El Cid Vacations Club — Rip-off
My husband and I went to the Mexican Rivera on a Royal Caribbean cruise that my son paid for my husband and me to be with our grandchildren last October. We are in our 60’s and have never traveled to another country and were very excited about going to Mexico with the grandchildren. When we arrived at Mazatlan, we were greeted by a gentleman at the tourist center who said we would be offered a free lunch at an exclusive hotel near the beach if we would go to see a presentation offered by El Cid Vacation Club. He said there were no strings attached. We were docked at Mazatlan for only a few hours, with limited time to sightsee, so my husband and I decided to have the free lunch and go to the presentation.
We were taken by taxi to the hotel to see a presentation and were greeted by two salesmen; Fonso aka “Poncho” Velasquez and Raul Gomez, there is a third salesman but I am not sure about him, anyway his name is Enrique Huerta (Employee ID 0530) because his name is on my credit card application. The salesmen explained how fantastic it would be to be able to go on vacation at their luxury apartments and showed us what the apartments looked like. We explained that we did not want to purchase an apartment for vacation, as we already owned another timeshare. When we purchased our older timeshare we were told that we could cancel in 5 days and they gave us their business cards and personal phone numbers. The salesman explained everything, including the maintenance fees and taxes that could be deducted when preparing our taxes. The experience we had with the Starwood timeshare business in the US was positive and totally different from the way that El Cid handles business.
The salesman proceeded to tell us that that it would be a great deal and we kept on saying no. Then the head salesman said that we could purchase points to go anywhere in the world and would be able to use the points for a cruises too, even having these points rented and make a profit from this membership renting my weeks to wealthy people, it will never happen. This was very intriguing; however, I was not explained exactly how the point system works and not told that additional points would have to be purchased in order to obtain the benefits mentioned. He said it would only cost $8500 to be able to go on a cruise every other year, and said that the year we did not get the points that we would be able to use the membership to go to any hotel anywhere in the world for only $91 dollar per week, which of course seems too good to be true.
When I asked the salesman for his name, he said it would be in our paperwork, but there was no business card, or any information in the packet of information given to us. In addition, I never received the welcome package that was supposed to be mailed to us. Every time you call to complain you’re put on hold and then get disconnected.
When you’re on vacation in another country you’re vulnerable, and you believe the people in that country; you think everyone is there to help you. The salesman said that this offer would complementing the timeshare that we already own and said we could sell the membership at anytime because there was a high demand for the membership. He also gave me an RCI bonus week certificate ($199) & another certificate for a bonus stay, in which you have to pay $470 for a studio apt. – since you have to pay money with these certificates, where’s the deal?. All we heard were lies, which we believed. When I signed the contract I was told that I could not cancel the contract because there is a law in Mexico that you cannot cancel; however, there is a right to cancel – when I read about other people who were scammed by El Cid – they said that you have 5 business days to cancel in Mexico, but El Cid lies and does not mention this fact. When selling a product you should tell the truth and not sell based on lies and deceit!
Unfortunately, I was misleaded about everything, I was told that the 77, 000 points would cover a cruise, airline flights, or a vacation at any of their locations in the world; however, you must purchase additional points to do so. We were told we could sell this membership at any time because of the high demand, but you can’t; we were never told we had to pay maintenance/assessments fees, or that you have to buy additional points in order to get the cruise or vacation. We were taken in and betrayed! What a rip-off! Why would I accept this type of membership in which you must pay to purchase more points, and then pay maintenance fees of $350 or more per year when you can go online and just get a good deal that is much cheaper? Renting does not exist, you can do it by yourself but you will never get what these crooks told you.
After this negative experience, I went online to check out El Cid reviews and read numerous deceitful fraudulent complaints about El Cid. I never knew El Cid had so many negative damaging complaints against them; it’s really mind-boggling that innocent people should be taken in, humiliated and scammed in this manner.
Everything should be explained at the presentation with no lies or pressure. These scammers take advantage of you while you’re on vacation and they dupe and intimidate you to buy something at the spur of the moment that is not what is portrayed to be. It’s unfortunate that while you’re on vacation that you’re considered prey in this type of swindle which should not continue and give Mexico a bad name. There are many wonderful and beautiful things in Mexico, but El Cid is not one of them.
Photos of salesmen are included.
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