Dear Mr. Robert Paisola
Hope the new year is off to a good start for you.
My Wife Rhonda and I have limited experience with time share travel, but until recently all of our experiences were positive. We are Worldmark / Trendwest owners (11 years) which has now been purchased by Windham. We have had no problems and would recommend them to our friends for many reasons.
We have used RCI in conjunction with our Worldmark points with much success as well.
My only other experience was the Paradise Village in PV Mexico. I have worked for my employer for nearly 20 years now and he allowed me to use his time share in PV as he had just purchased a villa and would not be using the Paradise Village now that he has a home. My employer and I had a bet as to whether or not I could get our employees to vote the Teamsters out of our transportation division.
I won, and as a result I gained access to his time share. My only regret was that we did not bring the kids along. Paradise Village was great to say the least. I really wish I could afford to purchase my own time with Paradise Village.
My major regret come with the purchase that I did make.
I purchased with Playa Del Sol. Bad bad move on my part in retrospect! I purchased in Jan of 2007 and have had nothing but trouble with Playa Del Sol thus far. Here are some highlights:
Got back to the U.S. and tried to book for the next year. Called many time over the next couple of months but was told that nothing was available. "Booked up"
Started questioning as to whether it was red season or just a bit of a scam. So I tried to book in the middle of summer which is the hottest time of the year and least traveled in PV or Cabo.
Was again told that nothing was available. I then said, "OK every time that I chose is not available, so you tell me what is available and I will tell you whether I want it." I was then told that they have an inventory problem and are not taking any new reservations until after their audit. I asked how long would it take for the audit? I was told that the audit would take about a month. Called back over a month later and was told the audit was still not complete.
Went on to their web-site to try and book on-line several weeks later and found that all of the resorts I wanted had limited inventory available, but did have inventory available. The web-site would not allow me to book the time. Maybe it was my error, and maybe I was missing something, but no matter what I tried it would not allow me to book as an owner and required me to pay full price using my credit card. The next day I called and tried to make a reservation for the inventory I found the night before on-line. I was told that this invetory was not available for owners and was reserved for cash customers.
This really pissed me off! I asked how much of the inventory was reserved for owners and how much was reserved for cash customers. They told me that this was confidential and that they could not tell me. I said that as an owner you are telling me that I cannot be told this information? I was then told that well it depends and fluctuates all of the time. I asked for this representatives name and asked for a manager. I was put on hold and another rep picked up the call. I asked if they were a manager and was told "no..all of the managers are in a meeting and are unavailable"
I called again the next morning after I had not received a return call from a manager. I asked why I had not been contacted by a manager as promised. I was told that they would look into it. I asked if I could talk to a manager now? I was again told that the manager was not available. This rep asked for the name of the rep I had spoken with. I gave them the name and employee ID# only to be told that such a person does not exist. This rep was polite and told me that she would have a manager call me as soon as possible. I was sent on a trip to the Middle East through the US Dept of State and the American Council for Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) and was gone for three weeks and kind of put the problem on the back burner for some time.
Was told by this polite rep that if I wanted to book for Dec 26th of 2008 I would need to call on Dec 26th of 2007 and I would have no problem getting what I need.
I wrote several e-mails detailing the fact that they had employees who gave false identification and that I was yet to get a manager to call me back. No reply to date.
My Wife and I were in San Francisco on vacation with my parents on Dec 26th of 2007 and brought our owner information with us so that we could make our reservation on this date as directed. We wanted two one bedroom units and were told that they were booked up and that they only had (1) one bedroom unit available. I asked for a studio. I was told that there was nothing available but the (1) one bedroom unit. I told the rep that I found it hare to believe that every unit was reserved today. I was told that all of the units were booked up two to three weeks ago. I asked how that could be given the fact that we were told that you can only book one year to the date in advance.
I was then told that these are guests that were booking three to four weeks of travel and that they booked in the first week of December and extended their stay into January. I asked if this was true for all the units? I was told "yes ..this is the only way this can happen". My renewal with Playa Del Sol is the first week of 2008 and the only think I was allowed to use was my primary week and I could not use my award week.
We went ahead and told the rep that we would take the one unit for now and would look to another resort to put my mother and father up in. We gave the rep our American Express card to get our maintenance fees up to date. No sooner did my Wife get the credit card number out of her mouth before I told her not to book it, and that we would transfer our Playa Del Sol time over to RCI and combine that credit with the Worldmark credit we would roll over to RCI to get a reservation that we could use with my parents. Of course even though only one second had transpired we were told it was too late and they could not reverse the transaction.
My wife then asked for a manager and was told.....you guessed it "all of the managers were in a meeting". My wife called back again several hours later and was again told that all of the managers were still in a meeting.
To date I have never been able to speak with anyone who will identify themselves as a manager!
The first day of business in 2008 I call RCI and Interval International to see what they would see for inventory. I thought that if I took what I was told was the last unit then there should be no inventory left at Playa Del Sol Cabo. Well what Interval International found was a great deal of studios available. So I grabbed a studio through Interval even though I have a week as a Playa Del Sol owner that they will not allow me to use.
Back to the purchase I made while at Playa Del Sol in PV:
I was told that I could rent out my time and make money! FALSE
I was told that I could easily use my primary week with my award week so that we could bring my parents down with us. FALSE
I was told that the purchase was final and that I would forfeit the five day cool down period if I accepted the award week they were offering to give us. FALSE
I was told that I could use the 20 "break away" weeks they gave us and book a week at the same price as our maintenance fees. FALSE
I was not told that cash customers have priority over owners. Who in their right mind would buy into a program that made you a second class customer?
We were asked to come visit Playa Del Sol by an independent guy standing on a street corner who showed us Playe Del Sol ID. He explained that he would pick us up at Paradise Village and give us $200 cash for coming out on top of the tequlla and blankets and tour they would give us at the presentation.
He also agreed to pay our cab fare to and from. The security guards at Paradise Village took his picture when he showed up to pick us up and asked what it was that he promised us. The gentelman who was setting up the presentation told us not to tell Playa Del Sol that he was sweetening the pot to get us to go because he would get in big trouble. He said thay he could afford to give us $200 because it would get him a bigger bonus for getting five people there in one day. Paradise Village asked us when we would be returning and took a picture of the cab driver and said they were trying to protect us. This I believe they did!
To his credit the gentleman that was setting up the presentation lived up to his end of the bargain and gave me the $200 in US cash as soon as I got in the cab and also paid for the cab ride to and from Playa Del Sol.
We were sold our package by a guy named Israel who we really liked and trusted. He showed us pictures of his wife and new child. He showed us pictures of he and his wife at the WorldCup soccer matches in Europe and he explained that he traded his Playa Del Sol credits through RCI to travel like he does. He went into great detail about how easy it is to use his Playa Del Sol ownership to travel the world when he isn't going to Cabo or Costa Rica.
I would love to take the money we spent on Play Del Sol and spend it with a place we know we can trust like Paradise Village or Worldmark. Have you any suggestions.
Frustrated in Kalama
Do not EVER BUY from this resort or any of its affiliates. I am currently in Moscow Russia doing a seminar, and this letter was so important that I am taking a break in the middle of the night to post this for my readers and listeners around the world.