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TOPIC: Consumer warning: Vistalegre in Puerto Vallarta

Consumer warning: Vistalegre in Puerto Vallarta 2 years 7 months ago #13

  • Bill and Marie Langenes
  • Bill and Marie Langenes's Avatar
Consumer warning: Be very careful renting through Puerto Vallarta real estate company Vistalegre.

In May-June 2014 while searching for a Puerto Vallarta condo to rent, we (a U.S. retired couple) came into contact via the internet with Vistalegre, which represented several nice Puerto Vallarta condos. We rented a new upscale second story condo in the Emiliano Zapata/Zona Romantico neighborhood for 11 nights February 21-March 4, 2015.

As a Vistalegre client, we learned from our own experience that company personnel used Bait-and-Switch sales tactics and repeatedly promised to ‘get back to us’ and never did. Making a charge of Bait-and-Switch should not be taken lightly. The following sequence of events documents the company’s Bait-and-Switch in which it presented via emailed text and photos a second story condo but put us in a lesser ground floor condo when we arrived. (We have retained emails, photographs and other records documenting these activities.)

May 31, 2014: Vistalegre Rental Specialist Frank Rivas sent an email in response to our search stating “I have this unit available in the new building V177 Condominiums (half block from the beach, same concept of V399) for your dates. Check the pictures and let me know what you think.” The 30 attached photos showed a second floor well-furnished contemporary one-bedroom condo with two balconies, one facing west off the living room and the second facing east off the bedroom. We liked the balconies for the opportunity for outdoor living and plenty of cooling sea breezes flowing through.

June 1: Our reply email stated, “We look forward to receiving from you the papers to rent the second floor one bedroom condo in building V177.” Attached to our email was one of the photos showing one balcony that Frank had emailed to us to verify identification of the condo.

June 2-10: A series of emails resulted in a signed contract and payment of the rent. (Buyer beware: The contract did not identify the specific condo number but only the name of the condo building.)

Saturday, Feb 21, 2015: Vistalegre representative Frank Revis met us at the condo building, V177 Condominiums, about 6 p.m. Saturday shortly after we flew in. Rather than taking us to the second floor Condo 201 described and pictured in his email that we had rented, he led us to Condo 104 on the ground floor. No balconies, no sea breezes, no view — it was a cave. When we stated that this was not the condo pictured in his email that we had agreed to rent—and paid for, his response was a mix of surprise, confusion and ignorance. He explained he did not have the paperwork, the file is at the office, the office was now closed, but he would check with the office and get back to us the next day. Having no alternative at 6 pm Saturday, we said we would spend the night and expected to move to the condo we had rented the next day. He also charged our Visa $500 as a security deposit.

Sunday, Feb 22: Mr. Rivas did not get back to us Sunday, in spite of several text messages to him.

Monday, Feb 23: Marie went to the office on Monday. Frank was there but ducked out when he saw Marie, who spoke with a young woman named Diana, who said she would speak with the owner (said to be out of the country, but which we learned later was not true) and would “get back to us.” Another customer who had been sitting in the office waiting, immediately responded, “No you won’t!” Apparently he, too, had a problem with Vistalegre. Having paid for 11 days and having no alternative, we remained in condo 104. Not happy. By the way, we were overcharged at $1,932 or $176/night; a one bedroom upper-floor condo in V177 for the same 11 days next year is priced at $155/night as listed on PVRPV.com.

Wednesday, Mar 4: Mr. Rivas checked us out, finding no damage and declaring the condo in the same condition as when we arrived. However, he did not bring the portable credit card machine which he used Feb 21 to charge our Visa, saying the office would credit our Visa account. By now we did not believe what we were told, so we stopped by the Vistalegre office on our way to the airport. The staff would not refund our deposit at that time.

Monday, Mar 1: We finally received the deposit seven days later.

Is our experience a limited one-of-a-kind rip-off? No.
When we explained to the V177 Condo staff that we were placed in the wrong condo by Vistalegre, the reaction was, “Vistalegre is the worst rental agency in town,” and went on to describe problems other renters have had with the agency.

We met, by chance, Tom Egan, publisher of the daily English language newspaper Vallarta Today, who said he had heard other stories about Vistalegre business practices and encouraged us to send him the details of our story for use in his newspaper.

Are there recommended Puerto Vallarta rental companies? Yes.

Vallarta Shores International - 30 Years in Vallarta, Excellent reputation To Los Muertos Beach at the small sea horse. Vallarta Shores Condo Hotel - (800) 228-4552, (322) 222-3939 www.vallartashores.com, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Palmera Vacations – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (office is two blocks from V177)

PV Concierge – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (recommended by a V177 staff member who uses this company to manage his rental units)

PVRPV.com

Barbara Hitos Fajer – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In no way should our problems with Vistalegre reflect on V177 Condominiums. V177 is well located, beautifully designed, using high-quality materials and construction, and professionally managed with Spanish-English speaking on-site staff and 24-hour security personnel. The builder is Heva Select Builders. Timothy Real Estate Group represents the property. We were very impressed and pleased with V177. It is unfortunate that owners of condos in this premier property use such a disreputable rental agency.

We hope our experience will help other visitors to Puerto Vallarta avoid the deceitful business practices of Vistalegre.
Last Edit: 2 years 7 months ago by Vallarta Today Staff.
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Consumer warning: Vistalegre in Puerto Vallarta 2 years 7 months ago #14

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous's Avatar
Our Experience With Vistalegre
Never again! We found out half a day before arrival that our 2 bedroom condo rental for two months reserved and paid for the year before would not be available. Upon arrival we were taken to a new property and signed an agreement for two one bedroom apartments, one which could be used by our guests. In the last fifteen days we were told that we could not have the second apartment and that the property manager had not signed or seen the rental agreement. The property manager removed our belongings and changed the lock, threatening to remove us from our apartment as well. Vistalegre advised us that this would never happen and they provided no assistance. At our insistence they found another apartment that we could relocate to at our own cost and at additional rent. That apartment had many maintenance issues that were never resolved. They did not asked us if we wanted to rent from them again.
Last Edit: 2 years 7 months ago by Vallarta Today Staff.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
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