.gob.mx/ .
There is an English page on the site where a specific complaint can be filed against the offending party. See:
[scroll down to the English section of the page]
It would probably help to file the complaint in Spanish, too. Do it in BOTH languages. If you do not write in Spanish, or otherwise know someone who can do so for you, the Google Translate site actually does a fantastic job translating English to Spanish. Just cut and paste your whole letter here:
Here is the email address of PROFECO, too:
Here is the text of an actual letter received in November 2008 from PROFECO in response to a complaint posted on their web site just one (1) day before:
Department of Conciliation
Services for Foreign Residents
As you are aware, according to the following article, there is a term of 5 working days to cancel the contract without penalization.
Article 56 of the Federal Consumer Protection Law states: "The contract will be perfected within five working days from the delivery of, or the signature of the contract, which ever occurs the latest. During this period, the consumer will have the right to revoke his consent without any responsibility. The revocation will have to be by means of warning or delivery of notice, in person, by registered mail, or another method of average reliability. The revocation according to this article, will terminate the contract. In this case, the costs of shipping and insurance will be the responsibility of the consumer. If the contract is for services, this article will not be applicable if the date of receipt of the service is less than ten working days from the date of the order of purchase."
You must send your cancellation request by e-mail with cc to us and by mail to ALL addresses in the contract TODAY [it was the fifth day already].
It is every important that you keep the evidence of the cancellation within the allowed term, like the post receipt.
The normal time frame to get a response and / or refund is around 20 days.
We cannot intercede until this term pass.
We do not cancel contracts, we offer help in case they refuse.
For additional information or help, do not hesitate to contact us again.
[named employee omitted]
Department of Conciliation
Services for Foreign Residents
The snail mail physical address for PROFECO is:
Procuraduria Federal del Consumidor
Direccion General de Quejas y Conciliacion
Avenida Jose Vascocelos no. 208, 6 Piso
Colonia Condesa Del Cuauhtemoc
C.P. 06140 Mexico, D.F.
The snail mail physical address stated in the Mayan Resort contract where NOTICE OF CANCELLATION must be sent within the said five (5) days is [your's may state a different address in the contract - CHECK IT]:
Desarollo Marina Vallarta S.A. de C.V.
Avenida Insurgentes Sur 800, Piso 11
Colonia Del Valle
C.P. 03100 Mexico, D.F.
The above address in your contract may be a different location. DOUBLE CHECK where notice is to be sent! Check your contract. It is hidden in the back pages. Giving notice within five (5) business days at the above address, AND BEING ABLE TO PROVE YOU DID SO, is the most important part of cancellation of the contract.
DO NOT MESS AROUND. Spend the $40.00 needed to send the NOTICE OF CANCELLATION via Federal Express or UPS, return receipt requested. You need to be able to prove delivery. Federal Express and UPS can provide the needed evidence. They will provide you a digital copy of the signature of the person who signed for the document at the designated location.
ALSO send a copy to PROFECO at the above address and any other interested party. Send a copy via Federal Express/UPS to PROFECO, too, if you can afford it, OR you can send it via REGISTERED INTERNATIONAL MAIL, return receipt requested ["ACUSE DE RECIBO" in Spanish] from your local post office for about $15.00.
Send a copy, too, [regular first class mail ok here] to the United States Consulate in Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico, which is the capital of the State of Yucatan, located nearby. The email address for the U.S. Consulate in Merida is:
See their contact information on their website here:
The U.S. Consulate snail mail address is:
United States Consulate
Calle 60 No. 338-K x 29 y 31
Col. Alcala Martin
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 97050
Even after doing all of the above in a timely manner, do not expect Mayan Resorts to willingly return all of your money. Expect a "settlement offer" or an "offer of settlement." There is nothing to "settle" if you gave timely notice AND YOU CAN PROVE YOU DID UNDER MEXICAN LAW. Expect a clause that requires you to refrain from telling the truth of your experience on the Internet and elsewhere. After all is said and done, you are still in a foreign country. Beware.
Do whatever you need to protect yourself when dealing with these people. Record your conversations. Take witnesses. Video tape them. Document their telephone calls and paper their file with emailed and snail mailed letters confirming conversation details.
Be forewarned some of the web sites above do NOT accept large PDF files of copied contracts. Text is best, but try to send them in PDF format if you can. Separately sent documents will reduce the email size.
Rather than go through all of the above, just say "no" to the tour and refuse to sign up.
Just enjoy your vacation. The properties are extremely beautiful and maintained to a standard only dreamed of back home. Attention to detail at the Mayan Palace and at the Grand Mayan is second to none.
Hi Diane and Cristina,
We would really appreciate if you give us the opportunity to contact you and clarify your issues with our firm, as the personnel for Gonzalez & Gonzalez is highly trained and supervised; and we can assure you that none of our customers have been attacked in any way.
Looking through the files and data base of our company we do not show any record under the name of ¨Diane Jersey¨ and/or ¨Cristine ----¨, who are the people complaining and defaming against the firm.
After 15 years of experience we knew some day this will happen, being conscious of this we back up ourselves by recording every incoming and outgoing telephone call.
In case of the existence of a recorded conversation with you under another name, we would like to expose it to the internet community to prove the opposite of the complaints made on June 30th against Gonzalez & Gonzalez to discard the fact that the post was exposed by our competitors or from the timeshare developers full of frustration by our advocacy and success on the resolution of the cases handled at Gonzalez & Gonzalez.
Also, Gonzalez and Gonzalez has never charged such exaggerated retainer fees, we have a long list of satisfied customers who support our firm, with identifications to validate their existence and able to show their satisfaction by the success in the resolution of their cases.
Gonzalez & Gonzalez counts with ample evidence, to show the Internet community and guarantee that there is no existence of this type of situation in our firm.
If you have been involved in a timeshare scam in Mexico, check out these articles:
Mayan Palace sales tactics are hardcore and they will tell you anything you want to hear to get you into the contract and keep you in contract with them. Most of the Mayan Palace Timeshare Scams being committed by the Sales representative is that they don’t let their buyers know they have a 5 days cooling period if they wish to cancel; instead, they repeatedly tell they buyers once the contract is being sign there is no cancellation period. This needs to stop asap, i recommend you all to read this article about Mayan Palace:
No matter what is offered to you, DO NOT go to a timeshare presentation at the Mayan Resorts or Vidanta!!!
Recently, for the first time since we purchased this, we actually attempted to use this vacation program. We were appalled to see that what we had was nothing like what we were offered at the high pressure sales presentation we attended in Riviera Maya, Mexico in October 2015. We have owned a vacation program for 16 years with another resort. We have exchanged our week with RCI and have traveled all over the world. We are savvy purchasers and are not easily misled, but sadly we were scammed. In the sales presentation we asked many questions, and some questions various times. Every question or doubt we had regarding the contract was put to ease by the 2 sales persons who dealt with us, Salvador Sosa and Victor Romero. A matter of fact, Mr. Victor Romero, who said he was an attorney for the company, explained the contract to us and said not to worry and that we could call him personally with any questions or problems
We have now realized this whole sales presentation was A SCAM and A FRAUD. The sales people will say absolutely anything, with no morals or ethics, to get you to buy at any means, even if it is an absolute lie.
We found 153 complaints on one website and 432 on another against this merchant and their timeshare sales such as the one we bought. I also found dozens of complaints at other complaints boards, at the better business bureau and dozens of other sites online. If you search online for Vida Vacations or Vacation Privileges or Mayan resorts you will see endless lists of customers who like us were lied to and scammed. Along with your their company name you will see titles such as "rip off", "scam", "they lied to us", "sleazy liars", "misrepresentation", " horrible experience", "fraud". This is a huge problem and there are so many unhappy customers all over the US. We wish we would of found all this out before making this purchase.
We have tried contacting them at many different numbers and have sent letter too. We have spoken to Salvador Sosa, Tania, Melina and others. We have been promised that our calls will be returned and they have not.
Following are some of the things that we were lied about:
1-The cost of the privilege weeks
LIE: We were told repeatedly that privilege weeks were $299 and these figures were used in their calculations of what a bargain this vacation program was.
TRUTH: Privilege weeks ARE NOT $299. They can be as high as $4600.00 and more
LIE: We were told that Vacation Privileges works with thousands of resorts, they wrote down about a dozen resort companies such as RCI, Interval, etc. and that the availability we would have would be amazing and we would be able to pretty much book anywhere at luxury resorts. We have had a membership with RCI for over 15 years and these 2 sales persons made us feel like what we owned was worthless and with their program we would have real inventory of places that are not available though RCI. We were shown a large book full of luxury resorts worldwide and were told these were the places we could book with your program.
TRUTH: The availability is horrendous. The luxurious resorts we were showed are only in the sales book, and it exists ONLY in the sales room. One example our salesperson used of a place we wanted to go to is Tahiti or Fiji. He said with RCI it was very difficult to find a resort there. Then he showed us the "book" of all the wonderful luxury resorts they have there. This week I tried to book something in Tahiti or Fiji with Vacation Privileges. There were ZERO resorts available for 11 months out of 12 (the max time you can search for) and there was only 1 resort available one month at the end of the year and it is very far from being a luxury resort. In comparison, the program we own with RCI had 5 resorts to choose from the whole year.
LIE: We were told that this $3000 could be used as cash towards purchasing our vacations or that they could be deposited to their resorts for expenses while we were at the resort
TRUTH: Savings credits are to be used towards the payment of the weeks and their outrageous prices. So this is a bogus offer. The prices are increased so you can "pay them down" with these "savings credits".
LIE: Again we were told the same endless availability would apply to these instant weeks.
TRUTH: I did a search to see the inventory for these weeks. There were only 41 resorts to choose from at Vacation Privileges. I compared it today with what we own at RCI and they had 729 resorts with 6136 available units. We were shown a book of resorts that are really not available. That was just a scam a MISREPRESENTATION of what they are indeed selling.
LIE-We asked how many days we had to go over everything and cancel if we were not satisfied. We were told the sale was final as it was an "exit sale" and there WAS NO RESCISSION period. A matter of fact the contract does not have a rescission period clause anywhere.
TRUTH: There is a rescission period both in Mexican and US laws. We were lied to about this so that we would think we had no other option.
FUTURE LIE?: We were told that every 10 years we would get another 10 Privilege weeks and 30 instant weeks as long as we continued to pay the yearly $99 subscription with Vacation Privileges.
TRUTH: With all these lies we were told, we highly doubt that after this contract ends we will receive another set of vacation weeks as we were promised. I am convinced this is another lie.
Hopefully you will read this before purchasing and save thousands of dollars and a lot of aggravation. It is sad that with these dirty sales tactics these people ruin a nice resort and a nice vacation spot. No one wants to stay in a place full of crooks!
After negative postings on various sites, I was contacted by the company and offered a solution or settlement that was satisfactory and I am completely pleased with the result.
It is always best to hire someone skilled to do so, unfortunately in most cases these companies dedicated to cancel timeshares usually cheat for the second time to their customers since they are vulnerable and desperate. If you are thinking of hiring them you just have to make sure you do not have to make any payment upfront ... I found these articles that speak precisely about this, you should read them, that might help you to resolve many doubts: