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Old 09-27-2013   #1 (permalink)
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Encanto Elfaro cancels 100's of reservations keeps deposits

It appears that the El faro resort Hotel has been taking reservations with no intent to honor the bookings. it appears the 50% deposits they require for a booking they will be keeping. They have fire the management however the HOA is telling us who lost our deposits that we are on our own to attempt to recover our $$$. They have said that we can rebook however we will have to pay again.

Below is the email I received regarding this fraud:

We regret to inform you the management company Encanto has been asked to cease and desist at El Faro Condos. We request your immediate action to dispute your credit card charges for your reservation with Encanto at El Faro Condos for your upcoming vacation in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. You will see in the email below from the president of the El Faro HOA Association the depth of Encanto’s fraud. The owners at El Faro will not accept any reservations made through Encanto for El Faro. Playa Premiere is requesting that you dispute the credit card charge made by Encanto. We will be able to re-book you at El Faro. We are working with all condo owners and the HOA group to do everything we can to make this as seamless as possible. The issue is massive and has affected all booking agencies. It will require a lot of cooperation from all parties; we have no affiliation with Encanto as we are just a booking agency similar to Expedia. We will support you with any documentation needed to dispute your credit card charge. We did not process your credit card but sent it directly to El Faro’s property manager Encanto as shown on the credit card form. This email and a copy of the letter from the president of the HOA will support your dispute for a full refund.

We are working closely with owners to block the calendars for your specified condo and dates. Once you have disputed your credit card charge please notify us asap. We will send out new contracts and payment options to ensure you do not lose your condo for your specified dates.

Encanto had over 600 reservations on the books so this is HUGE and has affected many clients, agents and condo owners.

If you would like to contact Encanto we have provided their information:

Mexico 01-800-832-9202

Foreign (+52) 984-873-3130

Encanto Hotels and Resorts

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

CEO Luis Garcia vp@salomonjabez.com

Reservations revenue@encantoresorts.com

Accounting financedirector@encantoresorts.com

I would not expect a response or the truth. If they do respond and confirm your reservation please copy us on the email; so we can confirm with the owner.

Letter from HOA

Dear Owners:

Encanto chose to resign as administrator before we called a vote to dismiss them. As presented at the annual meeting Encanto owes the HOA several hundreds of thousands of dollars. Encanto's own accountant signed off on the accounting of this misappropriation of funds.

Encanto misappropriated large amounts of money from the HOA while not paying the salaries of the staff employed at El Faro, and while not using the money it had available for obvious maintenance needs.

Starting in 2010, Encanto charged the HOA but did not purchase hurricane insurance. We discovered this in May 2013 and one of the Directors paid the premium directly to the insurer who had cancelled the insurance. This is another quarter of a million dollars.

Encanto has fraudulently sold time share vacation club packages although it owns no real estate or condominiums at El Faro to accommodate those rentals.

We presume it was planned to rent your units at reduced rates while pocketing the advance payment of the time share purchase.

Encanto has sold advance reservations to several travel agencies and corporations which will be seeking to use accommodation at El Faro to satisfy those payments which have not been passed on to the owners.

Encanto has sold many deeply discounted rentals in the past months for an advance payment who will be seeking to use El Faro although no money has been paid to the owners.

Encanto has practiced a program for the past three years of skimming rentals in several ways, including walk-ins which are not recorded, recording a lesser rental amount than actually charged, fabricating costs charged to owner accounts, nonpayment of amounts charged to owner accounts, and ultimately stonewalling any requests for remittance of money due to owners.

The amount owed to owners is in excess of $1,500,000USD. The amount skimmed represents between 15 and 20% of the gross revenue over the last three years of each and every condo rented by Encanto.

Encanto is currently trying to sell as a package the rental agency contracts it has with El Faro homeowners, we are told.

On the other hand Encanto recently sent a memo advising owners that they should stay with Encanto and he would be providing a special check in area.

We now understand Luis is planning to set up his own check in desk within Wickys, which is not an allowable use of the restaurant space. We cannot tolerate two check in counters.

I, and several owners have fired Encanto from renting our units. Yet Encanto has ignored these instructions and continues to rent and reserve those units as if no instructions were given. Encanto acts as if they own El Faro and we, the owners, are an inconvenience.

Luis Garcia, the owner of Encanto, is a smooth talking, somewhat clever thief. He has stolen from the HOA , he has stolen from homeowners who have used Encanto as a rental agent, he has stolen from employees and suppliers.

He has stolen from his business partners, one or more of which have provided the Board with details of his activities described above.

Firstly, we encourage any owners who continue to use Encanto as rental agent to immediately terminate them. Encanto will probably indicate it has an enforceable contract with those that signed one. Of course Encanto is in breach of any contract due to nonpayment and misappropriation of funds.

Secondly we will reject any reservations made by Encanto (as no money will be paid to owners for these prepaid reservations or any other money

collected) and advise travel agencies immediately that we will not accept Encanto reservations and that they must pursue Encanto for recovery.

Thirdly we will attempt to contact purchasers of prepaid or deeply discounted rental packages that we will not be honoring these rentals.

Fourthly we will post a notice at the front desk that Encanto generated reservations will not be honored at El Faro due to nonpayment. We will provide Encanto contact information, their phone numbers, and the address of their place of business within that notice.

Any homeowners who foolishly choose to continue to have Encanto as a rental agent will need to directly provide to the front desk the names of guests and arrival times. We will issue key cards as guests of the homeowner and they will be treated as such.

The HOA and its front desk ceases to recognize Encanto as rental agent doing business with El Faro. We will not work with an entity that has stolen large sums of money from the HOA and its homeowners, nor will we try to sort out the reservations mess we are left with.

The HOA is discussing legal action to recover the funds stolen from it as a fraud. We may seek the involvement of the appropriate authorities in a criminal investigation. We recommend that any homeowners who are owed money by Encanto join together to follow a similar path.

Respectfully

for the Lighthouse Properties/El Faro Condos HOA board
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Old 09-28-2013   #2 (permalink)
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Is El Faro the same condo complex where property was never divided up properly when it was developed and there are no enough titles for each condo?
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Old 09-28-2013   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Yucatan View Post
Is El Faro the same condo complex where property was never divided up properly when it was developed and there are no enough titles for each condo?

I thought that this (no or not enough titles) might be a problem at Corto Maltes and El Faro. Cantex was involved with both projects. I have heard there are mucho problemos with Cantex.
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Old 09-28-2013   #4 (permalink)
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I'll be calling my credit card company today. El faro made me leave my credit card number with them for any potential damage done to the condo while we stayed there. Made me nervous at best.....
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Old 09-28-2013   #5 (permalink)
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Wow, just wow!!!
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Old 09-28-2013   #6 (permalink)
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Well now I guess I know who LightsOut is on the TA forum! Responded over there last night (and I see someone else has replied there since).
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Old 09-28-2013   #7 (permalink)
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Holy crap!!!! I was looking at El Faro as a place to book for our stay in January. Dodged a bullet this time.
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Old 09-28-2013   #8 (permalink)
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Just called my credit card company and set up an alert for any international charges. Makes me feel better.

I feel bad for people getting caught up in this mess. El Faro was a nice place to stay. It's a pity there are jerks in this world.
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Old 09-28-2013   #9 (permalink)
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I'm glad I decided on a different resort for our vacation, it's one that I had looked at and would be driving me crazy right now having just two days before we leave.
I feel sorry for those folks mixed up in this mess.
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Old 09-28-2013   #10 (permalink)
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It seemed weird that just a few days ago on here there was "route307" advertising rental at El Faro. It was odd because I thought you could not advertise on here, yet. And it was odd that this heavy advertising happened just days before this. Maybe there is no connection.
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Old 09-28-2013   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Yucatan View Post
It seemed weird that just a few days ago on here there was "route307" advertising rental at El Faro. It was odd because I thought you could not advertise on here, yet. And it was odd that this heavy advertising happened just days before this. Maybe there is no connection.
Nah. I don't think so.
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Old 09-28-2013   #12 (permalink)
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Ownership ain't easy!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold-R View Post
I'm glad I decided on a different resort for our vacation, it's one that I had looked at and would be driving me crazy right now having just two days before we leave.
I feel sorry for those folks mixed up in this mess.
I think your comment illustrates the problem faced by El Faro owners. One bad management company cheating people and folks immediately stop booking the property. I too would be reluctant to book at El Faro even though it looks to be a wonderful place. I hope the owners are able to switch quickly to a more reputable company and restore confidence in the process. Good luck to those who booked through Encanto. Good luck to the owners, too. It is a big investment.

We had a similar occurrence here locally in 2004 when a Minneapolis travel agent booked 26 flights (that we know of) and didn't pay the airline. Luckily, the airline still had the spaces reserved, but we had to pay twice for 4 of us. The agent fled town with our money. The friend who had arranged the flights said we needed to pay the agent in cash in order to get the preferred fare. We raised the eyebrow, but paid knowing our friend had used the same agency several times previously. We live and learn.
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Old 09-28-2013   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Yucatan View Post
It seemed weird that just a few days ago on here there was "route307" advertising rental at El Faro. It was odd because I thought you could not advertise on here, yet. And it was odd that this heavy advertising happened just days before this. Maybe there is no connection.

Heavy advertising??? Nothing more than passing on an excellent deal that he could not use himself. No connection at all to this mess!!
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Old 09-28-2013   #14 (permalink)
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And that was a very popular travel agency wasn't it golden gopher?
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Old 09-28-2013   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Gopher View Post

We had a similar occurrence here locally in 2004 when a Minneapolis travel agent booked 26 flights (that we know of) and didn't pay the airline. Luckily, the airline still had the spaces reserved, but we had to pay twice for 4 of us. The agent fled town with our money. The friend who had arranged the flights said we needed to pay the agent in cash in order to get the preferred fare. We raised the eyebrow, but paid knowing our friend had used the same agency several times previously. We live and learn.
That is not quite the same, however dispicable, whereas Encanto was the exclusive management company for EL Faro basically the only option to book a room (other than a couple on VRBO). This will be traject for those owners as Encanto also screwed Expedia, Cheap Tickets, Travelocity, Booking, Bookit and more. Revenues will likely fall dramatically for the owners. I will assure you Expedia is not telling their customers to file chargebacks. hopefully Expedia and the others have held payment. Still El faro owners will likely not see any more bookings from those companies much longer
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