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Hacienda Tres Rios Sunset Group - Buyer Beware!

I recently vacationed in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. In order to get to the resort I was staying at I had to take a plane to Cancun and then a taxi into town. As soon as I stepped off the plane and into the airport, I was approached by a gentleman offering me private shuttle service and 3 tickets to Chichen Itza for less that the cost of a taxi ride into Playa del Carmen. All I had to do was visit the new Tres Rios Hacienda, a self-proclaimed 6 start resort. There would, of course, be someone serving me a sales pitch, but a gourmet breakfast buffet would be included and it would only take an hour of my time. Against my better judgment, I took them up on their offer figuring the 3 free tickets to Chichen Itza alone would save me over $300, not including the travel arrangements to and from that they would also be providing.

The Tres Rios Riviera Maya resort was spectacular. It was still in the final phases of completion, so when the salesman tried to sell us "property" there, he was offering it at a "discounted rate." One hour, eventually became three and since the group that ran the resort was also providing the transportation back to my hotel, I was, in a sense, stuck listening to a persistent salesman offering various different kinds of packages, throwing in additional vacation weeks to anywhere in the world, while pumping me and my traveling companions full of alcohol. In the end, the deal sounded so good, I signed on the dotted line.
Unfortunately, the way the contract was explained to us and how it was actually written were quite different and difficult to interpret.
The contract even has a disclaimer at the end that basically states that due to the language barrier, some information may not be expressed clearly and interpretation is at the discretion of the organization.

Having a bad feeling about the deal once I had a couple of days to go over the contract, I tried to have it terminated under the guidelines provided. But, I was given the runaround until the number of days to do so had expired. Then they refused to release me from the contract, claiming that I did not notify them in the allotted amount of time.

After fighting back and forth through my credit card company, I finally conceded and decided to try recouping some of the money by selling my two weeks at the resort. However, I could never reach a representative, only an answering service. The toll-free telephone numbers listed on their official website led to dead-ends: one to a non-functioning line and the other to a U.S. based faucet manufacturer.

None of my phone calls, e-mails, faxes or letters were ever responded to and now I am left fighting to get the charges reversed by my credit card company once again.

I have since written a formal letter to Federal Office of Consumer Affairs in Mexico, but have yet to hear anything.

The ironic thing is that according to the Sunset Group, which manages Tres Rios, the fault is all mine. As they expressed to my credit card company, the miscommunication that ensued was on my end as I was conducting business in a foreign land and because of the language-barrier, I should have been more cautious. However, one of the company's main office is based out of Miami, Florida and the gentleman who sold me the property was from Canada and spoke perfect English.

This is a warning to anyone who is planning to travel to or around the Cancun area. If you are approached by someone offering a cheap taxi ride and free tickets to various different excursions in exchange for visiting the Tres Rios Hacienda, pay the extra money for the cab ride... you'll end up saving more money (and headaches) in the long run.


Submitted by: Leanne


+1 #5 S. Gill 2011-04-16 00:16
We are in dispute with our timeshare also. We have been lied to and scammed. We are close to getting out of the contract but will not be able to recover our deposit of $5000.. Can anyone tell me the procedure and/or info needed to process with the credit card company?
0 #4 Carol Schall 2011-02-13 17:10
We just had a similar experience but were able to cancel the contract before the 5 days were up. The information that we were told was totally different than the actual contract. Lesson learned: always read ever sentence in the contract!!!
+1 #3 Elly 2010-12-08 03:50

My husband and I have almost an identical story. I was wondering if I could get your contact information so we could talk about what steps we can take.

I would love to get our $5,000 deposit back that we made through VISA. Can I get your contact information too? I want to persue this avenue and would love all the help I can get.
+3 #2 Audrey 2010-07-01 23:03
Just wondering how you were able to win your dispute from Visa and get your deposit back? Any tips? I'm about to start mine. They got me;(
Thanks so much!
+2 #1 Guest 2009-04-20 13:57
You situation is very similar to mine, we had cancelled our contract by fax and then battled Sunset for 4 months. We finally won our dispute through VISA and were able to get our deposit back. I hope this all works out for you, keep in mind that most of what they say is illegal or lies.

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