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[2012] Help end my sleepless nights - did I get scammed?

paffel22

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My family and I just got back from vacation at the Reef Playacar in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We participated in our first ever timeshare presentation. And after a lot a questions, became a "member" of the resort. The timeshare is through Interval International/Diamond Travelers. We have four floating weeks of travel, comprised of two 2-bedrooms, and two standards. We paid about 3500 upfront, and have to pay the remaining 9000 within two months. It's a 25 year contract.

We can travel to any II property and will pay between 199 and 999 per week for our family of four. (We were told the 999 is comparable to a high end property overseas.) We can also get 40% off of airfare through the travel agency, Diamond Travelers.

We only travel once a year for a week, and prefer all-inclusives. For the remaining three weeks, a marketing firm (RMS) will market the remaining weeks and pay us $2000 for the 2-bedroom, and $900 for each standard. This marketing firm will cost us $599 up front. All maintenance fees were waived.

To us, the math makes sense. However, I am very nervous and would like to know what others who actually have a timeshare think. I have been spending way too much time attemting to research timeshares on the internet. Sounds like there are good and bad... Please help!! -+
 

DeniseM

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You should ABSOLUTELY CANCEL ASAP! You can buy this on ebay for $1.

Cancel NOW, take your time, do your homework, and decide if timesharing is for you - with no pressure.

If you end up wanting this deal after all - You can ALWAYS buy it later, but if you don't rescind NOW - you will be stuck with this until heck freezes over.

More info. about how to rescind (I wrote this for a different resort, but the basics all apply to you) - http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=74493

BTW - You will NEVER rent those extra weeks at that rate, and that $599 marketing fee is just a rip-off ! It is nearly impossible to make a profit renting timeshares in Mexico these days - there is far more supply than demand - this is just a ploy they use to get people to buy more than they can affort.
 
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paffel22

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Thanks for the quick response Denise. I feel so embarrased and literally sick to my stomach that we fell for this scam. We generally do not make decisions on the fly, but the $2k a year return seemed like a good deal.

I've contacted my credit card company to initiate the dispute process. We are outside of our 5 day rescind period for the resort, but am following the process nontheless, as they advised.

Have you heard of any stories of those outside of the 5 day period able to rescind?
 

DeniseM

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Yes - if you appeal to Profeco - a legitimate Mexican Consumer Agency on the grounds that you were lied to - you have a chance.

Profeco is a govt. agency - they are slow - but people do get help from them.

Here is a brochure from Profeco, with more info.

I also think you should pull out all the stops with your credit card company - because telling you that you can rent your TS's for a big profit, and charging you $599 upfront, is pure fraud.

I would pursue both the credit card and Profeco. and also send the rescission letter and make it very clear that you are rescinding on the basis of Fraud. Tell them you post about it on TUG - they don't like the bad publicity at all! ;)
 
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Htoo0

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Listen to Denise, but don't beat yourself up. You have lots of company. Some of us are here on TUG making the best of it. Others never even know what happened which is probably how these companies are able to stay in business. Hope you're able to extract yourself but if not, stick around and learn how to use it. And WARN OTHERS. Education is the key. It just sounds so darn great when you're sitting there enjoying a fabulous vacation that it's hard to say NO! Good luck, I hope you're able to rescind.
 

HudsHut

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Today is Monday. If you didn't already put a rescind letter in the mail, do it today. Don't let anything stop you. Get the process started.

Good Luck.
 

paffel22

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Thanks so much for your feedback and support. I emailed our letter seeking rescintion yesterday and sent it via international registered mail today. I tried contacting the resort via phone yesterday with no success. Our cc company feels that they will be able to walk us through the process.

I'll keep you posted as to the status, as I hope to benefit other TUG members. This website has at least given me some options and direction.

Fingers crossed...
 

DeniseM

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I tried contacting the resort via phone yesterday with no success. Our cc company feels that they will be able to walk us through the process.
You've been robbed and now you think they are going to help you???

This absolutely will NOT happen:
1) You are beyond the rescission period.
2) They have no interest in "walking you through the process" - why would they - they want your MONEY!
3) They will just tell you some more lies...

You need to file an actual DISPUTE with your credit card - don't delay. *Usually a dispute must be in writing. Make it clear that you were defrauded - keep it short and sweet. Don't send them any originals.
 
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Passepartout

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Do you often buy $12,500 worth of something you don't understand? File a dispute with your CC carrier. File a fraud allegation with Profeco. And follow the exact rescission instructions printed in your contract. Even late. It is likely there is a US address to send it to, not the resort where you bought it in Mexico.

Do not call them. They are not your friends.

It might just work, but not likely. You might just be their newest owner, and have 25 years of wonderful vacations ahead of you and the family. If this turns out to be the case, you are among friends here. A lot of TUGgers have awakened too late and realized they did exactly what you did.

Don't lose sleep. Just learn how to use your TS to best advantage. It's value is in it's use, as it has limited-to-no actual cash value. Sorry, but that's what it is.

We wish you well, and Welcome to TUG!

Jim
 

Htoo0

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I was hoping the OP meant the CC company would walk them through the process. Obviously the resort will not.

BTW, yes I do often buy things I don't understand. They're called stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. In fact, it's getting to the point I don't understand the vehicles I purchase either. :p
 

AnnaS

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Good luck. Hope to hear from you with good results. If not, make the best of it and enjoy it.
 

paffel22

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I just wanted to share that we received a notice of cancellation from the Reef Playacar indicating that the full amount would be refunded to us within two weeks.

I expected there to be a bigger battle than this, but thankfully there was not. We received multiple calls from the resort (one saying they would turn us over to collections) and weekly email contact from the marketing firm.

After contacting the cc companies, just had to complete some paperwork, write a letter explaining the situation, and send the contract. Although the money has yet to be refunded, I am hopeful that this is behind us.

Thanks for your help.
 

amycurl

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Congratulations! So nice to hear that you were able to get out of it, even though you were outside of the five days. And good for you for ignoring all of the calls.

Thanks for letting us know. Even better that they didn't make you "rescind" all of the posts talking about them!
 

AnnaS

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Good for you!

Let us know too as soon as you get the refund.
 

siesta

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Great news, please let us know if/when you get your $$$$ back

i wonder if this will make the newsletter =)
 
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channimal

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I'll offer a tentative "congrats" but let's celebrate when your $$'s are actually refunded. The value of the TUG forum and community at work!
 

MandyS

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Hi

I'm VERY new here and need some advice.

We also recently bought at The Reef but have only paid a deposit. Haven't paid the rest that is due.

I've only read this thread and wonder why this is a bad idea? We thought it looked like a good deal/plan?!

I'm obviously a little stupid around all of you that have maybe more insight into why this is a bad thing.....

Your advice would be greatly appreciated :)
 

Luvstotravel

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Hi

I'm VERY new here and need some advice.

We also recently bought at The Reef but have only paid a deposit. Haven't paid the rest that is due.

I've only read this thread and wonder why this is a bad idea? We thought it looked like a good deal/plan?!

I'm obviously a little stupid around all of you that have maybe more insight into why this is a bad thing.....

Your advice would be greatly appreciated :)
I checked eBay, and there's a timeshare at the same resort available for $1. Closing costs, 2012 maintenance fees are free.
 

MandyS

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Ok, wow! That's how stupid I am with this whole timeshare thing!

Now how would I get out of this? What grounds do I have to cancel this? We signed these papers on the 1st of May and due to pay the balance by the 31st.

PLEASE HELP ANYONE!!! I don't have a clue what to do or think!?!?
 

drbeetee

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Ok, wow! That's how stupid I am with this whole timeshare thing!

Now how would I get out of this? What grounds do I have to cancel this? We signed these papers on the 1st of May and due to pay the balance by the 31st.

PLEASE HELP ANYONE!!! I don't have a clue what to do or think!?!?



Unfortunately I don't think there is a lot you can do. You can not honor the contract and have it negatively affect it, or you can become a whole lot more educated about this process. There seems to be a plethora of owners who overpaid and still are enjoying the heck out of their purchase. It seems to me you are about 21 days past the recession period which would make it hard to get it rescinded. Everything happens for a reason, and I hope you end up with peace when this process is over.
 
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KAPS

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Can anyone help???

Hello, we are in the same boat as Baffle22. We have recently gotten back from our vacation in Mexico....now I see, mistakenly purchased a vacation package from Reef Playacar in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We participated in our first ever timeshare presentation. And after a lot a questions, became a "member" of the resort. The timeshare is through Interval International/Diamond Travelers. We have eight floating weeks of travel, comprised of one 2-bedrooms, and two standards. We paid about 3500 upfront, and have to pay the remainder next week, June 12).

We can travel to any II property and will pay between 199 and 999 per week for our family and friends. (We were told the 999 is comparable to a high end property overseas.) We can also get 40% off of airfare through the travel agency, Diamond Travelers.

We only travel once a year for a week, and prefer all-inclusives. For the remaining three weeks, a marketing firm (RMS) will market the remaining weeks and pay us $2000 for the 2-bedroom, and $900 for each standard. This marketing firm (RMS) cost us $599 up front. All maintenance fees were waived.

At the time, it was a great deal...however, now that we have done some research on TUG and the fact that we can not get a hold of anyone that will take our calls at the Reef. We feel that we were completely taken advantage of. We sent them an email requesting them to cancel our contract and also asking them to refund our money. We know that they have received our email, as RMS called us the next morning stating that they almost have three of our weeks rented and to not worry. They hadn't called us, like promised, prior to our email.

We have yet to hear from the actual resort.

We see that SandyM had a similar issue. Please if anyone that can help us that would be let us know.

Thanks
S. :)
 

pacodemountainside

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Hello, we are in the same boat as Baffle22. We have recently gotten back from our vacation in Mexico....now I see, mistakenly purchased a vacation package from Reef Playacar in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We participated in our first ever timeshare presentation. And after a lot a questions, became a "member" of the resort. The timeshare is through Interval International/Diamond Travelers. We have eight floating weeks of travel, comprised of one 2-bedrooms, and two standards. We paid about 3500 upfront, and have to pay the remainder next week, June 12).

We can travel to any II property and will pay between 199 and 999 per week for our family and friends. (We were told the 999 is comparable to a high end property overseas.) We can also get 40% off of airfare through the travel agency, Diamond Travelers.

We only travel once a year for a week, and prefer all-inclusives. For the remaining three weeks, a marketing firm (RMS) will market the remaining weeks and pay us $2000 for the 2-bedroom, and $900 for each standard. This marketing firm (RMS) cost us $599 up front. All maintenance fees were waived.

At the time, it was a great deal...however, now that we have done some research on TUG and the fact that we can not get a hold of anyone that will take our calls at the Reef. We feel that we were completely taken advantage of. We sent them an email requesting them to cancel our contract and also asking them to refund our money. We know that they have received our email, as RMS called us the next morning stating that they almost have three of our weeks rented and to not worry. They hadn't called us, like promised, prior to our email.

We have yet to hear from the actual resort.

We see that SandyM had a similar issue. Please if anyone that can help us that would be let us know.

Thanks
S. :)
Suggest you go to Mexico form here. Lots of company. No way will you ever get any rental income.

You are dealing with expert scammers.
 

Passepartout

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KAPS, I'd suggest you've been had. Many here got their (expensive) lesson in timeshares the same way. Sorry.

If they could rent weeks for greater than the cost of ownership, why would they sell them to you? That just doesn't make sense.

I wouldn't pay them any more money. Go to the Mexico forum and look into cancellation in the stickies. Enlist Profeco, the Mexican consumer affairs office. You might get lucky. If they are convinced that they won't get any more money they might cancel the contract.

Remember, if a Mexican TS salesweasel's lips are moving, he's lying. There is no rule that says they have to tell you anything that is in the contract. If you don't read it, you are responsible for what it says. I'm going to wager that you at least initialed- if not signed- that you agree with the contract as written. And part of that is that you have 5 days to cancel it.

Best wishes.

Jim Ricks
 

KAPS

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Passpartout,

We saw that SandyM was successful in getting her money refunded after the rescinding period... Do you think it would be wise to send them another email informing them that we will be following up the issue with Profeco and posting on timeshare websites such as TUG?

Thanks again.
 
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