I visited the Mayan Group of Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta the week of November 18, 2007. The complex is made up of 3 Mayan Hotels, residences and a golf course. The complex is defiantly first class, friendly helpful staff, comfortable beds and excellent food. It was one of the more relaxing holidays that I have spent in a long time. I give the resort top grade.
But, and a big but, I made the unfortunate decision of signing up for a tour of the complex with the Mayan time share sales group. We wanted to see the other parts of the complex and what they had to offer as were thinking of purchasing in the area. The promised 90 minute tour began to approach 5 hours and after 3 sales pitches we were shuttled off to the exit sales pitch which I told was an exit interview. We were presented with a teaser package of 9 weeks of which 5 could be Mayan Hotels including 1 week at the Grand Mayan.
We purchased the Bronze package from Simon Roff at The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta, who told me that he was a representative of Grupo Mayan, on Nov 19, 2007. The reason why we bought the package is because we were told by Simon Roff it offered one week at the Grand Mayan as an owner and one week in the Mayan Palace February 9th through Feb 23, 2008. We were also told we could upgrade to Grand Mayan for the second week if we went to a short update presentation. It also included 4 other weeks at other resorts, a golf card that we can use at Mayan resorts and a travel voucher for $800 He wrote this down on notepaper as we talked which I photographed with my cell camera when he got up to check something. This paper mysteriously disappeared when we were getting the contracts prepared. I asked him to reserve both those weeks for me and was told that he could not do that until I received the package in the mail. I asked him to check inventory and he said that it wasn't necessary as there was all kinds of inventory during that time period.
When I returned to Calgary and received the package in the next couple of weeks, I tried to book several times and was told that first of all, the package did not include Grand Mayan and that there was no inventory in any Mayan resort for those weeks. I checked the RCI website, and as of that date could book Grand Mayan and any Mayan through RCI both on a last minute deal and booking for the dates that I wanted but GVC does not have any inventory. How can this be?
This Bait and Switch technique may be acceptable in Mexico with GVC (Great Vacations Club) and Grupo Mayan sales people, most of whom are expats, but it is certainly not acceptable to the clients that are coming down from North America and Europe. Especially with an organization such as Grupo Mayan who are trying to market high end pricy Vacation Packages that you would expect to have a higher standard of ethics.
I have no use for another time share package such as GVC as I already have aprox 175,000 points per year in Interval and RCI. I can get all the last minute deals and bookings that I want through those organizations in fact the visit to the Mayan was purchased on such a last minute deal. There is an enforced 1 booking in 5 years for the Mayan group of hotels through RCI. This promotional deal is offered to get as many RCI people through their sales pitch as possible. The only reason for me to purchase this package at the time was to come back on those dates and stay at the Grand Mayan with the idea of making a purchasing decision on either a permanent residence in the complex or a longer term condo in the future.
After finding out that I had been taken for a ride, I spoke with Simon Roff, the exit package salesman that sold us the bill of goods. He refused to admit that he lied to us about the package and was quite rude about it. I tried to call Bruce Thompson, the sales manager for this program and was transferred to Luis Chabero who at least appeared to try to find a solution. Then he asked me to put my issues in writing to him and he would get it solved. He then gave me a false email address to send it to. I waited a few days for a response. Nothing, I then spoke to an assistant manager "Drew" who said that "he would get the Ball rolling" then hung up without getting my information. "Get the ball rolling" on what I ask. Then a few days latter I finally was able to speak to Brian Thompson, the sales manager for this area on Dec 16/07. I explained the events that lead up to my purchase and all he could say was that Simon would never say these things and to tell me that there is never any inventory in February then he promptly hung up on me. This is not the way that a professional in an organization behaves. This is also in spite of having a picture of the notes that Simon wrote which is proof of the lies.
I then sent this letter by email to Grupo Mayan as well as Great Vacations Club. There was no response from Grupo Mayan but I did get a call from GVC. Paco Robless, from reservations was very polite and appeared helpful in trying to solve the situation but in the end after not returning calls when he said he would and then finally telling me that he could not help me and that I should wait and book in 2009. That was the last straw. Now it is not the wasted money, nor is it having to tell the kids dad didnt book in time to get the promised winter break vacation, now it is the principal of the matter and has left an extremely bad taste in my mouth.
I guess that I was naive enough to think that a world class resort company such as the Grupo Mayan, the company that developed and runs the Mayan Hotels, would not stoop to these deceptive bait and switch tactics and blatant lies in order to deepen their pockets. I guess I should not be surprised in this corporate greed trickling down through the ranks of their staff to the sales people on the floor. It seems that this attitude has invaded numerous people in the organization as we have not received help from anyone that we talked to. We have seen amoral events such as WorldCom and Enron exposed and it seems that the business world is awash in unethical practices generated by greed. It is a sad state of affairs.
So go and enjoy the Mayan Group of Hotels on your 1 week trade or last minute deal. It is certainly one of the better choices in Mexico. But stay away from the unethical sales people from Grupo Mayan. They may be charming, they may even be from your home town but they are defiantly not your friend. I do not believe that I will never set foot again in a Mayan resort except maybe to pay the sales group a visit during one of their presentations and explain to everyone that will listen to me what they have done.