ED Magedson – Founder
Vacation Class S.A.de C.V.Avenida Paseo de la Marina Sur 220 Puerto Vallarta, Other Mexico
Vacation Class S.A.de C.V. Grand Luxxe, Grand Mayan, Vida Vacations, Grand Bliss Beware of Vacation Class S.A. de C.V. ,advertising Grand Luxxe, The Bliss Resorts, Bliss Vacation Club, Grand Mayan, Vida Vacations, VidaSales and more. Puerto Vallarta Other
Beware of Vacation Class S.A. de C.V. (advertising Grand Luxxe, The Bliss Resorts, Bliss Vacation Club, Grand Mayan, Vida Vacations, VidaSales and more).
My husband and I traveled to Mexico on our honeymoon. After about seven hours traveling, we were met at the airport in Cabo San Lucas by a “spotter” who interrupted us as we were heading to our taxi and convinced us to go tour the Grand Mayan resort there. We were to receive some incentives for doing so which we agreed to. (Bad mistake in hindsight. We won’t do that again.) The next day we were taken by taxi to the Grand Mayan where we were subjected to six hours of high-pressure sales tactics and continually given liquor drinks (which got us seriously drunk making it easy for them to take advantage of us). In short, the sales pitch at the Mayan was deceitful and a big SCAM and unfortunately, my husband and I fell prey to their unethical sales practices and intimidation factors. We have currently hired an attorney and are in the process of filing a complaint with PROFECO (Federal Government Consumer Protection Agency of Mexico). I am also seriously studying/considering filing a class action lawsuit against these guys because these practices cannot continue to happen!!
Our story begins by being greeted by a very friendly gentleman at the Cabo San Lucas airport. He convinced us to spend the next morning for a short sales presentation at the Grand Mayan (which was a 40 minute drive from the resort we were staying at). This gentleman promised us a number of things as an incentive to give up an hour and a half of our time. At the end of the day, none of the incentives were worth it as the 90 minute presentation turned into a 6 hour scary ordeal.
This is how their strategy plays out: We had a nice tour of the two- and three-bedroom suites at the Grand Mayan in Cabo San Lucas. Then we were escorted to a large sales presentation room with many other people. Our sales person was Eddie T. Eddie knew we already owned three timeshares and that we weren’t interested in taking on more weeks that we didn’t use, but nonetheless had to pay maintenance fees on. Moreover, we were still paying on our timeshare weeks located in Hawaii. Eddie’s reply was “hey, let me look at what you have – if what we offer isn’t better, I won’t recommend that you change anything.” Believing this was our second mistake.
Eddie pushed a “residence program” which was unlike a “timeshare” (he said). His main points of attack were: (i) we only pay for weeks we use; (ii) we can sell weeks we don’t want to use back to Mayan at a very nice price; and (iii) if years from now we are tired of traveling, we can convert our equity into a permanent residence anywhere in the catalogue of resorts they have. While there were other “lies”, these were the big ones.
Eddie said there was a four-week minimum purchase (although the number of weeks changed by the hour and by the deal pushed). He initially presented us with the most expensive plan ($271k for a three-bedroom oceanview) which we objected to immediately, particularly since they wanted 20% down. Eddie asked for information on our existing timeshares in order to see “what could be done”. We had three timeshares already (two premium weeks in Hawaii, red time week in Orlando and week in Tradewinds Cruise Club). We were still paying on the Hawaii timeshares and we made it clear that we were not interested in taking on more debt. Eddie left us sitting there to go “talk to his manager”. It seemed like forever before he came back (although a hostess kept delivering margaritas while we waited) showing us what the “trade in value” for all of those weeks was, based on documentation he claimed were “recent sales” of those exact unit types (“high and low” amounts). To emphasize what great people they were, Eddie stated that the Mayan would give us the higher values as trade-in equity stating specifically that “they would take the risk” on not being able to sell them at that amount. We still said no. Eddie then pulled in his boss (Luis – a loud, pushy man) with a less expensive version and then began to re-crunch the numbers. The price dropped (down to $241k we think – we still haven’t gotten them to produce all of the “worksheets”) but little did we know that the price was so inflated we were misled to believe that we were getting such a great deal.
We continued to object about proceeding any further, not only because of the hefty price, but also because we didn’t want to be saddled with yet another timeshare requiring annual payments of maintenance fees. We raised this objection over and over, particularly because we often times have trouble using what we already owned and were paying for. Eddie assured us over and over that the Mayan was “different from the other guys”. We would only pay for weeks we actually used. He stated repeatedly “if you don’t use the weeks, you don’t owe anything.” To clarify this point he said “yeah, you’ll probably get an invoice in January, but as long as you tell them you don’t intend to use the week by February 28th of each year, then you don’t have to worry. They will take it off your account.” WRONG! The so-called “reservation fee” or “usage fee” was really a maintenance fee in disguise. You owed it no matter what.
We weren’t convinced and were getting tired and wanting to leave. Eddie kept us detained (and the hostess kept bringing margaritas) in order to pull his next “marketing” trick – turning this into an investment that would pay for the contract and then some. According to Eddie, the Mayan needs to have inventory to show so they will actually pay you not to use the weeks. He used scratch paper to show you the money you would make selling the units back to the Mayan and how fast they would pay for themselves, which was totally false. That was the hook they used to justify how we could afford paying for this purchase and that they could buy three of our weeks at a hefty price each per year which we could use to pay for the balance of the loan (or any way we chose). We were not given any guarantee in the final contract about that fact (one more of the many things that were either not in the documents or were changed in the documents which we were not given a chance to read and could not have read even if we wanted to – due to the fine print and being totally inebriated by then). When we asked “where is the provision that deals with this”, his reply was that there were other documents that would be sent to us when we returned to the United States that explained all of this. One more of many lies. Oh, did I mention they changed the name of the resort we were unwittingly purchasing? YES, THEY DID. It wasn’t the resort we toured in Cabo San Lucas – it was in Nueva Vallarta. We’ve never even been there (and, given all that has happened, will never go there!).
We kept trying to leave as we were worn out and drunk, not feeling well from not having anything to eat all day on top of the alcohol. We felt like they were holding us against our will and it was concerning us. Between Eddie and Luis, they kept coming back over and over with yet a better deal. We just wanted it over. After so many hours of their pushing and not letting us go, we were really concerned about our personal safety and felt like they were going to hold us against our will until we signed something so finally we said yes (just to get them to let us leave). That meant being taken to the next representative (Josh R.) who was charged with getting all of the documents signed. This was probably another hour at least. They put us in a small, hot room (we were feeling ill by this time) and Josh proceeded to bombard us with paper (with no time to read it). There was so much information being thrown at us (over ten contracts in small font) and absolutely NO time to understand and process it. Josh, the “closer”, pushed the contracts in front of us, directing us to sign, taking them back and pushing another one towards us. At some point he switched on a tape recorder and told us to read certain acknowledgments (this REALLY concerned us – we felt our personal safety was in potential jeopardy if we did not do what he wanted – we were in Mexico, after all). By that time, my husband and I were just tired of being there – being stuck there for over 6 hours, saying no over and over and them not accepting the word “no”. YES, YOU HEARD ME RIGHT. And they kept serving up margaritas to wear us down. We were having a difficult time understanding buying one “registered” week for 10 years, and then 2 more “residence” weeks for another 100 years? Add in 2 more “Vida” weeks, plus 10 “Lifestyle Weeks” and other “Legacy Escapes”. We were like sheep headed for the slaughter! We wanted out of there so very very much and really concerned about our personal safety by then.
And finally, the issue of possible rescission was never brought up by any salesperson (not Eddie, not Luis, not Josh) and when we asked about it they did not reply but talked about other things. It is quite telling that this right of rescission (a very important fact) was not something we were to “initial” on the acknowledgment document (or read it into the tape recorder). They so conveniently bury it deep within the contract (in only one contract by the way - out of ten – and the last one shoved our way) so you can’t notice it right away. So different from making a big purchase like real estate in the US, where this information is disclosed in plain sight for you to view and understand. By the end of the presentation, neither my husband nor I could think clearly (we were ill and concerned about our safety and the lack of food and large amount of the alcohol didn’t help either). We were both so worn out that we really didn't know there was even that option. We should have just gotten up and walked away but by then we emotionally felt that was not an option. The Vida salespeople don’t work that way. When you have an objection they just say “let me go talk to my manager”. And you talk to another person. And then another. All of this should have been a BIG red flag. We tried to cancel by phone before we left Mexico but they wouldn’t honor it.
We got back home and a few weeks later GOLF NETWORK (Custom Vacations Mexico) calls me to pay them $699 for a “lifetime” rental listing agreement. It turned out that Mayan wasn’t buying our weeks; we had to “list the weeks” with Golf Network/Custom Vacations Mexico for rental. There was no guarantee anywhere that this company would rent any of the weeks in any particular year. All they guaranteed was that, IF they rented the weeks, the minimum rental would cover the $2600 per week “usage fee”.
We received a separate call in that same week from Global Trade Vacations who was supposed to help me document the trade in of our three timeshares and remove the deed/maintenance fees off our back. By this time, I was already having red flags popping up everywhere. I had already started searching for SCAMS at the MAYAN. And believe me, I have never seen so many sites with people being ripped off, and screwed and even scared about the events that happened. Looks like we were just another duped vacationer to Mexico! I told the guy at Global Trade Vacations that “I was planning on suing the whole lot of them and there was nothing he and I needed to talk about.” He quickly said “Oh, I’m not associated with Vida Vacations” (and we ended our telephone conversation). By the way, there were plenty of scam alerts about Golf Network/Custom Vacations and Global Trade Vacations as well – they have a well-coordinated scheme to defraud visitors to Mexico.
I know there are a lot of people out there who have been victimized by this bunch based on the number of complaints from various websites about people who can’t get their units rented out and are stuck with the inventory and NO money to help pay for the financing. I have engaged an attorney and am working through our legal options (which is a complaint through PROFECO, the Federal Mexican government consumer rights agency down there). We are resolved to take this to the mat, but want others to know that the GRAND LUXXE, GRAND MAYAN and all of its affiliates are frauds, cheats, and have unethical business practices. They do not practice honest sales and should be sued for all the harm they have done to many other countless people. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO BUSINESS WITH ANY GRAND MAYAN, GRAND LUXXE GROUPS or other MAYAN affiliates.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/13/2014 04:36 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/vacation-class-sade-cv/puerto-vallarta-other-48335/vacation-class-sade-cv-grand-luxxe-grand-mayan-vida-vacations-grand-bliss-beware-o-1169452. 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.
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