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Royal Holiday Club / promises & mexican laws broken

1 Merrill, Mexico Review updated:
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Our story begins on a beautiful Mexican evening in Cozumel. It was shortly after dinner, and our family were enjoying the evening together walking around the town square in San Miguel (Cozumel). We were approached by sales representatives from Royal Holiday. We agreed to meet at the Park Royal the next day. We were not interested in purchasing a club membership, but we were interested in looking around the resort for future trips to Cozumel.
We arrived at the Park Royal on the morning of April 5, 2008. We were met by Nico. We went to breakfast with Nico. Our conversation over breakfast was pleasant. We then had a tour of the resort. The property is very beautiful, and has a lot to offer families. Finally, we went to the sales office. During our meeting we were promised:
 Five Years Unlimited usage of the Park Royal in Cozumel. We were told that this was to allow us to reserve any room in the resort, we could reserve as many rooms in the resort as we wanted, use the resort during any season (including prime because that is the only time Wendy can get off of work), and use the resort whenever we wanted with a 30 day notice.
 Ability to accumulate our member points during that five year period for a total of 50, 000 membership points.
 When we visited the Park Royal the only fee that we would have to pay is the all-inclusive fee. Which we were told was $38.00 for adults.
 Our “Membership Purchase and Sale Agreement” states that our maintenance fee for 2008 would be $375.00.

After and hour and a half we walked away, and decided that we wanted to talk without Nico or Gina Cordero (Royal Holiday Sales Manger) present. We should have kept walking. Instead we sat by the pool, and did the math. With the promises made, we felt the membership would have all of the amenities we require. We, however, did not intend to join.
Around mid-afternoon, Nico found us by the pool, and asked if we had any questions. We did. We followed Nico back to the sales office. We asked questions to make sure we understood what the membership included. The above points were intensively discussed. We were still not sold. Gina came back to the table and added another 30, 000 membership points as an incentive to sign. When we asked if we could think about it, we were told that this offer was only for the first one- hundred new members. Of these memberships only three were remaining. With much regret, we decided to join Royal Holiday Club.
The next day, we went back by the sales office and the number on the wall was now six. Meaning that there were six memberships left. We had a sinking feeling that we made a mistake.
After returning to the United States, we attempted to formally cancel our membership over the telephone on April 10, 2007. The Royal Holiday representative said that our contract was not entered into the Royal Holiday system yet and the contract information was needed to cancel, but would make note of our call and a representative would call when the contract was available. On April 17, 2007, another Royal Holiday Club representative called and left a message welcoming us to Royal Holiday (obviously our first message to cancel went unheard). When we returned the call, later that day, again in an attempt to cancel, we were told that our “Membership Purchase and Sale Agreement” states that the membership cannot be cancelled by either party. This agreement also states that “The buyer agrees with the legal effects of this agreement…for which there is no reconsideration period”.
We were completely embarrassed and angry about our mistake. We wondered, during many sleepless nights, how could we have overlooked that we had no right to cancel our contract and the verbal promises made by Gina and Nico were not binding? Over the next several months we found out that there were many discrepancies with what we were told and what we were entitled to under our contract. For example:
 Five Years Unlimited usage of the Park Royal in Cozumel cannot be used during the prime vacation season, and the only room available was a studio.
 Ability to accumulate our member points during that five year period for at total of 50, 000 membership points was not true. In fact we can only roll over 20% of our points per year (2, 000)
 In our sales presentation Gina and Nico stated that the all-inclusive fee per person each day was $38.00. When booking our first trip, to return to Cozumel to try to meet with Nico and Gina to get answers about the inconsistencies, the all-inclusive fee we were charged was $78.00 per person per day. This was over double of what we were promised. When we visited the RHC website the published price for the all-inclusive fee at the Park Royal is $60.00 per person per day.
 Our “Membership Purchase and Sale Agreement” states that our maintenance fee for 2008 would be $375.00. We were actually charged $395.00. When we questioned this we were told that the telephone representative could not make a credit to our VISA. So we were out another $20.00.
 Royal Holiday also charged an extra monthly payment to our credit card, but did not subtract it from our balance or the number of payments remaining. This was a two hour phone call to get resolved. The operator agreed that they would not charge us in January because of the extra payment taken in December, 2007. When January came we received a collection call. Another long call with the collection agency and Royal Holiday Club.

We were reserved to the fact that we made a very bad investment, but would work very hard in trying to get our problems resolved. After many stressful and unsuccessful telephone calls to Royal Holiday, we decided to return to Cozumel to meet with Nico and Gina personally to attempt to resolve our problems. Booking our first and only trip was a nightmare not to mention that it cost us $1, 230 more to use our membership than to book through a local travel agent for the same accommodations.
With that said, we were still optimistic that our trip would resolve our difficulties with Royal Holiday. However, to our surprise Gina and Nico were no longer employed at the Park Royal in Cozumel. Instead we met with Susana Nunez and Fernando Vazquez on March 21, 2008. Susana had us fill out a survey. We were honest about our stay and the major frustrations that we have had with our membership. Both Fernando and Susana took notes on the back of our questionnaire and on a Royal Holiday legal pad. Fernando said he would look into our concerns and requested that we return to meet with him the next day because he wanted to get this cleared up and he wanted us to be happy Royal Holiday customers.
Optimistically we returned at nine o’clock the next morning. Fernando did not come with solutions. He came with a plan for us to buy and additional 10, 000 membership points for $9, 995. He tried to persuade us to put it on our credit card with the incentive of up to five years of interest fee financing. He then said we could put it on our credit card, and if within five days we wanted to change our mind we could cancel. We shared with Fernando that we bought our membership last year on April 5th. We called RHC on April 10th and we were told that we could not cancel because our membership was not in the system yet. Fernando replied “you tried to cancel last year.” This quickly ended our twenty minute meeting, Fernando told us he would send us information by email so that we can think about updating our membership. We have not yet received his email or heard from him.
This year upon returning home (March 23, 2008) we were angry and determined to end our relationship with Royal Holiday once and for all. We have spoken to many Americans with fates similar to our own, and have since learned that Royal Holiday Club’s practices are unethical according to the American Resort Development Association, and violate Article 56 OF LEY Federal de Proteccion al Consumidor that states the following: “The contract will be perfected within five working days from the delivery of, or the signature of the contract, which ever occurs latest. Our first and second attempts to cancel were within the five day limit. We have also become aware that our right to cancel and to receive a full refund is not waivable. This right is guaranteed to all buyers even if the buyer signs a contract or form waiving this right. Such clauses in our “Membership Purchase and Sale Agreement” state “This Agreement cannot be canceled by either party, ” The buyer agrees with the legal effects of this agreement…for which there is no reconsideration period, ” and that my deposit and monthly payments are non-refundable are also invalid according to Mexican Law.

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Comments

  • La
      18th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    We had the same experience with RHC at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We purchased a time share Marcjh 4th, 2007 to find out later that the contract cannot be found and not willing to give us opur money back. To make things worse Internationl Leisure Group calls that they are aware we have weeks available if we could sell all we needed was to activate 16 weeks and that we were to get a check within six weeks which would include activation fee and sale. To this date no money of sale or activation fee. I contacted my banking institution toa cancel and have had many problems.

    When we purchased time share we traded another time share valued by their agent at $12, 500. When we start investigating we still own our time share and have to pay maintance fee plus one month I still owed. We could have lost our time share at San Carlos which we have had a great time and no hidden costs or nothing.

    We decided to hire an attorney from Mexico. only one of us went to Mexico City with attorney.

    Per attorney no credit give for trade in, contract not in file, they wanted a copy of my contract but my attorney refused to give it to them. They were surprised to see the attorney in their officre filing a complaint and requesting to cancel contract.

    At the present time attorney is negotiating to cancel contract and to pay for damages such as: broken promises, incomplete contract. fraudulent contract, confidentiality law broken, harrazment and more.

    Please feel free to contact us we would like to have more of us file a law suit and my attorney knows mexican law and is very well informed.

    Sincerely,

    Richard and Laura Ruiz

  • Nh
      10th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    We purchased a bronze membership on July 6, 2008 at the Hyatt in Cancun. But after reading all the complaints about RH, I checked the booklet that was given to upon and notice that for the 10, 000 annual points we purchased. It's only for 2 weekend nights instead of the full 7 day week the salesperson Brian told us. Today is the 4th day, It's so hard trying to get a hold of the right person to cancel our membership and we already mail out cancellation letters and emails, and will try to fax it tomorrow. We even called our credit card to asked to void the transaction. They even closed my current card and will issue a new one, but I worried that even after all this it will will not help us get our money back.

  • Su
      18th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    Could someone please tell us how to cancel our membership? My husband and I are both physically unable to travel, and we do not know what to do...please help!

  • Su
      29th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    can any one tell me how to cancel the membership and/or sell? My husband and I are not able and do not want the membership each year. fee is $500

  • Ro
      22nd of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    My ex-wife and I got screwed out of 10, 000.00 by making the mistake of doing business with RHC. After 4 Bailey's, they had me to the point where they could sell me whatever they wanted. I even asked the sales guy face to face point blank "even for some reason this doesn't work out for us will RHC buy it back from us and he said YES!! In front of the female sales girl and my wife. Six months later, we tried making contact with them and eventually found out that we were not the only people in the Bahamas that had been conned by these people. I tried reaching the owner or manager Siegenthaler and of course he would not return phone calls nor would answer any requests from my attorney.RHC is a SCAM and they scammed me for 10, 000.00. Ron Thompson..

  • Ri
      20th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    We too have had significant trouble with Mexican Timeshares and personnel. The Mexican people per se are wonderful, even some sales people.But I feel some are afraid for their jobs, so when doing sales, they do what they are told and trained for. I believe they also rely on language differences to deny requests that have been made. We have business people in the U.S. that don't like to give money back. We have had acceleration clauses in our contracts and the Mexico City office said they were no longer valid.
    The maintenance fees, and membership fees are double what they are in the states, at least with ours. There is no reasonable reason for that except greed, by Mexican or foreign born managers, I don't know for sure. We had an assessment made due to Storm damage at Royal in Cancun, where we haven' gone in years and which we wouldn't go back too anyhow. If not paid a collection agency would be hired. Lately we received another assessment, now get this, due to the downturn in the economy! I'm afraid this one won't have me sitting down. The All-Inclusive is another farce, a money maker for the hotels and Travel Clubs, RHC and RCI. All pointing there finger at the other guy. This will eventually ruin their business, which will take a long time to recover, but as many big business CEO's in this country, they don't care as long as they get their immediate return which will last them long after the companies and hotels are defunk. An optional All-Inclusive would be O.K. so companies and 1st time travelers might feel more comfortable, but the seasoned traveler where the steady money comes from will go elsewhere. Members weren't told about All-inclusive when they purchased and some units already have kitchens, so Why would they want A-I? Besides, how many young and new travelers will be able to afford increasing airfare, membership- maintenance costs and unit purchase cost on top of mandatory All-Inclusive? At $60 a day per person minimum, it comes to an additonal $840 a week for two. Are they trying to kill me with the chef's choice and watered down tequila? Ridiculous to not see what kind of business that will lead to.
    By the way, I do have a Royal Unit in Ixtapa from Dec 27, 2008 thru Jan 3, 2009, New Years, I paid the All-Inclusive for two, it is a Ambassador and sleeps up to 8 personas. I will make a reasonable deal for the lucky renter, fun time.

  • Sa
      10th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I had also a fraud with Royal Holiday when attended a free breakfast as an opportunity to know the facility at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo in 2004. After hours of harassment they made me sign a contract for 17, 000 dollars. I will always regret this day in my whole live. I will contact www.GonzalezGonzalezLawFirm.com hopping to get some of my money back.

    Attention: The Mexican Law allows "ANY" sale of anything can be cancel if it is claimed immediately 24hrs. You have to contact the PROFECO (Procuraduria Federal del Consumidor) which translates to Federal Agency for Consumers Protection in Mexico. I recommend to immediately contact the local office if you have any customer compliant.

    I would like to create a list of all of the customers that have a similar situation and are interested in joining me to a massive claim against Royal Holiday.

    Saul Martinez
    (saulmtzglz@hotmail.com)

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