Complaint Review: Encanto
Encanto El Faro/Selective Escapes Scam involving fraudulant rental promises and additional fees never disclosed; now the company no longer exists! Playa del Carmen Quintana Roo
*Consumer Comment: Timeshare Scam
On August 20, 2012, while vacationing in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, we purchased a 3-bedroom condo at El Faro in Playa del Carmen to be used for a total of 5 weeks per year for a term of 25 years. The purchase price was $21,560.00 and we paid in full at that time. In addition to the $21,500.00, we traded in 2 of our timeshares (one in Florida and another in Cancun). As part of the contract, we also agreed to "give back" 3 of the 5 weeks of vacation time for a total of 5 consecutive years (2013-2017) to be "rented" by Global Marketing Connections (GMC) for $3,000.00 per week. This rental income was "guaranteed" in writing to be sent to us each January, for a total of $9,000.00. While this sounded too good to be true at the time, we requested that the salespeople put this in writing in a separate document, which they did.
The purchase sale agreement that we received at the time of sale states that the purchase is between Selective Escapes Collection SA de CV, represented by a Luis Ernesto Garcia Porras. However, the paper upon which the agreement is printed states "Encanto Private Residence Club." For what it's worth, our salespeople were James Bond and Jack Lago, and a closing agent named Lucy Paredes.
Shortly after the purchase, there were several "red flag" areas worthy of discussion:
- In addition to the agreement, we were promised to become members of Interval International (II), a vacation exchange network that would allow us to exchange our time at El Faro to travel to other places virtually all over the world. Encanto agreed to pay for 1 year of this membership and told us that within 90 days, we would receive a package of books, catalogues, and membership cards for II. When we did not receive them, we contacted Lucy Paredes (whom we were told would be our "Member Services" contact therein); she said she would follow up to see what happened to our package. Long story short, we probably contacted her over 10 times for these books and member cards, with excuse after excuse given for why we did not receive them or no response at all. To date, we have never received them and have never heard from II.
- In order to have GMC "market" our 3 weeks of vacation for the supposed "guaranteed rental income," I had to put up $553.89 in order for them to market the weeks for 2013. We were never told upon purchase of this additional fee and, we never saw any rental income for 2013. I called GMC numerous times to see what was going on with the rental of these weeks for 2013, and each time I called, they just said, "Yes, they're on the market for rental; you should get a call very soon and they will ask you where you want the money sent..." In order to have them market again for 2014, I had to pay $38.30. To date, no rental income has ever been received. I called GMC on January 29, 2014, and they told me that they cannot find my account, but they “will look for it” and get back to me. I emailed them on February 12, 2014 in follow-up, but have received no response from them.
- In order for yet another company entitled Equity Transfer International (ETI) to transfer our 2 timeshares as part of the overall deal, I had to pay them an addition $553.89 for EACH timeshare (total of $1,107.78) to complete these transactions. Again, we were never told at the time of purchase that there would be extra fees required to complete the transfers. The transfers each took about 12 months to complete; I did receive notification via email that they are complete.
Throughout the remainder of 2012 and 2013, we became busy with building a new home and moving, and eventually gave up attempts to obtain the II package. In fact, we did not even attempt to make reservations at El Faro through Encanto PRC in 2013 because it was simply a very busy year for us with many obligations. That said, although we were disgusted with what we figured was a “rental scam” and all of the extra fees we had to pay to transfer our timeshares, we did not think anything was necessarily "wrong" with our purchase with Encanto because there was no need to think so, until recently. On Sunday, January 26, 2014, we received this email:
Dear Mr. & Mrs. _______,
We want to inform you that Encanto does not exist anymore; they left and did not honor the contracts with the members. We could save a copy of a few of the contracts and we are sending the information and trying to help.
You can contact us 1-866-978-8045.
El Faro Private Residence Club
The email above was then followed by this email the next day, Monday, January 27, 2014:
Dear Mrs. __________,
If you would like to contact Encanto we have their information:
Foreign (+52) 984-873-3130
Encanto Hotels and Resorts
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
CEO Luis Garcia email@example.com
We trying to help all the people that were left hanging, we are offering for them a change of contract to the current administration to try to respect and honor the terms that you have on your contract, the fee for the change of administrations is for $3,000 USD, we understand that it was a big investment and we do not want that you feel that lose all the money.
Please let us know if you are interested.
El Faro Private Residence Club
The email above was then followed by yet a third email on Wednesday, January 29, 2014:
Dear Mrs. _________,
We would like to know if you have been able to review our proposal and what do you think about it.
Please let us know how you would like to proceed.
El Faro Private Residence Club
Since the receipt of email #1, I immediately began to research the internet to see if I could find out anything about Encanto PRC/Selective Escapes/ El Faro and I am finding that I am not alone. I responded to another post on this site and learned about the American Justice Coalition, with whom I have been in contact about my situation. We have not responded to whoever from Mexico is writing these emails, and we will NOT give anyone down there any more money. Our total loss, including purchase, marketing, and trade-in of 2 timeshares amounts to approximately $40,000.00.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/16/2014 12:23 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/encanto/playa-del-carmen-select-stateprovince/encanto-el-faroselective-escapes-scam-involving-fraudulant-rental-promises-and-additiona-1123971. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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