Universal Vacation Club / Villa del Palmar Flamingos — Deceptive Timeshare sales
DONT BUY A TIMESHARE FROM VILLA DEL PALMAR / UNIVERSAL VACATION CLUB.
We own several timeshares and love to vacation in Mexico. We were at Villa del Palmar Flamingos in Nuevo Vallarta in April 2008. We were approached for the timeshare sales; we went to get the “discounts” and made it clear from the beginning that we were not interested because we already owned enough timeshares. The two sales people we dealt with were Jimmy Munoz and Alberto Garcia. To make a LONG story short, we were told they would sell our existing timeshare if we purchased one of theirs. They wanted to sell us a studio unit, summer season. We told them we would never use or trade a studio because it is too small for our family. They said, “of course you won’t use it, that is why you rent it and make 2 or 3 times your maintenance fees”. They explained we would get a letter setting forth our maintenance fees with an option to check the box that said, “rent it”. Thereafter, they would rent it and we would get the money. Furthermore, if we ever wanted to vacation there, we would be Gold members of Universal Vacation Club and could reserve and pay for whatever size unit we wanted. They knew we wanted a 2 bedroom or larger, and said we would just reserve one and pay for the use of it at our special discounted rate. (After returning to the states, I called to see if we could reserve a 2 bedroom unit for a future vacation and was told we could only do that 60 days in advance. This is not what we were told, we were told that we belonged to a fractional ownership club and would have access to different size units as long as we paid the discounted rental fee. We were never told that we could only do that 60 days in advance. Again, one more reason that the studio is something we will never use.)
So, now that we believed they were going to buy our existing timeshare, we could rent the timeshare we were going to purchase and we would have access to units of all different sizes as long as we paid the rental fee, we were ready to work out the details. We worked out how much we would pay and how much they would buy our timeshare for. We expected to walk away with a check from them because our timeshare was worth far more than the one we were buying. When we thought the deal was done, they informed us that we had to buy theirs first and in a separate deal they would sell ours. After more discussion, they convinced us that buying their timeshare was a good deal because we could rent it out, reserve units of different sizes during the time of year we liked to vacation, etc. They told us we would meet in the morning to sign the contract to sell our timeshare. They lowered the price of their timeshare and in return, we agreed to pay them more commission on selling ours. We thought that was good because it gave them more incentive to get ours sold. They also promised that if it didn’t sell in one year, they would buy our timeshare at the agreed price. Just before we went to the “closing” room, they told us that we could not tell anyone that we were purchasing the Villa del Palmar timeshare solely because they promised to sell our existing timeshare. In fact, we couldn’t even talk about the fact that we had an agreement for them to sell our existing timeshare. That made me nervous, but “they do it all the time, don’t worry, we will take care of you”.
The next morning, we met for breakfast and we signed an agreement for them to sell our timeshare or buy it out in 12 months. When we asked for a copy of the agreement, they said they “couldn’t make a copy now, but we would receive a copy along with other paperwork in the mail in 30 days”.
Needless to say, 30 days passed and no paperwork in the mail. However we did get the maintenance fee statement and when I called to find out how we could rent it, I was told that we couldn’t because that request had to be made a year in advance. So, now we are paying maintenance fees on a unit we will never use or trade because it is too small for our family.
I started e-mailing the sales people from Villa del Palmar in July with questions as to when they were going to contact us to sell our timeshare. About 2 weeks ago I finally got a call from someone from Regal Timeshare sales and rental. The lady told me that my salesperson had asked her to call me and that since I was referred to her, she would not charge me the large commissions and give me the corporate deal, so I only had to pay her $661 to list my timeshare for sale with them. When I explained that I was not supposed to have to pay her because that that was not part of my deal and my sales person said he was going to take a commission, she said there was no other way to do it. When I asked her about the 12 month guarantee to sell my timeshare, she didn’t know what I was talking about.
If we would have known the true facts, we would nave never agreed to purchase the timeshare from Villa del Palmar.