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Scammed by Gold Crown Resort rep in Mazatlan

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
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San Jose, California
posts: 3
Scammed by Gold Crown Resort rep in Mazatlan

original blog post: …blogspot.com/2011/08/gold-crown-resort-scam…

My boyfriend and I have been together for over 3 years and decided to finally take a romantic and relaxing vacation alone together, and being the young professionals that we are, our travel budget is not all that hefty. So where can we go where the US dollar remains somewhat strong? Mexico! We decided to travel to Mazatlan and couldn’t be any more thrilled about our vacation. When we arrived in Mazatlan we became completely enamoured with the culture, the people, and the beautiful scenery. On our second day there, we were strolling down the main boulevard where there are lots of hustlers passing out coupons, flyers, et cetera. One of the most prominent promotion is for La Jolla Resort, which is a new developing timeshare resort in Nuevo Mazatlan (north of the touristy area). One very nice Mexican man gave us an invitation to go to one of these “presentations” at La Jolla, and he said even if we don’t buy the timeshare, we’ll get a free bottle of tequila and a free breakfast, so why not? We were picked up in front of our hotel the next day and taken to La Jolla Resort.

Immediately we were awestruck by the beauty of this resort, letting whatever this representative say to us go in one ear and right out the other, because we knew we weren’t interested. After sitting through his pitch and telling him we were not interested, he directed us over to their “developer” to negotiate a better deal or package.

We told “Sam” (I’ve decided to keep his real name private), the “developer”, that we were not interested in his pitch and then he threw a curveball at us. How about an extra 25 “weeks” on top of your 100 that you would be purchasing for $2500, and tell ya what, I’ll waive the taxes and annual fees. He even gave us a bunch of certificates for vacations and airfare that we would supposedly be able to redeem (haven’t looked into those much yet). He told us that each of these weeks had a cash value of $669 that we would be able to use towards airfare, car rentals, attractions, which we’d have to book through their website www.goldcrownresort.com . He even mentioned that if we did not use the full amount of $669, the remainder would be rolled over and we’d have that fraction of a “week” to use at a later date. Suddenly this deal became extremely attractive to us. He made it appear that GCR had pull with all these hotels, resorts, and airlines, and that is how they are able to give us such a great deal.

After much consideration, we decided to pay $2500 for 125 weeks valued at $669 per week. After we agreed, we were rushed through the paperwork and blindly initialed and signed these verification documents. After going through the fine print, nowhere on the contract does it mention the airfare deal. Immediately, we began to sweat about it. Now, we are contractually bound to Gold Crown Resort because the contract says our payment is non-refundable. Also, you cannot reverse your credit card transaction because it takes about 14 days to “process” your new membership, so we couldn’t find out that we were really duped until we received our membership ID. I am not saying that GCR is not a real discount program, it is. It is essentially like hotels.com , but instead of leftover hotel rooms, you get access to leftover timeshares. What I am saying is that this affiliate’s sales pitch is completely false and he lied to us in order for us to sign up.

I’ve called customer service and apparently their Florida customer service department (the only one in the country) is contracted by these affiliates, or developers, so they were not able to assist me. Instead she gave me a contact number and email for the affiliate in Mexico that we signed up with. I’ve written three emails and still haven’t received a response. I tried calling the resort and they said their customer rep and the guy who signed us up have left for the day and to try again tomorrow. We feel absolutely stupid and completely taken advantage of. I am writing this article to hopefully spread awareness about these lying salesmen. I really hope no one else falls for all the sneaky tricks up their sleeves.

Anyone have any advice as to how we could terminate the contract and get our money back?

97 replies to this topic
Carson City, Nevada
posts: 3,975
reviews: 5
1. Re: Scammed by Gold Crown Resort rep in Mazatlan

It's too bad you didn't come to this site and do some research first becasue this outfit has been discussed ar naseum. I went to their presentation and got the breakfast, 100 bucks and the cheap tequila but they weren't getting me to sign and I won't repeat the experience. Sorry you had to learn the hard way.

San Jose, California
posts: 3
2. Re: Scammed by Gold Crown Resort rep in Mazatlan

i am beating myself up for not browsing these forums prior to our trip; never in my life have i ever felt so naive! i am doing everything i can to circulate this information on the internet so hopefully they are threatened enough to break the contract.

Mazatlán
Destination Expert
for Mazatlan
posts: 3,396
reviews: 14
3. Re: Scammed by Gold Crown Resort rep in Mazatlan

Was this within the last 5 days? If so, you are entitled to cancel it.

Seattle
posts: 340
4. Re: Scammed by Gold Crown Resort rep in Mazatlan

Did you say $2500? Total? You bought 125 weeks valued at $699 each ($87,375.00) for $2,500.00? That's like 20 bucks a week. Am I the only one here... ?!?!

Not trying to sound harsh, but you got off lucky compared to some. The 125 weeks must have some value. Get what you can out of them and chalk the rest up to experience. The aggravation you will go through if you try to get a refund, from what I've read in other posts, just ain't worth it.

Best of luck--

AL

Saint John, Canada
posts: 107
reviews: 3
5. Re: Scammed by Gold Crown Resort rep in Mazatlan

I admit that I don't know much about timeshares. But I just went on a TS site to see what their "deals" or sales were. Ironically, they had a property that I noticed in a travel broc., a couple of weeks ago. Their deal was $740 higher per person (excluding the airfare) than what the average non-member person can pay. So wheres the deal with these? A friend offered me their TS in Cabo a couple years back and their price for the week was the same as mine except mine included airfare.

Seattle, Washington
posts: 271
6. Re: Scammed by Gold Crown Resort rep in Mazatlan

So sorry to learn about your experience. I am sure you are frustrated and want to get your money back but I can assure you that you they will not break your contract by making posts on the internet but please make as many posts as you can in hopes that maybe someone else will see your post and avoid going to La Jolla. Google "la jolla timeshare scam". Unfortunately La Jolla has been around for a while and you are not the first they have taken. I would call your credit card company and try real hard to get them to reverse the charges, tell them you have been scammed. Also see Mazzi's post above. Here is a link that roger posted a while back you might want to read:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g150792-i257-k4293…

Good luck

San Diego...
posts: 1
reviews: 5
7. Re: Scammed by Gold Crown Resort rep in Mazatlan

Hello and thank you for your post. I just had the exact same thing happen to me in Cabo. Of course now I am scouring the internet trying to find out if this has happened to others and if there is any recourse. Has anyone had success having your credit card company back you up by disputing the charge? Any other suggestions?

Mazatlan, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Mazatlan
posts: 3,180
reviews: 9
8. Re: Scammed by Gold Crown Resort rep in Mazatlan

I don’t think he can be of any help in Cabo, but Ivan Pico was designated by the governor of Sinaloa to receive all complaints here in Mazatlan (And I presume) all of Sinaloa and forward them to the governor’s office. He does not have the power to ‘fix’ the problem (He is with the tourism office for the state) but he does pass the information to a representative of the governor who will see that the problem is addressed. Ivan’s e-mail is Ivan Pico Gutierrez ivan.pico@sinaloa.gob.mx The governors office is trying to get a handle on how huge this problem is. Don’t expect a quick solution, but if these things are not reported, the cannot be addressed. Give it a try and let us know what you are told!

Fresno, California
posts: 4,901
reviews: 30
9. Re: Scammed by Gold Crown Resort rep in Mazatlan

Just lucky they just got you for $2500 usually you hear of people that were clipped for $20K to 30K for a timeshare. Just stay away from the Mayan Prison(Palace)

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 1,464
reviews: 11
10. Re: Scammed by Gold Crown Resort rep in Mazatlan

There are lots of scams but also lots of reputable ones also.

The only way to make a purchase economically friendly is to buy enough points

so you can take advantage of the perks and minimise the maintenance fee.

If you are just going to buy one or two weeks it's better ( MUCH better ) to purchase them on the resale market.

If you require details, message me.

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