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?