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Royal Holiday Club / scammed by royal holiday club!

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My wife and I got scammed in buying a vacation membership in mexico in 2004. We attended their so called presentation. After the presentation we explained to them that we owned at timeshare else where and couldn't afford double the maintenance fees. They brought in a fellow named mr. Waller (So called trade in specialist).

He told us that they would purchase our timeshare for x amount of $ and that the proceeds from this transaction would pay for our membership with money to spare and that this transaction would take no longer than 90 days.

We were also give a coupon which we could trade in for a certificate redeemable in 30 years for the value of the membership bought, but to much of our surprise, and it was not explained to us at the time of purchase, on the back of the certificate it said (If the clubs operating rules were not followed, did not make fee payment and other details, this certificate would be null and void). This certificate according to royal would be just like getting your money back on the purchase so the membership would cost nothing.

When we arrived home I was in constant contact with royal time and time again, asking them when the proceeds from the timeshare would be available so we could pay off our membership, all I got was the run around and (We'll check on the progress and get back to you.) this went on for quite some time with no positive action on their behalf and pleading with them that time was of the essence and the 90 days were coming up fast and if we didn't receive these proceeds, we would be stuck making monthly payments we couldn't afford. Then we received a form from a resort service (Contacted by royal) saying they would list our timeshare for a one time fee, (This was when we new we had been lied to about the purchase of our timeshare by royal).

I contacted royal again and asked them what this was all about and they said they do not purchase timeshares. A year had passed and we never used our membership so in nov 2005 I wrote royal a letter stating I wanted to cancel our membership with them and our account was paid in full and our fees were paid up to dec 5 and we would no longer be accountable for any more fees or charges what so ever. We never heard back from them. Next I got a phone call from concord servicing saying I owed fees for 2006 and special hurricane assessment, I told them that I had canceled my membership and would not be paying anything.

I then contacted royal again and told them about the phone call and for them to notify concord not to bother us again and that I canceled my membership in nov 2005.

I've been in constant contact by e-mail with royal about this problem and all they tell me is you cannot cancel your membership you signed a contract for 30 years and if you do not pay, you will be contacted by their collection agency. I told them that their contract was misleading, fraudulent, one sided, all for the company and not for its members. I've been lied to, scammed, told untruths, broken promises, just down right blackmail.

People beware of these scammers... They will do anything to mislead you, tell lies, use fraudulent practices, high pressure sales, and just make your life a nightmare...


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A  28th of Dec, 2006 by 
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I couldn't agree more.

I had the same experience from the RHC salesperson. I thought I was ready for it. I had the logical sense why this was not a good deal. The salesperson added in a lot of things that weren't part of RHC to entice me. I asked for the RHC club rules book to review it before we met back up the next morning, but he wouldn't give it to me to review (big mistake on my part).
I am currently trying to dump my RHC membership and would like a tip on the best way to do so.

A  28th of Dec, 2006 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Has anyone ever successfully cancelled their membership with RHC?

I would love nothing more than to be done with this company.

My credit card # they have is set to expire, and I'm seriously thinking about not giving them a new one and testing the waters with their collections agency.
A  10th of Jan, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My wife and I were suckered into RHC in Sep 2002. We have used the program several times: 1 cruise (totally stunk), twice in Cancun (and they try to sell you more....), once in Orlando (dirty accommodations), and once in Las Vegas (by far the best). The reservations desk is horrible - it is difficult to understand partially English speaking consultants. After paying for our entire membership off in full, we started getting coupon payment books in the mail. Thankfully, we received a payoff in full letter from the Miami finance company, which was forwarded to the current finance company. All in all, this was a learning experience.... never again! I am looking to sell the membership, but I can't find any company to sell it from without asking for advertising fees or other form of fee. I would be willing to sell at a discounted price to avoid any further out of pocket costs. Those fly-by-night telemarketers prompting to sell my membership for as little as $200. are nothing more than scam artists.... Not one has been able to convince me that their service is reliable, and can provide me money without any additional costs on my end. For example, say if I wanted to sell my membership for 13K. They could sell it for whatever they want, just as long as they send me 13K. They tell me that my membership is worth $20K plus.... okay, then sell it and send me $13K. Whats the problem? They could make $7K plus profit.... "But we need your credit card number." No you don't - send me a certified check in the mail!!!! Once it clears, then I'll release the membership via a trusted third party.
A  19th of Jan, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
While vacationing in the Bahamas in 8/2004, my Fiancé and I signed a contract for membership with the Royal Holiday Club (RHC). The contract was to provide a service for lodging and other benefits which form part of the club’s vacation plan. After several months of problems with getting accommodations, we stopped sending $722.00 monthly payments per our contract. We tried to arrange trips with Royal Holiday for vacations only to be given the run around and excuses for why we could not be accommodated. We tried several times to get accommodations in Atlantic City, NJ only to be told by the Royal Holiday Representative that Brigantine Beach Resort was booked for up to a year. Prior to signing the contract at the orientation, we told the Representative that we frequent Atlantic City often and wanted to know if RHC was flexible in providing accommodations to Atlantic City. We were assured that RHC was very flexible and we would have no problems with getting accommodations. Boy, what a lie. We were intentionally misled into believing that we would be able to get accommodations with no problem. We have encountered nothing but problems trying to use this plan. On another occasion I called to get accommodations in Atlantic City and was told that the closest they could get us was Connecticut, which is about 200 miles North of Atlantic City. In 2004, I called to get accommodations at Disney World for my Grandson's birthday in 3/2005 and was told that they did not have accommodations in Disney World, but they could get us accommodations in Cancun at some point. What happened to the flexibility that they discussed during the orientation? We have tried on numerous other occasions to get accommodations with RHC with no success. We were paying $722.00 on time each month and still paying out of pocket for our vacations because we could not use the (total contract cost $29,000) travel package with RHC. My experiences with them have been so frustrating that I refuse to deal with them any further. During a conversation with a RHC Representative in 11/2004 when trying to get accommodations, I was told that they will only give us accommodations if we paid the annual fee which was not even due at the time I tried to make accommodations (another excuse). After we returned home from our vacation, RHC kept calling trying to pressure us into paying our account in full. I finally told them not to call my home again. To date, we have paid Royal Holiday $9,416.00 and have received no services from them. We refuse to continue paying Royal Holiday and still pay out of pocket for our vacations. They have also ruined my credit by sending my name to the credit bureaus. It doesn’t matter that they have breached the contract; they want us to continue paying them per the contract. We want nothing more to do with RHC.

In 11/2006, we referred our case to the BBB of Southeast Florida. The BBB Representative sent our complaint to RHC and they refused to reply. RHC refuses to put anything down on paper. Their Representative (Tony Hernandez) will only harass and try to intimidate us over the phone. Our case was closed with the BBB on 12/20/2006 due to RHC’s refusal to respond to the complaint. The BBB referred me to another agency and provided the following information: “Based on BBB files, this company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau due to unanswered complaints regarding contract and selling issues. Consumer complaints state misrepresentation and high pressure selling practices, failure to disclose conditions of the offer and verbal representations not consistent with written terms of the contract. The company has a pattern of failure to eliminate basic cause of complaints and a pattern of no replies to customer complaints brought to its attention by the Bureau. The Bureau processed a total of 158 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total 158 complaints in the last 36 months, 81 of those were closed in the last 12 months.”

I have also submitted complaints to my Congressman and Maryland State Attorney General. We are senior citizens and we thought that RHC would be a good deal for us after retirement. We also mentioned to the RHC Representative that we planned to travel after we tired. He assured us that this would be a great deal if we planned to travel. Boy were we fooled.
A  14th of Feb, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
To anyone who may be considering dealing with Royal Holiday Club to purchase one of their vacation plans, we would like to issue a warning to be very careful in your decision. We want to relate our experience.

My husband and I purchased one of their vacation plans while vacationing in Cancun, Mexico in January, 2006 for $15,000.00. The salesperson had all kinds of high pressure tactics while we were sitting there, as my husband and I were not truly convinced at the time this was a great idea. Every time we were unsure about something, the sales lady came up with another gimmick or reason why we should buy - eventually we did.

My husband and I usually travel about 2 to 3 times per year and sometimes it's planned 2 to 3 weeks before the vacation - Royal Holiday assured us this would be no problem. IT IS A PROBLEM. Just recently I called to make reservations to either the Bahamas or Miami and you guessed it, no availability for the dates we want to travel. Last August, when we traveled to San Francisco, they did not have availability either, and I called a couple of months ahead for that. It's not flexible to the person who purchased it, if Royal Holiday is telling you when you have to vacation or where you have to vacation.

The saleslady also showed us a book with all the RCI resorts and failed to mention that's an extra maintenance fee for that every year. She just told us that those were also resorts we would get to choose from as well as they work with Royal Holiday. She told us we would get our $15,000 back at the end of a 30-year period. My husband and I thought that sounded like a good idea. How could you lose, right? We are finding out through posts on several boards this is not true.

She also said if we were completely unhappy, that all we had to do was contact Royal Holiday and they would sell the timeshare for us - I did this and guess what? They don't sell timeshares or buy them back. The guy I was speaking to couldn't understand why the saleslady would tell me that.

I'm going to report these people to the BBB, PROFECO and any other agency I can think of. They are taking advantage of people on vacation who are just trying to relax and have a good time.
A  29th of Mar, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I am so glad you wrote this up so well. I am creating a file of all of the complaints I find as I am doing a dispute through my credit card company for $23,000.00 which I paid in full. I received a box of coupons which look fairly worthless to me. I can get the same deals with travel companies without having to have paid $23,000.00.

The sales reps at Puerto Vallarta Holiday Inn did not tell me there was a 5 day cancellation period by Mexican law. I am going to file with PROFECO and www.econsumer.gov. Plus, I have the credit card company disputing the charges. I changed my credit card number so they cannot charge the annual maintenance fees. I sent them a letter stating I'd be happy to send their box of coupons back.

I have made no attempt and don't plan to based on many internet complaints to use this club.

The high pressure sales is a nightmare during vacation when sales resistance is down.
A  9th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
My husband and I bought the RHC package in March 1999. We paid roughly 23,000 dollars for our package. We have paid our yearly maintenance fee of $445.00 for the last seven years, plus an extra hurricane fee in 2006. That comes to about 28,000 dollars thus far. That's a whole lot of money considering we've only been able to use them for our vacation travels 3 times since we bought it. Every other time they either had no availability or the hotel is under renovations on the dates we want. RIGHT!!! We were also promised many extras if we signed on the dotted line. NOPE , never received any of them. We were also told that our 15,000 credits we get each year would roll over to be added to the next year if we didn't use them. If we didn't use any credits for several years, we could collect enough credits to take a cruise without buying any extra ones. Well we decided to wait and let our credits build for this purpose. Guess what! After not traveling anywhere for 5 years, (which was a little longer wait than I wanted, but then again getting reservations with these guys is impossible) my husband and I figured we had plenty of credits for a really nice 10 day cruise to Hawaii. You figure 15,000 credits times 5 years is 75,000 credits right? WRONG!!! When we tried to book our cruise we only had 30,000 credits. We called RHC and asked what happened to the rest, they told us credits roll over for only 1 year. WHATEVER!!! My husband has tried numerous times to cancel our membership, but are told we are liable for the yearly fee until the 30 years is up. I don't know what to do to get away from this scamming company, but just think of what kind of vacations we could of gone on for the money we have basically thrown away to RHC. My family still go on trips, but we never travel RHC, we pay out of pocket on top of our annual membership fee. What a ripoff. With all the people that have had problems from the company, why isn't something being done to put these liers and frauds out of business?
A  18th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
It seems a lot of us have been scammed by timeshares sellers, then by those who will sell or rent your timeshare, and finally if you pay a fee ($3000.00 & up - Yes, but I cancelled in 3 days and got my money back) they will take it off your hands for good with the promise that you can report it on a Schedule D (Form 1040) Capital Gains and Losses. Yes, your obligation is gone, but deducting off your taxes, another lie. Since then, I was told you can donate it to well recognized chariable organization and deduct it off your taxes. I have checked with my accountant, but haven't heard back yet. Has anyone heard or done this.
A  22nd of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
It is important to warn anyone and everyone about BookIt, Royal Park, Royal Holiday, and everyone involved in the scam.

Research these companies before doing business with them.
A  22nd of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
It is set up to be a bait and switch. It begins by telling clients it would cost twice as much, and then cut the cost in half, sometimes remove the 10% sales tax, then discount the closing costs. That is just the beginning. After that is all the free things you are going to get if you sign today. Then if you put the whole amount on a card, a bigger discount. Greedy people fall for it. Then want others to feel sorry for them. It is like they say, a fool and their money is soon parted.

Park Royal, Royal Holiday, and others in the business have this down to a science. It is calculated and staged all the way. The only way to prepare targets is to inform them before they go. But, that won't happen.

Sometimes PROFECO is successful. But the sooner you act the better your chances. There have been credit card companies who have taken money back, but it is important to document the fraud. Mexican fraud takes a lot of work to get out of once you fall for the bait.
A  24th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I invite you to join our yahoo group Royal_Holiday_scam@yahoogroups.com
I formed it in 2001 after being scammed myself.

I must say that each of the accounts above sounds like a carbon copy of the 400 members of the group. We have tried several avenues to get the word out including a television show aired in Washington DC. Bottom line: They are a Mexican company with no legal recourse available to you. They do not have a law suit system and only respond to pressure from PROFECO. However, they do contract out to US based collections agencies to scare people into paying the fees. It is sending good money after bad. Members of the yahoo group have been successful with a few avenues when actively and aggressively pursued in a timely fashion.

Feel free to check the group out and join if you need advice or support.

Good Luck,
N  24th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
This is how I was warned about how I was being set up by a bargain vacation through BookIt.com. I am very glad for the warning. I am now telling others to say,"NO!" to the presentations. Thanks for getting the word out, and I hope you all get your money back.

Has anyone thought of getting legislation through your local congress representatives making travel agencies who sell packages to resorts who have timeshare presentations have to show that their clients have been completely warned of the risk of vacationing there? I don't know, but I am thinking about how to let others know before it is too late.

I think credit card companies, travel agents, and others who know about these scams should be responsible to warn unsuspecting vacationers about the set up. The American companies who are getting rich working with these scammers should have this job given to them. Just an idea. Thank you all again for the heads up!!
A  24th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
The contracts usually don't even mention the Mexican law's five day cancellation policy, which is similar to the US "Cooling off period." Instead they will put in a clause to mislead Americans, saying that there is no reconsideration period. This is to delay any action so that they will believe there is no chance to get out of the contract, once they become aware of all the other misrepresentations. You are right, that there needs to be ways to tell people before. If that can't be done posting web sites that make people aware that they are not alone can alert others to act as soon as possible. Unfortunately, most of the victims Royal Holiday release when they prove they have been scammed are put under gag orders, and they are forced to take down the web sites. Squeaky Wheel has a policy that if the dispute is resolved the complaint is removed, or after a year it just expires and goes away. It would be nice if the posters would update the sites as they learn more. The user boards are great once a person is aware they need help. MSN, Yahoo, even postings on AOL user groups give the best steps to use to recover money. Once you realize that MasterCard has actually taken money back for the company even though it is in a foreign country hope comes back. PROFECO, though slow, has helped hundreds of Americans, and Canadians, as well as even Mexicans get the money back. I agree, the American government has to take action where they can and that is with the American travel agencies, and other companies making money from this, even the airlines who are transporting victims. If information warning tourists of what the presentations really are was given out, there would be less time fixing this later. Don't give up, you are not alone, the Internet is full of many people who can encourage you. Also, if you have already been through this, help others. Squeaky Wheel is only $5.00 for a year, and you can share things that will help someone. These complaint forums also are ways to let others know what to do. There will always be new members to this vacationless club.
N  24th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Oops, above I had a typo, Mastercard has taken money back FROM Royal Holiday. I accidentally typed for the company. Sorry. People have gotten money back through credit card disputes. American Express seems to be the worst though.
N  25th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
This isnt about Royal Holiday Club but I was conned out of £1000 by a similar company operating in Mallorca, luckily I was able to cancel the full contract when I realized it was all a con. I decided to fight back by making a warning about holiday clubs with an animated reconstruction of my experience :


Please pass the link on to anyone you want to warn about holiday clubs, and feel free to post your experiences there (but dont post the club name, this is about holiday clubs in general)
A  25th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Other companies do the same thing as Royal Holiday Club, which runs the Park Royal Resorts located in many cities, especially in Mexico. There are many people in South Florida who have reported them to the BBB there because they have offices there. These are often all inclusive resorts in beautiful beach cities. They give the attendees to the presentations alcoholic drinks, show them inflated rates, then offer them "deals" that have to be signed TODAY. If your credit card does not help you they are saying this kind of practice is ethical. Also, in Mexico there is a five day period where you can cancel. IF your credit card does not recover your money if you have tried to cancel according to the law, they are also violating and ignoring the law. Stand up for your rights. Many feel helpless because the company hides across the border. You are not helpless. Get the information you need by visiting the sites listed above and the links on those sites and take action as soon as you can.

The easiest thing to do is to know before you go on vacation. These presentations are fraudulent, scams meant to take as much of your hard earned money as they can.
A  27th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I am still under the 5 day business cancellation. Do you guys think I can cancel and get my money back?

N  27th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
Yes, but document everything. Send registered letter now. Send e-mail to Royal Holiday today, call your credit card, and tell them you have a five day cancellation period under Mexican law. Submit the fraud complaint now too since as you will see from other cases they deny ever hearing from you.
A  27th of Apr, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Thanks Mandy.

I am on it right now and hopefully I can get my money back. I will post experience/results later.

A  1st of May, 2007 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Everyone who has been scammed by this should write the State Department and their congress representatives to put out a travel warning. I would think PROFECO would have a travel advisory out, they have to spend a lot of their resources on these complaints. They should have airlines pass out the advisory with the immigration forms before they land. Also, cruise ships should pass out warnings with the morning news as they arrive in destinations like Cozumel where their travelers get molested and scammed. If people were given a flayer telling them not to sign any contracts before researching the company there would be less victims. Also, it people were told, if you have signed a contract, you have five days under Mexican law, five business days, to cancel more people would be aware of the scam and the rights they have been denied. We need to get the people we pay to protect us to get on this. If they don't know what a problem it is, we need to make sure they do. This is how we will put them out of business!

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