Mayan Palace Problems/Lies
My husband and I were suckered in for a timeshare presentation on our vacation trip in Cancun December 17, 2012. We did this to receive free tickets to a park. The presentation was supposed to last no longer than 90 minutes which would also include our breakfast. Our 6 month old baby girl was with us.
Summary of the Problems/Lies we have so far experienced with the Mayan Palace company
1.) Being treated inhumanely at the presentation, not even being able to eat for over 6 hours. My baby girl actually ran out of food which led to being rushed through signing paper work just so we could leave.
2.) Being told that two of our Mayan Palace Studios were GARAUNTEED to rent for a total of $1600/year for 5 years equaling a total of $8000 which is not happening. (The math for this was worked out on a scrap of paper by sales representative number 3...we still have this paper in our possession)
3.) Being told that all Mayan Vacation Packages including the one we were offered would include free golf (a major selling point/incentive for vacation rentals), which did not happen.
4.) Being told that our "renters" would cover the cost of the $454 maintenance fee that was assessed for the first 5 years, which did not happen.
5.) Being told that our timeshare would and timeshares like ours were selling for top dollar within a matter of weeks and we would have the sale finalized and money in our account within 3-6 months, which did not and has not happened.
6.) We still have not received our exchange information for SFX, which is the exchange company that we're supposed to be able to use with our two "vida weeks." (and its now 3 months into the year)
The presentation lasted ALL day. We got there at 9am and didn't get to leave until after 4pm. An entire vacation day wasted.
Hector Hernandez was our first sales person. He gave us the tour and then presented their $100,000+ vacation package. This vacation package included incentives such as Free Golf for all guests and he told us that this came standard with ALL Mayan Memberships (we later learned this was untrue when we returned home and read our contract carefully seeing that it gave only a 20% discount which was only for ourselves and our accompanied guests). We informed him that we were in no way interested and he graciously agreed to go get his manager to "sign" us out for the day.
Sales person number two, Gerald, appeared and basically told us we would be stupid not to purchase because of the amazing investment opportunities they were offering. He was actually very rude and disrespectful to his potential customer. He explained to us that we would make our money back in no time and that there were no maintenance fees like our current timeshare (only "usage" fees). Once again we said no thanks, we're happy with what we've got.
Again we were told we would have to sign out with one final person to get our presentation gifts. Sales person number three then explained to us that she had been an accountant in Canada for many, many years and wanted to make sure that we fully understood the opportunity with Mayan Palace that we were passing up.
She offered us 2 Sea Garden weeks each year for only the "usage" fee (these were to be used at their sister Mexican resorts) and insisted that it would be a great package to offer our family for $2000/year.
Problem Number Two
After returning home, we realized that these vacation destinations could be booked at a MUCH cheaper rate than $2000 and we definitely aren't the kind of people to scam our family.
he also offered 15 HSI breakaway weeks which could be booked (and I quote from the paper she wrote it on) "Anysize Unit, Anytime of Year/ No Blackouts, Anywhere World." She played this up BIG time because we had talked about how we had never been to Europe and would really like to go there. We specifically asked about how HSI compared to Interval International (a company we're familiar with). She informed us that she had experience with II and that HSI was much easier to use and had many more options. We asked if she had a nearby computer with internet access so that we
could go online and check this out. She told us there were no online computers available for the general public's use. This should have been a clue to us that there was some deceitfulness going on.
Problem Number Three
Over a month after the presentation our HSI username and password came through. I quickly realized that the resort
opportunities do NOT compare to Interval International. There are many less choices and the Breakaway weeks are even more limited. Breakaway resort destinations with HSI are not world wide as we were told and they are very
limited on the dates available, as well.
She also offered us 3 separate studio weeks. One registered week and two Grand Vacation weeks. She told us that they would give us 3 weeks instead of one if we promised to "give back" 2 of the weeks for the next 5 years. She said that they were no longer going to be allowed to market outside of their resort so it was important for them to get non-owners into their resorts so that they could make these presentations to them. We had told them earlier that we were only interested in one vacation a year because of work obligations so she went on to say that it would be even better if we gave back all 3 weeks and continued to do so yearly while using our other vacation weeks. She told us that the two weeks they were requiring us to give back would be GAURANTEED to book and the additional week would most likely book very quickly. She said that they had a list of companies that specialized in renting their properties and that we would rent the studios for $800 each giving us $2400/year in extra income to use for our own vacations. She told us that they needed this because their site didn't have a "hotel license" which meant that they could not book just anyone from off the street, but that they had to be a current member or coming to stay using a week from a current member. This was why the weeks would book so easily. We were told that if one of these renters chose to purchase that we would also make money from that transaction.
Problem Number Four
The company she highlighted and marked for us has not been able to rent our properties and it cost us an additional $900+ just to enlist their help.
When we asked about the yearly "usage" fee of $454 that we were expected to pay for the first 5 years she said that it would be covered by the company renting our properties since we ourselves wouldn't actually be using the property.
Problem Number Five
The yearly fee was not covered by the suggested rental company.
We were also told that this company would sell our current timeshare for us at a value of around $32,000. She told us that they usually had them sold within a month and that processing was usually completed within 3-6 months with the money in our account. When we asked how this was possible with other timeshares selling online for more like $1000, she said that they marketed to people in Mexico who could use American timeshare properties to get their temporary US Visa which made it very valuable. We asked to have the worksheet that showed our current timeshare's value and its resort ranking, but she told us that they couldn't let us have it because they had to pay around $500 for the information.
Problem Number Six
Our timeshare has NOT sold and I very seriously doubt it will EVER sell for anything near what we were told. She then offered a bonus two Vida Weeks which could be booked through SFX each year. She said that they would cost anywhere from $125-$399/week (once again we have this in her writing) depending on the size of the unit. We have yet to try to use these weeks so I have no idea if they will be of any value or not and if the pricing was accurate or not. We haven't
even had the opportunity to try to use these weeks yet because to date we have not received our account information.
We also were told that our current Starwood timeshare had only midrange trading power and that Mayan was in the top 50 out of around 5000. This was supposed to mean that we could book anywhere, anytime, any unit because of the "greatness" of the Mayan membership. Once again, we've yet to try to exchange, but due to all the other lies, I'm doubting the truth in this either.
We finally gave in because of the "investment" opportunity (which turned out to be a complete scam). We paid $11,500 for what should have been 4 weeks of vacation each year (two Vida, two Sea Pack), 15 weeks of vacation (HSI) to use randomly throughout the next 25 years, and 3 Mayan studios to "rent" for $2400/year.
Hector came back to get our signatures and go over the paperwork.
By the end of the day, we had been there so long that I had ran out of bottles for my 6 month old. We were exhausted and starving. I had to beg the guy for a sandwich at 4pm. We hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast at around 9:30am. Hector promised to go through everything very quickly so that we could get back to our resort. He read through the check sheet in record speed (the kind that you hear on the radio at the end of an ad where you can't understand anything and they just have it on there to cover their own behinds). He was in a big hurry too, because they had a conference meeting happening with all of the sales people in that very room that was supposed to be starting at 4pm.
He also told us not to mention anything about "renting" our units because they were rather touchy about that
downstairs where you sign the final documents. When we went downstairs to sign the official paperwork the lady told us that she usually takes at least an hour to go over all of the paperwork, but because we had a hungry baby, she would speed things up. She just handed us the forms and pointed to the lines for us to sign and we were out of there in less than 10 minutes. This was our own stupidity for trusting humanity and going through with something of such great expense without reading all the fine print. We were TRICKED into wasting what little savings we had accumulated.
Problem Number Seven
We were rushed to sign everything without having the time or opportunity to read the fine print. I assumed there was a lot of information included in the contract that had been verbally discussed with the sales representative that was
actually not there at all. (i.e. the golf agreement, the 2 studios x 5 year agreement/guarantee, etc.)
Hector also ended the day by telling us that we should keep our contract and information in our room safe because housekeepers at our resort were often paid to sneak through people's belongings to find this information so that the resort people could interrogate us about our purchase. This should have sent up a MAJOR RED FLAG, but my tired and hungry brain didn't seem to register the implications at that time. I'm guessing our resort would have warned us and encouraged us to cancel our "membership" right away.
We emailed Mayan Palace and asked that they do something to correct the problems, but they didn't even return the email.