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Hacienda del Mar - (Cabo) Lies and Deception

My wife and I are writing to report that we believe that were intentionally misled (swindled actually) by the sales staff at the Hacienda del Mar resort in Cabo San Lucas.  We signed a contract last August for a one bedroom timeshare with the understanding that we had purchased an every-year program.  However, when we returned this past January to stay at the resort for the first time under the contract that we had signed, we were astounded when we heard the sales person say when reviewing our contract with us that we had actually purchased an every-other-year program.  Also, when we expressed our disbelief when the sales staff said that we only owned a every-other-year program, instead of the sales staff sitting down with us addressing our concerns immediately, they said come back after hours and we were quickly ushered out of the meeting, as if trying to hide their practices from other potential clients, or to get rid of us because we weren't going to purchase anything.

We exchanged from one of our timeshares to stay at the Hacienda del Mar resort last August because we had heard that it was a lovely resort.  Although we were really not interested in purchasing another timeshare, we attended the sales meeting anyways because we were interested to know the various rooms and the purchase options for the various rooms at the Hacienda del Mar resort.  The sales person went through several different every-year options for various sized rooms - none of which were attractive to us.  The sales person then laid out one more option which did interest us, basically because the sales price was about half the amount described earlier for the same room.  The sales agent said that it was a resale and he called the program "every other year maintenance fees."  We asked if this meant that we would be able to use one room each and every year and, of course pay the maintenance fees when we used the resort, but if we did not use the resort that we would only be required to pay the maintenance fee every other year (required maintenance fees are a big deal in case you cannot use the resort in any year).  The sales person said yes, indicating to us that we would be signing onto an every-year program at about half the price of the previous deals that had been described to us.  At no time that we could recall did the sales person say that it was an every-other-year program or in any way state that we would only have access to the resort every other year.  Even the guy who went through the contract with us at closing did not state that it was an every-other-year program.  He used the same terminology as the sales agent, which is that the program was "every other year maintenance fees."   

On another issue we eventually learned that the sales person was telling us lies.  The principal sales agent promised us that we would receive a "40 percent discount at the restaurants and bars.”  We asked if that meant that we would receive that discount each time we returned, and he said yes and they had been offering this discount since the resort had been opened.  We asked if that could be written in our contract and he said that they could not do that because the amount of the discount could vary.  After we signed the contract, we went out to eat at a restaurant and asked for the 40 percent discount that members received.  The waiter looked at us strangely and said he did not know what we were talking about.  He called a manager who also explained that he did not know what we were talking about.  He did provide us a 15% discount which was the discount available to us by attending the sales meeting.  He suggested that we speak to the sales agent to find out what discount he was speaking about.  The first thing next day we went back and spoke to that sales agent who then modified his story to say that the 40% discounts are only obtainable through the sales office, but he confirmed that we would receive the discount each time we return (another lie).  This made the purchase very desirable because we not only saved on the apparent room cost with our purchase, but we would also save on the food and drink bill – particularly since the resort is located a distance from town.  We accepted his explanation and went on our way (after all, this a Sheraton-affiliated resort).  We did receive several 40% off discounts from the sales office last August.  However, when we returned this past January as members for our first stay at the Hacienda del Mar resort, we went to the sales office and asked for the 40% off coupons.  The sales agent we dealt with for the purchase the time before said that they were not offering the discounts anymore (another lie).  However, we spoke to another member of the sales office and she said that the discounts we were asking about are only available the week of a new purchase and are not offered to members for return visits.  We then realized that we were duped about the restaurant and bar discounts.

We have one more issue about the practices of the Hacienda del Mar sales office.  They readily hand out (push) alcohol drinks during the sales meetings.  When we were in the sales meeting last August, the waiter asked whether we wanted a drink of some champagne.  We said no (more than once actually), but the sales agent insisted that the waiter pour us each a glass of champagne anyways.  This indicates to us a sales staff which attempts to get you tipsy so that they can get their sale – this is a pathetic practice for making sales.  At our follow up sales meeting earlier this year, the sales person also asked whether we would like some alcohol drinks.  Although at least this time when we declined, they did not try to push the drinks on us.  Of course, that may only have been because we reacted early on in the meeting to what program we had purchased.

We documented these lies and deception in a letter which we sent to Hacienda del Mar and to the Sheraton.  The Hacienda del Mar response did not even acknowledge that we stated that we were lied to - they said that because it was after 5 days, the contract was fixed.  They also tried to sell us more time at the resort!!  The Sheraton complaint person said that they have no control over the Hacienda del Mar sales staff.  The thing is, if the multi-billion dollar Sheraton Hotel chain really wanted to lean on Hacienda del Mar, Hacienda del Mar would respond.  I am very disappointed in the Sheraton (in fact, I will never stay at a Sheraton Hotel again).

More dramatically, I think that we were much more easily duped because we trusted that because it was a Sheraton-affiliated resort, that we could trust them.  Ironically, this was the worst sales meeting (in terms of lies or deception) of any sales meeting that we have ever attended.  I believe that based on the sales practices (lies and deception) that we obverved, we are not the only ones who have been duped.  In fact, there was another claim that Hacienda del Mar lied in another complaint on this website.


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0 #4 LW 2011-06-25 01:19
Thanks for replying Vicky. No, they still have not refunded our money. We filed a complaint with Profeco, the consumer complaint agency for Mexico, and they are working on it. Profeco is slow moving so potentially we may get some of our money back someday in the future. Hiring an attorney is our last resort because we will probably end up paying an attorney a large part of what is owed to us.

Many more were duped by Hacienda del Mar - go to timesharescam.c om to learn about more stories like ours.
0 #3 Vicky 2011-06-21 15:16

I agree with what you are saying, I bought an every other year this past March and they did push the drinks as well. Did you contact an attorney? Did you get your money back?
0 #2 Lester Wyborny 2010-06-13 10:00
Additional information about this sad affair can be found on the message board:
+1 #1 Lester 2010-04-08 22:49
- To send any comments to the writer.Click "Re ply" then fill the form.
- To post a general comment. Just fill the form and send.

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