Royal Holiday Club - Royal Holiday? No. Royally Scammed? Yes.
Update added by user Jan 02, 2015
Pay little mind to the useless people, who obviously work for Royal Holiday, who will make comments under your complaint. You can expect it, and it can get quite personal. Just further shows how unscrupulous this company truly is.
Original review posted by user Jan 01, 2015
While visiting Cozumel the week before Christmas with our family, we were approached on multiple occasions by a man named Pedro. Literally to the point we actually believed he was stalking us! But, his personality and his seemingly amazing offer (and persistence) were impossible to resist. We finally decided, after the third day running into him (in different locations throughout Cozumel) to take him up on visiting Park Royal Hotel. We were told that in exchange for listening to a 90 minute presentation we would be provided lunch for our whole family and passes to come back the following day to spend the whole day getting massages, swimming, snorkeling, eating, drinking... basically the works!
Even though our resort was all inclusive, he assured us this resort was far superior. When we arrived, we were quickly shuttled to a desk for a Royal Holiday representative, who took both of our driver's licenses and a major credit card. This was not alarming, as most timeshare presentations do this same thing. We were then passed off to a guy named Emilio to begin our "endless" tour. He gave us a lot of information, drew some pictures, made some graphs, jumbled some numbers and basically made very little sense, but in the end asked the typical sales 101 drone question, "so which sounds better, your way or the Royal Holiday way?"
At this point we were shown the rest of the property, toured a beautiful presidential suite, and finally made our way to the video room to watch the 8 minute beautiful people promotional video. By this time the kids (10 and two 6 year olds) were cranky, hungry and getting bored. We were now met by another woman in an amazing room overlooking the ocean and an infinity pool. Music was blasting, they were feeding you drinks and now bringing food directly to us and the kids who were in the specially designed kid's play room. LET'S JUST SAY, they know what they are doing. The atmosphere was conducive to make you pretty much sign anything.
Once you meet with this woman, she tells you all about the packages and their prices and how that "TODAY ONLY" the prices are not the prices on this normal price sheet, but these "amazing offers" just too good to pass up. After 6 hours and yet another sales woman, this time Rosario (truly the most untrustworthy of them all and I will explain why shortly). In the end, we had agreed to this vacation club package at a Platinum+ level for over $30,000 and $1200 a year maintenance fee.
The saving grace for us was that it took them so long to negotiate, the bank was already closed. We transferred $16,000 to our personal account which they were to debit in the morning. (As we agreed to pay 50% down to get even more amazing deals including 3 years use of any of their resorts in Mexico and DR without using any points and being VIP status) **THEY WILL OFFER YOU ALL OF THIS SAME ***! Now you might be asking yourself why we did not google them first? Well, here you go: First, we did not have international data on our phones so we could only use the internet if we had wifi. Second, the second salesgirls' iPad conveniently ran out of battery when she went to show me something I requested. Yes, I now realize that was likely a big lie as she did not want to take a chance I would google them.
Once the papers were signed, they put us up in a Jr. Suite for the remainder of our vacation. They told us to go eat dinner, enjoy the shows, go shopping the next day and enjoy complimentary massages, etc. They were definitely planning on keeping us busy. My husband and daughter went to a show and I stayed up in the room with the other two kids since they were exhausted. I had asked for the wifi password upon check-in and he provided me with a free temporary password. Once I was settled, something told me to google the company and see what I could find. I cannot tell you the feeling of panic that came over me when I began to read complaint after complaint and it all began to make sense.
My husband returned to the room and I shared the information with him and after his moment of panic, so began our sleepless night believing that we, like so many countless others, had just lost our hard-earned money to these scam artists. We talked all night about what we would do. We woke the kids at 6am, packed up the room and returned to our old hotel. Luckily we had not checked out, since we were diving there. We did hours of research and here is what we found. Hopefully it will help you.
FIRST, hopefully your money has not been transferred yet and you can get on the phone with your bank first thing in the morning and transfer the money out of that account and cancel any cards related to it, which luckily was the case for us. Contact your bank immediately!! SECOND, no matter WHAT you signed, you CAN cancel the contract within five business days according to Mexican Law (Article 56 of the Federal Consumer Protection Law). They may have had you sign something, if they are letting you stay in a room or giving you some gift, stating that you waive your right to cancel. Don't let that scare you. It is totally ILLEGAL and they know it. You can contact Profeco directly in Cozumel if they try to give you a hard time. All you have to do is threaten them with going to Profeco. Trust me, they do not want that. You have 5 days no matter what!
THIRD, make sure you deliver your cancellation of contract letter in person and make them give you something signed in return. Expect this to take some time because and be a little difficult, believe it or not, they will continue to try to keep you and sell you on a lesser package claiming that you have buyer's remorse! Rosario is the worst at this. She will tell you story after story, trying to relate to you, then continue to push for you to reconsider. Even after you deliver this notice, I would still consider notifying Profeco and US government agencies of your interaction and if you have any difficulty with the return of your money. If you have already returned home when you realize all of this, and you are within your 5 business days of signing the contract, send the letter certified mail and email both to Royal Holiday at the address on your contract, as well as directly to the person who you signed with at Park Royal, and Profeco so that you have proof that you are within your 5 days. (Your email will be the best proof, but the certified mail follows the contract, so best to be safe.) Our attempt took us more than 2 hours waiting in an office (2 separate times) until we finally threatened to inform the other potential buyers that they were out there working with, all that we had learned. Then they were quick to get us out.
If it is a large enough amount of money, there is an attorney in Cozumel, Cristina Carcia Toca who says on her website that she deals directly with timeshares, etc., I would contact her and see if she can provide assistance. REMEMBER, this is their job, and they are darn good at it. They are trained to make this sound amazing and make you want ... almost need it. They are also trained to make you second guess yourself when you try to cancel. They play on your emotions. But you have to also remember that the old saying "if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is" is almost always the case, and definitely is the case in this situation.
All of the people in these reviews cannot be wrong. The stories are all the same. Are we at fault for falling for it? Absolutely. We thought we were doing something amazing for our family because there are some pretty great clubs out there. (They had me believing they were part of Marriott, by the way) But, what we are choosing to do from here is make sure no-one else falls for this unscrupulous group at Royal Holiday at the Park Royal Hotel in Cozumel, Mexico. Pass this message on to anyone you know heading to Cozumel!
More Review Details
|Exchange, Refund and Cancellation Policy|
What I liked
What I disliked
- Felt totally scammed
- And robbed
- Losing time out of my vacation
- Reason of review:
- Not as described
- Preferred solution:
- We requested to have all of our personal information returned, as we stopped the bank transfer before we lost our money. We have a letter from them accepting our cancellation, but, they did not return our items. Also, we lost two days of our vacation.
- Monetary loss:
- Product or service
- Review category
- Hotels and Resorts