During our vacation in Cozumel, Mexico, on 11/23/07, my wife and I agreed to view a presentation for a Royal Holiday vacation plan. A sales person gave us a tour through the resort which is pretty amazing in Cozumel, and offered to buy a timeshare from Royal Holiday. We liked what the company offered, but we had no plants to buy anything. Then another salesman (unfortunately, we don’t remember his name) took place and assured us that if we buy the timeshare in Royal Holiday, we will have opportunity to travel around the world spending very minimum using various discounts Royal Holiday offers. He showed us a catalog full of information about hotels and resorts in Europe, Asia and Americas – all belonging to Royal Holiday. He offered us to trade in the timeshares we own, pay difference of about $27,000 and have 30,000 vacation points annually for 30 years. We still were very reluctant to buy.
Finally, “Developer Representative” Victor Maldonado, presented us very lucrative offer: to pay $2,950 plus closing cost to a total of $3,945 and to have contract for seven years. According to him, we would have 30,000 vacation points per year for the next 7 years, plus many more goodies (discount for cruises, two-for-one airfares, bonus-certificates, easy booking, no cancellation fees, etc). There will be no annual maintenance fees, just some co-payment at the time of booking. He said that this program was specially designed to give people “taste” of the proposed plan and encourage them to buy a long-term contract. The best part was that Royal Holiday owns many properties in the countries we wanted to visit, so timeshare will make those visits very affordable. Also comparison of the value we have using our timeshare with that we would receive from Royal Holiday showed significant advantages of Royal Holiday. Everything sounded so tempting that we decided to buy this plan. After signing contract, we were given a kit (box with several brochures, coupons and certificates) and a promise that we can receive the remaining certificates during next years or as we need them. When we asked for the catalog they showed us, we were told that they don’t have it, but we can either order it for $40 or use Royal Holiday website that has all necessary information.
Problems began when we came home and tried to get this information from website – it took us almost two weeks to get our password. But even then we could see a lot of “offers” but were unable to either check availability or make reservation – for any destination and any time we got the same answer: NO RESULTS WERE FOUND. Please try a new search with a different date range or try another destination”.
Brochure from the kit listed just 14 destinations in Central and South America, but nothing in the places we really wanted to go to. And the worst part we discovered when began talking to various Customer Service representatives: we will not receive any additional annual certificates – the only one for 30,000 vacation points is that we have in the kit; we can’t make any reservations now – we have to wait until next year; there is no guarantee that we will be able to go to those nice places we were told – they will try to make booking for us. Even to get this information required a lot of time and patience – phone lines are either busy, or we got transferred to the voice mail, or just got disconnected.
Also, while browsing Internet, we discovered that just one name “Royal Holiday” brings to the screen many sites literally stuffed with extremely negative comments about this company. We understood that we became victims of untruthful liars.
1. Sales presentation was misleading; promises are not supported by contract and following communication with Royal Holiday customer service
2. Instead of discussed timeshare we got just a highly paid booking agent with a very narrow choice of properties
3. Customer service is very poor.
Just recently we found information that it is illegal in Mexico to charge in foreign currency – our contract was in USD.
We sent a letter to Royal Holiday and PROFECO where we disputed the charges from Royal Holiday and requested cancellation of our contract. We also are going to contact as many organizations, web sites and groups as possible with the message – DO NOT TRUST ROYAL HOLIDAY, THEY ARE LIARS AND CROOKS.