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Karisma Exotic Travelers Club

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
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Northeastern...
posts: 9
reviews: 81
Karisma Exotic Travelers Club

My husband and I went to Mexico in 2010 stayed at the Azul Sensatori and went to their exotic travelers club meeting, they stated they are not a time share, they sold us some lies and we want to know if anybody else got taken in like we did.

They told us that if we bought into the club we would recieve all the 20% off ammenities as well as FREE weeks at the Azul or its five associated karisma all inclusive hotes. We asked repeatedly that we were understanding them right "if we buy 20 weeks, we would not have any additional costs incurred for our all inclusive stay?" They sold us hook line and sinker that we were understanding right....20 FREE all inclusive weeks if we buy in now, no catches, they could be used any time within a 25 year span. We were so disappointed last month when we went to book 1 week and found out all we bought in fact was a discount to have an all inclusive week. We were told repeatedly that there was no cost, just call and reserve. They did say airflight was additional.....but the room was free always. As is turns out there are not savings as when I book flight with a room from travel agencies we get the same room discount! Blah....we learned our lesson if it seems to good to be true......IT IS!! anybody else get taken by these people? They got us drunk (I dont drink) but they suggested a celebration....next thing you know we were signing papers that offer us nothing as to what we were told we were signing. Just discounts, nothing more.

Disappointed is what we are, we were told one thing and sold another. BUYERS BEWARE!

53 replies to this topic
Huntsville, Alabama
posts: 4,334
reviews: 27
1. Re: Karisma Exotic Travelers Club

I have not sat through the Exotic Travelers Club presentation however, we do have good friends that are members. We have been to the El Dorado Seaside Suites 8 times and the El Dorado Maroma 4 times with our 5th coming up at the end of the month and have talked to many people who are members.

From my understanding it is a vacation club (aka time share). You are paying upfront for discounts for the all inclusive vacations and discounts on services plus some freebies (depending upon your level of membership such as transfers, free phone calls to the US, etc.). You are not pre-paying for future free travel. Anyone who is a member, please feel free to correct any errors that I have made in the above.

That being said you mentioned signing a contract..did you read EVERY word of that contract to ensure you were signing up to what was being communicated to you?

I find that this is where the majority of people run into problems (with not only situations as you mentioned above, but throughout life!). Yes, I thoroughly read EVERYTHING that I sign to ensure that I understand what I am signing and that it matches up to expectations/promises (I have even trained hubby...he has me read everything before he signs - it is progress!). Bottom line, if it doesn't match, I don't sign the contract - I work in contracts for a software company and do this on a daily basis. Everyone needs to be diligent about reviewing anything before their signature goes on it - when you sign you are entering into a legally binding contract, the only recourse you have is as detailed in the contract....that which wasn't read to begin with!

Sorry...I will get off the soapbox now...

Hiawatha, Kansas
posts: 855
reviews: 30
2. Re: Karisma Exotic Travelers Club

Yes Akandal is correct, we are members of Exotic Travel Club, the club offers addional discounts, upgrades, internet and so forth but you are still paying for your room and all inclusive package you are just getting a discounted rate. We sat through the presentation once and opted not to buy on our second trip we went again, left with copies of the paperwork thought about it and came back in the following day to purchase.

Northeastern...
posts: 9
reviews: 81
3. Re: Karisma Exotic Travelers Club

We understand fully what the contract says at this point but at the point when we were signing we were already on the fourth glass of their celebrational champagne and they did it all so fast you would have had to be there to see it to actually believe how talented these sales people are at deceiving the eye and mind.

I loved the resort and will use the weeks I bought in because I did fall in love with the establishment and I will be more than happy to go back however they lied to our faces to make the sale, they even went as far as to say that we could use two of our weeks and have the presidential suite for free in trade with no extra costs, they brought us into the suite to view it, wow only two weeks and it would be an even trade, this sold us on the spot.

Any hoot, I was wondering how many others did the same as we did. We were definetly sold something different than our contract stated......so many glasses of champagne later.

Northeastern...
posts: 9
reviews: 81
4. Re: Karisma Exotic Travelers Club

We understand fully what the contract says at this point but at the point when we were signing we were already on the fourth glass of their celebrational champagne and they did it all so fast you would have had to be there to see it to actually believe how talented these sales people are at deceiving the eye and mind.

I loved the resort and will use the weeks I bought in because I did fall in love with the establishment and I will be more than happy to go back however they lied to our faces to make the sale, they even went as far as to say that we could use two of our weeks and have the presidential suite for free in trade with no extra costs, they brought us into the suite to view it, wow only two weeks and it would be an even trade, this sold us on the spot.

Any hoot, I was wondering how many others did the same as we did. We were definetly sold something different than our contract stated......so many glasses of champagne later.

Los Angeles...
posts: 1
5. Re: Karisma Exotic Travelers Club

i can certainly weigh in here with a first hand report of my encounter with Exotic Travelers. here is their website by the way:

http://exotictravelers.com/

rather than write it all again...i will post a letter that i sent them after i understood fully what sort of business style they use. the final outcome of this letter revealed that...in my opinion...this company preys on vacationers and once they have your signature and money...don't care a bit about ethics or customer satisfaction. they will likely drop you like a banana slug. having said this...of course we all have to be responsible for what we sign and ultimately it is my own fault for signing. i am only posting this in hopes that someone will read it and think twice before handing them money that you have worked hard to earn. this is from the spring of 2011. as follows:

dear sir. i am sure you will remember me and my partner....her name is xx and i am xx. we were at the azul sensatori for one week last spring. during our stay there we were directed into your business center at the sensatori azul where we were ultimately drawn into a conversation with you. that conversation was interesting to us for a number of reasons. we were presented with almost two hours of a very hard sell from you for us to join the exotic travelers club. at first everyone there seemed very friendly but as the two hours wore on...i realized that you in particular were almost begging us to join your club. you started out with the usual pitch of testing us to see just what sort of a couple we are...what our financial situation might be...how interested we might be in joining the club...and how appealing a room upgrade would be to folks like us...and ultimately...if we were the sort of people who might be attracted to fifty weeks of vacation in the various resorts you are affiliated with. i must tell you that we were not interested in the terms that were first presented to us...nor much interested in any of the terms you presented during the whole meeting mainly because they were not often cogent or clear to us. one thing that you kept telling us during your entire pitch was that your offer was a one-time deal which needed to be either accepted or rejected on the spot. this seemed to elevate the need for us to make a decision. had we not been well lubricated with your free cocktails...i would surely have laughed at this ridiculous claim of yours. as desperate as you were to get us to join...you surely would not have turned us away if we had left you that day...and returned after thinking on your offer for a night...a week...or even a month. as it was...she and i were able to take a few minutes of time to ourselves to discuss the matter while you went to confer with your supervisors (so you said). the more we moved toward a position of declining your offer...the more you customized your language and the terms in order to get us to part with some cash. you laid out an increasingly impressive number of things to us...not all of which were in the essential contract that we ended up signing i might add. out of all the pretty things you promised....there is one that is sticking like salt in my throat and one which i will point out now as a being a lie you told me. it is this:

concerning the contract...i asked you point blank that if by signing the contract and paying you the several thousand dollars to join...and by arranging a subsequent monthly plan....if for any reason i later decided to terminate my payments....what would happen to the contract. you looked me in the eye my friend and told me that the contract would then be null and void. to be clear about this i then asked you whether there would be any attached issues to my credit rating if i terminated the payments early. your direct answer to me then was "there will be no blemish to your credit rating...the entire contract will simply disappear."

allright. now that i have been back home for a couple of moths and seeing that these monthly payments are set to begin this month....i have been doing some of the deeper checking that i wanted to do before being so pressed to give you my credit card that day and to sign your piece of paper. what i have discovered is that your claims made on the day you drew us into the office are not nearly so favorable as you made them out to be. in fact...i was shocked at the difference between what you told us and what the actual situation is. from what i can tell there is not the fantastic savings that you led us to think we would receive...and in fact...i notice that just about all we can expect from exotic traveler's is a possible room upgrade if it's available...and a butler...and a well-stocked liquor cabinet. these things are very small compared to what you presented to us. the costs to us...whether we are in your club or not....are about the same for any vacation we might take at one of your properties. to put it mildly...i feel like you hugely mis-represented the benefits of joining exotic travelers. that's allright...i understand that your approach was very like a car salesman's pitch...but what galls me is a conversation that i had with an exotic travelers agent the other day on the phone. upon hearing from her what the real price of our vacations was going to be...i told her that i was going to follow your lead by dropping the contract and refraining from throwing more of my good money into the exotic club because i could not see much correlation between what you presented and what she presented. upon hearing that i was going to stop my payments....she then told me that the contract was binding to the degree that there would be a credit ramification for me if i did so!!! i remind you that this is in DIRECT contradiction to what you told me.

here is what i want now. i want you to direct this email to your supervisors. i want to know why you gave me false information. and i want to drop this contract with no ramification whatsoever to my or my partner's credit rating. you already have several thousand dollars of our money and this should be actually returned as well. i would like this discussion to continue forthwith between you...me...and your supervisors. and who will alert future people from falling into the same sort of misleading discussion in your resort facilities if people like me don't do all we can to spread this word and warn others? please give this your immediate attention so as to correct the discrepancy between what you told me in your facility in april and what i was told by the exotic traveler agent last week in miami concerning my money and any potential effects upon my credit rating.

thankyou. and shame on you.

Northeastern...
posts: 9
reviews: 81
6. Re: Karisma Exotic Travelers Club

I certainly know how your feeling right now and Im sure there are alot of us who have experienced the exact same things from Karisma's wonderous sales teams. Thanks for being brave enough to post your insights on these

shameful sales tactics hopefully enough people will read them and they may just save somebody else from signing a contract after being served so much alcohol. Unfortunately there are no laws in our country to protect us from scoundrals like this in tourist countries who see vacationers as prey instead of real people living real lives who work very hard for their dollar.

We certainly have paid alot of money for a little bit of discount, this is not what we were sold by the agents but it certainly is what is hidden in the paperwork they have us sign.

Beware anybody about buying into an Karisma Resort vacationers package because you are not buying what they are selling!!! Your buying something altogether different.......we sure felt like idiots when we found out what it really was that the agents worked so diligently hard to sell us.

We are making the most of it now, I look at it all like this "Well, it looks like were going to be visiting Mexico for another 20 weeks, good thing the resorts are clean and comfortable.

I've asked GOD to forgive them and I've forgiven them but I'll never forget the lesson we learned........again I say "Surely enough, if it sounds too good to be true....TURN AROUND AND RUN, DONT LOOK BACK!!!"

GOD BLESS YOU, I pray all things will work out in your favor.

Scottsdale, Arizona
posts: 1,005
reviews: 7
7. Re: Karisma Exotic Travelers Club

There are a few things I don't understand:

1. Why people drink alcohol when signing legal papers or attending a presentation like that. Just say no, thank you.

2. Why people don't get things in writing. No matter what a person promises, get it in writing.

3. Why people make financial decisions based on emotions.

4. There is a 3 day rescind law for signing contracts. Use it.

5. There are no free lunches in life. The weekly discounted rate is for the all-inclusive amenities like food, drink, etc, not the room.

6. Why anyone would make financial decisions without spending time to discuss privately. Write questions down on paper. I don't buy cars or houses or sign contracts based on emotions or without taking time to discuss and think about it. NO ONE can force anyone to sign the contract.

7. When in doubt, or if things are not clear, GET IT IN WRITING.

8. One more time....DO NOT DRINK, DO NOT LET EMOTIONS GET IN THE WAY AND GET IT IN WRITING.

Disclaimer: I was a brick and mortar timeshare owner for 20 years and traded it for the ET membership. I've been a member for over 4 years and love it. However, I did NOT purchase at first meeting. I did not drink, nor let my emotions make my decisions.

I'm glad I'm a member, it's worked very well for us. We save a considerable amount over the web rates. Plus we're treated like family when we return. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Northeastern...
posts: 9
reviews: 81
8. Re: Karisma Exotic Travelers Club

Because we believe in GOD and the good in people. We are trusting people who have never been decieved by such trechery! Honest people think in honest ways.

oh
posts: 484
reviews: 3
9. Re: Karisma Exotic Travelers Club

We been exotic members for a couple of years now and are glad we joined - like nja53 and the reasons he already mentioned. We too did not join the first time we went to a meeting - we went home discussed it, figured out the financial advantages - disadvantages and then joined the next year but really on the terms we presented to the salesman - not what he was offering. Since then we have upgraded our membership twice.

One recommendation I have to those looking to recoup some of their money is to try and sell some of their weeks to family, freinds, or whoever. Just be sure you do not advertise on any mass media site - exotic can forfiet your membership.

Cambridge, Ontario
posts: 93
reviews: 7
10. Re: Karisma Exotic Travelers Club

Wow, seriously pgrobitaille?

I believe in God, have a general trust in people and am a good person but I don't go through life with blinders on. If you were a bit tipsy when you signed the contract, you have no one to blame but yourselves for not understanding what you signed. Sales people are just that, sales people, they sell you things, that's their job...you have the choice to buy or not buy. Granted, there are some dishonet people out there who use unsavory tactics...but really, it's up to YOU, not God, to decide who to deal with or not.

And like nja53 said, you had a cooling-off period, you could have taken advantage of.

I just don't see how God enters into this at all...just sayin'...

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