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It appears that “Las Palmas Travel Network” (LPTN) may be a new scam connected to what’s going on at Coco Sunset Vacation Club (aka Bahia Turquesas).

**

Coco Sunset Vacation Club (aka Bahia Turquesas) in Costa Rica seems to be somehow related to “Las Palmas Travel Network” (LPTN). Here’s my experience, as well as the things I’ve learned about them over the past three days (August 17, 2013). You can decide for yourself if this appears to be a scam.

Here’s what happened:

My wife and I were initially reeled in by “Jock”, a lively Scotsman who’s turf is Playa Hermosa near the Condovac (a timeshare resort affiliated with RCI). We were turned over to “Matt” who qualified us over breakfast at the Café de la Playa (http://www.cafedeplaya.com/suites.html) in the town of Cocos. Matt took us up to the shark tank where we met sequentially with three other closers, who came at us with ever-decreasing packages for us to buy. We left (without buying), and were taken to the El Pueblito commercial center in Cocos where several timeshare companies have their offices (you’ll recognize the names: Coco Vacation Club, Bahia Turquesas (the new name for Coco Vacation Club as of March 2013), Miramar, and others). We thought we were done for the day and just needed to sign out at the Coco Adventures Travel Agency (which seems to be owned by Bahia Turquesas), but Matt handed us off to “Blake Lindsey”, who said he was with “Las Palmas Travel Network” (LPTN), and who had a “program” he wanted us to look at.

Here’s where the story gets interesting. The sound *** is that “Las Palmas Travel Network” doesn’t seem to exist, and there’s no way to reach them once you’re back home.

The LPTN “program” has two aspects: (1) It reimburses current timeshare owners for their Maintenance Fees (sounds too good to be true, right?). It refers to this as “Cash Exchange”. (2) It also has other travel booking benefits (some sound remarkably similar to RCI’s), as well as “guaranteed rates” for 1 BDR and 2BDRs at hotels and timeshare locations around the world, including Leading Hotels of the World. Example: 2 BDR at the Crillon in Paris for $545 for a week. Again, those room rates sound too good to be true.

Blake offered us membership in this program for $2,299, plus $249 annually (waived the first year). It looks like a no brainer, because it doesn’t take long before you break even on the maintenance fees that they reimburse you for. Six weeks after you sign up LPTN sends you a Welcome Package, which has details on how to get your MFs reimbursed, and how to book the travel deals.

Lured by the idea of getting our MF’s reimbursed we let Blake charge our Visa card. He gave us a flimsy looking contract (saying that’s all there is), and we left with mixed feelings. Then went online to do a little due diligence.

After doing some research, here’s what I’ve learned about LPTN:

Las Palmas Travel Network is invisible – and may not be real at all.

The green flier he showed us states that Las Palmas Travel Network been in business since 1993. But if you search for the company on Google you will find nothing. It’s my opinion that LPTN is a new scam.

According to the contract, LPTN’s website domain name is www.thelaspalmastravelnetwork.com. This domain name was purchased just 3 weeks ago, on July 9th, 2013, and only for a one year period. (Go to www.godaddy.com for details). There’s no website. It seems to me that an established ten year old company should have a website, especially in an industry that is short on credibility and trust.

Oddly, there is a website at: http://www.laspalmastravelnetwork.com/home/. But that’s not the url on the contract. And it’s a very skinny site, with almost no info on it.

Las Palmas Travel Network is unreachable.

It’s not possible to contact LPTN when you are back home in the States. So there is nothing you can do if your Welcome Package does not arrive.

Can’t reach by phone: The phone number on the contract is in Costa Rica: 506-2670 0357. You can never get through to this number – I tried eight times, at different times of day, over a three day period. There’s an outgoing message – in Spanish only – and unless you know the extension of the person you are calling, you cannot leave a message. Blake does not have an extension number. Why would a company that services Americans not have an outgoing message in English? And why can you never get through to a real person? Blake insisted you can get through, but you can’t.

Incidentally, this 506-2670 0357 is the exact same phone number that’s shown on www.Ripoffreport.com – for “Las Palmas VC Coco Sunset Vacation Club” (April 2013). http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Las-Palmas-VC/Playa-Del-Coco-Select-StateProvince-/Las-Palmas-VC-Coco-Sunset-Vacation-Club-I-was-not-shown-the-whole-contract-and-now-they-wi-1046671

Can’t reach by email: There’s an LPTN email address on the contract. But when I sent an email it bounced back. Here’s the error message: Sorry, we were unable to deliver your message to the following address.

Blake Lindsay did not provide his business card with contact info, nor did he have letterhead in his office. When pressed for the addresses of the Call Center and the company’s HQ in the USA, I was given two handwritten addresses from a torn off yellow legal pad. The addresses seem to be bogus:

It turns out that 804 Pine Avenue, Carlsbad, CA 92008 is a house in a residential district. 7690 West Cheyenne, Las Vegas, NV is the office of HSI (Holiday Systems International). LPTN does not have a business relationship with HSI and is not listed at that address.

Blake’s office is in the El Pueblito shopping center – a small room immediately adjoining the “Coco Adventures” travel agency, which is where they finally sign you out after your timeshare presentation. Blake did not volunteer this but you might be able to get to him (and to Coco Sunset Vacation Club aka Bahia Turquesas and “Las Palmas Travel Network” through the travel agency. Here’s their email and website: carolina@cocoadventures.com, and http://bahiaturquesaresidences.com/cocoadventures.html.

Not affiliated with Carnival.

Blake said that LPTN was “a part of” Carnival Cruise Lines. The term “part of” suggests that it’s a subsidiary. But according to Hoovers it’s not. When I called Carnival’s Trade engagement department (on 800-327-7276) they said they have no ownership of or affiliation with LPTN. In fact they had not heard of it.

Unclear business relationship between LPTN and RCI – if any

I went online to see if the credit card purchase had posted. It had. The vendor name was Las Palmas VC. But the confusing thing is that the phone number associated with it is 619-683-7440. That number belongs to RCI – not LPTN. So, I wonder – did I purchase something from LPTN – or from RCI? Why is LPTN using RCI as its credit card vendor?

The benefits listed on the contract are RCI benefits. The only difference is the “World Famous Cash Exchange Program”.

The “World Famous Cash Exchange Program” sounds too good to be true

If LPTN has been around for 10 years, and since timeshare owners are desperately looking for a way to not have to pay Maintenance Fees on timeshares they can’t use, how can it be that this truly incredible program is not known, or publicized – and why the black box?

Who is Blake Lindsey?

Just for fun take a look at Blake Lindsey’s profile on LinkedIn: cr.linkedin.com/pub/blake-lindsey/52/ab/309. None of this inspires confidence.

Related posts:

There are several forums discussing what’s going on at Coco Sunset Vacation Club (aka Bahia Turquesas). I don’t know, but it appears that LPTN is a new scam.

http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Las-Palmas-VC/Playa-Del-Coco-Select-StateProvince-/Las-Palmas-VC-Coco-Sunset-Vacation-Club-I-was-not-shown-the-whole-contract-and-now-they-wi-1046671

http://www.pissedconsumer.com/reviews-by-company/coco-sunset-vacation-club.html

http://www.pissedconsumer.com/reviews-by-company/coco-sunset-vacation-club/fraudulent-representative-20130322395040.html

http://www.redweek.com/forums/search?query=coco&forum_id=all&search_by=threads&submit=Go

http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g291982-i813-k2956897-o150-Coco_Sunset_Vacation_Club-Costa_Rica.html

So where are we?

Can someone please post a reply so we all know the status? Thank you, all.

**

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Anonymous
#769430

If you are scammed, report to FBI:

http://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/

Anonymous
New York, New York, United States #769426

I bought a fractional ownership at Miramar Residence Club (aka Coco Sunset Club, Playas de las Palmas, now Baiha Turquesa Residence) in April 2012. They had me signed a rental contract with a company called Omnicorp Development. The person who represents Omnicorp Development was Douglas Jensen. I was supposed to start receiving my rental income 475 days later. But I have not seen a penny coming my way, now about 600 days has passed.

Playas de las Palmas still tries to collect maintenance fees. I called them questioning about the rental income. They said they didn't know anything about it and it was my responsibility that I signed the rental contract with Omnicorp. I tried to call Ominicorp. The telephone line did not exist. According to the business report online, the company does not even exist. Did Playas de las Palmas not know that Omnicorp was a fraud when they had Omnicorp's representative sign the contract with me?

Playas de las Palmas scammed your money, lured you to a too-good-to-be-true profit that was promised to you by a made-up company. How clever!

I would like Playas de las Palmas (or IPTN) to expalin it to all of us here. And you are welcome to contact me at shupinglu10003@gmail.com.

If there is any legal action forming to reclaim our loss, please count me in.

Anonymous
#740390

:roll it seems that there are many happy owners so why the fuss

PC1000
to happy timeshare owner Oakland, California, United States #741311

Dear reader: If you too have been scammed, you can file a ‘Dispute’ with your credit card company. My case just got resolved and the credit card company (Visa) just credited my account in full. Visa’s Fraud Department researched the transaction and determined that it is in fact a scam, so I got my money back, and Las Palmas Travel Network got nothing except a 100% chargeback and a disappointed scam artist (sorry, Blake!). Perhaps he’ll barely notice – I’m sure he’s busy working on new suckers every day …

You, the consumer, must call your credit card company to file the Dispute with within 118 days from the date of your transaction. They’ll put a temporary credit on your account (so you don’t have to pay it). Then after they research and find that Las Palmas Travel Network is a scam, they’ll convert it to a permanent credit.

And yet, there are ‘so many happy customers’ you say. Hmmm. Why do I not believe “Happy Customer” with his non-factual one liner?

Anonymous
#738703

Yep it is a scam.They opened an credit card and spent 4,800.

We were told it was 5000 for letting them use our weeks. What a laugh.

They have us on this and will pay it off.

PC1000
to Skiiny Oakland, California, United States #738717

Hi Skiiny ... Thanks for posting.

Do you have any other responses to the threads below? It'd help everyone out if you do!

What will you do now?

PC1000

Anonymous
#714816

We were also just in Playa del Coco,Costa Rica (8/2013), went through the free-lunch screening process, then to the "shark tank" for a variety of "deals." The deals kept getting lower and lower, on a yellow-lined legal pad. There were 2 hard pushes at closing the deal. We did not buy anything. Then we were scurried off to a room adjacent to a local agency that offers tourist packages. That is where we met Brent Welch. When we got back to our house, I googled him:

http://mugshots.com/US-Counties/Florida/Lee-County-FL/Robert-Brent-Welch.20433067/details/

We went back the next day to ask a few more questions and met Blake. He doesn't think quickly on his feet.

I also googled the websites that were listed on the folder and on the "contract."

http://laspalmastravelnetwork.com/home/

http://www.vacationfulfillment.com/main/

Both of the above sites are *** sites. They both list the same contact information, and both display the same video tease. The 1-800 contact information gets you to a telephone menu that goes no where. The numbers it says to push for help with booking, or for checking out the supposed "hot list" - not valid extentions.

While in Costa Rica, I called the local numbers on the "contract." They didn't connect to people...tried various times of day.

Now, if you google las palmas travel network, you will find brand new postings, raving about the company. The New York Times one...if you scroll to the...

The Yahoo ones are also newly written.

PLEASE BEWARE AND BE CAREFUL. THESE PEOPLE ARE SKILLED AT CHEATING PEOPLE. THEY PREY ON PEOPLE'S DREAMS.

Show more
PC1000
to had fun anyway Oakland, California, United States #721233

Hello "Had Fun Anyway", There's an extensive thread about Las Palmas Travel Network on www.ripoffreport.com - take a look at report number 1076771.LPTN still hasn't responded to several really awkward questions about its legitimacy.

The sudden flurry of LPTN damage control press releases on Sept 3rd was short lived -- three releases in three days, and nothing before or after that. The Brent Welch mugshot is an interesting new twist...

So that's the same Brent Welch that you met in person, right?Why am I not surprised?

Anonymous
#709679

My family and I stayed at Bahia Turquesa in Playas del Coco in February of 2013.We went on the sales presentation and they told us they would be able to sell our timeshare in Kissimee, Florida.

We were thrilled with the price they had offered and were honestly quite skeptical that we would ever receive the money. It just seemed to good to be true. However, we decided to take a leap of faith and invest in Bahia Turquesa and switch from Interval to the Las Palmas Travel Network. Let me tell you sitting in New York almost 7 months later that this is the best decision we have ever made.

Our timeshare was successfully liquidated and the Las Palmas Travel Network is a dream compared to Interval International. No exchange fees, no mandatory maintenance fees. If we use it we pay for the weeks, if not, we pay nothing. My wife and the kids stayed at the Four Seasons in London at Park Lane in July for a week.

It was absolutely spectacular and at a fraction of the cost with LPTN. Believe me, we felt the same way as the other posts I'm reading here. However, some 7 months later we now know that our fears were unfounded and that the sales person who in our case was Todd Deen was completely forthcoming. We are going back to Costa Rica in November with a bottle of champagne to say thank you.

We were a little amazed by the posts we had read here and wanted to share a different experience with you.Maybe you didn't give it a chance to work?

Anonymous
to John And Mary #734417

Right- how come you are the only ones enjoying. Are you part of the scam???

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