Reviews of the timeshare industry by the owners...
On May 4th, 2008, I purchased a timeshare from Velas Vallartas in Puerto Vallarta, MX for $10,900 which included 12 weeks. The representative, Chris Bailey, indicated that by using Sierra Rentals, I would be able to rent each week for $2240, which was a $26880 return on a $10,900 investment. Something didn't sound quite right but after repeated guarantees by Chris Bailey and also the leasing agent from Sierra Rentals, I decided to take the plunge. After reading different internet reports and discovering just how many people were unhappy with the purchase, I tentatively decided to seek a refund. On May 7th, 2008, I had the displeasure of speaking with Monica Dallegrave (after 3 hours of being transferred, given different numbers, disconnected), the Corporate Representative of Velas Vallarta, which easily turned into my worst customer service experience ever.
When I informed Monica that based on the testimony of hundreds of people on the Internet I wished to cancel myVelas Vallarta timeshare and reassess the situation, she implored that she had a great product and all I had to do was trust her and Sierra Rentals. After indicating that even though she sounded trustworthy, I still wished for a refund, she asked me to read the understanding and acknowledgment page of the contract which said the contract was non-refundable and I would lose any monies paid (even though the main body of the actual contract said I have 5 days to seek a refund).
Since she didn't want to see that happen, she offered me a different package for a bit less money. I then informed her that before calling I researched on the Internet and various folks predicted she would say that very thing. I also informed her that I researched the Profeco website and they made it very clear that isn't the case and I was eligible for a full refund. When she heard that, her attitude and demeanor completely changed and she turned downright nasty.
She stated that "since I knew everything" I should "do what I had to do and they would do what they had to do". When I asked her for clarification of such a general statement and if that meant a refund, she again stated the same. When I again asked about the refund, she refused to give me a valid email address (the one listed on her welcome letter bounced back twice), purposely mumbled the fax numbers, and overall tried to make it as hard as possible to get valid information from her.
She then went so far as to say that Velas Vallarta would never want an owner like me and once I did what I hadto do, they will do what they have to do. As a bit of a preface, before I called I was still somewhat undecided about the validity of the company.
My line of thought was that if they cheerfully offered a refund, I would reassess and possibly even upgrade my package. If they refused or tried to "scam" me, that would without a doubt give me my answer. From the above events, you can easily see the type of company that Velas Vallarta is and the lack of customer service oriented people (specifically MONICA DALLEGRAVE) that they employ.
Based on the actions by Velas Vallarta and the fact that Monica Dellagrave, the "Corporate Representative", insulted me many times over, I have no choice but to seek a full refund. In doing so, I have emailed, faxed, and mailed certified letters to both the property in Mexico and also the United States before the 5 day grace period ended.
It is my hope that after reading this, other folks out there can avoid Velas Vallartas, Monica Dellagrave, and the situation I have found myself in. In the end, had she happily offered me a refund and wished me well, I most likely would have changed my mind and possibly even upgraded my purchase. Instead, she chose to lie, insult, and attempt to deceive me.
What could have been a good customer service story about the timeshare industry instead turned to this, another letter detailing the unscrupulous practices of companies such as Velas Vallartas.