The VIP Travel Club / Beware

1 United States Review updated:

BEWARE of this company!! They are frauds who do almost anything to get you to buy their Travel club/Timeshare.

We purchased a travel membership at Hacienda Tres Rios in Playas del Carmen, 30 miles south of Cancun. After over 6 hours of high pressures sales tactics, we signed the contract with Hacienda Tres Rios. We bought 2 weeks per year in a 2 bedroom condo. The models were we shown were beautiful, the resort was gorgeous and the breakfast we were given by one of the restaurants on-site was excellent. They offered us alcoholic drinks but we declined. The longer we stayed there, the lower the price dropped and the better the offer became. Each time we tried to leave saying we were not interested, we were taken to another area with a different person and offered a lower price with even more "extras" thrown in.

The last place we were taken was a private office with the Sales Manager. He said he was going to give us a very special offer of membership in a VIP Travel Club which he offered only to a few select members. This club was an exchange club that had access to over 8 exchange clubs like RCI and Interval International. They had the ability to make an exchange to any resort these and other clubs exchange services the used. When I asked him how many of the members had access to the VIP Travel Club he said about 1% of the members. He told use the club did not have any exchange fees like RCI and Interval International and they would pay for our membership of $69.

As our membership was the very top level rating, we could exchange for the highest & most exclusive resorts. Because we were buying a 2 bedroom unit (the biggest Tres Rios offered), we could exchange for the biggest units another resort had including 3 and 4 bedroom units as an even exchange. We would be giving 1 worldwide week which could be exchanged anywhere in the world and 1 week at our resort or at one of 5 others they owned in Playas de Carmen, Hacienda Tres Rios.

My husband and I were concerned about the annual maintenance fees. Our fee for a 2 bedroom was $645 per year. We were concerned that if we didn't use the weeks, we would still have to pay the annual maintenance fees. This is when we were told he would give us a very special deal. If we did not use our week in one year, they would waive the maintenance fee for that year. We were relieved at this offer and a step closer to buying.

We were told that Hacienda Tres Rios was an all-inclusive resort that included all meals, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and things like scuba diving in their own on-site Cinote, Horseback Riding, use of ATVs, ZIP line riding (which wasn't complete yet) and various other activities. The all-inclusive price was $99/person per day. This was mandatory. We thought, for $99/day we could justify it because scuba gear was expensive and my husband like the included ATV riding through their on-site nature park. The salesman suggested we use 3-4 days at the all inclusive Tres Rios and the other 3-4 days at the Fisherman Resort in Playas del Carmen which did not require the all inclusive fees. We thought that was a great idea.

We were told the membership would not be available for 30 days as they needed time to put our membership into the system, etc. We were also told that this special offer was only good for that day. We were also told that because it was such a rare and uncommon special deal he was offering to us, that we would not be able to cancel the membership after that day. I guess you are giving 5 days to cancel.

When I called the VIP Travel Club a few weeks later, I was told that our membership was not in the system yet. I let them know we were interested in Christmas week and wanted to reserve it as soon as possible hoping we might be in the system early. I was told that since it was January and you could book up to 12 months in advance, there would be no problem in requesting Christmas week once our membership was in the system in a few weeks.

When I called in after our membership became available, I got voicemail. I left a message and no on ever called me back. I tried again, same thing...left message, no one ever called me back. The 3rd call, I got an agent. Of course, I was told that Christmas week and New Years week were not available. But she could get me a studio at the Royal Sunset Club for $562 plus the $85/day per person for the All-Inclusive for Christmas week. As a special promotion they were waiving the extra $200 holiday fee because it was Christmas week.

I was also told that the "All-inclusive" rate for Tres Rios was $149/day per person. How could it have gone up 50% in just over a month??! Plus, for every week I used, it would cost $645.

WATCH OUT when you see these people in the Cancun Airport offering all kinds of free ticket, rental car reimbursements, etc to attend a 90 min presentation. Once you are taken to Tres Rios, you will be very impressed. The resort is amazing and beautiful. You will want to vacation here. But, BEWARE! Read the contract IN DETAIL before signing any thing. Make sure the things you were promised are put in writing! We didn't. It was a BIG mistake.

If it is already to late for you (& you have passed the 5 day cancellation law?), you can contact the American Embassy in Mexico, Office of Citzens Consular Services, Property Unit. [protected] or google for email address. You can also contact PROFECO, it is the Consumer Protection Agency in Mexico. They have a department that handles complaints by people outside of Mexico. They will arrange 3 separate hearings with the company. You will be represented by a PROFECO lawyer and do not have to be present for the hearings. It is a long, slow process but it is all at no cost to the consumer and a wonderful service. We are in this process right now.

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  • Ti
      7th of Apr, 2010

    The tmeshare industry in Mexico is taking almost a Billion Dollars every year from Americans and Candians. They are taking away their earnest money based on lies and misrepresentation. I have collected evidence to support the claims of thousands of people deceived from this company. Share this info with your general attorney, the Federal Trade Commsision, the Consulate of Canada and USA in Cancún as well as any government agency that you believe might be interested in putting pressure in the Mexican Government to stop these companies from scamming more honest people.

    Please visit this website (specially the video section) to know in detail how these companies operate.

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