Thursday, December 10, 2009

Time-share sales pitches in Mexico

Doris and I just came back from a fascinating but confusing presentation at Boutique La Jolla, a time-share hotel in Nuevo Mazatlan.  We were accosted on the street by two salesmen who offered us 1,500 pesos as a gift if we would go out for breakfast and see the place and listen to the presentation.  They even offered us a taxi ride up and back so, just for fun, we agreed to go.  Then they asked for a 100 peso deposit (about $9 Canadian) that we would get back when we went there.  Harry declined to accompany us but drove us to the coffee shop to meet Carmelo at 8:30. We wondered if he would even be there, but indeed he was.  Before we left he told us that because we were renting a house and not staying in a hotel we wouldn’t qualify for the $1,500 peso gift. (Surprise!)
Carmelo had a taxi waiting and he accompanied us up the coast and down a dirt road past the construction site where they’re building the hotel tower.  In behind there is the swimming pool area with an infinity pool giving onto the lovely blue ocean surrounded by several small buildings with balconies.  We were introduced to our salesman, Eduardo, a young man who sat us down and asked questions about our traveling habits and our income.  He seemed quite nervous and told us it was his second day on the job.  We had a nice buffet breakfast with Eduardo and then went into the show suite.  Here’s a view from the balcony.

The place is lovely, there’s no doubt, but the timeshare concept seemed too good to be true.  You don’t buy a week, you buy points that you can redeem at hotels all over the world, and can also sell and rent back to the company.  We were shown a catalogue of four and five star hotels in places like Rome, Paris, Argentina, New York…etc., etc. that we could stay in with our points for $99 a week.  But the confusing thing was that he couldn’t tell us how much the points would cost us unless we agreed to sign up today.
He then called in his supervisor, who worked on us a bit but still wouldn’t give us any dollar figure.  Finally he came back with the number $150 written on a piece of paper, but we didn’t know what this figure applied to. Then he told us about the $399 maintenance fee that applies to every week.  Suddenly there was no more talk about points.  And when we still refused to commit to anything, he abruptly stood up and both he and Eduardo said goodbye. 
A third man sat down with us and asked us about the presentation.  He was quite abrupt and told us we could go and get our gifts.  All we wanted was to get our 100 peso deposit back and a ride home.  We were given our 100 pesos and led to a la Jolla van with a silent driver.  In the van was woman who had also refused to sign.  Her offer was different from ours though, she had turned down 100 weeks for $2,000 US.   It’s all very confusing.  We still can’t figure out how the system works.
After looking on the internet, I found quite a few complaints from people about misrepresentation with this time share.  Apparently it’s not so easy to get the weeks you want in the places you want to go.  I’m sure these places can work for some people, but it’s definitely “buyer beware,” especially in a foreign country.


  1. You know the adage, if it sounds too good to be true...

    Hang on to your money. There are no shortcuts or fantabulous deals.

  2. joanna, i'm glad you had a nice breakfast!!! steven

  3. Wow, those guys are bloodsuckers! Mom and I subjected ourselves to something similar in Hawaii many years ago, for a week's free rental car. We thought we were tough enough old ladies to weather the sales pitch, but by the time got out of there we felt like blithering despicable idiots! Good for you to resist. We did. Cannot wait to get Christmas done so I can come and visit.


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