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Resolved
Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa ResortsWe Were Scammed

This is a warning to all potential owners considering buying a timeshare, partial ownership house, or other properties from Pueblo Bonito in Mexico. We have a nice "horror story" that has evolved from our experiences dealing with them, after many years of happy ownership. Here's our warning about these professional scam artists.

STAY AWAY FROM THESE CROOKS!
Pueblo Bonito will will screw it's first supporters to make a few more pesos. We are long time owners with multiple different units; a beach front condo, a house at Monte Cristo, and recently the new Governors houses at Nova Spania, in Cabo San Lucas. At first Pueblo Bonito offered product and service that was straight up, honest, and decent.

We first bought into Pueblo Bonito at Sunset Beach while it was a conceptual model on a hill overlooking, what is today a bustling, large, vacation paradise. Looks good on the surface, but for unknown reasons management has taken it's scam tactics to new lows and we want out.

Scam #1: Not Delivering On Promises Made During Sales Pitch
We gladly upgraded from our "Executive" to a "Penthouse", then when they started Monte Cristo we bought again... but their scamming policy had started. We started to notice issues with management years ago, but it was sort of background noise at the time. When we bought, they promised tennis courts at Monte Cristo, as well secure storage and the ever promised, multiple "world class" golf courses.

Ten years later the golf course is actually being developed but ole' the tennis courts and storage turned into more villas. Well we are a little slow, maybe too trusting. Recently, Pueblo Bonito decided to start selling points to owners for the development called Novia Spania, big villas with very good furnishings, eye candy layouts, fine pool, gorgeous kitchens etc. - as you will find out below, that didn't turn out to be what they said it was.

Scam #2: Increasing Maintenance Dues On Existing Owners
We decided to exchange part of our yearly fractional ownership at Monte Cristo ($2, 600 yearly maintenance fee for two weeks) along with a sizable chunk of cash and our one week remaining executive suite for enough points to stay at Novia Spania. So every other year we would stay at Novia Spania or Monte Cristo.

During our negotiations we were assured that our maintenance fee for #13 Monte Cristo would remain in effect. Imagine our shock when the maintenance fee statement demanded $4, 600 for the same two weeks that we had bought while our fractional villa was dirt! We signed the contract without detecting this massive, deceitful increase.

Scam #3: Not Responding To Owners To Resolve Complaints
After pointing the maintenance dues disaster out to them, they realized they never had us sign a cancellation on our old contract, so how there were indeed two contracts in effect with two different maintenance fees. After multiple contacts with multiple people, they finally emailed us that they were going to honor the original agreement.

Months later they STILL have not responded to revise their paperwork, notify their own billing company, or gotten back with us after multiple attempts and months going by. So currently, they have only credited our FULL dues as a partial payment, which reflects that we are the ones with the problem, when they are the ones who messed our ownership up.

Verbal assurances were given, followed by fine print. I trusted Pueblo Bonito NOT to stoop so low.

Scam #4: Uncomfortable Living Conditions & Poor Quality Service
Back up a little... How was the stay at Novia Spania in October 2013, eye candy house? Well, they did NOT warn us that the pool waterfall would run all night, that the entire house air conditioner would not run at all, so if we wanted to be comfortable, head for the waterfall cause the house was running a fever (about 90F) at midnight.

Multiple calls for redress resulted in more calls for a fix that never happened. Maintenance was over $3, 700 for a week of sauna temperatures, blinking lights and a perpetual waterfall. They did not offer to move us into a new unit, offer any discount on the dues paid, give any consideration, or even apologize after our complaints.

While at Sunset I wanted show my family Pueblo Bonito Blanco and have dinner at Cilantro's. I cannot describe how I felt when the service caused all my people to complain. Then they served the fresh Dorado that my sister and I caught that day DESTROYED. Inedible. Blackened straight through. Unbelievable.

The contract does mention "breach of contract" for lack of "efficient" operation, but to who's "efficiency" does it reflect? It was more "efficient" for them NOT to maintain the house in a safe and comfortable manner. Did I mention that my brother was in the master bedroom next to the pool suffering from congestive heart failure? I was glad when we left and went to another time share we own across town with good air conditioning and honest management and far less maintenance fees.

AVOID THESE TIMESHARE SCAM ARTISTS!
Pueblo Bonito: sign with great trepidation, read the fine print, and be warned. We want out of our contract and warn other travelers to avoid this terribly managed company.

Don and Linda BockelmanPueblo Bonito Owners, Since 2001

Responses

  • Ca
    CanadianTravelGirl Jul 10, 2014

    I just wanted to provide an update - what's a story without an ending?
    I never heard back from PB in writing. I did get a response on Twitter, where I was assured someone would reply to me ASAP. Of course, no one did. And when I wrote them again on Twitter, nothin. Now they were ignoring me there too.

    But the GOOD NEWS is that I have received my money back, thanks to Visa. Two days ago, a full refund was credited back to my card after I sent them documents showing my emails, and scans of all the documents I received in person at the resort.
    I never thought I'd be so happy with a credit card company. :P

    0 Votes
  • Pa
    paybackit Jun 25, 2014

    Pueblo Bonito Universal Points are ultimately redeemable for resort nights (time) and therefore constitutes a Timeshare.

    The 'deposit' or 'earnest money' or 'down payment' or by any other phrase or name is a portion of the Purchase Price and can not be excluded from the 5 day, Article 56 revoke protection.

    1 Votes
  • Ca
    CanadianTravelGirl Jun 16, 2014

    I am also in the process of trying to get my money back from Pueblo Bonito.
    My story:
    We’re in Mexico and are returning to the Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach resort, where the day before I had been talked into signing up for a time share.
    Oh, I’m sorry – they call it something different – they call it a “membership”.
    I ask Eddy, the manager at the sales centre at Sunset Beach, if I can please get my money back: it has been less than 24 hours, the charge won’t have even been posted yet. Eddy says no.

    I can cancel my contract, sure! But get my deposit back? No.

    I purchased 200 “points” from them the previous day, the details of which are all very confusing. The required deposit was over $5000.

    So I asked if there was some sort of grace period, but he insists that there is not. And this is where I have a real problem because he was either wrong or lying. Because there absolutely is an unwaivable law for exactly this situation that I feel quite sure that he’s fully aware of.

    But I didn't know that at the time, all I know is that I can’t afford to lose $5000. So I ask if I can buy fewer points instead: can I buy 100 instead of 200 and get a portion of my deposit back and have a much smaller balance to pay. He says yes and goes to process the paperwork. When he comes back to the table, though, I find that he still won’t give me any of my deposit back even though the required deposit for 100 points is just over $3000.
    I walk out of the resort, a bit stunned, with new paperwork, $5000 short and a “membership” that I have since read is notoriously sketchy in terms of giving you the “bonuses” they give you to sign up.
    And my biggest problem is that a man sat across the table from me, while I was crying on my holiday, and not only refused to refund my money less than 24 hours after giving him my credit card information but lying to me about the legality of the situation. Because here is the real deal:
    As per IAW Article 56 OF LEY Federal de Protección al Consumidor, which states: “The contract will be perfected within five working days from the delivery of, or the signature of the contract, which ever occurs the latest. During this period, the consumer will have the right to revoke his consent without any responsibility. The revocation will have to be by means of warning or delivery of notice, in person, by registered mail, or another method of average reliability. The revocation according to this article, will terminate the contract. In this case, the costs of shipping and insurance will be the responsibility of the consumer. If the contract is for services, this article will not be applicable if the date of receipt of the service is less than ten working days from the date of the order of purchase.”)
    And the law? Not waivable by the consumer. So even if the contract says, “I waive all my rights under Law suchandsuch or whateverandever” and you sign it, STILL NOT VALID!

    When I learned this information, I sent an email to the company with all that information, asking for my money back. Five days later, I sent a second email. Four days after that, another one to a new email address I found.

    Then I got a phone call. Barbara from Pueblo Bonito member services called me to tell me that the law I’m quoting isn’t valid. Why? Because they aren’t a time share, doncha know? They’re a “membership” somethingerother. She said the only way to cancel the contract AND get my deposit back would be if they violated the terms of the contract as it’s written. But don’t worry guys, she did offer me the opportunity to cancel WITHOUT getting my money back.

    I have never received any written response from PB. I emailed once again on June 10th and still nothing.
    In the meantime, PROFECO has confirmed that I am entitled to a refund and have suggested I file a formal complaint with them, which I will do. I have also been in touch with Visa, who have also confirmed that I can file a dispute to get my money back through them.
    I will update if anything happens from PB's side or if I get anywhere with Visa.

    0 Votes

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