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Scam & Fraud in Cancun / Mexico = Watch Out For Mayan Palace!!

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Jun 15th, 2004, 11:25 AM
  #1
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Scam & Fraud in Cancun / Mexico = Watch Out For Mayan Palace!!

If you're going to Mexico, esp. Cancun, and it's your 1st time there, please watch out for anything that has to do with Mayan Palace!

Who & When & Where should you be alert? As soon as you arrived at the airport! This includs people who work at the airpot. In Mexico's tourist industry, everything is about commisions, so don't think you don't need to read this simply b/c you assume Mayan Palace is a hotel and it can't do you harm in any ways! It's not a hotel!

To find out more about Mayan Palace from people who got scammed by them, please go to below link:

http://www.caribbeanmag.com/cgi-bin/...&action=thread


There are other websites besides this one, just go to www.google.com and type in "Mayan Escape" for more info.

For people who think they've already got scammed, go to this website:

http://www.profeco.gob.mx/html/consu....htm#attention

I hope this will help. Also, anyone who has any additional (good or bad) info on Mayan Palace or Mayan Escape, or their Great vactions club program pls email me or leave your messages here, thank you!

I wish you all have a safe & fun trip to Mexico!


P.S: if you'd like to know how I was contacted by the people at the airport, type "day trips from Cancun?" in search engine to find my original message.
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Jun 15th, 2004, 12:01 PM
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This is another website I found, very decriptive. It tells you what would happen to you if you do join the Mayan Palace tour:

http://travelsucks.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?p=5941

Remember, watch out for anything that has to do with Mayan Palace, Mayan Escape, or The Great Vacations Clubs. This is a giant fraud organization that's growing rapidly, not only they have other resorts outside Mexico, I was told they are working on buidling Mayan Palace in Europe as well!
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Jun 15th, 2004, 12:24 PM
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here's another one:

http://cancun-hotels.tripadvisor.com...Peninsula.html
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Jun 16th, 2004, 01:07 PM
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Did you buy the package or do you feel you were scammed in some other way?
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Jun 16th, 2004, 03:05 PM
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We did purchased the vacation package, unfortunately. After we got back to the state, the more we thought about it the more we felt we got scamemed. So I did a search on "Mayan Palace" at googl.com, but nothing funny show up except thier ads & travel related links. However, when we got an email from thier customer service, i noticed it's sent from [email protected], so i did a search on "Mayan Escape" and that's how i found their dirts on google, and when i type in "Mayan Palace fraud / scam" more links showed up. Furthermore, there is no such website as MayanEscape.com, it only says "page cannot be found" (i've gone back serveral times). Just go to the links i posted in previous messages and read for yourself.

i'm currently taking summer courses so i don't have much time to write more descriptive & detail report of what happened to us, I just want to post something as soon as possible to warn as many people who are going to Mexico as possible. However, if anyone has any questions please leave your message here or email me directly, i will do my best to find time and get back to you!

As to your questions whether i felt sacmmed in someother ways or not: my answer is YES! We were told Mayan Palace is a new hotel that needs tourists to take a 90 min. tour and evaluate the hotel & take a survey, and in return we would get discounts off local tours and a free breakfast. I love watching hotel interior design---basically things in architecture nature )on Travel channel, so we joined the tour. Long story short, we wanted to leave there as soon as we found out they are selling time-share programs and we told the people just that, and their response was: well, then you shouldn't be here! You should have told "the guy" in the first place! So we explained "our guy" who works at the airport told us a different story. They seemed surprised. But it wasn't until i read through all of the messages online i realized it's a total B.S, b/c the same thing happened to many others, that's how they play the game. Just like most people, we were told the ride to Mayan Palace would only take 20-25 min., but it took us almost 45 min. to get there....basically we found out everything is 1 lie after another after reading other's unfortune experiences..... the thought of being kidnaped did across my mind on the way there. So you asked whether i felt scammed in other ways my answer would be the most definite YES.
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Jun 16th, 2004, 04:59 PM
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It's unfortunate that you had to learn those lessons the hard way, and I hope you're not out much money.
But after reading your posts and the links all I can say is that you fell into a generic, everyday, always been there vacation plan/timeshare scheme.
There are lots of variations on the theme, but at the core they're all very similar.

Mayan Palace hardly has a monopoly on this scheme in Mexico and if you look around you'll likely be able to locate 15-20 similar schemes active in Cancun right now. When I first went to Cancun in the mid-1980's they were active, and I visited one. But it was pretty obvious what was going on. Some are more slick than others.

Nineccat if you go to the US board and do a search on "timeshare" (or plural) you'll find an evening's worth of reading on these schemes and some of their more legitimate cousins (lack of regulation in Mexico allows them to flourish in virtual counterposition to American type laws).
Those vacation programs are a joke.
And assuming that a vendor located in a foreign airport is legitimate simply because it's in an airport is a mistake...particularly in Mexico. Mexico is still the Wild Wild West.

Live and learn. Tell your friends.
In years to come you'll look back and laugh about it.
The old saying "you can't get something for nothing" most certainly holds true with these Mexican tourist schemes.
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Jun 16th, 2004, 06:39 PM
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Don't blame Mexico for shady timeshare crooks. The most fraudulent of these crooks is a company based in Florida, and invariably, it's gringos that are masterminding the rip-offs.

Sad, but reality.

Have fun! (It's easier if you stay away from timeshare maggots.)
Mark
www.tiogringo.com
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Jun 16th, 2004, 09:40 PM
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Yes, the Mayan Palace does have awful sales tactics. This is so unfortunate because it taints what are beautiful properties.

We stayed at the Mayan Palace in Nuevo Vallarta the Spring of 2003 and really, really enjoyed the place - it was great. I don't know if you have kids but it is a great family resort. My only complaint I can come up with was that we didn't have an ocean view and couldn't pay to upgrade. They were very adamant that the ocean views were only for Mayan Palace owners (and they did look like beautiful views). We are not owners but traded our timeshare to stay there. We met a variety of people and the people who owned at the Mayan and all seemed to enjoy their ownership. I hope you can straighten this out but if you can't don't feel too bad, at least the properties are nice. I wouldn't hesitate to stay at another Mayan Palace. Good Luck.

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Jun 17th, 2004, 09:03 PM
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Why so defensive, nineccat?
You posted a warning here to others, which was a nice gesture.
This is an anonymous board, so no reason to be self-conscious.
I think everyone who has travelled has made some humorous and some painful mistakes....witness the post on the US board about "dumbest things you've ever done on vacation" (paraphrasing).
One of the reasons I read this board when planning a trip someplace I'm unfamiliar with is to learn from others so as to minimize my chances of negative travel experiences.
But no amount of research will prevent all negatives.
I think you interpreted my comments as being critical of you in particular. That wasn't my intent. My comments were generic observations from my visits to Mexico and other less developed nations. You can't learn everything from reading.
As they say, experience is the best teacher.

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Jun 18th, 2004, 10:52 AM
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Hi,travleis,

I appreciated your feedbacks and I knew & understood you wrote it out of good intentions. As a matter of fact, I belive anyone who read your message would all agree! The 1st message I posted I wrote it in a hurry, I also kept it short & factual so it's easier on readers eyes. However after I read the feedbacks I realized I need to make some clarifications and provide additional info so people would know this is a serious matter, and hopefully it'll also help prevent my message being misread/misinterpreted in the future.

Have fun on your next trip!

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Jun 18th, 2004, 04:20 PM
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nineccat,

I enjoyed your trip report and I think I saw all of your pictures. It is obvious you had a really good time and I'm sure everyone who saw your smiling faces couldn't help but smile too as you two looked like you enjoyed every minute of your trip.

While you were in Mexico, you did two things that if you were better educated about travel in the Caribbean, you would not have done.

You bought into the "time share scam" and you went to one of the swim with the dolphins programs.

I've been to Mexico many times, and the deals they offer at the timeshare places are very attractive - free jeeps, free booze, Mexican blankets, free nights at the resort - I've heard it all.

They make it sound so amazing, you can't help but go and check it out. It happens all over Caribbean Mexico, and no one should ever feel "dumb" because they did something that appeared (at the outset) to be a good deal.

When you get some time, please type dolphin or dolphins into the search window in the above left of the screen and see what people have to say about the swim with the dolphins programs.

They are so cruel as to be beyond belief, but have a huge marketing system similar to the ones at the timeshares.

You may not realize it at the moment, but you got totally ripped off twice - by the timeshare people and by the swtd program.

Please read the information so you can make an informed decision should you choose to travel again to a locale where they offer this activity.

Thanks!

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Jun 29th, 2004, 11:05 PM
  #12
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I have my story to tell too. I have spent one week in Mayan Sea Garden resort in Mazatlan this month. While there, I was approached by the resort staff about a presentation on time share scheme involving Mayan Palace (in return for somer free bees of course). Next day I and my my wife attended the presentation. Everything looked very promising and the price (that during presentation tumbled from over $100,000 down to some $12,000 !!!!! - which made me already suspicious) seemed OK. I was asked for my credit card to make an imprint on the contract. I handed my Visa card over but also made a comment that I am not going to sign the contract until I study it in details. They agreed but demanded that we do not take the contract papers out of the premises. I insisted that I want to read the document in my apartment and will return it on the next day. While letting the salesmen to consider the issue, I kept on reading the contract and consequently discovered a number of discrepancies between the document and the claims made previously by the salesmen. When I asked for some explanations, they were not able to provide satisfactory answers. I decided to pull out of the deal. I asked for my Visa card to be returned. This caused some visible concern among the staff. I then asked if they have already processed the payment without my authorisation. They reluctantly admitted that it was the case indeed. Being now quite certain that it is a genuine scum, I raised my voice (making sure that other people still negotiating their deals hear every bit of our conversation) and asked for some explanation. I was then confronted by a big, big man threatening me with calling security and removing me from the premises and in fact from the resort. Being in Mexico where a policemen can be bribed with a few pesos, I realised that I did not stand a chance. I gave up and returned to my apartment and immediately contacted my bank. Indeed, the card has been processed and some $5,000 has been charged to my account. Fortunately, in a case of a large transactions like this one, the bank first contacts the account holder and asks for confirmation before accepting the transaction. It was not too late and the debit has been cancelled.

Due to the confusion among the staff, I still managed to extract my free gifts that I was promised, so the overall result of the incident was positive. It taught me two important lessons though:

1. Never let your credit card to dissappear from your sight

2. If you are denied the right to study the contract for as long as you like before signing, it means that the salesman has a good reason for doing that - he wants to hide something. Don't wait - pull out of the deal immediately.

Otherwise I truly enjoyed my holidays in Mexico. There is a perception that in Mexico you can be conned by locals very easily. Let me correct this. The only cons I came across when in Mazatlan were high-flying salesmen (including the manager of the resort) who originated from Scotland and the US. Ordinary Mexicans are generally honest and very friendly.

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Jun 30th, 2004, 05:57 AM
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To the OP. Did you actually lose money or what is the hassle and deceptiveness that yanked your chain? Sadly most of us have gone thru this crap before so we know the drill. Enjoy Mexico but ignore these guys. I could give our story too but it would be all too repetive. There's no such thing as a free lunch. Nexttime we go to Mexico I am getting hats made that say "No Habla Timeshares!" Hasta la vista amigo.
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Jun 30th, 2004, 11:38 AM
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To jacketwatch:

we lost $3,600 on the vacation package we purchased at Mayan Palace, we didn't purchase time-share b/c niether my BF or myself is a fan of time-share, it's just not soemthing we'd be interested in.

i noticed 1 of my messages (post on 06/17/2004, 06:51 pm) that has more details of what had happened to us is "missing" from this post (could be just a temp. problem on my browser). if that's the case, please click on "post my reply" and scroll down that page to look for message posted on 6/17/04. If you still have other questions feel free to ask!


To Diana:

Thanks for the Dolphin information. i went to 1 of the site you posted and it was so cruel that i could not even finish reading it... When thinking about animals many of us would probably only think about the animals on dry land, like me. I love animals. I have 2 cats, 1 is adpoted and the other 1 i found him on the street. i don't buy any animal from the pet shop and i don't even go to the zoo. i guess i just totally left marine life out of the picture and was overwhelmed with the idea of " one in the life time experience" when we saw the SWD program. Thanks for reminding me that they too should be free, not being hunt down then trapped in any type of amusement park! I see you are watching new post inqury about SWD program very closely, keep up the good job!
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Jun 30th, 2004, 11:55 AM
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Thanks nineccat!

I got caught up in the slick advertising too and did it before I knew how bad it really is for them.

I really appreciate your taking the time to look at the information and not just saying, "Oh well, I did it and it's too late."

There is a little handful of us always trying to make sure we spread the word and let people make an informed choice.
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Jun 30th, 2004, 03:06 PM
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Sorry to hear about your ordeal! I've stayed at the Mayan Palace Mayan Riviera twice and am scheduled to return next year. I love the property but also had a bad experience with the timeshare sales. It's the worst timeshare experience ever!! We received a discount on our food/bar bills because we went to the presentation, so that was nice. Since that time I refuse to listen to any timeshare sales - no matter what they offer. I figure I'm on vacation and my time is precious and I refuse to be locked in a room with those vultures instead of enjoying the sun and beach activities. The sales people at MPMR became insulting and demanding once they found out we weren't interested in another timeshare. They kept sending people in to take over for them that would exert more pressure. This was definitely the worst and I'd previously gone to a lot of timeshare presentations and bought twice. Beware!
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Jun 30th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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Why don't people who attend the timeshare presentations (who have no interest in buying--just want the perks) simply tell the sales people that they are in dire financial straits, or something? Business is going down the tubes, family just incurred huge medical bills, etc.
Wouldn't that cause the pressure sales people to give up?
You can't get blood from a turnip.
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Jun 30th, 2004, 05:50 PM
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travleis

I agree with your thinking but I fear that these high pressure salespeople might turn *dire straits* to their advantage.

Can't you imagine being told that since life has treated them badly they should reward themselves with a little vacation place ;-) ?

I can't imagine that any perks would be worth the time and the potential to be scammed.

Hopefully discussions like this will help educate and enlighten !

Marion

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Jun 30th, 2004, 06:34 PM
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$3600.00! Ouch! So sorry to hear that. Live and learn. Good luck. Larry
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Jun 30th, 2004, 08:28 PM
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I guess $3600 pays for a lot of free drinks, buffets, and trinket gifts.
Some people wonder how these outfits can afford to give away something for nothing.
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