Villa del Palmar Flamingos Timeshare — Fraudulent, deceptive sell practice
We are a family living in Orange County, California, USA. We recently had a vacation to Puerto Vallarta Mexico on August 26th, 2008. We became a victim of timeshare fraud and ask you to please help us get our full refund deposit of 3, 075.00 USD and cancel our membership.
This is a summary of what happened. We will send with this letter a detailed timeshare cancellation request we sent to the timeshare company.
We booked a vacation package with Expedia.com. On August 26th, 2008 we landed at Puerto Vallarta Airport and were greeted by a group of people called themselves Expedia.com. With so many lies and deception, fraudulent and misleading information, they took us to “the presentation” and pressured us to sign a timeshare contract. We called, emailed to rescind our contract on September 1st, 2008 when we were still within five days cancellation period as allowed by Mexican law. We had to call back and forth between the resort and the San Diego office up until September 7, 2008 at 8:45am when the resort personnel named Ivon Zuno finally contacted us and stated that they cannot cancel our membership since it passed the five- day cooling period and offered us to buy another timeshare which they called a down grade package from what we signed up for.
We wanted to cancel the timeshare membership and get full refund of the deposit. However, they again used tricks and lies to refuse to do so.
Please help us.
The timeshare company is: Villa del Palmar Puerto Vallarta
Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio
KM 3 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco MX 48300
The resort Villa del Palmar Flamingos is where we have the timeshare with has the same address. Tel: [protected], Fax: [protected]
Their San Diego office: Universal Vacation Club
404 Camino del Rio South, 4th Floor
San Diego, CA. 92108
Cancellation Request to Timeshare:
We are hereby requesting cancellation of our timeshare membership at Villa del Palmar Flamingos, Nuevo Vallarta since it was based on illegal sales practices and fraudulent, misleading information. This is the follow up from the previous request for cancellation sent via e-mail on September 1st 2008 to sale representative and assistant manager Ron Naylor.
We came to Puerto Vallarta Mexico for a vacation on August 26, 2008. When we just came out of the baggage claiming area to find our transportation service (E-Mark) that we also booked via Expedia.com Travel Service, we were stopped by a group of well-dressed people behind one of the counter who called themselves Expedia Representatives. One young lady came out and said that the ride was coming and in the meantime wanted to invite us to a presentation. We told her that we were not interested in timeshare. She repeatedly reassured us that it was just a 75-minute presentation at a newly built hotel resort and that there was nothing to sell there. She added that they only asked us to “share the opinion about the resort to make their service better.” In return we would receive discount on tickets to Pirate Show and a free Tropical Tour for the whole family. She asked us 100 USD deposit for the Pirate Show so she could reserve seats for us.
The next day we came to the resort (Villa del Palmar Flamingos Nuevo Vallarta). First thing they asked was our credit cards. We immediately became alert and wanted to go home. However a lady called herself Member service supervisor came and she reassured us that she just wanted to know which credit card company (not the card number) so she could get the reimbursement because the presentation was “sponsored by credit card companies” as she stated. We believed her and came back in. There was another lady took us to a breakfast then came back to the room. We were showed on a computer a 5 minutes presentation about the resort. Then she took us to a table and a sale person named Ron Naylor came. I told him that I did not want to buy timeshare. He, like the young lady at the airport, told me that it was not timeshare. According to him, it was actually a very good financial investment and we could write off tax on it.
We still can’t understand why a professional sales and marketing organization would jeopardize their reputation by purposefully trying to deceive potential clients as we feel we have been deceived. By leading us astray with false information and trying to prevent us from reconsidering our decision, you have not given us any reason to expect this from you.
We are hereby requesting you to rescind our contract since we had requested for cancellation within 5 days and most importantly it was based on illegal sales practices and fraudulent, misleading information.
1) We were told by the salesman/assistant manager Ron Naylor that it was a new kind of investment and we could write off tax on it but we found out later that it was really just a timeshare service. This is misleading information. He falsely told us that we could easily put the unit up for rent and could earn $780 to pay for the annual maintenant fee. We later found out that it was not guaranteed and it was really hard to rent and that we could receive less a 35% marketing cost. We received so many lies.
2) We were told that the maintenant fee was 520 USD a year but we found out that the fee will increase yearly up to 20% of the preceding year.
3) We were told by Ron Naylor that because you “have so many members from the US” so that you have stationed an office in San Diego for better service and that if we have “any issue at all”, we should call the San Diego Office and “they will take care the rest.” However, when we contacted them on September 1st, 2008, the only answer we got was that we had to call the resort to cancel. We immediately called the resort using the numbers provided in the package [protected]; [protected]/2098/2093). First two times we got no answer. Third try we talked to a lady who could only speak very limited English and she transferred us to a voice mail of a person named “Chris Vagar.” We did leave a message there. Fourth try we got another lady who then transferred me to a voice mail in Korean language. We were very frustrated. The next day September 2nd, 2008, we tried to call the San Diego office again and ask for the address and phone number of the resort [protected]). I called the number and talked to a lady named Elizabeth. She told me that the “Flamingos1 timeshare team was closed.”
4) We were told by Ron Naylor that we could cancel the membership anytime but then when we got home we found out in the back of the contract (which we were not showed at the time of signing) that we had to cancel within 5 days. We were intentionally lied to, to make us to miss the 5 day limit but fortunately we were still in that limit. We started calling and emailing Ron Naylor on 9/01/2008 (day 3) but never got a respond from him until 9/06/2008. The next day 9/07/2008 we received a lot of phone calls from Ivon Zuno, one of the timeshare service personnel, stating that we could not cancel the membership because it passed 5 days. She then tried to talk us into buying another timeshare package that she called a down-grade package from the one we had. We know we are not the only ones to have felt as misled as we do and we know we aren’t the only ones to have requested and received a full refund. We have already been in contact with people who have gone through this similar experience. We believe we should have no argument from anyone about this action since we make this request within the 5 days allowed by Mexican Law. We expect the refund due to us as prescribed by law and expect it in a timely manner.
IAW Article 56 of ARTICLE 56 OF LEY Federal de Protección al Consumidor. (Article 56 of the Federal Consumer Protection Law 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.”
We are aware that our right to cancellation and a full refund is non-waivable (the buyer cannot give it up) and even if the buyer is convinced to sign a document to give it up (waive the right) that waiver is not valid and the buyer still has the 5 day right. Any argument you have claiming that our enrollment fee is non-refundable is invalid according to Mexican law and this has been verified with PROFECO.
Any attempt by you to refuse this request will be forwarded to PROFECO.
5) Ron Naylor also told us that the purchase was under California law and we are protected by California law. In fact, this contract is operated under Mexican law, which we found out later on when Ron Naylor led us to another office down stair away from the sale office where they kept our children. We questioned Ivon Zuno about this. She said, “You are now in Mexico. It is Mexico law. Just signed this. There’s no way you can change your mind now.” We were pressured to sign all these documentations. For the safety of our children, we made no further attempt but bitterly signed these unwanted documents so we could safely return to our hotel. It is illegal to pressure consumers into signing contracts. We decided that the safest way was to wait until we were back to the US and then to call for cancellation. We know that the salespersons are using scare tactics so we have to sign the papers.
We signed the contract only after the outright fraudulent lie about the cancellation period, other lies, half truths and omissions, and the scare tactics.
We request you to please cancel our contract number G [protected]-000 and credit us full amount of the deposit of 3, 075 USD. We will then return any original documents you so request. We will be sending this document through the mail and carbon copy the addresses below.
We feel it is our duty to tell you that we have started a dispute with our credit card company, and have started a claim with the California Office of Attorney General Consumer Protection Agency who will be contacting you directly in the next few weeks.
We will also be filing a case with PROFECO, US Dept of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission – Bureau of Consumer protection, Embassy of Mexico, Expedia.com.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We hope this unpleasant situation will be resolved in the next few weeks.
Enclosed: copy of cancellation email sent to Ron Naylor on September, 1st 2008
Universal Vacation Club – UVC
404 Camino del Rio South, Fourth Floor
San Diego, CA. 92108
ResortCom International, LLC
UVC’s Management Co.
404 Camino del Rio South, 4th Floor San Diego, CA 92108