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Report: #175535

Complaint Review: Universal Vacation Club - Puerto Vallarta

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: North Vancouver British Columbia
  • Universal Vacation Club ResortCom International Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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November 2005, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; our first visit and like fish, we got hooked deeply by the timeshare industry. The sheer numbers and demeanor of the trawlers, the timeshare hawkers in the street, reminded us of certain areas in Amsterdam. Nevertheless, we were curious and reassured by the nice fellow who landed us that this was an info only presentation, not to mention the juicy bait of a free side trip, off we went to the Villa del Palmar Flamingo Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta and the Universal Vacation Club.

Our sales agent at the hotel was a British woman, Lynette O'Dell. After a tour and a short conversation, she found it difficult to answer some of our probing questions and asked an associate, Candy Ross, to step in. The rest of our 5 hour session was directed by Candy Ross, an American woman also working for this company.

After an explanation as to how the timeshare industry works and the benefits available, we explained that not only were we NOT timeshare types but we usually didn't stay in 5 star hotels either. Aging hippies, I guess. Candy explained that this timeshare concept was actually a terrific investment opportunity and a revenue generator and prices were rising almost daily. She explained that her friend, Elizabeth Sinclair, was a rental agent who would most likely take on the task of marketing and renting our unit. At this point she left the salesroom for about ten minutes.

Candy returned with the amazing news that Elizabeth Sinclair was willing to market/rent out our one bedroom unit for the remaining month and a half of 2005, and would continue to do so in the future. Lynette showed us website pages listing inexpensive rentals all over the world, available to UVC members. Candy's suggestion was that we could rent our one-bedroom unit for four weeks per year and then take advantage of these other inexpensive rentals.

Apparently Elizabeth Sinclair was offering us a rental fee of $2200 for each of the two owner's weeks and $700 for each of the two bonus weeks a total of $5800.00 for our December 2005 rental. Rather than give us a rental cheque from Elizabeth Sinclair, she would simply deduct the $5800.00 from the total purchase price. We agreed to this and signed a contract for a one-bedroom unit for a total purchase price of $44,435.00 U.S.

A great deal of champagne flowed in celebration as we signed up for this terrific investment. We noticed however, in several instances we were required to initial statements that explicitly stated that this was not an investment purchase nor a money-generating property. We questioned this; we still thought we weren't complete fools. But Candy reassured us that it was simply contractual language and not relevant to Elizabeth's agreement to handle the rental of our unit.

Early in January, 2006, we attempted to contact Elizabeth Sinclair to arrange 2006 rentals many times, without success. After days of research, we discovered that Elizabeth Sinclair works for Vacation Resorts International and that her company does NOT in fact, handle UVC rentals. We called Candy Ross and in three separate conversations were told different things; Elizabeth Sinclair was too busy, too tired and finally, that Candy would pursue a rental agent at Century 21 in Puerto Vallarta on our behalf. In each case, she said she would call or email with information but she never did.

We finally called the UVC rental agency to inquire about renting our unit. And discovered several things. The deadline for 2006 rentals was mid December. We had missed it despite the fact that we didn't receive any ownership papers from the company until the end of December. Also, we discovered that the bonus weeks are not available for rental. So how did Candy Ross manage to rent our unit for four weeks through Elizabeth Sinclair?

Ahh cleverly gaffed and netted. We are now the foolish owners of a timeshare property that has been grossly misrepresented. Our only recourse is to approach the Universal Vacation Club organization and report what has happened but then we discovered that it is almost impossible to speak to anyone at UVC who is not an employee of their call center, hired only to take reservations. Call after call, email after email, all unanswered.

We are truly saddened to think that foreign nationals are representing a Mexican company in such a disreputable way tacky, really. The timeshare industry is trying to gain a trustworthy reputation, particularly in Mexico. For us, the maxim Buyer Beware' is obviously relevant but perhaps there is a warning here for Mexico as well.

Carole
North Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/09/2006 02:26 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/universal-vacation-club/puerto-vallarta/universal-vacation-club-resort-com-int-villa-del-palmar-flamingo-unethical-fraudul-175535. 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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#5 Consumer Comment

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AUTHOR: Deby - (United States)

POSTED: Thursday, December 07, 2017

well , having a timeshare is a very complicated stuff, so you need to know how timeshare business works, exist many people that they dont know anything and only buy without knowledge , i had a very bad experience years ago with a mexican resort, so i started to looking for some help , and i found this site 

timesharescam.com/blog/206-how-to-get-out-of-a-timeshare/

 there exist many situations and possible solutions , very usefull for me , hope can help you. 

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#4 Consumer Comment

I had the same experience

AUTHOR: Jason - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Monday, August 03, 2009
I have had the exact same experience. My parents purchased their time share and received the same customer service. They purchased the timeshare under a company and was promised that the gold week would be maintenance free, and could be shared with company employees. We soon found out that we needed to pay extensive fees, couldn't split up our weeks, and it is virtually impossible to go to other resorts.

When they originally signed their contract they were promised that there were plenty of rooms available. We have tried for months and can't find a week available. The resort is unavailable even during the summer months!

The best part of the story was that the sales representative told us that they were many resorts that were being completed. They stated they were building in Cancun, Lerado, and even Kawai. Last time we called in they said that they haven't even looked at property in Kawai. What a joke! Cancun is supposedly finished in the year 2010, but for me to believe that I would need to go on Google earth and see even if they have a hole dug. Universal Vacation Club is not trustworthy or ethical.

When my parents signed their contract they wrote all of this down on a yellow lined piece of paper. My favorite part of the extravaganza is when we asked them if we could have a copy of the paper the sales person wrote. They quickly grabbed if from me, tore it up and threw it in the trash. They are not allowed to display those contracts. Of course! If they did allow those documents to be released their company would go bankrupt because their scam would be exposed.

If you are an individual looking into buying a property, don't make the same mistake we did. Run away why you can. For those who have made the same mistake as we have, any advice? I am so frustrated with the issue we are ready to get out of the loan any way we can. We are seeking legal advice, and any possible outcomes.
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#3 Author of original report

Villa del Palmar Flamingo fully resolved

AUTHOR: Carole - (Canada)

POSTED: Saturday, April 22, 2006
As per our previous post Caught in the timeshare net at Villa del Palmar Flamingo, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, we have since had our deposit and paid installments returned to us from R.C.I. We sent the posted letter to timeshareusers group, Report Economic Crime Online, Phonebusters, The Ripoff Report, RMI/UVC Concerned Owners Group, the editor at Vallarta Today, the Mexican Tourism Board, the P.R. agency for RCI, six separate departments within RCI, ARDA Resort Owners Coalition, the Mexican Association of Tourism Developers, Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers, Canadian Resort Development of Resort Exchangers and the General Manager of the Villa del Palmar. There were still 9 associations and corporations to be contacted when I received a phone call from the General Manager of the hotel, who was most cooperative and our money was returned the next day. At this time, we feel our problem with R.C.I. and the Universal Vacation Club has been fully resolved.
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#2 Author of original report

Villa del Palmar Flamingo fully resolved

AUTHOR: Carole - (Canada)

POSTED: Saturday, April 22, 2006
As per our previous post Caught in the timeshare net at Villa del Palmar Flamingo, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, we have since had our deposit and paid installments returned to us from R.C.I. We sent the posted letter to timeshareusers group, Report Economic Crime Online, Phonebusters, The Ripoff Report, RMI/UVC Concerned Owners Group, the editor at Vallarta Today, the Mexican Tourism Board, the P.R. agency for RCI, six separate departments within RCI, ARDA Resort Owners Coalition, the Mexican Association of Tourism Developers, Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers, Canadian Resort Development of Resort Exchangers and the General Manager of the Villa del Palmar. There were still 9 associations and corporations to be contacted when I received a phone call from the General Manager of the hotel, who was most cooperative and our money was returned the next day. At this time, we feel our problem with R.C.I. and the Universal Vacation Club has been fully resolved.
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#1 Author of original report

Villa del Palmar Flamingo fully resolved

AUTHOR: Carole - (Canada)

POSTED: Saturday, April 22, 2006
As per our previous post Caught in the timeshare net at Villa del Palmar Flamingo, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, we have since had our deposit and paid installments returned to us from R.C.I. We sent the posted letter to timeshareusers group, Report Economic Crime Online, Phonebusters, The Ripoff Report, RMI/UVC Concerned Owners Group, the editor at Vallarta Today, the Mexican Tourism Board, the P.R. agency for RCI, six separate departments within RCI, ARDA Resort Owners Coalition, the Mexican Association of Tourism Developers, Cooperative Association of Resort Exchangers, Canadian Resort Development of Resort Exchangers and the General Manager of the Villa del Palmar. There were still 9 associations and corporations to be contacted when I received a phone call from the General Manager of the hotel, who was most cooperative and our money was returned the next day. At this time, we feel our problem with R.C.I. and the Universal Vacation Club has been fully resolved.
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