My family and I were on vacation in Mexico 12/28/07 1/08/08 and were victims of time share fraud. The scam started as we arrived in Mexico and passed customs at the Cancun International Airport, when we were ushered by a very officially dressed woman to Mauricio Flores, a person sitting behind an information stand, who promised us discount on tour in return for us attending a time share presentation at Sunset Fishermens. We agreed to attend the presentation.
Next day we arrived at Sunset Fishermens and before we met the salesman we were taken to an isolated balcony where several Sunset representatives asked us questions and examined our passports and credit cards with the intensity we had not encountered even when passing customs. It felt more like an interrogation than a prelude to a time share presentation.
We were then introduced to salesman Mark Myers, who represented himself as an American citizen. He showed us around the resort and then we were taken to a room where he offered us different time share packages, until after 6 hours and a lot of pressure we agreed on a particular one. They brought out champagne for us to drink and then they gave us the paperwork to sign, after that they charged our credit card for the down payment.
That night as we got back to the resort where we were staying we began to look at the contract in more detail. We found numerous omissions of what was discussed and promised and also found numerous legal flaws in the contract itself. Example: The name of the developer signing the contract does not appear in the contract. At this moment we decided to cancel the contract for a full refund, as it was our right to do so, in accordance with one of the contracts clauses.
The next morning Mark Myers called us and we told him that we decided to terminate the contract within 5 business days of contract signing for full refund of the money we paid like the clause in the contract allowed for. Mark told us that we could not cancel since we signed special contract revoking this right to cancel within 5 business days. The very existence of this special contract is doubtful, as the Sunset Group had never given a copy of it to us.
Suspicious of the way we were manipulated and deceived, we decided to do some research online about the Sunset Group. We found numerous other Rip Off reports and webpages describing the different machinations, deceit, and fraud that the Sunset Group was committing, which confirmed our decision to cancel the contract right away.
Online we found the Mexican Consumer Protection Agency (PROFECO) and the website said that buyer has the legal right to cancel the contract within 5 business days of contract signing for full refund in accordance with Mexican Consumer Protection Laws. We also found out from the PROFECO website that it was illegal to waive the right to cancel within 5 business days, what Mark had told us on the telephone in the morning was in fact a LIE, and it just reaffirmed the kind of company that we were dealing with.
The next business day, January 2, 2008, we sent termination letters both through registered mail and email to Sunset Fishermens, which was within 5 business days from contract signing.
Contract clause and PROFECO site state that time share company must return the amount paid within 15 business days of contract termination, however 15 business days passed without us receiving refund nor any response from the Sunset Group.
Then on February 5, 2008 we got a very strange email from Jennifer Snyder at Sunset, where she asked us to contact her without specifying what for. We wrote back stating that we canceled contract within 5 business days of contract signing and still had not received refund that was already overdue. Subsequent responses from Jennifer did not address the issue of the refund and she was finding excuses to stall time without resolving the issue.
By this point we know what to expect from these people and we will do everything to get our money back, notify others of this fraud using all available resources on the Internet, and notify the US and Mexican government agencies.