During your visit to Mexico you will meet many smiling faces
and friendly people. Indeed it is a beautiful country. The people are known for
their genuine friendliness
and honest work ethics.
The following is to inform you of those that have
an ulterior motive.
The following is to advise what you may experience.
In order to set you up for the Timeshare/Vacation Membership Sale certain personal information is required to qualify you.
Before even going to Mexico you may have encountered websites
that give the appearance of being associated with a form of tourism promotion
requesting that you register on line with the required qualifying personal info.
The bait is the promise a cash gift (sometimes called a Rebate) while you are in
Mexico. Only after you have submitted your personal info and travel plans
including credit card # are you informed that in fact you must attend a
Timeshare presentation to receive it.
However the main way of identifying you as a qualified
target is done in Mexico through personal contact as follows:
Over the course of a conversation the following questions will be asked.
As you hear these questions you will realize it is time for caution. These people are usually
the local Street Tour and Excursion sellers who
have been offered commissions by the Timeshare resorts to identify you as a target. They may even be your Tour Representative that you will meet at
your destination. In which case they will reveal this at your welcoming meeting.
There are many at the airport awaiting your arrival. At which
time they may attempt to lure you into a vehicle under the pretense that it is
your transportation, when in fact you will be end up at a different resort. You will also
encounter many on the street and even
in local businesses that will attempt to attract you through friendly small
talk. They are easy to repel if you are aware and alert to the questions they
These people are
very persistent. But mostly they are just trying to make a better than
average living in an impoverished country, and may not truly realize what they
are involved in or choose to turn a blind eye out of desperation. It is mostly
the local Mexican citizens that are recruited for this initial "qualifying"
contact. However at the Resort you will likely encounter fellow American
and Canadian sales people that feel they have found their panacea with a
lucrative job living and working in a vacation atmosphere, albeit having to
compromise their integrity to do so.
(A) They will ask if this is your first trip to Mexico?
This is to find out if you have previous experiences or are familiar to their ploy.
First Timers are their prime targets.
(B) They will ask your marital status. If you are married and traveling with your Partner? If you are divorced, are you legally so?
The resort requires this to know if you have total legal signing authority or if your Partner's signature is also required.
(C) They will ask if you have a valid credit card?
The resort sets this as a qualifier as it implies that you
have sufficient credit rating to obtain a loan once home to pay them off and
escape the high interest rate they have applied specifically to encourage this
eventuality, as there purpose is simply an immediate cash grab and not a long
term loan contract. An initial payment extracted from your credit card implies a
credibility to the transaction with the appearance of voluntary uncoersed
compliance on your part.
They will ask your annual income?
They are very interested in your income to judge your ability
to accept your fate. They like to feel they target those that can afford this
misfortune. (which is usually in the $25,000+ range.)
At the resort they may even have you sign a statement
declaring your annual income.
In order to psychologically
prepare you for the final signings they will first have you sign very
insignificant, irrelevant papers so that it will seem almost natural to continue
doing so. (These people are very professional and extremely well trained in
their art of persuasion)
Once the forgoing information has been established you
may be offered free tours or cash to entice you to be a guest at a
"Presentation"(also called a ""session"") at one of the 5 Star resorts in the area.
They may offer you 1-2 hundred dollars and a ride to the resort with breakfast
included. You may even be staying at one of these resorts, in which case at
check-in you will be offered an upgrade etc. to attend the "Presentation" or
you may be told your suite is not ready and they will use your travel fatigue
and jet lag to their advantage while you are waiting.
They will tell you that it will take 90 minutes of your time. In actual fact
they may hold you at the resort in a very high pressure, intimidating, and often
humiliating sales environment for 4-5 hours, if necessary, to get you to submit. The
smiling friendly faces will have long since disappeared. They play on the
assumption that you do not have what it takes to be confrontational and
assertive enough to break free of these tactics. And indeed most do not.
They may even imply that due to your claims of financial means, you must
defend your honor by purchasing or be viewed a liar.
You will be certain of the fraudulent aspect of your encounter if the following statements are made during the
(A) If you are told it is a good financial investment.
In actual fact you would not be able to sell this product the very next day for 50% of what you will be paying for it. Even though the final offer will be about 30% or less of what the starting price was.
If you honestly did want a Timeshare/Membership at that resort you could purchase one on the resale market for 50-70% less from someone that had been pressured into buying on their vacation.
There are many available.
(B) If you are told you can make a lot of money renting it out.
There is a lot of trouble and added fees to do this. Time shares are
typically rented to cover the annual maintenance fee only. They may even be working in coercion with a Vacation company in the US that will try to convince you (over the phone) that for an up front fee of about $500 they will handle the renting for you. In fact for this fee they only list your rental and that is quite often the last that is heard from them.
Check any vacation rental section of your local news paper and see just
how many are now trying to deal with what has become an annual burden
to escape the maintenance fee attached to the agreement. The
resort enjoys this eventuality as it then gives them a new captive
target during the renters stay.
(C) If you are told you can cancel at any time simply by stopping payments.
The fact is your account is immediately transferred to their US
office and it will be very aggressively collected.
There is no legal escape from this contract if the 5 day
cancellation window provided by Mexican law has
elapsed! (explanation to follow) Many have simply had to sell
the contract for pennies on the dollar to make it feasible for
someone else to
(D) If you are told the deal they are offering is available only at that moment.
That they are not permitted to talk to you again should you
decline at that time. ( A common high pressure tactic that
amazingly really works) They may tell you that due to this
particular offer your 5 day right to cancel does not apply. (A lie).
Fact is if you returned the next day they would make the same or better offer.
These sales people take great pride in coercing people into doing
something they really do not want to do.
Never believe it cannot be done to you.
At some point you will be very willing and even request to leave the Presentation
without the gifts of tours and cash that enticed you to attend. (These items certainly will not be offered once they accept that you are not buying.) They may tell you that you have disqualified yourself for the gifts by misrepresenting your financial status
thus trying to embarrass you into signing.
An insulting confrontation may be their final attempt to coerce your commitment
or upset you enough so that you will leave without
demanding the gifts. If you manage to hold out to the
bitter end the presentation may take on a very intimidating
atmosphere, you may be subtly reminded that they are now
aware of were you are staying, your room number and how
much longer you will be in Mexico.Many
have signed simply because they were afraid to say no.
You may be physically escorted from the property and left to find your way back to your Hotel. Avoid arguing.
They may threaten to call the police.(You do not want
that!). It is common to
see people leaving the Presentation visibly shaken by this
No matter how intimidated, angry or even frightened you may
feel do not sign the agreement just to avoid this. It is
nothing compared to the trouble and frustration you would
experience trying to free yourself once you have signed the
contract. In fact these agreements usually require several
signatures and initials covering every legal escape route,
as they anticipate major buyer remorse once you realize you
have indeed fallen victim to a high pressure fraudulent
It is estimated that 60% of first-time tourists attending these
Presentations are victimized by these high pressure
fraudulent sales tactics. Everyone works on large
commissions. 50% or more of your initial credit card payment
will be the commissions paid to everyone from your first
street encounter to all those that effected your final
signature on the contract, hence their reason for
Negligent Travel Consulting is by far the foremost reason unknowing victims are entrapped. There are Professional Travel Agents that will book your vacation and provide quality Travel Consulting with regard to things to be wary of at destination.........BUT NOT ALL.
Many Travel agents have been wined and dined by these Resorts and influenced to direct unsuspecting victims. Always ask your Travel agent if there is anything to be cautious about at destination. If all they say is "Don't drink the water" you may consider your victimization to have begun.
IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF SUCH A FRAUD IN MEXICO
This is such a major problem, the Mexico consumer protection department, called
PROFECOhas a whole governmental section for lodging, timeshare and transportation complaints.
In Mexico you have an irrevocable 5 day cancellation period!
Even though the Resort may have you sign a note waiving the right to cancel it will not be accepted. It is invalid, it is illegal, and cannot be done for any reason.
According to PROFECO if you cancel within the legal time limit you are entitled to receive
ALL your money back, including your credit card deposit even if you signed a statement that you agreed it was non-refundable.
However do not expect the resort to cooperate in any way. You will now spend the rest of your vacation under the severe stress of breaking this agreement within the required time frame.
Immediately make a complaint to your credit card company. However, do not expect them to co-operate, being a major benefactor in this Scam, their loyalty is with the resort.
But let the record show that you tried. PROFECO will eventually force the Resort to return this money.
When dealing with PROFECO in Mexico be advised they may not speak English.
You will need a translator. Your taxi driver will do, so make sure he speaks good English.
You must deliver a letter requesting cancellation of the agreement to the Resort and have them sign a copy that they received it on that day. If they will not sign as to receiving it you will have to get
PROFECO to witness faxing it to them with receiving conformation.You can
also courier the letter and get a signed delivery receipt.
From that point PROFECO can handle cancellation and secure the refund without
your presence in the country.
Their web site: www.profeco.gob.mx
Click on the scrolling top right when it says "Take your time when buying
a Timeshare. ( click here)
will see that they advise you to bring a copy of the agreement to their office
prior to signing.This will be reviewed by
their attorneys.They offer free legal advice.
If the resort
refuses to cooperate with this advice or resists in any way,
resist all attempts to stop you from leaving (expect a confrontation). Do not expect any of the gifts
that were promised to you.
Purchasing a Timeshare/Vacation Membership should not be done with any less due
care and diligence than any other form of Real-Estate in any other country.
These purchases are usually for perpetuity (you are hooked and must pay forever whether you use
the time or not).
This Link will explain PROFECO'S reporting
Please be very cautious when giving personal information
on any time share website. You will notice the Resorts do not reveal their identity until you commit, and
it is very much about getting your personal info. They do in fact warn you that
they will accuse you of misrepresenting your qualifications and disqualify you
from receiving the cash (bait) if you do not agree to purchase. They do in fact avoid the term
Timeshare/Vacation Membership" as they are very aware of the negative reputation within this industry.
You will notice that they specifically target Canadian (except for Quebec) and American tourists as this is
where the legal jurisdiction applies once they have your
signature on the agreement.
If seeking Legal counsel always check Timeshare Site Forums such as
Find legitimate references and positive feed back before choosing a Firm.
The initial consultation is usually free.
Another very informative and helpful Site:
Be informed, be alert and have a
This information is only provided so you will
recognize when you are a victim of high pressure
fraudulent tactics. Be assured, the every day vast
majority of Mexican people are hard working, genuine
and very honest. Please do not judge them or the
country by those you may encounter should you fall
victim to the above described experience.
For knowledge, support and advice in managing your Timeshare/Vacation Club,
are highly recommended.
You may check the reputation of any Resort and chat
with present owners by reading
the area Forums and Resort Reviews at the web site:
A legitimate resort will not pressure you into the sale without allowing you the time to do due diligence. If they insist that you commit at your first visit then it is best to firmly decline.
The Timeshare/Vacation club industry is responsible for
creating it's own reputation and code of ethics.
Both the Canadian and US Government specifically
warn their citizens about getting involved with
Timeshare interests in Mexico. Each of us have
a moral obligation to advise fellow travelers
of anything that may harm them in their vacation
Please assist in establishing a Resort Integrity Rating
Guide by sharing your personal Timeshare or Vacation
Club Sales experience. All information
received in strict confidence and privacy protected.
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